qusp, have you used any weller stations in the past? I'm currently using a wsd-161 (dual channel digital temperature control), and so far I've lost one channel and burned out the heater/sensor module on one wand. I'm thinking about getting a new station, and was wondering how hakko compares (looking at the FM-203 if you know anything about that particular model).
Soldering Iron Question... Solder won't stick! - Page 3
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Hey, nah i've never really used any of the weller stations enough to have an opinion i'm afraid, i've only used friends. whats you budget? because next iron i buy will be a metcal (well probably i will get it soon and keep the hakko as a second unit) very fast and responsive irons due to the direct heating. i was actually hesitant about the automatic sensor/temp control, but it actually works really well.
my budget is around $500~600, my job is going to buy it since my weller is on the fritz. I looked on metcal's site, and didn't see anything with temperature control (could have missed it), which is something I really need for the range of things I have to solder...
the metcals sense the heat needed and automatically put out that much heat; thus no temp control. whack hey? from all reports they do it and do it very well indeed, i'm saving for one. they also do not use an element, but rather heat the tip directly
- 555 Posts. Joined 10/2002
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Ok.. This is not the best suggestion you will find but it should work to cut through the crud if you take lots of precautions.
Heat up the iron and dip in a small little container of ammonia. You must do this in a very well ventilated environment. I recommend using a fan to blow the fumes away from you.
Immediately after this, tin the tip with flux bearing solder.
Basically, you can buy tip refreshers to do this all in one step. The active ingredient in tip refreshers is ammonia and it works very well. Tip refreshers also have tin and solder to re-tin the tip immediately.
Sandpapering is a last resort to get the oxidization off.
Flux will help the tinning process when the tip is clean.
LOWER heat is better. Here's why.
Higher temperatures are what cause the rapid oxidization in the first place.
It can be as simple as going one setting down.
I have a variable temperature iron, and I run it pretty hot - 300 degrees Celsius.
BUT - if I run it at 350, it oxidizes like crazy, and it gets hard to tin, and heat transfer suffers.
A tinned iron at 300 will melt solder faster than an oxidized one at 350.
So find the lowest temperature your iron performs well at, and use that.
Also, don't leave the iron on and sitting untinned for extended periods of time.
- 711 Posts. Joined 3/2012
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SuperTech-IT- A more practical " down to earth" answer I have not heard and its your first post! Since my Weller packed up 8 years ago I have been using a digital display/temp controlled soldering station from Vann Draper . In all the years I have had it I have only needed to change the bit. A bit dearer than some of the clones but I looked at them cheaper meant lower tech components and build.
As an addendum, I would like to add that under normal PCB soldering (not heavy wires) I actually run my iron at 250 to 275.
I put it up to 300 for heavy work with thicker tips.
I have an 852D which is inexpensive. Many companies put their name on it but the model number usually remains constant.
I haven't had to change the hot air or the wand elements yet either, even though it came with spares.
The tips of course should be replaced as soon as you notice that the plating has worn off, although they will continue to work after.
I was searching for something else completely on the web when I came across this post, and thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth.
I do a lot of soldering, and my latest little project had probably about 1500 solder joints in it.
Having a tip that won't tin would be a huge problem.
You're probably wondering what would have so many solder joints, so here's a quick clip of it.
If anyone has any other questions for me, please feel free to ask.
Always remember that a tinned tip transfers heat much faster than a hotter untinned tip.
It's the same principle as putting heat sink grease on a heat sink. The solder acts as a thermal transfer conduit.
Edited by SuperTech-IT - 6/26/13 at 10:40am