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Soldering iron suggestions

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  • Yan Seiner
    I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip temp of 725 degrees.
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
      I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
      recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
      temp of 725 degrees.

      http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448

      I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
      but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.

      I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
      Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.

      What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
      break the bank?

      --
      Project Management Consulting and Training
      http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
    • Gustavo Villada
      Buy an Atten 858D, 40 with s&h included ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
        Buy an Atten 858D, 40 with s&h included


        On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
        > recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
        > temp of 725 degrees.
        >
        > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448
        >
        > I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
        > but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.
        >
        > I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
        > Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.
        >
        > What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
        > break the bank?
        >
        > --
        > Project Management Consulting and Training
        > http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Stefan Trethan
        It will definitely break the bank, but if you want to really treat yourself get a JBC station. I m told Metcal are also just as nice but I can t personally
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
          It will definitely break the bank, but if you want to really treat
          yourself get a JBC station.
          I'm told Metcal are also just as nice but I can't personally vouch for them.

          The second tier are Ersa and Weller stations. Those will work
          perfectly for what you need.
          Both manufacturers sell a few different series with different tips
          available for each, so check first if you can get the tips you want.
          Others also count Hakko and Pace in this class.

          After that come the cheaper stations from Asia, some of them offer a
          decent range of tips and some of them are clones of other
          maunfacturers such as Hakko etc. and partially compatible. You can get
          the job done with some of them, but a pleasure it ain't. They are
          cheap.

          If you break it down to a cost per joint basis the cheaper stations
          are most reasonable if you don't do all that much.
          But if it isn't all about the money, if you do the soldering for fun,
          I can guarantee you that you will have much more fun with better
          tools.

          ST




          On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:
          > I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
          > recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
          > temp of 725 degrees.
          >
          > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448
          >
          > I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
          > but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.
          >
          > I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
          > Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.
          >
          > What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
          > break the bank?
          >
          > --
          > Project Management Consulting and Training
          > http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
          >
          >
          >
        • Yan Seiner
          A quick look at Amazon and Ebay - the Wellers go anywhere from $40 to $100. Any ideas on what models might be good? I do enough soldering to where I replace
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
            A quick look at Amazon and Ebay - the Wellers go anywhere from $40 to
            $100. Any ideas on what models might be good? I do enough soldering to
            where I replace tips every few months, so something with tips readily
            available is essential.

            Stefan Trethan wrote:
            >
            > It will definitely break the bank, but if you want to really treat
            > yourself get a JBC station.
            > I'm told Metcal are also just as nice but I can't personally vouch for
            > them.
            >
            > The second tier are Ersa and Weller stations. Those will work
            > perfectly for what you need.
            > Both manufacturers sell a few different series with different tips
            > available for each, so check first if you can get the tips you want.
            > Others also count Hakko and Pace in this class.
            >
            > After that come the cheaper stations from Asia, some of them offer a
            > decent range of tips and some of them are clones of other
            > maunfacturers such as Hakko etc. and partially compatible. You can get
            > the job done with some of them, but a pleasure it ain't. They are
            > cheap.
            >
            > If you break it down to a cost per joint basis the cheaper stations
            > are most reasonable if you don't do all that much.
            > But if it isn't all about the money, if you do the soldering for fun,
            > I can guarantee you that you will have much more fun with better
            > tools.
            >
            > ST
            >
            > On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM, Yan Seiner <yan@...
            > <mailto:yan%40seiner.com>> wrote:
            > > I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
            > > recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
            > > temp of 725 degrees.
            > >
            > > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448
            > <http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448>
            > >
            > > I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
            > > but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.
            > >
            > > I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
            > > Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.
            > >
            > > What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
            > > break the bank?
            > >
            > > --
            > > Project Management Consulting and Training
            > > http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > !DSPAM:51cdb85e45019031758699!


