Re: Soldering gun or iron

Dave Bottom <ars.kd6az@...>

Likewise somewhere I have my original Weller Soldering Gun from around 1958!  Yes, it still works  but I don't really have a use for it.  I do have a huge Weller soldering iron for replacing Can Electrolytic Capacitors.

While always having nice Hakko gear around work for soldering or SMD repair work many years ago, today there are many alternatives that should be OK.  

For my ham radio restoration work I bought one of the Radio Shack Soldering stations when it went on sale for half off ($60) in 2009.  I've used it almost daily for the past 9 years and other than the wand that gets wear and tear it's been very reliable.  When it needed a new wand I did the research and found it was made by Atten.  So I ordered a new identical Atten station and two new wands for less than the sale price from Radioshack.  I think they will last me for the rest of my life (I'm going on 70).

Like most outfits Atten makes entirely new more advanced products like the same soldering station in new packaging with automatic standby mode (when you forget and leave it on - hi hi). 

You can now get complete soldering and hot air workstations for less than $70 (Yikes Walmart has one!)  It's nearly identical to the Circuit Specialist one (that is just under $100) and includes 11 soldering tips.  I bought the Circuit Specialist one primarily because they have it private labelled for them and carry spare parts.  Considering I will have such poor vision or not be able to hold the soldering iron still enough when I'm 80, it should last me a while as well.  

Dave WI6R

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 4:59 PM, KB1JPW <a.fairaizl@...> wrote:
It might be worth looking for some auctions as well. I've never understood how I did anything with solder before my metcal sp-200 iron I've had for 20 yrs now. It's way more iron than I need and bought it originally to do surface mount components.  It's near instant heat through high-frequency and will adjust based off of thermal demand.  

I did a quick search at my local "toy store" here in town but I'm not sure where you're located so it might be more trouble than it's worth.... They do ebay auctions from their physical location and have quite often had soldering irons roll through. I'm not affiliated with them but do give them business whenever I can  - That's the same SP-200 model I have and they still have plenty of tips available on the market.  I'd definitely buy one again if the one I have dies.  Average used going price for them outright is around $100 USD. I can see if they'd let me test that one if you'd like since they're about 10 minutes from my house.

Look at the types of soldering you are going to do and match the capabilities of the iron to the work. The one above can go from SMTs to soldering a battery cable with the appropriate tips.  If you're just going to do the occasional soldering, get something with high ratings and enough power to handle what you'd anticipate if you pick up other projects.  

Drew - KB1JPW

73 Dave WI6R

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