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My soldering iron sucks

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hey guys

ok well i bought i cheapish temperature controlled soldering iron from maplins, well its maplins own brand. i think its the N78AR. Well basicially it is just awful. Im using it to try and remove the old dc jack on my laptop motherboard and it dont even heat up hot enough to melt the solder properly.

Anyone else ever used this soldering iron??

And any reccommendations for a new iron with temp control that aint crap and can use it for solder removal easy enough? And isnt to expensive

Have you tested the iron with wire solder to see if it works for typical small solder joints? Making fresh joints is always the first test for an iron before attempting to unsolder things.

What about the temperature setting? The requirement varies between leaded and lead free solder. Lead free solder has a higher melting point.

How about the power rating of the iron? When desoldering it can be necessary to have a very good power output due to heat soak on the board, especially if there are large copper areas.

The soldering iron is a 50w - 150 to 450 degree and i got it turned up max. The solder i used to test with is a lead free silver, ag 4%, sn 95.5%, cu 0.5%, 1mm diam. Which i also bought from maplins

I looked at the manual for that iron and it appears to be an older model that was not recommended for lead free solder, however it should still work for lead free if the temperature is turned up high.

Are you saying the solder won't melt if you hold it to the tip of the iron? If so, it is badly malfunctioning.

By the way, if you are starting out soldering it is much easier to use traditional tin/lead solder rather than the lead free kind. Lead free solder is much more difficult to work with.


--- Quote from: stewmath on December 06, 2011, 08:18:14 pm ---hey guys

ok well i bought i cheapish temperature controlled soldering iron from maplins, well its maplins own brand. i think its the N78AR.
--- End quote ---

It is a rebadged Zhongdi ZD-98. Zhongdi stuff is not top of the line stuff, but it usually works reasonable. Several of their models are rebadged under many brands and are popular in Europe, e.g. the ZD-937 or ZD-931. Your ZD-98 is probably the lowest of their temperature controlled irons, but with their typical 48W handpiece it should get hot enough.

My guess is your soldering/desoldering technique is lacking. E.g. you might have lots of oxide on the tip, maybe build up by running the iron too hot, not properly tinning the tip and doing all sorts of mechanical abuse while trying to get the soldering joints hot.


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