Re: Desoldering Iron, was Re: [TekScopes] 466-464 stray wire

Mark Goldberg

On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 8:14 AM, stefan_trethan <stefan_trethan@...>

I tried some desoldering (did unpack the power station after all ;-) )
and frankly I could see no improvement on the tricky transformer power
plane connections that were giving me trouble. If anything the chinese
one did remove the solder slightly better. Of course the Metcal feels
much more solid, no doubt about that.

The heating power of the Metcal might be there (it heats up faster,
since it has a lot less thermal mass), but I think the bottleneck is
the tip-pad connection and the fairly narrow tube that forms the tip.
The power display on the Metcal did not tick up more than one or at
most two percent when I touched it to that plane, indicating that the
heater did not even see the demand. The thermal design on the chinese
one also sucks, but at least there I can nudge up the temperature to

The Metcals were used where I used to work. Where they excelled was in
removing things that did require a lot of energy but where high
temperatures could damage the board, such as connector pins in a multilayer
board with large ground planes. The Metcal keeps the same temperature but
pours on the power to keep it up, even when a large heat sink is in play.
It is not necessary or even possible to increase the temperature to
compensate. I haven't used the Chinese ones, so I can't compare. I
personally have a Metcal iron and hot tweezers but not the desoldering
tool. I swear by them. For soldering, they work better than any other irons
I have used. I've got to work on the capital appropriations committee
(wife) for the desoldering tool and have to run air in from the compresser
in the garage.

I certainly might consider starting with a Chinese one but the post about
tripping a GFCI worries me. The RV we bought was badly miswired and tripped
any GFCI it was plugged into, finally shorted Hot to chassis ground, and we
were only saved from a fire by a very intellegent inverter that shut things
down. I rewired it and am very wary now of unsafe equipment, no matter how

As for the room, it's a large space about 24m by 18m and 2+ stories
high with arched concrete ceilings. A few posters are not going to cut
it ;-). I will put in a nice thick shagpile carpet for next year's
budget, but I fear the request will be declined in view of the ESD

How about antistatic carpet tiles or even cut antistatic carpet like this?

We replaced carpet in our lower level with tile and the family room gets a
fancy throw rug and my lab gets an antistatic carpet mat from global. Not
as pretty but costs several times as much!



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