Author Topic: Soldering Equipment Help  (Read 1992 times)

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Offline shimanole

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Soldering Equipment Help
« on: February 22, 2020, 10:01:26 pm »
I posted this in a Hakko related thread but thought this might be the best place for posting.


I've never soldered a day in my life but I'm committed to learning to complete several projects.  1st I need to terminate some single color LED strip lights to wire and I have about 10 vintage HiFi tube and solid state amps that I plan on repairing/modifying etc.

After doing a ton of research I'm hoping someone can help with the following:

1.  Soldering station.  I might use it 3 or 4 hours a week tops.  I'm looking at T12 stuff like Ksger (can't find the Bakon) and Hakko/Pace
     products but I would like to stay around $150.  Any recommendations along with any t12 tip suggestions would be great.

2.  Desoldering.  I'm going to get some braid and paste for some small repairs but after opening the cases of a few amps, holy crap, I think
     I'll need a desoldering gun.  After researching and seeing some reviews, this one seems like it might work. Pro'sKit SS-331H  Any
     recommendations here would be great also.  I'm open to any suggestions for getting the best results efficiently and I'll spend a little more
     if necessary.

As a novice, I welcome any tip,tricks or recommendations that might make this endeavor less frustrating.

Thanks all!
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 03:10:04 am »
Since you are in the US, a Hakko 888 is a good choice in that price range. Don't buy on ebay because the chance of getting a fake is high, get one from a reputable dealer. On the other hand, I've heard some of the cheap Chinese knock offs are not too bad. I bought a used Hakko 937 many years ago and it's still working fine.
 
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Offline MarkF

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 03:46:57 am »
Don't forget to check the Hakko FX888D from tEquipment  price $99.42 minus the 6% EEVblog discount.

I also recommend Kester 63/37 solder 0.031" diameter.  The 63/37 ratio is much easier to work with than the 60/40.

Also, extra Rosin Flux Paste.  Very useful for repairs and difficult soldering.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 04:48:17 am »
I posted this in a Hakko related thread but thought this might be the best place for posting.


I've never soldered a day in my life but I'm committed to learning to complete several projects.  1st I need to terminate some single color LED strip lights to wire and I have about 10 vintage HiFi tube and solid state amps that I plan on repairing/modifying etc.

After doing a ton of research I'm hoping someone can help with the following:

1.  Soldering station.  I might use it 3 or 4 hours a week tops.  I'm looking at T12 stuff like Ksger (can't find the Bakon) and Hakko/Pace
     products but I would like to stay around $150.  Any recommendations along with any t12 tip suggestions would be great.

2.  Desoldering.  I'm going to get some braid and paste for some small repairs but after opening the cases of a few amps, holy crap, I think
     I'll need a desoldering gun.  After researching and seeing some reviews, this one seems like it might work. Pro'sKit SS-331H  Any
     recommendations here would be great also.  I'm open to any suggestions for getting the best results efficiently and I'll spend a little more
     if necessary.

As a novice, I welcome any tip,tricks or recommendations that might make this endeavor less frustrating.

Thanks all!
Not to be rude, but please do a bit of searching on the forums (e.g. googling "site:eevblog.com beginner soldering station" or the like). Cuz this question gets asked seemingly weekly, and the answers are pretty much always the same.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 03:10:46 pm »
Don't forget to check the Hakko FX888D from tEquipment  price $99.42 minus the 6% EEVblog discount.

I also recommend Kester 63/37 solder 0.031" diameter.  The 63/37 ratio is much easier to work with than the 60/40.

Also, extra Rosin Flux Paste.  Very useful for repairs and difficult soldering.
Thanks very much.  I appreciate the extra info and I had no idea there was a discount for the Hakko.  I think I'll go that route.  Thanks again!
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 03:21:35 pm »
I posted this in a Hakko related thread but thought this might be the best place for posting.


I've never soldered a day in my life but I'm committed to learning to complete several projects.  1st I need to terminate some single color LED strip lights to wire and I have about 10 vintage HiFi tube and solid state amps that I plan on repairing/modifying etc.

After doing a ton of research I'm hoping someone can help with the following:

1.  Soldering station.  I might use it 3 or 4 hours a week tops.  I'm looking at T12 stuff like Ksger (can't find the Bakon) and Hakko/Pace
     products but I would like to stay around $150.  Any recommendations along with any t12 tip suggestions would be great.

