Topics

Soldering gun or iron

Fr Richard R <rickocr2005@...>
 

I know this is a basic basic question, though it has been a long time since I have done kits or even soldering of this type.  My uBix is arriving today, hopefully!
So which soldering gun or iron should I purchase......?  Please forgive for such a noob question.

Fr Richard
WB8YXF


Doug W
 

Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

Fr Richard R <rickocr2005@...>
 

Thank you, sorry about such an incomplete question and being so nooby......

limited budget, not sure about future kits, we'll see how this one goes.  I used to use a Soldering Gun a long long time ago...... I have a very low wattage iron someplace that I thought I was going to use for a small kit, though never did.......

so an iron is better that a gun...... and I will just probably get an inexpensive one on Amazon as I am also getting a cable, some new STTDA2822M's and a couple of LM7809CT to prepare for a possible bad TDA2822!










On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 1:47:51 PM EDT, Doug W <dougwilner@...> wrote:


Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

Jerry Gaffke
 

Yes, a temperature controlled pencil iron with a fine tip would be a good choice for working on these rigs.
That and some strong reading glasses and bright work light.

I still have the 140W gun that I built tube gear when in my teens.
Use it occasionally when soldering up large chunks of metal, perhaps when using
12 gauge house wiring for an inductor.  Beyond that, it's the propane torch.

Jerry


On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:47 am, Doug W wrote:
Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

Michael Hagen
 

Circuit Specialties has a bunch that look good.  Should not have to pay more than $30 for a nice one, and make sure to get tiny tip.

I am still using an old Weller I got 30 years ago, the tip regulates, no knob.  It works great and they still  make tips for it.

I use a wet sponge to tip clean.  You also need SolderWick and liquid (Kester type) Flux.

Or even $8 for a nice one that just plugs into 110VAC?

I went thru several Weller Guns when I was a kid.   They are really not for this kind of work.  Also, you have to wait each time you pull the trigger.

Mike, WA6ISP


On 3/15/2018 10:47 AM, Doug W wrote:
Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

-- 
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
10917 Bryant Street
Yucaipa, Ca. 92399
(909) 918-0058
PayPal ID  "MotDog@..."
Mike@...

Michael Hagen
 

Here is a nice one? $20

https://www.circuitspecialists.com/60_Watt_Soldering_Station.html

Mike

On 3/15/2018 10:56 AM, Fr Richard R via Groups.Io wrote:
Thank you, sorry about such an incomplete question and being so nooby......

limited budget, not sure about future kits, we'll see how this one goes.  I used to use a Soldering Gun a long long time ago...... I have a very low wattage iron someplace that I thought I was going to use for a small kit, though never did.......

so an iron is better that a gun...... and I will just probably get an inexpensive one on Amazon as I am also getting a cable, some new STTDA2822M's and a couple of LM7809CT to prepare for a possible bad TDA2822!










On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 1:47:51 PM EDT, Doug W <dougwilner@...> wrote:


Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

-- 
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
10917 Bryant Street
Yucaipa, Ca. 92399
(909) 918-0058
PayPal ID  "MotDog@..."
Mike@...

R. Kuehn
 

Probably going against the grain here but I think a cheap ~$20 iron will probably be an endless source of frustration for a beginner.

If you can swing it,  the Hakko FX888D is a stellar product for about $100. There might be some decent ones for half the price from Weller or some no-name chinese manufactures. Get one of the metal scrubbies for tip cleaning and a good quality lead-free or lead solder Kester and MG Chemicals are good brands. Also, go with solder diameter less than 1mm, I'm fond of 0.3 to 0.5 mm diameter range. Specifically Kester 44 products are my go to for general purpose use.

Ralph
N9WTX

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 12:56 PM, Fr Richard R via Groups.Io <rickocr2005@...> wrote:
Thank you, sorry about such an incomplete question and being so nooby......

limited budget, not sure about future kits, we'll see how this one goes.  I used to use a Soldering Gun a long long time ago...... I have a very low wattage iron someplace that I thought I was going to use for a small kit, though never did.......

so an iron is better that a gun...... and I will just probably get an inexpensive one on Amazon as I am also getting a cable, some new STTDA2822M's and a couple of LM7809CT to prepare for a possible bad TDA2822!










On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 1:47:51 PM EDT, Doug W <dougwilner@...> wrote:


Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or whatever.  We can be much more helpful if you know your goals.  Are you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the job done.  I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA  that was around $15.  It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese ones on Amazon.  While you're at it I would suggest picking up one of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.


Jerry Gaffke
 

The LM7809 puts out 9vdc.
We don't really know what all might blow a WX, but there are reports
that some of the TDA2822 clones blow at over 7v.
So an LM7805 or LM7806 might be a better choice.
And/or a new TDA2822.


On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:56 am, Fr Richard R wrote:
I am also getting a cable, some new STTDA2822M's and a couple of LM7809CT to prepare for a possible bad TDA2822!

 

Christopher Miller
 

I purchased a hot air rework / iron station for around 70$ I can do smd work with it

Fr Richard R <rickocr2005@...>
 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help. As soon as I get back the house I will do some more research as recommended on the iron and other parts. 

I am currently waiting by my mail box for DHL as the radio is on their truck.  I live in the city per se, but a good quarter mile from the 2 lane paved road in some woods, so just trying to be here so driver doesn’t say he can’t find our house and takes it back with him. 

