I bought this Hakko station for my small electronics soldering. It works fine for me.
Personally, I use a Hakko 936 station. I bought it because I was in college and I didn't have too much cash to spend on it, but it's still working really well 10 years later. It's adjustable, but there's no readout. I don't think they still make it, I wasn't able to find it on Amazon.
A similar one that is highly recommended is the Hakko FX888D. It's the one Big Clive uses, so it's not an obscure model. For the price, I don't think you can get better than that.
Both these models are ESD safe, so you won't fry your electronics, the FX888D has a digital readout, and the cord between the soldering iron and the base is incredibly flexible. Cheap models tend to have a very plastic-y cord that always pulls on the iron and restrict dexterity, but the Hakko cords are really great.
Get some replacement tips straight from the start in multiple sizes. Some large tips, some medium tips and at least one ultra-fine tip for these hard to solder flat packages. Soldering straight-through packages like DIP is super easy with a medium tip, but when you have a random SMD component or, worse, a QFP chip, you'll be glad you have a super fine tip.
Get flux, use flux, don't put your trust only in the flux-cored solder and apply your own, it'll make a much better job. Practice on old wiring to get the proper temperature and feel for the time it takes to heat a piece and when to apply solder. Ideally, the tip only heats the piece to be soldered and the pad, it never touches the solder. The solder is only melting on contact with the piece and the pad, giving you a good clean contact instead of a super brittle cold solder. If you only melt the solder on the iron and drip it out, it'll never be strong and it won't be a good contact.
Hope this helps!
So damn irritating. The old model had a simple dial. Same form factor. Now they don’t make them with a dial and you basically need to dig up an instruction manual to figure these things out.
OP, is there any advantage to the new one besides the fact that it led me to find the TS100 ?
Should be fine operationally. Just not gonna click after being melted.. What kind of iron did you use? If it melted it out, I'm guessing you have an $8 iron in one of those kits. They're problematic because they just go to max heat all the time.. The weller wlc100 40-watt was my iron for like 15 years and worked just fine for this kind of bigger stuff (and is like 40 bucks).. Temp control is crucial: https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=soldering+iron+weller&qid=1597869810&sr=8-5
I used one of these for years professionally, 40 hours a week. You'll want to replace that tip with an ST7 tip for electronics work but replacement tips are easy to find and cheap.
Soldering hasn't been a thing in the trade for a long time and it outlawed by the NEC. Try /r/AskElectronics
That said I'm pretty good at soldering and used to solder surface and through-hole electronic components. The big thing is practice. You need a good unit with the tip for your application and a decent solder and flux.
My favorite unit is the Hakko FX-888D with a variety of nozzle, flat, and chip tips. Go to YouTube and watch some videos.
I LOVE this soldering station I got years ago on Amazon for $50.
It was 100% worth the investment. I use it ALL the time and it has held up great and is MILES better than the cheap plug in ones. Original tip still working great, since unlike the cheap ones it controls the temp properly and doesn't fry it. If you do need to replace the tip, it uses the same ones as Hakko stations so they're widely available. Seriously, spend a little bit more for a station with temperature feedback control like this one. It will make soldering so much easier and more enjoyable.
The cheap plug in ones with the little knob for under $20 are JUNK.
Does anyone have a recommended soldering iron and desolder pump? I am looking at this or this. For background, I'm in the electronics field and would probably use it for some projects. I'm not sure the extra features of the Hakko are worth.
Do you plan on doing plenty of soldering in the future or is this a one off job? A decent soldering iron makes a night and day difference when it comes to working on electronics. I've used the cheap $10 ones you can buy from hardware stores and they've always ended up being difficult to work with.
I'd recommend a weller WES51. They're a tad bit pricy, but you can get interchangeable tips and it's temperature controlled. I've had mine for 2 years now and it's absolutely fantastic.
You'll probably want to use some thin rosin core lead solder. You should be able to buy this at your local hardware store.
