Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => General Electronics => Topic started by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 01, 2016, 10:30 pm

Title: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 01, 2016, 10:30 pm
So I'm an Arduino beginner and after doing some basic projects I'll be starting my own more advanced projects, and I'll need a soldering iron for some of them. I found this (https://www.amazon.ca/Vastar-Adjustable-Temperature-Soldering-additional/dp/B01DBZSYNU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8) soldering iron + solder combo and it looks pretty good. I'll be pairing it with this (https://www.creatroninc.com/product/helping-hand-with-soldering-stand/?search_query=helping+hand&results=3) helping hand/magnifying glass/soldering iron holder combo. This (http://www.parts-express.com/kester-pocket-pack-solder-60-40-0031-050-oz-tube--370-050) is the solder it comes with as far as I know. Does rosin core mean it comes with flux, or do I need to buy some separately? And is the soldering iron any good? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 01, 2016, 10:55 pm
Generic rebranded soldering iron. It will work just fine. The tips it comes with will probably literally only last a job or two as they disintegrate, but it takes Hakko tips which work great.

I would buy a proper stand for the iron, a brass wool in a can for tip cleaning, and 63/37 solder.

Rosin core means it has flux in the middle of the wire, which is fine for just about everything you'll do. Unless you plan on working on some grody oxidized components from decades ago, it should be all the flux you need in there.

And you're right that it comes with 60/40 solder, but it is definitely not going to be kester. Whatever it comes with will be usable, but you should look for good solder (such as kester 63/37) as that makes the most difference in your results.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 01, 2016, 11:29 pm
Generic rebranded soldering iron. It will work just fine. The tips it comes with will probably literally only last a job or two as they disintegrate, but it takes Hakko tips which work great.

I would buy a proper stand for the iron, a brass wool in a can for tip cleaning, and 63/37 solder.

Rosin core means it has flux in the middle of the wire, which is fine for just about everything you'll do. Unless you plan on working on some grody oxidized components from decades ago, it should be all the flux you need in there.

And you're right that it comes with 60/40 solder, but it is definitely not going to be kester. Whatever it comes with will be usable, but you should look for good solder (such as kester 63/37) as that makes the most difference in your results.
Which tips specifically should I be getting? I don't really want to spend more than the $20 for the iron and $14 for the third hand/stand/magnifier unless the tips that come with the iron will really disintegrate.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: ArduBogus on Oct 02, 2016, 12:20 am
Really? when using rosin core i don't need to use flux to solder? that's my dream thing!

And when it comes to clean the board after, do you recommend anything?

I always had this doubt but never remembered to ask.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 02, 2016, 12:32 am
Which tips specifically should I be getting? I don't really want to spend more than the $20 for the iron and $14 for the third hand/stand/magnifier unless the tips that come with the iron will really disintegrate.
https://www.hakko.com/english/tip_selection/series_900m.html (https://www.hakko.com/english/tip_selection/series_900m.html)

I'm using no-name Hakko 900M series tips on what's probably the same soldering iron you showed. No complaints, just never really want to lug out the big Weller station for the quick jobs I do.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 02, 2016, 12:34 am
Really? when using rosin core i don't need to use flux to solder? that's my dream thing!

And when it comes to clean the board after, do you recommend anything?

I always had this doubt but never remembered to ask.
Thanks!
You don't need additional flux usually. The rosin in the core is flux. Not a bad idea to have some extra flux, but I haven't even cracked open mine yet.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Oct 02, 2016, 02:22 am
IF you use rosin core solder, you don't need to clean the boards. If you still want to, use IPA (isopropal alcohol). We buy the cheap stuff at a drug store and use an old tooth brush. Wash the board with hot water and air dry to finish cleaning.

If using any other type of flux, wash in hot water and air dry.

If you are adding a something that can't be washed, add that after washing and use "no clean" flux.

Paul
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Jiggy-Ninja on Oct 02, 2016, 03:17 am
If you are adding a something that can't be washed, add that after washing and use "no clean" flux.

