Author Topic: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder  (Read 2803 times)

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Offline redg

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Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« on: May 09, 2021, 11:07:37 am »
Returning to soldering after a hiatus of several years, I'd like to try both leaded and lead free solder.

I thought that I’d post about a financially sensible way to do this because I haven’t seen it discussed in earlier threads. An authorised Kester vendor, NTE Electronics, markets what it calls Kester Pocket Paks. See the screen capture below.

I’ve ordered two Pocket Paks via Amazon:

Kester 44, 63/37, 3.3% flux, ⌀ 0.8mm/0.031”: $7.35
Kester 48, SAC305, 3.3% flux, ⌀ 0.8mm/0.031”: $5.95

For my purposes, ⌀ 0.8mm should work well, and Kester recommends 3.3% flux for both of these solders.

I also ordered a Kester 186 Flux Pen, which Kester also recommends for these solders: $10.10.

Amazon U.S. is the vendor as well as the shipper for all three products.

There’s a gentleman who sells small packs of Kester and other solders on Amazon, eBay and Tindie, but I decided that Pocket Paks and a 186 Flux Pen is the right combination for me.



« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 08:43:14 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2021, 07:49:44 pm »
Next day delivery from Amazon for the Pocket Paks. I should receive the Kester 186 Flux Pen on Thursday. Given that Amazon is the vendor, I don't know why it would take five days for delivery of the Pen.

The attached photo shows the Pocket Paks. The tubes are 11cm (4.3") long, about 14mm (0.5") in diameter.

Plenty enough solder to test Kester 44 (leaded 63/37, white tube) and 48 (lead free SAC305, green tube).



« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 09:54:18 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 10:28:40 pm »
One of the factors that I'll consider when deciding whether to go with leaded or lead free will be cost. The table below shows the prices for the Pocket Pak solders as bars, as solid wire and as Kester 44 and 48 wire embedded with flux. The prices are from the website of an authorised Kester vendor.

I'm curious about what the market is for solid wire. Note that it costs quite a bit more than more heavily processed flux core wire.

I'm also curious about what Kester's reputation is based on. I assume that there are a good number of companies that can make bars and solid wire of equal quality. If so, when people talk about brand quality, it would appear that they're actually talking about either differences in how well flux is incorporated into wire or the quality of the flux itself.







« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 01:03:21 am by redg »
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Offline narkeleptk

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 11:04:56 pm »
I've been using rel22 lately, happy enough with it.  I rarely use leaded solder mostly because of my young children hanging out in my workshop but its pretty much all the same for me, just different temp settings on my gear. I do dislike the extra clean up care needed with leaded solder tho so probably even with out the kids I'd stick to lead-free in most cases.
 
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2021, 03:43:35 am »
I've been using rel22 lately, happy enough with it.  I rarely use leaded solder mostly because of my young children hanging out in my workshop but its pretty much all the same for me, just different temp settings on my gear. I do dislike the extra clean up care needed with leaded solder tho so probably even with out the kids I'd stick to lead-free in most cases.

Thanks, your post got me thinking about this further. I've decided that I'll go with lead-free solder unless my test of Kester 44 and 48 gives me compelling reasons to go with leaded. I may be able to ensure that all of my finished work eventually goes to a recycler. However, I've now done some reading on dealing with solder waste. I'm not prepared to throw it in with my regular garbage, and I'm not interested in collecting and isolating it and taking it to a recycling operation. Also, I had enough from the pandemic of treating my hands as a source of contamination. One of the real benefits of being vaccinated was dispensing with that rigamarole :)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 10:13:12 am by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 07:21:09 pm »
I seem to be moving in the direction of lead-free.

I checked eBay on a whim and discovered that one of Kester's authorised vendors is selling the balance of a 20lb reel of SAC305 solid wire in 1lb lots. Photo below.

