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Author Topic: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?  (Read 4110 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« on: November 08, 2008, 02:24:46 AM »
I'm looking around to buy a new soldering iron, but the problem I am having is that since I now live in Bangkok it needs to run at 220V 50Hz input. Most soldering irons sold apparently only run at 120V . . .

My budget is under $200, and I need the hottest iron possible. At least 60W, and hopefully 800F and above. So el-cheapo types won't work.

This is the best I can find so far:
http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/weller/solder/wtcpt.htm
but it doesn't have temperature selection options . . .

Anyone with recommendations?



edit: corrected voltage/frequency
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 03:34:27 AM by Admin »

Offline dunk

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 05:35:18 AM »
most of the world runs at somewhere between 220 - 250VAC @ 50 - 60Hz so you should not have a problem finding something close.
unfortunately most of the countries that would operate a nice mailorder shop are either 230V @ 50Hz or 120V @ 60Hz.

i'm running a digital Weller WSD-81 bought in Germany. the plate on the bottom says 230-240VAC but it would probably run at 220V.
i'd say if you end up having to buy an iron designed for 230V an analogue one would be most likely to work at 220V.

from my memories of Thailand there are loads of talented guys repairing everything and anything in a district of most towns and cities. this includes electrical goods.
you could try asking one of those guys what they use. (your Tai up to it yet?)

if you want to buy mail order, anything sold in the EU will definitely run at 230V so worth a chance at 220.
Australia is nearer you from a shipping point of view. they are 240V if memory serves. most of the stock there is produced to the same spec as the EU so will run at 230.

anyway, lots of options there if you don't mind taking a chance on a 230V iron....
it will probably work. and even if it doesn't, you'll need a travel soldering iron for use in airports and when on holiday right....?


dunk.

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 05:55:14 AM »
I've been looking at the Hakko irons, especially since they are much more local (Japan). Anyone know about their quality? I'll call up HakkoUSA and chat with a rep as soon as they open for the day (I blame the 12 hour difference!).

I found a few local websites . . . but they don't list prices for most of their stuff online . . . and the stuff they do price equals the cost of shipping and customs if I just bought it online from the US:
http://www.mtkshop.net/
http://www.srt.co.th/

As for knowledge from some smart locals, I put a post here:
http://www.eic.eng.chula.ac.th/?q=forums/general-discussion/soldering-station-%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%AB%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%A1%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%8A%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88-watt-%E0%B8%84%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%9A


I feel like I stepped back 10 years in technological time living here in Bangkok . . .

Offline ArcMan

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 09:26:11 AM »
Can't you just use one of those traveler 220V / 120V step-down transformer thingies?

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 10:16:09 AM »
Quote
Can't you just use one of those traveler 220V / 120V step-down transformer thingies?
Nope.

Those traveler converters typically only allow a few watts - mostly for battery chargers. I need a high wattage soldering iron, something more like for an input of 80W+. I would need a fairly beefy converter with major heat sinks on it . . .

Offline hudbrog

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 05:02:37 AM »
You can mail-order one from Russia... 220V/50hz everywhere here =)
And what for do you need so powerful one? If it's just for one specific use - maybe it is easier to buy really cheap one. You can buy 80W-300W for like 5-10 usd here. 50USD "made in china" with temp regulator 110W.
Or you can buy "mady in china" digital soldering station 80W up to 450C (840f), for like 150-170usd.
If you interested I can show you pictures or even help with sending to your place.

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 01:30:33 AM »
About a week ago I wandered the Bangkok streets to find some cheap soldering irons (I'll post a vid soon) . . . I haven't bought any yet, wanted to get some opinions from those with experience using these tools first.

Also, what exactly is the difference between regular soldering irons and those that specify 'Compatible with Lead-Free Processes'? I noticed the price for the latter about twice as high. I always thought it was just the wattage being higher, but is there something else? I used a 40W non-lead soldering iron to do all my lead-free stuff with no problem in the past . . .

The Aoyue 2901 was selling for ~$70 and they said it was 40W, probably used but I didn't ask. Not 100% sure if the iron came with the station, forgot to ask . . . its 'lead-less compatible'. The ones that didn't make that claim were half the price but about the same wattage.

The Aoyue 853A was going for $110. I really like how it can secure my parts and heat up the board (pretty useful).

The third image is of these soldering guns I found. The one that says 750 costs ~$21 and the 85 costs $2.50, with dozens of different random brand names I don't recognize. Some claim they can go up to 130W . . . But they don't come with a stand and after hours of pushing that button I think my finger will die. Seems the most affordable option though!

Anyone with thoughts?

Offline szhang

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 02:38:20 AM »
Actually, I always found the radioshack firestarters to be much hotter than my more expensive iron ;)

I think lead-free irons usually have higher temps, and can sustain higher temps without damage/wear.

I have an Aoyue 2900 (look like the 2901, except 70W and digital) which was pretty cheap.  It can go up to 480C (~900F) but I don't know why you would need a iron that hot.  It is compatible with lead-free processes, and works really well.  I really like how fast it heats up, 7 seconds to 350C.  And they are cheap too, $70 for the my new 2900.  It does come with a tip/iron.

