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soldering iron


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also, if your ever going to be doing any more soldering in the future or if you just like it. SERIOUSLY consider investing in a medium-high grade one. the difference is alot. bascially the ones at radio shack and stuff SUCK compared to a nice Weller.

a good one will run around 60-100$ so not crazy expensive

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Yes weller are nice!

this is the one I had in my shop, now I have a portable kit that I got in my guard unit that was thrown away when the transformer went bad, I replaced it and that was it. The only difference is that mine is not variable.

That's cool. My electronics teacher back in highschool had a 'soldering station' likethat. Maybe when my OKAY soldering iron breaks I'll get something like that.

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I Use my soldering iron everyday for three hours on end.

I have the same 25 watt that I have been using for three years. I would not go higher than 30 watts or you will fry your caps and pots.

I replace my tip about once a month thats it.

If you are having trouble soldering to the back of your pots you need to file off some of the resin that is on them. I would post a pic but I am at my other job...

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When my last RS special died, I bit the bullet and ordered this one:

Auto-Temp Electronic Temperature Controlled Soldering Station (379UL)

Man, I wish I'd done this years ago! While I don't use mine nearly as often as Big D does, I do tend to run it for several hours at a time when I use it, and I haven't had any problems. The temperature control is wonderful, especially when I go from soldering boards to tinning ground busses or soldering to pots and connectors - you can simply turn it up a bit, and it'll do the job in seconds. For $45.00, it's a deal, and I got a free multimeter thorwn in. It doesn't have the cool digital readout that the Wellers have, but it does the job. Take a look.

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I've had a "professional" solder station similar to the Weller units (can't remember the brand right now) and liked it just fine. I couldn't find a new tip for it so I just went and bought a radio shack 20/40 watt iron. Believe it or not, it's been great. I've been using the 20 watt option the whole time I've had it and it's never let me down (less than 1 year). My only complaint about it is that it takes a long time to heat up.

Here's what I soldered with my Radio Shack cheapomatic (but I like it):


Those surface mount devices can be pretty tricky to solder but that iron did the job just fine.

Here's another project I soldered with it.

There's info on them in the In Progress section if you want to know what they are (don't want to get too off topic - just wanted to prove that the RadioShack units are decent enough to do something like these projects).

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