I'm interested in using a small solder pot. This wire, which has a diameter of 0.093" (2.36mm), should work well for that. The price - US$20 (+$6 for shipping) - is less than half what a Kester SAC305 bar costs per pound, and Kester bars are actually 1.67lbs and priced accordingly (see the table three posts up). Indeed, it's less than the price of a Kester tin/lead bar (63% tin, 37% lead).

Anyway, I've now got some SAC305 solid wire on the way :)


« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 12:40:14 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021, 03:31:31 pm »
The table below shows the prices of the three Kester wires that I'm considering: Kester 44, which contains lead, and Kester 48 and Kester 275, which are lead-free.

With one exception, the prices are from https://gokimco.com. Kimco offers lower prices than other Kester resellers. It also sells some Kester wire on Amazon. The exception is the price for Kester 275 with 3.3% flux, which Kimco does not currently sell. That price is from https://www.jensentools.com and appears to be representative of pricing for 275 3.3%.

Note that Kimco's prices for Kester 48 3.3% and Kester 275 2.2% are within pennies of one-another.


« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 04:18:44 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 04:00:37 pm »
As noted in the post above, Kester 275/SAC305 is significantly more expensive with 3.3% flux than with 2.2%. Kimco doesn't even stock 3.3%. Presumably there's low demand for it. I'd like to know whether that's true, and if so why. This morning, I called Kimco and another Kester reseller, but they were unable to explain. Indeed, the Kimco sales person didn't know why his company doesn't stock 3.3%. Interestingly, Kimco does stock 3.3% 275/K100LD.

I've now left a phone message with Kester customer service :)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 04:03:55 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 05:52:59 pm »
All dressed up and awaiting arrival of the replacement for my ageing soldering iron.

From foreground:

Kester 186 Flux-Pen (Amazon U.S., $10.10)
NTE Electronics/Kester 44 63/37 Pocket Pak (Amazon, $7.35)
NTE Electronics/Kester 48 SAC305 Pocket Pak (Amazon, $5.95)
Kester SAC305 solid wire, 1lb, probably destined for a solder pot (Kimco via eBay, $20.00)


« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 06:02:04 pm by redg »
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Offline tooki

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 07:18:33 pm »
I think you’re putting way, way too much thought into this, for the simple reason that you should always have both around. Choose what you want for a particular new build, but you need to have both for repairs: you don’t wanna use lead-free on old devices originally made with leaded because the extra heat needed may damage it. Nor do you wanna add lead to a product originally made lead-free, because (unless you carefully flush the joint of old solder) the mix of solder in a joint can be more brittle.
 
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 08:22:54 pm »
I think you’re putting way, way too much thought into this, for the simple reason that you should always have both around... for repairs...

I would have thought that it's blindingly obvious that I'm talking about work going forward. As both the thread title and my posts say, I'm doing a test of both leaded and lead-free. Pre-test, I'm leaning strongly toward the latter for the reasons stated six posts up, but I'll make the decision when I test both next week.

Perhaps not being quite as dense as you apparently think I am, I've already thought about the few prior projects that I would bother to revisit. I'll decide when I do the tests whether using lead-free solder on those projects is, or isn't, likely to be an issue. That's why I'm going to do a couple of lead to lead-free replacements, although frankly it isn't a pressing concern.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 10:36:50 pm by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 10:39:35 pm »
Further to the above post, I'm quite a bit more interested in the question of why Kester 275 SAC305 is readily available with 2.2% flux, but is very expensive, and indeed not carried by a major reseller, at 3.3%. Having failed to get an answer to that question from two Kester resellers (see four posts up), I hope to get one from Kester.

Kester 275 is a "No Clean" solder. It's possible that 3.3% is seen by a lot of 275 SAC305 users as unnecessary, resulting in specialised demand. If so, Kester 275 2.2% may be an apples to apples competitor to Kester 48 3.3% on both results and price. I want to know if that's the case.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 11:08:55 pm by redg »
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Offline james_s

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 11:35:16 pm »
I think you’re putting way, way too much thought into this, for the simple reason that you should always have both around... for repairs...

