Cold Heat?

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UncleDarryl

Joined Feb 5, 2007
6
I searched the forums here to see if there were any discussions about the "Cold Heat" soldering tool, and found nothing, so here goes...

I'm a complete beginner with electronics, and I got one of these things as a gift. I cut and stripped a few lengths of solid 22ga to solder together for practice, and the results were frustrating to say the least. The solder beads up into little spheres, and almost seems to be repelled from the tool tip, making it impossible to form a joint. It either sticks to the end of the solder spool, or just literally rolls away. During the last attempt, the wire's insulation melted a bit. Making the contact to get the tip to heat up seemed to work about half the time.

As far as I can tell, I'm following the directions properly, but something is clearly wrong here. I've read some mixed reviews about Cold Heat, but given that I'm a beginner, it's hard for me to say if its my fault or the tool's (or a combination of both). I'm wondering if I should just go buy a regular soldering iron. Any advice?

Thanks
 

hgmjr

Joined Jan 28, 2005
9,029
I was given one of the ColdHeat soldering irons as a gift and the one thing that I found is that it is not a soldering iron that is useful for anything larger that resistor lead.

It works for small solder jobs like mending jewelry and such but the problem I found was that it was difficult to control the heat when soldering large guage wires and component leads.

I think you will find yourself far better served if you go out and purchase a soldering iron with a wattage rating suited to the soldering you intend to perform.

hgmjr
 

mrmeval

Joined Jun 30, 2006
833
Weller is good and not too expensive. If you're going to be doing some very precise production work consider getting a Metcal system. They work very well and the tips outlast Weller a thousand fold.
 

goodbyegti

Joined Apr 28, 2004
59
I too have have been having trouble with soldering irons..thought i'd share my experience!

I started out with a couple of £3 irons which barely worked. I then foolishly skimped on a Lukey pro temp controlled soldering station. I should have known at £25 it was going to be duff. Needless to say it packed up after 20 minutes use so i sent it back. Even when it worked it was hopeless :confused:

I then bought a Xytronic lf-1000 on special offer for £75. The difference is unbelieveable! It works just like the metcal station i used at my summer job. Was worth every penny :)
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
6,978
I also bought a cold heat tool some time ago and it was a complete disappointment. The tool is useful for work involving large electrical and mechanical pieces, not for electronics applications.
 

antseezee

Joined Sep 16, 2006
45
Yeah, I think the Cold Heat works better for larger applications. I was trying to mesh 24-gauge wires and small items for the inside of a PC controller. The thing sucked. I eventually individually electric taped each wire and that proved a much better solution. I'm also convinced a normal soldering iron is better than the Cold Heat.
 

Thread Starter

UncleDarryl

Joined Feb 5, 2007
6
Ok, now I know I'm doing something wrong.

I bought a Weller WLC100 soldering station and an ST-1 tip. Again, to practice, I stripped a couple lengths of wire (22ga solid) and attempted to solder them together. Apparently I'm an idiot, because after spending an hour hunched over everything, I got nothing more than a bunch of little melted solder balls all over the place.

First I tried "tinning" the tip as directed. I cranked the wattage up as high as it would go, waited a minute for it to heat up, and applied the solder to the tip. The solder just blobbed up and refused to stick to the tip. It's like the solder refuses to stick to anything... it just forms a blob on the end of the solder spool.

Trying to solder the wires together proved absolutely fruitless. I applied the iron to the wires for a few seconds to heat them up, then applied the solder, expecting it to melt and "flow" around the connection. Nothing happened. The wire leads got hot, but apparently not hot enough that the solder would melt. How long are you supposed to heat things up before the solder will melt, an hour?

Subsequent attempts met with the same (lack of) results, to the point where I'm ready to return the damned thing and take up gardening. I'm really frustrated... can anyone help me here?

Thanks
 
I got my soldering iron a day or two ago and it is good.you need to put the iron on the wire and touch the solder to the wire and the iron.



ps,the wire needs to be heated to bond with the solder.
 
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