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 Post subject: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 4:19 pm 
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I have variable temperature soldering irons but use a fixed temperature one for antique radio refurbishing. Sometimes I have to use caution to keep from melting stuff but even though I am a rookie that is no problem. Still, I am looking for a soldering station for other more delicate soldering. I do have a Hakko FX-600 with temperature control right on the iron and it is just fine (with a chisel tip) for most stuff.

I wanted a soldering station from a company which did not jack the prices based on brand recognition but still get a reputable device at a low price. I think I found it in Aoyue products. I just ordered the Aoyue 469 which is their bottom of the line variable temp solder station. It has no temp display but it has a 60 watt iron with PTC ceramic element and the same type tip attachment as name brands. Plus it is only $32 after shipping and tax. A chisel tip was $8 more. It has few bells and whistles which keeps the price down. Has a mains power switch and pilot LED. It has a post for solder dispensing but I have a separate roller dispenser I will use. It has a nearly useless sponge only but even though a sponge works fine I have the brass coil tip cleaner and will use that. The controller assembly is removable from the stand so I will use my current stand and mount the controller securely to a board or maybe right to the bench. Photo when I get it set up.
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Last edited by Ozo on Jan Thu 12, 2017 8:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Make sure it's really temperature regulated, not just adjustable power. Many of the cheap ones have no temperature sensor.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
I never use anything other than a wet "useless sponge" on my Weller WTCP. Tips seem to last forever.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 6:49 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
I never use anything other than a wet "useless sponge" on my Weller WTCP. Tips seem to last forever.

Rich

The sponge supplied is extremely thin and I prefer a much thicker sponge hence the comment " nearly useless". I am not saying that the copper mesh is better. If I were to debate the copper mesh on the other hand I would say that some work better than others. The best kind is coated with flux I read so cleans the tips much better than that without flux.

No one will debate the need for a clean and well tinned tip to ensure its long life.


Last edited by Ozo on Jan Thu 12, 2017 2:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 7:09 pm 
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ac wrote:
Make sure it's really temperature regulated, not just adjustable power. Many of the cheap ones have no temperature sensor.
The advertisement title does say "Variable Power" but I am looking for that info. I do not know yet if it has a thermocouple in the tip but numerous reviews indicate that it maintains the heat reliably. No reviews I have seen indicate a problem with temperature. It is noted for having a very fast heating capability due to the PTC ceramic element which would explain the temp never failing to be deficient. Also, no reviews mention the temperature overshooting the set point. So, I would assume it has a thermocouple in the tip. If not then thermocouples obviously are not a requirement for those of us not working for NASA.

Wiki says " PTC ceramic material is named for its positive thermal coefficient of resistance (i.e., resistance increases upon heating). Most ceramics have a negative coefficient, whereas most metals have positive values. While metals do become slightly more resistant at higher temperatures, this class of ceramics (often barium titanate and lead titanate composites) has a highly nonlinear thermal response, so that it becomes extremely resistive above a composition-dependent threshold temperature. This behavior causes the material to act as its own thermostat, since current passes when it is cool, and does not when it is hot."


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2017 5:54 am 
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The great thing about Aoyue irons is, most of them can take Hakko tips. So there's quite a variety of high quality tips available to choose from. Temperature control is nice, but even if it's PTC and not a thermocouple, it won't make a hill-o-beans difference for antique radio work.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Chris108 wrote:
The great thing about Aoyue irons is, most of them can take Hakko tips. So there's quite a variety of high quality tips available to choose from. Temperature control is nice, but even if it's PTC and not a thermocouple, it won't make a hill-o-beans difference for antique radio work.
Right, the Aoyue tips are 5 mm but it seems the Hakko 4 mm tips work just fine. There is a 6 piece set of Hakko 900M tips ($3 each) at Amazon. Read the reviews which discuss them fitting Aoyue.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-Soldering- ... M+933+tips


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2017 4:01 pm 
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The Hakko 936 knockoffs are good - I've got a genuine Hakko and a knockoff, and no difference.....

31 bucks.

http://www.banggood.com/110V-220V-936-I ... 86556.html

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Findm-Keepm wrote:
The Hakko 936 knockoffs are good - I've got a genuine Hakko and a knockoff, and no difference.....

31 bucks.

http://www.banggood.com/110V-220V-936-I ... 86556.html

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I am convinced now that these do have temperature control after viewing numerous reviews. I like this in depth video at Dave Jones' EEVblog. I put a link below to one (60 watt) shipped from the US for $18.50 after shipping etc.. I bought one and will do a comparison. I will take the Aoyeu apart and post photos of that too. I have seen a six pack of Ale go for nearly that much.

EDIT just received it and installed it on my bench. I tie wrapped the tiny transformer case to the front right corner and attached the iron holder that came with it there too. I liked the wire spiral type better than the one I had. The cord on the iron is soft and more flexible than some but not as flexible as the 100% silicone ones I imagine.

I turned it on and was amazed that it was melting solder in a few seconds set at about 325.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdV7XBae74

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Soldering-S ... SwT6pV4Abh


Last edited by Ozo on Jan Mon 16, 2017 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Sat 14, 2017 5:55 pm 
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The temperature sensor would be attached to the heater of course and not as I said (in the tip). Below is a picture of the Hakko 936 soldering iron (907). Those only cost $10 by the way.

An interesting tid bit about the Chinese knockoffs of the Hakko 936. They actually sell a knockoff PCB/face plate which has a copy of the Hakko 936 logo. It is definitely not the real deal because a clear photo of the board shows it is not the Hakko configuration unless Hakko has changed it which I doubt. Note the fake Hakko logo on the board. The board/face plate is $8.50 from China.

I was going to edit a previous post but there is now no capability to do that except in very recent posts. Anyway, the pilot light on the Aoyue is very dim, I mean very, very dim so an LED mod is in order ($4).

I did a timed test and the Aoyue melted solder in 53 seconds from a cold start set at 350 degrees.


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Hakko 936.png
Hakko 936.png [ 204.09 KiB | Viewed 1507 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Sun 15, 2017 12:10 am 
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EDIT TO THE LAST POST

After giving the PCB a second look, I think I was wrong and this is actually a legit Hakko PCB.

I can not find the ad that photo was with but the ones I am looking at now are really forgeries. Here is a photo of one of those. The clue is the missing components. And note, no Hakko logo on the PCB.
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Hakko Forgery.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Findm-Keepm wrote:
The Hakko 936 knockoffs are good - I've got a genuine Hakko and a knockoff, and no difference.....


I bought one for $16.50 +$2 shipping from a US seller on Ebay (link below) and plan to retrofit it with an X-tronics iron which I already have. This one is a true forgery as it has the fake Hakko logo on the case. I started another thread on that (link below). Actually, I bought two as I could not resist the price.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=314305

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251895527242?_t ... fresh=true

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Hakko 336 Forgery.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2017 9:11 pm 
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I have been using a Weller 45 watt iron with a chisel tip almost since I started working on old radios. Why do you-all think that temperature control is needed?

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2017 10:09 pm 
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When I was a kid helping my father it was several years before we had anything other than a Weller D550 250 watt gun. This was before any printed circuit stuff came into the shop. Then we got a Weller pencil iron that looks like the iron on a WTCPN but ran straight off 120 volts. I didn't use temp control stuff until I got a WTCPS for $20.00 about 30 years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 1:09 am 
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I could lay an iron in the fire and pump the bellows till it got hot enough but I choose an iron that gets up to temp in under a minute and keeps that temp no matter how much I use it. I have been using a non-variable temp iron for some time and that works but this new stuff works better. People who do surface mount soldering on printed circuit boards appreciate the temp adjustment capability as that work (I have read) is much more delicate than antique radio soldering. An adjustment is almost instantaneously accomplished.

So, yea, you can use a gun on the old radio but the new stuff is superior.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 1:16 am 
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Banggood just put this in their flash deals:

No experience/no affiliation.... just passing it along.

http://www.banggood.com/110V-220V-967-E ... flashdeals

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 1:19 am 
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FStephenMasek wrote:
I have been using a Weller 45 watt iron with a chisel tip almost since I started working on old radios. Why do you-all think that temperature control is needed?


Lift one pad from a PCB, and you'll want a temperature controlled iron.....lower temperature allows some additional loiter time.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 1:24 am 
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Findm-Keepm, that is a Chinese knockoff with an LED display. $28.88 plus shipping. First I've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 3:42 am 
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Location: 649 Lacy Wilkerson Rd Roxboro, NC 27574
So for the last 3 years I have been using an Aoyue 701a++ combination solder/desolder station which works fine except I wish the cords from the base to the irons was longer. I also use an Xtronic hot air station for all the new stuff. Previously I used a Weller WTCPS and a Weller DS500 desoldering station. Expendable parts for the DS500 are getting hard to find now unfortunately.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 5:03 am 
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joelandjoyce wrote:
So for the last 3 years I have been using an Aoyue 701a++ combination solder/desolder station which works fine except I wish the cords from the base to the irons was longer. I also use an Xtronic hot air station for all the new stuff. Previously I used a Weller WTCPS and a Weller DS500 desoldering station. Expendable parts for the DS500 are getting hard to find now unfortunately.



I received a replacement iron from X-tronics web site and there was free shipping and it got here in three days. It was $21.80 and came with a free heating element. It came with one tip which was needle sharp nearly but Hakko 4mm tips are a perfect fit. The cord is amazing. It is 64 1/2" overall from tip to station. It is very flexible(silicone). It is the #4060 and fits Xtronic 4010, 4040, 4040-XTS, and 6040 soldering stations.

I plan to retrofit a Chinese Hakko 336 knockoff with this iron (photo below). I am not sure yet if the connector will fit the knockoff but I may hard wire it if it does not. the male pins look to be a fit for the female 5 pin connector of the X-tronics iron. Sorry, no photo of that available yet (camera battery).

X-tronics replacement soldering irons are high quality, great functionality, and are reasonably priced.


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