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Old 05-10-2014, 07:52 PM   #1
Ziet
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Default Soldering Station

Can anybody suggest a good soldering station which I can use for my electric planes, soldering the esc, Lipos etc. Not too expensive please.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
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Personally I just use a 60w iron from RadioShack/Source. Adjustable power, works fine for me
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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Funny thing that you bring this up today, I was just looking at temperature controlled soldering stations. I have one already but I could do with something with a few more watts for heavy gauge wire soldering.

depends what you mean by 'not too expensive'. From all the review I've read the HAKKO FX-888D gets highly recommended. Unfortunately for me these aren't available here in the UK but I have found some other good options the XYTRONIC LF-3000 looks good.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Funny thing that you bring this up today, I was just looking at temperature controlled soldering stations. I have one already but I could do with something with a few more watts for heavy gauge wire soldering.

depends what you mean by 'not too expensive'. From all the review I've read the HAKKO FX-888D gets highly recommended. Unfortunately for me these aren't available here in the UK but I have found some other good options the XYTRONIC LF-3000 looks good.
Thanks for your post and taking your word for it, I just ordered one from Amazon. As to "not too expensive", that seems to be an oxymoron when used describing a good soldering station....lol Now if it only comes with the correct tip(s) for our work....not too well described as to the tip(s) that come with the unit but it did include a free(??) wire cutter...lol

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #5
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Wow, that was quick!.. I hope it turns out to be as good as all the reviews say it is.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #6
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Actually, I've read a bit about this unit myself and it is was all good. Just been putting the purchase on the back burner for a while and your post kicked me in the rear....lol

Thanks and I'm sure I'll enjoy it....
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ziet View Post
Can anybody suggest a good soldering station which I can use for my electric planes, soldering the esc, Lipos etc. Not too expensive please.
I've got this unit.
http://www.mpja.com/Solder-Station-P...fo/19032%20TL/

It works very nicely, has a direct digital readout on the tip's temperature. Bad news, it's out of stock. Again. This type of soldering iron is used mainly for soldering servo sized wiring. Trying to solder #12 wire would be pushing it.

For soldering heavy gauge wire, or anything similar, you can't beat the Weller 100 Watt Temperature regulated soldering iron. They are available for about $55 or so.
http://www.amazon.com/Weller-Solderi.../dp/B002I7X7ZS

This unit has an iron plated tip which will last a long long time. And, since it is temperature regulated, the tip won't overheat and burn up. Along with that, it makes it easier to solder those Deans connectors, since it stays at the proper temperature, and will heat up the wire and Deans plug in a second or three. I've had mine for two years. Same tip, it works very well.

IMHO, don't waste your $$$$ on a 100 watt soldering GUN. They are absolutely no match for a 100 watt soldering iron for heating up #12 wires. (I've got three of them, two 100 Watts, one 325 Watt gun. The tips of those guns can reach over 1000F. Way to danged hot. Yeah, I've measured it with a thermocouple thermometer.)

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Old 05-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #8
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I made my mind up too and went for the 90W Xytronic LF-3000. I ordered it from Germany as for some inexplicable reason it's 40% cheaper there than here in the UK.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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I was an aerospace soldering instructor many yar ago and wonder why occasional solderers would want to invest big bucks in a soldering station. A simple 37 watt iron with replaceable "chisel-type tips and some sort of a safe stand will work well for soldering connectors onto ESC's and battery packs. A standard 75 -100 watt iron will work for soldering wire landing gear. Use only "leaded-type" 60/40 tin/lead with rosin core ( read the label) and rosin paste flux. Damp paper towel is ok for continuous wiping of iron tip clean of oxides and reapplying solder before, during and after soldering. Items to be joined need to be "tinned", i.e. covered/filled with solder before joining them. Learning to use a small bridge of solder to conduct heat between iron tip and items to be joined is important for tinning and soldering. Adding proper amount of solder to fill the solder joint requires practice. Best to practice soldering on old connectors etc., and observe solder flow. Most soldering requires three hands or devices to hold connectors etc., steady during soldering and while solder solidifies. Making a solder joint should take no longer than one second or less with proper tinning and heat application technique.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by E-Challenged View Post
I was an aerospace soldering instructor many yar ago and wonder why occasional solderers would want to invest big bucks in a soldering station. A simple 37 watt iron with replaceable "chisel-type tips and some sort of a safe stand will work well for soldering connectors onto ESC's and battery packs. A standard 75 -100 watt iron will work for soldering wire landing gear. Use only "leaded-type" 60/40 tin/lead with rosin core ( read the label) and rosin paste flux. Damp paper towel is ok for continuous wiping of iron tip clean of oxides and reapplying solder before, during and after soldering. Items to be joined need to be "tinned", i.e. covered/filled with solder before joining them. Learning to use a small bridge of solder to conduct heat between iron tip and items to be joined is important for tinning and soldering. Adding proper amount of solder to fill the solder joint requires practice. Best to practice soldering on old connectors etc., and observe solder flow. Most soldering requires three hands or devices to hold connectors etc., steady during soldering and while solder solidifies. Making a solder joint should take no longer than one second or less with proper tinning and heat application technique.
I also go back over 60 years, working with a soldering iron during grade school years. Back then, no one ever heard of a temperature regulated soldering iron, and we had to use what was available.

Add to that, the use of very high quality connectors allowed the potential overheating of the soldering pins during the assembly process. Now we've got some of the connectors such as the Deans line, where the pin to be soldered to is permanently implanted into a plastic shell.

