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Old 09-11-2011, 08:25 PM #1
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Default Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Here is what appears to be a nice cheap kit for beginners to the laser hobby who do not want to buy a $100 soldering station or a nice Fluke multimeter. You can tell these aren't top quality items, but they should work perfectly fine for what we do here, and at a pretty nice cost. 12 Digital Volt Meter Multimeter Tester Screwdriver Set - BuyinCoins.com



The price is $17.18, but you can use the coupon code 10%eBay2011 to receive an additional 10% off. Also, if you put someone's name down as "recommender", you receive an additional 5% off. I would appreciate it if you use my name, Alexizupinhea , under the "recommender", but feel free to use someone else's if you truly wish. Even if you already have a buyincoins account, just sign out and checkout as a guest to continue to receive this 15% discount.

Edit: you can add more solder here for $0.75 http://www.buyincoins.com/details/ti...duct-5994.html . It is $0.98 - $0.10 for being a "2nd item" in your cart, - 15% = $0.75



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Old 09-11-2011, 09:58 PM #2
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Careful - from experience, you don't want to play around with cheap soldering irons.

I ordered a "cheapo" from China, $10 or so, as a backup. It melted. The mid area just melted away and dripped onto the surface below. This wasn't after an hour of being left on either, it was maybe 10 or 15 minutes after plugging it in.

In fact, I then had the same thing happen with the soldering iron I bought (from RadioShack - well "The Source" in Canada) to replace it with, albeit this time after a few hours.

I would actually love to see a thread about inexpensive (within reason) but decent quality soldering irons. I have horrible luck finding replacement tips that are the right size. I'd love to finally grab a decent one that I could stick with for a while and be assured a steady ability to find replacement tips. I go through 3 or 4 of the $25 RadioShack adjustable heat irons a year. It's a stupid cycle.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:14 PM #3
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhd View Post
Careful - from experience, you don't want to play around with cheap soldering irons.

I ordered a "cheapo" from China, $10 or so, as a backup. It melted.
I agree with this... I accidently left my cheap 15$ soldering iron on over night, the entire front part of the handle was completely melted, I am lucky it didn't start a fire. Also if you are using it for more than an hour, it gets to hot to hold...

I recently got a cheap temperature regulated soldering station, it was an AMAZING improvement over all the cheap soldering irons I had used before.

Last edited by ARG; 09-11-2011 at 10:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:49 AM #4
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

I'm quite surprised at your bad luck. I've used my cheap non-adjustable radioshack one perfectly fine for a yr or two, and i've used cheap $1 ones from a local dollar store for a few jobs just fine. I have an adjustable Weller one that I use now which I just find easier to tin the tip. But then again, perhaps its because I don't use one for extensive periods of time.

However, for a new laser hobbyist, they would only be making probably one laser at a time. And a single laser requires minimal soldering, as little as three wires (two for diode, one to battery assuming case negative). So I'm sure this would still be fine for most people, so long as they don't leave it plugged in.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:12 AM #5
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Hey this is a great kit! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!! I think I may pick up a kit for my friends birthday.

On a side note something REALLY funny happened. I was over mariomaster's house and asking him how he can use a cheap 10$ radioshack iron. He mentioned that his iron may be cheap but it is reliable and has worked for him for a long time no problem!

Later that day we went to finish my argon controller and his iron was TOAST. It was one of those ironic moments. He now blames me for his iron's death! True story!

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:09 AM #6
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexizupinhea View Post
I'm quite surprised at your bad luck. I've used my cheap non-adjustable radioshack one perfectly fine for a yr or two, and i've used cheap $1 ones from a local dollar store for a few jobs just fine.
I guess it's luck of the draw with cheap soldering irons
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:47 AM #7
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

This is A Great all in one Buy. Although i have never used it before it looks Great for a Beginner that is trying out the hobby or a first build to see if he wants to continue and spend more money on better equipment.

I would Just say use more care.

I Have had a Cheap Soldering iron probebly for over 1 year that stays in the shop for De soldering components quickly so i dont have to run upstairs to my main build room to grab my Weller.

It has stayed on for hours with no Issue. Radioshack $7.99 40W iron. But tips suck.

My Weller tips last forever and ever...
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:51 AM #8
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Sorry Alexizupinhea but

Please DON'T be fooled by what seems like a good deal.
I will tell you right off this soldering iron can very easly
kill your electronics, if you look close you will see there is
no ground plug which means no static protection.
Need I say any more...
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:57 AM #9
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

@ rhd

Heres a good 60w adj.temp iron and IIRC it has thermal feedback...60W 220V Temperature Adjustable Rubber Handle Electronics DIY Soldering Iron (178CM Cable) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

Pick up some spare tips and you have a nice iron that will last you quite a while.


