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Old 09-26-2011, 05:29 AM
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kyleservicetech's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
I use these alot to ensure I have hooked everything up correctly before soldering. Not to mention everything in my house that I have wired have them

Sounds good!
FYI, one thing that a lot of people just starting out with doing soldering work have problems with, is using a poor quality soldering iron. Especially one that just "Plugs into the outlet". The temperature of the tip of those inexpensive soldering irons can increase to over 900 degrees just sitting on the bench. Then when a soldering attempt is made, that same tip drops below 450 degrees.

I've actually had a soldering iron get so hot, that it would ignite a paper towel after heating up for 5 or 10 minutes. Makes it really hard to do a reliable solder joint, especially when doing several heavy wire connections in a row. One side effect of these irons running so hot, they tend to burn the solder flux into a black varnish on the soldering iron tip. And that burnt flux make it really hard to do a good solder job, unless its cleaned off the tip before soldering.

What really works well is a temperature regulated soldering iron, with about a 40 watt rating. These type irons generally have a variety of tips available for them. Don't know what you have available on the other side of the big pond, but over here, Weller makes good stuff.

I also have a 100 watt temperature regulated iron, with a variety of tips that can handle just about any type of electrical soldering required. Also note the Weller 60P irons that allow the use of smaller diameter tips. (W60P and W100PG)


Don't even think of trying one of those soldering "Guns" on electrical work. The temperature of the tips on these things can and will vary all over the map. (I've got three of those soldering guns, from 100 watts to 350 watts. That Weller 100 watt temperature regulated iron far outperforms the 350 watt "Gun") Also have a variety of smaller soldering irons, from a cheap 15 watt pencil iron to an unregulated 60 watt iron. 99% of my soldering work is done with either the 40 watt or 100 watt temperature regulated irons.

Yes, those temperature regulated soldering irons are not cheap. But because they are temperature regulated, they don't overheat to the point where their life is shortened. Before retiring, We'd keep our Weller 40 watt temp regulated irons plugged in 8 hours a day. And they would last for several years. At any given time, our shop would have perhaps 40-50 or more of these irons in service. And we did have several custom built 850 watt temperature regulated soldering irons in the shop! These monsters had 3 inch wide tips on them, and were used to solder solenoid coils wound with 3 inch wide by 0.040 inch thick copper sheeting.

Last edited by kyleservicetech; 09-26-2011 at 06:11 AM.
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