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Topic: Soldering Option help (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

allanhurst

Correct.

I have an ancient magnetostat Weller TCP, and it still works fine.

For modern stuff I use Metcal irons  . Good, but not cheap.

Allan

Paul__B

I have an ancient magnetostat Weller TCP, and it still works fine.
I suspect most of us "oldies" do, but spare parts are the killer.  :smiley-eek:

allanhurst

#32
Sep 23, 2018, 01:08 am Last Edit: Sep 23, 2018, 01:50 am by allanhurst
Yep - the day it irrevocably dies I shall be sorry. A good workhorse for many years.
You could get pretty much any part till about 10 years ago.

I wonder if the modern kit will last as long? Or will be so well supported in spares?

But this is pro stuff - $5 would never buy a Weller. If you're going to take electronics seriously  a good iron is essential in my view. Don't cheapskate here.

The big advance is to put the heating element in the tip - more heat efficient and very fast response.
Metcal did this years ago.

The TS100 has many good reviews - I'm tempted.

Allan

westfw

My Weller TCP cost something like $70 when I bought it in 1981 (got it at the Heathkit Store!), and it lasted till just a couple of years ago (although it didn't really get used very much, software geek that I became...)
Replaced it with one of those Hakko irons from Adafruit (for quite a bit less than the ~$200 that $70 would be worth now, according to inflation calculators.)

DrAzzy

I exclusively use Weller irons with the ugly green housing (they switched to other colored housing at around the same time that they were bought out and became only a brand name). I would recommend a used Weller iron over any of the new production crap that seems to dominate the market now.
ATTinyCore for x4/x5/x61/x7/x8/x41/1634/828/x313 megaTinyCore for the megaavr ATtinies - Board Manager:
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ATtiny breakouts, mosfets, awesome prototyping board in my store http://tindie.com/stores/DrAzzy

SaintSkinny

I think we can presume that a real Weller will do it properly.

Good to hear!  :) I googled the model and it had good reviews on most places I checked, and they seemed to be legitimate, but then again it is the internet.... It's not always easy to tell who's got real reviews and who's paid to have them written. That's actually one of the main reasons I posted this, I've trusted the wrong reviews a couple times and ended up with junk. But alot of people are surprised that you can find decent items for decent prices if you put some work into it.

Having a threaded ring to hold in the tip was a terrible idea, as the heat/cool cycles while using it cause it to unscrew itself, sometimes literally in minutes. The three little dents used to hold in the bit the collar threads onto, similarly loosens itself from heat/cool cycles.

It takes a long time to get to equilibrium temperature, then drops 100F or more while soldering one connection. Then takes around 10 minutes to get back to equilibrium. I find that if I turn it up enough to stay hot enough to solder, it will heat until the tip burns black when back in the holder. So I had to turn it up to use it, turn it back down to put it back in the holder. And keep pliers handy to keep tightening the collar. And watch out for the entire tip/collar/retaining ring falling out. I'm not exaggerating.
Sounds just like the way my Ebay Iron was built! the tip screws into the end of the collar, and the retaining ring holds the collar to the body (I think I used the right terminology, I honestly know more about names of the parts of a plant or flower than I do about the names of the pieces of a soldering Iron lol.

I showed Momma Saint (my Mom) my new iron and even she could tell the difference, the weller has a bit more weight and a more 'solid feel'... By solid feel, I mean I'm not worried about anything falling into my lap when I'm working!  :o Not to mention if that happens I'll have to explain the oddly placed scars to every girlfriend I ever have again lol

 After looking at the Tenma and comparing it to the Weller, it seems like they just used the cheapest parts they could find and built a movie prop version of the WLC100. I can't tell for sure, but is the Tenma iron attached to the base permanently? One of the first things I noticed about the WLC is that it's Iron doesn't require the station to work, which I could see coming in handy in certain situations.

TomGeorge

#36
Sep 23, 2018, 03:26 pm Last Edit: Sep 23, 2018, 03:29 pm by TomGeorge
Hi,
My field work soldering iron;


My work soldering iron;


My home soldering iron;


I like the Weller for field work as its simple and field repairable, and the tips are compact to store.

Tom... :)
Everything runs on smoke, let the smoke out, it stops running....

polymorph

I would NOT assume that the Weller WLC100 does it "the right way", just because Weller also has better irons. It has a dial labeled only in a few numbers.