I would have thought that it's blindingly obvious that I'm talking about work going forward. As both the thread title and my posts say, I'm doing a test of both leaded and lead-free. Pre-test, I'm leaning strongly toward the latter for the reasons stated six posts up, but I'll make the decision when I test both next week.

Perhaps not being quite as dense as you apparently think I am, I've already thought about the few prior projects that I would bother to revisit. I'll decide when I do the tests whether using lead-free solder on those projects is, or isn't, likely to be an issue. That's why I'm going to do a couple of lead to lead-free replacements, although frankly it isn't a pressing concern.


Clearly you already know everything, so what do you need us for at all and why bother to start a post here if you're just going to be rude to people who try to give you helpful advice?

As far as disposing of leaded solder, that is a total non-issue in a hobbyist environment. When you start producing hundreds of tons of waste then it matters but the amount of lead a hobbyist will release just by throwing a few scraps of solder into the trash is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the amount of pollution you will cause just by using electricity, driving a car or riding on a bus.
 
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2021, 12:05:47 am »
Hi james_s,

This thread is about an inexpensive way to test leaded and lead-free solder. I can tell you, for a fact, that nobody else has addressed this in prior threads.

Initially I was neutral, but now I'm going into the tests with a bias in favour of lead-free. I state the reasons above. Others may want to do the same inexpensive test, but may have a different bias, or none at all.

Your post is typical of posts in many previous threads where proponents of leaded solder have pursued what comes across as a holy war.

My life doesn't revolve around soldering. Getting into a debate with you, and dealing with your personal attack on me, is a waste of my time.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 02:22:10 am by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 01:04:10 am »
All dressed up and awaiting arrival of the replacement for my ageing soldering iron.

FedEx says that I'll receive the replacement on Saturday. JBC Tools calls it a CD-B, in North America a CD-1BQF. It's what I'll be using for the tests, and going forward. I purchased the station from https://www.tequipment.net, which is supportive of participants in his forum.


« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 02:24:41 pm by redg »
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Offline tooki

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2021, 10:18:07 am »
I think you’re putting way, way too much thought into this, for the simple reason that you should always have both around... for repairs...

I would have thought that it's blindingly obvious that I'm talking about work going forward. As both the thread title and my posts say, I'm doing a test of both leaded and lead-free. Pre-test, I'm leaning strongly toward the latter for the reasons stated six posts up, but I'll make the decision when I test both next week.

Perhaps not being quite as dense as you apparently think I am, I've already thought about the few prior projects that I would bother to revisit. I'll decide when I do the tests whether using lead-free solder on those projects is, or isn't, likely to be an issue. That's why I'm going to do a couple of lead to lead-free replacements, although frankly it isn't a pressing concern.
LOL. Nothing is “blindingly obvious”. Nor did I think you were dense; if anything, it’s typically unusually smart people who go to such efforts over something comparatively trivial.

Anyhow, an analysis of how to compare them cheaply (by buying pocket packs instead of whole rolls) strongly implies an intent to only purchase one in bulk once a winner was declared. That is why I said you should have both anyway, and explained why.

This thread is about an inexpensive way to test leaded and lead-free solder. I can tell you, for a fact, that nobody else has addressed this in prior threads.
Maybe there’s a reason for that, namely that the cost of solder is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and that since you need to have both around anyway, the cost of trial packs simply doesn’t matter.

Besides, if you were that worried about cost, you’d also have sought out cheaper sources for said pocket packs. They’re available for a lot less than Amazon’s prices.


Further to the above post, I'm quite a bit more interested in the question of why Kester 275 SAC305 is readily available with 2.2% flux, but is very expensive, and indeed not carried by a major reseller, at 3.3%. Having failed to get an answer to that question from two Kester resellers (see four posts up), I hope to get one from Kester.

