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 Post subject: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 11:16 am 
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Greetings to the Forum:

I am not sure if this belongs here or possibly under tubes and parts; please move if inappropriate.

The original cord on my Weller W-TCP soldering iron gave up the ghost the other day... after only 40 years of service! They just don't make things to last any more... :lol:

The problem is, I can't seem to find a source for a replacement cord. After some searching on the web, I did find a place in the UK that sells a suitable replacement cord, but buying stuff from out of the country seems to me to be slow and difficult.

My question is: Is there any source for a suitable replacement (silicone) cord in the good old U.S.A. ?

Thanks,
Jim T.
KB6GM

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Find a used/broken toaster (or toaster oven) and use the cord. It will be heavy duty.
Thrift stores are good places too. Good hardware stores will carry new cords.

BE SURE the cord has the capacity before using it obviously and the
molded plug is in good order.

I have 3 Weller's and have replaced the cord on only one so far.
Early 8200 and a later 8200 and a D500.

Chuck

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Location: Monte Vista, CO. USA
I have an ancient WTCP station also. If you are talking about the cord that goes to the pencil, I replaced mine with standard 20 gauge 3-conductor cable. It works fine and seems to be lasting quite a long time, at least as long as the original silicone cable. I also made it a bit longer which makes the station more convenient.


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Cords are available, but not cheap. I am not sure which iron your station uses, but here is a three wire cord for the type that has thermostatic control in the tip.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weller-TC212-Co ... 58b5c711fd

I use the electronic Weller stations, darn things are costly to keep running! Esp. when the thermistor goes south.

I would stay with the original silicone cord, it is very flexible and lasts almost forever.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Location: Monte Vista, CO. USA
Maybe I am too rough on mine, but I have gone through several of the original silicone cords. However, after replacing it with standard stranded wire several years ago it is still holding up well. To me, the only downside to using standard wire is the larger size makes installing it more difficult. Other than that, I prefer it to the original cord (so far).


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 4:03 pm 
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Location: Austin, TX
I tried to find replacement silicone insulated wire a few years ago with absolutely no luck. You'd think Weller and other soldering iron makers would have to buy it from somewhere, but no one seems to make it. I'd love a small spool or the 5 conductor wire needed for temperature controlled soldering irons (would also work for your WTCP). The wire they use is highly flexible, and melt proof. It lasts a long time, but eventually the wires break near the strain relief.

The only lead a I got was a mention on a newsgroup about some kind of silicone wire made for the food industry. When I asked for a specific make and model number for the wire, all I got was a snarky remark, so it may have been a false lead.


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
My Weller has served over 30 years.

When I needed the low-voltage silicone cord... I just ordered one from Mouser!

http://uk.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Well ... ZCxNSWg%3d

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 7:07 pm 
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..just a word to you from a devout coward when it comes to rebuilding the WT-CPT -- especially the pencil wand. I had a unit that was beloved of me and served me well -- 10 years from brand new to its death. I valiantly tried to replace the guts (the switch) inside the pencil and found that it was like opening up a can of worms: no amount of twisting, cajoling, or cursing could make it go together satisfactorily. That is, the new switch went into the pencil but it was not an easy task. And --even then -- while it worked, it sort of did not behave correctly, switching-off-wise and all that. I went through about two tips before I was able to "sort of" make it work.

I confirmed my experience with WD6JDH who is an ace at repairing and breathing life back into old stuff and he said his experience with the WT-CPT pencil was pretty much the same.

So, I guess what I am saying is that it is O.K. to give up your old iron for parts and look for a new one.

In my case, I went from a $35 switch (plus s&h) to shopping for a new pencil (for $90 plus s&h) until I stumbled on the Weller WES-51 at Amazon and got that.

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Anal ... older+iron

Now folks will say that these are crap and stuff like that, but I am not doing circuit board work for NASA or the DOD and mine is just fine. The dial (who needs the digital?) is pretty accurate and I love the fact that in 99 minutes of non-use, it goes into snooze mode, saving tips..

and the price? Well, it was on sale on Amazon for less than the WT-CPT pencil PLUS NO SHIPPING PLUS TWO DAY DELIVERY IF YOU'RE ON AMAZON PRIME.

I probably broke a whole lot of post rules here for which I am heartily sorry, but I had to confess/recommend.

On the other hand, if your are just looking for a power cord for the WT-CPT, then that's a walk in the park.

Good luck!

~Bill, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 7:22 pm 
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I've set searches on eBay for replacement EC-1201A pencil irons. Sometimes it is far cheaper to buy a fairly priced, lightly used iron rather than paying full retail for cords, heaters, thermistors, etc. Apex has greatly overpriced Weller soldering station parts. When a replacement thermistor starts to cost more than a used Weller station and iron, I refuse to pay exorbitant rates.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Fri 03, 2014 11:38 pm 
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I also have the WES-51, I love the snooze feature, sure saves on tips, I always walk away and forget to turn it off.
Been using it for over 5 years now with the same tips that came with it.

I got tired of messing with the older Weller's thermostats/thermistors, etc. never did work right after I got into them.

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 04, 2014 1:42 am 
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Greetings to the Forum:

It would seem that hunting down 3-conductor silicone rubber insulated cord is going to be an exercise in treasure hunting or archeology.

For Rich W3HWJ: The part that you mentioned from Mouser lists for 24.75 British Pounds. At current exchange rates, that amounts to $39.76, not counting shipping. For a 3-foot cord, that's over $10 per foot. You can buy RG-9/BU silver double shielded coax or even hard line for less than that.... I can't conscience price-gouging on that scale.