2.  Desoldering.  I'm going to get some braid and paste for some small repairs but after opening the cases of a few amps, holy crap, I think
     I'll need a desoldering gun.  After researching and seeing some reviews, this one seems like it might work. Pro'sKit SS-331H  Any
     recommendations here would be great also.  I'm open to any suggestions for getting the best results efficiently and I'll spend a little more
     if necessary.

As a novice, I welcome any tip,tricks or recommendations that might make this endeavor less frustrating.

Thanks all!
Not to be rude, but please do a bit of searching on the forums (e.g. googling "site:eevblog.com beginner soldering station" or the like). Cuz this question gets asked seemingly weekly, and the answers are pretty much always the same.

Not to be rude, but if you actually read my post, you would have seen that I did search and find a thread that was very specific to my question, however, it did not get any responses.  Thanks for taking the time to criticize my posting without offering any suggestions or advice.   Very helpful.
 
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Offline angrybird

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 10:48:49 pm »
I only buy used weller equipment on eBay.  I have a good collection of WD series, the WP80 iron is to die for.  Generic tips can be had for cheap.  I switched from Hakko a long time ago.  Some people will argue that metcal is better but this is because of the power source and tip, metcal is the tip type that heats to a curie point and cannot be adjusted, not practical for home use, but great for production.

Look at a used Weller WD station on eBay + a WP80 iron, you won't be dissapointed.  Don't be worried to buy separately.

IMHO the advantage with the weller WD + WP is how small the iron is.  You don't have this large, unwieldy sledgehammer of an iron you get with the hakko's, it makes you a better solder-er by default ;-)

Keep in mind that this may be out of your price range if you are looking at the disposable type stuff from china, but if you don't mind buying a great tool in used condition, I really don't think you can go wrong with a weller WD.
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Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 10:52:32 pm »
I only buy used weller equipment on eBay.  I have a good collection of WD series, the WP80 iron is to die for.  Generic tips can be had for cheap.  I switched from Hakko a long time ago.  Some people will argue that metcal is better but this is because of the power source and tip, metcal is the tip type that heats to a curie point and cannot be adjusted, not practical for home use, but great for production.

Look at a used Weller WD station on eBay + a WP80 iron, you won't be dissapointed.  Don't be worried to buy separately.

IMHO the advantage with the weller WD + WP is how small the iron is.  You don't have this large, unwieldy sledgehammer of an iron you get with the hakko's, it makes you a better solder-er by default ;-)

Keep in mind that this may be out of your price range if you are looking at the disposable type stuff from china, but if you don't mind buying a great tool in used condition, I really don't think you can go wrong with a weller WD.

Thanks Angry.  I'll take a look and like the idea of having some other options.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

Offline aeberbach

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 12:45:01 am »
Remember that for everyone preferring Weller there is someone preferring Hakko - I have had my station 15 years and could not want a more powerful, lightweight and precise iron. Main thing is try them out before committing $100+.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2020, 03:26:28 am »
Remember that for everyone preferring Weller there is someone preferring Hakko - I have had my station 15 years and could not want a more powerful, lightweight and precise iron. Main thing is try them out before committing $100+.
Unfortunately, trying before buying soldering equipment is something that is essentially impossible for most people, since there is nowhere to do this. Even if a retail store carries the gear (which is rarely the case), I’ve never seen one that let you try it.

So unless you happen to have a workplace or friends with the exact equipment you want to test, there’s essentially no way to try it out beforehand.
 

Offline angrybird

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2020, 06:07:33 am »
How is used equipment from eBay not affordable?  I got a weller WRS 3000 with 3 stands, 2 irons, the hot air gun and dual tip tweezers on there for under $300 shipped.  I've seen WD bases for 50 bucks. 

This person came here for some fresh advice from people who use soldering equipment and I'm sure that various opinions were expected.  If you have such an opinion please offer it; Your statements are not leading to any particular conclusion regarding which soldering equipment should be considered.
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Online austfox

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2020, 06:35:40 am »
I’ve seen a lot of newbies purchase a heap of gear because they are ‘excited’ about electronics, 6 months later and they are trying to sell it all off.

Since you’ve never soldered before, I’d be inclined to get a cheap iron (no station) or as someone else has suggested, a 2nd-hand Weller or Hakko. I’d be inclined to go the Weller because I think I in the US they are much more plentiful and cheaper on the 2nd-hand market.

If you enjoy electronics, you can upgrade later and keep your first iron for the rough stuff, such as soldering outside or away from home. Even if you ditch electronics altogether a soldering iron is always a good tool to have, even if it is for just basic wiring repair.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2020, 08:19:14 am »
$100 on a Hakko FX888D is not exactly splurging, it's safe and cheap to run so the ideal entry level station. You will also get at tequipment.net 6% off and free shipping using the eevblog discount code. Combine that with a few different tips, solder, flux, braid and a hand desoldering pump and you are set to go.

