Stupid question re: calculator/soldering iron

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by KatieL, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. KatieL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    I need a calculator for college (electrical engineering.)

    From what I looked at, it seems that the TI-89 is the obvious choice. Agree? Disagree?

    Also, after all of your suggestions, I'm looking into ordering a soldering iron. Suggestions of where to order from and what brand to buy? I've been browsing quite a bit on Amazon but I don't know if that's my best option. It would be great if there was some sort of "kit" with all the useful stuff like desolder wick, solder, desolder pump, stand, etc. for a beginner. I'm willing to spend a little extra $ for quality that will last a while.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    For a beginner, a Weller WP25 will be good enough, $40 from
    I use a Weller WTCPT ($160).
  3. KatieL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Okay, so I'm an idiot who didn't do a proper term search of the forums before posting this. There are lots and lots of posts about what soldering iron/station is "best" and I'm more confused than ever. I'll be using this mostly for experimentation and "self-taught" electronics projects.
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Stay away from Velleman. While they work, I've had two units that have smoked, one after a year, and one after a month. The second smoked but still works. The better irons (I'll include Velleman in this) have alloys on the tips that don't corrode, which is important. Cheap irons wear out the tips fast, very fast. Add temperature control and a small tip and you're good to go.
  5. Georacer


    Nov 25, 2009
    I suggest you don't start too expensive to begin with. Don't go straight to China (don't get angry at me happyganl, you know the trend too), but buy something towards the cheap end of the deal. I have found that it's better to have something cheat to start with since I 'll treat it badly when I don't know how to handle it. When I break it I upgrade to something better and treat it better with my know-found experience I have gathered.
  6. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    The "alloy tips that don't corrode" were called "iron clad" when I learned about them. Indispensable! Solder dissolves copper. A copper tip will disappear in a week or two.

    If there is a brand that nobody can cuss, it's Weller. I use a 33 watt with a medium spade tip, but I told you all this in your first post. I even posted a photo! There was a lot of good advice in that thread that we hijacked into a soldering hijinks.
  7. debjit625

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    I found tinning the tip helps you ,from corroding of the tip.I preffer using a rosin core solder 60/40 i.e.. 60% tin and 40% lead ,their are lead free solder but their melting point is higher and a bit difficult to solder.

    Good Luck