need tool advice


Mike Johnshoy
 

I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron. I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features. Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?
--
Mike - kb2ml


vbifyz
 

On Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy wrote:
Weller WE1010NA
I am using a cheap Chinese clone workstation (Aoyue), it works ok. The only minor issue is that sometimes there is 60Hz hum from the transformer block.
For the same money as Weller, you can get a clone, AND an SMD rework tweezer iron. My bench has these two, and a small hot air gun with digital control (also Chinese from Aliexpress).

I saw some newer irons with the regulator built right into the handle. You may consider those if your work area is limited.

73, Mike AF7KR


Ashhar Farhan
 

I use a very cheap pencil iron (10 watts for most work) it works off 12v line with a voltage controller. At times, I need a heavy iron for soldering large surfaces like heatsinks or copper/brass sheets, for those times, I have an ancient 65 watts, wooden body beast that predates the wheel and the lever, the family runs out when I plug it in.
 - f

On Thu, Nov 17, 2022, 7:50 PM vbifyz <3ym3ym@...> wrote:
On Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy wrote:
Weller WE1010NA
I am using a cheap Chinese clone workstation (Aoyue), it works ok. The only minor issue is that sometimes there is 60Hz hum from the transformer block.
For the same money as Weller, you can get a clone, AND an SMD rework tweezer iron. My bench has these two, and a small hot air gun with digital control (also Chinese from Aliexpress).

I saw some newer irons with the regulator built right into the handle. You may consider those if your work area is limited.

73, Mike AF7KR


ramonlh@...
 

On Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 04:05 PM, Ashhar Farhan wrote:
I use a very cheap pencil iron (10 watts for most work) it works off 12v line with a voltage controller. At times, I need a heavy iron for soldering large surfaces like heatsinks or copper/brass sheets, for those times, I have an ancient 65 watts, wooden body beast that predates the wheel and the lever, the family runs out when I plug it in.
 - f

On Thu, Nov 17, 2022, 7:50 PM vbifyz <3ym3ym@...> wrote:
On Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 07:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy wrote:
Weller WE1010NA
I am using a cheap Chinese clone workstation (Aoyue), it works ok. The only minor issue is that sometimes there is 60Hz hum from the transformer block.
For the same money as Weller, you can get a clone, AND an SMD rework tweezer iron. My bench has these two, and a small hot air gun with digital control (also Chinese from Aliexpress).

I saw some newer irons with the regulator built right into the handle. You may consider those if your work area is limited.

73, Mike AF7KR

 Ashhar' iron


ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

I've used the Weller WES51 for the last three decades, variable temp and
massive assortment of replaceable tips.  

For heavier work Weller W60 (60W) and WT60 (60w curie temp controlled).
That pair dates back to the 70s.  I think weller stopped selling them in the early 90s. 
I've used the WT60 to lay down 8pin and 24pin  TSOPs!

Backup is a hot air tool with variable temp soldering iron.

Anything bigger, Propane Torch, extra hot. 

--
Allison
------------------
Please use the forum, offline and private will go to bit bucket.


va3rr
 

I also have a clone (WeberDisplays 939D+) that I bought on Amazon. Grounded tip. Takes Hakko tips. It sometimes hums when first switched on, but I tightened up everything and now it stops.

I also have a soldering tip for my propane torch, for the bigger soldering jobs.

https://qsl.net/va3rr/dualmode/DMHORN.JPG

I am using a cheap Chinese clone workstation (Aoyue), it works ok. The only
minor issue is that sometimes there is 60Hz hum from the transformer block.


Jack Spitznagel (KD4IZ)
 

Mike,

Looking at the FleaBay and Amazon sites, you'll have a pile of reasonable priced choices - from $80 to $150. The inexpensive Chinese clone workstations, by YiHUA in particular, work ok and get reasonable ratings on Amazon.

A couple of years back I bought a Hanmatek RS2 dual rework unit, hot air plus soldering pencil that has held up well with relatively light use. The air temperature control seems to be pretty good, and the pencil works "OK" most of the time - sometimes the unit throws a control error while first heating up. Reseating the connector and restarting the unit clears the error and brings it up to temperature when that happens. I see that the unit does not appear to be sold any longer. I might have bought a Hakko unit but just could not see the kilobuck expense at the time because my use level is strictly hobby. BTW, the hot air unit is great for controlling heat shrink application - particularly the type with hot melt adhesive in it. Saves pulling out the heat gun and frying my fingers.

Also using a YiHUA 948 desoldering unit that works well. It has saved my bacon on several through hole board repairs. Again, I might have gone with a "known" brand if I had won the lottery, but it serves my light duty needs.

If either unit craps out, I won't cry.

Jack - KD4IZ

-----Original Message-----
From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Johnshoy
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2022 09:08
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] need tool advice

I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron. I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features. Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?
--
Mike - kb2ml


Clark Martin
 

A few years back I bought a Weller temperature controlled, digital display, soldering station (I don’t know the model off hand) and put away my old Weller soldering irons (25W and 40W). I do a lot of soldering using a wire that has an enamel coating that burns off at a lower temp than magnetic wire, but it’s still takes about 700°F to do it. The Weller soldering station makes a big difference with this, my old 40W iron could do it but I suspect it idled the tip at a much higher temp causing more corrosion of the tip than I get with the soldering station.

One of the things to consider, one of the things that steered me to the Weller, is tip availability. With a really cheap soldering station, unless they use knock off tips of a better known brand you might never see a replacement tip.

On Nov 17, 2022, at 6:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy <mike.johnshoy@...> wrote:

I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron. I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features. Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?


