Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

Soldering Irons


MG1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good soldering iron.

My fairly low powered unbranded one has packed up and I have decided to treat myself to a decent one to last me years of tinkering to come....not sure of what to budget, but was thinking around £50-60. Is that realistic? i know I've seen stations over £200 in the RS and farnell catalogues!

Suggestions of good quality solder and flux also welcomed as I'm almost out of the ancient leaded stuff.

I'm thinking that a soldering station might be a good move, or would gas be more flexible and give me the added luxury of a small heat shrink air gun.

Anyway...I humbly await some expert(s) input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can still but leaded solder and for DIY I would stick with it...

Multicore available at Rapid

This stations OK but out of stock at the moment and a little bit more than you want to pay ...

http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?&tier1=Tools%2c+Fasteners+%26+Production+Equipment&tier2=Soldering+Equipment&tier3=Soldering+Stations&tier4=169+Analogue+soldering+station&moduleno=80585&catRef=85-5486

I have recently had to scrap a Pace Rework satation (about £1500 back in the early 2000's) as I cant get elements for the tools anymore :D

Billy...

Edited by Psychobilly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool, thanks for that.

Is there much difference between analogue and digital stations in terms of performance? Am I right in assuming digital are generally more expensive?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My suggestion would be to get something in the 30 Watt - 50 Watt range. You'll also need a stand for it, although my preference is for a soldering station which includes a stand and a temperature controlled iron. Maplin is selling soldering stations for £15 at present (part number N78AR), they're not brilliant quality - basically a light dimmer circuit attached to a soldering iron, no temp. control. I've had a couple - one died soon after the warranty ran out and the other's still going.

You should also consider getting a solder sucker. This is a plunger type tool that operates in the reverse of a bicycle pump. You push down the spring-loaded plunger and apply the nozzle to a soldered joint you want to remove the solder from. With your other hand use your iron to melt the solder, then press a button on the sucker and the piston pops up, creates a vacuum and sucks the solder off the joint - brilliant!!!

Apropos solder. Use electronics grade 22 SWG solder that comes with a non-corrosive flux built in. Basically any "high street" grade stuff is fine.

I'd stick with an electric iron for home use. Though I do have a gas powered one for use "in the field". It's not very powerful, but has paid for itself on a couple of occasions when a wire has detached from a connector during an observing session.

Edited by pete_l
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers pete... I think my previous iron was from Maplins (or similar) around 15 years ago...maybe older and around the 25-30watt range. Am certainly looking for a higher powered iron this time around.

As for suckers..yup, have one of those and it's really handy, although I have started to use wick where I need to desolder as it is easier to manipulate and the tip doesn't melt!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have gone through about 6 N78AR base stations and 30-40 bits in the last 18 months... if you turn the temp right up then the coating on the bits fails within a few hours... we regrad them as disposable items... but each one does about £100K worth of product so I aint that bothered...

Digital is ok for precise temp setting but heres nothign wrong with a good analog solder satiton.. give me a decent weller magnastat station anyday...

Peter...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.