Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => General Electronics => Topic started by: travalon on Mar 18, 2015, 05:34 am

Title: Soldering iron
Post by: travalon on Mar 18, 2015, 05:34 am
Just starting out and I know I will need a reliable soldering iron. Which one do you use? What wattage do you recommend as a minimum? Thanks
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: dankgus on Mar 18, 2015, 06:02 am
Just starting out and I know I will need a reliable soldering iron. Which one do you use? What wattage do you recommend as a minimum? Thanks
Do you want one that will last nearly forever and you will love using every time?  One that requires almost no maintenance?

Weller WTCPT.

When I was just starting out I bought one, it was a huge expense for me at the time but I never looked back and was happy about buying it every time I used it.  I lost it somehow in a move/divorce and just tonight I ordered another for my upcoming arduino project.  They are $140 on amazon.

I can't say enough good about them.  The tip that comes installed is a 700 degree tip and it's small enough for small work and can push plenty of heat into large jobs too.  I think it's a 60w iron, PLENTY! Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy the WTCPT.  I am not even kidding, this iron is life changing.

--Dan
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: weedpharma on Mar 18, 2015, 06:24 am
I use a 240v Weller controlled temperature soldering iron and I am very happy with it.

Weedpharma
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul__B on Mar 18, 2015, 01:03 pm
Weller WTCPT.

They are $140 on Amazon.
Just looked around.  You do not want to get spares for them from Element 14 - the quoted prices are astronomical!

(And I have needed the spares over the years.)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Mar 18, 2015, 05:28 pm
I concur with the Weller. You will need to learn to keep the tip clean and to replace the little transformer inside the wand. The downside of the Weller is the cord strain relief. One of the three wires will eventually break at that point if you use it regularly and use a whipping motion to get the cord out of the way.

I finally gave up on repairing and replacing the cords at work. Assemblers never learned to not whip the cord around. They all do it!

Paul
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: travalon on Mar 18, 2015, 06:17 pm
Thank you for your responses. Over the years I have just used the cheap impulse buy irons when getting supplies for projects. Had I invested in a good iron way back I wouldn't be asking now. $150 is a little steep for me right now. What do you think of this  one?

Hakko Digital FX888D http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AWUFVY8/?tag=bsolderingstation-20

Also, what would you rate as the top 3 brands? I definitely want one with temp display.

@ Paul - I'm relatively proficient at hacking broken thins together and getting them to work. Just curious about the transformer. Is it a drop in module with screw connections? Does it apply to all Wellers? After reading some reviews, what is the indication the transformer needs to be replaced? I'm assuming it wont turn on.

Thank you again
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: DrAzzy on Mar 18, 2015, 06:18 pm
I use an older (ancient) Weller iron that *looks* very similar to the WTCPT - only it's smaller and has the sponge and wand holder integrated into the case.

I frankly question the value of a temperature display - I think it provides information that is of little practical value - do you ever adjust the temperature? Does the number shown ever change your behavior? I have a precision soldering iron, with a super fine tip, adjustable temperature, all that jazz, but I've hardly ever used it.
Assuming the soldering iron is working correctly (which is usually a safe assumption, at least with a weller), it's not going to get too hot, and to see if it's hot enough to use, I just touch the tip to some solder.

Paul - what kind of weller are you using that has a transformer in the wand? In the ones I'm using, the transformer is in the base, and we've never had any failures of that - only broken wires, and one case where (for reasons unclear) the magnetic temperature control mechanism  was getting stuck. Took it apart, saw no problem, reassembled, and it hasn't misbehaved since.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: travalon on Mar 18, 2015, 06:49 pm
Good point DrAzzy. BTW is there a buy/sell/trade thread here?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: dankgus on Mar 18, 2015, 08:10 pm
You can save a little by getting the w60p, but I stand by my recommendation on the WTCPT.  Please don't spend $91 on the hakko gizmo and not spend the little bit more on the best thing you could ever buy.


