Vibrating 150w soldering iron? Normal?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by PrincessWoona, Nov 30, 2015.

Do you think it's?

Poll closed Dec 7, 2015.
  1. Sign of failure?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Normal and I'm overreacting?

    100.0%
  3. RUN! RUN FAST!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    I got a new 150w soldering iron (cost $10.85 from china with free ship). Only used it a few times so far with good results. But sometimes it starts to vibrate! Yes really vibrating, and I can hear it doing it! This is so weird. I don't know if this is normal or a sign of failure. Or maybe it's a sign that I should run far away from it. I bought this iron to solder to chassis if it's copper, aluminum, steel or whatever as my normal irons couldn't handle it (I deal with vintage electronics mostly). I used a radioshack 30w iron before and now a nice Velleman? soldering station. I did try tightening the tip and crushing the metal at the base of the heater a little. That has seemed to stop the vibrating only a little. I don't want to break it if it's nothing to fear but I kinda fear it having seen nothing about this online and never experiencing it before. If anyone has any clue whats going on here that's great.
     
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Is it vibrating in "rhythmical way"?
     
  3. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    Rhythmical as in consistent and not changing? I think so.
     
  4. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Yes,does the soldering iron produce some sort of a hum and is it vibrating at high frequency?
     
  5. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    It does hum and sounds like a transformer. I have just been testing it in my variac (closest outlet). When I press the tip I can get it to start or sometimes in the stand I use for it that's when it will start.
     
  6. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    It's caused by Emf generated from the heater coil which most likely causes the heatsink to vibrate especially when it expands from the heat and becomes a bit loose.
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Don't worry. Transformers vibrate. If you have to press the tip a certain way to get it to start vibrating, it isn't going to self destruct due to faulty construction, it's merely annoying.
     
  8. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    Thanks. I guess that's what I get for a $10 iron straight from china. It's weird but as long as it doesn't blow up on me. I had to buy this because a little vintage Garod 5a3 radio the speaker ground came off the chassis. I tried resoldering it but all I had was a radioshack 30w plug in iron. It did not touch it and it looked horrible. Not anymore! It's just so strange to have a soldering iron vibrate in hand.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I paid $50 for a Weller Brand 250 watt soldering gun, just to put the grounds on the sheet metal chassis.
    It is also the right tool for splicing 12 gauge wires in an automobile wiring loom.
    It doesn't have very many jobs, but the right tool for the job is worth MY money.

    Personally, I use everything from a BIC lighter to an oxy-acetylene torch to do everything from heat up heat shrink tubing to cutting steel with fire...but I'm not normal.:p
     
  10. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    Well I found through many a time just get the right tool. I've screwed up a few things and had a much harder time. This is more about wood working but still applies. Also don't worry, I'm also not normal :D
     
    #12 likes this.
  11. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Is it one of those instant heat solder guns with a transformer in the body and the element/tip is a loop of copper?

    That might well hum because of loose laminations in the transformer core.
     
  12. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    Your response makes a lot of sense. I guess that must be what it is since there shouldn't be anything loose. Well as long as it doesn't blow up my hand it's fine for now. Until I can afford that super fancy $15 model :p
     
  13. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    Nope. This is just straight plug in and heat up. I have seen that explanation before for like "wall warts" and inductors.
     
  14. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    One of the less known facts about magnetism is that it actually causes the steel laminations to change size.:eek:

    It isn't very much, but you can bet your bippy that a multi killowatt electrical substation will obviously hum. It is merely less annoying in one or two hundred watt sizes.;)
     
  15. PrincessWoona

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    53
    2
    Now that is a cool fact to know. I heard before in large transformers like for houses and stadium lights humming but never really thought why. It must just be it allows just barely enough space to move and make noise. Well i figured out I shouldn't fear the vibration of the iron but rather the iron deciding to take a trip and visit his good old friend mr.carpet.:eek:
     
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  16. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    The vibrating is a 60Hz hum due to the transformer not being well built. The flux density is quite high inside the tranformer and if the laminations aren't securely glued together, then they will vibrate at the AC frequency rate.
     
  17. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Some start off humming - then go bang.


     
  18. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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  19. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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  20. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Since the soldering iron has no laminations the noise is produced by some other mechanism. If the element is a helix of resistance wire then adjacent turns tend to repel each other as a result of curent flow. This could cause mains-frequency vibration.
     
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