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Old 12th May 2009, 01:33 PM   #1
chrish is offline chrish  Australia
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Default Solder station

I know that this is a little off-topic (sorry) and I should have asked on some of the other topic areas, but I have come to know and respect the opinion of the guys on the "tube" pages...

I was feeling in need of a project lately as my amp building has ground to a halt over the last 12 months, so I ordered one of these nixie clock kits

Great little project. Kept me busy for an afternoon. SWMBO, who is not enthusiastic about my passion for tubes, immediately declared that she wanted one! Anyway, while building it became obvious that my cheap "micron" brand solder station from Altronics here in Australia is in need of replacement. I knew that there was a general impression that Weller was a reasonable brand, but a search of solder station recommendations also turned up this: Hakko 936 for about $138 AUD. Does anybody have a recommendation for a good solder station that would be suitable for tube work and general electronics construction? I have a cheap high wattage iron for bus bar soldering etc, so that does not have to be a requirement to be able to do that. Other contender might be something like this Weller for about $200 AUD.

Thanks guys!

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Old 12th May 2009, 02:48 PM   #2
dwieck is offline dwieck  United States
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The Hakko 936 is what I use. I like it. The only problem I have had is I dropped the iron once and it broke the heating element. I also have a Weller station that is about 20 years old and it just keeps on working. You wont go wrong with either
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:51 PM   #3
Zero Cool is offline Zero Cool  United States
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I have the Weller digital solder station. I think it's the WSD80 if memory serves me correctly. I researched many of the more industrial brands such as hakko and metlab etc but decided to go with Weller as Weller parts are easier for me to get. things like replacement tips, heaters etc.
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:57 PM   #4
boywonder is offline boywonder  United States
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I have the Weller WES51 station and it works great. On-off switch, basic analog temp dial and LED to let you know it's up to temp and closed-loop, and takes the common Weller tips. Replacement tips and sponges are available everywhere. Comes up to temp in seconds, which is convenient. They are new in the states for <$100 and used for $50-70 or so.

Before that i had one of the red 50W cheap ($30 IIRC) Wellers, and the WES51 was a big step up with a smaller pencil and flexible rubber cord instead of plastic.
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:58 PM   #5
Pan is offline Pan  Sweden
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Same as Zero Cool here. Picked up a WSD80.

Spare parts/tips are a lot cheaper as well except from being easy to find, year after year.

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Old 12th May 2009, 04:14 PM   #6
Westerp is offline Westerp  Netherlands
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me2 me2 Weller, weller, some weller, maybe a weller and you could try a nice weller.
As boywonder says, one of the upmarket types and not the cheapest though they
work allright. Me, I started with a piece of copper on a stick so I'm quite used to cheap
irons p.s. I've also had good experiences with the old antex irons.
http://tda1541a.com The Final List
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:45 PM   #7
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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I could not access the Weller link listed, but the WSD80 is an 80W unit, and there's all sorts of tips to suit anything from SMD to larger connectors. The extra heat reserve is very useful when soldering large parts or groundplanes. Having too less heat is a real nuisance, and can also be a part killer as you'd have to heat up for longer time to reach solder flow temp's.
It is certainly my choice - and we have about 10 of them at work-singles and duals. The solder station is one of the points where I'd recommend ppl spending a few extra bucks.
While the Lie leapt from Bagdad to Constantinopel, the Truth was still looking for it's sandals!
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:51 PM   #8
whitelabrat is offline whitelabrat  United States
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I've had good luck with an Edsyn 951. Got it used for $20, since it doesn't have the brand recognition of Weller. I think mine has a temp control problem though.
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:54 PM   #9
Michael Koster is offline Michael Koster  United States
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Old 12th May 2009, 08:03 PM   #10
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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I've had good luck with an Edsyn 951.

I have the Edsyn 951SX loaner. It Works great.
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