If you plan on doing any sort of reworking, copper wick is super useful for removing solder. A cheap solder sucker is also nice to have for removing larger blobs of solder.
Weller WES51 Amazon link
I recently purchased a Weller WES51 analog soldering station on amazon for $97, well worth the price! I use it primarily for soldering wires to small PCBs so it should work for your uses!
I love this one! $33 on Amazon.
Here is a another good soldering iron for $70.
This Hakko iron is super nice and of higher build quality than a Weller.
Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue & yellow) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ANKyFb520E67W
The Hakkos and clones will make your life easier, but a lot of people really like some of the USB powered smart pencil irons. I haven't used one though so I can't vouch for them.
As for solder, the composition is more important than the brand. Look for close to 60/40 with a flux core. It's a good balance of melting temperature, flow characteristics, and strength for electrical soldering.
I use this Weller and have no complaints. I keep it set at about mid-range (500F):
For hobbyist projects, I use leaded solder. It's so much easier to work with than lead-free varieties. A no-clean, flux core solder means you don't have to scrub the board afterwards, and the flux-core adds flux as you solder so you don't need a bottle of flux for most projects, and everything flows nicely all the time. I use Kester 245, but that's mostly because I get the expired rolls from work. Anything similar (63/37, leaded, no-clean) should work the same.
Picked up one of these awhile back and it's been great. You'll probably want to grab a selection of tips too.
To add to the list....Here's what I recommend for beginners...
AI Synthesis is top on this list. Excellent documentation, how to video, and great support.
Trogotronic is usually recommended for power but I also like their VCA. The nice thing about trogotronic for power is you can start with the basic 3u kit for $98 and when you are ready to expand its just another $28 for a board.
Befaco is another great option. They have a lot of modules and great instructions as well.
Last but not least is Music Thing Modular.
Those companies all have one thing I really appreciate - Detailed build instructions. As a beginner one thing that frustrated me was some companies expected you to understand how to read schematics and provided very little support. Also, dont skimp out on the equipment you will need to solder. A cheap soldering iron will frustrate you and make you think you dont know how to solder. I finally ended up with a Hakko soldering iron. Take care of the ips and it will last you a long time.
No. You want an iron that you can control the temp on. Those plug and play ones are horrible.
That's a decent starter.
Plain AC soldering irons really suck, I would recommend going straight to something with temperature control if you plan on doing any amount of soldering.
I really like the TS100. They take 12-24v so you can run them from a power supply from the wall, from a laptop battery, drill battery, RC battery so they're super portable.
I teach kids robotics and I have a box of the things, I'd never go back.
$ 1K is plenty, but as other answers have you realizing, you need to know what you want and you need a plan, if you want to stretch that money as far as it will go.
Personally I would avoid AliExpress. Tayda has excellent prices and with very few exceptions, everything that I have bought from them has been totally fine. I like Mouser for anything I can’t get from Tayda.
Some places you can save money and be ok, other places cutting corners will save you a few pennies but you will likely regret it in the long run. You can’t avoid an initial investment in tools and basic supplies and that is not a place to cheap out.
You don’t need a lot to start out. I’ve used this model soldering iron for decades: Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_QVY2BWSRKJTX9CE78RJP?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1, this is good solder and a pound will last you forever: KESTER SOLDER 24-6337-0027 Solder Wire, 63/37 SN/PB, 183°C, 1LB https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DE2QVIG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_UdAwkiNWu7B9S. You’ll need wire strippers, little cutting pliers, good needle-nose pliers.
One place you can save money, especially when you are starting out, is in your rack/case. I built mind out of scrap wood and spent literally zero $. My rails are Keva blocks my kids outgrew. Likewise your first power supply. Look up the “MFOS Wall Wart” PSU. if you want to see if the bare-bones DIY approach is for you, you can build one of those from scratch on stripboard for about six bucks, match it with a good AC wall wart and that will support your first several models. You also could as spend just a bit more and make one on a PCB from AI Synthesis and see if that approach suits you better.
