Hey, I've been having some great difficulty in the lifespan of my soldering iron tips. They always get black and gross and solder doesnt stick to them anymore, pretty fast.
I have this soldering station and iron: http://www.robotshop.com/ca/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Ibo-33&lang=en-US
With these tips:http://www.robotshop.com/ca/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Ibo-114&lang=en-US
My first try, I cranked the heat to full, and burned out the tip really fast. Learned from that quick. Next, I looked at the melting temperature of my solder, which is 227 degrees Celsius, and looked at the temperature of the station, and it went from 0-750. Here's the page: http://manuals.elenco.com/manuals/sl-5.pdf
So I put it between 12 and 1 oclock (pretending the dial is a clock obviously) which is what it says for sensitive componants. When I'm not using it, I crank it down to 0, and when I'm going to leave it for more then 5 min, I turn it off.
I've gone through 3 tips now, first one really fast, and the other two slower because i was using what i thought was the right settings, but they still seem to be turning black really fast.
I am cleaning the tip on the sponge every few connections, and I have tip tinner. Its really solid, like a plastic, so the tip just kinda melts into it and then bubbles when its on.
Any suggestions to make the tips last longer?