Author Topic: Clogged desoldering station  (Read 6378 times)

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Offline FlyingHacker

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Clogged desoldering station
« on: July 22, 2017, 01:24:54 am »
I have one of those Chinese desoldering stations ZD-985. Generally it has been fine for the price, and I have used it to repair all manner of equipment.

Now the main tube inside the tip of the gun is clogged and I don't see to be able to get it unclogged with one of the reamer tools that comes with it.

Any suggestions? Drill bit? The clog is about 2/3 the way in from the tip to the little tube that catches the solder.

Thanks.
--73
 

Offline helius

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 01:38:03 am »
Yes, you can use a drill bit of the correct diameter in a pin vise. Solder is so soft that you can turn the drill manually and it will scrape it out.
You could also put the desoldering gun in a bench vise and the drill bit in a brace. Up to you, really. Just don't use an electric drill :palm:
 

Offline Armadillo

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 01:56:47 am »
Remove the Glass and the front black rubber [slightly pry it]
Power on the desoldering station until the tip is hot [about 10 mins].
use another soldering iron to heat the tube from inside while you use the cleaning tools to poke it through.
The solder will completely melt and easy to poke through.
No need use drill bit.



 
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Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 03:33:38 am »
Thanks, guys. Will try.
--73
 

Offline Samogon

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 03:59:36 am »
Was going to write exactly as Armadillo said. :)
Had to clean exactly the same gun.
I have figured out that when desoldering massive blobs better to pull trigger little bit longer to let it suck all solder out of tube. And dont turn off until you sure it is empty.
 

Offline BurningTantalum

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 08:07:47 am »
It is standard procedure, and essential, to let the pump 'run on' for a second or two to clear the tip after the tool is removed from the solder joint. I find it difficult to remember to do this, and my Pace MBT WILL clog reliably if I forget for a few joints. I have never seen a desolder system with a pump run-on timer, and intend to fit one the next time I have an idle hour.
BT
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 09:38:24 am »
Run a length of solid copper wire down the main tube instead of the cleaning rod (something like UHF coax inner). It will conduct element heat back to the blockage much more efficiently than the steel rod.... and watch your fingers for the same reason!

These things work a lot more efficiently if you hold the board vertical and the gun horizontal. It stops the crud in the collector from falling back onto the end of the tube. It's more comfortable to use that way too.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 
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Offline IAmBack

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 10:24:40 am »
Set the temp of the tip to 400+ deg, then use the ramrod-wire which came with the unit. Helped me once or twice.
 
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 10:39:18 am »
Yes, definitely let it pull a bit longer. Why guns don't do this automatically is a mystery.
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 

Offline Armadillo

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 11:16:26 am »
The solder will still be in a state of molten at the back of the tube regardless until you off that power.
So the proper procedure would be;
Always, before you turn off that power to the desoldering station,
Press the suction and "Poke through One, Two". That's it.
Then off the power.
Build that into the habit and sunshine every morning.
 

Online janoc

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 11:25:34 am »
I had this exact same problem with the same desoldering gun too. A small drill bit fixed in a chuck and slowly turning it by hand in order to not damage the tube let me remove the clog. Not a fun job - ever since I am obsessively cleaning the nozzle using that cleaning wire every few sucked off joints just to be sure the solder doesn't accumulate in it.

Also the advice to let the pump run a bit longer to make sure the solder goes all the way through into the collector is good - I have discovered that as well.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 11:27:15 am by janoc »
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 11:33:17 am »
Twice I had a serious clog on my 985.  First time I took the tube off, turned the temp to max, ran it a bit and then used the ramrod to clean it.  The second time, it didn't work so I applied heat from my soldering iron to the inside part of the tube and kept the heat there whilst poking with the ramrod until the clog was clear.  I am now careful to run it for a couple of seconds after cleaning the joint.
"Heaven has been described as the place that once you get there all the dogs you ever loved run up to greet you."
 

Online BradC

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 12:47:28 pm »
And there's me thinking bench vice, oxy & 100psi of compressed air.

Worked for my blocked aoyue tip. I'm always worried the drill bit will damage the plating inside the bit/tube and make it easier to clog.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 01:40:48 pm »
Afrox ( and all welding shops that stock acetylene welding equipment) has a nifty cleaning kit that is a selection of thin wire files, a simple flat file all in a nice neat folding metal case, used to clean out carbon from cutting and welding heads, which build up a similar ultra hard carbon film as well.  Just start with a small size and ream out till clear.
 