Pots, knobs, jacks, and cables always add up. There’s only so little you can spend and still have a satisfying product but you probably won’t have to spend very much at least to know how far you want to take this.
Should be no capacitor problem here, as the cap goes on the tone pot not the volume pot.
You can break the volume pot while soldering stuff to the back for grounding if you really make a hash of it. Soldering to the terminals is pretty fool proof.
I actually love doing this kind of stuff. Do you have a friend who dabbles in electronics or otherwise knows how to solder? You can teach yourself from YouTube or I seem to remember Seymour Duncan had a good video.
If you buy a soldering iron get a good one with a stand and a sponge tray like this one. Without a stand you will burn yourself and the table. You wet the sponge and wipe the iron tip on it to get waste off.
I just picked up a Weller soldering station at my local hardware store. Seems to work pretty well for me
If you are doing vintage gaming, you might as well pick up the skills to do it yourself. It's a really painless process and very well documented, plus a decent quality but basic soldiering iron is not expensive.
i've never tried a split board before, but would def. give it a shot. I've heard once you go that route you usually fall in love haha.
Yeah I had to get a new (smaller) tip for my Hakko solder station, but if you do any soldering to the point where that would be worth it, I can't recommend it enough. It's amazing
Sadly, it's been modded further. The vtx battery is removable, the camera control wires are reported so I can mount the stock camera if I want, and the channel switch sits on the outside now. The thing probably still hasn't spent as much time in the air as on the bench.
And yes, you do need a new soldering iron, those pencil types are the devil. You can get a passably good soldering station on Amazon for $20 or so, and honestly I'd get one of those before getting a cordless. (But then, I do a lot of soldering.) Obviously a good Weller or Hakko would be better, but I still haven't broken or outgrown this cheap bastard in the four years I've had it. (Besides, field repairs are all well and good, but there are 26 screws holding the body shell together, all of them super tiny; it's not the easiest thing to open up and work on outdoors.)
> You need a $120+ soldering iron
That's not necessarily true. This Weller is normally over $120, but it can be found for cheaper (like on Amazon.)
EEVblog, the author of the video linked above, even recommends (on a budget) this Hakko ripoff that even takes Hakko tips. Super cheap and is temperature controlled. You can find it cheaper than its Amazon listing too.
The Hakko FX-888D runs $100 on Amazon.
I bought this one for $30 and found temp settings in the reviews. Setting marker 3.25-3.75 gets you right around 350°C, coincidentally.
I also bought that cheap-ass Valstar solder sucker with free wick. From what I read about the wick, it needs flux to get the solder flowing into it. The solder sucker sucked. I ended up taking a Dremel deburring bit to create a divot in the metal housing to capture the little arms so it wouldn't spring apart when I hit the plunger release. After that, it worked pretty well, though I usually got a pretty good seal right over the solder and switch leg - no desoldering controllers. I did have one switch leg that was bent over the contact, which required some physical assistance to move while the solder was melted before I could clear it.
Desoldering wick looks like it works great and would work for your situation, if you use it right.
If you can afford it get a proper soldering stations with at least a power switch and a basic control knob (Weller makes decent products).
My WLC-100 apparently goes from 5-40 watts and the knob is labeled 1-5 (so I guess it's 8W per marking). Amazon is selling the same one for $40.
I have done a bit of soldering and recently used it to reflow the solder on the IC pins in a gbc cartridge. Since I set it 2-3 usually you probably want at least a 20 watt iron.
I have a Hakko FX-888D and love it. I got this exact bundle from Amazon. It comes with wire cutters which I use all the time.
Edit: There is also an amazing reference on Geekhack called "The Living Soldering Thread" which I used to get started soldering. It has lots of information and recommendations:
So i'm planning on building my first keyboard pretty soon and I have everything prepared but the soldering iron. I know many of the community will recommend getting the hako soldering iron but I can't justify paying that much for a soldering iron, I already spent so much on my keyboard lol. I saw one on amazon that I thought looked good, but i also want a second opinion about it.
