Author Topic: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread  (Read 891 times)

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
I'm sure there was but can't find it.

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 03:47:59 pm »
The Ayoue ones seem to be popular locally. Get whatever floats your boat with reflow heater if you need it or a standard temp controlled one without.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 06:32:06 pm »
My Aoyue 968A+ is still going strong.  Main complaint is that the pump is irritatingly loud and that the membrane switches that control the reflow temperature are starting to look tatty (with, presumably, a view to failing in an annoying membrane-switchy way at some point in future).

I've also got a TS-100 DC powered[1] iron, for more portable use.  I've bodged up an adaptor to power it from Makita power tool batteries, which makes it a much more controllable alternative to gas, and am using an alternative firmware which gives a plethora of lovely menu options.  I wouldn't recommend it as a main iron for serious use - it doesn't sit in soldering iron stands properly, the tips are quite expensive and the ergonomics a bit compromised[2] - but it's not a bad option for a beginner (or space-constrained PSO).

And an Aldi gas thing, which replaced my ancient Craplin gas thing, and in light of the above is now mostly relegated to mobile heatshrink duty.

I also note that https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/ are having a bank holiday sale.

Previous thread that's worth re-visiting: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=74580.0


[1] It's optimised for a 19V PSU, and uses the same DC plug as Toshiba do on their laptops.
[2] A nice silicone cable with a lightweight DC plug is a significant improvement over a typical laptop PSU's cable, especially if there's a ferrite weighing it down.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 06:57:52 pm »
Thank you, as much as I would like to have a solder station at the mo just need a decent iron as the aldi/lidl special isn't that great and my antex one will never be seen again.

Need something to replace the power jack on a laptop...well one at least.

Was thinking this https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-469-soldering-station-60-watt.html

As much as I would like one with hot air as I have a few chips to try and reflow not using the oven but am skint.

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 07:14:09 pm »
I got this one a few years ago as I couldn't justify a full rework solder station like the one Kim has:

https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-937-soldering-station.html

Its been so much better than anything I ever had before. Only £50 as well.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 07:55:34 pm »
I've got this one and find it fine for my purposes
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003DH5N2M?ref_=pe_780071_42242491
No matter how far down the wrong road you are, always turn back.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 08:32:39 pm »
Was thinking this https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-469-soldering-station-60-watt.html

Gotcha with that one is that it's not thermostatically controlled.  If you're skint, fine, but for electronics the 937 is probably a better choice, even though it's a lower power rating.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 09:38:14 pm »
Was thinking this https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-469-soldering-station-60-watt.html

Gotcha with that one is that it's not thermostatically controlled.  If you're skint, fine, but for electronics the 937 is probably a better choice, even though it's a lower power rating.

Ah thought the dial thing was a thermostatic control.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 09:40:19 pm »
Was thinking this https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-469-soldering-station-60-watt.html

Gotcha with that one is that it's not thermostatically controlled.  If you're skint, fine, but for electronics the 937 is probably a better choice, even though it's a lower power rating.

Ah thought the dial thing was a thermostatic control.

Nah, it'll be the equivalent of a light dimmer; no feedback mechanism.  It'll vary the amount of power delivered to the iron, but it won't increase the power to maintain a constant temperature as you solder with it.

My previous iron had such an arrangement.  It's certainly an improvement over an unregulated mains-powered iron, but no substitute for true thermostatic control if you're moving between components of different sizes.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 09:51:23 pm »
Was thinking this https://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/aoyue-469-soldering-station-60-watt.html

Gotcha with that one is that it's not thermostatically controlled.  If you're skint, fine, but for electronics the 937 is probably a better choice, even though it's a lower power rating.

Ah thought the dial thing was a thermostatic control.

Nah, it'll be the equivalent of a light dimmer; no feedback mechanism.  It'll vary the amount of power delivered to the iron, but it won't increase the power to maintain a constant temperature as you solder with it.

Now I am clueless about soldering irons, as in the past I have gone for the antex or weller irons.

