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Soldering iron recommendations?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next [all]
Author Soldering iron recommendations?
flight
prscrptn wrote:
WES51 or WESD51? Is digital temp a waste? I know everyone uses the WTCPT, but I don't want to change tips...

My opinion: paying extra for a digital readout is wasting money.
Unless you have some application that requires single-degree accuracy of tip temperature (which I truly doubt most affordable units can actually achieve), the only use for digital is converting between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
modularland
WES51 is fine- make sure to use organic core solder, wash well, and focus on reducing your dwell time rather than worrying about a digital readout...
decaying.sine
neandrewthal wrote:
Just got my WTCPT from Digikey and I'm loving it. No more bulbous joints and out of control solder blobs. Just pure sex SlayerBadger!


i need this sex. what tip are you using for PCBs. i am used to using screwdriver tips on shitty irons. i just got a WTCPT. are you using conical tips for PCB work?

I've got damn bulbous tips! cry
neandrewthal
decaying.sine wrote:
neandrewthal wrote:
Just got my WTCPT from Digikey and I'm loving it. No more bulbous joints and out of control solder blobs. Just pure sex SlayerBadger!


i need this sex. what tip are you using for PCBs. i am used to using screwdriver tips on shitty irons. i just got a WTCPT. are you using conical tips for PCB work?

I've got damn bulbous tips! cry


That's weird. Mine came with a conical tip, so that's what I've been using for everything(should have got a finer one before fucking up the SMD chip on my x0x very frustrating )

According to the digikey page where I bought it, it's a PTA7, which they also sell individually:

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Cat=1311719&k=wel ler%20pta7

urbanscallywag
det3 wrote:
With all the talk of bad-ass stations I am surprised no one has mentioned the Metcal irons. They eliminate the need for any kind of temp tuning and take the guesswork out of how much heat and where. Granted, they are a tad pricier than what's around, but you can usually find an MX500 for around $100 on eBay, and the SP200 around $150-$250 depending on demand.

I was a die-hard fan of the WTCPT and WES51 until I got my SP200, and I would never go back.

Another thing to think of too. If you get into more modern DIY work, the world of surface mount will open up to you (for better or worse). I cannot say this enough: Your best friend for any IC is a hot air pencil. Your best friend for any IC is a hot air pencil.

There, I've said it twice. They inject hot air and melt the solder by convection, which is much better than clipping and stripping each pin from the package and then replacing it. Also about $100-$150.


dropped by this thread just to sing the Metcal praise, glad to see its already here. thumbs up

i have an MX500 and prefer not to use anything else. i don't miss the lack of a temperature knob (the inductance black magic keeps the iron hot even when you touch it to a large plane or whatever). switching tips with the rubber pad is quick and easy and the variety of tips is real nice. it takes me a very long time to go through a tip, i actually buy them used and get plenty of life after cleaning them.

not sure if Pace was mentioned here but i see them on various lab benches.
bf
I use a metcal too and have been pretty happy with it.
sog
anybody know where i can buy a weller WTCPT in europe? im having trouble finding them. what about this weller whs40 http://ie.farnell.com/cooper-tools-weller/whs40/soldering-station-40w/ dp/957896 ?
wbkennedy1
Ive been using the MPJA ZD929C iron for the past year and its been awesome all around. Has anyone else used these irons around here? I didnt see anyone mention them in the 5 pages i read...
Stinktier86
Would this one be ok?

https://www.elfa.se/elfa3~se_sv/elfa/init.do?item=82-422-08&toc=19658

or this one?

https://www.elfa.se/elfa3~se_sv/elfa/init.do?item=82-422-72&toc=19658
grilojoe
Thanks for this discussion. I've been pretty unhappy with the Rat Shack POS I got a while back. I realized I wasn't doing any DIY at all because I hated working with that dumb iron.

The result is I found a bangin' deal on a Hakko 936 that I jumped at. Hopefully it'll get here this week and I can get back to it. 8_)
SunSpots
Wtcpt for my bday?? One can only put the word out The Chewbacca Defense
Lets see if I'm a happy boy in a week!
hi.mo
Hi, I'm new to Diy can anyone recommend a soldering iron model that i can find easily in europe (or the charachteristics that a good soldering iron need)? Can't find weller stuff. thanks
Jaytee
I purchased this soldering toolkit from adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/136

It includes this iron: http://www.adafruit.com/products/180

My previous soldering experience was limited to half-assed circuit bending with an eternally frustrating RadioShack iron a few years ago. This iron doesn't cost much more than what you'd pay at RadioShack for a 30w iron, but I've found it to be much more reliable and easy to use than my old iron. I assembled a SammichSid kit with no problems at all; whereas before I had trouble getting a single good joint.
spoor
Hi - I'm a noob in the UK, looking for an iron. Something that will give good results, make it less likely that I screw up, and that will last.

I've been doing a search on the advice here:

1. Weller. I can't find anything in my preferred price range (~75-125quid). Searching on Rapid / Digikey / Farnell / anywhere / pulls back an overwhelming list of models, but none of which are listed on this topic, and they're usually 120v anyway. And they're expensive.

2. Hakko. These seem twice as expensive as the US (apart from 120v items on ebay). It seems the only local place to get one is dancap.co.uk. I'm not overly excited about the primitive website, lack of paypal / cc.

