Oh dear: shouldn't have touched that 'calibration' screw... - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Equipment & Tools

Equipment & Tools From test equipment to hand tools

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 27th April 2012, 08:19 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
Default Oh dear: shouldn't have touched that 'calibration' screw...

Like an idiot I changed a calibration screw on my Circuit Specialist 1A solder station without making a note of its original position. In fact I am an idiot. I'm now convinced that it is underheating. Even at 800F it seems to be slow to melt.

However maybe it's just me and it's actually quite close to the right temp; I just don't know. I don't have enough experience to tell. In the meantime I'm a bit OCD about these things: having decently calibrated equipment (I have lots of measurements tools and a decent magnifier) really removes a lot of thrashing around in the dark. I would like to follow soldering advice that suggests a certain temp to avoid component damage. But right now I can't.

Emailing Circuit Specialists they say that 'it can't be calibrated'. Oh great!

Any suggestions from an ingenious mind as to how I might go about this?

So far I've tried an IR thermometer but their circle of temperature detection is way too large and they are in any case very inaccurate.

Is there in fact a standard method for calibrating these things? Would I be better off just getting another station; in view of the cost of calibration?
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2012, 08:41 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oakmont PA
All you need is patience and a piece of plumbers 40/60 solder. Wrap a piece around the tip and set the iron for 230 degrees. If you are calibrated too low it won't melt!

if you don't have 40/60 then try a 95/x/x that should melt around 224 C!
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2012, 08:42 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
5th element's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: England
The thermocouple that came with my multimeter is good up to 250 degrees C and with high accuracy too. You could easily use something like this to calibrate the unit at a lower temperature.
__________________
What the hell are you screamin' for? Every five minutes there's a bomb or somethin'! I'm leavin! bzzzz!
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 04:27 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon7000 View Post
All you need is patience and a piece of plumbers 40/60 solder. Wrap a piece around the tip and set the iron for 230 degrees. If you are calibrated too low it won't melt!

if you don't have 40/60 then try a 95/x/x that should melt around 224 C!
Thanks for the help. Is this an established technique? Obviously I query it simply because 230C isn't near the melting temp of 40/60.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 04:30 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
The thermocouple that came with my multimeter is good up to 250 degrees C and with high accuracy too. You could easily use something like this to calibrate the unit at a lower temperature.
I tried it with mine and while at one point I got a steady temp that was in the region that I had set the station (about 40C less) on attempting to repeat I got wildly different results: much much less.

So I'm wondering at a better or standard method for doing this.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 05:00 PM   #6
49 - for the 18th time
diyAudio Member
 
c2cthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Near "Music City" (Nashville Tennessee)
Perhaps something such as this???

I can't vouch for this unit as I have never used it YMMV

Digital Thermometer K-Type Metal Thermocouples 4 Probe Sensor 1300C 2372F | eBay
__________________
DIY audio can be expensive but getting to see things go up in smoke - that's priceless!!!! ..... "whatever - call it brainfart of Mighty ZM"
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 05:02 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oakmont PA
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorriman View Post
Thanks for the help. Is this an established technique? Obviously I query it simply because 230C isn't near the melting temp of 40/60.
40/60 not 60/40! It is used for proof of performance. Of course there is also a stopwatch on the power on to melt time. When the tip has stabilized in temperature it is supposed to melt an .100" wire in 3 seconds.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 05:03 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
5th element's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: England
The thermocouple that came with my meter isn't an IR device and is accurate. The only problem with it is that it's prone to inaccuracy if whatever it is measuring is charged to any kind of electrical potential, or if the target has high speed switching going on near it.

If you've got a standard metal thermocouple then what I do is get the target up to temperature, attach the thermo couple, then turn whatever it is off. If the target is interfering with the measurement in some way then this usually does a good job of removing it from the picture.

What simon is suggesting is also a valid way of doing this. Eutectic solder melts at only one temperature. If you were to wrap a ring of some standard alloy solder with a known melting point around the tip of the iron, then you could set the iron to say 180 degrees. 63/37 standard lead solder melts at exactly 183 degrees C. If you set the calibration screw so that the iron is running cold, then if you set it to 180 and then slowly ramp up the screw till the solder melts, then you know your 180 setting is @ roughly 180 degrees.
__________________
What the hell are you screamin' for? Every five minutes there's a bomb or somethin'! I'm leavin! bzzzz!
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 05:39 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
@simon aha, understood

@5th Thanks for the thermocouple advice.

My station doesn't go lower than 200C horribly and I assumed that would be true for others. Might have to try finding some of that plumbers solder.
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2012, 05:49 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
Quote:
Originally Posted by aptquark View Post
get one of those laser heat gun sensors...they're cheap now. Point it at the tip, and read the temp.
You mean the IR thermometers. They don't work for this as they are very inaccurate and also have to large a detection circle (the laser is purely for guidance as to the center of the circle).

I tried.

Last edited by lorriman; 28th April 2012 at 05:52 PM.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
12AU7 based preamp hums when output cable is touched! frickecello Tubes / Valves 11 29th April 2009 03:11 AM
Onix OA21s - speaker post positive touched negative siongkim Solid State 0 30th April 2007 04:33 AM
Dear Wintermute... little_one_der The Lounge 1 29th October 2003 07:46 AM
Dear PLT60 JAZZ2250 Tubes / Valves 2 25th March 2002 01:55 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:40 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2