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Old 13th November 2011, 04:19 PM   #11
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Love my Hakko, but remember that tips are a consumable item. They last way longer if you get in the habit of reducing the heat between operations. It only takes a few seconds to come back up to temperature when you need it. Somewhere I saw a chart of tip life vs temperature, and it's a real eye opener. Something else that takes its toll is if you do a lot of service and use the tip to pry up bent over component leads. If all you do is build new boards, the Hakko tips last near to forever.
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Old 13th November 2011, 04:50 PM   #12
mp9 is offline mp9  United States
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Originally Posted by simon7000 View Post
Be sure you know the difference between a constant temperature and a variable temperature soldering station. Both can be useful, but constant temperature requires less skill.
...actually, you got me with the terminology but as i had thought when i purchased and confirmed by the 4/12/2012 review i'm good there:
Stahl Tools TCSS Temp Controlled Soldering Station ESD Safe 374-200
"The temperature control seems to work smoothly. There is a red LED that indicates when power is applied to the element. As the temperature approaches the setpoint the LED starts flashing as power is applied/removed to the element to regulate the temperature. This is a nice feature as you can see when the iron is ready to solder."
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Old 13th November 2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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I did just fine with a $6 25W iron for nearly 6 years. My only real complaint was that I could barely make it through a soldering session before having to remove and re-sharpen the bit (put it in a cordless drill and file it to a point).

I finally invested in a good station (GOOT RX-701AS) and it's been fantastic. I've been using the same fine point SMD bit for months and it still looks new! I've even forgotten to turn it off a couple of times and come back to find the tip blackened, but it cleaned right back up to like new condition.

BTW, does anyone else here use the brass tip cleaner balls (coarse brass wool). I use this instead of a wet sponge as the sponge seems to make the tip oxidise faster after I wipe it.

Last edited by theAnonymous1; 13th November 2011 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 13th November 2011, 06:23 PM   #14
GloBug is offline GloBug  Canada
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Well sometimes I use a piece of coarse sandpaper on a block to clean and sharpen the tip.

I do find the sponge corroded it faster, although I still use it to remove globs from the tip occasionally when de-soldering stuff.

Good idea with the drill.

I would think that most stations use a better alloy in their tips as well.
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Old 13th November 2011, 11:28 PM   #15
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theAnonymous1 View Post
BTW, does anyone else here use the brass tip cleaner balls (coarse brass wool). I use this instead of a wet sponge as the sponge seems to make the tip oxidise faster after I wipe it.
Me! it came with the station. Before that, I used the brass bristle wire brush which did the same job. I never liked using the sponge as it breaks the end of the tips due to thermal shock.
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Old 14th November 2011, 12:12 AM   #16
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theAnonymous1 View Post

BTW, does anyone else here use the brass tip cleaner balls (coarse brass wool). I use this instead of a wet sponge as the sponge seems to make the tip oxidise faster after I wipe it.
yep, wouldn't have it any other way, i haven't used a sponge in years. i still have the tip that came with the iron over 3 years ago. obviously I've bought more as well, but the old one still works just fine. sanding a quality tip is actually a bad idea as it removes the protective plating
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Old 14th November 2011, 07:59 AM   #17
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Originally Posted by theAnonymous1 View Post
BTW, does anyone else here use the brass tip cleaner balls (coarse brass wool). I use this instead of a wet sponge as the sponge seems to make the tip oxidise faster after I wipe it.
I use it too, very easy to make the tip shiny.

Some people claim the brass scratches the tip. But the way I see it, if it doesn't scratch my finger, it doesn't scratch anything that's harder.

Last edited by wwenze; 14th November 2011 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 15th November 2011, 01:26 PM   #18
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If you have some $ to spend on a soldering station take a look at JBC advanced. These are digitally controlled soldering stations with a warm-up time of ~2sec (yes 2 seconds), and the soldering tips can be swapped on the fly, no need to let thing cool down / warm up, all without any tools. they have multiple hand pieces of various power that can plug into the base station.

I've used these at work for the last 7 years and I must say it's simply the best I've worked with so far (before anybody asks, I don't own stock in the company or have any affiliations with them).

Just my 2c!

http://www.jbctools.com/stations/stations/soldering
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Old 15th November 2011, 01:32 PM   #19
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I just started to use the brass wool and so far like it. It sure takes some getting used to after using a wet sponge for 40 years.

FWIW, I used a little bit of ammonia in my sponge water and it kept the tips clean and bright for ages. Much better than just water.
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Old 15th November 2011, 01:51 PM   #20
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Default What Tempature?

What tempature do most of you solder with when soldering an average pc board? 450F?,550F,650F?
I know that there are different factors that that enter into this but was just
wondering what was the range of tempatures everybody used.

Sam
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