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(Topic ID: 120543)

Soldering equipment


By Clem

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by G-P-E
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    pv1.jpg
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    PanaVise 324.jpg
    81KFtqdaN7L._SL1500_.jpg
    pace mbt100e.jpg
    weller.jpg
    pace mbt 201.jpg
    pace prc2000.jpg
    werkbank jbc.jpg
    Capture1.JPG
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    Metcal.JPG
    image.jpg
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    #1 5 years ago

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but any experience with these inexpensive tools?
    I am a rookie at electronic work, haven't done any wire soldering since my motorcycle days 30 years ago. I'd like to start practicing on some junk boards and maybe do a restoration on an older ss pin.
    These soldering stations are under $100 on ebay.

    image.jpg
    #2 5 years ago

    I just bought a sweet 30 watt setup at the local radio shack closeout for $5.

    20150306_203405.jpg
    #3 5 years ago

    I would say buy a Hakko, they are close to $100.

    #4 5 years ago

    The Tenma 2 in 1 looks like about $175 and the Hakko is like $4-500.

    #5 5 years ago

    I have this and absolutely love it. Portable, stable on the bench, great temp control, heats up to 750 in seconds. I really have no complaints. About $100 give or take and you'll have it forever. The rework stations are nice, but if you're not doing a ton of work, they're kinda overkill. Plus, you will have a hard time stuffing it in the cab for work under the playfield. image.jpg

    #6 5 years ago

    jwo, what do you use to desolder?

    #7 5 years ago

    I just use the vacuum pumps. I do a fair amount of board work and they work just fine for me. I've replaced just about every component on B/W, DE and Stern boards now with little trouble. Takes a little longer but I don't have a massive workload. This has been over a couple years.

    #8 5 years ago

    I bought a Hakko FX-888D and I have had no issues with it. Works so much better than the $35 irons. I would buy a good soldering station before doing board work. I found I did more damage than good until I bought a decent one.

    #9 5 years ago

    Hot air rework stations are good tools, but there is VERY little surface mount components on most pinball machines.

    #10 5 years ago

    Okay, so a good soldering station and use like a Sodapult for desoldering?
    Thought I would watch some tutorials, do some more reading and start practicing on some old PC boards. I'm still trying to make a deal on a pin that needs work.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Hot air rework stations are good tools, but there is VERY little surface mount components on most pinball machines.

    My thoughts exactly...

    #12 5 years ago

    Hakko 888 and FR300 desoldering gun. Excellent. There is a thread on Pinside from B&D that will get you a 10 or 15% discount for Pinsiders.

    #13 5 years ago

    While we're on the subject, how the heck do you know which temperature you are using if your dial to select temps is numbered 1 - 10???? Is a good rule of thumb to use the lowest setting possible that will melt/apply the solder? I usually find the 3.5 - 4 setting to be useful.......

    -Nate

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from jwo825:

    I have this and absolutely love it. Portable, stable on the bench, great temp control, heats up to 750 in seconds. I really have no complaints. About $100 give or take and you'll have it forever. The rework stations are nice, but if you're not doing a ton of work, they're kinda overkill. Plus, you will have a hard time stuffing it in the cab for work under the playfield. image.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    I use this same set up. I think I picked it up on Amazon for around $80. I only buy broken machines so it has been used a lot and has worked great every time.

    #15 5 years ago

    I use a Metcal system. No need to adjust temps as it has sensors in the tip and only applies as much heat as needed. I was a NASA certified solder and crip tech and these were all we used. Kind of pricey but without a doubt the best soldering tool I have ever used.

    Metcal.JPG
    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from jwo825:

    I have this and absolutely love it. Portable, stable on the bench, great temp control, heats up to 750 in seconds. I really have no complaints. About $100 give or take and you'll have it forever. The rework stations are nice, but if you're not doing a ton of work, they're kinda overkill. Plus, you will have a hard time stuffing it in the cab for work under the playfield. image.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    Those are fabulous for general purpose pinball work, especially for in the machine stuff. I also have a Pace Intelliheat rework station for serious board work on the bench, but you are absolutely right about carting those around to work on machines.

    The OPs post, well - you get what you pay for. It looks like a lot of bells and whistles and my hunch tells me that it won't last. Stick with the professional name brands: Weller, Pace, Metcal... I think those will serve you better in the long haul.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from donjagra:

    I just bought a sweet 30 watt setup at the local radio shack closeout for $5.

