Author Topic: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread  (Read 2225 times)

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2019, 09:44:15 am »
These are extremely good for the price:
https://www.banggood.com/MINI-TS100-Digital-OLED-Programmable-Interface-DC-5525-Soldering-Iron-Station-Built-in-STM32-Chip-p-984214.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=USA

That looks interesting, thanks

Anything with the word 'Antex' on the handle, is generally good.

You mean, like my sole functioning iron



I figger this to be about 40 years old

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2019, 10:32:26 am »
Any updates on this ? Also any recommendation for a BFO chassis iron? I have a rothenburger solder gun (as https://www.diy.com/departments/rothenberger-corded-soldering-gun/206925_BQ.prd) but it's a piece of shite, won't even get hot enough to melt solder now, and it hasn't see that much use.
There are two common issues:
1) Old soldering irons are meant for lead-tin solder and simply struggle to get to the (only slightly higher) temperatures required for modern lead free solders.
2) trigger operated 'solder guns' are incredibly simple machines and they normally work by having a transformer which has a very low number of turns in the secondary.  The primary has lots of turns and often the bulb in the handle is in series with the primary.

The secondary has lots of current in it and not very many volts at all. The tip is of a different material and is meant to be resistively heated by a large current flowing through it.    If the bulb is working normally and the tip heats but simply doesn't get hot enough, the reason is very simple; there is too much resistance in the secondary circuit. The extra resistance almost invariably comes from bad contacts where the changeable tip is mounted; there is basically no other place it can come from. These contacts are often loose, contaminated and/or tarnished.  Once these contacts are cleaned and tightened, the solder gun ought to work as well as it ever did.

cheers

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2019, 10:41:06 am »
..... the solder gun ought to work as well as it ever did.

Not especially comforting.

Liking the look of this as a chassis iron https://www.banggood.com/200W-Soldering-Iron-Heavy-Duty-Chisel-Point-200-Watt-Craft-Tools-AC-220V-p-1113708.html

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2019, 10:43:59 am »
nothing to lose by trying though


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2019, 12:18:13 pm »
These are extremely good for the price:
https://www.banggood.com/MINI-TS100-Digital-OLED-Programmable-Interface-DC-5525-Soldering-Iron-Station-Built-in-STM32-Chip-p-984214.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=USA

There's also the TS-80, which is slightly less powerful but better constructed and runs off standard USB QC3 power.

I have a TS-100 and it's easily good enough for an electronics hobbyist to use as a main iron.  Vastly better than an unregulated iron.  It'll run from a standard Toshiba style laptop supply (though your soldering experience will be greatly enhanced if you use a silicone-insulated[1] cable for the final run to the iron), or 5 Li+ cells in series, and should be adequate for most electronics work when fed from 12V.  I've molished anna daptor to power it from a Makita tool battery (the TS-80 came out about 5 minutes later), which is convenient for working on things in situ (or, occasionally, in the middle of a field).

I've never used an old-style solder gun myself, though I've seen them used to good effect on large power transistors in CRT displays.  They seem completely unwieldy for smaller stuff, and I mentally file them alongside gas-powered irons: probably okay for making up cables.


[1] Not only does this not melt when exposed to soldering temperatures, but it's massively more flexible than the usual PVC.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2019, 04:42:45 pm »
Ended up getting one of these cheaply second hand:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soldering-Station-Digital-Desoldering-Variable/dp/B07L69M1HV

You are welcome to borrow it.

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2019, 05:19:28 pm »
Thanks, I don't do much circuit board soldering these days, tends to be odd lead/board connection, or big sections (hence the chassis iron), it's just useful to have when you need it. Last night I ended up soldering the solid stuff on the clock with a MAPP blowtorch. The end result is not pretty.

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2019, 05:23:55 pm »

I've never used an old-style solder gun myself, though I've seen them used to good effect on large power transistors in CRT displays.  They seem completely unwieldy for smaller stuff, and I mentally file them alongside gas-powered irons: probably okay for making up cables.



