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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a $20 solder gun that I have used for years but I'd like to step up my technique and I'm looking at a Solder Station.

Rather than bombard you with info, which ones do you recommend for an beginner wanting to improve his technique.

Thanks

R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've only ever soldered wires together and things such as that, but I want to do a little more electronics in the future, that may require me to use better equipment than my $20 solder gun.

One thing in particular is I want to create my own solar charger station that will power my landscape lights.

I am currently researching a dawn till dusk sensor that I posted on in the electrical section.

This summer I want to build a switch that will turn on a fan when the temp reaches X for my dog pen.

I have about 25 LED landscape solar panels that I would like to hook together and charge a car battery.

Just junk really but I need advice neverless.
 

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The difference in your list varies by the wattage you need. 30 watts for printed circuit boards up to 60 watts for larger wires and related connections.

In my years as a technician we only used the Weller stations. Just did a quick search to be sure they are still in business since it has been many years since I purchased one, and they are. They aren't cheap, but temperature control and automatic shutoff are important. The bottom line looks like $120 but still a great tool.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have been looking at the Weller ones, just because I know Weller USED TO BE the best. But $100 is a lot of money for a hobby.

Google it again and tell me which model number you recommend. Also, in your professional opinion, what is one Soldering tool that you could not live without.

Thank mate

R.
 

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Looked a little more and see they start below $40. A basic soldering iron that plugs into a station where you can control the power setting. Far too many fro me to read all of the reviews. Mine is probably in what would be the $140 range today, but most of my work was circuit boards where you had to control the heat to avoid burning the paths off. Hard to see some of those paths today.

Temperature control is nice, but power control can do much the same. Most Weller's use interchangeable tips allowing you to select the best size for the job.

Do your reading and see what matches best your applications.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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I think you would be hard pressed to need more than the WES51. Functionally, it is probably better than my older one. Pick up a few extra size tips.

Good choice,
Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You from what it appears, the digital gives me a digital temp readout. Other than that it looks like there is no change.

Different tips, I was looking at the thinner pointy tips, thinking they would help better with more effective soldering, is that the case. Also, what soldering tool could you not live without.

Maybe I can pull that old monitor out the barn and find which capacitor is swollen or leaking and replace it!

Thank you for your time!!
 

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Bud, I saw this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BRC2XU?keywords=Weller WESD51&qid=1449199482&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

and I saw this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ARU9PO?keywords=Weller WESD51&qid=1449199654&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Now the Analog is slightly out of my price range, however the Digital is way out of my price range. Is it worth me waiting and going for the digital one, or will the Analog one do all I need and more.

Thank you for your time.
both of them are digital, both controls the temp precisely, i have the first one for about 10 years now and i work with it every day at my job
 

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A desoldering tool, aka solder sucker, and a roll of rosin core solder.

There are several tricks, like replacing a multi-pin IC, you can clip the leads away from the body of the IC and then remove each pin one at a time. To clip those away, I use a pair of flush cut nippers with somewhat long thins tips. And you slap any hands that try to grab those and cut bolts.

If you need to use the solder sucker, sometimes there isn't enough solder on the component to efficiently suck away. In that case I add some solder before I try to remove it all.

If I wish to remove a complex IC and I don't want to or can't cut the pins, I carefully mask off that IC (both sides) from the rest of the board (really well) and use compressed air (safety glasses of course). A quick blast of air aimed at molten solder will blow it away and any that is left will be a cold solder connection. Note, that molten solder will go everywhere so the masking must be perfect and all precautions observed.

There is a long list of how-to that comes from experience.

Enjoy,
Bud
 
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Another vote for the 551.

Couple of important points....keep the tip tinned.

Wipe with the sponge....melt a drop or two on the tip before you put it back in the holder.

When the tip will no longer stay shiny, and you can't clean it....time to replace.

I get by just fine using solder wick and a hand operated solder sucker.
 

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Drive the roads on trash pick-up day, you are bound to find something electronic being thrown away. When my company serviced the computer system for one of the major banks we saw hundreds of old pieces of equipment stashed away in closets and basements. If you assure them it will ultimately be disposed of properly, many would be glad to see that stuff go. I'm talking tractor trailer loads.

Bud
 

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LOL, I'm kind of half way inbetween. In the city they pick up trash, but where I am we take it to a processing center. But, road side is watched like a hawk. Used tires or anything that has any life left in it I put out by the road and between immediate or next day it is gone. I've helped load a few as they pulled over while i was putting things out.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm the same way, I take all my trash to a processing center. But there is a sign there that says 'No Scavenging'. I thought I knew someone that could pull some strings, but they rotate the attendants every month, so I have to be carefull. Next week I am off all week, and when they are quiet I home to dumpster dive! I want to get something and make it work again and USE IT!
 
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