Overheat that plastic, and you've got a loose connection. And no way to fix it, other than throwing out the connector and starting over. With a cheap soldering iron whose tip temperature I've measured at over 1000 degrees F, overheating the Deans type of connectors is a real issue for someone with out a lot of practice. One of my club members nearly lost a $$$$ wet turbine model because of a Deans connector that had been overheated, with zero contact pressure on one of its two pins. That connector had been soldered by the battery mfg. He was very lucky, after several successful flights, that Deans connector decided to quit while taxiing out for a take off, shutting the turbine and radio system off.

If you do any circuit board work, or especially surface mount circuit board parts, a regulated soldering station is mandatory. Those components have very specific maximum temperature limits for a maximum amount of time during the soldering process.

As for today, I've got over a dozen of various type unregulated soldering irons, from 15 watts, to three soldering guns, including a 250 Watt soldering gun. That includes several butane powered irons whose tips can hit red hot 1500 F temperatures. All of them are sitting in a plastic drawer.

My 40 watt soldering station, and temperature regulated 100 Watt Weller soldering iron handle 99.99 percent of my soldering stuff now days. That includes everything from soldering #12 wire to A123 cells to soldering up servo extension wires with shrink tubing. (How many have soldered up a servo wire, only to have the shrink tubing located an inch away shrink tight??? Cover that shrink tubing with a small piece of paper towel, soaked in water, and held over the shrink tubing with a paper clip. It won't shrink while soldering. Unless you're using a blow torch.)

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Old 05-25-2014, 02:24 AM   #11
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I've noticed that many in the RC world scoff and ridicule when you mention a 100 watt iron but the 100 watt Weller for stained glass is truly the best tool for large wires and connectors. It is temperature regulated to 700f so it will never get too hot as all unregulated irons do and it has the metal mass and power (watts) to heat large wires and bullets quickly so the heat doesn't travel up wires any more than necessary. With an underpowered but temp adjustable iron you wind up cranking up the heat but there is not enough mass in the tip to quickly heat larger items. The added time for the joint to reach adequate temperature means it has more time to travel along wires and into connectors melting them.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Turner View Post
I've noticed that many in the RC world scoff and ridicule when you mention a 100 watt iron but the 100 watt Weller for stained glass is truly the best tool for large wires and connectors. It is temperature regulated to 700f so it will never get too hot as all unregulated irons do and it has the metal mass and power (watts) to heat large wires and bullets quickly so the heat doesn't travel up wires any more than necessary. With an underpowered but temp adjustable iron you wind up cranking up the heat but there is not enough mass in the tip to quickly heat larger items. The added time for the joint to reach adequate temperature means it has more time to travel along wires and into connectors melting them.

Well stated!

As for that Weller 100 Watt regulated iron, different soldering iron tips are available for it, improving an already great product. Check out posting #18 in this thread:

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59884

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Old 05-25-2014, 04:36 AM   #13
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I've never used anything but the 700˚ tips. Have you tried the 600's?
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Turner View Post
I've never used anything but the 700˚ tips. Have you tried the 600's?

Nope also have the 700 F tips. So far they have covered all my stuff.

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Old 05-25-2014, 04:43 AM   #15
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I may have to try one. 60/40 is supposed to melt at 361–374 F so 600˚ might be just right for our needs.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:23 PM   #16
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I've been trying the Xytronic LF-3000 out these last few days on some 10 and 12 AWG battery leads. It passed with flying colours. This soldering station is a joy to use and has a real quality feel to it.

It heats up literally in a few seconds from room temperature to 350C (or whatever temp you want), no more waiting around for the tip to crawl up to temperature. The extra power over my old iron is very noticeable when soldering the heavier gauge wire, the solder flows into the joint almost instantly rather than having to hold the iron onto the job for a while to get it warmed up.

Temperature stability is uncanny. The tip is hollow with the temperature sensor placed inside so the sensor is right at the very 'tip of the tip'. This means that the temp you see on the display is always spot on what the tip temperature is. Even soldering fairly heavy gauge wire the temperature on the digital display never budged from the 350C I'd set it to.

So if anyone is looking for a top quality soldering station as a pretty reasonable price I cant recommend the Xytronic LF-3000 too highly.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:47 PM   #17
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I got an X-Tronic 4000 soldering station from Amazon a couple of years back and it changed my life. I was using a crappy, cheap iron and simple jobs like soldering EC3s would take me 20 sloppy minutes. This guy has a temp probe in the tip, heats up in just a few seconds, holds heat really well, and has transformed 20 minute jobs into 2 minute jobs.

It's not the best, I'm sure, but it's good enough for me and a huge improvement over what I had before. If memory serves, I paid about $60 for it.

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Old 06-02-2014, 04:20 AM   #18
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Kyle from WI, Good tip on keeping heat shrink tubing from shrinking. I was born in Stevens Point. My family moved to Socal from Milwaukee in 1953. Went back to WI to attend Oshkosh Airventure in 2005. Miss the lakes and greenery.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by E-Challenged View Post
Kyle from WI, Good tip on keeping heat shrink tubing from shrinking. I was born in Stevens Point. My family moved to Socal from Milwaukee in 1953. Went back to WI to attend Oshkosh Airventure in 2005. Miss the lakes and greenery.
My older brother when he was still around moved from where we grew up in Central Minnesota to Southern California. Still got a bunch of relatives out there, both from my family and my wife's family.

One thing about Eastern Wisconsin. Won't have a problem getting water, Lake Michigan is only a mile from our home.

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Old 06-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #20
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Great product

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...arehouse_.html
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