*************LIFE CHANGING***************

You really won't look at soldering the same way again.


Let me ask you this, how many times have you melted the cord on your $6.99 soldering iron from accidently touching the hot tip to the cord?  Remember that awful smell?  Yeah, the WTCPT cord is silicone, go ahead and wrap the cord around your 700 degree tip, it isn't going to burn/melt. Boom, life changing.

How many times has the tip of your $6.99 soldering iron corroded away into an awful jagged unusable shape?  Not transferring heat into your joint well?  The threaded tip loose and disgusting?  Yeah, those days are pretty much gone when you step up to the WTCPT.

I promise you will post back telling me how happy you are with it.

--Dan

Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Shpaget on Mar 18, 2015, 08:55 pm
I have a Weller PU 81 base with WSP 80 wand, and it's awesome. Heats up in seconds, has enough power to quickly melt the solder on even the big joins. However, I got it for free and I don't think I would buy it. It's just too expensive in my opinion.

I've only heard good things about Hakko 888.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: MarkT on Mar 18, 2015, 11:54 pm
Anything with temperature control that you can adjust and for which bits will be
available in ten years - ie major brands only.

Low voltage iron is a really good idea in case you accidentally melt the lead - much
less risk.  Lots use 24V or so these days I believe.  Silicone insulated lead will also
help here.

And a big sponge tray is good to have.   Auto off woud be nice (bits oxidise if
you forget to switch off when not in use).
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: travalon on Mar 19, 2015, 08:19 am
O.K. so my entire being screams get the WPCTP. But my wallet keeps laughing at me. Is this a reasonable compromise?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weller-WES51-Analog-Soldering-Station-110-120-Volt-50-Watt-Iron-Output-Power-/161250545833?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item258b4810a9
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Mar 19, 2015, 06:26 pm
Paul - what kind of weller are you using that has a transformer in the wand? In the ones I'm using, the transformer is in the base, and we've never had any failures of that - only broken wires, and one case where (for reasons unclear) the magnetic temperature control mechanism  was getting stuck. Took it apart, saw no problem, reassembled, and it hasn't misbehaved since.
I had to wait till I got to the plant and had the Weller wand in hand. Wednesday is my day at home to try to keep things going there!

The wand for the Weller WPCTP has a replaceable tip. Unscrew the tip holder and replace the tip with a different heat or tip shape. The one I am looking at has a "7" stamped on the end of the tip. That means the tip will try to maintain 700 F and was probably used for lead-free solder.

With the tip off, you can remove two screws and unplug the heating element. Two pins connect to the heating element, one to ground. Inside the heating element you will see the magnet that controls the internal magnetic switch that controls the current going to the heating element.

You can check the heating element with an ohm meter and replace it if open.

What I thought was a transformer inside the wand is actually a cover for the magnetic switch. I got another old wand and the cover was loose. Turns out it is just a plastic cover with capton tape around it. So, no transformer inside the wand.


If you take a wand apart, figure on at least a day trying to get it and the strain relief back together. It can be done, but is a pain!


Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: keeper63 on Mar 19, 2015, 08:00 pm
Please don't spend $91 on the hakko gizmo
While I'm sure your Weller suits you fine, and I realize you love it and think its the best - to call the Hakko a "gizmo" is doing a disservice to the unit and the brand.

Hakko is one of the best soldering iron manufacturers in the world - their stuff is professional grade, same as Weller; while I can't speak to how the FX888D performs, I do own another older Hakko - and while tip cartridges for it are virtually impossible to find, it has performed reliably for me and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

That said, I have read nothing but praise for that particular Hakko model. If there were to be any complaints from me, it would be about being wary regarding the tips - Hakko likes to "upgrade" their product line about every 10 years, and tips for the new version may not fit older versions, and the old tips might stop being produced (like for my iron - which, granted, is going on 15 years old). However, this could happen with any brand (so buy as many tips as you can afford over time).