    20150306_203405.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    Wow - that looks like the exact soldering iron kit I used to launch my electronics hobby (and later electrical engineering career) 41 years ago! I guess some things really do never change...

    That said, it's a pretty crappy iron (though it's still a lot better than the massive soldering gun some people try to use). I'd get one of the soldering stations mentioned above if I was going to do a lot of soldering. Better tips, better temp control, better grip, less interference from power cord, etc.

    I've always preferred the high temp ranges - get in and out quickly. But mid-low is probably better for pinball - it's too easy to melt the plastic on a coil lug if you have to spend more time than you expected heating it.

    Heat the two (or more) elements you're trying to solder together, apply the solder to those elements, NOT the soldering iron* (you want to make sure the wires/pads are hot enough to melt the solder), and then pull the soldering iron away and make sure the elements being soldered don't move while they're cooling - that's 99% of good soldering.

    *after you get good you can cheat on this part.

    If you can, practice on some wires/junk pcbs before you work on your machines. Good luck and have fun!

    Fred

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from donjagra:

    I just bought a sweet 30 watt setup at the local radio shack closeout for $5.

    Quoted from yonkiman:

    Wow - that looks like the exact soldering iron kit I used to launch my electronics hobby (and later electrical engineering career) 41 years ago! I guess some things really do never change...
    That said, it's a pretty crappy iron (though it's still a lot better than the massive soldering gun some people try to use).

    The OP said he's planning to do board work, and that soldering iron has a 2-pronged plug. I think you'd want to use a soldering iron with a 3-pronged grounding plug to prevent stray voltage from collecting at the soldering tip and potentially damaging sensitive components.

    #19 5 years ago

    Aoyue band seems like a good compromise between cost and quality. They are compatible with Hakko tips.

    I picked up a Aoyue 936 and love it.

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from jwo825:

    I have this and absolutely love it. Portable, stable on the bench, great temp control, heats up to 750 in seconds. I really have no complaints. About $100 give or take and you'll have it forever. The rework stations are nice, but if you're not doing a ton of work, they're kinda overkill. Plus, you will have a hard time stuffing it in the cab for work under the playfield. image.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    I have the digital readout version of the Weller station that jwo825 posted, the WESD51. Have to agree it is an excellent unit. You can get it for about $130, still working great after many years.

    #21 5 years ago

    Hakko and Weller both have decent consumer grade rework stations.

    I use Hakko for desoldering and JBC for soldering.

    I used a pair of WES51 wellers for the longest time, and after switching to the JBC Advanced, I don't think I could go back for board work.

    The wellers still get plenty of work, changing switches and soldering coils in

    #22 5 years ago

    Since I went to Radio Shack this morning to buy 4 of the component drawer cabinets with base cart that everyone is going crazy over, I decided to grab these just because, since they were half off.

    Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG
    #23 5 years ago
    Quoted from yonkiman:

    Wow - that looks like the exact soldering iron kit I used to launch my electronics hobby (and later electrical engineering career) 41 years ago! I guess some things really do never change...

    I didn't say it was my only soldering iron, just that it was on sale for $5 and I couldn't help myself. I actually use an Iso-Tip 7700 cordless for all my board work. I really like having a cordless iron that is specific to electronics work.

    #24 5 years ago

    Any opinions on the Hakko 472 de soldering station? It is pretty expensive, so was wondering if it is worth the price.

    #25 5 years ago

    Any real board work should be done with proper equipment.

    And just like anything you usually get what you pay for

    If you are doing basic coil wires and pinball pf stuff I would opt highly for hakko fx600/601
    Don't have one but that is likely my next purchase as station and pf work equals headache

    Board work purchase the best equipment you can afford

    You may find Chinese equipment cheap but if you can not get a replacement filter or tip easy you may find yourself quickly needing new equipment and kicking yourself later.

    I have used pace metcal jbc weller and well hakko not so much but others here seem to enjoy highly.

    #26 5 years ago

    I use this one from weller

    amazon.com link »

    It's great for basic soldering on pins, using conical and chisel tips. I would not hesitate to do some minor board work with it, like refliowing solder around pins or light sockets.

