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Old 01-02-2014, 11:51 PM   #1
Jeff Troiano
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Default Soldering station

Ok, so I e decided to upgrade my work station a little.

Can anyone recommend a good soldering station? Looking around at the different options, and I'm kind of lost. Been using a cheapie, plug it in and wait for it to get hot wand. Would like to get something that has a temperature dial.

What do you use and recommend I look at?
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:01 AM   #2
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I'm a fan of buy once, cry once. Especially when it comes to tools, something that will be with you for decades to come.

Personally I own two Weller Soldering Stations. Weller has been one of the best in the business for a very long time. I have both the WES51 analog and digital display. They work identical, one just has a digital temp readout.



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Old 01-03-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
Jeff Troiano
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Is the digital worth the extra money?
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:46 AM   #4
P@reez
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I tried this one and turns out it is awesome! http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...arehouse_.html

I've soldered fine delicate wires on my nano cpx and also soldered heavy gauge wires while converting a lipo from 6s to 5s (needs a lot of heat fast!) I also use this one to solder EC5 bullets to ESCs. Many folks have high praise for this soldering station and I totally concur with them.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P@reez View Post
I tried this one and turns out it is awesome! http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...arehouse_.html

I've soldered fine delicate wires on my nano cpx and also soldered heavy gauge wires while converting a lipo from 6s to 5s (needs a lot of heat fast!) I also use this one to solder EC5 bullets to ESCs. Many folks have high praise for this soldering station and I totally concur with them.
Can't beat that price either! I love soldering and a good iron makes all the difference.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:22 AM   #6
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Hakko Hakko Hakko......

FX 951... It will put the 'O' on your face!

Digital, adjustable, sleep mode to save your tip, lock out and small footprint.

http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_fx951.html

If you can afford it.. its well worth the money. You will never look back on any other soldering gun

and for in the field repairs....

Weller makes some really nice butane tools. look for the "pyropen" series
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Troiano View Post
Is the digital worth the extra money?
No go with the analog which is the Amazon link I posted.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:30 AM   #8
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I got the hakko 888D a while ago for about $100 or so and I love it!

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Old 01-03-2014, 04:14 AM   #9
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Anthony has you on the right track. The Iron he is showing you is ideal for low heat soldering on computer boards to high temp tinning. Well worth the extra money. Knowing what temp your iron is is very benifical.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:41 AM   #10
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LoL!!!

Every time one of these soldering threads is started, its like republicans vs democrats or
liberals vs conservatives.

Not sure which is which though...or who is who.. : )) It doesn't really matter.

if it melts your solder and does what its supposed to do without destroying the equipment you're working on, Its a good iron. They all make heat, they all melt solder and there are more choices than you can shake a stick at.

Personally though. It will all boil down to little things. like a sponge vs brillo pad tip cleaner and a couple bucks in the price, what you like to look at on your desk, and how much space can you give to it. Afterall it is going to live on your desk for a long while.....

What should you look for?
If you're a little impatient like me, you'll want one that heats up FAST and gets hot again out of sleep mode about the time the iron is out of the cradle and touching your work.what this boils down to is the wattage for the most part. more is better...for the most part..

SLEEP MODE.... very important. If your iron is sitting idle and simply cooking away this tends to burn out your tip. they oxidize and then solder will not stick to them making heat transfer nearly impossible or they will solder with very poor results. You want a nice silvery tip. Not some blackened charred dogs breakfast looking tip. Find one that cools down when it is in the cradle. Ive had guns that do not cool down and buying tips is a PITA that does not need to be experienced. Sleepers will outlast a non sleeper a 100 to 1. Also the sponge vs brillo... A sponge cools down your tip when you go to clean it. A brillo will not. There in again is room for debate. Personally I dont like the wet sponge. Especially if you have a sleeper iron. The water isn't all that good for your tips. -on a chemical reaction level. The brillo simply scrapes the crusties off and your good to go. your iron wasn't cooled off. no oxidation took place.. etc.