Going for a vacuum desoldering station is rushing into it a bit, they are more specialized tools. Sure if you see a deal like angrybird saw give it a shot but be prepared to fix problems. Secondhand vaccum stations even though working can have worn out pumps, plus tips and parts can be expensive. So work all this out beforehand don't just expect $300 and done.

Historically most people just start with something basic and build up as their needs arise. As I've mentioned a few times, electronics is the application of skill and knowledge and using a vacuum desoldering iron but not able to solder and desolder with reasonable level of competence is really missing out on some of the core skills that make it a rewarding hobby.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
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Offline MarkF

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2020, 01:06:34 pm »
Just getting started, you may just consider a Weller 35W Soldering Iron
That's all I needed for 20+ years.  A soldering station, like the Hakko or Weller, is nice but by far not necessary.

For desoldering, I would just stick with a manual Solder Sucker and solder wick.
Unless you expect to be doing repairs on a daily basis.  There are a lot of headaches keeping the desolder stations cleaned out.
Not worth it for just a few solder joints now and then.  IMHO


The tEquipment discount is for ALL items in their store.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2020, 04:26:03 pm »
I really appreciate all of the suggestions and advice.  I don't think I can go wrong with any of the items suggested.  To keep cost down to start, I'm going to try the Ksger OLED T12 Soldering Iron Station STM32 V2.1s with the aluminum handle.  I like the push button interface and ease of setup and I think I can get enough life out of it to determine if I want to make it a full time hobby.   Purchasing from Amazon so if I get a dud I can easily have it replaced. 

I have an electrician friend who is giving me about 30 ft of RGBW LED strip lighting for soldering practice.  I also have an old SS amp that I have no interest in salvaging and I'll be using that board for soldering and desoldering practice in tighter spaces.  I'll start the desloldering process with flux paste and braid until I feel it is worth getting a desoldering gun or hot air station.

I've built a work bench and ordered some cheap different sized 60/40 and 63/37 solder for the purposes or practicing.

For anyone that has application knowledge and can offer any advice that might help me avoid mistakes or which may accelerate the learning curve I would be grateful.  Anything at all.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and recommendations.  It is much appreciated in a world of BS reviews.
 

Offline angrybird

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2020, 07:28:55 pm »
I really appreciate all of the suggestions and advice.  I don't think I can go wrong with any of the items suggested.  To keep cost down to start, I'm going to try the Ksger OLED T12 Soldering Iron Station STM32 V2.1s with the aluminum handle.  I like the push button interface and ease of setup and I think I can get enough life out of it to determine if I want to make it a full time hobby.   Purchasing from Amazon so if I get a dud I can easily have it replaced. 

I have an electrician friend who is giving me about 30 ft of RGBW LED strip lighting for soldering practice.  I also have an old SS amp that I have no interest in salvaging and I'll be using that board for soldering and desoldering practice in tighter spaces.  I'll start the desloldering process with flux paste and braid until I feel it is worth getting a desoldering gun or hot air station.

I've built a work bench and ordered some cheap different sized 60/40 and 63/37 solder for the purposes or practicing.

For anyone that has application knowledge and can offer any advice that might help me avoid mistakes or which may accelerate the learning curve I would be grateful.  Anything at all.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and recommendations.  It is much appreciated in a world of BS reviews.

When working with circuit boards, learn to control the heat.

When you are soldering/desoldering something that has a great amount of copper attached to it, you need more heat due to the constant heat loss from this larger thermally conductive area.  However, for small pads, this same amount of heat will very rapidly delaminate the pad from the PCB and you'll end up with a damaged PCB.  I always try to be very diligent in this, probably one of the reasons that I like the weller WD's so much - They have 3 temperature preset buttons and change temperature very rapidly due to the low mass of the iron.

I love solder braid, the kind with flux pre applied, though nonfluxed is fine as long as you have a bottle or syringe of flux handy.  Desoldering with braid requires a little more heat than with a solder sucker due to the increased thermal mass of the braid. 

