Soldering Survey

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by solderotter, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. solderotter

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 27, 2014
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    0
    Hi there. We’re Solder Otter, a team of recent engineering graduates from the University of Waterloo in Canada that is redesigning the soldering iron so soldering electronics can be safer and simpler.

    You may have seen the survey we posted back in 2013 when we first started working on Solder Otter. Since then, we’ve built prototypes, won pitch competitions, and learned so much about makers and soldering. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback, so we’re pushing forward with the project beyond graduation.

    We have another survey. It’s similar to our last survey, but this one is designed to help us refine our prototype into the best soldering iron for you. We’re reaching out to makers and hobbyists across several forums because we want to learn about your soldering experiences, preferences, and needs. We're also considering designing with children in mind, so if you have any input in that regard, we'd love to hear that too.

    If you can spare 10 minutes to fill out our survey (link below), we would really appreciate your input. Thank you! If you have any questions or comments feel free to reply to this post or send us an email at info@solderotter.com.

    Link to survey: http://goo.gl/forms/Uep9Qd0GiM
     
  2. Art

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Lengthy survey.
    I used the cheapest or second cheapest wand all my life from 10 till I was 40 last year, and then worked in industry,
    and used theirs, and promptly got the best money could buy, and would never go back.
    So it wasn’t real important until I knew what a good one was.
     
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  3. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    I would to see a Half breed of a Hakko FX-888D to a Metcal or JBC for about the $150 price range .. I have seen one guy make a wonderful soldering station DIY setup with a hakko 907 iron..
     
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  4. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
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    It is odd about their safety thing and children. Knifes cut, soldering irons burn, baseball bats hit, if they are used, you are subject to their benefits and their dangers. We as parents/grand parents are responsible to keep danger from our children until they are responsible enough to use them safely. It seems like they are trying to create a problem where there is not one. I googled, "death by soldering iron" and got no hits. Gee, what a surprise.
     
  5. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
    1,239
    527
    Benefits have to outweigh drawbacks(danger),if that wasn't the case we wouldn't have electricity today.
     
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  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    They won a "pitch" competition. Therefore, the product is useful and needed by the market.

    TEAM Leader: Just a few hundred question survey and we will know what color it should be and which shelf it should be displayed on at The Source here in Canada, eh and Radio Sha... What? What do you mean closed? Now where are we going to sell these things? Eh?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  7. InspectorGadget

    Active Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    211
    42
    Technically, faulty logic. If they won a "pitch" competition, it simply means someone thought they'd be a good investment, not that the product was useful, and not that it was needed by the market, but simply that you could convince people to buy it. There's a big difference between useful/needed and sellable.
     
  8. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    568
    193
    Only use good equipment, only hold the cool end, and only use good solder. The end - what do I win? No need to reinvent the wheel. Really - I have a 5 year old at home... I don't worry to much about her and the soldering iron. I figure that when she's curious I will let her use it with me by her side and I'll explain to her one side is too hot to touch. If she still grabs it then Darwin wins again. I worry much more about her safety when I have high voltage in the basement which is surprisingly often.

    What I really don't care for is someone coming here with a sales pitch disguised as 'survey'
     
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  9. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Technically sarcasm.
     
  10. boatsman

    Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    165
    383
    My first soldering iron was one you had to heat up on the top of the gas stove. Then I bought an Antex 25 Watt which I use fot most soldering work. I also have a Weller solder gun used mainly for desoldering.
     
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  11. solderotter

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    6
    0
    Thank you everyone for your input!

    To address some of your thoughts,
    • We're not trying to create a problem where there isn't one and but rather we're trying to improve upon the traditional soldering iron design. Of course, children will always depend on their parents and grandparents when it comes to safety, but if there is a way to make it easier for parents and grandparents to protect their children, then we feel it's something worth exploring.
    • Yes, we did win a pitch competition and yes, that means we made a business case that the judges at that competition believed in, but that doesn't mean we're assuming our product is useful and needed by the market. That being said, we do believe that if our product is useful and needed, then there will be a business case. This is why we're conducting the survey, we want to understand you guys need, whether our product as it stands meets those needs or not, and how we can improve moving forward.
    • Our survey is not a sales pitch disguised as a survey. We've made a strong effort to avoid bias in the questions to focus on your needs and how we can meet them. Our goal right now isn't to sell you something but to learn and improve on the prototype that we have.
    Thanks again for your time, we do appreciate it!
     
  12. solderotter

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    6
    0
    The survey is still open. We'll update again when we close the survey.
     
  13. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Have you a prototype that you could show?
     
  14. InspectorGadget

    Active Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    211
    42
    My comment was snarky, to be sure, but not in the least sarcastic. I'm interested to see what these guys come up with, but I've seen hundreds of companies that win pitch competitions or otherwise have successful pitches that fall on their face because market demand isn't really there. I've been in a dozen startups myself and I've seen a wide range of acceptance of what seems like a great idea at the outset.

    I found your comment to Lestraveled about the pitch competition to be condescending and patronizing, and frankly, without merit as I've described above. Lestraveled made a good point, albeit with a bit of attitude, that this product may not be the end-all and be-all of soldering.

    That being said I'm still really interested in seeing what it is.
     
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  15. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I took GopherT's first post to be sarcasm, which is what I think his last post was meant to convey. Relax a little and be happy.
     
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  16. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,032
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    Personally I would like a soldering gun with a solder power feed so I don't have to hold the gun with one hand and the solder with the other hand try and clamp something down in some odd position so that I can get both the gun and the solder into a specific hard to reach spot.
     
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  17. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
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    Now that's something i might buy. A solderMIG
     
  18. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
    1,239
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    Shouldn't be hard to develop.
    Geared DC motor with guide rails,simple forward and reverse switch and a spool pin.
     
  19. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,032
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    Kinda been scratching my head on it and rolling the concept around for a few years now. Mostly it would be for doing larger soldering work rather than surface mount but still with the work I do I can see where having a power feed soldering gun would be handy.

    Especially so now that I see rosin core solder comes in sizes down to .031" without costing a fortune any more.

    I know a few people who do plumbing work that think a small torch with a solder power feed on it would be handy too for those hard to reach pipe jobs.
     
  20. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    2,039
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    I would add that my personality is 95% the result of having inhaled soldering fumes for the past 50 years. Who would I be to deprive any child of that enriching experience? :)
     
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