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Heat proof mains cable

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by shiekh, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
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    Oct 11, 2010
    It always amazes me how un-heatproof is the cable on most soldering irons; is there any heatproof mains cable? maybe teflon coated.
     
  2. GonzoEngineer

    GonzoEngineer

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    Dec 2, 2011
    Are you saying that the cord on your soldering iron is getting hot?

    Are you really from Grand Junction?
     
  3. jackorocko

    jackorocko

    1,284
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    Apr 4, 2010

    When I first read this I thought he meant that he kept melting the cable with the soldering iron :eek:
     
  4. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    Indeed, it seems to me the cable should be resistant to the heat of the soldering iron; for clothes irons I think they use cloth covered cables for this very reason. i.e. I am amazed they sell soldering irons without a suitably resistant cable.

    Yes, really from Grand Junction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  5. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    Think price, shiekh.
    Second, think necessity.
    Momma's a lot more capable of burning her power cord with a clothes iron, than a
    tech is with burning his soldering iron power cord.
    Yeah, teflon insulated wire is much more heat resistant, but it's costly, and probably
    considered unnecessary.
    If your working area is set-up in such a way that a particular spot along your iron power
    cord is susceptable to touching the heated iron tip, consider wrapping the length of
    the susceptable cord with fiberglass tape, I use that a lot with thermocouple wire
    protection in high heat applications.
    First though, I'd consider moving my iron power unit somewhere else on the bench,
    that'll help keep the iron power cord out of harms way.
     
  6. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    Oh, and the teflon-coated wire I use is a lot more rigid than the soft malleable cables
    that come on soldering iron cords, so you can maneuver the iron more easily.
     
  7. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    Yes, I had wondered about flexibility; perhaps teflon fiber braided around the cable might work.

    How many soldering iron cords have melt marks? I reckon it's quite common, and students are a little less attentive than techies.
     
  8. timothy48342

    timothy48342

    218
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    Nov 28, 2011
    Don't be so sure about that; ;)
    I had this one soldering iron that had a power cord like a slinky, but a little looser. I would set it in it's stand, but there was tension in the cord, so if I bumped it off the stand, it would go sliding across the table. Sometimes on the floor. I should have had heat-proof curtains, and carpet and clothes and everything.
    -tim
    Edit: I also had a hedge trimmer that was more than capable of cutting it's own cord. And then I had a cord that had a lot of tape on it.:endEdit
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  9. jackorocko

    jackorocko

    1,284
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    Apr 4, 2010
    I have like 6 irons and not one has a burnt cord. :D Must just be you chap, but I am known to be anal about stuff like that.
     
  10. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    Yeah, must be me; sorry I asked.
     
  11. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,301
    2,738
    Jan 21, 2010
    My main temperature controlled iron has a heat resistant cord from the base to the iron, but a normal one from the base to the wall.

    Most cheap soldering irons (the type you plug straight into the mains) have normal cords because they're built to a price. I remember (many years ago) an expensive iron that had a pretty blue power cord that was quite resistant to melting.

    I will admit to melting a bit of insulation on the first soldering iron I owned, but I haven't done it since. It's really a case of having a working environment where cords don't dangle across it and a major factor is having a secure stand to sit the iron on when you're not using it.
     
  12. jackorocko

    jackorocko

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Don't you have one of those stands to use to keep the iron out of harms way?

    I can't see how you are burning the cord while using the iron.

    Oh well, patience is a virtue, maybe one day you will figure it out. LOL Don't have to be so cranky either, nothing to be sorry about, just take it on the chin and move on. No offence, sorry if you took it that way.
     
  13. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    I had sort of been hoping someone here might know a source of heat-proof mains cord, but I guess it is not so common.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  14. timothy48342

    timothy48342

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    Nov 28, 2011
    I thinik it comes with experience. I think we have all done something like that. So, now ya know that can happen, and either you don't let it happen again or you do it less. My hedge trimmer that I hacked up? I never imagined that the cord was just small enough to fit between the teeth. (It happened a bunch of times. I would get in the yard-work zone and forget and I'd do it agian.) I also have an electric lawn mower. Never ever ran over the cord, but I loaned it out and other people did.

    No big deal. They feel bad about it and I only make fun a little bit.

    I think when purchasing a soldering iron, I would go for the cheaper one or the one with other features that I want rather than worrying about the power cord. I wouldn't pay extra for one with a power cord that is hard to burn. But that's just me.

    If you find that over the long term, you just keep on burnin' that cord, then a heat resistant cord would be a desirable feature for you. If you get to the point that you never burn it again, you won't worry about it any more. Either way, it's ok.

    (If you keep on doing it, someone is going to razz you about it some. That's all just in good fun.)

    --tim
     
  15. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    Now the STUPIDEST thing I have done with a soldering iron is pick it up from the wrong end... now THAT was dumb.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  16. timothy48342

    timothy48342

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    Nov 28, 2011
    (wait. that was weird)
    Read your last post. Clicked "quote." Then the text of the quote changed. You must have edited at the same moment that I clicked.

    I was going to say that since it is students (You said that! I saw!) and have to expect some lack of experience and it will never ever change, the cloth coated cord becomes a much more valuable feature. ("never ever changes", because you get new students)

    I wonder if positioning the outlets, so that the cord starts out in a path that is out of the way might help. I know my problem with mine was not just that the cord had in inherent springyness to it, but the stand was just a tiny disc that kept it from touching the table. It didn't hold onto the iron at all. My problem with my electric hedge trimmer was because I was in-the-zone and swinging it wildly. (lol)

    So when people burn the cord, is it becasue they set it down and it gets away from them, or because they have it in their hand and the cord gets in the way?


    -tim

    (picking up the soldering iron from the wrong end: Yes... Did that. Did that exacltly one time.)
     
  17. shiekh

    shiekh

    77
    1
    Oct 11, 2010
    Yes, I did say students, but since I had said that once already, I thought to remove the repetition.

    Yep, picked it up the wrong end just once; never did that again.

    The problem with cloth covered cord is that it frays...

    I must admit I am rather surprised that heat proof cord is not common; I see high temp PVC is another option, or maybe silicone rubber; I was too fast to jump to teflon.

    http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Silicone-rubber-sheath-mains-cable-62337

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Cable_Index/Flex_Butyl/index.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  18. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,301
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    Jan 21, 2010
    I currently have my soldering irons on a shelf above my work surface. It helps in keeping the cords out of the way, certainly the power cord is...

    It also makes it harder to pick it up the wrong way. Yeah, I've done it too. I also had a nasty burn on my foot from one, but that's another story.
     
  19. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    timothy48342, most of the slinky coiled wires I've seen were for units mounted above
    the workbench. You pulled the handle down to work on the gear, and let it retract up
    out of your way when not in use. 'Course if they did that to momma's clothes iron, she'd have raised holy hell, so manufacturers were too smart to do that to mommas,
    just solder iron manufacturers for us techs.
     
  20. jackorocko

    jackorocko

    1,284
    1
    Apr 4, 2010
    I might be the only one here, but I think I want to hear this story. :D
     
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