[hackspacebristol] Soldering iron recommendations?

John Whittington hackspace at john-whittington.co.uk
Sat Jan 9 19:25:38 UTC 2016


I'd like to try fixing one Toby, if your boss agrees to let them go. Could
do with one at home.

John.
On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 at 14:17, Toby Scott <tobscott at gmail.com> wrote:

> We have a few Oki/Metcal Soldering station power supplies at work that
> have stopped working properly. I can't remember exactly what's wrong with
> them but I think it was something to do with the temperature regulation. If
> anyone wants to have a go at repairing one I could ask my boss if he minds
> me giving them away, I'm currently using 4 as monitor stands on my desk.
> You'd have to get your own hand pieces and tips though.
>
> On 9 January 2016 at 13:19, Libby Miller <libby at nicecupoftea.org> wrote:
>
>> Thank you everyone for all your advice. It’s really much appreciated.
>>
>> Libby
>>
>> > On 9 Jan 2016, at 09:48, John Whittington <
>> hackspace at john-whittington.co.uk> wrote:
>> >
>> > Another vote for Metcal. I use them at work and they have changed my
>> option of soldering. The 'SmartHeat' is second to none in my option. It
>> uses RF to generate the heat at the tip, so the iron heats up almost
>> instantly to temperature and tips can be changed on the fly:
>> http://www.okinternational.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/applications/hand-soldering/what-is-smartheat
>> >
>> > Don't be put off by the buzz words - it actually works! They are
>> expensive but if you're doing a lot of soldering they more than pay for
>> themselves in time saved.
>> >
>> > John.
>> > On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 at 01:57, Tom Gardner <tggzzz+hs at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I have one of these, but I only paid half price :) And had to faultfind
>> it :(
>> >
>> http://uk.farnell.com/tenma/21-10130-uk-eu/rework-station-900w-220v-uk-eu/dp/2062633
>> >
>> > It is a rebadged Chinese thing, so alternative tips and hot air
>> accessories are easy to buy on fleabay. The only thing I haven't been able
>> to fnd at a reasonable price is a "hollow tip" soldering iron tip which is
>> apparently ideal for for drag soldering SMD devices.
>> >
>> > It works well enough for me, but I'm sure if you pay a lot more money
>> you'll be able to get something that is better in some way or other.
>> >
>> >
>> > On 9 January 2016 at 01:07, adam armfield <adamairmailed at yahoo.com>
>> wrote:
>> > there is an antex combined solder/hot air station that maplins sell at
>> £50 off rrp
>> >
>> > http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/antex-760rwk-50w-mains-solder-station-n75ds
>> >
>> > those 2 nozzles are the only ones they do - i asked about big square
>> ones for chips, man at antext pointed me to some square rework tips for a
>> soldering iron (not sure if it's the one above ) - datasheet attached
>> >
>> > All the best Adam
>> >
>> >
>> > On Saturday, 9 January 2016, 0:26, Tom Gardner <tggzzz+hs at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >> I’d like to buy a decent soldering iron for soldering components onto
>> circuit boards and other bits and pieces. Does anyone have any
>> recommendations?
>> >>
>> > That will depend on what components you want to solder, and how much
>> you have to spend, and how long you are prepared to wait to get a bargain.
>> > If you are not soldering professionally, then the requirements are far
>> less stringent that people would have you believe. The quality of your work
>> will be almost certainly limited by your skill, not by the tool.
>> > OTOH, if you are soldering professionally, then familiarity with using
>> your tools is the most important factor, followed by an iron that allows
>> you to have repeatable results. What's your budget :)
>> > Different classes of components:
>> >       • through hole semiconductors and passives
>> >       • surface mount devices
>> >       • thermally big joints
>> > For PTH on a 0.1" pitch, I managed without any problems for 40 years
>> with a 25W Antex iron (and a red hot poker on a gas stove for thermally
>> really big stuff :) ). That is perfectly adequate.
>> > For SMD, that is inadequate. For SMD you need a range of tips and a
>> variable temperature iron - which is much cheaper than a temperature
>> controlled iron. Get a small round tip (<=0.8mm) for fine work, and a
>> chisel tip for drag-soldering.
>> > Note that if you need to use two different tips on components on one
>> board, then you will waste a lot of time swapping tips. Seriously consider
>> getting two cheaper irons, having a different tip on each; and you'll also
>> have higher availability because the probability of both irons failing
>> simultaneously is lower.
>> > SMD boards are best fabricated using the sand-in-saucepan method (see
>> the hackspace wiki) or a reflow oven (Hackspace has one, but I haven't used
>> it).
>> > For SMD rework and/or soldering the odd component, you will eventually
>> benefit from having a hot air gun, but that's outside the scope of your
>> question.
>> > If you are soldering things that are thermally large then you will need
>> a higher power tool (unsurprisingly), but equally important is the thermal
>> mass of the tool itself. You can - to a limited extent - use a smaller tool
>> if you run it at a higher temperature.
>> >
>> > Be aware that there are a large number of Hakko clones sold on fleabay,
>> and some of them are apparently internally dangerous.
>> >
>> >
>> >
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