Yes, a cheap iron really doesn't do you any good. Get a decent temperature controlled station. The Chinese ones are OK but I'd recommend Weller or Metcal. OK sure, my Weller was £650, but it's something I use all the time and I couldn't be without it now. Makes my Antex CS look like a piece of crap!
Other than that, learn how to solder properly. Don't just jump in with a mod if you don't know the basics - practice on something that doesn't matter first. Extras-wise, you shouldn't need much. Obviously a reel of solder and perhaps a dispenser, maybe some of those soldering kits with the scrapers and what have you, helping hands can be useful, a decent desoldering pump is most worthwhile and I prefer one to desolder braid, which is too fiddly. Or a desoldering station, of course. Tip tinner is good to have, obviously a decent iron stand with a sponge. You can have flux if you want but it's not a necessity if you know how to solder properly.
Neo-geo.com - fuelling Dion's ego for the past 10 years!
Agree with the decent iron, for the most part is parts are easier to find. I got a Jaycar (electronics store in Australia) "their brand" Duratech iron. I got this when I was an apprentice. Whilst it is a great soldering station, digital display with 3 preset temperature and variable temperature control, I recently tried to find a spare tip for it. Jaycar no longer support that iron and can't find any tips to suit it.
Helping hands are the key and if you are keen to carry on a decent de-soldering tool is a great thing to have. I bought a decent one of these, a Hakko 808 and I love the bloody thing!
*Edit if I ever have to replace my soldering station, has anybody had experience with Goot? I know I for sure I would get the decent (sorry should say "known") brand, be it Hakko, Weller or Goot.
Last edited by omp; 06-03-2012 at 05:07 AM.
Last edited by geluda; 06-03-2012 at 11:47 AM.
Yes, 240v (dont remember what power lead it came with - but its a normal "kettle lead" IEC C13/14).
Which most people have a few of.
Also, it comes with a conical tip - which are pretty useless IMO.
Get a 0.8mm Bevel tip at the very least.
I use the X-Tronic Model 4040 , Love the Station tbh. Works like a champ and also comes with a hot air rework station , Good solid station that is great for the everyday solderer.
alright. So its Weller and Hakko then.
I'll look into those.
I'm using some cheap Fahrenheit iron. It gets the job done (eventually) but I really wish I had a decent set. A fine-tip solder gun, preferably.
Is 30awg wire good for most jobs including switches? I got 1m but it's tiny! Super super thin wire, would stranded wire not be better for switch jobs?
(Gonna breath some life into this thread ;) )
So guys I've been looking at the BK 2000+ and BK2050+ on the circuitspecialist site, anyway, one's rated 35W, the other 70W.
So the iron reheats a bit faster between each application I gather, does this matter for practical purposes when doing actual jobs?
I mean enough to warrant the pretty large price diff.
I'm tired of my three regular standalone irons with different ratings and tips, it's a chore to do any serious soldering without a station. ;)