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Old Yesterday, 09:35 PM
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Soldering equipment

I am new to the hobby and building a mini quad.

I need advice on a soldering station.
The type of solder I need.
What type of flux I need.

Brands would be good, I don't want to spend a lot. So please keep reasonable. For example I found this: Weller WLC410 which is $42.00 don't know if that is overkill.
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Old Yesterday, 10:41 PM
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United States, PA, Doylestown
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Not a bad solder station and not over kill. Just get some extra tips.
60/40% Lead/Tin , 0.032 diameter rosin core flux solder is what I use.
If additional flux is needed then always use rosin flux, labeled for electronics.

There are many tutorials on soldering so do some reading and video watching.
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 PM
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You don't have to get anything elaborate. A 60w pen type soldering iron and the solder you find at the hardware store (60/40) will work just fine.

For the really thick wires that take a ton of heat (The ones that come with 8000mah batteries), i have a mini blowtorch
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 PM
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Good advice up there. I solder for more than just RC, so I have a bit of a different take. I have a nice adjustable 50 watt pencil station that I use for precision work, and a 65w Radio Shack special for the "high heat" type of jobs.

I use 60/40, and I keep a couple of diameters around for ease of use.
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Old Yesterday, 11:42 PM
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When you guys say pencil does that mean it doesn't have the base station?
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Old Today, 12:39 AM
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It means the ones shaped like long metal rods. Other variants include a butane soldering pen, a pistol gripped soldering gun, etc. the ones that use a lot of power or more precise temp control come with basestations.

This is what i use



Oh and buy your lead in spools (1lb each) rather than those little menthos containers if you think you're going to be really into this. I have had maybe a dozen builds/rebuilds so far and i go through the little ones pretty fast trying out different configurations for each. When i realized i kept going back to the hardware store just for the lead, i decided to get the spools to save me the trips.
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Last edited by Hajile; Today at 12:45 AM.
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Old Today, 05:38 AM
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An smd rework station would be my suggestion.
http://www.thelashop.com/hot-air-smd...Fac7Mgod2FkAZg
Something akin to that. Clears up your workspace with three tools in one.
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Old Today, 06:16 AM
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As a retiree ET I bought an inexpensive 30 watt iron from Radio Shack (real poop) which has a common screw holding in the copper tip. When the tip gets short from refiling I make a new one from 2 foot of #10 awg copper ground wire. I figure there will be plenty left over to carry me into the after-life.

If you're handy, like I expect you are, get a el cheapo light dimmer at wally world make sure it's the on that must be turned-off. The push button one is a 50-50 WAG whether it's on or off. Split open your AC wire and separate the black wire and cut it and use the provide wire nuts to the two dimmer wire either way it doesn't matter. Now get a wall outlet box and switch over mount the dimmer in the wall outlet box. This will be your temperature controller turn up to solder and 1/4 down to idle.

You can use the dimmer with a transformer on the output as a foam cutter power source.
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Old Today, 07:15 AM
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Stay away from cheap irons that don't have temperature control and aren't ESD safe
Components on boards are temperature sensitive and can be damaged by being exposed to electrostatic forces. Spend a bit more on a good temperature controlled iron, it will last for years and will save you money by not damaging components. I am still using a 60W temperature controlled iron that I bought over 20 years ago.
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Old Today, 09:27 AM
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Get yourself a good used Hakko station, either a fm-202 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202...item1c42f97857 or a fx-951 http://www.ebay.com/itm/high-quality...item3391b36514

Those use the cartridge style tips with heater and sensor built in, they last much longer than weller tips. I use a fm-203 dual port every day and love it. Get a few different tips for it and just swap back and forth as you need.


Mike
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Old Today, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajile View Post
It means the ones shaped like long metal rods. Other variants include a butane soldering pen, a pistol gripped soldering gun, etc. the ones that use a lot of power or more precise temp control come with basestations.

This is what i use



Oh and buy your lead in spools (1lb each) rather than those little menthos containers if you think you're going to be really into this. I have had maybe a dozen builds/rebuilds so far and i go through the little ones pretty fast trying out different configurations for each. When i realized i kept going back to the hardware store just for the lead, i decided to get the spools to save me the trips.
Thanks for the advice. Answers a lot of underlying questions.
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Old Today, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnCommonGrafx View Post
An smd rework station would be my suggestion.
http://www.thelashop.com/hot-air-smd...Fac7Mgod2FkAZg
Something akin to that. Clears up your workspace with three tools in one.
I like this, am I right that that also replaces the heat gun?
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Old Today, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike105105 View Post
Get yourself a good used Hakko station, either a fm-202 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202...item1c42f97857 or a fx-951 http://www.ebay.com/itm/high-quality...item3391b36514

Those use the cartridge style tips with heater and sensor built in, they last much longer than weller tips. I use a fm-203 dual port every day and love it. Get a few different tips for it and just swap back and forth as you need.


Mike
The first one is a little out of my price range but they look like quality products.
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Old Today, 11:07 AM
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Thanks all, this is exactly what I need.

I was looking at this http://www.ebay.com/itm/200966083516
or
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2in1-SMD-Sol...item4618dc0a70

Any thoughts?
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Old Today, 03:26 PM
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To be honest, for that price I would get that hakko 951 I posted before. You will probably never really need the air tool, mainly a very good iron. We have a bunch of air tools at work and I don't bother with them most of the time. I work on 0402, 0201, and high density chips and connectors all day mainly using my hakko with a 1/6" screwdriver tip. I made the owner buy me the fm-203 because I was sick of changing tips, heaters, and sensors on the weller...it seems their quality has dropped through the years. The hakko is a dream and he liked it so much he has started replacing all the weller equipment with hakko.


Mike
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