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Old 28th August 2008, 03:18 PM   #21
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Holy thread revival batman!

What kind of work are you doing (i.e. through hole, smt) and whats your budget?

I would definately say go for a temperature controlled Iron if possible.

Higher wattage (when temp conrolled) heat up faster and this makes them better IMHO.

I recently bought a Kada 852D smt solder station off of ebay, and although it has some weaknesses, it is way better than the house burner that I was using before.

My website has a write up on it,

Price wise its more expensive than your bog standard 15w Antec, but it has a hot air attachment for smt, temp controlled iron and is of a sufficiently high wattage that I can be soldering in less than a minute from cold.
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Old 28th August 2008, 06:41 PM   #22
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Soldering is 99% practice, 1% iron

Short of soldering dense lead SMD's, you can do just about anything you want with a $5 iron from Maplin / Radio Shack. I have soldered 0603 sized components with such an iron.

Get one with at least 25W. The higher the wattage, the less heat will leak out from the area being heated before it reaches the soldering temperature - not the other way round. And the higher the tip temperature, the quicker the heat will be transferred and again the less likely it is to be conducted away in the mean time. Provided you heat, solder and then remove the iron, rather than lingering, you don't need perfect tip temperature regulation.

When you first start welding, you're overwhelmed by the sparks and heat. The welds you make are terrible, brittle, none stuck rubbish. They turn into perfection when you learn to watch the metal as it melts at the centre of the arc. Soldering is similar, study the solder as you work and check that it's whetting and flowing correctly. Oh.... and make sure important connections are nice a grease free. Solvent or flux. Some really nasty cheap wire is practically impossible to solder it has so much waxy muck on the conductors, the solder won't stick. A touch of solvent and flux and it'll work a dream.

This topic obviously needs stickying, it seems to be asked every week.
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Old 29th August 2008, 06:40 AM   #23
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Default Hakko Dash

By far and away the absolute BEST soldering irons I have ever owned for the price are 'Hakko'.

I use 452 and 454 Dash models with various tips.

I am lucky enough to get hese things retail from a local Frye's department store.
20 to 30 bucks for the soldering iron, tips are $5.

They have ceramic heaters and the tips last forever if you take care of them.
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Old 29th August 2008, 07:48 AM   #24
burbeck is offline burbeck  United Kingdom
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my trusty weller 45 watt Magnestat TCP is 20 odd years old, used daily, good selection of tip types availible, very reliable.

in this time it has had 3 new elements, 2 new thermostats, i new barrel and one new handle.

look after your broom
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regards
bob
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Old 29th August 2008, 08:07 AM   #25
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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Get a 30ish Watt Weller as people here suggest, can't go wrong with that

And if you don't mind it - look for a lead solder. I'm not a guru with the soldering gun, it's been a while since I last touched it, but with the 60tin/40lead, resin-core solder I have, I can't seem to be able to make a messy joint.
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Old 29th August 2008, 10:09 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by justblair
Holy thread revival batman!

What kind of work are you doing (i.e. through hole, smt) and whats your budget?


My budget would like to be $50 bucks but i can go a bit more if need be.

Right now i am completely new to soldering but eventually i want to move up to making the Pass Labs clone but first maybe start out doing portable amps.
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Old 29th August 2008, 10:09 AM   #27
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Found this one.It is in my budget and i can purchase extra tips there also.Awesome!.
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Old 29th August 2008, 10:15 AM   #28
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Which one?

Cant see a link
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Old 29th August 2008, 10:43 AM   #29
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Forgot the link.

http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/we...der/wlc100.htm
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Old 29th August 2008, 11:20 AM   #30
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Default Re: Hakko Dash

Quote:
Originally posted by HaflerFreak
By far and away the absolute BEST soldering irons I have ever owned for the price are 'Hakko'.
If you are spending money on one, I can entirely agree with HF with regards to Hakko.

I'm sure Weller and Hakko are similar in terms of reliability, but I prefer the slimer handpieces on Hakkos.

I've been in contact with Hakko USA before and they have a particularly friendly, personal way of replying.

They're Japanese - that's pretty much all I should need to say.
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