Kester 275 is a "No Clean" solder. It's possible that 3.3% is seen by a lot of 275 SAC305 users as unnecessary, resulting in specialised demand. If so, Kester 275 2.2% may be an apples to apples competitor to Kester 48 3.3% on both results and price. I want to know if that's the case.
The whole point of no-clean solders is to have minimal flux residue, and for that residue to be inert and inconspicuous. Older non–no-clean fluxes often meet the inertness criterion, but tend to be more visible due to amount and color.

As such, no-clean wire solder typically has less flux in it, with around 2% being typical. And it’s typically enough for components and boards that are not oxidized. Modern fluxes are more effective, so it doesn’t need as much. For example, that Kester 275 (no-clean) has almost 50% more solder spread than 44. So you can get away with using less of it.

The downside of no-clean fluxes is that if you decide you do need to remove the residues, they’re much harder to remove. Forget about using simple IPA; it won’t properly remove most no-cleans. You have to use proper flux remover.

I absolutely agree that solder/flux manufacturers could do a way, way better job of explaining the differences between fluxes.


All dressed up and awaiting arrival of the replacement for my ageing soldering iron.

According to an e-mail that I just received from https://www.tequipment.net, the vendor and an EEVBlog supporter, it looks like I'll receive the replacement for my old soldering iron on Saturday or Monday.

Hola! I'm getting a soldering station made by a Barcelona company called JBC Tools. JBC calls it a CD-B, in North America a CD-1BQF. I'll find out this week, while testing leaded and lead-free solder, whether it's any good.
JBC is one of the top brands. I use the prior version CD-B at work.

Downside is consumables cost, as their tips are rather pricy and not as durable as many others. (Their tip selection is second to none, though!) In USA, I would have recommended the Pace ADS200 instead, since in addition to being a smidgen cheaper, people who have both say that the Pace has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them reach for the Pace over the JBC. But to be clear, they’re both top-notch systems.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 10:22:19 am by tooki »
 
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2021, 11:46:33 am »
...buying pocket packs instead of whole rolls ... strongly implies an intent to only purchase one in bulk...

...

In USA, I would have recommended the Pace ADS200 instead...

Yup, I'm making a decision between leaded and lead-free. Apparently you don't like that. That isn't my problem.

I didn't ask for a recommendation on a soldering station, did I. However, now that you raise the question... I much prefer JBC's Compact Soldering Station to Pace's ADS200 as a matter of industrial design, and I like its larger tip catalogue. I also like companies that stand behind their products, and JBC's three year warranty is three times as long as Pace's. Finally, I was completely turned off by the way that Pace has jacked up the price of the ADS200 over the last three years. Meanwhile, JBC has made improvements to its station, in particular an expansion of keypad controls, with no price increase.

For me, going with JBC was not a hard decision.

Re your comments on Kester 275... As I said above, I'll be talking with Kester, probably today. I've already raised the explanation that you propose, although rather more succinctly, and I'll be discussing it with them. I want to hear what Kester has to say about the 2.2% and 3.3% versions of 275 SAC305, seeing as how it makes the product and knows its user base. When possible, I just prefer to get my facts and advice from the horse's mouth.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 02:58:01 pm by redg »
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Offline tooki

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2021, 11:58:29 pm »
...buying pocket packs instead of whole rolls ... strongly implies an intent to only purchase one in bulk...

...

In USA, I would have recommended the Pace ADS200 instead...

Yup, I'm making a decision between leaded and lead-free. Apparently you don't like that. That isn't my problem.

I didn't ask for a recommendation on a soldering station, did I.
Dude, what is your damage?!? Why post in a public forum if you get upset and indignant that people respond?  :palm:

You have a massive chip on your shoulder where you think everyone is attacking you, when in fact it’s just normal responses to what you wrote. If you want no feedback, you should choose a different venue, like YouTube videos with comments disabled.

And my response had nothing to do with “liking” your idea. I was simply telling you about the technical need for both, which obviates choosing between the two.


