Soldering Iron... any goodies?

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nlmd311
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Soldering Iron... any goodies?

Post by nlmd311 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:34 pm

Hey everyone,
sorry if this is not appropriate for this forum, but a soldering iron is grear, right?
When I moved up here (Atlanta) my soldering iron and electronics projects stayed behind and are now boxed up. I need a new iron. My last one was a pretty nice Hakko. Looking for something with a variable temperature setting. I was looking into the Weller WLC100 iron/station. Any opinions? Which do you favor, and why?
Trying to keep it under $70.
I'm just a hobby D.I.Y.'er and love messing around with electronics projects. Don't need anything amazing, but don't want a piece of junk either.
Also curious to know what kind of tips you guys prefer for electronics stuff (PCB and point-point).

Thanks

-Darrill
slowly panning across something kind of crappy...

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jmiller
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Post by jmiller » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:03 pm

I've got the WLC100. I bought it after years of buying cheap irons at Radio Shack only to have them burn out and not work after whatever abandoned project I was doing was over. I've been very happy with it. It was only about 50 bucks or so at Fry's, IIRC. The only thing I would say is to make sure you've got a good supply of tips. The WLC100 uses the ST series tips, and the Fry's here in burbank never seems to have the conical tips (ST7) except when I don't immediately need one.

Reccomended.

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I'm Painting Again
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:02 am

did you guys/gals see the one they are selling on the tele lately..like cold heat I think its called..yes thats it:

https://www.asseenontvnetwork.com/vcc/c ... at/146516/

http://www.coldheat.com/

0 to 800 degrees in 1 second, cool to the touch in 3 seconds

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6151688/

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seaneldon
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Post by seaneldon » Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:39 am

i used a cold heat. it's rubbish. it gets cold fast, yes. but it doesn't work that great. it's good for mending jewelry and fixing a broken switch on your guitar. barely. i tried building an amp with it and it cried.

blakbeltjonez
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Post by blakbeltjonez » Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:59 am

i thought the Cold Heat thing was kind of bogus to begin with, since the basic idea of soldering is to heat the area you are soldering, THEN apply solder to the heated area and NOT to the soldering iron itself.

i guess it's great for making cold solder joints though...

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nlmd311
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Post by nlmd311 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:05 am

Cool (or would that be "hot"?) Thanks guys. I have wanted one of the coldheat irons since I first saw them but mainly for novelty purposes. It would probably be alright to have around but I wouldn't get it as my only iron, or my main.
jmiller, I think I am going to go with the WLC100. Haven't found any bad reviews and found a site where I can get it for $39.84.
Now, any tips on some good lead-free solder? Preferred diameter for electronics? I've only ever used the Kestler 60/40 rosin core, and while it was pretty nice I am really interested in seeking a lead-free alternative.

-Darrill
slowly panning across something kind of crappy...

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I'm Painting Again
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:05 am

seaneldon wrote:i used a cold heat. it's rubbish. it gets cold fast, yes. but it doesn't work that great. it's good for mending jewelry and fixing a broken switch on your guitar. barely. i tried building an amp with it and it cried.
i wont be trying then..what was the problem with it..why doesn't it work that well?

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marc
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Post by marc » Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:48 am

blakbeltjonez wrote:since the basic idea of soldering is to heat the area you are soldering, THEN apply solder to the heated area and NOT to the soldering iron itself.
Erm. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that. I got one as an unsolicited christmas gift, and though no, it's not my main iron, that's precisely how you use it, just make a connection between the two contacts through the area you want to apply the solder to and do so. The tip itself seems pretty fragile, and I imagine it'd be pretty easy to mess it up quick by applying solder to the iron itself. I also haven't used it that much, but I'd be interested in knowing what/why it was crying; pretty much everyone I know thinks it's straight-up crap without really being able to provide an answer. Not to say it's an amazing iron (it is, afterall, about $15-20), I just don't get all the haters.

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