Author Topic: Soldering iron for wires/connectors and soldering pot - worth of it?  (Read 375 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.