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Author Topic: Soldering station  (Read 2581 times)

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Offline mfrancis107Topic starter

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Soldering station
« on: September 05, 2009, 01:54:03 PM »
Looking for suggestions for a soldering station.  I'm looking for something that is really going to last.  I am currently an undergrad student who intends to go to grad school for AI/robotics.  I would like something that would take me from a beginner and beyond.

If you do not have a specific suggestion, perhaps you could tell me what I'm looking for.

Offline Pyro

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 02:00:57 PM »
You'll most likely want something with adjustable temperature.  I've heard Weller makes very good soldering stations.

Offline airman00

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 02:35:18 PM »
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 06:12:55 PM by airman00 »
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 04:23:34 PM »
what is your price range? $50? $100? $200?
me, ive got a $10 60W cheapie from dick smith, and i love it ;D
although i would much prefer an adjustable temperature iron.
Howdy

Offline Joker94

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 07:37:44 PM »
alot of people would love specky soldering stations for alot of people it is either that or a new robot part and most people would go with a new robot part like the axon or similar.

I would say go with the best you can afford if you want it to last a long time, and remember to take really good car of your iron, clean it regularly during and after you solder to stop i becoming all crappy from the solder flux.

Offline gaurav.p

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 08:29:18 PM »
if u r a beginner to soldering i recommend u to buy the cheapest iron and refer to curious inventor website for a gr8 tutorial
Big Things Come In Small Packages!!!

Offline Admin

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 08:39:46 AM »
I loved the Aoyue 2900 so much I bought three of them. 10 seconds to heat up to 440C - you can't beat that! I can't even wet the sponge and get my safety goggles on that fast . . .

(a 220V version for when I'm in Thailand, one for my US apartment, and one for at work)





edit: fixed typo
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 11:34:55 AM by Admin »

Offline RoboChan

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 12:08:26 PM »
Iv got some 60w iron from befor 1960 i dont know how old it is but my step grandpa had it. whatever works works

Offline Joker94

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009, 05:57:16 PM »
make sure that you have a good tip as well, (a tip that you feel comfortable soldering with.)

plus a spare or 2 incase a tip gets damaged.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2009, 06:42:07 PM »
Hi,

If you want it to last, nothing beats a Weller WTCP50!
You change the tip temperature by changing tips, but in practice, you seldom has to change it and it has got 50W to throw at large connectors and similar, while it can do the finest SMDs - it's all in the chosen tips.

I have had mine since 1976-1977 and for most of the years since then, it has been on for at least 10..12 hours a day - I had to clean the thermo switch in it three times since then, but I'm still using the original heating element. Tips are very very long lasting (lasts longer than some of the cheaper soldering irons sold today entirely), provided they are receiving minimum care (wiping and tinning).
The only thing I have added is a ground connection to deal with ESD.

You can get a used WTCP50 for next to nothing and then you just need practice to be in the "Weller Class", which used to be a term covering the gifted amateur with the right tool.

During the years, I have used up some of my other irons, only used for back up and away jobs - Several Antex, JBC and a collection of brands forgot, so these days, I have bought a Weller Portasol for the away jobs and for back up, I have a WTCP50 and one of the newer ESD protected and temperature controlled in the closet.

You can get a better iron though... Just be prepared to fork out close to $2000 then.

I have no affiliation with Cooper Tools and there's even some of their tools I wouldn't throw after an enemy, but I'm addicted to the WTCP50 and that's for a reason!
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 mfrancis107Topic starter

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2009, 10:43:16 AM »
Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I think I'm between the Aoyue 906 or the Weller WES51

All depends on my budget.

Few questions.   Is there a wattage range that I should be looking at?
And what exactly is a soldering gun used for?  Would it be good for desoldering?  Because I may be doing that a lot, since I may have a source of electroncis.  (See thread; however, blackbeard mentions using a propane torch.)

Offline Admin

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2009, 11:04:00 AM »
I think I'm between the Aoyue 906 or the Weller WES51

I've used that Weller before, its a really great iron.

Only get the hot air iron if you plan to solder crazy small SMD's in the future (also great for heat shrink). But ts only 35W, so not that great.

Quote
Few questions.   Is there a wattage range that I should be looking at?