Though maybe with Weller, they do a better job about keeping the old stuff working for people...?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Shpaget on Mar 19, 2015, 09:28 pm
Weller too has at least two incompatible tip shapes (the one I use at work, and mine at home being one such pair of incompatibility).
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 19, 2015, 09:36 pm
I'm new to Arduino and at this point don't plan to do all that much soldering. While a $200 Weller would be really nice I couldn't justify that, at least not at this point. That would be more than I've spent on everything else combined. So I bought an inexpensive adjustable iron ($20) and a simple stand ($6). When I'm soldering and producing what are clearly less than perfect results I wonder how much of that is due to my iron versus my lack of experience.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Shpaget on Mar 19, 2015, 09:47 pm
Are you using flux?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: DrAzzy on Mar 19, 2015, 09:51 pm
I'm new to Arduino and at this point don't plan to do all that much soldering. While a $200 Weller would be really nice I couldn't justify that, at least not at this point. That would be more than I've spent on everything else combined. So I bought an inexpensive adjustable iron ($20) and a simple stand ($6). When I'm soldering and producing what are clearly less than perfect results I wonder how much of that is due to my iron versus my lack of experience.
We could tell (well, give some level of assessment) you if you posted a nice closeup of some soldering you did on a PCB. Bad soldering irons and poor technique usually look different.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 19, 2015, 10:19 pm
We could tell (well, give some level of assessment) you if you posted a nice closeup of some soldering you did on a PCB. Bad soldering irons and poor technique usually look different.
Okay. For your amusement:

(http://s11.postimg.org/avqe5rpwz/IMG_9375.jpg)


(http://s8.postimg.org/vypumhvv9/IMG_9374.jpg)

The soldering iron:
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&productId=116572
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: CrossRoads on Mar 19, 2015, 10:37 pm
Get some high percentage isopropyl alchohol and clean that flux up. I use 99.9%, but I get it an electronics supply place. You can get perhaps 95% at the drug store.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: DrAzzy on Mar 19, 2015, 11:24 pm
Eh, that doesn't look too bad. It looks like in the bottom picture, you soldered the wires from the side of the board that the wire is on, resulting in the insulation getting singed. Where possible, you want to solder from the other side from the thing you're attaching - that way, you've got better access to the end of the wire/pin, and you don't have the soldering iron poking so close to the insulation.

Cleaning the flux off makes it look prettier, but that looks like normal rosin core solder - you can leave that on, it just looks ugly. Some cleaning with IPA helps, but IME it doesn't get it all off

(Trivia: drug-store IPA caps at 91%, since going higher is hard. To get 91% they just distill the crude solution - but at 91% it forms an azeotrope with water, so they have to use pressure-swing distillation or other more exotic methods to break the azeotrope to get anything above 91%)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 19, 2015, 11:42 pm
I should have soldered those few from the other side. Most of the connections I couldn't get to the opposite side because of components blocking the way, but those few were actually accessible.

I tried using some 70% IPA but it didn't really help that much. If it's only a cosmetic issue then I can solve that by using 12 year old 50% ethanol to improve how it looks to me.

The point was really whether I need to upgrade my soldering iron.  It doesn't sound like it matters that much. I'm about to try and solder a tiny 8-pin surface mount part (.65mm pitch) onto a board and I'm a little nervous about that. I have a narrow tip for the iron but I figure it's 50-50 as to whether I botch it really badly. I bought two chips and two boards hoping I'd get at least one attached successfully. We'll see.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: dankgus on Mar 20, 2015, 01:22 am
While I'm sure your Weller suits you fine, and I realize you love it and think its the best - to call the Hakko a "gizmo" is doing a disservice to the unit and the brand.
You are right, I should not have said that.

I have no personal experience with Hakko products.  My gizmo comment was based solely on the appearance of the station in the Amazon picture. I can be a jerk at times.

--Dan
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: weedpharma on Mar 20, 2015, 02:03 am
In the picture, the pins marked Data and Vin are classic possible dry joints. The spherical appearance shows that the solder blob is only on the wire and not melted onto the board. It means that heat was only applied to the wire and not to the board.