Paul
FYI, most things that cannot be washed will be mechanical things, like switches or relays that aren't sealed, or something like an atmospheric sensor with an open port. The thing these have in common is little nooks and crannies that the cleaning gunk can easily get into, but not so easily removed.

Most electronics components won't care about being washed, as long as they are dried before powering up.

Using the Hakko page that INTP linked, your best general purpose tip is going to be a shape D chisel tip, probably the 1.6D or 2.4D.

Also, do not forget solder wick and a solder sucker.

Do not forget to get solder wick. I said it twice because it's important.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 02, 2016, 05:47 am
I don't like this type of iron because the tip is not grounded.
Most part don't have problems but a part that is commonly use
with arduinos is very sensitive and easily damaged with an ungrounded
tip of a soldering iron. That part is a MOSFET.
One of the other thread started about just such a problem.
The tips of these iron has a small capacitance to about 1/2 the line voltage.
Most parts have protection that can easily handle this small of
a capacitance. The MOSFET's input is essentially a capacitor. A small
capacitor. The voltage of the ungrounded iron can easily go over 70
volts, damaging the gate lead.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Wawa on Oct 02, 2016, 06:38 am
Direct powered irons shouldn't be used for electronics.
They are only good for wires, connectors, etc.
Sensitive electronics need an ESD-safe soldering station.
Leo..
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Wawa on Oct 02, 2016, 06:44 am
If you want to solder a mosfet safely with a cheap hot poker, do this.

Use a thin bare copper wire to connect/short all pins of the mosfet together, close to the body.
When the mosfet is soldered in, remove the wire.
Leo..
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 02, 2016, 03:49 pm
I don't like this type of iron because the tip is not grounded.
Most part don't have problems but a part that is commonly use
with arduinos is very sensitive and easily damaged with an ungrounded
tip of a soldering iron. That part is a MOSFET.
One of the other thread started about just such a problem.
The tips of these iron has a small capacitance to about 1/2 the line voltage.
Most parts have protection that can easily handle this small of
a capacitance. The MOSFET's input is essentially a capacitor. A small
capacitor. The voltage of the ungrounded iron can easily go over 70
volts, damaging the gate lead.
Dwight

Can you recommend a good iron sold on a Canadian website?

FYI, most things that cannot be washed will be mechanical things, like switches or relays that aren't sealed, or something like an atmospheric sensor with an open port. The thing these have in common is little nooks and crannies that the cleaning gunk can easily get into, but not so easily removed.

Most electronics components won't care about being washed, as long as they are dried before powering up.

Using the Hakko page that INTP linked, your best general purpose tip is going to be a shape D chisel tip, probably the 1.6D or 2.4D.

Also, do not forget solder wick and a solder sucker.

Do not forget to get solder wick. I said it twice because it's important.
Would https://www.amazon.ca/SODIAL-Aluminium-Desoldering-Solder-Remover/dp/B00JFOR9G0/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475415878&sr=1-1&keywords=solder+sucker and https://www.amazon.ca/MG-Chemicals-424-LF-Temperature-0-05-Inch/dp/B008O9WEUS/ref=sr_1_12?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475416071&sr=1-12&keywords=solder+wick work?
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Oct 02, 2016, 04:31 pm
Direct powered irons shouldn't be used for electronics.
They are only good for wires, connectors, etc.
Sensitive electronics need an ESD-safe soldering station.
Leo..

Don't jump to conclusions without checking with an Ohmmeter. If they have a 3 wire power cord, the tip is grounded. Look for the UL label.

Paul
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 03, 2016, 04:47 am
I would assume one can by a Weller soldering station in Canada.
It won't be a cheap as the you you got.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Jiggy-Ninja on Oct 03, 2016, 05:12 am
Can you recommend a good iron sold on a Canadian website?


Would https://www.amazon.ca/SODIAL-Aluminium-Desoldering-Solder-Remover/dp/B00JFOR9G0/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475415878&sr=1-1&keywords=solder+sucker and https://www.amazon.ca/MG-Chemicals-424-LF-Temperature-0-05-Inch/dp/B008O9WEUS/ref=sr_1_12?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475416071&sr=1-12&keywords=solder+wick work?
Yep, exactly the kind of thing I was talking about.