Anyways thanks again and 73

Fr Richard 
WB8YXF 

On Mar 15, 2018, at 15:13, Christopher Miller <djmalak2k6@...> wrote:

I purchased a hot air rework / iron station for around 70$ I can do smd work with it

Jack, W8TEE
 

Me, too. I got:
Inline image


It was about $70 and it's pretty nice for the money. It has an iron, but also hot air. I've only used it a few times, as I use my old iron for thru-hole stuff.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 3:27:31 PM EDT, Christopher Miller <djmalak2k6@...> wrote:


I purchased a hot air rework / iron station for around 70$ I can do smd work with it

Randy
 

Vince Vielhaber
 

I have a small butane torch (harbor freight) that comes just before the propane torch.

Vince.

On 03/15/2018 01:59 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:
Yes, a temperature controlled pencil iron with a fine tip would be a
good choice for working on these rigs.
That and some strong reading glasses and bright work light.

I still have the 140W gun that I built tube gear when in my teens.
Use it occasionally when soldering up large chunks of metal, perhaps
when using
12 gauge house wiring for an inductor. Beyond that, it's the propane torch.

Jerry


On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:47 am, Doug W wrote:

Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or
whatever. We can be much more helpful if you know your goals. Are
you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever
build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have
so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want
the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type
iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the
job done. I have this one
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA that was around $15.
It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese
ones on Amazon. While you're at it I would suggest picking up one
of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.

Vince Vielhaber
 

The 862D+ is going for about $50-$55 right now. I have two of them and they both work great.

Vince.

On 03/15/2018 03:51 PM, Jack Purdum via Groups.Io wrote:
Me, too. I got:
Inline image


It was about $70 and it's pretty nice for the money. It has an iron, but
also hot air. I've only used it a few times, as I use my old iron for
thru-hole stuff.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 3:27:31 PM EDT, Christopher Miller
<djmalak2k6@...> wrote:


I purchased a hot air rework / iron station for around 70$ I can do smd
work with it

Joe Puma
 

I used to watch my grandfather repair tube TV’s with this one.

On Mar 15, 2018, at 4:48 PM, Vince Vielhaber <vev@...> wrote:

I have a small butane torch (harbor freight) that comes just before the propane torch.

Vince.



On 03/15/2018 01:59 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:
Yes, a temperature controlled pencil iron with a fine tip would be a
good choice for working on these rigs.
That and some strong reading glasses and bright work light.

I still have the 140W gun that I built tube gear when in my teens.
Use it occasionally when soldering up large chunks of metal, perhaps
when using
12 gauge house wiring for an inductor. Beyond that, it's the propane torch.

Jerry


On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:47 am, Doug W wrote:

Kind of like asking what car you should buy or shovel or rifle or
whatever. We can be much more helpful if you know your goals. Are
you on a limited budget and this is the only thing you plan to ever
build and need the cheapest way to just get this done or do you have
so much spare cash you light Cuban cigars with $100 bills and want
the best tools that will last for generations?
Personally my go to iron is a supposedly 60w adjustable pencil type
iron that I keep planning to upgrade but I like it and it gets the
job done. I have this one
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y9UW2XA that was around $15.
It isn't available anymore but there are tons of similar Chinese
ones on Amazon. While you're at it I would suggest picking up one
of the copper scrubby looking tip cleaners.
--
Michigan VHF Corp. http://www.nobucks.net/ http://www.CDupe.com/
http://www.metalworkingfun.com


N1AFF - formerly KB1JPW
 

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  - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-SP-PW1-10-Soldering-Station-with-Iron-/352303950549 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


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  - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-SP-PW1-10-Soldering-Station-with-Iron-/352303950549 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

Christopher Miller
 

I find that holding my own hands sill enough to put a part the size of a couple grains of rice on a pcb without lifting a pad or tossing it on the floor is difficult for me even. Im 33! It looks to me like the Chinese rework stations have lots of tips available. Im really satisfied with it. it uses a microcontroller running a pid loop to control the temperature. for a few extra bucks you can get 3 in 1 including a power supply. If this person can afford it I believe its probably has way more uses than just an iron. Some smd parts cant be installed with an iron and I personally have had no luck with tight pitch ics with tons of pins yet but should work under hot air and flux. I tried twice.

I picked up a magnifying visor with a built in light for around 20$. Its true though, If they want to only build a ubitx and nothing else its probably not worth it. However I also suspect they will need to make repairs and possibly mod it. They may also want to build more kits.

Anyway, on a side note.. Amazon has kits to practice smd work for around 10$. 

You also will need a way to clean the tip. I have sponges and the metal tip cleaners. I have found the metal one picks up solder much better.

The last thing would be tweezers, wick, and solder. I use super fine leaded solder for smd work. Through Hole it really doesn't matter. The leaded solder works well for smd because it melts at a lower temp. However, it has less flux. I haven't needed flux yet as long as I am not trying the ics with pins really close together. 

Chris
Kf4ftr

Christopher Miller
 

The images of what I needed minimum. It looks like the station is not available but there are ones with more features around 70$.

Chris

Ashhar Farhan
 

I have learnt to live with just about any iron. What matters really is a nice clean tip. These days they are tips that don't pit. I like those. Keep a good sponge, wipe them often.
- f

On 16 Mar 2018 9:47 am, "Christopher Miller" <djmalak2k6@...> wrote:
The images of what I needed minimum. It looks like the station is not available but there are ones with more features around 70$.

Chris