However, now that you raise the question... I much prefer JBC's Compact Soldering Station to Pace's ADS200 as a matter of industrial design, and I like its larger tip catalogue. I also like companies that stand behind their products, and JBC's three year warranty is three times as long as Pace's. Finally, I was completely turned off by the way that Pace has jacked up the price of the ADS200 over the last three years. Meanwhile, JBC has made improvements to its station, in particular an expansion of keypad controls, with no price increase.
Then you weren’t paying attention, and missed that the ADS 200 had an explicit, time-limited introductory price. Said special offer ending doesn’t constitute a price hike.

Re your comments on Kester 275... As I said above, I'll be talking with Kester, probably today. I've already raised the explanation that you propose, although rather more succinctly, and I'll be discussing it with them.
I don’t think someone who wrote paragraphs of text about the existence of solder pocket packs has any right to criticize others over succinctness.

I want to hear what Kester has to say about the 2.2% and 3.3% versions of 275 SAC305, seeing as how it makes the product and knows its user base. When possible, I just prefer to get my facts and advice from the horse's mouth.
And I bet you’ll then mouth off at them for making a suggestion to Your Highness…
 
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Online thm_w

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2021, 12:11:37 am »
Then you weren’t paying attention, and missed that the ADS 200 had an explicit, time-limited introductory price. Said special offer ending doesn’t constitute a price hike.

No they definitely jacked up the price, the introductory offer was really good, you could get it down around $200. Then it went to a 'normal' price, ~$240, then was increased again, its at $310 right now.

This isn't the best history but it gives you an idea: https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07DX7DGRL
 
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2021, 01:17:34 am »

I was simply telling you about the technical need for both [solders], which obviates choosing between the two.

What's going on here is that you've invented a fictional reality and projected it onto me. This is also known as creating a straw man, although straw men aren't normally personalised to the other party to the exchange. You keep persisting in an assertion about me that I've already told you, as a matter of fact, is not an issue. You are now flogging this dead horse for the third time.

That is illustrative of why I'm not interested in your posts, and the reason for my brief, straight to the point responses. My impression, starting with your first post in this thread, is that you're a condescending, know-it-all keyboard warrior looking for an argument. Everything that you've written since has confirmed that impression; multi-quote, thought by thought attacks complete with what you think is clever repartee, the idiotic LOL and, in the latest, an offensive teenager wannabe expression - Dude, what is your damage?!? - in boldface. Amusingly, contemporary teenagers, at least where I live, don't even say that, maybe because it's from a film made for the teenage market over 30 years ago. I'm not too impressed with your breathless, barely pubescent use of "wanna" either.

I decided a long time ago to give people like you a wide berth, and that's what I'm doing.

The rest of your latest effort at selective cutting, pasting and trying to sound clever isn't worth the time it would take to respond. I also know that if I do respond, this will just go on and on and on for post after post after post. I see that you're already at 6,298 posts on this forum. I'm not planning on helping you get to 6,500, or even 6,300.

I'm looking forward to receiving the new soldering gear, and to carrying out a leaded vs lead-free test. I have no intention of letting you get in the way of enjoying the experience and having fun with it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 11:38:49 am by redg »
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Offline redg

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2021, 02:11:57 am »
Then you weren’t paying attention, and missed that the ADS 200 had an explicit, time-limited introductory price. Said special offer ending doesn’t constitute a price hike.

No they definitely jacked up the price, the introductory offer was really good, you could get it down around $200. Then it went to a 'normal' price, ~$240, then was increased again, its at $310 right now.

This isn't the best history but it gives you an idea: https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07DX7DGRL

Further on this, the history of Pace's pricing for the ADS200 is shown in detail in posts on this forum, including posts by a Pace representative, in a dedicated ADS200 thread. Those posts were a factor in my decision to go with JBC. Other factors were my preference for JBC as a matter of industrial design, the much larger tip catalogue (two of the tips in my first order don't even exist for the ADS200), the significantly better JBC warranty (three years versus Pace's one) and JBC's decision to make improvements to its product without raising the price.

