Author Topic: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?  (Read 623 times)

Offline PekkaNF

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I had probably best part of 30 years of Weller magnastat and I was happy with it.

Then I updated it to Hakko FX-888 and pretty happy with that one too.

But I'm strugling when tinning thick wires, solder lugs and some connectors that have more mass to sink the small soldering iron.

Any advice on choosing a cheap but higher power iton for wiring? Will bigger mass and 80-100W do or do I need more power?

Long ago when I was trainee and we had to do sometimes some internal wiring and there was a small solder pot for tinning wires. Handy, but ridiculously expensive.

Today I googled solder pots and there seem to be plenty and they are either very cheap ot pretty expensive. Quality varies a lot obiviously. Are those chinese any good (the very small ones)?

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 01:18:25 PM »
I'm still using Weller Magnastat irons - I have one or two so am unlikely to change now. I've also got the Weller de-soldering set up using the same irons.

As they have 50 watt elements it's rare not to have enough oomph, and  yet there is a plethora of tip sizes  and temperatures to choose from. I reckon they're pretty good !
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline vintageandclassicrepairs

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 04:22:24 PM »
Hi Pekka,
80 or 100 watt irons will solder fairly heavy cable/ lugs
I have been using a Chinese solder pot for the last few years to make motorcycle control cables mostly
Go for one with a stainless steel pot, at less than €20 delivered you cannot go wrong

John

Offline PK

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 04:34:22 PM »
Solder pots come in handy for other things too. Like desoldering high pin count connectors. You just float the board on the solder and lift the sucker out...  As others have said, they're so cheap that it's hard to justify not having one..One warning, the cheap ones have power controllers, not temperature controllers.

Two tips (no pun intended) for soldering big things. 
1: You are correct, a 100-150W, large mass, iron is what you want.
2: Preheating to 80 ish degrees C  with an oven or hot air gun makes more difference than you think it will.

PK

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 05:38:21 PM »
Thank you.

I'll buy soldering iron locally. Aim for big tip, good connection to heater and enough of power.

Not sure if I really need that solder pot, but at those prices can't loose much. Anyone of them bit better than others?

Preheating makes sense.

All good, info. Thank you.

Offline PK

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 07:11:12 PM »
Re solder pots. For infrequent use, I don't think it matters what you get.  Temperature control would be nice, but may take you out of the domain of "So cheap I'll just get one".

If you are going to put lead free solder in it, then price up bulk solder before you decide how big a pot to get. Lead free solder is expensive..

When I'm soldering really heavy lugs (lie 100A anderson connectors) I'll often resort to a small butane blowtorch. Like this https://www.ebay.com.au/i/222192289862?chn=ps&dispItem=1

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 05:14:52 AM »
Thank you, I'll just buy one random small solder pot.

I am not too big on ROHS solder, I use normal die-hard solder. It's all hobby-stuff. Alhough lead free solder and tips are becoming better all the time.

I had a Weller pyropen, it was ok for all the smaller than battery lug sort of stuff.

Pekka

Offline PK

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 05:33:31 AM »
At work, the ROHS stuff is called 'Gluten free solder' because it's just like real solder except it's crap!

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 12:05:37 PM »
I accept ROHS to certain degree, but it is one of those one size fits it all......

Anyways, I order one cheap 38 mm dia model.

I was considering just turnig a very small pot and sticking it at the end of soldering iron that is mounted onto something that does not tip at the worst possible moment....but too many details to iron out...easier to buy one that hopefully has all details worked out.

Pekka

Offline Noitoen

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 03:58:59 PM »
Weller used to have this.
https://goo.gl/images/VaYNNJ

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 04:26:43 PM »
Weller used to have this.
https://goo.gl/images/VaYNNJ

That would have been fine to me...but not that common.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 01:59:45 PM »
...
Anyways, I order one cheap 38 mm dia model.
....

Solder pot appeared today. Crusty chinesesium, but price was righ. Came with an australian? three prong cable and two prong adapter that does not fit into socket, neither to cable :lol: Some adpter.

Anyways, it feels like need to check inside before powering up, change the cable and check grounding/insulation resistance.

Second thing: Which solder for pot? No rosin for sure, but would auto body 30% Tin, 70% Lead bar stuff work?



Offline awemawson

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 02:03:18 PM »
Electronics solder was always 60/40 - not sure if 70/30 would be that much different  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Offline awemawson

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 04:20:34 PM »
Your 30/70 was presumably intended for 'lead loading' ie repairing and fairing body panels.

The lead loading 'solder' I've used  (*)exhibited a far longer pasty state - ie not liquid and yet not solid. 60/40 has a resonable pasty state whereas the 'lead free' solders seem to go straight from liquid to solid with very little time in the pasty state.

(* back in the early 1970's fairing panels on my brothers 1947 MG TC )
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PK

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 04:54:15 PM »
We just buy bar solder. It's fairly easy to get, and the leaded stuff is cheap.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2018, 04:04:43 AM »
Andrew, you are correct, lead mixture used to auto body shaping is "poridge" at the proper temperature and can be moved around with a wooden spatula at relative ease.

My brother had a Mercury Comet, we called it "lead sled" because all the lead that was at the rear end fairings...


PK, I assume you refer 60/40 (eutectic point for tin/lead is 63/37) solder? I think I need to make a trip to shop and check it.....I don't want any antimony or other such a stuff in the mix.

Pekka

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2018, 05:25:52 PM »
Checked the solder pot. To my surprice it sort of works. It has thyristor sontroller, no temperature regulator. Power switch cuts only one line, itäs not double pole switch. Changed the cable and trimmed the wire ends short. Some connectors look a bit close call.

I sort of works....200C position produces 38C and 2/3 postion melts 40/60 solder slowly.

I also got 240 VAC 80W iron that has massive tip, it helps to solder and tin wires at ease.

Pekka