Is an IR thermometer a good way to measure tip temp of soldering iron? - diyAudio
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Old 2nd May 2013, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Is an IR thermometer a good way to measure tip temp of soldering iron?

I have a new Hakko FX-888D to replace my multiple old irons and stations. It has the ability to calibrate the tip temperature but I was wondering if something like a Fluke 62 would be a good way to measure tip temperature. Not really looking to buy a Hakko FX-100 to do that.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 12:06 AM   #2
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It won't work.

If you have a small thermocouple that might work. It is probably reasonably well calibrated from the factory.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 12:16 AM   #3
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Thanks Ron. I was hoping that since an IR is meant to be used as a surface reading thermometer I could get the tip temp if I got the sensor close enough.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 01:31 AM   #4
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyptony View Post
Thanks Ron. I was hoping that since an IR is meant to be used as a surface reading thermometer I could get the tip temp if I got the sensor close enough.
A number of reasons why - emissivity of the tip is probably very low - will give a low reading. Spot size is probably too big even held very closely to the tip.

Solder melts at 183-190C, so maybe if you use a small pool of solder on an insulating surface (piece of wood or fiberglass?) and get it to just melt it would give you a reference point. Much better would be a thermocouple with a small tip. I have one that fits my $50 DMM. I probably wouldn't worry about it, though - if it melts solder, it's hot enough.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 01:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron E View Post
A number of reasons why - emissivity of the tip is probably very low - will give a low reading. Spot size is probably too big even held very closely to the tip.

Solder melts at 183-190C, so maybe if you use a small pool of solder on an insulating surface (piece of wood or fiberglass?) and get it to just melt it would give you a reference point. Much better would be a thermocouple with a small tip. I have one that fits my $50 DMM. I probably wouldn't worry about it, though - if it melts solder, it's hot enough.
Well, I'm about to enter the world of Pb free solders, and from what I've read the temperature control for this type can be a little tricky depending on the combination of metals. But I hadn't thought of a thermocouple. I have a Fluke 87 DVM. Wonder if I can get one for that?
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Old 3rd May 2013, 01:41 AM   #6
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Originally Posted by tonyptony View Post
Well, I have a Fluke 87 DVM. Wonder if I can get one for that?
http://www.transcat.com/manuals/80vUserManual.pdf
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Old 3rd May 2013, 02:07 AM   #7
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Unfortunately that's a Series V manual. My 87 is the original model; I don't see a little thermometer icon anywhere on the controls or inputs.
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Old 10th May 2013, 04:53 AM   #8
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Many cheap multimeters are available with a (thermocouple) temperature measuring capability.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 10th May 2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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TM-902C Digital LCD K Type Thermometer Single Input + Thermocouple Probe | eBay

can't beat the price
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Old 10th May 2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Thanks. I had seen this one, but wasn't sure about the seller since Feedback was at 98.7%.
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