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Need some advice with a Weller soldering station
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Need some advice with a Weller soldering station
I want to resurrect my old Weller soldering station, that was given to my by my father after 35 years of work for Philips

it is oxidized as hell, the tip is curved...
is it worth resurrecting or I'd better buy a newer one?
at the moment I am using a very cheap one, but it's reaching its final days...

what should I look for to replace the tip? mmodel? serie? size? material? what else?

pics follow:

They were the standard iron in all the places i worked at in the 80's. You can still buy new spares for them. Look for "TCP" (Temperature Controlled Pencil). All the metal parts in that last pic are replaceable. If you unscrew the heater housing from the pencils blue handle, that's all replaceable. Be warned, some of these irons run at 12V, some at 24V. According to the label on the side of your transformer housing, yours is 24V so check you get the 24V parts when you order spares.
I had a quick look at RS & I think these are correct for the heater & the outer barrel, but you'd need to check !!!!

You might find that buying a whole new pencil will only be a little bit more expensive than buying spares for the existing one. The expensive part is the heater, so if that's still working, don't replace it, though they do fail. If my experience is anything to go by usually when you least need them to.

The tip(s) you buy will depend on the temperature you want the iron to run at as well as the profile. The magnet at the base of the tip activates above a set temperature & switches the heater on/off. I used a mix of different tips depending on what i was soldering (IIRC No 7 & No 9). Again, RS have those.

Have you got the stand ?.

I've got an original 1960's model with a bakelite transformer housing, but the same pencil. It was the one i used one job in the 80's & the company let me keep it when i left. That lasted me for years. It still works, but unfortunately I can't use it now. The transformer in the base has an annoying really loud buzz & it's potted so i can't replace it. waah A shame as it's still a much nicer iron to use than the crappy Hakko FX-888d that i replaced it with.
thanks a lot for your advices. I'm going out to a DIY store and see what I find...
dot matrix madness
I've got pretty much the same station, but in better condition (with the original stand). Get a new tip for a couple of bucks, an exteral stand and you're fine.
Just came home from the DIY shop. They have nothing.
I'm gonna order some replacement tips, clean it well. I already have an external stand

So would you recommend keeping this and not investing in a new one?
Musicology of Dreams
autodafe wrote:
So would you recommend keeping this and not investing in a new one?

All Weller are great quality.
Probably in Your station power supply electrochemical capacitors are old and need be change for new ones with the same specyfications.
My actual Weller station is much modern version and work fantastic thumbs up
but vintage are OK and better if compare with cheap made in China products for example.
OK guys, thanks a lot for your useful suggestions
I am gonna call my father and ask him, I believe he still has replacement tips hidden somewhere... ;-)
Keep it & use it. These were an industry quality product, the standard iron used by many 1000's of electronics companies. If all it needs is a new tip or two, they're about €5 each (cheaper if your father has spares). You're not going to get a better new iron for under €100.

As i said previously, you should look at getting a variety of tips of various shapes & a couple of temperatures that are appropriate for the work you're doing.
Graham Hinton
autodafe wrote:
what should I look for to replace the tip? mmodel? serie? size? material? what else?

These irons were widely used in the electronics industry for years, but things move on. The tips are magnetic, hence the Magnastat name, which relies on magnetic materials losing their magnetism at their Curie temperature. The magnetic tip holds a reed relay on until the preset temperature is reached, you have to buy tips for the temperature that you want, 7 is the one for normal Lead/Tin soldering. Except it never worked 100% reliably, the number of times I've entered a room to find a Weller glowing red hot are far too many--this is a serious fire risk.

The other big con is that the tips aren't suitable for lead free solder. It is better to use LT tips than the Magnastat PT range and it is cheaper too. You can buy an LT Adapter Kit which provides the Magnastat part and LT tips sit on the top like little cones. These tips work on both kinds of solder, but you would need a higher temperature adapter for lead free solder.

The other thing is that your iron is not Earthed and not suitable for working on static sensitive components. Earthed TCPs have a 3 way Bulgin plug.

A modern Weller equivalent will set you back over £300, but that cost becomes justified once you have to replace a burnt out TCP. Preset variable temperatures and automatic turning off when not in use are standard now.

A wet sponge hasn't been recommended for cleaning tips for over 20 years, since lead free was introduced, it is done with dry brass swarf now.
OK, this sunday I paid a visit to my father...look what he has in his garage eek! eek! eek!

thanks everybody for the suggestions ;-)
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