Need some advice on soldering

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Harrison

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I need to make up a load of cables, both internal computer cables and external audio/video cables and so need to buy a soldering iron. I've decided to make my own as it's going to be much cheaper then buying premade ones.

I'm after recommendations on makes and model, plus where to buy:

Variable temp mains powered soldering iron (maybe a complete station with holder and sponge to save space)
Extra tips (spares and/or different types)
Rosin Core Solder

Is it true that you can now only buy lead free solder in Europe? I've heard it isn't as nice to work with as lead based solder.
 

rkauer

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

I Think it's better I answer before our beloved post whore, Zetty.

In Europe, you can use/buy only lead-free solder, but the led-with still remains.

Led solder is a lot easier to use, since it demands less heat to melt. Also led solder rosin acts better on cleaning the copper traces/wires on the soldering moment.

For simple cables, a 40W, unregulated unit will be more than OK. For more heavier solder jobs, consider a 60W unit.

For fine services, as board fixes, use a fine ceramic tip, temperature-controlled iron. Other advices will come from our beloved P-W. :LOL:
 

TheCorfiot

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@Harrison

PM sent regarding recomendations.

TC :mrgreen:
 

Zetr0

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@Harrison

y'know with these two people helping you out, you dont need my help...


....

.... BUT as I am a LEGENDARY POST WHORE LOL!!!

a good flux and a decent Iron is all that you need.

make sure you get a Ceramic CORE iron not a steel one let me lookie....

man.... eBay is shit.... I have just done an 8page search and there is NOTHING i would recomend short of £60

thats dire... all the Irons on there are over priced crap that guaranteed to ruin the job you want to do and lose hair in the process...

with the right iron, solder and flux one can easily achieve great results, alas the shite on fleabay at the moment is almost enough to make me cry!

the best i could find was this Variable Solder Station Buy It Now for £29.95 + £6.95 PnP its a ceramic core iron wich will out last a steel core and heat up quicker and resist shock temperature drops. also tips are easier to come buy :)

(mods: btw as long as its BIN only auction links are okay)

now the above comes to £37, if you spent that again you could get yourself a FULL hotair rework station! personally for me its been the best investment I have made in the last 10years!!!!! and I have only had it just under 2!!!!!

okay... we need solder... personally the stuff you have probably been using you should throw away, its shit and will only give you ass-nasty results.

so solder then... I would suggest 0.022 or 0.015 guage solder pending on your use... also make sure its silver bearing solder the good stuff... your components will thank you for it i promise!

now lets talk FLUX, now I have a lot of different fluxes for a lot of differing purposes, for the most part I would sware by plumbers solder Paste from wilkinsons for around £2 for a medium sized tub! its great its some of the best flux i have every used its a great conistence when hot allows everything to flow... the only down side is that it is caustic as hell! if you dont clean it with water / IPA or screen wash it will eat into a PCB within a couple of days! dont mess with it, after its use... clean it well!!!

okay thats about it really m8... if your budget can stretch to arround £80 let me know and I will help you choose a Hot air rework station that has a variable ceramic iron on it as well.
 

McVenco

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

I bought a very basic Weller 15W soldering iron at a regular hardware store which suits all my needs for soldering electro and computer stuff. It came with a 1.5 mm tip and I bought an extra 1.0 mm tip for small work, but I haven't had the need for it so far. I guess that for just some occasional soldering work you don't need anything more spectacular than this.

I paid 25 Euros for the iron, spare tip and a tube of solder (10 m x 1.0 mm).
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Did someone mention "Post Wh0re" 8)

Great Link Zeets, I've bought one myself sbject to the right answers on spare tips!

Thanks m8! :D

RE FLux:

@ all

Flux Paste will last for years, though it can leave a slightly corrosive residue. I understand there are Flux Liquids now (clear) & leave zero residue after the joint is soldered. Never bothered as my 2oz tin is still 55% full after 12 years. :shock:
Flux must be used to tin wires/components before soldering is done. Trying to get solder with in-built flux, - "to flow" - is NOT the same & can leave you with a dry joint; - If you should be lucky enough to pigeon-snot it together in the first place! :LOL:

Good luck deciding H, there are some good comments & an excellent link here!
 

TheCorfiot

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@all

I didn't mean to be rude by just sending a PM to Harrison, It's just that I probably would have broken /pushed the Amibay rules too far If I posted. And I can't do that can I. :oops:

@Zeets

Cracking find If only I had some spare funds....

