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Old 09-08-2010, 02:29 AM #1
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Default Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

I am planning on getting a Soldering Iron and some Solder tomorrow for a little Tunnel effect machine that I am going to be putting together. As this is my first time doing anything involving connecting wires and such, I was hoping someone could inform me of what an ideal powered soldering iron is for work with laser DIY kits and such as I want to buy a soldering iron that I can use for DIYs should I choose to do them. Thanks!


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Old 09-08-2010, 02:31 AM #2
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

How much are You willing to spend?
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:38 AM #3
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Yikes....umm preferably not too much, I work about 28 hours a week at 7.95 an hour....but let's go with one less than 30 and one less than 50....
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:39 AM #4
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

I recommend a 25W iron with a very fine tip. Use fine narrow solder as well.. Lower heat is better for components, especially if you're just starting out. Give this a read as well:
How to solder properly
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:44 AM #5
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Having an adjustable temp is a good feature. You also want it to heat up rapidly. Don't buy anything that says Wood Burning Soldering Iron!!! Fine points are better than blunt for what You'll be doing.

Lower heat is not necessarily better, because You have to maintain contact longer Or Let it Soak as it is called...That's bad
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:50 AM #6
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

okay...so Coherent, do you agree with Elektro that 25W would be a good power? And I will make sure to get the right style tip....and I think the actual solder is called like rosin solder or something?

Not that I doubt you Elektro, just wanna get a consensus
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:51 AM #7
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Actually if you can afford it a variable power solder station as suggested by coherent would be ideal, but 25W is plenty hot to make quick bonds.

There are several types of solder, rosin-core is the most commonly used for small electronics, but some people use solid solder and external flux. Rosin-core solder has the flux built in and it forms a core in the center of the solder wire. The resin in the solder helps the solder flow onto the surfaces you're soldering which makes the process easier, cleaner and helps make solid connections.
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 09-08-2010 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:54 AM #8
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Okay, i am probably going to go with something middle of the line.....I understand that one gets what one pays for and at the same time I shall pace myself....happy mediums are nice(in theory)
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

The Rosin core has Flux in the Solder, but You will need to apply Flux from a Pen or Brush externally to get good adhesion. I know most hobby Irons are listed in Watts, but that is misleading the temperature of the tip is whats important. Soldering is done in certain ranges Most common Temps in Soldering are 600 / 700 / 800 with some above and below those listed for special applications. You will likely want a tip Temp of 650-700 but no higher on a diode. That temp is hot enough to melt the solder quickly, and You have a working time of aprox 3 to 5 seconds before heat will penetrate to the diodes internals.


PM for more information. This is a lot to type into a thread.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:04 AM #10
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coherent Light View Post
The Rosin core has Flux in the Solder, but You will need to apply Flux from a Pen or Brush externally to get good adhesion. I know most hobby Irons are listed in Watts, but that is misleading the temperature of the tip is whats important. Soldering is done in certain ranges Most common Temps in Soldering are 600 / 700 / 800 with some above and below those listed for special applications. You will likely want a tip Temp of 650-700 but no higher on a diode. That temp is hot enough to melt the solder quickly, and You have a working time of aprox 3 to 5 seconds before heat will penetrate to the diodes internals.


PM fort more information. This is alot to type into a thread.
Actually all of the necessary info for someone just starting off in the link I posted in post #4.. not really any need to type it all if you don't feel up to it.. I know I wouldn't type it all again... hence the link. @the OP: It's a good beginner's guide, it's been used by many.. take it or leave it. There's a lot to soldering, best not to heap it on all at once right at the start... IMO anyway. Practice makes perfect.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:04 AM #11
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Thanks to the both of you for the advice! +rep to both
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:09 AM #12
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
Actually all of the necessary info for someone just starting off in the link I posted in post #4.. not really any need to type it all if you don't feel up to it.. I know I wouldn't type it all again... hence the link. @the OP: It's a good beginner's guide, it's been used by many.. take it or leave it. There's a lot to soldering, best not to heap it on all at once right at the start... IMO anyway. Practice makes perfect.
Too True Elektro..

Soldering is more art than process sometimes. I know I don't want to type forever on the subject. They say Teach not Preach...Sometimes I get confused.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:57 AM #13
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

As general rule ..... try to avoid any soldering irons or soldering stations that have the tip fitting like this one (means, anything that is just a rot kept in place with one or two side screws)

The better soldering irons tip holders are like these ones (a tube with an end screw collar, that hold the tip centrally) ..... those types of tips are, also, usually much high quality of the "rod" ones ..... and as cheap first soldering iron, also this one is not too bad, and there are less than 1mm tips, as spare parts, too)

Regardless the fact that you choose a soldering iron or a soldering station, if you choose the second tip types, they last you longer and make usually much better works than the first type (i think i know this, i have 7 soldering and 2 desoldering irons sparsed around anywhere, plus an Elto soldering station and a Weller soldering and desoldering stations couple ..... and the only time i was constrained to buy one of the first type for an on-the-fly repair, i throwed it away right after )
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:26 AM #14
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

Thanks for the advice that you guys of given to the forum... I continue to learn and pick up all this info that will help me and others... awesome question to ask... and recieve equally awesome advice.

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:53 AM #15
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

I mentioned it in another tread, but a good practice tool is a small square frame wrapped with steel wire app. " apart, both ways.
You will get a lot of wires crossing, where you can practice bringing the solder coated tip of the iron and the solder wire together the correct amount of time.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:49 PM #16
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Default Re: Request an audience with the Solder gods on LPF

I am not sure if it's mentioned but variable power and variable temperature are two different things. I bought a variable power station by mistake and I still prefer to use my soldering pencil instead.

One will allow you to adjust the watts the iron receives thus giving the operator no actual indication of the temperature. The variable temperature ones on the other hand actually allow you to adjust the temperature pretty accurately.

I am not sure what others think but I hate the adjustable watt ones, and I would suggest staying away from them, especially if your a beginner.

Thats just my 2 cents.
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