Offline macboy

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 04:16:21 pm »
It is standard procedure, and essential, to let the pump 'run on' for a second or two to clear the tip after the tool is removed from the solder joint. I find it difficult to remember to do this, and my Pace MBT WILL clog reliably if I forget for a few joints. I have never seen a desolder system with a pump run-on timer, and intend to fit one the next time I have an idle hour.
BT
+1 to this. You must have the pump running as you remove the tip, and you should be wiggling the tip back and forth lightly as you react it. This allows cool air to continue to be pulled through the piece and helps prevent the wire, lead from sticking to the residual solder in the hole plating.
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2017, 12:04:29 am »
It is standard procedure, and essential, to let the pump 'run on' for a second or two to clear the tip after the tool is removed from the solder joint. I find it difficult to remember to do this, and my Pace MBT WILL clog reliably if I forget for a few joints. I have never seen a desolder system with a pump run-on timer, and intend to fit one the next time I have an idle hour.
BT

I do normally do this. Not sure how this got so clogged this time.
--73
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2017, 12:08:16 am »
So I tried turning it on full heat for ten minutes... still could not unclog with the ram rod.

I tried heating the back of the tube with another soldering iron (both on). Still could not unclog.

I tried heat the front of the tube with another soldering iron. Still could not unclog.

I finally used a small drill bit and turned it by hand. This gradually brought out little bits of solder, as I pulled the drill bit out periodically. Finally it made its way all the way through and things were good.

Thanks.

--73
 

Online janoc

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2017, 12:27:41 pm »
So I tried turning it on full heat for ten minutes... still could not unclog with the ram rod.

I tried heating the back of the tube with another soldering iron (both on). Still could not unclog.

I tried heat the front of the tube with another soldering iron. Still could not unclog.

I finally used a small drill bit and turned it by hand. This gradually brought out little bits of solder, as I pulled the drill bit out periodically. Finally it made its way all the way through and things were good.

Thanks.

I had the same experience - this gun heats mostly in the front, near the nozzle. If the clog is in the back, towards the collector, turning the heat up only risks damaging the heater (had one burn out already) but is not likely to melt the clog.

Heating with a soldering iron is useless, because the only contact is with the back of the tube, which is too little to ensure sufficient heat transfer, given the large thermal masses.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2017, 12:47:23 pm »
I don't understand why people are resorting to messy, time consuming, and potentially damaging efforts when you can simply sort it by sticking a nice thick thermally conductive piece of copper wire down the spout.  :-//

The element has plenty of power to clear the blockage, you just need to conduct it to the right place.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2017, 04:27:29 pm »
I don't understand why people are resorting to messy, time consuming, and potentially damaging efforts when you can simply sort it by sticking a nice thick thermally conductive piece of copper wire down the spout.  :-//

The element has plenty of power to clear the blockage, you just need to conduct it to the right place.

Well, your posting on this came too late  ;)

I was indeed trying to get more solder IN the tube in order to conduct the heat inward. Next time I shall try a copper wire. But the drill bit worked well when turned gently by hand.
--73
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2017, 06:41:50 pm »
Sorry FlyingHacker, I sounded bad-tempered.

Actually the first time I got mine (s/h) I ended up doing exactly the same, then hit on the copper wire idea. I've posted it as a solution before in other threads but it always seems to come round to the drill bit each time.  :D

The wire actually comes back out heavily tinned, implying that it has scavenged a lot more solder out of the tube than just the blockage.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2017, 07:15:39 pm »
I don't understand why people are resorting to messy, time consuming, and potentially damaging efforts when you can simply sort it by sticking a nice thick thermally conductive piece of copper wire down the spout.  :-//

Because if it doesn't work, you then have a copper wire soldered into the tube >:(

I have had good results with the drill bit method, once I got a long enough bit.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 12:29:38 am »
I used a power drill, which i keep at the bench, anyway. Worked hot or cold. I dont see how a copper wire is faster or better. Worked fine, up until i chalked up desoldering station as a failed experiment. It doesnt do anything for me which justifies its existence.

I didnt use a drill bit, though. I used a steel piano wire with a tiny bend in the end. It was just something that was laying around. And it worked. And i kept using it.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 12:32:14 am by KL27x »
 

Offline rbm

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 01:45:02 am »
Yes, definitely let it pull a bit longer. Why guns don't do this automatically is a mystery.
My Weller WDS 1002 station does just that.  The duration is programmable as well.
- Robert
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Clogged desoldering station
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2017, 02:07:50 am »
I see a 555 hack coming...
--73
 


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