    Only thing I don't like about it is that it takes a few mins to get hot. Only cost me about $20 a couple of years ago.

    If I were upgrading today, Id get a digital system with temp control, like the hakko.

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from HighSpeed1:

    Since I went to Radio Shack this morning to buy 4 of the component drawer cabinets with base cart that everyone is going crazy over, I decided to grab these just because, since they were half off.

    That's a pretty good deal!

    #28 5 years ago

    Not bad for $49.98, and the Hakko tips work with it too...

    #29 5 years ago

    I use a butane portable solder iron for most under playfield coils, lamps and switch repair/replacement. i have both radio shack butane and Portasol and they work well, are compact and heat up extremely fast.

    #30 5 years ago

    Everything you see in the pics is obtained through ebay or local adds.
    I'm not saying you should pile up tools like i sometimes do, but nothing beats professional tools for
    chinese prices.For quality tools replacement tips and all parts are obtainable too through ebay or alike.
    My favorites are btw the JBC CD2 for pcb solderwork and the JBC HD unit for replacing things like lampsockets and coils.Very confortable to have a 10 foot cable.
    For desoldering i like Pace alot, since they have so many tips, which can be obtained cheap if you keep looking for them.

    werkbank jbc.jpg
    pace prc2000.jpg
    pace mbt 201.jpg
    weller.jpg
    pace mbt100e.jpg

    #31 5 years ago

    Showoff!

    #32 5 years ago

    Buy a decent soldering station.
    Buy a few GOOD tips
    Dont buy lead-free solder.
    Get a "helping hand" tool - they help.
    find some crap boards and practice.

    81KFtqdaN7L._SL1500_.jpg

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from donjagra:

    I just bought a sweet 30 watt setup at the local radio shack closeout for $5.

    20150306_203405.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    Looks like it was totally worth $5.00 (& not a cent more)

    Step up & buy a good Hakko station.

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from donjagra:

    I just bought a sweet 30 watt setup at the local radio shack closeout for $5.

    20150306_203405.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    $5?

    You overpaid.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from cudabee:

    Everything you see in the pics is obtained through ebay or local adds.
    I'm not saying you should pile up tools like i sometimes do, but nothing beats professional tools for
    chinese prices.For quality tools replacement tips and all parts are obtainable too through ebay or alike.
    My favorites are btw the JBC CD2 for pcb solderwork and the JBC HD unit for replacing things like lampsockets and coils.Very confortable to have a 10 foot cable.
    For desoldering i like Pace alot, since they have so many tips, which can be obtained cheap if you keep looking for them.
    werkbank jbc.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
    pace prc2000.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
    pace mbt 201.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
    weller.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
    pace mbt100e.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    Nice work bench and setup there. You must do a lot of solder work with that many games. I see a four stroker RC engine on a test stand on the window sill. You a RC guy too?

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from Chet:

    Nice work bench and setup there. You must do a lot of solder work with that many games. I see a four stroker RC engine on a test stand on the window sill. You a RC guy too?

    Thanks. I work on pins and boards daily, but mostly for third parties.
    My experience while working on pins for an operator in the 80s and 90s gave me an insight which tools worked well for the job.
    When pins dissapeard from the operation i started working on them for myself and i copied alot of the
    workshop to my own.For instance we had an pace mbt (de) soldering station which i loved so i scoured the internets and found an almost new one which had a damaged heating element on the handpiece.I paid $40 for it and then i scoured the ebays for a new element.
    I came up with a nos element and a box full of pace accesoires, which contained filters, glasses, tips etc for $55.
    So for $95 i had a perfectly working soldering station with extras .It's still with me to this day and i drag it along for onsite board repairs.Retail value was $1200. That way i got 95% of my workshop/ tools together and i paid a fraction of retail prices.
    You just need to be patient and be aware if what you want to obtain.
    The rc 4 stroker came with a truck full of planes, parts,engines and what not i got from a widow that wanted to get rid of her late husbands hobby leftover.

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Buy a decent soldering station.
    Buy a few GOOD tips
    Dont buy lead-free solder.
    Get a "helping hand" tool - they help.
    find some crap boards and practice.
    81KFtqdaN7L._SL1500_.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    Hmm I need to find a tool like that. I don't have any magnification or anything to hold/support boards.

    #38 5 years ago

    Harbor freight has the helping hand tools.

