(Topic ID: 336448)

Amazon deal on soldering station $25

By kvan99

1 year ago


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  • 69 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by mcluvin
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    There are 69 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago
    Quoted from SterlingRush:

    Other than quoting what I quoted, I’m not sure where you got the rest of that from my post, but ok.
    It will probably do better than some irons out there, and not as well as others. There’s no bs in that statement.

    It wasnt directed at your post, or meant to come across as argumentive. Just in general about the price, not doubting anyone Im just more trying to determine if this particular kit was good regardless of its price.
    Seems like people that actually use it like it. I randomly check and it is interesting that the coupons codes and discounts seem to fluctuate every other day.
    If it dips down to that $25 mark I'm just going to pick it up, and if it sucks, oh well...

    #52 1 year ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Yes, you can reflow.

    I got the stubborn ones flowing but I had to go almost all the way up. Wouldn't budge even at 800. The two on the far left still don't look great but at least I saw the pads filling in. I'm pretty sure this board will survive a nuclear bomb, its not the easiest to work with though.

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    #53 1 year ago

    Your iron probably just doesn't have the capacity to do joints like this. If it maxes out at 800 F it likely doesn't - I think my weller station maxes out at something over 900, I've only had to use temps like that on lamp sockets or coils.

    Generally I solder coils with a 100 watt gun but if I'm already working with the regular station, I don't bother to look for it.

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Your iron probably just doesn't have the capacity to do joints like this. If it maxes out at 800 F it likely doesn't - I think my weller station maxes out at something over 900, I've only had to use temps like that on lamp sockets or coils.
    Generally I solder coils with a 100 watt gun but if I'm already working with the regular station, I don't bother to look for it.

    This was with the $30 iron this thread is about. It maxes just under 900 F and it took every bit of that to get any movement on those two far left joints in my picture.

    #55 1 year ago

    It's true that with tools you generally only get what you pay for, but inexpensive ones have their place and we should all be grateful these options exist.

    I mean, when you're looking to try something you're interested in but know nothing about, expensive tools are a real barrier. Hell, you can even put cameras and musical instruments (among other things) in this category: this is the reason "inexpensive" and/or "entry level" options are made. They allow you to get your feet wet, learn what's what... and if you ever decide you've exceeded their capabilities, you can either become more skilled to work around them if possible, or appreciate spending more for an upgrade. The investment is now justified.

    The alternative to the above is never learning at all, and/or paying even more for someone else's labor.

    Inexpensive is also great for something you know you won't use often, but is made to at least get you by a time or two. Much of Harbor Freight's stuff falls into this category: no professional relying on tools 24x7 to feed their family is going to rep their stuff much if at all. But for us occasional / one-off-project guys, they're great. See above. (another example: we bought am electric jackhammer for $175 off Amzon to rip up a concrete floor for a plumbing project. It did that job (and later more) in reasonable spare time! The alternative was spending four figs for a bigger one we'd never use again and/or to have someone else do it).

    And sometimes you already have the nice tool, but would like something cheaper to keep in the road kit / car trunk / other workbench / loan to kids & friends / etc. Potentially sacrificial in that sense, cuz you don't want to risk the nice stuff when the full features set of the nice stuff really isn't needed.

    So yeah, I love my Hakko soldering station as it's been a life changer that has done everything I've thrown at it (including big ground planes and such) BUT for $30?? I've spent more on dumber stuff, so this station should be great! I can use it out in the garage or my modeling area, or even toss in the road box, and leave my nice Hakko safe on its bench dedicated to more precision work / quit having to bring other stuff to it.

    #56 1 year ago

    The good news about this station is the tip held up well after the absolute thrashing I just put it through. So far, its about 100x better than the $10 ones I have blown apart (literally in one case) and only 3x more. I'm happy.

    #57 1 year ago

    Seems decent, I’ll try it out this weekend. Did notice no digital display.

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    #58 1 year ago

    bunch of reviews on this one will watch some of them later
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tilswall+solder+station

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from sullivcd40:

    The good news about this station is the tip held up well after the absolute thrashing I just put it through. So far, its about 100x better than the $10 ones I have blown apart (literally in one case) and only 3x more. I'm happy.

    Are you still using the skinny tip? Try the screwdriver tip (not the chisel tip).

    Positive you're using 60/40 or 63/37 solder (you said you were)? The lead free stuff has a higher melting point, I even struggle with it at times, just a little harder to work with. You should see a fairly nice sheen on the solder. Not implying your solder joints are bad.

