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slowpogo 16th November 2007 05:02 AM

Soldering iron oxidizes no matter what
 
I have a Hakko Red 60w soldering iron that I want to use for connectors (1/4", RCA). The problem is, as soon as it heats up the tip oxidizes. I actually sat there with solder on the tip as it heated up, hoping to tin it just as it got hot enough for the solder, but even as I'm doing that it oxidizes.

I tried using that chemical tip cleaner/tinner stuff, and it worked great--for about ten seconds. Then the newly cleaned and tinned tip started oxidizing quickly.

I'm feeling like I completely wasted $18. How the hell are you supposed to use this thing?

Groundloops 16th November 2007 09:22 AM

Get a good 6 mm diameter long life soldering tip. Most irons are sold with crappy standard tips, I guess yours is not better.

Nordic 16th November 2007 09:28 AM

Also, some fluxes are corrosive by nature and will also destroy tips, as would incorrect temperature setting...

I bought 2 extra tips for my new soldering station, was less than $3 each... I have never liked soldering, until now... haveing the right tools for a job, makes it more like play than work...

MadMutt 16th November 2007 11:23 AM

Sure it's oxide ?
After 10 seconds I find it hard to believe.

Could you possibly submit a pic.

I'm suspecting it's just the flux from the solder or the tip coloring from the heat (normal).

Sounds like you only just got this iron, correct yes/no ?

Conrad Hoffman 16th November 2007 01:44 PM

It's a 60W iron. 60W irons run hotter than, well, you know where. For me, a 25W iron is right for most small electronics, and 35W is plenty for lugs and such. I have a 100W iron for gigantic lugs and for soldering directly to chassis'. I've no doubt it oxidizes in a few seconds with standard solder and flux, probably faster if you're using a newer lead free or water washable solder/flux combo. Put the thing on a Variac or a dimmer to get the power down to what you really need. Tip design also affects temperature, so go to a longer and larger diameter tip, if available.

slowpogo 17th November 2007 06:05 AM

So I could just wire in one of those dimmers, meant for lamps? I'll try that.

I thought high wattage in irons was more about having "reserve juice" to heat up thicker or less heat-conductive material--and not just about being incredibly hot. Maybe I'm missing a correlation somewhere..

And it begs the question, Why did Hakko make the iron like that? Are all big irons like that? Is everyone with a powerful iron wiring in dimmers, or what? As a product bought off the shelf, sorry, it's simply kind of worthless.

t_blizzard 30th November 2007 12:13 AM

Things that eat up our iron tips in the lab are:
1. Temp set too high
2. Iron on for too long with temp set too high
3. Lead free solder - eats tips for breakfast!
4. highly active flux
5. incorrect flux - Acid core used instead of rosin core

Gasho 30th November 2007 05:22 PM

Re: Soldering iron oxidizes no matter what
 
Quote:

Originally posted by slowpogo
I have a Hakko Red 60w soldering iron that I want to use for connectors (1/4", RCA). The problem is, as soon as it heats up the tip oxidizes. I actually sat there with solder on the tip as it heated up, hoping to tin it just as it got hot enough for the solder, but even as I'm doing that it oxidizes.

I tried using that chemical tip cleaner/tinner stuff, and it worked great--for about ten seconds. Then the newly cleaned and tinned tip started oxidizing quickly.

I'm feeling like I completely wasted $18. How the hell are you supposed to use this thing?

You better buy a good soldering iron like Weller or Ersa and you have it for a lifetime.
They have various types of replaceble solder tips.

Tolik 30th November 2007 07:18 PM

Quote:

You better buy a good soldering iron
Yep, I agree with Gasho. Branded soldering irons are designed to be used with lead free solder.
Personally I have Antex XS25 iron, & I`m very happy with it.
But much better idea to leave alone all good (regular) soldering irons, and switch to soldering station. The benefits are :
1.No more fried parts.
2.No more destroyed contact pads on PCB`s.
3.No more fried wire insulation.
4.Good soldering station is going to stand-by mode if not used
more than 30min to 1 hour.
Now I`m trying to build one for myself. With atmega8 microcontroller chip, LCD, 3 programmable temperature modes, it will be based on Antex TC25 iron, & 690SD station .

EdT 3rd December 2007 10:58 PM

If your iron is not temperature controlled it will get too hot and over heat the tip, 60W is a pretty hot iron !. Once the iron coating of the tip is gone the copper core will start oxidizing. If it is not temperature controlled you need to plug and unplug the iron so it doesn't get too hot. Radio Shack also sells a wattage controller for these types of irons for less than $15

Hakko makes very good professional irons, their 936 is the minimum you should have if your serious about soldering, if you don't want to pay for the Hakko price, there are many clones at half the price and will also fit the Hakko tips:
http://www.hakkousa.com/2006/detail....ID=1249&Page=1
http://www.hakkousa.com/AHPDirect/images/936-12.jpg


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