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Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
07-11-2015, 08:01 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 06:44 AM by Terry K.)
Post: #1
Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
It's been 30 years since I have done any serious soldering. I have to fix my HP34C and I need recommendations for a soldering iron/station/set-up. I need a low price without it being cheap [quality].
Range of uses will probably be calculators, radios and household electronics etc.... but I am specifically fixing my HP34C at this time so that is first and foremost.

Thanks guys for all your collective knowledge.

Terry
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07-11-2015, 08:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
Seriously dude, I'm NOT stalking you. Lol.

Here's the one I've got and it's about $90. Mine's a little older with an analog temperature control rather than digital, but it should have the same internals. It heats up fast and recovers quick too. Lots of tips to choose from and it's pretty good quality.

http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-Digital-FX88...=hakko+888

I'm only a hobbyist at soldering though, so check around.

Brad
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07-11-2015, 09:13 PM
Post: #3
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
My smallest ones are Weller WM-120 with the MP131 .015" cone tip. That's only for the tiniest SMT stuff though. For the not-so-tiny SMT and for thru-hole work, I use a Weller 7760 handle and 1237-S 33-watt heater and the PL113 1/8" chisel tip. From my experience, this is better than the expensive temperature-controlled soldering stations which are usually not hot enough to transfer the heat quickly. It was a surprise to our production people when I showed that soldering a plastic switch years ago resulted in less melting and damage if they would use a hotter soldering iron so as to be able to complete the job so quickly there wasn't time for the heat to reach the plastic before everything was cooling again.

People are often afraid of damaging semiconductors with soldering heat; but in a previous job where I frequently did infrared scanning of power transistors while they were operating under the worst possible load, I saw silicon transistors actually operating with a die surface temperature at over 350°C. (They wouldn't have lasted long at that temperature, but it did not immediately destroy them.) Getting the leads of an IC up to that temperature, without doing them all at once (because you're soldering by hand with a soldering iron), won't get the die up anywhere near that hot.

Beyond that, I just use a cheap soldering-iron holder and a sponge to clean the tip.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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07-11-2015, 09:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
basically concurring with garth. also, look out for a high-ohmic protective earth connection on the soldering station where you can attach your ESD mat (and your ESD wrist wrap) to. a "soldering gun" for that matter is a definitive no-no on vintage CMOS electronics (and on all electronics, to be honest). buying a $30 soldering iron to fry a $150 vintage beauty is not going to save you anything.

hans
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07-11-2015, 10:15 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2015 10:16 PM by Raymond Del Tondo.)
Post: #5
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
Some years ago I bought an "ERSA MS 250 S Electronic Soldering Station" , which comes with two DC soldering irons, the bigger one (12VDC/25W) for rougher stuff, and the smaller one (12VDC/6W) for more fragile stuff.
There are various more sophisticated soldering stations, but this station in combination with an ESD wrist wrap is a good base for soldering discrete electronics.

-- Ray
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07-11-2015, 11:25 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2015 11:44 PM by Terry K.)
Post: #6
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
The List: So far....thoughts?

1) Weller WESD51 Soldering Station 50 W Digital 350-850 F ------------------- $99

2) Hakko FX888D-23BY FX-888D 70W Digital Display Soldering Station ------- $99

3) Aoyue 3210 70 Watt Soldering Station ----------------------------------------- $80








4
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07-12-2015, 02:23 AM
Post: #7
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
I can echo the good results with the Hakko soldering irons. I purchased the Hakko FX888, which is the analog equivalent of the digital version referenced below. The tips are very easy to get and there are a wide variety of them from small, thin, fat, chisel, etc. I just checked Amazon tonight and they showed the FX888D for $89.83 and they throw in a free cutter. Hakko's been around a very long time and they have a good reputation.
Cheers......Jim J.

(07-11-2015 11:25 PM)Terry K Wrote:  The List: So far....thoughts?

2) Hakko FX888D-23BY FX-888D 70W Digital Display Soldering Station ------- $99








4
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07-12-2015, 04:15 AM
Post: #8
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
I forgot to add to my post above: Make sure you put the tip on the heater with thermal grease so you'll be able to get the tip off when it's time to replace it. Otherwise you'll be replacing the heater too.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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07-12-2015, 06:34 AM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 09:13 AM by Tugdual.)
Post: #9
RE: Soldering Gun recommendation....
Funny I was checking that today. Nobody mentioned hot air workstations. I have never seen/used one but with surface components it seems to be the preferred solution. They often come with a pump to unsolder. Not sure if hot air is a replacement for an iron or a complementary tool.
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07-12-2015, 06:45 AM
Post: #10
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-11-2015 09:46 PM)Hans Brueggemann Wrote:  basically concurring with garth. also, look out for a high-ohmic protective earth connection on the soldering station where you can attach your ESD mat (and your ESD wrist wrap) to. a "soldering gun" for that matter is a definitive no-no on vintage CMOS electronics (and on all electronics, to be honest). buying a $30 soldering iron to fry a $150 vintage beauty is not going to save you anything.