I bought a used Hakko FX-888 for 60 USD off ebay a few years ago. SSSOOOOOO much better than the worthless fire starters that just plug into mains. You should be able to find a Hakko or Weller for a good price if you hunt well enough. Even an older model will still work fantastically.

Also, the iron holder on that third hand thing is worse than worthless, it is dangerous. Never, EVER use a holder with a base with such a small footprint like that, it will have no stability at all when the weight of the iron is on it. It'll tip easier than an alcoholic after a night at the bar, and then your 350oC iron is rolling around on the table, maybe falling off the table, who knows?

Any proper soldering station will have a big, chunky iron stand that has no chance of tipping over. My Hakko one has some proper weight in it, I could probably club a burglar unconscious with it. I cannot stress enough to never use that crappy thing attached to your third arm that claims to be an iron stand.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: ChrisTenone on Oct 03, 2016, 09:01 am
...
And when it comes to clean the board after, do you recommend anything?
...
I dip a soft bristled toothbrush in 70% isopropyl alcohol (drug store 'rubbing alcohol'), and clean my solder jobs with small circular scrubbing, just like brushing my teeth, but with a lighter touch. Then blot it dry with a q-tip. The work shines after that!
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: flounder on Oct 03, 2016, 12:47 pm
The helping-hand station you gave a link to is junk.  Look at those alligator clips.  In a few weeks, they will all come loose, and have a tendency to fall off, and even at their best, they aren't very good at holding a board.  Save yourself money and grief.  Put the money you've saved into a better soldering station.  It is a better investment.

Take a look at the PanaVise.  Use google to find it.  Yes, it is expensive.  Look at it carefully.  Notice the several axes of motion.  Now look for cheap clones.  You may find one.  But anything less than a PanaVise functionality is just a waste of money, because you will want to (or have to) throw it out in less than a year.  Even a simple bench vise would be a better investment. 

I bought a good one about twenty years ago.  It is still in service.  The one you referenced is in the makerspace I inhabit.  They have two of them.  Everyone avoids those except those who don't know any better.  They use one of them exactly once.  Then they use the PanaVise.  We only have one PanaVise, so it can get kind of desperate.  I bought my own, which I keep in my toolbox, and therefore I avoid the contention for the good one. 

The problem is that good tools last a lifetime, or nearly so, and cheap tools last weeks.  You will end up disappointed by the cheap soldering iron, but you don't need a top-of-the-line to start.  But the comments about ESD are relevant, and the use of a "mains iron" has many risks, for both the user and the circuits, all of which have been described.  Poor tools have no lasting power, and you will soon tire of how bad they are.  Yes, I agree, that buying good tools has a very negative impact on cash flow, and it doesn't matter how good something is if you can't afford it.  But you also can't afford to waste money.  Doing without is so much better than doing-with-really-crappy-stuff.  Don't say no one warned you.
     joe
     joe
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 03, 2016, 03:34 pm
If you're feeling creative, you can make your own helping hands setup with coolant lines used for cnc machines and alligator clips. Infinite possibilities for range of motion and angles and number of hands.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 03, 2016, 08:07 pm
It wasn't mentioned that these cheap iron usually
don't have temperature control.
This causes problems.
One is that they over heat, possibly lifting pads from
circuit boards and oxidizing the tips quicker, requiring
more regular cleaning.
If the tip is uncoated copper, it will rot out faster.
If iron clad, it will need more aggressive cleaning that will
cause the coating to be damaged.
One of the biggest problems with new people using soldering
irons is not keeping the iron clean and tinned.
The other is using the iron to transfer solder to
the work, causing typical cold solder joints.
As for grounding, one can add a clip and ground wire.
A light dimmer makes a coarse temperature controller.
One can get a inline dimmer for an incandescent lamp.
Still, I would not go for cheap when used for tools.
I've wasted a lot of my hard earned money on bargain
tools. I'm too old now to even think of using cheap junk.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Jiggy-Ninja on Oct 03, 2016, 09:54 pm
It wasn't mentioned that these cheap iron usually
don't have temperature control.
This causes problems.
The one he linking to in OP claims to have temperature control. Whether it's worth anything or not is the question.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 04, 2016, 12:05 am
Temp knob works, I have one. Set it and forget it once paired with a good solder. Nothing scientific, didn't bring out the temp gun, but it self regulates instead of just getting hotter and hotter as some people who have never owned one like to claim for no reason.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: pert on Oct 04, 2016, 01:06 am
I actually have one of the cheap "Helping Hands" that I find very useful for holding certain things while soldering such as wires and components, for example a switch. I never use it for circuit boards though, for that my panavise is so much better. I took the magnifying glass off right away because it just got in my way and that soldering iron holder is idiotic. I put some shrink tube over the alligator clip jaws because they were too sharp and damaged the things they held. I haven't had any problems with the alligator clips falling off and they look just like the one at the link.

