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Old 29th August 2004, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1audio
You are a candidate for esnipe (www.esnipe.com) the poker face for ebay. Bids a few seconds before the auction closes and hides your interest to keep the prices low. Many people use it. For me it allows me to change my mind about bidding up to 5 min. before the auction closes.

You said you are more interested in SMT than through hole. And a hand-held solder sucker works great. I can remove a 40 pin IC or a big connector faster with one than with the fancy systems. I will use them on a delicate PCB but for general work its usually not worth the effort. For SMT you don't need the pump either, just controlled heat.

Put money into the best hand tools you can find, really good cutters are more important to me than the soldering iron.

Demian
I use Auction Sentry (http://www.auctionsentry.com) . The drawback to it is that you have to leave your PC on, but the advantage of it is that you don't have to sent your UN & pass to some other site. But damn those people who bid 125 more than they should, what's wrong with them? C'mon, who the hell would do such a thing? It has really got totally, absolute no use at all. Sure, other people will bid if they bid low, but since they're willing to pay more they might as well bid their maximum amount later. And if no one else bids they have to spend less. (Yes, I'm a bit upset about the fact that the price went so high, I was willing to spend 400 on it, shigh .)

I tried removing a 40 pin TSSOP, but I'm afraid I might have fried it. Then again, the only things I used are a simple Weller soldering iron with a standard tip and some tweezers.

What I'd really like to try is hot air soldering. I think it must be very easy and convenient to solder SMD ICs that way. Has anyone tried it?

I guess I'll just keep an eye out on eBay for some of the more advanced soldering stations. To bad I can't order one from America, since they won't work on 230V AC.
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Old 29th August 2004, 06:17 PM   #12
paddy is offline paddy  Ireland
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Default pace

Even the smallest pace handset feels like a log compared to a metcal. Buy a used metcal and spend your change on a few decent tips. I worked in repair for years and having discovered metcal I could never go back to a pace handset although I do miss their 'miniwave' tips sometimes.

I just repaired the cable on my handset after about 5000 hours of use and abuse I expect the base unit to keep going for another 5 years.
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Old 29th August 2004, 07:02 PM   #13
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Are they easy to solder the really tiny SMD stuff with? Like 0603 resistors? 'Cause I just bought 7250 of those . What type do you recommend? I'd like to be able to do as much as possible with it. It definately has to be able to solder both SMD & THT.
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Old 29th August 2004, 07:41 PM   #14
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The MX-500 with Talon tips looks pretty nice. Small too. If I'd go for a Metcal, the choice is between these 3 solder stations:
- MX-500
- PS-800
- SP-200

There really isn't much info on the Metcal site, I don't even know what difference there is between the PS-800 and the SP-200. Sure the former uses a newer technology, but besides that? They say that the PS-800 can handle lead-free soldering, but I guess the others can too. There's virtually no info on the SP-200.

So, has anyone got any clue on which would be the best choice? If I were to chose right now, I'd pick the MX-500, because the Talon tips look really handy, but maybe someone thinks different about this?
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Old 29th August 2004, 10:42 PM   #15
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0603 is no problem we used to do 0402 resisotrs and caps by the thousand on small CCD based cameras.

The MX is the only one to go for the tip cartridges on the other models are similar in diameter to the pace.

With the MX-500 you can change tip and be up to temperature in a 20 seconds .. it saves an age of time and you're never making do with the wrong tip. Plug in a large chisel tip and you can desolder heatsinks and connectors, change tip and 30 seconds later you're working on fine pitch quads and 0402's

There are older irons that use the same tip cartridges and handset that can be had for cheap, the old stss systems are still in use in most electronics facilites here. The only advantage of the MX-500 is the extra port and it does heat the tips a bit faster than my stss station.

Regarding the talon - great for taking off large multiples of large resistors and caps - it's quite a cunbersome thing and very often you'll find that where theres sockets, connectors, large electrolytics etc. you'll have to revert to a different tool anyway.

You'd be better off spending your money on some decent tips than a talon.
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Old 29th August 2004, 10:50 PM   #16
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0603 is no problem we used to do 0402 resisotrs and caps by the thousand on small CCD based cameras.

The MX is the only one to go for the tip cartridges on the other models are similar in diameter to the pace.

With the MX-500 you can change tip and be up to temperature in a 20 seconds .. it saves an age of time and you're never making do with the wrong tip. Plug in a large chisel tip and you can desolder heatsinks and connectors, change tip and 30 seconds later you're working on fine pitch quads and 0402's

There are older irons that use the same tip cartridges and handset that can be had for cheap, the old stss systems are still in use in most electronics facilites here. The only advantage of the MX-500 is the extra port and it does heat the tips a bit faster than my stss station.

Regarding the talon - great for taking off large multiples of large resistors and caps - it's quite a cunbersome thing and very often you'll find that where theres sockets, connectors, large electrolytics etc. you'll have to revert to a different tool anyway.

You'd be better off spending your money on some decent tips than a talon.

The 110/220 models work fine at 50Hz (or so I'm told by metcal support) so if you get an american model you can run it on a stepdown transformer.
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Old 30th August 2004, 06:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by paddy
0603 is no problem we used to do 0402 resisotrs and caps by the thousand on small CCD based cameras.

The MX is the only one to go for the tip cartridges on the other models are similar in diameter to the pace.

With the MX-500 you can change tip and be up to temperature in a 20 seconds .. it saves an age of time and you're never making do with the wrong tip. Plug in a large chisel tip and you can desolder heatsinks and connectors, change tip and 30 seconds later you're working on fine pitch quads and 0402's

There are older irons that use the same tip cartridges and handset that can be had for cheap, the old stss systems are still in use in most electronics facilites here. The only advantage of the MX-500 is the extra port and it does heat the tips a bit faster than my stss station.

Regarding the talon - great for taking off large multiples of large resistors and caps - it's quite a cunbersome thing and very often you'll find that where theres sockets, connectors, large electrolytics etc. you'll have to revert to a different tool anyway.

You'd be better off spending your money on some decent tips than a talon.

The 110/220 models work fine at 50Hz (or so I'm told by metcal support) so if you get an american model you can run it on a stepdown transformer.
Great to hear that even 0402 isn't a problem.

I just searched on eBay for stepdown transformers and despite what I thought those things are pretty small. The better for me, now I can be sure that I'll be able to use American solder stations too .
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Old 30th August 2004, 06:35 PM   #18
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You can get stepdown transformers cheap on almost any ads paper .. the kind that are used for power tools like kango hammers. They are big and ugly but safe and high power so you can run a multitude of gear off them.

The STSS I have here requires 1A at 230V you'll probably need a 250 - 300VA transformer to be safe. I can't remember what the MX-500 takes probably something similar.
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