"Variable power control dial adjusts performance from 5-Watts to 40-Watts for accuracy"

In addition, although the base is grounded, the soldering pencil that comes with it is not. Not a good idea with modern MOSFET and CMOS circuitry. Quite a bad idea, in fact.

And I've seen a lot of cheap irons with good reviews. Have you read the Amazon reviews? Often, they received it, it looked shiny, so they left a 5 star review without using it or after only soldering a few joints. And if you've never used a good soldering iron, will you be able to tell?

I've used a lot of crappy irons in my career. Just about every place I've worked, I've been contract labor and had to buy my own equipment. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes you =can= blame your tools, and that cheap tools are expensive in the end.

I have a Weller WTCP (magnetostat) iron that I used for a long time, it works great. I found that for lead-free solder, I needed finer temperature control than merely 600, 700, or 800F. So I bought another Weller, this time with digital temperature control.

I've also come to the conclusion that a simple soldering pencil with no power control, that just plugs in and regulates temperature by virtue of the PTC of the element and the design of the iron is better than any lamp dimmer controlled overpowered iron.
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
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Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
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SaintSkinny

I would NOT assume that the Weller WLC100 does it "the right way", just because Weller also has better irons. It has a dial labeled only in a few numbers.
Uh oh, did I just get into the electrical engineers version of Ford VS Chevy? lol

"Variable power control dial adjusts performance from 5-Watts to 40-Watts for accuracy"

In addition, although the base is grounded, the soldering pencil that comes with it is not. Not a good idea with modern MOSFET and CMOS circuitry. Quite a bad idea, in fact.

I noticed that as well. Just a shot in the dark here, but could someone add a ground if they felt it necessary?

And I've seen a lot of cheap irons with good reviews. Have you read the Amazon reviews? Often, they received it, it looked shiny, so they left a 5 star review without using it or after only soldering a few joints. And if you've never used a good soldering iron, will you be able to tell?

right, not to mention those getting paid for said review. It's hard to know where to look to find an honest review, but amazon isn't it. Even when I check some DIY or electrical blogs, I'm never 100% sure they don't have some hidden motive to bump it up a couple stars.


I've used a lot of crappy irons in my career. Just about every place I've worked, I've been contract labor and had to buy my own equipment. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes you =can= blame your tools, and that cheap tools are expensive in the end.
Been there... I can't tell you how many times I had to run (okay walk) to buy a socket from the auto parts store after breaking one from a china kit when working on my truck... That is if I was lucky and didn't round the head off first. Back then my screw extractor kit never left my toolbox. Then I turned 18 and I started getting old lol Okay Maybe old isn't the right word, but my shoulders were worn out (thanks Ehlers Danlos syndrome)and I couldn't handle the physical work all the time.

Sometimes I miss mechanical work, but my Buick was kind enough to blow a brake line in the worst possible place, so I've been playing with that for a couple weeks SMH I don't miss it anymore




SaintSkinny

I suppose down the line I could always just build my own like this one here

Or I could go WAY HARDCORE with this guy

Tonight were gonna solder like it's 205 BC!

Perehama

The Atten SA-50 is a temp controlled and adjustable pen-style soldering iron able to do SMT parts, through hole parts and heavier parts. It's tips are compatible with HAKKO tips.
Under $30
The slender snake hissed as she slithered slowly over the rocks, grass and leaves.

Perehama

Hey all,
     I'm moving ever forward with my project and one thing I'm going to need is a soldering Iron. I've got a soldering gun, but that's obviously not the best tool for the job.
I am assuming by "gun" you mean a pistol grip automotive 100 watt iron that would destroy anything smaller in diameter than a wire coat hanger.
I'm on a stupid tight budget for the time being, so my options are pretty limited....
What is your budget?
I'm under the impression I'll need something adjustable for working on things like Arduino Boards. Is this correct?
As westfw pointed out, it's more important to get an iron that is temperature controlled than adjustable. An adjustable iron will give you the ability to dial in the right temperature for the work you will be doing. Heavier parts have more thermal mass and are suited to higher tip temperatures than lighter parts. Brands and budget aside, a soldering iron should meet a bare minimum standard. There are three things budget irons commonly get wrong. They frequently lack temperature control, use a set screw to fix the tip to the heating element, and pass voltage to the tip. Above this minimum standard, that the unit be temp controlled, that it use a collar to attach the tip and that it electrically isolate the tip, everything else is as budget allows.
The slender snake hissed as she slithered slowly over the rocks, grass and leaves.

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