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Old 11-29-2003, 02:13 AM   #16
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Umm, I never said wattage wasn't important, only that surface area of the iron is MORE important. And considering that I am an electronics technician & have been into this hobby for almost 15 years, I think I know a bit of what I'm talking about.. It is surface area that aloows you to transfer heat most quickly(though if your iron has very little heat to begin with, a bigger tip won't help you much), & you can only get that with a nice, broad chisel tip. Think of it like how we use heat sinks on our motors & sometimes on the FETs of our speed controls(as well as on nitro engines), the bigger it is, the more surface area it has, which means heat can be cunducted through it more easily, & in heat sinks' case, that allows them to draw more heat out of the motor, ESC or engine). That's essentially how it works for soldering too, only in reverse. The more metal to metal contact, the more easily you can conduct the iron's heat to what you're soldering. There's also one other thing that many irons have that a number of guns do not, & that's a means of being grounded(if you see a 3 prong AC plug, then your iron or gun is grounded), this doesn't really mean anything when soldering batteries or motors, but I suspect that it does when soldering wires onto the wiring posts of an ESC. I've heard from the guys at Novak, & it's been said that as much as 90% of the ESC's that are sent in for repair are damaged because of user errors in soldering the wires to its posts(& I wouldn't be surprised if many of those times, it's because of an electro-static discharge, or ESD, that's damaging the more sensitive components on the ESC's circuit boards, or because a user is just leaving an iron touching the posts for far too long, & the excess heat is damaging it). Ok, class dismissed....
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:06 AM   #17
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I use a Hakko 936... Just not the ESD version, I use the standard 936. I don't know how I got along without it before!


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Old 11-29-2003, 08:53 AM   #18
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I use a 60 watt iron from Hobbico that retails between $6-10 on your lhs. It even comes with 2 extra tips (1wide,1 pointed) It work for me all the time. The important thing to do is properly tin the tip the first time you use them. I wrap a couple of solder then heat it up. This way it will leave a shinny tin on the tip & help conduct heat better & avoid premature tip burning. Second & i think the most important is to clean/scrape the + & - ends of the battery. I usually use a sanding paper for better solder contact then i tin the ends( but do not tin the battery bars). With your iron hot(solder smoking a little bit) just touch the tip to the battery bar which in turn is on top of the battery ends. if your tip is on the right temp, it will heat the bar & melt the tin/solder on the battery ends , which will give a prefect connection. If you ever have been on big races with team drivers. look at their battery & see how clean the battery contacts are. They almost always are shinny silver round contact points. I have been around for awhile. I was even around when we use battery"braids" !!!!! on red scr / yello sce cells using lavco equipment !!!!! hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2003, 11:10 AM   #19
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Yeah, I remember that old braid too, I just HATED that stuff(always ended up fraying it & pricking my fingers with it, very annoying). Fortunately, back then I didn't have as much need for unassembled packs(ran a lot of offroad, so stick packs were fine), so I didn't have to mess with the braid much....
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Old 11-29-2003, 11:23 AM   #20
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I use the circuitspecialists.com soldering station. Works awesome for only 30 bucks. Oh and my order from Acerracing just came in... ordered 5 ft of battery braid.

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Old 11-29-2003, 11:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by AWOLsoldier
I use the circuitspecialists.com soldering station. Works awesome for only 30 bucks. Oh and my order from Acerracing just came in... ordered 5 ft of battery braid.
what? only 30 bucks?? i alwasy thought these could cost something like...100 or up!
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Old 11-29-2003, 02:00 PM   #22
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you dont need the powerful 100+ watt soldering irons. At my track the majority of the people use weller 40 watt soldering irons. At 15$, they work great. They heat up to around 900 degrees. The tip that it comes with is ideal for rc also. I had a soldering gun before that was around 250 watts and it was a pain to use. It was bulky, heavy and the tiip was small. It acctually took longer to melt the solder than it did with the weller.
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:54 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by rcguy2477
you dont need the powerful 100+ watt soldering irons. At my track the majority of the people use weller 40 watt soldering irons. At 15$, they work great. They heat up to around 900 degrees. The tip that it comes with is ideal for rc also. I had a soldering gun before that was around 250 watts and it was a pain to use. It was bulky, heavy and the tiip was small. It acctually took longer to melt the solder than it did with the weller.
Agreed!

I have been using a Weller 60w that I bought for $19 for about 2-3 years now, with no problems. I have changed the tip on it, after the old tip started to corrode away, but other than that, it's been my trusty iron.

There have been some cases where I have used other irons, and I still swear my iron holds it's heat better than some of those fancy stations.
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:11 AM   #24
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I have a Weller 40W as well - great for motors and other wiring jobs - but not quite enough oomph for cells - it'll do some joints, but when I try and get a Corally connector on... no chance! That's when I borrow a friends 100W monster!
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:49 AM   #25
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I do agree that most soldering guns are quite useless like the weller type with the wire tip that is too small. I had one of these from before I started racing and quickly found out how useless it was. At the track I have a small iron for wires and small jobs. But what were talking about here is batteries. And with soldering cells bigger is better. The tip being the most important in my opinion. The Snap-on gun I use comes with several tips one being 1/4 in. When I solder batts it takes about a half a second to melt the bar to the battery after both are tined. If your going to be making alot of packs invest in something that will insure the best possible job. My gun was just under 70 usd and was worth every penny.
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