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Thread: Soldering iron and tips

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Soldering iron and tips

    Quote Originally Posted by vbriel
    Biggest beginner mistake is applying solder to iron.
    Yep, I also know to heat the post first, then carefully apply the solder. Maybe if I bought myself a new iron with fine tip.. is temperature control a luxury or a neccessity?

    This topic originated in the Apple 8-bit subforum, but since the discussion moved on to soldering in general, I thought to move it to a proper area.
    Anders Carlsson

  2. #2

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    i think the best advice is to keep practicing on stuff you don't care about and try out different things.

    for example, i found that you can 'draw' solder along with the iron, if you move the iron at the right speed etc..

    chris
    The vic rocks!

  3. #3
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    If I file the tip clean, but as soon as I handle solder, it sticks and grows dirty, is that a sign the tip should be replaced, or the whole iron? As I wrote in the other thread, the one I use appears to cool down a bit from time to time, so solder won't melt properly and it gets difficult to use it. A new 15W iron doesn't cost more than 40 SEK (~5 USD), add 50 cent for a 30W. Maybe add a stand and some solder suction pump too...
    Anders Carlsson

  4. #4
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    Do you have have a wet sponge nearby to clean the hot tip? You should use this while soldering and then when you are done to keep the tip shiny.

    Cheers,

    80sFreak

  5. #5
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    Real hackerz just wipe the tip off on the Levi's they're wearing at the time (ouch!).

    --T
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
    _____________________________________________

    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

  6. #6
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    LoL !! Heh, heh.
    That explains at least some of the blemishes we hands-0n people have on our Jeans. Don't wipe if the iron is red.

    L.

  7. #7
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    No, I didn't have a wet sponge. I will consider it the next time (which probably is far away).
    Anders Carlsson

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Yager
    Real hackerz just wipe the tip off on the Levi's they're wearing at the time (ouch!).

    --T
    Yeah, I have a few "custom" pair of Levi's. A wet sponge is a good idea. Get it almost dripping. If you have a freshly filed down tip, heat it up, tin it with solder, wipe it clean with wet sponge.

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  9. #9

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    No, not a dripping wet sponge- it will cool the tip too much. Get it wet, then squeeze it out. The only reason for the water is to keep the sponge from getting burnt. The reason you use a sponge at all is to clean the crud off the iron's tip, which would act like a thermal insulator and make soldering difficult. Don't use just any old sponge- you should use the kind made for soldering irons (some synthetic types will melt). In a pinch, wet (squeezed out) cotton cloth works well too (Levis are OK, but no synthetics). In the field, I often just use a wet paper towell.

    "Wetting" the tip with a little solder (not water) will help conduct heat to the items being joined, and you'll be able to make the joint much more quickly than with an unwetted tip.

    And one does not use a file on modern soldering iron tips- you would remove the cladding (usually steel but sometimes gold) and the tip would rapidly become corroded and useless. Just use a sponge. Soldering GUN tips can be filed because there's no cladding, but what the heck are you doing using a soldering gun on a computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by vbriel
    ... A wet sponge is a good idea. Get it almost dripping. If you have a freshly filed down tip, heat it up, tin it with solder, wipe it clean with wet sponge.

    Vince

  10. #10
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    My iron is probably 15 years old or more. But I appreciate all the good advice. Still noone answered the question whether temperature control is a luxury only for professional users - those solder stations are radically more expensive than a simple iron.
    Anders Carlsson

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