Can someone provide a bit of a steer on this?

If not, I'm leaning towards getting a Hakko FX888D - are there any recommendations on tips?

Thanks
peepsthecat
Good value for the $.
neil.johnson
spoor wrote:
Hi - I'm a noob in the UK, looking for an iron. Something that will give good results, make it less likely that I screw up, and that will last.

I've been doing a search on the advice here....

Can someone provide a bit of a steer on this?

Unless you hit ebay it is unlikely you'll get a weller below £150, and then you'll be at the bottom end of weller's range... not pretty.
At Farnell you can get up to a basic Ersa, or Farnell's own in-house brands:

Farnell irons

At Rapid, the Xytronic 169 looks a nice unit.

The next step up the pay-grade is Pace. I have this system at home (a Christmas present to myself a few years ago). Quality kit.

Beyond that you're into OKI Metcal or JBC territory.

For all the above, don't forget the additional cost of tips. I would suggest three tips: a fine one for small fiddly work, a regular one for through-hole PCB soldering, and a big'un for larger things (thick wires, solder tabs, etc).

Neil
nordlead
I'm also looking to get a temp controlled station (in EU), came across

- Weller WHS 40D
- ERSA I-con Pico
- ERSA RDS 80

all about €100 to €130, next level seems to start at roughly 2x that price (which doesn't make sense for me). General opinion doesn't seem to be too positive on these "low enders"...? Since i've been using an Ersa Tip 260 I assume any of these will make a change...
sean process
Since I picked up a cheap used Weller on ebay my soldering has been so much better. Never realised how much I'd been struggling before in comparison! I got a couple of different tips so even SMD stuff became less difficult.

I've heard a few people report problems with lead-free solder eating into Weller tips over time, but I just use lead solder anyway as a lot of my repair jobs are on old equipment.

Should find some good deals on power units and irons around the place. There's not much to go wrong and new tips are easily found on Farnell or RS or usual places too.
flts
xytronics seems to make pretty awesome soldering stations on the ~100-200 euro range. two or three people i know have their mid range models and like them a lot.

apparently the newer midrange model (lf3000) that has induction heating is good as well. local prices seem to be in the 100-150 euro range but i've seen them go for more.

i just recently "upgraded" and bought an used metcal mx500 from ebay for a bit over 200 euros including shipping. on one hand i'm surprised how good the sub 100 euro noname soldering station i had still is even when compared to that, but on the other hand the metcal does feel really nice to use and heats up fast.
sneak-thief
Speaking of that Xytronic, I just picked up the LF-3000 for 99e:



http://www.reichelt.de/Soldering-Stations-XYTRONICS/STATION-LF-3000/3/ index.html?&ACTION=3&LA=2&ARTICLE=110450&GROUPID=4543&artnr=STATION+LF -3000

It heats up lightning fast and has decent ergonomics. I was shocked that such a little case could weigh 3kg. The whole thing feels well-built and the case is metal.


Re. ZD-915 - Here's my post about it in the desoldering thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1498286#1498286
algo
neil.johnson wrote:
At Rapid, the Xytronic 169 looks a nice unit.


I'm in the market for a new Soldering Iron (sub £100 in UK), has anyone used this one before? Still new to electronics and I'd not heard of Xytronic brand before - are they reliable?
sneak-thief
That Xytronic 169 is discontinued and way overpriced - especially compared to what reichelt.de offers in a better class.

Xytronic is a US company that's been around since the 80's, slowly building their product reputation and quality. It's no Pace, Metcal or Ersa, but they sure compete on price.

This is the one I bought - it's been great so far, no complaints:

www.reichelt.de/STATION-LF-3000/3/index.html?&ACTION=3&LA=446&ARTICLE= 110450&artnr=STATION+LF-3000&SEARCH=lf-3000

(shipping to the UK from Reichelt is 10e)

Here are some person's random thoughts about various brands:

http://soldering-stations.blogspot.de/2010/12/hakko-metcal-pace-ersa-j bc-edsyn.html
algo
Thanks sneak-thief, that looks good and a nice price. Going to have a look to see if I can find similarly priced unit with a UK plug!
Altitude909
Xytronic may be a US comany but what they sell is generic Chinese kit that can be found under a dozen different names (Tenma is the house brand at MCM and is the same thing). That being said, it's not bad. We replaced a weller station with a Xytronic and it get's used 6-8 hours a day and we've had it for over 6 months without any issues, it heats up faster and regulates way better than the Weller ever did. If you're on a tight budget, I give that stuff a thumbs up in a heart beat
sneak-thief
algo wrote:
Thanks sneak-thief, that looks good and a nice price. Going to have a look to see if I can find similarly priced unit with a UK plug!


It uses a bog-standard IEC cable... and I doubt you'll be able to find it cheaper within the UK.

Yes, Xytronic sells Chinese stuff that gets rebranded - but as Altitude909 is hinting at, to get a Weller with similar performance you'd easily pay 3 times as much. Not to mention, Weller's entry-level (red-coloured) stations are very, very underwhelming.

(If Hakko were easily/cheaply available in the EU, I'd recommend that in a heartbeat over Xytronic.)
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