Siegfried Jackstien
 

i still love my weller magnastat (temp set by the tip) even if i have a temp controlled station

needs 24v ac but in an emergency cab be powered from anything between 12 and 24 (also a 6 cell lipo works well!!)

if you need a repair job and have no power then a magnastat works quite well from any power source .. even a car battery

dg9bfc sigi

Am 17.11.2022 um 18:47 schrieb Clark Martin:

A few years back I bought a Weller temperature controlled, digital display, soldering station (I don’t know the model off hand) and put away my old Weller soldering irons (25W and 40W). I do a lot of soldering using a wire that has an enamel coating that burns off at a lower temp than magnetic wire, but it’s still takes about 700°F to do it. The Weller soldering station makes a big difference with this, my old 40W iron could do it but I suspect it idled the tip at a much higher temp causing more corrosion of the tip than I get with the soldering station.

One of the things to consider, one of the things that steered me to the Weller, is tip availability. With a really cheap soldering station, unless they use knock off tips of a better known brand you might never see a replacement tip.



On Nov 17, 2022, at 6:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy <mike.johnshoy@...> wrote:

I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron. I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features. Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?


Doug W
 

After too many years of using a cheap chinese pencil, I bought a Hakko FX888D for under $100 when they had their factory sale in August.  It is much. much nicer to work with.  Between that, a bargain basement amazon/chinese 858D hot air station for smd work and my radio shack ray gun looking iron that I've had for as long as I can remember, I can melt anything I need.
--
www.bitxmap.com


Alan AE0IX
 

I bought an X-Tronic 3020 on Amazon. So far-so good with a half dozen projects, requiring a lot of through hole soldering, plus some cable projects.

Digital temp
Good US based service
Tips are available seperately


I would buy it again, if that is meaningful…

Alan
AE0IX

On Nov 17, 2022, at 4:03 PM, Siegfried Jackstien <siegfried.jackstien@...> wrote:

i still love my weller magnastat (temp set by the tip) even if i have a temp controlled station

needs 24v ac but in an emergency cab be powered from anything between 12 and 24 (also a 6 cell lipo works well!!)

if you need a repair job and have no power then a magnastat works quite well from any power source .. even a car battery

dg9bfc sigi

Am 17.11.2022 um 18:47 schrieb Clark Martin:
A few years back I bought a Weller temperature controlled, digital display, soldering station (I don’t know the model off hand) and put away my old Weller soldering irons (25W and 40W). I do a lot of soldering using a wire that has an enamel coating that burns off at a lower temp than magnetic wire, but it’s still takes about 700°F to do it. The Weller soldering station makes a big difference with this, my old 40W iron could do it but I suspect it idled the tip at a much higher temp causing more corrosion of the tip than I get with the soldering station.

One of the things to consider, one of the things that steered me to the Weller, is tip availability. With a really cheap soldering station, unless they use knock off tips of a better known brand you might never see a replacement tip.



On Nov 17, 2022, at 6:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy <mike.johnshoy@...> wrote:
I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron. I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features. Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?





David Wilcox K8WPE
 

Mike,

I use an older version of this one:


I have two of them, one with a fine tip and one with a broader thicker tip going all the time when building.  I have used them for maybe 20 years with good results.  Mine were half the price “back in day” when I bought them.  Ha! 

Dave K8WPE since 1960

David J. Wilcox’s iPad

On Nov 17, 2022, at 9:08 AM, Mike Johnshoy <mike.johnshoy@...> wrote:

I am ready to replace my 30 year old low power soldering iron.  I think I have 'typical' ham requirements - i need to do some SMD mods on my sBitx boards, and then do PCB kit assembly and some cables.

I think the Weller WE1010NA soldering station looks pretty good. But there seem to be a lot of soldering works station brands I never heard of for much less cost that have more features.  Anybody care to guide me towards a good choice?
--
Mike - kb2ml






Jim Burns
 

Yihua 862BD+ has great reviews on Amazon.  I just bought one for $108.00 USD.  It has an iron and hot air wand and comes with accessories.   It arrived in 3 or 4 days.  I haven't used it yet but the Amazon reviews say that it is very good.
Jim WB4ILP 


Bob Lunsford
 

I agree, Jim. That unit does look good.

I worked for IBM's Engineering Development Laboratory and was part of a three man team that layed out the PC boards for the IBM Selectric Composer which meant laying out, etching and stuffing two 8-1/2X11 boards and then testing them for functionality. Composers today put that technology back in the primitive area but laying out, etching and stuffing boards became a big part of my activities and I, no doubt lost months of radio operating time because of my bent for building. Learned a lot from it, though.

That soldering station does look good. IBM used wave soldering which required trimming leads after going through the lead trimmer. The V6 board, to me, is a marvelous development and refinement of technology. Beautiful, in fact... I think it would be a shame to attempt to modify it. Even trying other components would be mostly limited to one or two components — it works two well to mess with it. In the future, I'll buy later versions instead of modifying what I have. An add-on antenna tuner board would be interesting, though. I've gotten used to ATU's on my other rigs and don't like risking the V6 final transistors which forces me to use a manual tuner, where required. 

I noticed that the soldering station includes a roll of solder so it's a pretty complete kit. My "station" at IBM consisted of a simple rheostat to adjust the temperature and even that was more than most people had at that time.

I've made keyers, repeaters, CW keyboards plus a bunch of other ham radio related items. I no doubt wound have saved a lot of time if I had one of those soldering stations.Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Bob KK5R

On Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 07:22:31 PM EST, Jim Burns <outbackerwb4ilp@...> wrote:


Yihua 862BD+ has great reviews on Amazon.  I just bought one for $108.00 USD.  It has an iron and hot air wand and comes with accessories.   It arrived in 3 or 4 days.  I haven't used it yet but the Amazon reviews say that it is very good.
Jim WB4ILP