Author Topic: Newbie Introduction & Opening Questions re-Soldering & S/Stations  (Read 1626 times)

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Offline swissho

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Hello Everyone, :-+

I am a new member of the forum,after one of your members over on the Railpage (Australia)forum,suggested my questions Relating to SOLDERING &SOLDERING stations maybe better answered on EEVBlog

I am English 57, living in Norway (12 years) married a Viking!
Lifelong love affair with Railways both real and model.Unfortunately due to long term illness and some incapacity the construction side of Rlw~Modelling as not being possible!much to my frustration. >:
(ironically whilst my health as worsened considerably in recent years,my determination to fulfil the life long dream of owning & running a first class Model Railway layout has grown stronger? I am hoping to find someone shortly to construct a small HO DCC layout for me.??Fingers & toes crossed!

I am keen to at least be able to make minor repairs,and whilst this may prove difficult,I am trying to learn to SOLDER??.I have an ANTEX Iron 25watt. which i was told would be great for most things but now I am reliably informed that I should use something with a bit more [umph] power for the job? and this was backed up by Richard @DCC Concepts (Australia) who is very kind and most helpful, I have purchased several items some years back and am currently in the process of purchasing some additional items from his very extensive and interesting range.I am intersted  mainly in DCC items,But I liked the sound of the HAKKO Solder Stations.which Richard holds in high regard,and he is not alone as I have read many reveiws and discussions on the subject of Soldering and the HAKKO range seems to be very popular and generally better value than ANTEX/WELLER e.t.c.so I thought from all that I had read that the HAKKO stations would serve me well in many respects.The yesterday I was told to look at JCB stations,as they were the bast,which i did but feel buying one would be (In my case) over the top!

Possibly you guys might suggest that all need is a more powerful Iron if so recommendations appreciated,otherwise I may go for the cheapest HAKKO if I can find a 230 volt model?

*Anyway here are my questions and I thank you advance.and please excuse my non technical explinations e.t.c.

Question 1. if I were to buy the HAKKO digital Station what is the ideal temp setting? for quite delicate rail soldering(repair)? and for delicate layout/DCC wiring e.t.c.?

Question 2. Related to (1) Iron Tips should I use the smallest finest tips when working with DCC & other Layout wiring?please advice on basic number and type of tips I should have(their will be no construction what so ever just wiring repair)as far as I see it.


Quote
Question 3. I keep seeing reference to Tinning? the tips,and I see there are tinning compounds? when do I use this stuff it is i understand a way of keeping iron tips in good shape is this correct?(please advice how to use?) this question was answered for me? i amtold that the modern irons do not require tinning now a days.
Question 4. I currently have some of DCC Concepts SAPHIRE Solder wire & Flux
 Are there better options,I should also consider? this is purely out of interest, I can not see a problem withe saphire wire.I will use LEAD wire ?is it still 60/40 grade I should use or a different grade?

Question5. I also have another product tix anti flux am told this is very good?

Think that is more than enough to be going on with

best Wishes Steve :D[/size] aplologies for long post :-[
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Newbie Introduction & Opening Questions re-Soldering & S/Stations
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 06:51:29 am »
Hakko soldering stations are very good. 

Unfortunately, the genuine 230v versions are much more expensive than the 110v models. Don't ask me why, it's probably a Hakko policy, but they can get up to 200$ (in euro or local currencies) when the 110v are about 80-85$ in US.
I say "genuine" versions because there are clones of Hakko FX-888 on eBay and some stores that look almost identical to the original and they're about the same price as the 110v versions, but the insides are totally different, low quality stuff.

I would actually recommend getting a 110v soldering station along with a 220-240v to 110v converter, you will end up cheaper than buying a 230v version of the soldering station.

Question 1. if I were to buy the HAKKO digital Station what is the ideal temp setting? for quite delicate rail soldering(repair)? and for delicate layout/DCC wiring e.t.c.?

There is no ideal temperatures. It depends on the thickness of the wires or leads or part you solder, the tip (size and shape) you use, the base surface on which you want to solder that part.