What do you guys think about this Soldering Iron?
I use this: https://www.amazon.com/X-Tronic-3020-XTS-Digital-Display-Soldering/dp/B01DGZFSNE
Cheap, digitally variable temperature, removable tips, and a iron + sponge + sheepie holder. They go on sale every now and then for $45 USD (check Newegg, eBay, and Amazon regularly and you'll find one). I grabbed mine 3 or so years ago, its been thru 5 builds, 8 desoldered board, and a shit ton of tiny toy PBCs for work stuff. Excellent little bugger. The roll thing on the side is jack tho, I ripped mine off.
You can also get a dirt cheap iron with no temp monitoring, but I've found they're much too hot for proper soldering. If you're quick, it's fine. But for a newbie you might have troubles.
A good 40 watt iron will cover most amp building requirements but can be too much for PCBs. I prefer an adjustable temperature iron. PCB work for FX requires lower temps than eyelets for an amp. And replaceable tips mean you can choose the horse for the course. Bigger, wider types transfer more heat.
I use the Hakko. It heats fast, it's consistent and I can get tips at Micro Center, Frys or Amazon.
Weller has be in industry standard for years.Many people swear by the Weller WES51 but I think it is now discontinued and replaced with the digital Weller WE1010NA. I did make due with the lower-cost Weller WLC100 for years, but don't recommend it; the tip was held in by a set-screw and when that got loose a dangerously hot tip would fall out onto my workspace/amp/lap/etc.
Just say no to big bulky solder guns. Those are for commercial wiring jobs in buildings, not for delicate things like guitar wiring. For the same money (or less) you can pick up a nice Hakko FX888D on Amazon, or for less you can get this decent little xtronic, or one of those neat little knockoff Hakko T12 units
I have a Weller WLC100, the tip that came with is is a flat chisel style tip that makes it hard to run the soder on the wire. I haven't sodered in like 10 years and after a couple of attempts I just can't seem to get it to stick. Thats why I'm looking for someone to professionally help me, as I don't know anyone IRL to help me out. The job looks simples but after failing I just be willing to pay someone to do it right.
I like the TS 100.
It’s “open source” and made by many different vendors...but they are all essentially the same.
Recently gotten into soldering. Had a very similar kit and used to it unsolder keyboard switches. Burned off a few pads because of the soldering iron. (Luckily I learned how to bridge switches). I bought a better soldering iron from Home Depot this one and no longer had any issues.
In fact unsoldering and soldering felt 10x easier and smoother than the one I got with kit.
I have several. The Weller I have had for more than 13 years. pretty basic and works like a charm. You can get it on Amazon for about 40$.
It’s a TS100! Incredible little thing. Heats up to 400°C in seconds. Direct drive tip, can be battery powered as well with the right adapter.
Here it is on Amazon
This one has served me well. I like the one with a digital readout too.
Helping hands are hard to do wrong, just don't get the cheapestone or one with a bunch of "accessories." The WLC100 is in your budget. It is not true temperature controlled but you can adjust the output wattage. If you can grab a used WES51 from ebay
I'm a fan of the Hakko 888-D. It's a little pricier but she's a workhorse.
I don't see a soldering iron pictured, but if it's a cheap one, an upgrade to a nice one makes a big difference and fits your budget. I'd recommend this
This Hakko soldering station has served me well
Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue & yellow) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_AX3S9HPX6QEE82XEGQCD
Am I causing myself grief by using something like a Weller WES51?
Only asking because that's what I have and my soldering never works like I see on videos/tutorials.
"It's so easy! You just heat the wire first, then touch the solder and it just flows like magic!"
......yeah...sure....meanwhile mine doesn't melt, evaporates, or most likely refuses to flow onto what I'm trying to solder. Unless I'm trying to remove solder, then it sticks like no one's business.