The one on the link you posted is overpriced. You can get them way cheaper on eBay if you don't mind waiting a while for China shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Third-Hand-Soldering-Iron-Stand-Helping-Magnifying-Tool-OE-/122118568705 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Third-Hand-Soldering-Iron-Stand-Helping-Magnifying-Tool-OE-/122118568705)
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 04, 2016, 02:44 pm
Take a look at the PanaVise.  Use google to find it.  Yes, it is expensive.  Look at it carefully.  Notice the several axes of motion.  Now look for cheap clones.  You may find one.  But anything less than a PanaVise functionality is just a waste of money, because you will want to (or have to) throw it out in less than a year.  Even a simple bench vise would be a better investment. 
Would the Panavise Model 201 "Junior" work?  It's sold here on Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B61D22/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)

Based on suggestions for Hakko and Weller, I was thinking of getting a Yihua 936 (Clone of the Hakko 936) as a real Hakko or Weller is a bit out of my budget. It's sold on amazon.com  here  (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O4ORHMM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVHPCG21UKS8) and I've seen it recommended on other sites as it's only $25-30. If I buy this in combination with  this solder  (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068IJNQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WRUBMLJPZ2AL), would it work well and would the iron last me a while?
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Watcher on Oct 04, 2016, 04:17 pm
Anyone has experience with AOYUE soldering equipment ?

For example this  (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aoyue-968-Professional-PCB-Rework-Station-SMD-Soldering-Hot-Air-Station-/391535473384?hash=item5b295532e8:g:oMgAAOSwo0JWKndF)station.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CrossRoads on Oct 04, 2016, 04:39 pm
Quote
I dip a soft bristled toothbrush in 70% isopropyl alcohol
I do the same, but use 99.9% Anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. Airdries really quick.
I have a gallon bottle of this
http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/824-500ML/473-1150-ND/2602438 (http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/824-500ML/473-1150-ND/2602438)
that I refill a taller version of this with
http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/static-control-esd-clean-room-products/accessories/2228308?k=isopropyl (http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/static-control-esd-clean-room-products/accessories/2228308?k=isopropyl)
and a hog hair brush, the longer bristles fit nicely over the legs of shields.
http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/857/473-1050-ND/949492 (http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/857/473-1050-ND/949492)

Does smell like a doctor's/vet's office afterwards.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Jiggy-Ninja on Oct 04, 2016, 06:20 pm
Based on suggestions for Hakko and Weller, I was thinking of getting a Yihua 936 (Clone of the Hakko 936) as a real Hakko or Weller is a bit out of my budget. It's sold on amazon.com  here  (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O4ORHMM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVHPCG21UKS8) and I've seen it recommended on other sites as it's only $25-30. If I buy this in combination with  this solder  (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068IJNQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WRUBMLJPZ2AL), would it work well and would the iron last me a while?
I believe Dave Jones did a teardown of that exact Yee-haw! (as he pronounced it) model. I believe he found that it was just a superficial clone, the interior control circuitry was different and the temperature regulation wasn't as good. Only the appearance was copied.

Good enough I'd imagine, and it has a proper iron holder.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: polymorph on Oct 05, 2016, 01:36 am
Anyone has experience with AOYUE soldering equipment ?