A correct joint has the solder looking like a ski slope with medium slope.

Weedpharma
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 20, 2015, 02:48 am
In the picture, the pins marked Data and Vin are classic possible dry joints.
Could be. Although I'm hoping it's just flux and too much solder that's giving that impression.

Here's a closer look (view the image itself for more resolution):

(http://s13.postimg.org/lrnunnf7b/9378.jpg)



(http://s28.postimg.org/692cqi025/9380.jpg)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: weedpharma on Mar 20, 2015, 04:43 am
The pin marked "Clk" has a rounded base which is not a perfect joint.The pin DC is much better. The pin to the right of that needs alittle more solder.

All pins in the lower picture have too much solder.

Weedpharma
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: zoomkat on Mar 20, 2015, 05:42 am
Just starting out and I know I will need a reliable soldering iron. Which one do you use? What wattage do you recommend as a minimum? Thanks
I've got a 15 watt RS similar to below and the fine tip works well on small parts and connections I solder. The tips wear out over time and replacement tips were always available at the RS store (not sure how many stores are left now).

http://www.radioshack.com/15-watt-soldering-iron-with-grounded-tip/6402051.html#q=soldering%2Biron&start=5&tab=tab1 (http://www.radioshack.com/15-watt-soldering-iron-with-grounded-tip/6402051.html#q=soldering%2Biron&start=5&tab=tab1)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 20, 2015, 05:55 am
The pin marked "Clk" has a rounded base which is not a perfect joint.The pin DC is much better. The pin to the right of that needs alittle more solder.

All pins in the lower picture have too much solder.
I know what it's supposed to look like. But what do you do, either as a beginner or an expert, when it isn't perfect. Should I heat it back up, pull the solder off with a solder sucker, and solder it again? Or would all the extra heat just add risk of damage to the board with little to gain except for cosmetic appeal. I mean, if the joint is suspect something needs to be done but are these possibly bad? I can't tell by looking or by testing them. And I know that there's something like a 50-50 chance my next try won't look all that much better. So what would you have me do? What would you do?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: weedpharma on Mar 20, 2015, 09:30 am
I would remove the blob, check that the solder pad on the board is clean and start again making sure that the iron is heating the board as well as the wire.

While learning, you will destroy solder pads from too much heat. That is why you practise on old boards.

It takes practice.

Weedpharma
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 25, 2015, 11:09 pm
I would remove the blob, check that the solder pad on the board is clean and start again making sure that the iron is heating the board as well as the wire.

While learning, you will destroy solder pads from too much heat. That is why you practise on old boards.

It takes practice.
I'm a little nervous about practicing on working boards.

As a side project I wanted to play with a chip that, as far as I'm aware, is not available in shield form. It comes as a pretty small chip with 8 flat pads hidden on it's underside. I was optimistic, but my first attempt failed to produce a working part. And repeated attempts to improve the solder job eventually resulted in this:

(http://s16.postimg.org/62gxmw8vp/surf_fail.jpg)

You've probably seen that sort of thing before. :-)

I had hedged my bets a little by purchasing two of these boards (and the chips -- I torched the first chip too). And fortunately I got the second one to work, although it also took repeated efforts to get contact on all of the hidden pads of the chip.

(http://s15.postimg.org/piucb2cx7/surf_ok.jpg)

One thing that really caused me grief was an inability to get the solder to flow easily and quickly. I did my best to keep the tip clean and hot enough, but still ended up with balling solder. I read about using flux but I have never done this and don't have any. Is it worth investing $7 in one of the flux "pens"?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Mar 26, 2015, 03:40 am
"Balling" solder is a sure sign there is no flux. Use flux pen or buy small bottle of flux and use a small brush.

Paul
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: TomGeorge on Mar 26, 2015, 11:39 am
Hi,

jboyton;
You have an adjustable iron, I haven't seen anyone ask what temperature you have it set on?
Looks like you could be a little too hot.