I use this one from X-Tronics. Looks like it comes with extra stuff now too like a silicon mat, helping hands, and solder.
I see Hakko and Weller (pretty much any model from either company) recommended a lot. I was eyeing up a Hakko, but the X-Tronics one was a fraction of the price and gets the job done. I don’t do any other soldering except for Game Boy/Neo Geo Pocket Color mods (which is like a few wires, capacitor replacement, and maybe a power cleaner) and cartridge battery replacements.
This is pretty awesome
I use this X-Tronic 3020-XTS station. It's $60 and you definitely could spend more for more features and a higher build quality, but for $60 it's a really great deal and does everything I need. It's honestly much nicer than what I used when I worked for an industrial computer supplier in their GPU repair department.
If you are only soldering a board or 2 and thus not worried about longevity, just about any iron will do the job. I'd recommend this Weller for a budget model: https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=sr_1_5?crid=13XUDS9KLGNS3&keywords=weller+wlc100&qid=1644449704&sprefix=weller+wlc%2Caps%2C101&sr=8-5
If your asking which solder station to use this is a good basic unit that will last forever:
I've been soldering for 32 years. My wife bought me a solder station when my old Edysn finnaly gave up. I wasn't expecting much. It was an X-tronics station and I had never heard of them.
I was very pleasantly surprised! So much so that I got a second one to use at my day job instead of the Pace PRC-2000. I've been using that one for 5 years now in an industrial setting with no faults. I love it.
I would just get the hakko
I tried to cheap out on irons but it makes everything Take so much longer because it's a lot harder having to work around the limitations of the iron.
You already have to get right how much flux you need, temperature, how much solder you need, and heat time.
You can't have a cold joint but you also can't burn up the board.
Getting all of those right is so much harder with for example what I had and hated, a RadioShack 40 buck iron and a Weller 30 buck iron from the hardware store.
Cheap irons are a waste of time and money
Get that one. It comes with the steel wool in the stand and the sponge. If you need different size tips buy them when you need them, the one it comes with is useful for most places with .1in pitch components
I bought this one, good kit, comes with everything you need. Hope this helps!
UY CHAN Upgraded Original TS100 Digital OLED Programmable Pocket-size Smart Mini Outdoor Portable Soldering Iron Station Kit Embedded Interface DC5525 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MDTO6X7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_r8tMrKXRRTQHW
For any sort of board work you should have a decent digital iron and they should definitely be better than 15-25 watts. Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077JDGY1J/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_GSVADZBEYQ8ZZSRSZ9CB something like that. I run a $120 china rework station with a soldering iron with digital heat control. I use the angled tip that guy for bigger pads and a haako micropencil for the real small stuff.
I used a butane soldering iron for my first few builds. That being said, a good quality soldering setup makes things much more enjoyable. I bought this one. its only $20 more expensive than the one you're looking at, and its 75 Watts. I've been very happy with it.
I personally use the hakko FX888D it’s about $100 but is well worth it. I wouldn’t bother with cheaper irons as you will likely find them more frustrating than it is worth. https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-23BY-Digital-Soldering-Station/dp/B00ANZRT4M
I would not recommend harbor freight tools if you are looking for quality. For a soldering iron I use this. It may be a bit more than you’re looking to pay, but it works extremely well both for soldering and for plastic welding.
That's by far the best entry-level iron ($100). The color scheme is quite funky, but Hakko is very much a trusted Japanese company.
There are plenty of standalone irons (iron plugs directly into mains) but they are not as good or as easy to handle.
You should check out the TS100, cheap temperature variable soldering iron with swappable tips. A lot of people in the FPV community uses these for their portable soldering iron but I use it my bench. Get the chisel head tip type though, it's more versatile.