Depends entirely on what you plan to solder. If you say 'everything', then make sure its at least 50W.

Offline chelmi

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2009, 11:25:04 AM »
Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I think I'm between the Aoyue 906 or the Weller WES51

All depends on my budget.



I have a WES51, and I just love it. Heats up really fast, lots of different tips available, quite sturdy. A great tool.

Offline Trumpkin

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2009, 12:26:24 PM »
I also have the WES51 and I've found it to be a great iron.
Robots are awesome!

Offline Half Shell

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 02:29:18 PM »
As someone who just graduated with a degree in Robotics Engineering and regularly does soldering, I have to say Wellers in general are just great soldering irons. I use a WES50, and while I wouldn't mind upgrading to a newer model, I have no reason to trade this one in, and don't think I will be buying another for years more to come. It can do the heavier soldering jobs we require, but still manage to do the small SMD soldering quite well for those smaller circuit boards you'll be making. Weller is just quality when it comes to soldering.

Offline kd5kfl

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2009, 07:59:22 PM »
know this: those nice Weller stations and most other high end stations have a grounded tip. you go to fine tune a solder joint in an operating circuit you will find out what that means.

Offline galannthegreat

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2009, 08:50:57 PM »
I'd recommend (if it's in your budget) an OKI, they are expensive but the tips are intelligent (auto temperature, so you don't accidentally damage parts). I am speaking as a future professional in the field of electronics, so if you want a tool that many professionals in your field use, and mine, I'd recommend this, can't go wrong with this one.

Here's a link to their site: http://www.okinternational.com/
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 08:57:42 PM by galannthegreat »
Kurt

Offline Daanii

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2009, 11:00:34 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I had not had good success with the cheap Radio Shack soldering iron I had.  After reading this I looked at it, discovered it is 25 Watts, and realized that is why.  I'm now trying to decide whether to buy something nice or just get another cheap, but at least 50 Watt, iron. 

Offline Half Shell

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2009, 11:32:07 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I had not had good success with the cheap Radio Shack soldering iron I had.  After reading this I looked at it, discovered it is 25 Watts, and realized that is why.  I'm now trying to decide whether to buy something nice or just get another cheap, but at least 50 Watt, iron. 

It's an investment. Honestly? If you are going to solder alot or work on electronic projects regularly, invest in yourself and buy a nice soldering iron. Otherwise you'll go from cheap iron to cheap iron, eventually spending as much as a good iron.

Offline mfrancis107Topic starter

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2009, 11:45:52 AM »
Interesting discussion.  I had not had good success with the cheap Radio Shack soldering iron I had.  After reading this I looked at it, discovered it is 25 Watts, and realized that is why.  I'm now trying to decide whether to buy something nice or just get another cheap, but at least 50 Watt, iron. 

It's an investment. Honestly? If you are going to solder alot or work on electronic projects regularly, invest in yourself and buy a nice soldering iron. Otherwise you'll go from cheap iron to cheap iron, eventually spending as much as a good iron.

I'm never afraid to spend some money on a good product.  Besides, even if I never use it,  I could probably find a buyer on ebay or craigslist.

Offline chelmi

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Re: Soldering station
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2009, 12:16:46 PM »
Interesting discussion.  I had not had good success with the cheap Radio Shack soldering iron I had.  After reading this I looked at it, discovered it is 25 Watts, and realized that is why.  I'm now trying to decide whether to buy something nice or just get another cheap, but at least 50 Watt, iron. 

It's an investment. Honestly? If you are going to solder alot or work on electronic projects regularly, invest in yourself and buy a nice soldering iron. Otherwise you'll go from cheap iron to cheap iron, eventually spending as much as a good iron.

I'm never afraid to spend some money on a good product.  Besides, even if I never use it,  I could probably find a buyer on ebay or craigslist.

My "philosophy" is to get a good solder station: it makes soldering a lot easier and enjoyable (I love soldering, don't ask why) and even if I don't use it every day, it's a tool I'll probably keep for a very long time. Unless you are on a really tight budget, I don't see why you wouldn't spend a 100 or 200$ on something you are going to use for the next 10 or 15 years (and maybe more)

 


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