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soldering tool question

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by k wallace, Dec 10, 2005.

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  1. k wallace

    k wallace Guest

    Hi,
    I'm an ME who does occasional RC and robotics projects at home, for fun
    and/or with my kids, so my electrical work/experience is pretty much
    limited to wiring RC control circuits or rewiring the odd lamp or broken
    stereo.
    My dad just asked me if I'd like a "cold heat" soldering tool for Xmas.
    Never having heard of this, I googled it. I understand it's an "as seen
    on TV " type thing, and I never have time/inclination to watch TV, so
    hadn't seen any informational commercials re. this thing.
    Does it work as advertised? If so, that's darn cool, but I need to think
    about this to figure out how. Material properties are involved, but I
    don't know what it's made of (yet), so i'm not sure.
    bottom line, should I stick w/my old "tried and true" with the
    interchangeable tips that i've had for years and suffer the occasional
    solder burn, or get one of these jobbies?
    any advice/suggestions or inside knowledge?
    TIA,
    karinne W
     
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    They're rubbish.

    Graham
     
  3. I haven't used one yet, but they work by making two electrical
    contacts with a conductor, which causes the surface of the resistive
    tip to become a heating element. I am doubtful that it is easy to
    make two good connections, in the presence of solder flux and odd
    surfaces, like component leads sticking through a foil trace pad.

    But I might be wrong.

    I really like my thermostatically controlled iron.
    (one of these)
    http://www.web-tronics.com/lesostc.html
    The heating element is recessed inside the hollow tip, so the iron
    heats up fast, but the handle stays nice and cool.
     
  4. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

  5. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    Avoid it - it's almost useless.
    Ed
     
  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)

    Those "cold heat" soldering tools are just a hand-held resistance solderer.
    What they do is, instead of a tip that heats up, the tip comprises two
    electrodes that you press up against the item to be soldered, and it
    passes some insane amount of current through the object itself, so that
    the component lead (or pad) becomes the heating element.

    I wouldn't buy one, and if my Dad (RIP) had offered me one, I'd have said,
    "Ah, gee, Dad, I really, really appreciate it, but it seems to me that
    it'd make much more sense for you to spend that money on something _you_
    need, and then I won't have to buy _you_ a present! :)"

    (AAMOF, my entire family made that agreement some years ago, and it makes
    for much, much pleasanter Xmases. :) Still gotta get trinkets for the
    SPMs, though. >:-(
    <close paren><new paren>how exactly _are_ you supposed to enclose a smiley
    or frowney inside parens, expecially[SIC] at the end of the quip?<close
    new paren> ;-)

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  7. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Geez, this is succinct! It took me almost three paragraphs to say the same
    thing. What a pedant I am!

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  8. k wallace

    k wallace Guest

    now THAT's a good idea. I suck at shopping. I never know what to get
    anyone, so end up deliberating for hours and coming home with a gift
    certificate anyway.
    Dunno about smiley/paren interactions. I have found (OT,I know) that in
    a word doc, I can't enclose an "R" in parentheses, as it turns itself
    into a "registered tm" sign, an R in a circle. Same with "(C)" in a
    ..doc. Odd 'feature', that.
    -thanks for all the feedback re 'coldheat' btw. I won't be trading in my
    old tool. It's not hi-tek but it works just fine.
    -karinne


     
  9. Puckdropper

    Puckdropper Guest

    I've got one... It's good for the first 2-3 connections on fresh
    batteries, but after that it's quite bad. I've been considering upping
    the voltage (to 9V) and seeing if that works better.

    Take the $20 they want for it to Walmart or Radio Shack and get yourself
    a butane powered soldering iron if you want wireless.

    Puckdropper
    --
    www.uncreativelabs.net

    Old computers are getting to be a lost art. Here at Uncreative Labs, we
    still enjoy using the old computers. Sometimes we want to see how far a
    particular system can go, other times we use a stock system to remind
    ourselves of what we once had.

    To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
     
  10. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    It's possible to turn off all of that crap, but it's kind of a PITA,
    to plow through all of the menus and stuff..

    Good Luck!
    Rich
     
  11. Guest

    Instead of upping the voltage....wouldnt you want to add more batteries
    in parallel.....you want to increase the battery capacity ...I doubt
    upping voltage would do anything....
     
  12. Puckdropper

    Puckdropper Guest

    wrote in @g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
    I want it to a) heat up faster and b) be useful longer. I think
    *possibly* going with a 9V battery would do that. When I do that
    experiment, I'll report back.

    Puckdropper
    --
    www.uncreativelabs.net

    Old computers are getting to be a lost art. Here at Uncreative Labs, we
    still enjoy using the old computers. Sometimes we want to see how far a
    particular system can go, other times we use a stock system to remind
    ourselves of what we once had.

    To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
     

  13. Do you really think a 9 volt battery will deliver enough current to
    work?
     
  14. Puckdropper

    Puckdropper Guest

    Not anymore... I just looked up the mAh ratings of the different battery
    sizes and the 9V is about a quarter of a AA.

    Thanks for suggesting I look more into this before I go and do it.

    Puckdropper
    --
    www.uncreativelabs.net

    Old computers are getting to be a lost art. Here at Uncreative Labs, we
    still enjoy using the old computers. Sometimes we want to see how far a
    particular system can go, other times we use a stock system to remind
    ourselves of what we once had.

    To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
     
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