Practice makes perfect, good luck!
THE CAKE IS A LIE AND THESE NUTHATCH ARE WAY TOO DISTRACTING
 

Offline Vovk_Z

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 08:10:16 pm »
Universal tip for T12 is D24. But if you work with small SMD (<=0805) then you may need one more other tip for such small smd.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 09:20:32 pm »
Ksger stations use switch mode power supplies that don't conform to modern manufacturing standards. What does this mean? They may fail in a way that puts the user at risk of electrocution or while unattended. So I recommend you have a ground fault safety device installed at the mains switchboard or outlet to hopefully avoid any electronics adventure mishaps.

If it was me I would also be checking which version it was (to identify which defects it has) and general quality control before plugging in the mains cable, this has already been discussed on the forums. If you are unsure which version you own, upload images of both sides of the PCB and someone will help you out.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 09:52:29 pm by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
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Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2020, 02:07:35 am »
Ksger stations use switch mode power supplies that don't conform to modern manufacturing standards. What does this mean? They may fail in a way that puts the user at risk of electrocution or while unattended. So I recommend you have a ground fault safety device installed at the mains switchboard or outlet to hopefully avoid any electronics adventure mishaps.

If it was me I would also be checking which version it was (to identify which defects it has) and general quality control before plugging in the mains cable, this has already been discussed on the forums. If you are unsure which version you own, upload images of both sides of the PCB and someone will help you out.

Thanks Shock.  I thought I read that this unit was grounded.  I'll check again as I would like to be able to use this straight from the box without modifications.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2020, 02:10:18 am »
Universal tip for T12 is D24. But if you work with small SMD (<=0805) then you may need one more other tip for such small smd.

Thanks for the tip.  Pun intended.   I'll add the D24 to the list.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2020, 02:14:59 am »
I really appreciate all of the suggestions and advice.  I don't think I can go wrong with any of the items suggested.  To keep cost down to start, I'm going to try the Ksger OLED T12 Soldering Iron Station STM32 V2.1s with the aluminum handle.  I like the push button interface and ease of setup and I think I can get enough life out of it to determine if I want to make it a full time hobby.   Purchasing from Amazon so if I get a dud I can easily have it replaced. 

I have an electrician friend who is giving me about 30 ft of RGBW LED strip lighting for soldering practice.  I also have an old SS amp that I have no interest in salvaging and I'll be using that board for soldering and desoldering practice in tighter spaces.  I'll start the desloldering process with flux paste and braid until I feel it is worth getting a desoldering gun or hot air station.

I've built a work bench and ordered some cheap different sized 60/40 and 63/37 solder for the purposes or practicing.

For anyone that has application knowledge and can offer any advice that might help me avoid mistakes or which may accelerate the learning curve I would be grateful.  Anything at all.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and recommendations.  It is much appreciated in a world of BS reviews.

When working with circuit boards, learn to control the heat.

When you are soldering/desoldering something that has a great amount of copper attached to it, you need more heat due to the constant heat loss from this larger thermally conductive area.  However, for small pads, this same amount of heat will very rapidly delaminate the pad from the PCB and you'll end up with a damaged PCB.  I always try to be very diligent in this, probably one of the reasons that I like the weller WD's so much - They have 3 temperature preset buttons and change temperature very rapidly due to the low mass of the iron.

I love solder braid, the kind with flux pre applied, though nonfluxed is fine as long as you have a bottle or syringe of flux handy.  Desoldering with braid requires a little more heat than with a solder sucker due to the increased thermal mass of the braid. 

Practice makes perfect, good luck!

Thanks again Angry.  Nice to know something like that getting started as opposed to having to post every question on a forum.  Thanks for the early troubleshooting.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2020, 04:43:23 am »
Thanks Shock.  I thought I read that this unit was grounded.  I'll check again as I would like to be able to use this straight from the box without modifications.

I think the tips are but the case isn't. This wouldn't be as bad if they insulated the case properly and fixed the other smps issues. There was some controller issues as well but really you need to look at which revision you are getting and if it has any problems.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2020, 11:37:41 am »
Thanks Shock.  I thought I read that this unit was grounded.  I'll check again as I would like to be able to use this straight from the box without modifications.

I think the tips are but the case isn't. This wouldn't be as bad if they insulated the case properly and fixed the other smps issues. There was some controller issues as well but really you need to look at which revision you are getting and if it has any problems.

Thanks again!
 

