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Gonesoaring2003

Soldering Iron

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isoaritfirst

No instant soldering irons carry no residual heat. The heads are just small bits of bent wire, as soon as they touch a big mass of battery etc the iron tip will go cold.  Its sometimes not wattage that is needed but mass. For batteries ideally you need to nick one off your grandad. That said I use a 50W solder station which copes reasonably well with batteries. but it is not an instant trigger unit, it is temp stabilised with a more substantial heat reserve. 

Edited by isoaritfirst

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f3fman

I agree with Mike that instant irons probably aren't good enough, but would like to hear if others use them ok. For soldering wires to batteries and electric flight power leads to connectors then 40w is generally adequate as long as you have a tip with enough mass e.g. a 5mm diameter tip with an angled end, and some weight to it.  Finer tips e.g. 2mm diameter for servo wires, or pointy ones. If you need to solder batteries "end to end" then a 75w iron with a special "T" shaped tip is what you need. If you need to hold the iron on the item you are soldering for more than 1 second then the iron/tip combination isn't good enough.If the soldered joint is not completely shiny then it is a "dry joint" and likely to fail in one of two ways , either:1) it will break off after time2) it will have high resistance If you can afford a good temp controlled iron with the ability to change the tips then it should do a good job and last a long time. There are very many poor irons on the market that mainy fail to do the job we want because of poor tips. I wish I could recommend a good cheap one but I don't know of one.  I have a collection of relatively expensive Antex, Litesold and Weller.

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Weysoar

Thanks for the replies, I have brought a simple 100W iron with the biggest tip I could find.  Any suggestions for solder and or flux? I'll try a minesweeping operation to my fathers garage, in search of the holy ancient iron! grin.gif

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isoaritfirst

Maplins do this - which I use, it does seem to produce a nice clean joint without lots of residue.http://www.maplin.co.....-pen-33850 Also - buy a clean up sponge -- Use it damp and wipe your iron very regularly, and wipe the joint afterwards. Residues build up on the tip and make soldering much harder to do well. Clean it, between each joint, and don't forget to clean it before you switch off. I bought one of these a few years ago - it was reduced in a sale but the price still seemed excessive to join a few wires together.Never regretted it though , and would buy again, great bit of kit that has made soldering a much easier and better task. http://www.maplin.co.....ion-218050 And if you are going scrounging out your dads garage - pinch his solder.It will be the old lead stuff, works much better. Temperatures need to be different for the newer lead free solder.

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Mr Ed

Id be a tad careful near anything with a magnet in it, like servo motor, if you use an instant iron. The field they kick out has certainly affected guitar pickups I've worked.

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