    Sometimes I add solder to get the joint to flow, remove excess with solderwick. Then add just a tad bit more for a nice fillet.

    Just a FYI - you can always grab some stranded wire (lamp cord, speaker wire, etc.) to practice on. You can even get practice boards on Amazon.
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    #60 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    Are you still using the skinny tip? Try the screwdriver tip (not the chisel tip).
    [quoted image]

    I switched to the screwdriver tip on a tough joint on the new, already assembled board that just needed the transformer wires soldered on. Much better. It's also nice to be able to identify which joints are going to be a little tougher and adjust the heat accordingly.
    This thread has been very informative for me, thanks to those who gave me tips.

    #61 1 year ago

    I have never soldered before and being newish to the hobby I intend to learn. I came across this article that lists some basics and extras to get. I might get the radio kit to practice.
    https://www.zdnet.com/google-amp/home-and-office/how-to-solder-tools-tips-and-tricks-to-get-you-started-the-easy-way/

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from Caponicus:

    I have never soldered before and being newish to the hobby I intend to learn. I came across this article that lists some basics and extras to get. I might get the radio kit to practice.
    https://www.zdnet.com/google-amp/home-and-office/how-to-solder-tools-tips-and-tricks-to-get-you-started-the-easy-way/

    Go for it! I prefer a lightly dampened sponge for cleaning the tip tho instead of brass. I'm sure some people are happy with brass, but I like the results w/the sponge a lot better.

    BTW, don't use plumber's flux or solder - it's not safe for electronics (it's corrosive). And while I have a little tube of rosin flux, I rarely use it. The flux in the solder should be enough. If you want to clean off any residual flux, just use some cheap Walmart IPA (isopropyl alcohol) that's available in the health and beauty section (by the bandaids) and a cheap toothbrush.

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    BTW, don't use plumber's flux

    Several well-respected life-long repair techs in the Arcade and Pinball industry have sworn by Oatey paste flux. If Ken Layton (RIP) says to use it, then you'd better use it.

    Just clean up residue when you're done.

    #64 1 year ago
    Quoted from thekaiser82:

    Ordered! Thanks for the tip. My old iron was on its last legs.

    Picked one up as well. Have a NIB FF LE that had a shats target solder pop off and didn’t want to dig up the RC-10 (rc race car) gear out from the stone age. This one should get the job done.

    #65 1 year ago
    Quoted from smalltownguy2:

    Several well-respected life-long repair techs in the Arcade and Pinball industry have sworn by Oatey paste flux. If Ken Layton (RIP) says to use it, then you'd better use it.
    Just clean up residue when you're done.

    I can imagine working on a very old and crusty EM relay contact could pose a problem soldering and Ken would have went for plumbers flux - it does work exceptionally well, no doubt about it (I still have some). But those contacts or wires are beefy and can likely tolerate the flux's acidity.

    On PWB? Nope, 'electronics safe' flux is so common nowadays, it not even worth the bother to use something else. When the manufacturer's of the flux itself say's "Don't use it on electronics.", I tend to listen.

    #66 1 year ago

    My grandfather used to make his own flux by dissolving zinc strips in hydrochlorid acid until the acid was neutralized. Probably not very electronics safe

    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from Tuukka:

    My grandfather used to make his own flux by dissolving zinc strips in hydrochlorid acid until the acid was neutralized. Probably not very electronics safe

    Nor people safe!

    #68 1 year ago

    Maybe not a very good buy after all, as the solder tip appears to carry voltage while heating.

    I got mine shipped today. First impression was quite good: well built and solid feel, heats up quickly and no problems test soldering. But when I tried soldering a wire on top of the playfield I leaned over the game with my bare arms touching the grounded metal trim. Every time I touched the tip with solder I felt electric shocks in sync with the blinking led on the base. Unpleasant for me, and can't be good for the electronics either, I imagine. Maybe I got a faulty unit but I don't think I care to find out.

    #69 1 year ago
    Quoted from idealjoker:

    Maybe not a very good buy after all, as the solder tip appears to carry voltage while heating.
    I got mine shipped today. First impression was quite good: well built and solid feel, heats up quickly and no problems test soldering. But when I tried soldering a wire on top of the playfield I leaned over the game with my bare arms touching the grounded metal trim. Every time I touched the tip with solder I felt electric shocks in sync with the blinking led on the base. Unpleasant for me, and can't be good for the electronics either, I imagine. Maybe I got a faulty unit but I don't think I care to find out.

    From Amazon...

    Q - Is this soldering station UL listed?

    A - No, it is not UL listed.

    There are 69 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

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