For example this  (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aoyue-968-Professional-PCB-Rework-Station-SMD-Soldering-Hot-Air-Station-/391535473384?hash=item5b295532e8:g:oMgAAOSwo0JWKndF)station.
I've used an Aoyue rework station a bit. My main iron is a Weller WESD51 soldering station with digital temp control.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: polymorph on Oct 05, 2016, 01:40 am
I bought one of these to evaluate it as a beginner iron for OlyMEGA:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013JM4AW4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013JM4AW4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage)

I also bought a pack of Hakko tips. This iron is NOT compatible with Hakko tips.

I will be doing a video of it.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 05, 2016, 01:58 am
This is the best iron out there but beyond both my budget
and I'm sure the OP's.
The Metcal is just about the absolute best I've seen anywhere.
It has almost zero thermal inertia and can go from single IC
pin to 16 gauge wire on a ground plain without a hint of delay.
I have an old Weller with fixed temperature tips. It works fine
for me.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Watcher on Oct 05, 2016, 06:42 am
Quote
This is the best iron out there but beyond both my budget
and I'm sure the OP's.
Which iron are you referring to dwightthinker ?
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 05, 2016, 07:01 am
Which iron are you referring to dwightthinker ?
Any of the Metcal irons With the rf generator.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 05, 2016, 07:42 am
People give great recommendations for great products when they're not spending their own money.

It's just an iron. A piece of hot metal. There are even ones that just use fire.
Get the one you posted originally, come back when it somehow isn't doing what you want it to do.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 05, 2016, 09:36 pm
People give great recommendations for great products when they're not spending their own money.

It's just an iron. A piece of hot metal. There are even ones that just use fire.
Get the one you posted originally, come back when it somehow isn't doing what you want it to do.
It is clear you have never used an soldering iron, more than casually.
Have you ever remove 100 parts from a PC board without damaging
a single pad ( including single sided )?
The right iron for the right job.
If all you want is a wood burner, it is no issue.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 05, 2016, 11:30 pm
It is clear you have never used an soldering iron, more than casually.
Have you ever remove 100 parts from a PC board without damaging
a single pad ( including single sided )?
The right iron for the right job.
If all you want is a wood burner, it is no issue.
Dwight

Somehow I'm the only one that read the first words of the thread, "So I'm an Arduino beginner...." and didn't jump to conclusions of "man this guy probably needs to remove 100 parts from a PC board without damaging a single pad blah blah"

It is clear you have never acknowledged that not everyone has the same needs. Spare the ad hominem and move along. The amount that I solder has zilch to do with giving the OP advice as per his needs and budget.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: pert on Oct 05, 2016, 11:54 pm
I agree that it's not necessary for a beginner to get a professional soldering iron and there are some cheap soldering irons that should work fine for most any casual use. However, it is worth a bit of effort to try to get a reasonably usable iron since it is a very important tool. When I first got into Arduino I knew I would need a "good" soldering iron because I had previously a lot of trouble trying to solder with the non-adjustable hardware store model I already owned. I had no clue what constituted a good iron other than adjustability and searching for information usually led me to threads with electrical engineers fan-boying on their high end irons and saying everything in my budget was complete junk. So I decided to trust Adafruit when they said:
Quote
This 'pen-style' soldering iron is just about the best entry-level tool I've seen.
In the description of this item:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/180 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/180)
Well "Lady Ada" must had been high on flux fumes because the cord on this stupid thing is so stiff it's almost unusable. Also, there's no clear documentation on tip compatibility and Adafruit doesn't sell replacement tips for it. The iron does work but I've had to hang it from the ceiling by the cord and it's still very awkward constantly fighting the cord when trying to do precision work or long jobs. I can't really justify buying another one when I have a working iron since it's just a hobby for me but I really wish I had done a bit more research and spent a little more to get something that would have served me better over the years. Since I didn't pay much for it(though they do charge a good bit for shipping), it's not really worth the effort to try to splice a better cord on there.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Wawa on Oct 06, 2016, 12:33 am
...the cord on this stupid thing is so stiff it's almost unusable.
Yep, a big problem (and dangerous) in colder climates.
I have a Chinese rework station with the same "feature".
Weller stations (have?) had super flexible silicone cords.
Leo..
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Oct 06, 2016, 01:05 am
Yep, a big problem (and dangerous) in colder climates.
I have a Chinese rework station with the same "feature".
Weller stations (have?) had super flexible silicone cords.
Leo..

