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Old 27th November 2002, 06:35 PM   #11
diyAudio Senior Member
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Belgium


Is there nobody who have tried the Velleman tools?
Strange,Velleman is a belgian company and other than their kits I've never seen any soldering stations made by them here.

I'm using Wellers for about twenty years and even for the oldest model I can still find replacement tips without problems.
That and their reliability were my main reasons for choosing that manufacturer.

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Old 27th November 2002, 06:56 PM   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Belgium
Personally I dislike wellers. They get too hot at the grip for me. But their quality and spare part service is excellent. And you can find them anywhere.

Had an ersa once that I liked a lot, but the points tend to go rather quick. Also harder to find and spares are quite expensive (this is relative, but I compare to original price and comparable products). Still have it somewhere....

Now I use a jbc at home. Spanish I think. Kind of iron with a pot in the handle to set temp. Quick heated and plenty spare power to heat larger stuff (it uses 20w always and has 20Wspare for quick heating). Reasonable priced for hobby use and easier to find than ersa (around here, YMMV).

Stannol is quite a name in solder, did not know they made soldering irons.

Something like 20-40W is a good allrounder. Temperature setting is fine, but I still have to find someone who uses it. Most of the stations I know of are rusted in one position. This is more an issue on de-soldering stations. I would go for something that can easily found and where you can get spare parts for. Especially that last bit is important, you will need different points and spare points.
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Old 27th November 2002, 07:03 PM   #13
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Location: Belgium
Default ERSA


My very first iron was an ERSA but just as Havoc said,I found the soldering bits rather prone to pitting and I had to junk it because a couple of years after purchase I couldn't find a compatible bit.

The Weller range has some irons with a sensor that would actually give extra power if it "senses" heavier metal parts.
I love to use it for everyday use since it works admirably and does not cost an arm and a leg.
Never had the feeling the handle got too hot with a Weller but I'ven't tried them all of course.


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Old 27th November 2002, 07:12 PM   #14
dice45 is offline dice45  Germany
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Munich, Bavaria
Default Weller WSD-130

Christer and all,

I once bought this $$$ thing in an attack of inner urge to waste money.
And, having it now, i would repeat that goof anytime again. It fires up two soldering pencils, one having 25W and one having 80W.
It has digital temperature regulation with 1C resolution for both irons. And as far as i cold observe with the teflon tubing mentioned below, it keeps that precision within tight tolerances.

I use the 25W only for tasks where too much heat embossing can destroy the target, e.g for certain SMT tasks and for soldering leads to phono cartridges.
I use the 80W pencil for everything else including making terminating beads or trumpet funnels on teflon tubing (for that i have a selfmade tip). This pencil is as easy to hold as a fountain pen. Nevertheless it embosses its 80W on the target if needed ; it is considerably stronger than the Weller WCTP-S Magnastat 50W i had before.
It is a perfect tool.

Temperature control: once you had it, you won't want to miss it. I use 380C for desoldering, 300-340C for soldering depending on the solder sort i am using; for low-melting silver solder lke WBT i go even down to 270 or 250 C, depending on my patience that day

Before i forget it, use of copper-filled anti seizing silicon grease is truly recommended. Other the tips may seize and you have to wait for cooling down until you can change the tips using brute force.
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Old 27th November 2002, 07:21 PM   #15
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Default Station is well worth the $$$...

Hi Christer,

I used a "standard" weller iron for years. Several years ago I purchased a Metcal soldering station and a desoldering station at the same time...

The result was my saying to myself "why didn't I do this years ago???" I can absolutely tell you that a good station is well worth the money!!! You will never regret the purchase!

As far as desoldering goes, my station has a built-in vacuum pump. I can remove just about anything within seconds and without damage. The same unit also allows surface mount work by blowing hot air from the pump...

I don't know if Metcal stuff is available in your location but they manufacture top quality equipment for industry here in America.

I would suggest that you find a station that has adjustable temperature with feedback control and parts that are easy to find locally. I do know that Weller also makes good stations as I used to see them used at Boeing. Also, make sure the iron (and handle) are grounded for use with ESD sensitive parts...

Good luck!!!

Best to you,
"If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week." - Charles Darwin
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Old 27th November 2002, 07:35 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sweden

Originally posted by fdegrove

Strange,Velleman is a belgian company and other than their kits I've never seen any soldering stations made by them here.

You probably haven't seen their multimeters either then? They
are also sold a lot here. Take a look at Vellemans web site
and search for "solder" and "DVM". You're in for a surprise I
would guess. Quite a lot to choose from. Don't know what the
quality is of their stuff is, though.

Maybe they have been known for a long time for crappy kits
in Belgium so their reputation is too low to sell tools and meters
on the home market? I only knew about their kits too, until
recently, so I don't know what to think of them.
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Old 27th November 2002, 07:47 PM   #17
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Location: Sweden
Bernhard, Steve and others,

thanks for encouraging me to buy a Weller station or similar, I
know you mean well, even if not to my wallet. Of course I
could take the expense of bying a Weller, but can I really
motivate the cost? No, not for the moment. Sure it would be
nice, but so would a scope with higher bandwidth, so would a
spectrum analyzer etc. etc. I once learnt a good piece of advice
from a friend of mine who has spent some 20 - 25 years more
than me on this planet. "It is not good income that makes you
rich, but small expenses." Money is always about priorities.
Which has the most effect on the sound of an amplifier, spending
an extra $100 on better components or $100 on a better
soldering tool? OK, OK , it probably won't be five minutes before
somebody tells me that he/she can hear if an amplifier is
soldered with a Weller or not.

By the way, I have used Weller stations when I worked with
electronic design many years ago, but I can't say I really
noticed much difference in using them compared to other
soldering pens. These were non-TC stations, though.
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Old 27th November 2002, 07:54 PM   #18
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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Location: Mountain View, CA
I just have to put in my plug for Hakko. I've owned various irons over the years (mainly Weller), and I currently use a Hakko 936 temperature controlled station at work and at home. I love it to death! Japanese quality, with a slim ergonomic and cool handle that feels good to work with. The temperature control is great, and there are lots of tip styles available. The best thing is, it's affordable (well, relatively speaking...) The only other iron I enjoy using as much is the Metcal, but it doesn't have variable temperature. If you ask me, the Hakko station is a better value than comparable Weller products, and is better built.

If there's one thing that will make an immediate and substantial improvement in your projects, it's a good soldering iron with the right tip on it. My old 60W pencil iron could never accomplish what I can do now. Oh, and another important thing is to keep the tip wiped clean on a moist sponge. Crud buildup can cripple the effectiveness of any iron.

The Hakko 936
- Chad.
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Old 27th November 2002, 08:03 PM   #19
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sweden
Chad and other fellow americans,

I understand from your and other previous posts that both
Hakko and Metcal are considered very good by many of you,
but I haven't seen any of those brands around here, so they
seem automatically excluded from consideration.
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Old 27th November 2002, 08:28 PM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sweden
It is difficult to judge a soldering pen from a picture, but this one
looks as if it would feel very comfortable in the hand I think.
Not as thick and clumsy as most others are. Almost looks like
some kind of medical instrument.
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