Tip selection. How many removable replaceable tips are there and how much do they cost each? I have two. a fat one for big wires up to 10 awg and a tiny pointed one for re/soldering tiny "cant see them without a magnifier" components.AND... can you change tips on the fly??? or do you have to wait for the iron to cool off so you can touch the thing???

what is the range of temperature adjustment? some components do not like too much heat and you can burn them out just by soldering them in.. Which reminds me.. get yourself a heat sink also while youre at it.

and yeah, the weller company has been around for a long time. they make all manner of guns. Ive tried them and I still like the hakko gun better. Its really light and supple to work with. Tips change fast and it heats up in about 10 seconds from a completely cold start.It also has an LED ring in the handle so you know that there is power going to it.

In the end it will be your decision regarding which one to get. Ive had my station for three years at least. If and when the time comes I can add "modules" to it to further its capabilities and I kinda like that.

That's my two cents and humble opinion.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #11
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+1

If your budget doesn't allow for a soldiering station with sleep mode... at least look for a station that has PRESET buttons that can be set to your liking. This way you can kick the temperature down at the push of a button while it's sitting in the cradle so your not burning away your tips. Then when your ready to soldier again press the Preset button to your desired working temperature and go solder.

Besides good common sense, a good soldiering station should be the next most import tool in your arsenal. Solder and a soldiering station are two things you can't afford to go cheap on. I've seen so many RC aircraft crashes as the result of; bad or cold solder joints, improper solder technique, and using the wrong type of solder.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:37 AM   #12
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Bought this in 2012 to learn how to solder with, thinking I would mess it up but it just won't die.


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Old 01-03-2014, 10:27 AM   #13
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Get the Hakko, I've never owned one but I hear they are the bees knees.
I know weller is a great brand too, but come time I will order this Hakko.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11704
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P@reez View Post
I tried this one and turns out it is awesome! http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...arehouse_.html

I've soldered fine delicate wires on my nano cpx and also soldered heavy gauge wires while converting a lipo from 6s to 5s (needs a lot of heat fast!) I also use this one to solder EC5 bullets to ESCs. Many folks have high praise for this soldering station and I totally concur with them.
I got one of those. To get any usable heat off the tip I have to turn it all the way up and let it warm up. Then turn the temp setting down to where I want it. Other wise it doesn't warm up.
Have you found any extra tips for it? Be nice to have something besides a hypodermic needle point.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:27 AM   #15
Jeff Troiano
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Decided to go with the Weller station.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
Get the Hakko, I've never owned one but I hear they are the bees knees.
I know weller is a great brand too, but come time I will order this Hakko.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11704
I sort of like it, but the right yellow and blue almost make it look like a toy.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clouseau View Post
I sort of like it, but the right yellow and blue almost make it look like a toy.
I thought I'd seen that before . . .
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clouseau View Post
I sort of like it, but the right yellow and blue almost make it look like a toy.
I don't like the color scheme, but Hakko's ROCK. More than 10 years on them. Accurate and well made.
Weller's upper level stuff is good too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:01 PM   #19
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I thought I'd seen that before . . .

Hey Man!!!

Where did you get that picture of me!!??!! Glad my hair was combed!

at least he's got his glove and glasses on.. ready to do a hard days work!

and yeah.. the "toy" comment has been made over and over... and.... over.

the blue and yellow work real well. It leads your eye to the controls or to the cradle....

so if you're knee deep in magnification.. you almost don't need to be able to focus to find the cradle .....
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:00 PM   #20
jlcichocki
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Default 951 vs 988

Quote:
Originally Posted by CircleH View Post
Hakko Hakko Hakko......

FX 951... It will put the 'O' on your face!

Digital, adjustable, sleep mode to save your tip, lock out and small footprint.

http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_fx951.html

If you can afford it.. its well worth the money. You will never look back on any other soldering gun

and for in the field repairs....

Weller makes some really nice butane tools. look for the "pyropen" series
I'm also looking for a soldering station. Seems to be high praise for Hakko. Can someone tell me the major differences between the two other than $125.

Thanks!
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