@Flaminpyro

It also has a ground cable

Evidence of thermal feedback?
http://club.dealextreme.com/forums/F...hreadid.785207
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:09 AM #10
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

There is probably about $7 worth of parts there. As a kit it might be nice and easy to give to someone, but you might want to consider hand-picking something decent for yourself, or to give to someone you actually care anything about. Also most of the tools aren't going to be useful. Who among you have used that logic probe, or tweezers like that?

The fact of the matter is that you should not be adverse to spending decent amounts of money on quality tools. A good rule of thumb is that if the tools you're buying are worth less than the parts you'll be using them on, you should probably invest in something better. With the cost of making a decent laser being about $20, should you really be thinking about $15 soldering kits?

Save your money and buy something decent, and something you'll use. Buy something that you're confident will not break the more expensive parts you bought. Otherwise you'll be spending money for the tools you should have bought, as well as replacement parts for the parts you broke learning that.

Here's a list for prospective soldering people.

That said, you don't have to have REALLY great tools to do good work. However, you shouldn't scrimp on your soldering iron or the solder you use, and having a nice meter is helpful. You can do good work even with a regular 30W soldering iron, but often that is for soldering up things like resistors or other things that aren't sensitive to heat.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:13 AM #11
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARGLaser View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhd View Post
Careful - from experience, you don't want to play around with cheap soldering irons.

I ordered a "cheapo" from China, $10 or so, as a backup. It melted.
I agree with this... I accidently left my cheap 15$ soldering iron on over night, the entire front part of the handle was completely melted, I am lucky it didn't start a fire. Also if you are using it for more than an hour, it gets to hot to hold...

I recently got a cheap temperature regulated soldering station, it was an AMAZING improvement over all the cheap soldering irons I had used before.
Yeah. Happened to me too. The part where the hot metal bolts to the plastic melted apart when I was using it. D:<
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:10 PM #12
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

I'm all for spending money on proper tools. However, this "cheap" soldering iron looks better to me than a cheap radioshack iron, which is what I would assume most beginners or novices use (which also doesn't contain a ground plug). At the very least it has a decent stand and convenient sponge. I'm sure everyone can agree that the multimeter would probably be sufficient for setting a current or measuring a battery voltage. I never said it was the best kit to use, I merely believe it is a decent kit that would get the job done without much of an investment.

I'm no professional at soldering, but I have built tons of lasers with cheap equipment. Even my Weller 40W adjustable soldering iron is not digital but is analog, and I typically keep it on the highest setting for most of my applications. It isn't difficult to quickly solder to a diode without damaging it. And for any complete beginner to soldering, they can simply get this kit and then practice soldering a cheap "worthless" diode from a CD-ROM or something of the sort.

Having said that, I love my "cheap" $50 Weller soldering station, $80 multimeter, $300 oscilloscope, etc. Good tools make life easier; but, people have made due with lesser quality at a more affordable price.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:20 PM #13
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

I've never had cheap soldering irons melt... you'd reckon they test those things before taking them into mass production.

Providing that it doesnt melt, i think the kit is great value for a starter. $17 for that much stuff is hard to beat.

One thing that could be nice is to get a cheap dimmer that you plug in between the wall socket and a lamp. Those do a good job of adjusting the power on soldering irons like these, in case you need to do some delicate work.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:59 PM #14
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

I am pretty surprised that the soldering iron melted, but reading that the soldering iron was left on all night makes me think it wasn't the fault of the soldering iron that it happened in the first place. Hell, that iron would probably be unusable after that long anyway. Treat your tools well, and they'll treat you well too. Maybe spending more on it will be a better reminder.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:55 PM #15
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

cheap ones work fine with short duty cycles. but my weller can run continuously.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:39 PM #16
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Default Re: Laser Soldering Kit/Multimeter for Beginners <$15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bionic-Badger View Post
I am pretty surprised that the soldering iron melted, but reading that the soldering iron was left on all night makes me think it wasn't the fault of the soldering iron that it happened in the first place. Hell, that iron would probably be unusable after that long anyway. Treat your tools well, and they'll treat you well too. Maybe spending more on it will be a better reminder.
Yeah, it really was my fault with that, but just pointing out that soldering irons that are not temperature regulated may start a fire if left on for too long
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