            --
            Project Management Consulting and Training
            http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
          • David Bobb
            We had Wellers at work that were junk, don t remember the model number. The majority of what we had were Hakko 936. Also had two Hakko rework stations, and a
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
              We had Wellers at work that were junk, don't remember the model number. The
              majority of what we had were Hakko 936. Also had two Hakko rework stations,
              and a few Pace rework stations. The pace vacuum tubes for the suckers were
              always braking. The pace were being worked on more than used. I got two
              936s from eBay for $30 a piece and had to fix them, but now they are great,
              6 years later. I have two so I don't have to change tips in the middle of a
              project.
              On Jun 28, 2013 11:18 AM, "Stefan Trethan" <stefan_trethan@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > It will definitely break the bank, but if you want to really treat
              > yourself get a JBC station.
              > I'm told Metcal are also just as nice but I can't personally vouch for
              > them.
              >
              > The second tier are Ersa and Weller stations. Those will work
              > perfectly for what you need.
              > Both manufacturers sell a few different series with different tips
              > available for each, so check first if you can get the tips you want.
              > Others also count Hakko and Pace in this class.
              >
              > After that come the cheaper stations from Asia, some of them offer a
              > decent range of tips and some of them are clones of other
              > maunfacturers such as Hakko etc. and partially compatible. You can get
              > the job done with some of them, but a pleasure it ain't. They are
              > cheap.
              >
              > If you break it down to a cost per joint basis the cheaper stations
              > are most reasonable if you don't do all that much.
              > But if it isn't all about the money, if you do the soldering for fun,
              > I can guarantee you that you will have much more fun with better
              > tools.
              >
              > ST
              >
              > On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:
              > > I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
              > > recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
              > > temp of 725 degrees.
              > >
              > > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448
              > >
              > > I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
              > > but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.
              > >
              > > I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
              > > Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.
              > >
              > > What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
              > > break the bank?
              > >
              > > --
              > > Project Management Consulting and Training
              > > http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Erik Knise
              725 degrees? That seems kind of hot. I usually run in the 575-600 degree range unless it s lead free than 700-725 would sound more reasonable. I really
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                725 degrees? That seems kind of hot. I usually run in the 575-600 degree
                range unless it's lead free than 700-725 would sound more reasonable. I
                really prefer a 1/16" screwdriver tip which is 1.58mm. The reason I've
                never used tips that small or conical tips is because I like to have a
                larger contact patch to transfer heat faster. I know some people who use
                those really fine long conical tips for surface mount soldering and I've
                watch most of them struggle with it.

                I bought a Weller WES51 based on recommendations back in 2005. I ended up
                working at an electronics manufacturing company for about a year and a half
                and used it every day. The tips last a long time as long as you don't
                abuse them. The WES51 automatically shuts off if you leave it on so they
                won't burn up and I always tin my tips before shutting the iron off. I
                actually have not ruined any of my tips and I've gone through 5-10+ rolls
                of solder on a few of them. I became a huge fan of the ERT 1/16" narrow
                screwdriver tip for doing surface mount. http://www.frys.com/product/161113

                Obviously that isn't a very cheap option but the WES51 is a good station
                and parts are easily available.

                --
                Erik L. Knise
                Seattle, WA


                On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 8:56 AM, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:

                > **
                >
                >
                > I got one of these boards for some prototype work I am doing. They
                > recommend a soldering iron with a tip smaller than .65mm, with a tip
                > temp of 725 degrees.
                >
                > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448
                >
                > I've been using a cheap ($10) Weller which works great on .1" boards,
                > but the tip is way too big for this kind of work.
                >
                > I can't find a small tip for the Weller that I have. The local Radio
                > Shack collection of soldering irons is useless.
                >
                > What's a decent soldering iron that meets those requirements and won't
                > break the bank?
                >
                > --
                > Project Management Consulting and Training
                > http://www.ridgelineconsultingllc.com
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Stefan Trethan
                Weller is a good choice in the US. Definitely stay away from the cheapest red stations like this: A
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                  Weller is a good choice in the US.

                  Definitely stay away from the cheapest red stations like this:
                  <http://www.soldering-shop.co.uk/catalog/images/whs40.gif>
                  A colleague bought one and it is really a crappy toy.

                  The light blue Weller are probably all good.
                  Buy a blue one used rather than a red one new.

                  In terms of tips I can highly recommend a concave tip for SMD work.
                  They go under different names such as "mini hoof", "solder well",
                  "mini spoon" and the like.
                  <http://www.jbctools.com/productes/C245938/img/tam_1/imagen_01.gif>
                  Basically you are looking at a tip cut at an angle with a concave area
                  that sucks up solder.
                  You can do all sorts of interesting things with this, from drag
                  soldering SMD parts to taking excess solder off component leads. It is
                  hard to describe but this concave section drastically extends the
                  "workable" range between too much solder on the tip and too little
                  solder on the tip. The joints will turn out with the right size fillet
                  more often with less effort.

                  Another great feature about the concave tip is that you can relatively
                  easily heat both sides of chip components, such as resistors or
                  capacitors. This works better than skipping from one side to the other
                  with a pencil or chisel tip.

                  Generally the tips cut at an angle like this (concave section or not)
                  give you a much wider range of applications than a similar size chisel
                  tip. You can get a big contact area if you lay them on sideways, or
                  use just the point. I don't use my chisel tips at all any more.