Offline aeberbach

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2020, 12:51:17 am »
Another thing: if you end up not buying a vacuum station, don't buy any desolder pump other than a genuine Edsyn Soldapullt. There's a lot of junk out there, especially the small aluminium ones.
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2020, 02:50:11 am »
The Engineer SS-02 gets a lot of recommendations here for having good performance, replaceable tips and ergonomics. I have a few vintage pumps that are quite reliable, but if I was looking to buy brand new the SS-02 would probably be it. Edsyn are a good brand but I prefer thumb actuated suckers.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline Urshurak776

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2020, 01:29:24 pm »
I have the Weller WLC100, very much a beginners iron but seems very reliable (and only costs about $40 or so.).  I also picked up one of those 862D+ stations with the heat gun.  Cheap but something to get started with.  Putting a real Hakko tip on it gets very nice results. 

If you get that Hakko 888, TE equipment is offering a free 1LB solder roll with it. Nice. 
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 01:32:52 pm by Urshurak776 »
 
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Online Cubdriver

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2020, 08:46:54 am »
Another thing: if you end up not buying a vacuum station, don't buy any desolder pump other than a genuine Edsyn Soldapullt. There's a lot of junk out there, especially the small aluminium ones.

I'll second aeberbach's comment regarding the manual solder sucker.  Buy once, cry once - get the real deal.  There's a reason this thing has been in production literally for decades.

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If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2020, 05:29:31 pm »
The Soldapult III is also top notch and a bit more compact. I don't know if there was a II, or what happened to it.
 
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Offline JohnnyG56

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2020, 08:31:07 pm »
For anyone that has application knowledge and can offer any advice that might help me avoid mistakes or which may accelerate the learning curve I would be grateful.  Anything at all.

Back in the 80's I was a Xerox Printing Systems Systems Engineer.  I am just getting back into electronics as a hobby so I'm watching a lot of videos on subject.  It seems that all of the techs that do a great job use a lot of solder paste. 

As soon as my exhaust fan gets here, I'll start building some of the practice boards that I purchased. 10,000 hours to go....

-G


 
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Offline bobcat2000

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2020, 02:59:32 am »
I have this sucker for like forever.  Never fails.  It sucks every time!   ;D
 
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Offline Veteran68

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2020, 03:47:28 am »
I have this sucker for like forever.  Never fails.  It sucks every time!   ;D

I've had the exact same SS750 model for like 30+ years I think. Works great!

I also have the Engineer SS-02 which is quite sexy (for a solder sucker) and compact, very high build quality, but can't say that I've used it enough to really compare it with the SS750.
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Offline MyHeadHz

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2020, 04:30:36 am »
I've got another vote for the Hakko FX 888d.  I tried to cheap out and got some cheaper soldering irons before, but always had annoying issues, like poor temperature regulation, poor build quality, stiff cables, and so on.  :/

The Hakko also has quite good temperature regulation, which helps with non-electronics projects like pressing in brass inserts for 3d prints.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 04:32:17 am by MyHeadHz »
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2020, 09:11:55 am »
I am just getting back into electronics as a hobby so I'm watching a lot of videos on subject.  It seems that all of the techs that do a great job use a lot of solder paste.

If you are still a beginner at soldering anyone looks good even if they are a full of bad habits. I suggest watching the Pace Worldwide, John Gammell and Marc Siegel channels they are the gold standard for soldering tutorial videos.

As for soldering flux, you really need minimal unless you are using hot air reflow. Gel and tacky fluxes are harder to apply in small quantities so you often end up with more than you need. If someone is constantly doing multiple touch ups or trying to fix their mistakes, having a pool of flux isn't the answer. Better to get the prep work and technique down first.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Offline angrybird

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2020, 05:11:57 pm »
For anyone that has application knowledge and can offer any advice that might help me avoid mistakes or which may accelerate the learning curve I would be grateful.  Anything at all.

Back in the 80's I was a Xerox Printing Systems Systems Engineer.  I am just getting back into electronics as a hobby so I'm watching a lot of videos on subject.  It seems that all of the techs that do a great job use a lot of solder paste. 

As soon as my exhaust fan gets here, I'll start building some of the practice boards that I purchased. 10,000 hours to go....

-G

I've been soldering for more than 30 years and I can beat nearly every tech I've ever worked with on assembly down to 0402 size parts, QFN with <0.5mm pitch, you name it... I never use paste.  Too slow!

Good solder is key - I highly recommend using only leaded, 63/37 or the like - The lead free stuff is a great way to spend lots of time making worse quality joints than you will get with leaded.  Sometimes you don't have a choice, if you have a customer who demands RoHS and for this you can charge them, but for any home stuff you don't have to bother with the RoHS nonsense and this will save you a lot of time. 
THE CAKE IS A LIE AND THESE NUTHATCH ARE WAY TOO DISTRACTING
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2020, 05:35:19 pm »
Back in the 80's I was a Xerox Printing Systems Systems Engineer.  I am just getting back into electronics as a hobby so I'm watching a lot of videos on subject.  It seems that all of the techs that do a great job use a lot of solder paste. 
Just to clarify, do you mean paste flux, or do you mean actual solder paste (i.e. fine solder granules suspended in flux paste)? Because using an excess of the former doesn't cause any problems other than greater cleanup, but using too much of the latter will result in serious problems.

