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Thread: solder, iron and tips.

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    Stay-Puft! rcktpwrd's Avatar
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    Lightbulb solder, iron and tips.

    I have been using Kester solder and really like it! For most everything we would do for our lights and boards you want a fine wire rosin core solder.

    pocket size tube: http://smile.amazon.com/Kester-Pocke...=kester+solder I have used a full tube of this and am on a second one now.

    or if you want a very large amount: http://smile.amazon.com/Kester-Solde...=kester+solder

    I have been using a very cheap 30 watt iron and a fine point tip. Similar to this one: http://smile.amazon.com/Sinometer-Wa...soldering+iron
    and this replacement tip: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...ilpage_o04_s00

    This all worked very nicely when we put together 54 rectifier boards, the tip is small enough to be accurate with the solder but also large enough to hold heat well.
    Joel


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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    Mine is a Radio Shack with a medium tip and select-able 15 watts or 30 watts. 15W is nice for tiny ICs because 30W can blow them up. But we don't really have to solder anything like that for our uses with the lights. So 30W is what I use most all the time. Mine might have been a fine tip when I started, but I've eaten it up and resharpened in a grinder it many times. One day I would like to own a variable wattage model. The nice ones can be expensive.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

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    Stay-Puft! rcktpwrd's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    a soldering station would be awesome, but they are just too pricey for what I do. something in the $300 range for a decent one.
    Joel


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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    I've been wanting a soldering station for some time now. I'm very DIY oriented and have done a lot of soldering lately. Something about my technique is pitting the tips. Or maybe that just happens with time. I do want to get a station and have been eying the Hakko one for about $97 on Amazon. There are some benefits from it and I could dial in the exact temp I needed without burning tips up in between the actual soldering moments. Now solder on the other hand I haven't found one I like so I may try your Kester stuff.

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    Stay-Puft! rcktpwrd's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    Not sure how long your tips are lasting but they are a wear item... but they should last a long while. They do wear out much quicker if you sand or file them, you should only use a wet sponge or the copper mesh to clean tips.

    The Kester solder has worked very well and easily for me. The 60/40 mix melts and flows at a lower temperature than pure sliver solder and is also a little cheaper. You just have to be a little more careful with the lead, especially for those with young kids...
    Joel


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    Registered User FrankP's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    I have a Hakko FX-888 soldering station (not digital), which works great!.

    My personal preference on solder is the Kester 63/37. It seems to have a more predictable melting point than the 60/40.

    Frank

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    Has anyone tried one of those super cheap variable solder stations that sell on eBay for under $25 ? I am still using the same dual heat Radio Shack pencil that I've had for 20 years. Probably cost me $10 or less (back then). Seems like any variable heat pencil will be a little better. I am curious what features will make a difference and at what price does that start ? I've always been too cheap to put money into it, but I am envious of the nice ones ..
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
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    Registered User FrankP's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    I found these videos to be a great refresher:
    EEVBlog #180 - Soldering Part 1

    EEVBlog #180 - Soldering Part 2


    Frank
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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    I'm using this Weller from Amazon - Amazon.com: Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station: Home Improvement. It's pretty nice. There is also a smaller 15 watt unit from Radio Shack that I use on SMD stuff.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Official Lurker EricR's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    I ordered the same $40 Weller from Amazon as SamJ435 but haven't used it yet. SamJ435, What tip do you use?

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    These are the ones I used, small chisel tips. Not for the ultra fine work but I liked the chisel tip for most things, especially when I needed to head up a heat sync or something and flow solder over it. They were half that price in Oct 2014 but that may not have included shipping.

    Amazon.com: Cd/2: Weller Chisel Shaped Replacement Tip (mt3): Home Improvement

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    Registered User FrankP's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    These are the ones I used, small chisel tips. Not for the ultra fine work but I liked the chisel tip for most things, especially when I needed to head up a heat sync or something and flow solder over it. They were half that price in Oct 2014 but that may not have included shipping.

    Amazon.com: Cd/2: Weller Chisel Shaped Replacement Tip (mt3): Home Improvement
    I like chisel tips too. This one seems about right for most board work:
    Amazon.com: Hakko T18D32P Tip for Fx-888 Station, 3.2mm: Home Improvement

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    Stay-Puft! rcktpwrd's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    another great tool is a small flush cut side cutter, I got this one and it works great!

    http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...ilpage_o04_s00
    Joel

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcktpwrd View Post
    another great tool is a small flush cut side cutter, I got this one and it works great!

    http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...ilpage_o04_s00
    Totally agree. This is the same one I have too.

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    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: solder, iron and tips.

    @frank-pleshe thanks for the video links

    this is the station we use . it's $25. no idea what shipping costs. It may not be precisely the same model, there were so many dead links on the diyc thread that goes back over 8+ years for solder stations I hope I got the right one, but if it isn't it's pretty darn close. But it came pretty highly recommended on diyc and if two people with zero soldering experience can use it successfully, I have to say their recommendations have been proven right.

    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/6...g_Station.html
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    Thanks FrankP thanked for this post

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