Author Topic: Metcal tips  (Read 6245 times)

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Offline trevwhite

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Metcal tips
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:31:10 AM »
Hi. What Metcal tips are people happy with for soldering standard through hole components with lead free solder? Needing to buy some but not sure what to buy.

Thanks

Trev
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 12:01:38 AM »
Which iron do you have?

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 12:45:00 AM »
Hi,

I have the Metcal mx-500p-21.

 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 01:39:43 AM »
I use a sttc 138 for fine stuff, a sttc 136 for larger, general purpose stuff and a sttc 117 for things where you're not really soldering components, more connectors or large wire.
 

Offline georges80

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 02:05:21 AM »
I use a sttc 138 for fine stuff, a sttc 136 for larger, general purpose stuff and a sttc 117 for things where you're not really soldering components, more connectors or large wire.

I use those same tips and have for many years - they are all great for the tasks you describe.

I also like the sttc 140 when I have a tiny touchup to do (SMD) and the bent tip gives great visibility to the job.

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george.
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Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 02:32:35 AM »
I use a sttc 138 for fine stuff, a sttc 136 for larger, general purpose stuff and a sttc 117 for things where you're not really soldering components, more connectors or large wire.

I use those same tips and have for many years - they are all great for the tasks you describe.

I also like the sttc 140 when I have a tiny touchup to do (SMD) and the bent tip gives great visibility to the job.

cheers,
george.


Yeah, i quite like the STTC 140 for that, very good for tacking mod wires to single pins etc, although OP did ask what was good for general through hole components, and i'd have to say  the SSTC-136 (not the 136P), the actual tip is the perfect size and shape for most through hole parts, and the small extension of the tip from the cartridge body makes it much easier to get to slightly tighter parts.
 

Offline gibbled

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 02:55:57 AM »
Sttc 137 for the majority,  sttc 117 for heavier stuff.   Sttc 125 for small stuff and an assortment of others that get little use.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 03:00:56 AM »
Thats awesome, thanks all. General advice for other types of soldering is welcome. I just have an immediate need for through hole.
 

Offline w2aew

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 05:41:12 AM »
The two that I use most often are the STTC-137 for general purpose work, and STTC-126 for finer work.
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Offline sacherjj

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 07:42:05 AM »
Sorry to kind of hijack this thread, but it seems like a good collection of MetCal users.  I've never used one and trying to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of going with one over my current station, Hakko 951.  We are looking at getting two irons for fairly mundane TH production work, and upgrading my prototyping iron. 

For those of you who have tried normal sensor controlled, what is better on using a MetCal?  Do you find the quicker RF temperature control making a large difference on soldering action?
 

Offline notsob

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 08:04:04 AM »
Also be aware of the 'thermaltronics' brand equivalents - a little bit cheaper than metcal
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 09:14:59 AM »
Sorry to kind of hijack this thread, but it seems like a good collection of MetCal users.  I've never used one and trying to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of going with one over my current station, Hakko 951.  We are looking at getting two irons for fairly mundane TH production work, and upgrading my prototyping iron. 

For those of you who have tried normal sensor controlled, what is better on using a MetCal?  Do you find the quicker RF temperature control making a large difference on soldering action?

The Hakko 951 is really quite good, I don't think the price of a metcal would be worth the upgrade.

Times you notice the difference;
The first few joins; hit the power switch and by the time you have the iron in hand and the solder in the other and are at the part, its ready to go.
Med-large joins that take more than a moment to flow but less than a few seconds; Most irons have a bit of a "dip" in temperature for feedback between the tip tip and the heater - small joins are no issue because thermal capacity and massive joins are no issue because the join takes long enough to flow that the loop is already flat out.
Idle time between placing components/adjusting the board; the iron idles very quickly and comes up to temp very quickly so there is no delay there.

Aside from these very specific times you won't notice a difference at all, the Hakko 951 has the heater and temp sensor built into the tip so it is already very good, much more so than the 888.


On the topic of the OP, basically, we can conclude;
You will probably need more than one cartridge.
You probably won't need more than 3.
Cartridges that have their tip extended out from the body are best for everyday use.
You only need a fine tip if doing fine work, but since you're doing TH stuff, a STTC-137 will probably do all-round.
Other companies make Metcal compatible tips - Thermaltronics (who are owned by OKI) and EasyBraidCo both are authorized to make tips.
The other tips can be cheaper (i'd also like to add), and second hand or new-old tips even cheaper again!
 

Offline georges80

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 09:42:54 AM »
Other companies make Metcal compatible tips - Thermaltronics (who are owned by OKI) and EasyBraidCo both are authorized to make tips.

