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Thread: Soldering Irons

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Soldering Irons

    Just out of curiousity, what type of soldering irons do you guys use? Any particular tip design that works better than others? How do you get your soldered points on boards so precise and clean? I consider myself to have a pretty steady hand so I think I can give it a shot (when I'm not all cracked out on mt. dew ).

    I've never much fooled with soldering points on boards, etc. Most of my soldering experiences typically included fusing wires in which I could use the bohemoth soldering irons and too much solder wasn't an issue.

  2. #2
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    I have a few soldering/desoldering stations both Hot Air and Contact Irons. As an all around good station I love the Weller WD-1 see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdWjMEjg5Xc
    these can be had for around $175 new.

    If you have only used cheap irons in the past you will find that the automatic temp control can really help. At lot of soldering frustration is a result of an iron that cools down when you make contact with the joint and can't get even lead flow.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    A good iron is definitely the key to a good joint. I was horrible at soldering until I dumped my crappy radioshack iron anf got my first adjustable soldering station. I personally like Hakko. Very well made and easy to find/buy parts for. I usually pick them up used on ebay and buy new parts for them.

    Here is a nice Hakko station on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/936-12-Hakko-Sol...-/280517185574

  4. #4
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    ive got some cheap maplin 10 iron, works fine for me.

    a bad workman blames his tools
    Eat Sleep Lase Repeat


    Aluminium Optic Mounts

    http://www.laser-man.co.uk/opticmounts/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_con View Post
    ive got some cheap maplin 10 iron, works fine for me.

    a bad workman blames his tools
    Yeah, whatever. Lets see some pics of your SMD work.

  6. #6
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    Definately get an iron that gets hot enough and use decent flux. With modern solders they require a higher temp than older mixes of lead, and some of the cheaper irons just don't have the guts for it (imho)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300EVIL View Post
    Yeah, whatever. Lets see some pics of your SMD work.
    ill dig some out tomorrow
    Eat Sleep Lase Repeat


    Aluminium Optic Mounts

    http://www.laser-man.co.uk/opticmounts/

  8. #8
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    I have a fixed temperature Weller station. I flip the switch and it is at working temperature in probably 30 seconds or so. I use a fine tip (basically like the tip of a pencil) for SMD work. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  9. #9
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    Metcal all the way for serious work, but Weller will do in a pinch, and a cheap antex in each of the tool boxes....

    One thing that really helps sometimes is a laboratory hot plate that you can use to pre warm the board.

    Unless you are manufacturing for sale, avoid the lead free solder, the leaded stuff (that is still easily available) is MUCH nicer to work with.

    Regards, Dan.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2009
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    Alabama
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    All good information! Thanks guys.

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