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Old 02-02-2002, 09:36 AM   #1
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Default What soldering Iron to get?

I'm in need of a new soldering iron. Do you think a weller stick 70 watt would work ok? For hard wiring batterys. Or what else?
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Old 02-02-2002, 09:46 AM   #2
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anything aournd the 60 Watts range will do. I have a Hakko soldering station it works great for me. However, I found that it is hard to solder when I turn the heat all the way up to 60 Watts. the solder sticks more to the soldering pen than where it suppose to go on. That's why I normally solder aournd 40 to 50 watts range depends on where and how much amount of solder I am using.
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Old 02-02-2002, 09:51 AM   #3
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The magazines and most other people will tell you to avoid the gun types, but thats all I've ever used since I started the hobby. So you might want to consider one of those. The most popular soldering stations will set you back up to $100+. Thats for what, a 75 watt iron. I paid $30 for my soldering gun at RadioShack. Its rated a 160watts on the lower setting and 250!! on the higher setting.

The people who do the "how to build a battery pack" articles in the mags say these irons get too hot. I've never damaged a cell or anything else using a gun type.

The choice is yours, but saving $70+, AND getting a hotter iron, sounds pretty good to me.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 02-02-2002, 10:00 AM   #4
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Right now all i have is a 30watt stick iron. It's a pain takes A LONG... time to solder my packs in. Some people i herd that it takes only a few seconds to solder un solder there packs with a 50-70 watt gun. I do also have a weller gun, but not sure what the watt is, it sure takes a long time to solder with that to.
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Old 02-02-2002, 10:02 AM   #5
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RubbyT: it takes about 5 sec for my iron to heat up with the trigger pulled. Then I only have to touch it to the cell, battery bar or wire for a quick second to get the job done.

EXCELLENT!!!
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Old 02-02-2002, 10:31 AM   #6
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Home Depot sells a 40 watt Weller iron for about $15 bucks. It is perfect for RC, just change the tip avery 4-6months and you will have no problems. Good Luck.
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Old 02-02-2002, 01:26 PM   #7
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The Weller 40 watt iron is great for soldering batteries, it isnt wattage that makes a good soldering iron its total thermal mass that also includes the size/mass of the tip. Small tips loose alot of heat when they contact a cold object, a larger tip will loose less heat. This iron is as hot as anything you would want to use.

I have what most consider to be the best RC solder station the Ungar UTC-300 ($120) with thermal thrust tip, but I dont take it to the track because I dont want it broken or stolen (not that likely). I take my $15 Weller to the track. Sometimes I use the cheap Weller at home because Im too lazy to get out my station.

GO to Radio shack and get yourself a solder iron stand so can keep the iron in when its hot and not burn the place down.
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Old 02-02-2002, 04:22 PM   #8
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There are a few factors that make up a good soldering iron. The wattage is important, but not as important, contrary to popular belief. The most important factor in selecting a good iron is the temperature it will sustain. The next factor is the wattage, then the size of tips available. I say the "size of tips available" last because it's very easy to go buy a larger tip than it is to buy additional temperature and/or wattage. You'll find (at least here on the West Coast) most racers using the Hakko #936, which in my opinion is too cumbersome. Hakko produces an iron, model #455, that has a much smaller foot-print than the #936, and has a higher temperature rating than the #936. Max temp on the #936 is rated at 896F (480C), while the #455 is rated at 1100F (599C) The #455 is rated at 40W compared to the #936 at 60W, but again for me that was a secondary factor in selecting an iron. The #455 comes with a 3mm tip which is perfect for our applications or if you like, you can purchase a 5mm tip. I use this iron and a soldering iron holder/stand I purchased from Radio Shack. The cost of the iron was ~$49.95, cost of the Radio Shack stand ~$6.49, you do the math!

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Old 02-02-2002, 05:15 PM   #9
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Pat collins is right thermal transfer is what counts. I am NASA certified in soldering and having done everthing you can think of with an iron. There are 4 brands that come to mind weller, hako, ungar (3 of the most common) and what we use is PACE. belive me when I say they are great. We use there top of the line model which is over kill for R/C but they make one for around 160 the same as compareable weller hako etc. One thing that is nice is that they constantly sense the tip temperature and adjust the out put accordingly. You want an iron capable of 750-800 deg minimum to reduce the time the iron is on the battery to avoid over heating it. 3-5 seconds max is all it should take anymore and you risk overheating the cells. Go with a wide chisle/screwdriver approx 1/8" as a minimum tip. Dont use a pencil/conical; they dont transfer the heat well at all. you can get the PACE and others through a company called CONTACT EAST we get alot of our tools there. And if you always keep the tip LOADED/GOOPED! up with solder except when you are soldering a tip will last forever (this means when it is hot or cold and in the holder have alot of solder on the tip tp keep it from oxidizing). I use my iron at least 3-4 hours a day minimum usually longer and tips can last me 6 months or more.
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Old 02-04-2002, 02:24 PM   #10
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Get a Weller low voltage one and you dont really need more than 45W, if you have the budget then get a MetCal. the best iron I have ever used, gets to operating temp in less than 30 seconds and it keeps its temperature constant, whatever you are soldering.
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Old 02-04-2002, 02:55 PM   #11
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I have a Weller Gun for sale if anyone is interested.
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Old 02-05-2002, 05:54 AM   #12
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I'll toss in one suggestion that hasn't been mentioned. I have a Weller 40 watt $15 iron (the one that I use most), and a more expensive Weller station. I have found that if the surface to be soldered is not clean, you'll still have headaches.

I use a small amount acid Flux on the surfaces to be soldered and a solid joint is very easy to achieve. Also, as someone else mentioned, keep your tip tinned!!!
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Old 02-05-2002, 02:03 PM   #13
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I'm going to buy one today, since i broke my other one in half by accident .
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Old 02-05-2002, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
I use a small amount acid Flux on the surfaces to be soldered and a solid joint is very easy to achieve. Also, as someone else mentioned, keep your tip tinned!!!
Gepetto I am a NASA certified soldering technician and trust me on this Dont use acid core flux in the long term it Will destroty your electronics, the flux will keep eating away at the intermolecular bonds and eventually corode the leads of you "work" use an RMA type flux (rosin mildly activated) or just plain rosin this is designed for electronics where as acid core flux is designed for plumbing work. you can see my previous posts on a topic called "soldring help"


BTW if anyone has questions on soldering to any level or needs help/advice feel free to email me. This basicly my living for the moment I use my iron for no less than 4 hours a day minimum usuallly longer depending upon the type of work going on, I solder stuff for the military that goes into fighter aircraft etc. so I can honestly say my work holds up to the most extreme use.
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:34 PM   #15
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I just switched from my Ungar UTC-300 to a Hako #936, only beacuse I can't find a replacement tip for my 12 year old Ungar. So far, I like the Hako. It heats up in 15-20 seconds and holds the tip temperature fairly well.
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