Just in case it's not clear - OKI owns Metcal too...

cheers,
george.
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Offline notsob

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 09:53:03 AM »
OKI owns Metcal, and as far as I'm aware Thermaltronics was setup by ex metcal dudes after metcals patent expired
 

Offline Rory

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 10:15:40 AM »
I picked up an SMTC-0147 a couple of weeks ago, it's the 0.13" 30 degree bevel hoof tip. It does a fantastic job at drag soldering SMT multileaded packages. Much better than the chisel tips. With 63/37 it works exactly like in the Pace SMT tutorial videos.

For other jobs I use the same tips as most of the other posters.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2014, 11:37:38 AM »
My favourite tip is the STTC-126, but then, i do mostly SMD anyways. I have a larger hoof tip for multilead packages if needed. For the occasional THT or large stuff i stick to the 126, too lazy to change and works well anyways. I have small collection of other tips as well, but rarely use them. What's also quite practical are these very long beveled tips, like the STTC-140, if you have boards that are quite dense and big parts. These allow you to get at SMD parts inbetween the larger parts just fine.

Also have a bunch of specialty tips for SOIC packages, nice to desolder stuff with. Finally, also have two Talon's, but want to sell one of them (don't need two of them...)

It's worthwhile to check eBay on a regular basis, you will find Metcal tips for cheap there very often. Check out this seller as well:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/jsmith4x/m.html

He often has whole packs of different, used Metcal tips for quite cheap (sometimes there are a few new ones in those packs as well, but not often). If you want to extend your tip collection with some more exotic tips that you probably use very rarely, such a set of used tips is just fine.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2014, 12:45:54 AM »
I picked up an SMTC-0147 a couple of weeks ago, it's the 0.13" 30 degree bevel hoof tip. It does a fantastic job at drag soldering SMT multileaded packages. Much better than the chisel tips. With 63/37 it works exactly like in the Pace SMT tutorial videos.

For other jobs I use the same tips as most of the other posters.

I got the SMTC 1147 but it's too big, my boards don't have enough clearance for it. It will go back to Amazon today and I will keep using the SMTC 1174 which works very well for me.

BTW, Metcal hoof tips are listed here http://www.okinternational.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/products/hand-soldering-systems/tips-and-cartridges/mx-cartridges/smtc-series-hoof  the 1169 also looks interesting.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 12:48:58 AM by zapta »
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Online LaurentR

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 07:45:41 PM »
For visual reference, I put next to each other several of the available Metcal/Thermaltronics hoofs - from left to right:
SMTC-1147 (the big guy - great for drag soldering - lots of storage - but big)
SMTC-1169 (nice size for drag soldering - more agile than the big guy, easier to use on cramped boards)
Thermatronics M7DS529 (similar to SMTC-1167)
SMTC-1174 (the tiny guy - good for a couple of leads and tiny components but not for drag soldering a whole row).
STTC-126 (common conical hook for comparison)
STTC-138 (common 1.5mm chisel for comparison)



Note that the Thermaltronics still has the shipping protective layer (so the flat surface looks curved). I didn't end up keeping it, so I didn't want to fire it up.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 03:55:44 AM by LaurentR »
 

Offline macboy

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 04:25:10 AM »
Good advice above.
I will point out that the 1xx series tips are the nominally 700 degree F ones. They can be too hot for lead solder with any rosin-based flux (i.e. Kester 44 or 285, Multicore 370, etc.). That temperature can burn the rosin nearly black, making it ugly and harder to remove. For those solders, the 600 degree series is a better choice. Just replace the 1xx with 0xx, so STTC-038, etc.
 

Offline mmagin

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 08:12:03 AM »
Good advice above.
I will point out that the 1xx series tips are the nominally 700 degree F ones. They can be too hot for lead solder with any rosin-based flux (i.e. Kester 44 or 285, Multicore 370, etc.). That temperature can burn the rosin nearly black, making it ugly and harder to remove. For those solders, the 600 degree series is a better choice. Just replace the 1xx with 0xx, so STTC-038, etc.

This is very true.  I pretty much only use 63/37 solder, and for non-critical or big stuff usually use rosin flux.  I have a STTC-165 that I bought for heating large stuff, and it gets crudded up with burnt rosin badly.  I think I'm going to get a STTC-065 or Thermaltronics equivalent to replace it.
 

Offline connectionvalidationman

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2017, 08:31:05 AM »
Stick with the Metcal tips, it protects the power supply and your safety.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2017, 08:32:26 AM »
Stick with the Metcal tips, it protects the power supply and your safety.

The Thermaltronics tips are functionally identical.
 

Online GreyWoolfe

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Re: Metcal tips
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2017, 04:02:41 AM »
Stick with the Metcal tips, it protects the power supply and your safety.

The Thermaltronics tips are functionally identical.

I have 2 THermaltronics tips and they work no differently than my 3 Metcal tips.
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