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Advice on soldering iron please...

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Odie Ferrous, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. Odie Ferrous

    Odie Ferrous Guest

    I need to be able to replace chips on circuit boards as part of my

    Having spent a few days researching the type of soldering iron I need, I
    spoke to a local Maplins branch (perhaps not the best idea?) who said
    that I do NOT need a temp-controlled iron - a simple, 18W iron would do
    the job.

    Because their temp-regulated soldering iron kit cost £100 I decided to
    go with their recommendation.

    Having looked at this newsgroup for the first time, I do get the
    impression I have wasted my money and my time.

    Would someone in the UK be able to recommend an ideal soldering iron kit
    for what I have in mind?


  2. Hi,
    You have been badly advised I'm afraid. A temperature-controlled iron
    is something you shouldn't be without but, remember the saying about free
    lunches, it will set you back around £50. What is strange is that Maplin
    do one of these which would have bumped-up the sales-person's commission
    by a small percentage so why he/she sent you along the el-cheapo road I
    can only guess.

    Vann Draper (do a Yahoo UK search) have a range of them as well (the
    same animal although slightly more expensive than the Maplin one) but
    stock a range of spares and bits as well.

    Bite the bullet, sod the expense, go for it!

    Cheers - Joe
  3. CBarn24050

    CBarn24050 Guest

    Don't belive anything you read in these newsgroups! What you have is fine, get
    a piece of verobard and some components and practice.
  4. John Miller

    John Miller Guest

    Then by your own standard, your advice is not to be believed!

    Especially for circuit board work, a temperature-controlled iron is
    preferred by far, but for an experienced person, it is not essential. But
    most experienced persons of my acquaintence would use nothing else if there
    were any choice in the matter.
  5. CBarn24050

    CBarn24050 Guest

    Then by your own standard, your advice is not to be believed!
    Quite so, a little practice and he will not need my or anyone else's advice.
    Will his soldering be any better with a temp controlled iron? I don't think so,
    it's very easy for you to spend his money for him on things he doen't need. Are
    you going to pay conpensation? I thought not.
  6. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Don't know what's available on your side of the pond,
    but in US you can get irons made by Weller and others
    that are inexpensive (relatively speaking) and still
    temperature controlled. You install different tips
    for different temperatures. Works on the Curie
    effect: when the tip reaches the designated temperature
    (Curie point), a little magnetic core inside it loses its magnetism
    and shuttles to the off position until it cools down enough
    to re-acquire its magnetism.

    These are way cheaper than the "soldering station"
    types, especially if you get one that runs straight off
    the mains. A little more than a basic simple iron, but
    well worth it.

    Just my USD$0.02 worth...

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  7. Odie Ferrous

    Odie Ferrous Guest

    Thanks for all your suggestions.

    I have now purchased a full-blown SMT Reworking station from Antex.

  8. Well, the only thing I can think of is, that many/most of the simple
    irons become too hot when left alone or "freeze" when used on wider
    copper (ground planes for example).
    Freezing is annoying and too high temperature may easily exceed the
    component specs, which often will not destroy them, but reduce their
    With the necessary skills this is not a problem, but it can be for a
    Once you can manage to complete a soldering point in two seconds or
    less (and nevertheless produce a good connection), the heat is no
    Problem anymore.
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