Need a good basic soldering station

henrylrjr

Member
2012-10-26 7:49 pm
Ct.
I've spent many, many hours ready posts about soldering stations. They have options I never heard about and don't understand. I don't mind spending $250 for a device that appears to get rave reviews and has a good life span. Gotta check warranty...hope its at least one year.

I'm thinking a basic Metcal PS-900 would be plenty for me. From what i read it should be capable of soldering 12awg copper wire and binding posts, with the appropriate tip. The ones I saw online had labels reading made in china. Am i missing anything important? Are the ones from China clones?
 

henrylrjr

Member
2012-10-26 7:49 pm
Ct.
Thanks for the info. I read a lot of good reviews of the Hakko and it's price is not high. However, is it RF or, does it use a conventional heater? Many things I've read say RF is the way to go and many companies will likely be developing models using that technology. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again. I'm a total newbie and have only used a cheap velleman that's now dead.
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm

henrylrjr

Member
2012-10-26 7:49 pm
Ct.
Someone tinned wires and solder cups on Neutrik XLRs. The wires where brought into contact inside the cups and heat was applied to the outside of the cups. No more solder was added. The solder used was Kester 60/40 66 rosin. The wire strands are clearly visible. I normally add more solder to make a thicker coating. My question is can I heat the cups from the outside, get the solder to liquefy and the add some 63/37 50?
 

henrylrjr

Member
2012-10-26 7:49 pm
Ct.
Yah I always use eutectic. Unfortunately I know the person that did the work was using 60/40 which is not eutectic. That and the minimal coverage is why I want to use a eutectic. My Metcal will liquefy the 60/40 quickly and I will add some 63/37 eutectic. I didn't know if they could be mixed.

Thakns,
henrylrjr
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi Henry,
You don't need eutectic solder to do a good job. I use both types, and some of the newer lead free solders. They also do a good job.

The 60/40 just needs a touch more heat, lead-free needs even more heat to melt. This isn't a problem in most cases, so stressing you need a eutectic composition only increases what the solder might cost you. It used to be more expensive. The difference between a eutectic blend is that it goes from a liquid to a solid without spending time in what is called the "plastic phase" where it transitions from a liquid to a solid. Keep things steady without movement and you won't see any difference between them.

Another iron is out there called "Quick". I'm evaluating a lower end model (Quick3104) and it looks the same as a Hakko. The hgher models use RF energy to heat the tip and they warm up very quickly. Lot's of features at a low price. I'm waiting for an assortment of tips before I can review it.

I have no connection with the distributors or personnel, I just saw it in a trade show and asked if I could try one.

-Chris
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi infinia,
I think these guys are the OEM. The one I have right now was supposed to be $75 USD, but I could have that wrong so don't quote me on it. I think they represent amazing value. This one is a digital display (LCD) for the set temperature and the actual temperature. It works well for smt work, but the tip supplied is a useless thin, long conical type. Not surprisingly, it doesn't transfer heat to larger connections. I did order a replacement Hakko tip for it off Ebay, and it fit okay. The stations look very similar and the tips appear to be interchangeable. Hopefully I'll have a set of tips from the distributor sometime very soon.

-Chris