And they truly EXCELLENT for carving closed cell polystyrene and upholstery foam  ;D

nothing to lose by trying though


v. true. And yes, the bulb is dodgy/now gone but I don't think it is in series. Instead it appears to be off another secondary winding. Anyhow, I've ordered some new, if it works I will keep it for foam cutting, which it probably is hot enough to do.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2019, 05:44:43 pm »

I've never used an old-style solder gun myself, though I've seen them used to good effect on large power transistors in CRT displays.  They seem completely unwieldy for smaller stuff, and I mentally file them alongside gas-powered irons: probably okay for making up cables.



And they truly EXCELLENT for carving closed cell polystyrene and upholstery foam  ;D

As is a bit of nichrome wire and a bench power supply in constant-current mode.


I have a 20W unregulated mains-powered iron (that always ran a bit too hot for electronics) for general melting-things duty.  It's the easiest way to make square holes in ABS enclosures, for example.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2019, 07:01:09 pm »
These are extremely good for the price:
https://www.banggood.com/MINI-TS100-Digital-OLED-Programmable-Interface-DC-5525-Soldering-Iron-Station-Built-in-STM32-Chip-p-984214.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=USA

That looks interesting, thanks

Anything with the word 'Antex' on the handle, is generally good.

You mean, like my sole functioning iron



I figger this to be about 40 years old
Fess up.
You've been using that as a crowbar.
Haven't you?.

The 13amp plug takes me back to my childhood.

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2019, 07:59:58 pm »
Any updates on this ? Also any recommendation for a BFO chassis iron? I have a rothenburger solder gun (as https://www.diy.com/departments/rothenberger-corded-soldering-gun/206925_BQ.prd) but it's a piece of shite, won't even get hot enough to melt solder now, and it hasn't see that much use.
There are two common issues:
1) Old soldering irons are meant for lead-tin solder and simply struggle to get to the (only slightly higher) temperatures required for modern lead free solders.
2) trigger operated 'solder guns' are incredibly simple machines and they normally work by having a transformer which has a very low number of turns in the secondary.  The primary has lots of turns and often the bulb in the handle is in series with the primary.

The secondary has lots of current in it and not very many volts at all. The tip is of a different material and is meant to be resistively heated by a large current flowing through it.    If the bulb is working normally and the tip heats but simply doesn't get hot enough, the reason is very simple; there is too much resistance in the secondary circuit. The extra resistance almost invariably comes from bad contacts where the changeable tip is mounted; there is basically no other place it can come from. These contacts are often loose, contaminated and/or tarnished.  Once these contacts are cleaned and tightened, the solder gun ought to work as well as it ever did.

cheers
All the trigger soldering irons that I have seen have a one turn secondary. The turn is the same section all the way round and the two ends are exposed. I have estimated them to run at about 500 A.

The one that I had with a lamp had a second secondary an auxiliary winding with a few tens of turns to light the low voltage bulb, so if that had failed, it wouldn't have affected the soldering.

The tips degrade, especially with lead-free solder. I've had them break, but they can just get weak / high resistance and work badly. They are disposable items. It's worth trying a new one, as I can't see how any other part would degrade.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2019, 12:49:53 pm »
200W @ 500A means the voltage would be ~0.4V and the resistance is some tiny fraction of an ohm. If so, no wonder the tip contacts need to be clean!

cheers

Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2019, 01:27:18 pm »
Checked the resistance (my Fluke calibrates zero with the resistance of the leads) and get c. 0.1 ohm or less for the bit. Secondary winding resistance is below my meter's resolution, 6 turns of c 8 gauge wire, so no surprise there.

The bulb winding is deffo not in series with the primary, measures 1.5 ohms. The primary measures 86.5 ohms, live to neutral no bulb in holder. Interesting the difference in inductive load, because obv if that was resistive, it would be running at  (takes off socks for counting).....700ish Watts? Nominal load rating is 100W.


Re: Was there a soldering iron, soldering station recomendation thread
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2019, 07:08:50 pm »
All transformers have a much lower resistance than a pure resistor of the same rating. As you get to bigger transformers, the winding resistance gets tiny. It's quite common to need something to stop the inrush current getting too big in the 1/4 cycle that it takes to build up the magnetic field.

See also the pull-in rating of ac relays, where the inductance is small until the magnetic circuit is completed by the relay operating.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...