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Old 04-24-2009, 07:56 PM #1
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Default Help finding the correct soldering tools

Hey guys. I am a machinist and I understand metalworking and woodworking and even composites. But electronics are still a bit of a mystery to me. :-/ I am getting better but I need a little guidance.

Right now I am using a Radio Shack solder gun that works well with leads and battery contacts where I have room to work. I am getting lined up to start putting laser diodes on the drivers and would like to know what you all suggest. I am thinking I want something to do the tiny SMD stuff as well.

Can you guys suggest which equipment is best? What wattage do I need to be looking for?

All of the different opinions will be much appreciated.

Thank You all very much
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:41 PM #2
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

I have read here a while ago that it is good to use a 25watt solder iron. I personally use the Weller solder station that has adjustable heat up to 800 degrees.


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Old 04-24-2009, 11:25 PM #3
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

I use a Radioshack soldering iron (probably like the one you have) but i switched out the tip for a much finer tip. Also use some flux. It makes soldering so much easier
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:28 AM #4
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

Here you go this is a nice little "kit" that comes with a decent soldering iron that will be great for just about anything you want to do. Note you may need a different tip for smd. Also if your wanting to get into smd, its usually easier to "bake" the solder onto the boards
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?ma...6497dbffc4e855
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:17 PM #5
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

also, if you extract diodes, you should use a desoldering iron or solder bulb.
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:21 PM #6
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

I'd ditch the Radio Shack soldering iron and get a better one made by Weller or other dedicated brands. I use an Aoyue rework station. It has a hot air nozzle and a nice soldering iron with smoke extractor. I think it cost me about $250 on Amazon. They have other nice Aoyue brand soldering stations in different configurations on Amazon. Wellers are also very good though they can be expensive.
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:01 PM #7
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Default Re: Help finding the correct soldering tools

I have a variable temperature Hakko that works great, although I need a new tip for it, a smaller one for the flex drives and such. The Aoyue looks just like the Hakko, and both have gotten good reviews from everything I've seen (Hakko has been around I think, I think Aoyue came out more recently, at which point everybody noticed how similar they are).

Weller, Aoyue, Hakko, I think those can all be recommended as nice stations.
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