                  ST



                  On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 6:27 PM, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:
                  > A quick look at Amazon and Ebay - the Wellers go anywhere from $40 to
                  > $100. Any ideas on what models might be good? I do enough soldering to
                  > where I replace tips every few months, so something with tips readily
                  > available is essential.
                  >
                • Deu Sjevoo
                  Post I did on a forum long ago:It s about JBC.Worth every penny.Weller and Ersa can t tip it. A good cheaper choice is the Jovy iSolder.Reacts fast, keeps
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                    Post I did on a forum long ago:It's about JBC.Worth every penny.Weller and Ersa can't tip it.
                    A good cheaper choice is the Jovy iSolder.Reacts fast, keeps temps.
                    The Post:
                    It's not about a soldering station getting up to 500c.

                    I prefer one going 350 only but having at least 70 watts, with a very fast reaction time.
                    instead of one going to 500c with only 35-50 watt.
                    It is a hell of a difference.
                    Cartridge types react much faster.
                    Short tip only types react to slow and under/overshoot to much.

                    Every industrial, commercial, university etc study says for lead free you need AT LEAST 70 watts AND FAST REACTION time.

                    But at least,
                    BUY a REAL LEAD FREE one ONLY.
                    Which are in fact mostly only the CARTRIDGE TYPE ones.

                    Allready explained but will try again:

                    Yes, there are 70w or even higher stations using short tips, sold as lead free.
                    They indeed use lead free compatible tips.
                    But, as I allready explained, the tip slides over a ceramic (mostly) element that also contains the TC.
                    The TC is to far from the wettable area (part of tip used to solder).
                    Temp drops, TC takes a while to register this, drops to far, braid gets stuck.
                    TC registers temp drop, asks more power.
                    Tips gets hotter, TC beeing furter off tip overshoots set temp.
                    Flux burns, tip oxidates, gets black, heat transfer efficiency drops, making it even worse.
                    Etc...

                    You just don't get heat as consistant as with cartridge types where the TC is much closer to the tip.














                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • DJ Delorie
                    ... I can personally vouch for the Metcals (The MX-500 at least), but even the used ones will break the bank. Worth every penny if you do a lot of soldering,
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                      Stefan Trethan <stefan_trethan@...> writes:
                      > I'm told Metcal are also just as nice but I can't personally vouch for
                      > them.

                      I can personally vouch for the Metcals (The MX-500 at least), but even
                      the used ones will break the bank. Worth every penny if you do a lot of
                      soldering, but yeah, expensive.
                    • D
                      Hi, ... If you re going to be using SMT components, why not get a hot air tool? I picked up an Aoyue 2702 on eBay. It s not at the high end, but it s more
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                        Hi,

                        --- In Electronics_101@yahoogroups.com, Yan Seiner <yan@...> wrote:
                        > http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_smttodip&id=448

                        If you're going to be using SMT components, why not get a hot air tool?

                        I picked up an Aoyue 2702 on eBay. It's not at the high end, but it's more than adequate for my modest SMT needs. It also has a soldering iron and desoldering gun.

                        Can't vouch for the soldering iron. I use a Weller WTCP that's about 40 years old for most of my soldering.

                        BR
                        Dennis
                      • Deu Sjevoo
                        This is a post I did on a forum long ago but it its still applies. It s not about a soldering station getting up to 500c. I prefer one going 350 only but
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                          This is a post I did on a forum long ago but it its still applies.
                          It's not about a soldering station getting up to 500c.

                          I prefer one going 350 only but having at least 70 watts, with a very fast reaction time.
                          instead of one going to 500c with only 35-50 watt.
                          It is a hell of a difference.
                          Cartridge types react much faster.
                          Short tip only types react to slow and under/overshoot to much.

                          Every industrial, commercial, university etc study says for lead free you need AT LEAST 70 watts AND FAST REACTION time.

                          But at least, BUY a REAL LEAD FREE one ONLY.
                          Which are in fact mostly only the CARTRIDGE TYPE ones.

                          Allready explained but will try again:

                          Yes, there are 70w or even higher stations using short tips, sold as lead free.
                          They indeed use lead free compatible tips.
                          But, as I allready explained, the tip slides over a ceramic (mostly) element that also contains the TC.
                          The TC is to far from the wettable area (part of tip used to solder).
                          Temp drops, TC takes a while to register this, drops to far, braid gets stuck.
                          TC registers temp drop, asks more power.
                          Tips gets hotter, TC beeing furter off tip overshoots set temp.
                          Flux burns, tip oxidates, gets black, heat transfer efficiency drops, making it even worse.
                          Etc...