    #39 5 years ago

    All the ones I have seen online look a little to small for our needs. Does anyone have a particular model they use. Something that could hold a large board.

    #40 5 years ago

    I think I bought my helping hands from MCM electronics when they ran a sale on them. They work ok for small things but you should practice some care with those alligator clips so that you don't damage your board or traces, especially the perimeter ground trace.

    #41 5 years ago
    Quoted from Gorno:

    All the ones I have seen online look a little to small for our needs. Does anyone have a particular model they use. Something that could hold a large board.

    Check out the PanaVise 324 Electronic Work Center... $89 on Amazon.

    amazon.com link »

    PanaVise 324.jpg

    #42 5 years ago

    That's not large enough for a driver board.

    The Panavise parts I use..

    305 - Base
    308 - 5# base weight
    315 - PCB vise. Comes with 12 inch bar, holds PCBs up to 10 inches long
    318-22 - 22 inch extension bar, allows to hold up to 20 inch long PCB

    pv1.jpgpv2.jpg

    The 318-22 extension bar will work on the other panavise pictured, but I prefer the 5# base weight I use without all the extraneous stuff like iron and solder holder - I already have both an iron and solder holder that I prefer at my workbench.

    The 318-22 is large enough to do WPC driver boards and Sys11 CPUs.

    #43 5 years ago

    I cant be the only one that does PCB work floating loose on a bench top? I do work on a high bench. I tried and couldnt stand using the holders. I am constantly flipping the board around, desoldering in a vertical positon etc. The stands / holders just get in the way and slow me down.

    #44 5 years ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    I cant be the only one that does PCB work floating loose on a bench top? I do work on a high bench. I tried and couldnt stand using the holders. I am constantly flipping the board around, desoldering in a vertical positon etc. The stands / holders just get in the way and slow me down.

    Yup, I just lay it on the static safe bag on the table and go to town. Haven't ruined anything or turned any boards black yet.

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    I cant be the only one that does PCB work floating loose on a bench top? I do work on a high bench. I tried and couldnt stand using the holders. I am constantly flipping the board around, desoldering in a vertical positon etc. The stands / holders just get in the way and slow me down.

    Depends on the board and what I'm doing. Sometimes, I use the vise, sometimes I don't.

    The various tilts and adjustments on the panavise do help with orienting the board.

    The last time I repinned a Sys 3-7 driver, I used my JCB iron with the wide tip, put the driver in the vise, and worked my way around the board, pulling all the headers as I could heat up an entire 9 pin at once, tap the board, and it'd just fall out. I repinned the board in the vise as well, but I just used a regular tip in the iron for that.

    #46 5 years ago

    No you aren't the only one for sure. I never had one but always wanted one.
    I did finally get one and it comes in very handy. Even the little helping hands I forget to use but do come in handy once in a while. Not a must have item but nice to have for sure.

    #47 5 years ago
    Quoted from johnwartjr:

    That's not large enough for a driver board.
    The Panavise parts I use..
    305 - Base
    308 - 5# base weight
    315 - PCB vise. Comes with 12 inch bar, holds PCBs up to 10 inches long
    318-22 - 22 inch extension bar, allows to hold up to 20 inch long PCB
    pv1.jpgpv2.jpg
    The 318-22 extension bar will work on the other panavise pictured, but I prefer the 5# base weight I use without all the extraneous stuff like iron and solder holder - I already have both an iron and solder holder that I prefer at my workbench.
    The 318-22 is large enough to do WPC driver boards and Sys11 CPUs.

    Hmm I will have to try and find something up here in Canada.

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from johnwartjr:

    That's not large enough for a driver board.
    The Panavise parts I use..
    305 - Base
    308 - 5# base weight
    315 - PCB vise. Comes with 12 inch bar, holds PCBs up to 10 inches long
    318-22 - 22 inch extension bar, allows to hold up to 20 inch long PCB
    pv1.jpgpv2.jpg
    The 318-22 extension bar will work on the other panavise pictured, but I prefer the 5# base weight I use without all the extraneous stuff like iron and solder holder - I already have both an iron and solder holder that I prefer at my workbench.
    The 318-22 is large enough to do WPC driver boards and Sys11 CPUs.

    I picked one of these up at my company's surplus auction. Whole shebang cost me $2.
    No 5# base, though.

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