I also want to note that this thread has nothing to do with Pace's ADS200. Indeed, I made a deliberate decision to say nothing about my choice of JBC over Pace precisely because it is irrelevant to this thread and to avoid this debate. It wasn't an issue until this guy tooki decided to drag the ADS200 into the discussion. Why did he do that? To let me know that my decision, already made, wasn't what he would have "recommended", apparently mostly because of what he calls "je ne sais quoi".

Good thing that I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 11:52:48 am by redg »
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Offline tooki

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2021, 11:40:47 am »
That is illustrative of why I'm not interested in your posts, and the reason for my brief, straight to the point responses. My impression, starting with your first post in this thread, is that you're a condescending, know-it-all keyboard warrior looking for an argument.
No, it wasn't. Your incredible insecurity is what's causing you to see a neutral explanation of the technical reality as an attack on your person.

Everything beyond that is due to your crappy attitude which, I will point out, I wasn't even the first person to call you out on, so it's not just me perceiving you as a cantankerous prick.


...To let me know that my decision, already made, wasn't what he would have "recommended", apparently mostly because of what he calls "je ne sais quoi".

Good thing that I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that :)
Sorry that my vocabulary is too broad for you. My deepest apologies.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 11:47:58 am by tooki »
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2021, 11:47:38 am »
Then you weren’t paying attention, and missed that the ADS 200 had an explicit, time-limited introductory price. Said special offer ending doesn’t constitute a price hike.

No they definitely jacked up the price, the introductory offer was really good, you could get it down around $200. Then it went to a 'normal' price, ~$240, then was increased again, its at $310 right now.

This isn't the best history but it gives you an idea: https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07DX7DGRL
IIRC, $200 was the introductory price for the non-ISB version, the regular price being $300, and around $50 more for the ISB version.
 

Offline redg

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  • Country: us
Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2021, 12:06:29 pm »
The new soldering station is four miles from my home, but FedEx says it won't be delivering it until Monday.

Arrggh :)

Anyway, tests next week. Plus a report on my discussion with Kester.
Interests: electronics for motorcycles, boats, small aircraft & cinema cameras/sound recorders.
 

Offline redg

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  • Posts: 97
  • Country: us
Re: Inexpensive Way To Try Both Leaded and Lead Free Solder
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2021, 03:19:34 pm »
Earlier this week, I purchased Knipex's StepCut Cable Shears (96 11 160).

This is a fairly new tool. Apart from the two YouTube videos linked below, there appears to be very little information about user experience.

I made the attached photo while trying out the shears on some Ancor duplex cable (marine grade tinned copper, 65 strand, 12AWG/3.31mm² per conductor). Cutting was effortless, with no deformation. I'm completely sold and will be using these shears going forward.

I'm using some of the cable in the photo as part of a portable power supply that I'm putting together, consisting of a LiFeMgPO4 battery > inverter > AC outlet. This cable will connect the inverter to the AC outlet. No soldering.

However, next week I'm testing two Canare and three Mogami microphone cables, which I'll be soldering to Neutrik XLR connectors. The five cables range in thickness from 21AWG/0.410mm² to 26AWG/0.129mm² per conductor. This will be an important part of my Kester 44 and Kester 48 test. I should note that I'm testing these cables for handling behaviour and to make a decision about braided versus wrapped (aka "served") quad cable. I am not testing them for sound quality, having no interest in that particular audiophile rabbit hole :)

I'll be using the new Knipex shears to cut the cables to my desired length.

Brief demo of the StepCut shears at 02:51: https://youtu.be/gphr9SJOsmg

Comparison of the StepCut shears to standard Knipex Cable Shears (95 11 160): https://youtu.be/G--crkS_g-I



« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 03:59:17 am by redg »
Interests: electronics for motorcycles, boats, small aircraft & cinema cameras/sound recorders.
 


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