So isn't that dial a bit pointless?  Or am I missing something?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 10:07:27 pm »
Set a thermostatic iron to, say, 300C and it'll turn the power on until the tip reaches 300, turn it off, wait for the temperature to drop a couple of degrees, turn it back on, heat it back up to 300, etc.  Bring that tip into contact with something (ie. the joint you want to solder) and heat will flow away from the tip more rapidly.  The thermostat will increase the power accordingly, to maintain 300C.  All is well (until the heat-sinking capabilities of what you're soldering exceed the power rating of the iron, anyway).

With a cheapo temperature controlled iron, you set the knob to something, the duty cycle of the power supply to the iron is altered accordingly, and the tip heats up until it's in thermal equilibrium with the surrounding air.  Bring it into contact with the joint and the tip cools down, but the electronics knows nothing about that, it just keeps supplying the same amount of power.  Fine, so you find a setting that works for soldering your through-hole resistors, or whatever.  All is well.  Then you come to solder the power jack, which is a bigger component with more metal in the legs.  It sinks more heat, the tip cools more than it did with the resistors and your solder joints are crap.  You twiddle the knob a bit and give it a few seconds to warm up.  The jack solders fine.  Then you come to solder some fiddly little SMD transistor and end up lifting the pads because you've left the power too high and the tip's now too hot.

Ie. it's usable, but it requires more judgement and knob-twiddling to get consistent results that would happen automatically with a thermostatic iron.  How much this stuff matters depends on what you're soldering.  Small SMD electronics and lead-free solder are  the things that will really make you appreciate thermostatic control.  If you're just putting connectors on cables, say, it's much less important.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 12:19:06 pm »
Looks decent enough, and you can get tips for it.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 09:31:48 pm »
So how about this weller:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/soldering-irons/7782620/ or the smaller 25w https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/soldering-irons/7782605/

Can get them for £13 so....what do you think?

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 12:31:34 pm »
So how about this weller:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/soldering-irons/7782620/ or the smaller 25w https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/soldering-irons/7782605/

Can get them for £13 so....what do you think?

Neither are temperature controlled at all. Get a proper thermostatic one as Kim says. its so much easier to use and get good results with. You will save the extra cost by not buggering up whatever you are trying to solder.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

grahamparks

  • London N19
    • My Instagram
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 08:40:33 pm »

Then you come to solder the power jack, which is a bigger component with more metal in the legs.  It sinks more heat, the tip cools more than it did with the resistors and your solder joints are crap.  You twiddle the knob a bit and give it a few seconds to warm up.  The jack solders fine.  Then you come to solder some fiddly little SMD transistor and end up lifting the pads because you've left the power too high and the tip's now too hot.

IME Since thermostatically controlled irons measure the temperature some distance from the tip, in order to solder larger items you have to turn them up anyway, to compensate for  the heat draining out before the thermostat notices. They’re still *better*, but they don’t  solve the problem 100%.

I have the ubiquitous Chinese “936D”. It works fine and tips are cheap.

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2018, 12:02:18 am »
I use one of these and not had a single issue with it. Mostly use it for cables.

http://cpc.farnell.com/tenma/21-10115-uk/soldering-station-digital-esd/dp/SD01738
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2018, 01:17:45 am »
IME Since thermostatically controlled irons measure the temperature some distance from the tip, in order to solder larger items you have to turn them up anyway, to compensate for  the heat draining out before the thermostat notices. They’re still *better*, but they don’t  solve the problem 100%.

The thermal mass of the tip will affect how much compensation will be required, too.  Some irons are designed to have more thermal mass than others.

There's a further difference between the type where the tip is literally just that, a bit of metal that slots over the ceramic heater/temperature sensor assembly, and the type where the tip contains the heater and sensor, and the attachment to the iron includes an electrical connection.  The latter seem to have *much* more responsive thermostatic control, presumably because there's better contact between the parts.


But yes, part of the skill of soldering is knowing what temperature you need for *this* iron on *this* joint.  Good kit helps, practice helps more.  I'm still learning (especially where lead-free is involved).
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2018, 12:24:25 am »
I have to admit, I have no idea how to use a soldering station.  Not sure that solder stations even existed when I had cdt  lesson in the 80's and then I was taught with leaded solder. 

The weller iron was bought as a gift, and therefore have no idea how to go about saying thank you but better buy this one... first world problems.