Topics

Wireless soldering irons


Steven Low
 

Does anyone have any experience with a wireless soldering iron--rechargeable electric or butane?  


 

IMHO the best butane soldering iron is the Portasol ProPlezo75.   The things I like about it are:
1.  The tip is very close to where you hold the iron.
2.  A single exhaust vent that is easy to avoid burning yourself with.
3.  When you put the cover on the iron is automatically off and you won't be touching the tip accidentally.

The downside of butane is that you could forget to turn it off and therefore have a hazard sitting around until it runs out of butane.

The best battery irons are the IsoTips.
1.  They have a handy light that helps you see what you are doing.
2.  They have different tips.  The heavy duty tip can handle soldering wires to rails.
3.  The tip is very close to where you hold it. 

The downsides are they have always required periodic battery replacement because they overcharge the battery.  The new ones are better but still kill the battery.  They use NiCad batteries.  You need to make sure that it is actually charging when you place it in the holder.

I still have and use one that I purchased 43 years ago.  I have extensively modified it over the years. 

1.  I limit the charge currents to 50 mA.  (this means that they are not quick charge anymore).
2.  I replaced the ni-cad  batteries with modern nimh batteries. 
3.  I installed an LED on the iron to give me an indication that current was actually flowing into the battery.

A runner up is the Hakko FX-901.   Really not powerful enough for soldering track connections but otherwise is very well made.

Best Regards,
Ken Harstine


Eric Zimmerman
 

I have a butane iron which I use for quick jobs, especially under the layout.  Seems to work fine.
--
RicZ


wirefordcc
 

I had a battery powered soldering iron a long time ago.  It used NiCd batteries.  It worked well for light electronics jobs and lasted about 20 minutes.  I'm sure a modern one would last longer, but I still doubt it would be good for soldering feeders to track.  It would probably be very good for decoder installation jobs.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


John Bishop
 

HAKKO fx-901 is excellent for light soldering. Uses 4 AA batteries. Gets good and hot and lasts surprisingly long before batteries have to be swapped out. Costs about $30.  I have been using it for almost a year with no problems. Was recommended by my son who uses it at work. 

One suggestion. Don't be stubborn about changing batteries when it starts to fade.

I have not tried to solder wire feeders to  my track (O scale, code .100) with it.

On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 08:55:01 AM PST, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:


I had a battery powered soldering iron a long time ago.  It used NiCd batteries.  It worked well for light electronics jobs and lasted about 20 minutes.  I'm sure a modern one would last longer, but I still doubt it would be good for soldering feeders to track.  It would probably be very good for decoder installation jobs.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


Galarneau Luc
 

I got a Micromark wireless soldering iron a few years ago and Nicad or Nimh batteries(four AA size needed) did not last all that long. Then I purchased 4 Kentli 1.5/3.7V 2800 mWh rechargeable batteries with a charger. It works great and lasts a long time. The + end of the battery has two contacts, the middle post outputs 1.5v and the ring around it 3.7V. The charger + end connects to the ring to charge at 3.7V. The charger has a led above each battery that flips from red to green when when each battery is fully charged. The charger plugs into a 5V power supply (2000 ma) with a USB plug.  It is very compact and I use it for decoders on the bench and wiring under the layout. I also use it  to solder the feeders to the rail side. The problem with Micromark is that they do not supply separate tips. You get two with the unit, so I take good care of them. Very happy with the unit.

Luc!!!

Le 2020-12-23 à 11:54, wirefordcc a écrit :

I had a battery powered soldering iron a long time ago.  It used NiCd batteries.  It worked well for light electronics jobs and lasted about 20 minutes.  I'm sure a modern one would last longer, but I still doubt it would be good for soldering feeders to track.  It would probably be very good for decoder installation jobs.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


John Bishop
 

An advantage of the battery powered unit I mentioned is that if the batteries get low, you just replace them. 

For rechargables, you gotta wait for the batteries to get recharged, which (using the Micromark unit), I found very frustrating when it happens in the middle of something you're trying to get done.

John Bishop

On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 02:12:14 PM PST, Galarneau Luc via groups.io <moutonoirqc@...> wrote:


I got a Micromark wireless soldering iron a few years ago and Nicad or Nimh batteries(four AA size needed) did not last all that long. Then I purchased 4 Kentli 1.5/3.7V 2800 mWh rechargeable batteries with a charger. It works great and lasts a long time. The + end of the battery has two contacts, the middle post outputs 1.5v and the ring around it 3.7V. The charger + end connects to the ring to charge at 3.7V. The charger has a led above each battery that flips from red to green when when each battery is fully charged. The charger plugs into a 5V power supply (2000 ma) with a USB plug.  It is very compact and I use it for decoders on the bench and wiring under the layout. I also use it  to solder the feeders to the rail side. The problem with Micromark is that they do not supply separate tips. You get two with the unit, so I take good care of them. Very happy with the unit.

Luc!!!

Le 2020-12-23 à 11:54, wirefordcc a écrit :
I had a battery powered soldering iron a long time ago.  It used NiCd batteries.  It worked well for light electronics jobs and lasted about 20 minutes.  I'm sure a modern one would last longer, but I still doubt it would be good for soldering feeders to track.  It would probably be very good for decoder installation jobs.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC