HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:52 PM
Registered User
United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined Jan 2013
224 Posts
Discussion
Soldering Iron?

A total noob here...everything is new to me. I need to pick up a soldering iron and can't drop $80 or more for an iron. How many watts do I really need?
I'm assembling a vtail quad and will need to solder 30amp ESC's to 1450Kv motors. I've found irons from 15 watts to 50-60 watts at Radio Shack in the $15-$30 range. Will these suffice?
pbosche is offline Find More Posts by pbosche
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:12 PM
Registered User
United States, OH, Youngstown
Joined Nov 2004
593 Posts
25 to 40w should be fine for 14ga? wire. For 12ga or larger connectors, 40-60w. Since you are only heating wire, too hot is better than not.

Not sure where you are, but the prices seem high. Most irons are $10.

Don't forget some rosin flux and solder. I prefer the 63/37

There's some really good guides for soldering to be found. just remember keep the tip tinned/clean. A good solder joint is shiny and if it takes more than 2-3 seconds to melt, something isn't right. Hope this helps.
RedLine19k is offline Find More Posts by RedLine19k
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:57 PM
Registered User
Columbus Ohio.
Joined Aug 2006
151 Posts
Are you ever planning on working on circuit boards, through hole, and surface mount components. Or are you just talking about soldering connectors on the ends of wires.

If it's just the connectors...then you can go cheap...but at least 40 watts.

If you are just getting into the hobby and want something to last a lifetime, and handle all facets of soldering work, then get something decent with enough power, and adjustable heat:
Yes, about $100 with shipping.
http://www.all-spec.com/products/FX-888.html

Here's an economical clone from Hobby that's cheap but may be more flexible than the Radio Shack alternative.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html
I guess they are also on EBAY.
RJKIRK is offline Find More Posts by RJKIRK
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:30 AM
Registered User
Markran's Avatar
United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2011
594 Posts
I got this Aoyue iron in August and it's awesome. Excellent value for the money. It heats up super quick and the digital control works well. I was using the $20 Radio Shack and Weller irons for years and always replacing them. $57 delivered.

http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-937-Digi.../dp/B000I30QBW
Markran is offline Find More Posts by Markran
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 02:51 PM
Registered User
United States, ID
Joined Sep 2011
420 Posts
Don't spend much more than about $5 if you just want a basic soldering iron. A 25-30W iron will work for almost everything, even big connectors. The main thing is the right tip, if you use a copper tip, homemade or otherwise, you can provide the heat a lot more effectively. People cry that you can't do bullet connectors on large wire without +40W, but this isn't the case. A tinned tip of the right shape on a 25W iron can solder a lot bigger wire than a 40W with the wrong tip.

If you're going to spend more than $90, then get a SMT rework station from ebay. They're about that price and have the hot air to do SMT.
jakestew is offline Find More Posts by jakestew
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 04:02 PM
RC beginner
New York
Joined Oct 2008
6,054 Posts
i love the way rcg members almost always recommend things 3x out of ops budget range. tools, planes, motors, radios, it dont matter. they will attempt to drive him into the poorhouse no matter what. then we have jake with his $5 suggestion and copper tips. lol!

\http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1814457

if you plan to spend more than 30 minutes/year soldering then the single most important factor is to use an iron clad tip. otherwise expect very short life. copper IS soluble in tin. heres an excellent hakko iron used almost universally in chinese assembly houses (and unlike many hobbyists here those guys DO know which end is up):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/180871850349...84.m1439.l2649

ive been using these in my assembly house business from the start. well within ops budget, will last many years, and tips are cheap. in fact cheaper than many of the radio shack garbage tips that are not iron clad.
dave1993 is offline Find More Posts by dave1993
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:06 PM
Registered User
United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined Jan 2013
224 Posts
Thanks you guys!
pbosche is offline Find More Posts by pbosche
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:48 AM
Registered User
United States, ID
Joined Sep 2011
420 Posts
A copper tip lasts far longer than an iron plated tip. Two swipes with a file and you have a new tip again.

With an iron plated tip as soon as a piece of that iron plate wears through you have a gnarly tip that will wear in a random way. A lot of people like Dave haven't soldered long enough to know how to properly deal with a tip, so it's good to know that copper works just fine.
jakestew is offline Find More Posts by jakestew
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 16, 2013, 01:51 AM
Registered User
United Kingdom, Bristol
Joined Aug 2008
1,774 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakestew View Post
A copper tip lasts far longer than an iron plated tip. Two swipes with a file and you have a new tip again.

With an iron plated tip as soon as a piece of that iron plate wears through you have a gnarly tip that will wear in a random way. A lot of people like Dave haven't soldered long enough to know how to properly deal with a tip, so it's good to know that copper works just fine.
Phil grabs his file takes swipe at jake....nope still dull.

Do you even read now what Dave writes that link is the prefect option adj/heat all anyone needs. I've always had a access to solder station but it was my fathers and now its mine. Never bought iron/solder/tips Dad was bit of hoarder got enough for many life times soldering. Mostly give it away
SadSack is offline Find More Posts by SadSack
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 17, 2013, 04:43 PM
Registered User
New Zealand, Wellington, Porirua
Joined Jan 2013
96 Posts
My 2c: I've just finished soldering 12ga wire to a dozen XT60 connectors with my trusty 10 year old 40W non-temperature-controlled soldering iron.

It would have been much easier and quicker it it was a bit more powerful though.
viperidae is offline Find More Posts by viperidae
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:00 AM
RC beginner
New York
Joined Oct 2008
6,054 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadSack View Post
Phil grabs his file takes swipe at jake....nope still dull.
fff.... ffffff.... SPLURGHHHHHHH... ahahahahahaha! ahahahahaha! ah... ah...

sadsack, PLEASE dont make wisecracks like that when im drinking coffee!
dave1993 is offline Find More Posts by dave1993
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:52 AM
RC beginner
New York
Joined Oct 2008
6,054 Posts
hey "viper". i just saw your message to me in the bec thread. reading your post here and other places i see why that link is so important to you. SIR, you and jake need to start a club. lol!
dave1993 is offline Find More Posts by dave1993
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:56 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
11,925 Posts
Everybody is a soldering "expert". It's almost an art if done right with the right tools and materials. Beginners need to practice on old connectors and scrap wire.Use good quality 60/40 "leaded" type solder for electronics. Don't buy "lead free" solder. Use a 37-47 watt iron for small electrical connections. Wipe iron tip constantly on damp paper towel, Strip wires carefully without cutting wire strands. Use a small "bridge" of solder from the iron tip to the wire and terminal for quick heating. Wire and terminal must be hot enough to melt solder for good solder flow. "Tin" wire strands and terminal tabs with solder before soldering them together. Tinning means to flow solder between the strands and on the surface of the solder tabs. Install heat shrink tubing away from the connection before soldering. When you get it all right, soldering should take 1.5 seconds or less, otherwise you will damage plastic connector bodies, and solidify/stiffen wire strands making them prone to breakage. Solder stations are nice but unnecessary for occasional soldering.
E-Challenged is online now Find More Posts by E-Challenged
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:20 PM
RC beginner
New York
Joined Oct 2008
6,054 Posts
all good advice. in fact one of the best posts so far. except that 63/37 is considerably better due to "eutectic" properties:

Quote:
In electrical work, if the joint is disturbed in the pasty state before it has solidified totally, a poor electrical connection may result; use of eutectic solder reduces this problem.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solder

the difference is not slight. you would have to try both to appreciate the difference though.
dave1993 is offline Find More Posts by dave1993
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:52 PM
Registered User
United States, ID
Joined Sep 2011
420 Posts
As long as we're on the topic, does anyone have any tips for me on what to do with a solder pot?

I got one at an auction for cheap and have played with it a bit. It came with a bit of solder in it, but I threw in half a roll of lead-free solder, then threw in a chunk of lead.

I know you can tin wires with it, and it's fun to play around with, but I'd like to find something useful to do with it.
jakestew is offline Find More Posts by jakestew
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sold Radio Shack 20W/40W Soldering Iron Staion (64-284) REDUCED PRICE timmerflyer Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 3 Feb 14, 2013 06:56 AM
Sold Soldering iron koa377 Non R/C Items (FS/W) 5 Jan 17, 2013 09:50 PM
Cold Heat soldering iron signal7 Non R/C Items (FS/W) 2 Jan 02, 2013 09:46 PM
Sold Hakko Soldering Iron Tips (x5) for Hakko 937-5 or 936-12 with 907 (med.-std.) Iron write2dgray Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 2 Nov 15, 2008 11:31 AM
Discussion soldering iron, or soldering GUN for attaching deans and bullets Nethole Power Systems 14 Nov 19, 2006 09:53 PM