And the super flexible cords also have problems. Some assemblers whip the cords around to get them out of their way and one of the 3 wires in the cord eventually breaks. When my company way young, I used to disassemble the irons and shorten the cords so they would work again. After two times, the cords were too short.

The really tiny wands have the same cords, but are not fixable by shortening the cords.

The problem becomes bad when the plastic strain relief gets brittle and brakes, leaving sharp edges.

now we just order new wands.

Paul
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: dwightthinker on Oct 06, 2016, 02:05 am
I don't think a hobbyist needs a $500 soldering iron. It is just that
using a worthless iron will make you think there is something wrong
with you when it is the iron that is the issue.
On ebay I just saw an older TC201/TC202 that is complete( without sponge )
for $59.
I have one of these and other than the pain to change tips when hot,
it is a great iron.
Getting a selection of three tips, will make soldering a joy.
Dwight
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: sarouje on Oct 06, 2016, 02:18 pm
I use a very cheap soldering iron, cost me not more than $5 (300 Indian Rs). People might laugh at me but It does my job well till now. I dont solder stuffs on a daily basis. So I think for a beginner starting with a low cost soldering iron is not an issue, once the person feels more advanced soldering requirements and can spend money later for a soldering station.

Below is a PCB I designed (manufactured by third party) and soldered yesterday.(https://sonyarouje.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/img_1642.jpg)
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: INTP on Oct 06, 2016, 04:03 pm
Showing the wrong side if you have a point about soldering  :)
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: sarouje on Oct 06, 2016, 06:10 pm
Showing the wrong side if you have a point about soldering  :)
here it is :), I didnt had one at that time. Soldering might not be neat, I am still learning that skill.

Link  (http://"http://www.ebay.in/itm/25-Watt-Soldering-Iron-With-Free-Lead-Wire-Soldering-Paste-/252307263473?hash=item3abeaf4ff1:g:cwIAAOxyThVTaoD8")to the soldering iron I am using.

(http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=427112.0;attach=182960)
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: CanadianCyanide on Oct 06, 2016, 11:36 pm
I use a very cheap soldering iron, cost me not more than $5 (300 Indian Rs). People might laugh at me but It does my job well till now. I dont solder stuffs on a daily basis. So I think for a beginner starting with a low cost soldering iron is not an issue, once the person feels more advanced soldering requirements and can spend money later for a soldering station.
Do you use a wire holder/third hand tool to hold whatever you're soldering, and is there any way you could link me to it?
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: sarouje on Oct 07, 2016, 03:05 am
Do you use a wire holder/third hand tool to hold whatever you're soldering, and is there any way you could link me to it?
I use this (http://"http://\"http://www.ebay.in/itm/Helping-Hand-Soldering-Stand-With-LED-Light-Magnifier-Magnifying-Glass3Lens-Tool-/322281941573?hash=item4b09802a45:g:rDUAAOSwRQlXfR-A"") third hand tool while soldering. That small LED light is also very helpful, which can operate from 3 AA battery or using a power adapter.

Some times I don't use a third hand, just lay the board on my desk and solder it.
Title: Re: Is this a good budget soldering iron?
Post by: Watcher on Oct 07, 2016, 06:30 am
Quote
I use this third hand tool while soldering. That small LED light is also very helpful, which can operate from 3 AA battery or using a power adapter.
In the past, I ve tried using some of these holders but it just didnt work. As someone else pointed earlier, the whole setup tends to tip over.

These days I mainly work with SMD components which means I only work on once side of the board with tweezers. When I do need to solder through hole things, I use some adhesive tape (pvc electricians tape or even paper tape) to hold the component in place on one side while soldering it on the other.