                          You just don't get heat as consistant as with cartridge types where the TC is much closer to the tip.

















                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Howard Hansen
                          An interesting article on surface mount soldering tools is here: The other Howard
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                            An interesting article on surface mount soldering tools is here:
                            <http://store.curiousinventor.com/guides/Surface_Mount_Soldering/Tools/>

                            The other Howard


                            On 6/28/2013 11:27 AM, Yan Seiner wrote:
                            > A quick look at Amazon and Ebay - the Wellers go anywhere from $40 to
                            > $100. Any ideas on what models might be good? I do enough soldering to
                            > where I replace tips every few months, so something with tips readily
                            > available is essential.
                            >
                            >
                          • rtstofer
                            I have been using a Hako 936 for the past 10 years. Unfortunately it is no long available. Any decent temperature controlled station will work as long as the
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jun 28, 2013
                              I have been using a Hako 936 for the past 10 years. Unfortunately it is no long available. Any decent temperature controlled station will work as long as the iron has interchangeable tips that are available.

                              I would consider this Weller WES51:
                              http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Analog-Soldering-Station/dp/B000BRC2XU

                              Tip size can't be grossly overized but it doesn't need to be micro either. Learn to drag solder. Put flux all over the pads and pins, put a tiny dab of solder on the iron and drag the tip down the pins. Easy as that!

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t06malVew40

                              Note the tip size in the video, it HUGE!

                              BTW, I get my flux and solder paste from Howard Electronics, in the video above.

                              I haven't found a use for my hot air station. I just don't disassemble much stuff. If I have to remove a device, I cut the pins off the package and unsolder them individually.

                              For soldering SMDs, I am using a toaster oven. I was using a single burner hot plate and that worked very well. I just decided to upgrade for no particular reason. The oven is a Black & Decker InfraWave with an Arduino controller:
                              http://www.rocketscream.com/shop/reflow-oven-controller-shield-arduino-compatible

                              It works very well! I added a lot of high temperature insulation in the hollow cavities around the sides of the oven. It helped the oven get up to temperature. I also haven't gone lead-free so my temperatures aren't as high.

                              BTW, solder paste works well for hand soldering. Put paste on all the pads, position the device and touch the pads with the iron. You might want to hold the parts down with a curved pair of tweezers from Sparkfun:
                              https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10602

                              I would also consider this soldering station:
                              https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10707

                              At the bottom of the page, they have other tips. If I didn't have the Hako, I would probably just order this one.

                              Richard
                            • KPL
                              I remember there were tips with a slit (just like cut with a thin saw) in them, which were working same way. Anyway, is there any known easy method to
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 1, 2013
                                I remember there were tips with a slit (just like cut with a thin saw) in
                                them, which were working same way.
                                Anyway, is there any known easy method to create/restore that (iron?)
                                coating on tips, that way anyone could modify tips to try different designs.

                                In terms of tips I can highly recommend a concave tip for SMD work.
                                > They go under different names such as "mini hoof", "solder well",
                                > "mini spoon" and the like.
                                > <http://www.jbctools.com/productes/C245938/img/tam_1/imagen_01.gif>
                                > Basically you are looking at a tip cut at an angle with a concave area
                                > that sucks up solder.
                                > You can do all sorts of interesting things with this, from drag
                                > soldering SMD parts to taking excess solder off component leads. It is
                                > hard to describe but this concave section drastically extends the
                                > "workable" range between too much solder on the tip and too little
                                > solder on the tip. The joints will turn out with the right size fillet
                                > more often with less effort.
                                >
                                > Another great feature about the concave tip is that you can relatively
                                > easily heat both sides of chip components, such as resistors or
                                > capacitors. This works better than skipping from one side to the other
                                > with a pencil or chisel tip.
                                >
                                > Generally the tips cut at an angle like this (concave section or not)
                                > give you a much wider range of applications than a similar size chisel
                                > tip. You can get a big contact area if you lay them on sideways, or
                                > use just the point. I don't use my chisel tips at all any more.
                                >
                                > ST
                                >
                                >
                                --
                                KPL


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Stefan Trethan
                                I ve played with the thought, but the manufacturers claim a multi-layer plating process. ST
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jul 1, 2013
                                  I've played with the thought, but the manufacturers claim a
                                  multi-layer plating process.

                                  ST

                                  On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 11:11 PM, KPL <kpl.listes@...> wrote:
                                  > I remember there were tips with a slit (just like cut with a thin saw) in
                                  > them, which were working same way.
                                  > Anyway, is there any known easy method to create/restore that (iron?)
                                  > coating on tips, that way anyone could modify tips to try different designs.
                                  >
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