What solder are you using?

Tom.... :)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 26, 2015, 04:17 pm
The iron has an adjustment screw but no temperature scale, so I have no idea what the temperature is. I have been trying to adjust it to where it heats quickly but not too hot. That seems to depend on the situation (tip size, what I'm soldering).

Solder is Kester 60/40 tin/lead rosin core 0.031".
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: polymorph on Mar 27, 2015, 12:01 am
You don't want to solder each lead separately for an SMD IC. And a tiny tip is -not- always a good thing, as the heat can't travel quickly enough to a very thin tip, and solder will pull away from a very thin tip.

Search for "drag soldering". Have lots of flux on hand, I prefer No Clean liquid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUyetZ5RtPs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUyetZ5RtPs)

http://www.eevblog.com/2013/03/04/eevblog-434-smd-thermal-pad-drag-soldering-tutorial/ (http://www.eevblog.com/2013/03/04/eevblog-434-smd-thermal-pad-drag-soldering-tutorial/)

Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 27, 2015, 01:05 am
Thanks for that. I had actually watched a video about drag soldering before trying the second time but wasn't sure how to apply it since the IC I was soldering has no pins, only flat pads:

(http://s22.postimg.org/80mhq1sy9/image.jpg)

I wasn't sure that dragging made any sense since there would be nothing exposed to drag across except for the traces on the board.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Mar 27, 2015, 03:55 am
At my plant, we would only solder that kind of a device using solder paste and a reflow oven.

Paul
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 27, 2015, 04:11 am
Ha ha, understood. But I don't have a plant, only a meager set of tools. I would happily spend $10 or $20 on a shield with this device but nobody makes one yet. So I have a working part now but I'm not terribly confident that it is soldered in a way that will stand the test of time. Maybe a little vibration and it will go kaput? I don't know of a way to ascertain the quality of the solder joints, so we'll see.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: CrossRoads on Mar 27, 2015, 06:09 am
Time to invest in a a hot air rework station.  Surface mount is not going away.
http://www.mpja.com/Rework-Station-Hot-Air-for-SMD-Replacement/productinfo/16121%20TL/
I bought several nozzles too for the size chips I deal with the most so that all get heated at once.

Bunch at Amazon too.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hot%20air%20rework
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: polymorph on Mar 27, 2015, 05:25 pm
Yeah, hot air or reflow for that chip.

Lots of people doing solder paste and reflow using toaster ovens and even fry pans.

Frying pan reflow (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqYjPJJBiZo)

It is amazing watching the solder melt and the parts pull to the middle of the pads.

Toaster oven transformed into a solder reflow oven (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCGzKDTFBSQ)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: CrossRoads on Mar 27, 2015, 05:49 pm
Don't need much transforming to turn toaster oven into reflow oven.
I have an old Sears Kenmore toaster oven with 4 elements.
I use a thermocouple probe that came with my DMM to monitor the temps:
http://www.extech.com/instruments/categories.asp?catid=48
(we have 2 meters - an older EX330, and a 2nd that we just got that is similar but has simpler controls, both on sale when we bought them, ~$35 I think)
Ramp up to 125C-150C, hold for 90 seconds,
Ramp up to 183C-215C, hold for 90 seconds,
cool down.
Have done it enough that I know about where to crank the dial to get pretty close, and use the meter to monitor and not exceed the temps.
4 elements ensures the temperature ramp up rates can be met.
Only had 1 problem reflowing, did a batch of cards and had several near the edge, which did not get as warm as the middle, so some cards had to be reflowed. So now we stick with smaller batches and stay away from the sides of the oven.
It is neat watching the paste liquefy and turn shiny near the end of the 90 seconds at the higher temperature.
(I have all the parts to make an automatic controller - just don't seem to have time to assemble them and do some programming)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: polymorph on Mar 27, 2015, 06:26 pm
Yes, you absolutely can control a toaster oven manually with a temperature probe and a digital timer.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 27, 2015, 06:42 pm
A toaster oven?? Now you're talking my language.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: CrossRoads on Mar 27, 2015, 06:56 pm
Yep. Look for a 1500W oven, that will generate the desired temperature ramp rates.
I got a larger one on sale at Target too, haven't tried yet as the old (20+ years) smaller Sears Kenmore unit is still working well.