hans

Thanks for the correction Hans. I meant soldering station/iron rather than "gun".
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07-21-2015, 02:12 AM
Post: #11
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
Another vote for Hakko FX-888D. This is a fantastic digitally controlled iron with a great selection of tips. Sure, it looks like it came from the kids dept. at IKEA but the quality is surprisingly good. Outstanding iron for less than $100.

Also consider a good quality digital multimeter if you're getting into hardware hacking. Fluke meters are generally considered to be the gold standard.

jamieson
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07-21-2015, 03:50 AM
Post: #12
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-12-2015 06:34 AM)Tugdual Wrote:  Not sure if hot air is a replacement for an iron or a complementary tool.

Hot air is typically used for de-soldering and the iron for soldering. Use of hot air requires a nozzle that precisely fits the device being removed to concentrate the air flow. Usually this method is too expensive for the hobbyist.

When de-soldering it's important to remove the solder as quickly as possible to minimize heating of the board. Too much heat will cause traces to delaminate. Vacuum de-soldering tools, like a squeeze bulb or Soldapullt are preferable to solder braid, especially with through-hole components.

I have a Weller WESD51.

Dave
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07-21-2015, 08:41 AM (This post was last modified: 07-21-2015 08:43 AM by BartDB.)
Post: #13
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-21-2015 03:50 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Vacuum de-soldering tools, like a squeeze bulb or Soldapullt are preferable to solder braid, especially with through-hole components.

My vote is vice-versa, preferring de-soldering braid to a solder-sucker, especially on older printed boards I have found the pads being sucked off (particularly with single layer boards where the pad is not held in place by through-hole plating). Pre-wetting the braid with a liquid flux helps absorbtion of the solder.
-Bart
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07-21-2015, 02:27 PM
Post: #14
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-21-2015 08:41 AM)BartDB Wrote:  
(07-21-2015 03:50 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Vacuum de-soldering tools, like a squeeze bulb or Soldapullt are preferable to solder braid, especially with through-hole components.

My vote is vice-versa, preferring de-soldering braid to a solder-sucker, especially on older printed boards I have found the pads being sucked off (particularly with single layer boards where the pad is not held in place by through-hole plating). Pre-wetting the braid with a liquid flux helps absorbtion of the solder.
-Bart

Solder braid can't wick solder our of a plated-through hole with a pin in it as fast as a vacuum desoldering tool. If it could they wouldn't make the vacuum tools. The time it takes to try to remove solder from a hole using braid heats up the board too much. The problem you're experiencing pulling up traces it due to technique.

Dave
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07-21-2015, 04:58 PM
Post: #15
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
I have no complains in 3 years since I got this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-ATTEN-AT8586...3f49f402b6

My website: erwin.ried.cl
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07-21-2015, 05:12 PM (This post was last modified: 07-21-2015 05:21 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #16
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-21-2015 04:58 PM)eried Wrote:  I have no complains in 3 years since I got this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-ATTEN-AT8586...3f49f402b6

That's pretty nice, Erwin. It looks like it'll work for heat shrink tubing and lifting labels, too.

$150 on Amazon in the U.S.

Frying pans have also been used for reflowing surface mount parts, but that's a little out of my comfort zone, although I suggest a good non-stick surface. Smile

Dave
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07-22-2015, 02:37 PM
Post: #17
RE: Soldering Station/Iron recommendation....
(07-21-2015 05:12 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  
(07-21-2015 04:58 PM)eried Wrote:  I have no complains in 3 years since I got this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-ATTEN-AT8586...3f49f402b6

That's pretty nice, Erwin. It looks like it'll work for heat shrink tubing and lifting labels, too.

$150 on Amazon in the U.S.

Frying pans have also been used for reflowing surface mount parts, but that's a little out of my comfort zone, although I suggest a good non-stick surface. Smile

Dave

I normally use the rework part to remove/replace smd parts, it comes with a little adaptor to output a thin flow of air so it is not that hard to use with some tweezers. It just needs a little practice with levels of heat. To be a cheap-brand chinese product it feels quite reliable.

My website: erwin.ried.cl
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