TC 8)
 

Harrison

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Thanks for all of the information and links. Very useful indeed :)

Zetr0's find does look very good for the price, however going by the sellers store page he is only showing that you need to buy a whole replacement iron to get a replacement tip, which seems a bit mad. However if you can get different replacement tips then I will definitely consider this.

The Antex soldering irons Maplin sell also look good too and seem very popular.
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

If they get back to me H, I'll let you know the outcome on the Tips! :)
 

Zetr0

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Hiyas guys,

some more HOT linking,

One of the BIG benefits of the Aoyue 936 iron is that the following pack of 10 tips from http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk will work with it

(click to goto order page)


a great set to be sure! and the best bit is... each set only costs £4.99 (awesome eh?)

I bought 2 sets and got them delivered for around £14 or close to that.
 

rkauer

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Impressive! Shame the S&H to t his side of the pond stops it to reach on my filthy hands for an affordable price.

Here in Banana land we just have the crappy metal tips.
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

rkauer, What about someone buying it on your behalf & shipping on to Brazil for you?

Spondoolies up front of course! $ :mrgreen: $

I could weigh my order up for you & get a quote from the UK if it's just the Dealer wont ship your way! ? :wink:
 

rkauer

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Thanks a lot, friend!

Next couple of months wifie kills hardware mess-maker if another goods comes at home.

But when March comes... :twisted:
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

F'k March....

Wtf is it with u & the Missus over Amiga Hardware?

Tell her to get a Life! - Preferably one with Amiga's in it & ur Laughing!

How many "Paula's" in your Family?? :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
 

Harrison

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

That is an impressive range of tips available for that. Very tempting.

However I've also found another iron on ebay that looked quite good for the price.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0013995936

£32.95 + shipping for a digital variable temp iron with a ceramic element sounds quite good to me.

Is this any good? The seller also has packs of 3 replacement tips available for £2.99 a pack which seems really good.

I also found this UK store that sells the Aoyue range of soldering irons.

http://www.pcb-soldering.co.uk/index.ph ... egory_id=9
 

Zetr0

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@Harrison

thats some fine searching my friend,

okay... this is a diificult decision between to the two.

the Bamford is a good quality steel core ceramic tipped Iron, nice and sturdy, the Aoyue on the other hand is a good quality iron with both Ceramic Core and Ceramic Tip.

at this point I can only speak for my self on the following

Metal Cores
Solid metal cores take longer to heat and are prone to cold shock when welding / cleaning, although ceramic tips will help in this area.
Sold metal cores can take a lot more punishment that ceramic cores when doing long heating runs say > 2 hour stints.

Ceramic Cores
Heat very quickly and a resistant to core cold shock,
great for light to medium work (say under 2 hours)


Personal

I find that the vaiblity of ceramic core irons is better with my setup and style than that of metal cores. I find that i get a better result with a ceramic core iron.

I suppose another bonus a cermaic core iron like the Aoyue is the HUGE range of compatible Cheap ceramic tips available for the various jobs that I do, you see when you get into it theres more to a soldering iron than just laying down solder ;)

overall
A good result comes down to howmuch you want to invest in this are my friend, to be honest a good setup and lots of practice, will give you the results you want with either type of iron.

I would suggest having a look on youtube there are a lot of professional soldering techniques and methods and well worth getting a dead pc mobo and having at it with the iron to temper your skills :)

either way my friend, best of luck on your purchase, if there is anyway I can help :)
 

Merlin

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@ Zetr0

Wot? No Iroda gas powered soldering irons or Black and Decker paint stripper guns? Are there no old skool "freestyle" solderers left on here apart from me, or have you all gone soft and bought hot air rework stations?

I can solder single strands of copper wire or 30 AWG wire onto Playstation chip legs without a magnifying glass, using a 15w Iroda electric soldering iron, and that's no bull; I used to regularly fix failed attempts at chipping Playstations, especially 7000/9000 series and PS Ones where people had vaporised the tracks with too much heat.

How quickly people forget their roots....... You are amateurs, the lot of you.......... :mrgreen:

:LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
 

Zetr0

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

Bah!

you hardn'd crusty old skooler you! :D

admitedly I think i have gone a little soft since getting my hot-air rework station... but its LOVELY!!!!

no longer do i frantically have to swap units over I just flick a switch... instant heat near enough..... ahhh... lovely...

in truth, I think I might just buy another Aoyue based solder station (not hot air) so that I can have two irons setup (one for smd point, the other for re-work) mmmmm yes.... a little prezzy for me.... I LIKE IT :D
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Need some advice on soldering

@ Zeets

Don't forget the Runny Honey Dispenser to go in between the 2 work stations! :mrgreen:
 
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