You might also look for a rework station ( I use this one at work http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HDG0AO/ref=s9k2a_c1_at1-rfc_p-3237_p?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1CPRC6BA8152H2K3H5YM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463383351&pf_rd_i=507846)

EDIT: BTW I think the 2901 is 70W, but I would get the 2900 because it is digital, both can go up to 480C (~900F) but I don't think it is recommended since it kills the tip life.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 02:50:35 AM by szhang »

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 04:11:22 AM »
Quote
It can go up to 480C (~900F) but I don't know why you would need a iron that hot.

I need it to manufacture my Axon (all those male headers). I designed it to handle huge amounts of heat . . . the problem is that it sucks heat from an iron super fast too. I can solder faster than it can stay hot so I end up wasting a lot of time waiting :-\

My last soldering iron was a MPJA Model 304 rework station that outputted 40W.

I looked up your Aoyue 2900 and it looks just like what I want. It even comes with a solder roll stand (really useful!). Its '110V/220V' so I guess that means it'll work both here and in the US, or are there two different models? Shipping/fees will probably be ~$20+ but thats still fairly affordable. The datasheet doesn't say . . .

Where did you buy your tips from? I'd need something more rounded and less pointy. Any 220V smoke filter recommendations? Couldn't find any good ones in Bangkok and none on Amazon . . .


To answer someones next question: I as a foreigner cannot [legally] hire any Thai locals to do it for me. Too bad cause I'd be creating jobs in this country . . . protectionist laws never work :P

Offline szhang

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 01:12:48 PM »
I bought my tips from amazon.  Actually the first ones they sent me were defective, but they replaced it (and the handle) for free (including shipping) when I called them.

I am not sure if the one sold by amazon (US) will work, my station has a sticker that says it is the 110V-130V version.  You might want to call the company that sells them (SRA http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/at-a-glance.html?ie=UTF8&seller=AKJ57Q9VZBBO8 ) to see if they have a 220V version.

I think what might be better for you is a iron with a high heat capacity rather than a high temperature, because high temperature burns up the flux too quickly and might lift the pad on the PCB.  The Aoyue has a decent heat capacity.  I had no problem soldering male headers (and I use silver bearing solder, which has a pretty high melting temp)

I used a metcal before and those will probably work best for what you're doing.  Though they are SO expensive...

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 08:37:53 PM »
I emailed the Amazon seller and this is what he said:
Quote
I only stock 110v units.  I could get a 220v unit but it would take
about 8 weeks.

I can't wait 8 weeks unfortunately. I also emailed Aoyue but no reply yet. I'll search the distributor websites and see if I can get lucky.

Offline Webbot

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 09:21:34 AM »
Webbot Home: http://webbot.org.uk/
WebbotLib online docs: http://webbot.org.uk/WebbotLibDocs
If your in the neighbourhood: http://www.hovinghamspa.co.uk

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 01:54:27 AM »
Really Expensive! The cheapest one they have is $330.

Aoyue contacted me, but only to ask me to fill out this excel sheet with my contact info. They said they'll have a Thai rep contact me soon.

I also got a quote from some Hakko reps in Singapore . . . prices were all bloated so ruled them out :-\

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 01:18:29 AM »
Aoyue put me into contact with a company that couldn't speak English :-\

That being said, apparently they are really close to where I live (no shipping/customs! :)). I got these prices (todays exchange rate):
model #2900   3400฿   $96
model #2901   2350฿   $67

I'll go pick it up Saturday and report my review of it after using it for a bit.

I haven't decided which one I want yet. Anyone know if the digital iron has a higher response rate (gets hotter faster)?

Offline szhang

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 01:24:36 AM »
I like the digital one because you get a feedback of the current tip temperature. As I said, 7 seconds to 350C for the digital one, which is quicker than the time it takes me to wet the sponge.  I doubt the analog one is significantly slower.

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 09:17:05 AM »
Ok here is my report . . .

Aoyue put me into contact with a local chinese store here in Bangkok that had some to sell.

Aoyue 2900 sold for 3400 baht, but I managed to bargain it down to 3100 baht (~$88 US).
While I was at it, I also bought the Aoyue 486 solder fan for ~$24. A pretty good deal!

I learned buying off the internet here is a bad idea - Thailand has 20% customs tax/VAT for all electronics, and shipping is a killer too. And that's assuming it doesn't just 'disappear' in the mail when you refuse to 'tip' the mailman (I'm not kidding!) :P

This Aoyue 2900 is probably the best soldering iron I've ever used - heats up *very* fast and *very* hot! I was able to solder almost twice as fast! :D

That being said, I used it heavily and it seems to be wearing out pretty fast too:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=6251.0
(I created a new post for anyone who can help with that problem)

My biggest complaint is that its for 220V only, so I'll have to buy a new one when I return to the US . . . oh well!


btw, for anyone else in Bangkok, this is the address of the Aoyue shop:
999/12 Moo 1 Sukhumvit Rd.,
Sumrong Nua Amper Muang,
Samutprakan 10270 THAILAND

call Mr. Zheng, the manager directly at mobile number +66-85-042-4848

(note: they only speak Chinese and Thai, no English!)

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: got 220V high wattage soldering iron recommendation?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2008, 02:30:11 PM »
Can't you use a nice large toroid coil???
I do 220/24 V step down for my soldering iron at 100Watt....
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

 


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