Basically, you want to solder together two materials, made of copper or other metals... both these metals suck heat from the soldering iron's tip lowering its temperature. The soldering iron will push more power into the tip to counteract this cooling effect.
You know that leaded solder melts at about 180c  (60-40 at 180c , 63-37 at 183c) and unleaded solder melts at around 215-217c degrees. You have to use a tip that's big enough so that heat from the tip will flow into the surface and bring it to temperature fast yet you don't want a super high temperature because hot temperature slowly damages the soldering iron's tip oxidizing it. So for example, if there's a very thin strand of wire that I want to solder to a LED lead, I may use 200-220c on the soldering iron and a regular iron tip, but if I want to solder a thicker wire or solder the legs of a heatsink on a PCB, I may switch to a larger iron tip and up the temperature to about 280-320c so that the iron will be able to maintain the temperature.

Question 2. Related to (1) Iron Tips should I use the smallest finest tips when working with DCC & other Layout wiring?please advice on basic number and type of tips I should have(their will be no construction what so ever just wiring repair)as far as I see it.

The default Hakko soldering tip would probably be good enough for such job. Practice is the key though.

Question 3. I keep seeing reference to Tinning? the tips,and I see there are tinning compounds?

The iron tips are tinned from the factory. Tin is basically a large part of the solder wire. leaded solder is 60-40 or 63-37  Tin - Lead  (other varieties exist) while unleaded solder is mostly Tin, usually about 97% or more.
The tip is made out of copper and other metals that transfer heat fast but that also means it oxidizes quickly in the presence of air. So it's always a good idea to keep the tip under a thin layer of tin so that air doesn't get to the tip to continue oxidizing it.
So when you start soldering, it's a good idea to clean the tip then apply a bit of solder on the tip so it won't be attacked by air.
Just the same,  after soldering, it's a good idea to simply put a bit of solder on the tip and leave it there until the next solder job

Question 4. I currently have some of DCC Concepts SAPHIRE Solder wire & Flux
 Are there better options,I should also consider? this is purely out of interest, I can not see a problem withe saphire wire.I will use LEAD wire ?is it still 60/40 grade I should use or a different grade?

I don't know about that solder and flux.  It may be good for what you're doing but it may be very bad for electronics, it depends on the flux - some fluxes are acids that corrode the copper and are not suitable for electronics (soldering wires, ICs etc) but are good for pipes and brass but not copper.  Unfortunately that site doesn't say the chemical composition of their solder wires and flux. All I can tell  from the "Soldering advice" on their page is that their solder may be some kind of 50/50 variety with a bit of silver added to it which is perfectly fine for that hobby but may not be the best for pcb, ics, electronics.

Question5. I also have another product tix anti flux am told this is very good?

I don't know what that is. Anti flux is probably a solution to clean the flux after you solder. This has no importance to what soldering iron you get.


ps. Pace has a series of videos that  a beginner like you should watch, they're very helpful :

 

Offline Wim_L

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Re: Newbie Introduction & Opening Questions re-Soldering & S/Stations
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 07:25:09 am »
If you need to pay that much for a Hakko, you might as well consider jumping straight to Ersa or something similar, if there's a promotion you might even get them cheaper than a 230V Hakko.
 

Offline swissho

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Re: Newbie Introduction & Opening Questions re-Soldering & S/Stations
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 08:38:32 am »
 :-+ Hello Wim_L
Very good to hear from you, much obliged to you.
No I don`t wish to ratchet up the price if I can not get a HAKKO for a reasonable price I may just forget the station and just go for a better iron if you have any recomendations,I can not see the point in buying $200 station for the limited useage I intend,as I am sure you will agree,and I have read alot about the strange thing with HAKKU 230 Volt models being mega bucks when compared to the 110 v ones >:(

all the best Steve
 

Offline swissho

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Re: Newbie Introduction & Opening Questions re-Soldering & S/Stations
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 08:52:21 am »
 :-+ Hi mariush;
Terrific reply! can not thank you enough,already I have learnt so much and I fully intend to keep all this information to hand to help me in my learning.I will enjoy following the PACE videos.

Yes I am beginning to see that there could be a problem with HAAkU :-\ you are certainly not the first to mention the issue with 230volt models and the price hike >:D crazy! unless I can find an alternative station at a good price and proven worth? then I will ask for suggetions as to a upgrade on my current ANTEX 25 watt model?
With regard to the DCC Concepts Flux & solder it seems fine and Richard swares by it for most elctrical soldering.

I understand now about the temp question and the lead v non lead differences in temps.

Re Tinning? so i don`t have to buy the Tining paste I have seen? I can just put a bit of solder pre soldering  and a bit left on at the end of job is this correct?

I have taken everything you and others have said and already I am very happy with all the great feedback

best wishes Steve :-+
 


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