soldering irons

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by electronis whiz, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. electronis whiz

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    519
    27
    i have a cheap $6 solder iron i am useing i used it and the tip became flat with bumpy edges and a took it and made a point with a file i have done this again a few more times and it is like that again. am i not sharpening it right or what. can anyone tell me how to do this wright. i have about 4 inches of tip in the iro and about 1/2 out of it it. it apars to be replacable. i have used it a few times and than it does this. it is not a big problem it just gets anoying after every few uses having to take 15 minutes to retip it. it is a 30 watt iron. or should i just junk and find something better.
     
  2. Razor Concepts

    Active Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    212
    1
    Tips are not just solid metal, they have layers. So, once the initial tip gets worn out, the only thing left in the center is the inner layers which aren't designed to be soldered with.

    Think of the iron as a twinkie, it works fine until you wear out the outside enough so cream comes out, and no matter how much you sharpen it, there will be cream in the center.
     
  3. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    Some of the cheap irons do come with nothing but a hard alloy copper tip which don't last long from the start.

    If it's a replaceable tip take the dimensions and see if any of the Weller ST series tips will fit. I've got a few Weller WLC100 irons that have gone for 10 years on the same tips and all they ever see is a damp sponge and keeping a little tin on them.

    A good iron costs a bit of money but pays for itself many times over. You don't need anything elaborate - just good. If you don't need temp control Weller makes an inexpensive line of free-standing irons that come with the same tips, and there are about 10 different tip sizes you can choose from.
     
  4. newbies_hobbyist

    Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    67
    8
    Just to add up, tip should'nt be filed to clean it. If you see some oxidation on it, just use the soldering lead to clean it. Flux cored lead are good to use for cleaning of tip, flux will do the cleaning. Tin your tip if your not using it leave a lump of solder on top of it to avoid oxidation build up.
     
  5. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    Good tips are actually solid copper coated with some sort of iron alloy. File that alloy off and you have nothing more than a $1.99 oxide generating device.

    I do wish I had a hot air iron setup for working with SMD though. I hate the stuff with a passion but it sure does help when I'm having to build something that operates in the RF regionbut they're expensive as is the flux and solder paste that go along with the territory. An upcoming project is a 20 dB FM antenna preamp with less than 1 dB of noise, luckily the RF portion doesn't contain a huge amount of components. This, along with a home designed three element cubical quad antenna should allow me to pick up a favorite radio station out of Tulsa all the way here in OKC.
     
  6. electronis whiz

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    519
    27
    this apears to have coper in the center and something that apears to be aluminam but after use browns guickly. i know your suposed to tin them but about half of what i do is desoldering with it. should i get a new one for soldering and just use this one to desolder. any brands to avoid when looking. if i get an adjustable temperature is there a range it should be in. this would mostly be for soldering pcb companents and wire 18 and smaller. i am looking at these ones.
    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16712
    http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=17517+TL thes 2 preveous ones apear identical but one is twice the price. can any one tell if there is a diference. i looked at solder stations too but i already got a radio shack stand and sponge holder. is there any other reason to get one of this type.i have looked at these stations. http://www.mpja.com/productsdirect....&item2=15845+TL&item3=15140+TL&item4=15141+TL

    the ZD-99 MINI and the http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=16924+TL. neaithe rof these apear to be gronded is grounding a big deal when looking. any recomeddations from thgese or some where else aprecaited looking to keep under 20$ if posible $30 max.
     
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