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Old 29th January 2012, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalJunkie View Post
TGet some good old leaded solder.
Yes, that is one of the keys. Good solder. I bought several pounds of Kester back in the 80's. My thought is that I will lose it before I get to use all of what I have.
I believe someone mentioned this before, DON'T sand down the tip! The tips are plated with materials, iron I think, used to achieve the "wetting" process required for a repeatedly consistent solder joint.
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Old 29th January 2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
It does melt but you have to push the solder onto the tip and then it melts quickly.
that is a sign that your iron is not hot enough. especially that lead free solder needs a higher iron temp to melt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scitizen17 View Post
The tips are plated with materials, iron I think, used to achieve the "wetting" process required for a repeatedly consistent solder joint.
Yes, the tips are plated with iron IIRC. It is for protecting the copper core. without it, the tip would be eaten away and dissolved by the solder.
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Old 29th January 2012, 12:45 PM   #13
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I always buy Antex (other brands will follow this ideology).

Two things fail on a soldering iron. (1) The element (heater) will eventually fail. and (2) The tip will no longer be useable. (Either because it is abused, old or just the wrong size).

With Antex everything is easily replaceable.

A new 17W Antex iron is about 15. It's money well spent as the tips are commonly available and easily changed. When an element gives up the ghost you can either replace the iron or the element, the cost difference is minimal - but you can still use the great collection of tips that you have collected.

I'm sure there are loads of brands that offer the same continuity.

I often switch between tiny tips for SMD soldering and huge tips for PSU soldering.

Keep the tips clean with a damp sponge and regularly tin them with fresh solder - they will last for years.
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