I bought one off of Amazon similar to this https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?keywords=soldering+iron&qid=1640396403&sr=8-12
It worked well, but replacing the batteries was more difficult than I thought it would be even after watching hella videos. I ended up just taking my game in to a local retro game shop to fix. They only charged me $5
Guitarpcb is a great site. Aionfx.com is another great site and has kits with everything you need. You can buy inexpensive practice soldering kits on Amazon (don’t get anything that says SMT) and there are plenty of how-to videos on Amazon. It’s easy to learn. Get the best soldering iron you can afford…it will make the process a lot easier. The most you need to spend is $100 (see below) but there are much less expensive ones available to fit your budget…you can always upgrade later if you decide you like the hobby!
One thing to bear in mind is that as enjoyable and satisfying as building your own pedal can be, it’s not necessarily going to save you money.
as Bikersquid said, you'll need a soldering iron. Nothing super fancy but adjustable temp is a plus.
This is the one I use: https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC
The Yihua models are good quality.
You also have the ts100 soldeeing iron which is small and reliable. Ive got it on my side and its great to use.
I give you an amazon link, but you can find it way cheaper on Aliexpress or other chinese website
This is the one I use. It’s pretty inexpensive, but works fairly well. If you’re just going to solder every once in a while, this would suit you perfectly.
Aoyue 469 Variable Power 60 Watt Soldering Station with Removable Tip Design- ESD Safe https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MCVCHJM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_S56C9PCTX1K36GYYSMTP
You don't need anything crazy, I used a Weller 100 for all my modding needs for many years before finally upgrading to the one I'm using now. These units cost around $60CAD
I've soldered for years and the best I've ever used is a basic Weller 40w. It doesn't have any fancy (useless) features. Its just a sold well made machine. If your a noob your going to burn out your tips all the time. So get some spare tips.
Got ate up almost right after the post.
There's a decent amount of info converting the printrboard to and SKR 1.3/1.4 with TMC2208 drivers. It's what I ended up doing to mine and have NO regrets whatsoever.
An alternative option would be a soldering iron and a replacement port and installing a new one.
Btw, not sure whY you have. But I recommend a new iron. Not really worth the headaches tbh.
This is the soldering station I've had for 3+ years and it's solid for the price. IIRC microcenter sells these too.
I would recommend this soldering iron.
There are much cheaper Weller products whose names start with "1010", than whichever variant you found that costs US$238. e.g. the 1010NA for $140.
A breadboard with some solder pads and some 22 gauge wire should be most of what you need. The right tip is very very important. Basically for circuit board work you want as small of a tip as you can find.
There’s no standard for soldering iron tips for some godforsaken reason. So, for the most part, what the iron comes with is what you’re stuck with. I actually returned an entire iron because the tip was too big. You may have to do the same. I got this one and it seems… fine. The big things I looked for was adjustable temperature and tip size.
I understand it has a grounding pin, the thing I'm referring to is the clamp that goes from the pin to ground. You can see it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MDTO6X7/
You could buy a super super cheap soldering iron online or you could get a moderately cheap one and save yourself a LOT of frustration. Trust me. Get the moderately cheap one. Weller is a good brand.
Would you say something like this works, or is it still pricey? https://www.amazon.com/X-Tronic-3020-XTS-Digital-Display-Soldering/dp/B01DGZFSNE
I'm just a fan of the station as I have really bad OCD and need stuff to be organized
I have theTS100 and really enjoy it. Adjustable temperature, super quick heat up, and you can change out the tips.
I use a Weller station. Best to buy quality. I’ve had different irons but this has been the best I’ve used.
Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077JDGY1J/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_a_NAZ7PGWZF6VRSM5874XC
You won’t get good results if your temperature control is goofing off. You’re going it right but your equipment sounds like it might need a time out.
Weller is a great brand. There’s one that I bought of Amazon for 110$. It’s a little tank! I’ve used it a lot and we use them for work as well.
Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077JDGY1J/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_EXR2B27M7GQY7RGN4888?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Here is the soldering iron I just bought the other day. Soldered 10 chips with it pretty quickly no complaints at all https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079VVHPPS/ref=ppx\_yo\_dt\_b\_asin\_title\_o03\_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Can’t garuntee the first one as it’s cheap, may work great but I can’t say much. The second weller may be underpowered. What about a hakko? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_A8XV7PF7F7ZMP9WZENCA
I've had this one for years. Works like a champ. It has plenty of wattage for bigger jobs and precise temp control. Lots of tips are available. Heats up fast (15 seconds or less to get to 650*).
Personally I've never been a fan of gas-powered irons. You really have very little control over the temp, they don't "recover" after a joint as predictably or quickly as modern electronic models, they take fuel, limited tip selection, etc. The only "benefit" is portability (and the torch functionality), but that isn't really a big "get" anymore in the day of USB-Powered Irons that can be run off a battery or power bank.
All that said, I do a lot of soldering on circuit boards where all those things are important. If you are just looking for an "emergency" iron to toss in your bag in case you need it in the field, then I can see the draw of the gas one (just need the iron and a can of butane which never goes bad or "loses charge"). If you want to use it for regular work (and particularly for PCB work), get an electric iron with adjustable temp.
i bought this kit as a beginner after my RadioShack 30watt iron quit on me. i still have it and it's wonderful.
X-Tronic 3020-XTS • 75W Soldering Iron Station Kit • 2 Helping Hands • Silicone Tool Mat • 5 Extra Tips • 50g Roll of Solder • Brass Sponge • Cleaning Flux • C/F Conversion • Auto Sleep! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VVHPPS/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_SN7FSMREZ55JD24Y7KY9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Get a real name brand one. Practically the same price when you factor in time and gas to go to Harbor Freight, and also is less likely to burn your house to the ground.
Get an iron with temperature controls. Something like this. I use helping hands kind of like this and it has treated me well.
I agree on the soldering part, it is one of the most valuable skills I have picked up, I'm sure you've found value in it, too!
I don't think people should be intimidated by soldering. It can be daunting at first because electronics can be complicated.
Soldering doesn't require electronics expertise. It requires a steady hand, a solder kit that costs about 40-50 bucks -- wait what a Weller WLC100 is down to 33 USD? What the hell? That is a super nice kit. Uh, anyway, cheap cost of entry. I do suggest you get what's called a "helping hand", or a "third arm". This will hold wires and bits in place while you solder them together, very useful. Brass cleaner is a good idea too, and don't forget the solder. Don't get hung up on what type of solder you use. Don't get stained glass solder, and get solder that's thin enough or thick enough for your application.
If you're worried about screwing something up, they sell solder practice boards that are really cheap, too. Just punch "Soldering practice" into Amazon or Ebay. If you're new, avoid things with like 0805 SMDs. The 0805 refers to the size of the thing you're soldering to a PCB, and the SMD means "Surface Mount Device". 0805 is pretty small, but it is nothing compared to soldering an 0402, which is much smaller!
This piano kit looks pretty lit, I might buy one myself just for funsies.
See how everything's labeled? It's Lego with an extra step. You're just following directions, putting stuff together, then soldering it in place. If you're fixing a controller pot, or a capacitor, or whatever, there are likely tutorials on the internet to guide you through it, step by step. It's Lego but instead of being held together with friction, it's held together with hot metal glue. Dear reader, you can do it.
Yeah you definitely want adjustable temp and interchangeable tips for board-level work, and a stand and sponge are super helpful. This $40 Weller WLC100 is the best value you’ll find and honestly all that 95% of people would ever need. If you don’t have a set of helping hands then I’d spring for the $55 version that includes them.
The next step up is a TS100 (there’s many brands but they’re all pretty much the same product) but with that one you need to buy a separate power supply and stand. You can get all that for around $80 is you shop around.
The Hakko FX888D is the best soldering station under like $250 and it costs a little over $100. It’s very nice but I’m not so sure that it’s $70 nicer than the Weller.
