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Author Topic: Soldering Iron Tips  (Read 689 times)

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Offline XyverTopic starter

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Soldering Iron Tips
« on: September 22, 2011, 10:35:59 PM »
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?

Offline Joker94

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 11:42:50 PM »
What type of solder are you using? If you are using lead free it can chew through tips really fast if they are not intended for lead free use. If this is the case you can get tips that are design for lead free. However for general purpose soldering leaded solder is more than good enough, and in a lot of cases preferred.

The only other thing i can think of is the tinning on the tip is poor quality and with average use the tinning material is wearing away.

Offline rbtying

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 11:50:59 PM »
When you're not using it, try putting a massive (relative) blob of solder on it to prevent the tip from oxidizing.

Offline XyverTopic starter

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 01:02:45 AM »
What type of solder are you using? If you are using lead free it can chew through tips really fast if they are not intended for lead free use.

Thats probably it.  The solder is lead free.  I'll try getting new tips.

Offline Joker94

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 01:29:01 AM »
Is there a need for lead free solder in you application? In general leaded solder is easier to work with, nicer on the tips etc.

! major factor is that it would cost less to get a spool of good 60/40 leaded solder than to buy a new tip that is manufacture with lead free use in mind.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 01:57:54 AM »
Hi,

Any suggestions to make the tips last longer?
Don't use the "tip tinner" too much.
Never wipe your tip when you put it in the holder or turn it off, it has to be coated with tin at all times.
Use a moist (not wet!) solder sponge rather than the recent balls of "steel wool" for wiping the tip.

And the top tip tip... Buy a Weller iron, they have a much better iron coating on their tips. My own WTCP50 (which I bought ~35 years ago) is sometimes on for days (even weeks at times) and my newest tip is around 10 years old. It's more expensive initially, but much cheaper in the long run.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline XyverTopic starter

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2011, 01:42:10 AM »
Went out and bought some 60/40 solder today.... Hot damn, its beautiful stuff. Flows so nicely.  Now to solder tomorrow, and see how it reacts to my tips!

Offline Joker94

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Re: Soldering Iron Tips
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2011, 04:30:03 AM »
Went out and bought some 60/40 solder today.... Hot damn, its beautiful stuff. Flows so nicely.  Now to solder tomorrow, and see how it reacts to my tips!

good to hear you like it, hopefully it is a lot better to you tips!

 


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