Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [softrock40] use Weller WTCP soldering station? or replace?

Expand Messages
  • Shanon KA8SPW
    Hi Brian and group, When I wanted to get started in SDR and build a kit, an experienced good friend, Bob VE3GKM from Amhurstburg Ontario, made the suggestions
    Message 1 of 22 , Aug 28, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Brian and group,

      When I wanted to get started in SDR and build a kit, an experienced
      good friend, Bob VE3GKM from Amhurstburg Ontario, made the suggestions
      shown below after my comments. Some of the web sites may have changed a
      bit but check them out.

      I have a dual iron Weller ESD station with variable temperature
      controls. I absolutely love it and would never trade it or replace it.
      I have the large pencils and the small pencils. It is nice using two
      for removing SMD parts. I have a large assortment of tips. The
      magnetic tip comes in handy when removing parts, they stick to the iron
      and I just use a cloth to wipe it from the tip. I use two wire clamps
      with a screw in the middle to hold the two irons together, sort of like
      a pair of chop sticks.

      I have bought the solder and flux he talks about but have not tried it
      yet. I still need to build the kits I bought to make a full 6.3 TxRx
      with MB and all the filters. Just no time.....

      I have been soldering since I built my first Heathkit receiver at age
      10. I am now 56. Electronics Technician for Ford Motor at the R&E
      Center in Dearborn, retired after 30 years, now working for a three
      letter agency.

      Good Luck, Shanon KA8SPW


      *My questions to Bob VE3GKM: 12-13-2008 Shanon KA8SPW*

      Hey when you bought the stuff to make your own circuit boards, where
      did you get the chemicals? I want to give SDR a try so I need the
      right solder and equipment.*

      *Bob's Answers:

      If you want something cheap and well supported pick up a
      Softrock from Tony. He is the nicest guy you would ever meet.
      *_*http://www.softrockradio.org/*_* Join the Softrock yahoo group and
      go through all the mail and files. This is an extremely active group.
      Tony has designed several versions. He has put out more radios than
      most manufacturers combined. He has put out 15,000 boards or kits of
      different flavors. I don't think you can put together an SDR from
      scratch and be as cheap as Tony.

      I use the powdered form of ferric chloride for etching. I do
      not use a tank. I have an absolutely fool proof method I use. I use a
      enameled tray with a couple ounces of ferric. I use a sponge on a stick
      paint brush from the paint store. With rubber cloves I hold the board
      at 45 degrees. I dip the sponge in the ferric and start at the top and
      keep wiping the copper away. When you get what you want just slowly
      move on down the board till done. You cant over etch and you choose
      when you have enough off so its not under etched. What you see is what
      you get. Totally your decision. I order from Circuit Specialists.

      I picked up a beautiful temp controlled soldering station.
      Maybe $59.00. It has a 70 watt power supply. I soldered 64 pin sockets
      as fast as I can move the iron. That 70 watt power supply will not let
      it cool down. I do surface mount at 230 degrees. Boards can sink the
      heat away with this power supply. This varies with different tips.

      Next I use water soluble Kester 331 and the liquid flux for this
      solder type 2331-ZX.I use the smallest diameter I can find .015 I also
      use a microscope. I have done some very fine pitched devices.I have
      never had a problem. I have not even got close to anything I might have
      a problem with. It just a nice solder and iron to work with. Make sure
      you wash away the flux when your done soldering for the night. Do not
      let it set for days.


      Circuit Specialists Inc. - Soldering Station w/Digital Display for Lead
      Free Solder (CSI-2900)*
      *Under the specs in fine print call up the tips. These are ceramic with
      heater and temp sensing done at the work.*

      Items For Sale - EAE Sales*
      *The solder is here. This is the only place to get the flux. It
      normally sold by the gallon. He sells small quantities. He is at the

      *Mine was $200 without camera. You have an 8 inch headroom to work.*


      Soldering Tips and Solder Techniques | Video Soldering Tips from BEST*
      *I downloaded all the videos here. Shows you how to solder SMD. Put
      them on a DVD and pass them out to others that think SMD is so hard to do.*

      Schematic & PCB design software*
      *This is the cad I use. Download free version. It has a short learning
      curve. It works well for me and I can do what I need to do with it.
      You can make changes to pad size, track width and hand edit the
      routing. The auto router goes on forever, you tell it when to quit. If
      it cannot find a route, just rearrange the parts and do it again. Part
      editor is not to hard to work with. Yes I have done double sided boards
      with it. The nice thing is that you can generate a pdf file of the
      artwork. Run it through a laser printer to transfer paper.*
      *Instant printed circuit boards in 15 minutes with the Toner Transfer
      System ... by "*_*www.pulsar.gs* <http://www.pulsar.gs/>_*"*
      *Etch without a tank. The green foil is a must. Seals the toner and
      gives you a harder surface. I also use an iron to tack transfer paper
      to PCB. I then pass it through a hot roller laminator several times.*



      brianpepperdine wrote:
      > Hi
      > I have some stuff coming from Tony. This is my first time at SMD....
      > so trying to get informed.. looked at some videos re. SMD soldering,
      > solder paste heat/reflow/oven etc.
      > I have at hand right now two Weller WTCP stations... I might need to
      > get new tips.. smaller.. no big deal.
      > I see a couple emails from the past on using the Weller.. seems to be
      > fine. I WOULD get a new station if NEED BE.... but to be honest I
      > cannot find one source for a WES 51 or Hakko 936 station in Canada
      > that is either not a 4 week wait (maybe) or ridiculously priced
      > (welcome to monopoly capitalism in Canada).
      > I would order from USA if need be.
      > Can anyone tell me definitively if I should elect to upgrade to a WES
      > or Hakko or something else sourced from the USA?
      > Or just be happy with the WTCP and a smaller tip?
      > Next: order younger eyeballs for SMD :) -
      > or magnifiers....
      > tnx
      > Brien
      > VE3VAW
      > Toronto, ON
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.