Yw, if you’re looking for more recs, this is the soldering iron I saw widely recommended in this space. I went with it and am quite satisfied: UY CHAN Upgraded Original TS100... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MDTO6X7?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Lots of YouTube videos, some practice, a sharp box cutting knife for flaying the antenna, and you’ll be knowledgeable enough to feel comfortable in no time (ok, maybe a few weeks). Good luck 👍🏽
>Apply the solder wire to the pad and wire NOT THE IRON
Sorry, I had to read it again.... I think this is the crucial step I missed in my learning. Unfortunately I kept heating the wire, iron, and pad all at once, or just the wire and iron.
How long can I put the iron on the pad without damaging it?
I am using a Weller WLC100, and had the temp set to 3. Do you know what temps correspond to these numbers? I was trying to keep it under 650F, as I use to always have it on 5, and people here said that was bad.
Thanks I will study these materials.
In terms of my soldering iron, I am using the 40 watt, Weller WLC100:
I set the temperature adjustment to 3. I used to have it on max (5), but people here told me that's too hot, as this soldering iron goes up to 900F. Thus, I figured 3 would be a reasonable adjustment? I can't seem to figure out what temperature these stupid numbers correspond to though!!
I am also using the stock tip on it, the "ST3 iron plated tip." Although I am tempted to switch to a finer tip (Weller ST-1) thinking it may make it easier to solder capacitors, etc. to a PCB?
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All of the integrated circuits (ICs) are in the C4000 CMOS family. The main oscillator core and the tempo control are powered by the 40106, the sequencing is done by the 4017 and the 4040, the output and filter are controlled by the 4069UB.
The idea is that they are all fairly simple logic chips that are being kinda retrofitted into a synth.
As far as tips go, I would recommend getting a few assortments for resistors, ceramic disc capacitors, "greeny" mylar capacitors, and electrolytic capacitors. For DIY synth stuff, I have found that a lot of them use B100K (100K Ohm Linear) potentiometers in their design. You probably also want to get some diodes like the 1N4148 and some transistors like the 2n2222 and the 2n3904.
I get almost ALL of my parts from Tayda Electronics, although I did get some assortments from Amazon when I first started.
In terms of soldering iron, I have a generic version of this one here that I got in a bundle from a guitar pedal making site. I really like it and have no complaints.
Hope that sets you in the right direction!
Yeah you can almost certainly just connect banana plugs into the open end of the terminal. But you'll still need to listen to make sure the polarity is right. Not a big deal.
This is a great soldering iron for starting out:
This is the exact one I have.
I use one of these... about 350F to 400F.
Also use one of these for soldering bullet ends and bigger stuff.
Can you solder? It is not hard to fix electrical problems like this.
Just buy decent quality spare parts and swap them in.
Here's the soldering iron & stand I use: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AS28UC/
You can buy knobs, pots, switches etc from Amazon. Not expensive.
My grandma bought me this, and my dad got me the solder already from the photo. Is that good enough? Also what spot should I set it to
Yeah, leaded solder melts at lower temperatures, meaning less chance of damage to the boards. I own this one:
Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_6ELbGbV22M2V3
i was almost going to get the Haako. I am sure it is worth it to some. I probably do a bit of soldering maybe once a week so I figured I didn't need anything too expensive, just better than what I had. I figured that they do most soldering in China and I could probably get a pretty cheap but good iron without breaking the bank. I got one with replaceable tips on Amazon for like $25 and it works fine for me and I consider it a great purchase. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MCVCHJM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
I personally have a Hakko 888d and I love it. I will be getting the KSGER T12 for a back up. Here is a Amazon link for the Hakko 888d
If he's interested in electronics projects a TS100 would be a useful tool
I don't know what you consider cheap, but the Hakko FX888 is onlky $104.
I always find those cheap $20 irons you can get most anywhere to be cheap junk and not worth the time. All they will do is frustrate you. Just get something like the Hakko.