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Stay away from lead-free solder! It's a nightmare, and can require a hotter iron. Even with that it doesn't flow right. It's worth suffering a bit of alzeimers to get conventional solder.
Erm, 20W seems kinda low for hobby soldering... Try to aim for the 40-60 area.
Hm, i started out with a 40W iron and now work with a 60W and love it.Well, TomDOW2, maybe try out a few different ones and select the one you find easiest to use.Also, maybe get a set of helping hands.
These? I have one and it is MUCH better than a sponge, doesn't damage the iron like sponges do...But we're hijacking this topic so we better stop
Not from my experience. Nightmare? I don't even notice a difference anymore. Not to denigrate your experience, but with enough skill lead-free is fine. Follow the directions in the link that I provided - cleaning and preparation are key steps.
They make 60W irons without temperature control!? Wouldn't that get way too hot?
However, without temperature control, if you just leave it there, the iron will heat up crazy and explode.
"demoralized water" lol. I never runned across that one before. Sheltered life I guess.
Speaking of tips, here's one:The electronics tech at a place I once worked wired a switch into the outlet that his soldering station was plugged into (switched outlet). He also wired a rotating beacon light into the outlet so when it was switched on, the beacon did its thing. It wasn't so bright as to be annoying in the well-lit shop, but obvious enough that it was a great indicator to signal that the soldering station was powered up, so it was actually difficult to forget to power the station down after you're done. At home I don't have that and I've discovered three or four times when I've forgot and left my station on overnight or even a couple days before I noticed it. Not good for the tip and potentially dangerous.
I was thinking about installing something into my station which would just beep every half-hour or something when it's powered up. In my house, that would probably be enough for me to catch it and keep me from burning the house down. Probably wouldn't hurt for me to have a spinning beacon as well. Cheaper than a new house.
As for old electronics jokes, I don't know if this is an old classic or an isolated incident.Same electronics tech...He said when he was in the Army, they would send a newbie to the supply room to get "a dozen BA eleven hundred N's on a string... Write it down green horn!". So he would, and then scurried off to the quartermaster to tell him "I need a dozen of these on a string" and hands him a note that reads "BAll00N".
I'll say go for leaded "fuel" as well, the lead free (in which they just changed poison ) is not only hard to solder for a beginner, it really don't flow well and seems to crystallize all the time, a few days ago, I just had to make repairs on a PCB that were soldered with unleaded and had to clean the entire board to get decent trustable soldering.It just doesn't flow well and anybody feeling different is very welcome to make a video showing othervise!
Well, you just need a hotter iron. I set mine to 350C when doing lead free, and it'll flow fine.
But there is no reason to use lead-free unless you plan to eat food off your circuit board, or sell your circuit in Europe. Lead-free is an expensive pain with no scientifically proven health benefit for adults.