The confusion arises from the fact that before solder paste (as per the second meaning) came along, people commonly referred to paste flux as "soldering paste".
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2020, 02:31:30 am »
I am just getting back into electronics as a hobby so I'm watching a lot of videos on subject.  It seems that all of the techs that do a great job use a lot of solder paste.

If you are still a beginner at soldering anyone looks good even if they are a full of bad habits. I suggest watching the Pace Worldwide, John Gammell and Marc Siegel channels they are the gold standard for soldering tutorial videos.

As for soldering flux, you really need minimal unless you are using hot air reflow. Gel and tacky fluxes are harder to apply in small quantities so you often end up with more than you need. If someone is constantly doing multiple touch ups or trying to fix their mistakes, having a pool of flux isn't the answer. Better to get the prep work and technique down first.

Thank you.  I will definitely check out the channel.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2020, 02:45:58 am »
Another thing: if you end up not buying a vacuum station, don't buy any desolder pump other than a genuine Edsyn Soldapullt. There's a lot of junk out there, especially the small aluminium ones.

Thanks very much.  After seeing your recommendation and follow up posts I've ordered the EDSYN AS196.  I've also ordered the KSGER STM32 V3.1S T12.  I'll follow up once I get started.
 

Offline wizard69

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2020, 01:42:02 pm »
Thanks again Angry.  Nice to know something like that getting started as opposed to having to post every question on a forum.  Thanks for the early troubleshooting.

One thing that you may quickly realize is that you may need more than one soldering solution.   This is generally true but in your case the problem may crop up much earlier than it will for other people.   The reason is tube gear can often require fairly hot irons (or high heat capacity) to solder to chassis, heavy lugs and the like.   So you may run into this issue fairly quick.

I touched upon the more general case and it often comes down to needing a portable solution.   In the past that often meant butane powered soldering irons.   These days battery powered irons are often a good solution.   As nice as soldering stations are they can often be bulky on a ladder, under a car or up an antenna tower.  In some cases AC power isn't avialable.
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2020, 02:59:20 pm »
For the bench just get a station that has some easily swapped chunky tips, power and speed. The tip shown in this photo eats lugs and heatsinks, you can eyeball the comparative masses yourself. Aside from that surface prep, flux, preheating with hot air etc helps. Using a hotter temp in some scenarios is also way less important, on a cold chassis you aren't really soldering at the set temp anyway.

Never needed a battery power soldering iron I don't see the attraction. Butane irons seem a little more versatile, they can also do heat shrink and hot air depending on what tips you have.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM               >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Offline wizard69

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2020, 08:43:31 am »
As for battery powered irons I have spent years in automation and CNC equipment repair and they do come in handy.   Some of the first units to market were not that great but they have come a long ways.   More importantly you can use them where the safety department will not permit butane.

Personally I have a Master butane iron someplace but recently got a battery power iron by Milwaukee.  I wouldn't call this iron the ideal solution to PCB work but for general field use it is pretty good.   You are right though in that a butane iron does two jobs in the field.   

In any event my concern was about the original posters indication of a desire to work on tube equipment.   Buying an iron that is focused on PCB work may not work out well for everything he might want to do.   Thus he might need two irons far quicker than many in this hobby.
 

Offline shimanole

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Re: Soldering Equipment Help
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2020, 03:59:19 pm »
As for battery powered irons I have spent years in automation and CNC equipment repair and they do come in handy.   Some of the first units to market were not that great but they have come a long ways.   More importantly you can use them where the safety department will not permit butane.

Personally I have a Master butane iron someplace but recently got a battery power iron by Milwaukee.  I wouldn't call this iron the ideal solution to PCB work but for general field use it is pretty good.   You are right though in that a butane iron does two jobs in the field.   

In any event my concern was about the original posters indication of a desire to work on tube equipment.   Buying an iron that is focused on PCB work may not work out well for everything he might want to do.   Thus he might need two irons far quicker than many in this hobby.

I've got an old tube amp that's not salvageable so I'll get some practice on that one to see if I need addition equipment.  Thanks for the heads up!
 


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