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ejstubbs

Temperature-controlled soldering iron recommendations?

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I'd be interested in hearing any recommendations folks have for temperature-controlled soldering irons.  The missus is badgering me give her some clues as to what I'd like for Christmas and this is about the only thing that I can think of at the moment.  However, I'd need to be able to point her at a suitable product, since she knows nothing about such things.  Come to think, I don't know a whole lot about them myself, beyond the fact that they're a bit cleverer than ordinary soldering irons...

 

If I can't come up with a suggestion for her soon it'll be nothing but socks, shirts and comical coffee mugs on Xmas morning (again!)

Edited by ejstubbs

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I have a Weller SD80. Bought if off ebay with a dozen spare tips worth nearly as much as the soldering station, for under £75.

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Make sure the temperature will go low enough for low melt solder for whitemetal kits - some don't....

HTH

Brian

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Hello,

      I have one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2in1-SMD-Hot-Air-Gun-Rework-Soldering-Iron-Station-Lead-Free-Welder-4-Nozzles-/310770402991?hash=item485b5c06af:g:HMMAAOSw0HVWCf77

After using cheap mains irons for years I found this made any soldering so much easier and quicker.Another positive is the ready availability of Hakko  multi type solder tip packs at really low prices via ebay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.XHakko+tips.TRS0&_nkw=Hakko+tips&_sacat=0

trustytrev.:)

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I bought a Hakko from DCC Concepts and very nice it is too for smaller work.  I still need to break out the big 80W Weller for 7mm etched brass though. A larger tip on the Hakko would probably help quite a lot.

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Thanks all for the suggestions.  The Maplin one looks like a strong contender since SWMBO can go and get it in person.

 

One thing I find a little confusing: the manual talks about calibrating the temperature sensor.  How do you measure the temperature of the tip?  I have one of those infra-red thermometer "gun" things: would that do?

 

Make sure the temperature will go low enough for low melt solder for whitemetal kits - some don't....

 

What should the lowest temperature be for this?

 

Sorry for all the questions, I really am out of touch with this subject!  IIRC my current non-temperature-controlled soldering iron dates back to the 1980s if not older.  I think my reel of solder (which is now about to run out, finally) is still the old lead-based type...

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Never had to do that with mine,the lowest of the three presets is ok for white metal & the highest is ok for Brass .

 I got the solder information from another poster,

 

the solders i use are  188, 145 and 100 which is excellent for white metal.have a look at his post,very useful,

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?app=members&module=messaging&section=view&do=showConversation&topicID=84005&st=0#msg356582

 

 Happy soldering,

           Ray.

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Hmm, that link doesn't work for me.  Never mind, though: judicious use of the search facility has highlighted a number of useful-looking threads on the general subject.

 

Are there any significant differences between soldering up kits and soldering electrics eg dropper wires to track?

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Hakko irons are very good but do not seem to be readily available in the UK.  There are a number of well-priced Hakko clones - for years I've used an Aoyue 937+ 40W soldering station and it has given excellent service - see http://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/soldering-irons-atten-aoyue-station-tweezers.html.  When/If it eventually goes I'll probably replace it with its 60W big brother, the 9378.

 

DT

 

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I think they are readily available but they sell under many different brand names.

 

        Ray.

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I have been using an Antex TCSUD2 50w iron for donkeys years now and its been great…bought  in Maplins.

It heats in seconds and has a digital readout of temp.

Its also pencil slim and gets into small spaces but delivers a decent heat for brass if needed.

 

The advantage of temp cotrolled irons is not just about controlling temp though..unlike normal irons the tips last for ages as they don't burn holes in same if left on for long periods.

 

Best tool on the bench although I also wouldn't be without the London Rd resistance iron for detailing.

 

Dave.

Edited by vitalspark

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I too have an Antex 690D does everything I wish and quickly also. I have had many over the 50 years of using one and this is the best yet.

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I bought one of these when my Antex died. 75 watts, a good choice of spare bits and brilliant mail order service.

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I would suggest avoiding the Antex TCS 50W,(e.g http://www.rapidonline.com/tools-equipment/antex-t48jj70-tcs-50w-temperature-controlled-iron-85-0550)mine was nothing short of terrible, was very slow to sense temperature drop at the bit and would consequently stick until it reheated. The screwdriver temperature adjustment packed up within days. I've now made it useful by removing the plastic outer screwdriver adjustment and setting the actual potentiometer inside to full temperature, so it's just a fixed 50W iron now. 

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