See the ramp rates and temperatures here.
I use Kester EP256 solder.
http://www.kester.com/download/EP256%20Data%20Sheet.pdf
These guys have a good price for a syringe of solder, with includes some small needles for dispensing. I also bought some 22 gage plastic needles that the tip can be enlarged like on a caulk gun for squeezing out larger quantities for stencil use on a whole board.
http://www.cmlsupply.com/kester-ep256-lead-solder-paste-63-37-syringe-dispenser/
http://www.cmlsupply.com/dispensing-needle-22ga-tapered-tip-blue-pk-50/



Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: jboyton on Mar 27, 2015, 07:07 pm
Would a regular kitchen oven work okay? Or would it be too difficult to control the temperature?

How the heck did that guy with the frying pan do it?
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: CrossRoads on Mar 27, 2015, 07:25 pm
Quote
Would a regular kitchen oven work okay?
Only if you're trying to poison yourself!
I only use this old toaster oven for solder reflow, not food preparation anymore.
Large ovens will take too long to heat up
125C is 257F
200C is 392F.  My gas oven takes more than several minutes to get that hot - with reflow, the whole warmup, reflow, cool down cycle is only 5-6 minutes.

Frying pan, clothes iron upside down, takes some experimenting to find the rights temps & times.
I've seen videos with toasted fiberglass too! If one is getting hot enough to burn the PCB material, that can't be good for the ICs.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: polymorph on Mar 28, 2015, 12:45 am
Yes, don't use an oven that you'll use for food. A kitchen oven tends to take a long time to warm up and change temperature.

I found a convection toaster oven at a thrift store for $10.

Ideally, you want the temperature to do something like this:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/RSS_Components_of_a_Profile1.svg/300px-RSS_Components_of_a_Profile1.svg.png)

A full size oven is going to take longer, generally, to ramp up and back down.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul__B on Mar 28, 2015, 12:43 pm
Ideally, you want the temperature to do something like this:
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/RSS_Components_of_a_Profile1.svg/300px-RSS_Components_of_a_Profile1.svg.png)
Why does that look so familiar?
(http://alishech-medical.com/images/orgasm-eng.jpg)
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: charliesixpack on Mar 28, 2015, 08:33 pm
The Hakko FX-951 sells for $225 on Amazon with excellent customer reviews.  You can get it at Banggood for $90.  Banggood has never disappointed me.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: aisc on Mar 28, 2015, 08:46 pm
The Hakko FX-951 sells for $225 on Amazon with excellent customer reviews.  You can get it at Banggood for $90.  Banggood has never disappointed me.
In case anyone thinks the Banggood item is is a bargain, just be aware the advertised unit is not a genuine Hakko, but is styled after the Hakko FX-951 i.e. it is a copy.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: knut_ny on Mar 29, 2015, 12:56 pm
I use a regular clothes iron, controlled by a pro mini (2 sec PWM) via SSR. 
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Byork on Apr 01, 2015, 08:00 am
In case anyone thinks the Banggood item is is a bargain, just be aware the advertised unit is not a genuine Hakko, but is styled after the Hakko FX-951 i.e. it is a copy.

I second this. The popular brands sold by these Chinese sellers at drastically reduced prices are not genuine. I came across some articles showing a comparison of the dismantled products, genuine and non-genuine Chinese copies.
Title: Re: Soldering iron
Post by: Paul__B on Apr 01, 2015, 12:15 pm
I second this. The popular brands sold by these Chinese sellers at drastically reduced prices are not genuine. I came across some articles showing a comparison of the dismantled products, genuine and non-genuine Chinese copies.
Kinda like Arduinox, bench power supplies, oscilloscopes ...