For Peter Bertini: I went with your suggestion and bought one from E-bay. However, the supply seems limited and I will have to chop off the connector, so finding a source for the cable seems warranted, if possible.

I did find the exact stuff at: http://www.awcwire.com/part.aspx?partname=6860015-54

However, when I contacted them, they have none in stock and a rather large production run would have to be ordered in order to get any at all. I don't have that kind of money lying around. As someone else pointed out, someone must make the stuff; we just have to find out who.

Until then, save your defunct irons; the cords are worth more than the rest of the parts! :lol:

Regards,
Jim T.
KB6GM

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 04, 2014 3:01 am 
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I didn't notice that it was a UK Mouser link. Bought mine from Mouser USA a couple of years ago.

Not cheap. It was about USD $25

I think Newark carries them:

http://www.newark.com/weller/tc217/repl ... dp/52F5681

TC217 is the part number for the silicone cord with connectors.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 04, 2014 9:37 am 
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Location: Monterey California USA
I agree with Rich, just buy a new TC217 if that's all you need. You can't buy a decent soldering station for $ 26.

There is a site on the web where the original Weller instructions on changing the heaters, switches, and so forth are available as scanned documents. I just can't remember the URL to put here. The TC217 package may have instructions in it anyway.

Taking the pencil iron part apart and reassembling with new parts is a bit like putting the ketchup back in the bottle, but I used to overhaul dozens of them annually at work a century ago and never had any issues. The newer model with the plug-in heater assembly is a lot easier to service compared to the old one with the screw-mounted and hard-wired heater. But it does take some patience and practice. The most fragile part is the magnetic switch, with that stupid flimsy yellow tape wrapped around it, and the capacitor usually bent the wrong way to properly fit the switch.

The silicone cord is silicone so that it doesn't wind up getting melted or burned by people who wind up touching the iron against it. For some reason I have yet to ever find a bad one, but I imagine I was just lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 04, 2014 9:54 am 
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..with the greatest of respect for Geoff and not to fuel a debate, the operative word there is "hundreds". It's the first one that's a bitch. Once you get the hang of it, then it's modrately plain sailing. But parts and time add up on ol' number one enough to justify the WES-51, believe me!

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 04, 2014 5:06 pm 
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On second thought, maybe I got it at Digi-Key. They are one of my dependable sources, like Mouser.

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... ND/1764599

The replacement was pretty easy. I have also replaced heater cartridges, I think twice in 30 years.

The silicone cord developed breaks, probably from years of flexing. I thought about making my own, but the flexibility of the OEM cord is so good, I didn't think I could match it with home-brew.

Rich

http://www.qsource.com/popup.aspx?src=/ ... _TC218.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sun 05, 2014 2:02 am 
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Quote:
.The silicone cord developed breaks, probably from years of flexing. I thought about making my own, but the flexibility of the OEM cord is so good, I didn't think I could match it with home-brew.


Quote:
I did find the exact stuff at: http://www.awcwire.com/part.aspx?partname=6860015-54

However, when I contacted them, they have none in stock and a rather large production run would have to be ordered in order to get any at all. I don't have that kind of money lying around. As someone else pointed out, someone must make the stuff; we just have to find out who..


This cord seems to have almost magical properties. I have used and abused Weller soldering stations for almost 40 years and I've never had a bad cord.

I suspect if you probe deep enough, what you are probably going to find is that this cord was originally used in some sort of special mil-spec application that has few civilian uses that justify the cost. That's why it's so hard to find; regular production lines for it probably don't exist.

I second the notion that the cost of replacement irons for these older Weller stations are outrageous. When you think about it, the construction of the WES51 iron assembly is not materially different from the EC1201s that my two older Dial-a-temp wellers uses....yet that one is only about $40.00 and the 1201 is $120.00. It's clear that Apex simply wants you to buy a whole new station.


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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sun 05, 2014 10:42 am 
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Greetings to the Forum:

I assumed that Weller gets their cord stock from somewhere, so someone must make it. However, Primativeradiogod may very well be correct.... Weller's stock and that of the government may be all that exist.... sigh. :(

My particular cord exhibited an unusual failure. While the outer jacket appears to be silicone rubber, the inner conductors appear to be ordinary rubber. The outer jacket is in fine shape, but the inner insulation has completely degraded chemically. The cord shorted at the bend where it enters the pencil. I attempted to repair it by shortening it, but there was no insulation worthy of the name in the whole cord.... it had all degraded to a black powdery mess. A replacement was the only option.

I did a temporary replacement with some microphone cord I had lying around, but it is so stiff that it is difficult to rotate the iron 180 degrees to tin both sides of a chisel tip. So, hopefully, when my new cord gets here, I will be back in business.

However, if anyone runs across some bulk 3-conductor original stock, please put me down for some.

Regards,
Jim T.
KB6GM

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 11, 2014 6:49 am 
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Greetings to the Forum:

Update: New Old Stock cord from eBay installed and iron is working. Unfortunately, NOS is problematical in this case. While the cord outer jacket and rubber insulation were in fine shape, the fact remains that the inner conductor insulation is ordinary rubber. As a result, the copper conductors within were totally black due to sulfur in the rubber reacting with the copper. This made the wire the very devil to tin.

I managed it and the iron is working, but a source of new cord, especially with silicone rubber insulation throughout and not just in the outer jacket would be very useful.

Regards,
Jim T.
KB6GM

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 11, 2014 3:06 pm 
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I think most of the Weller connections were originally crimped? Maybe that helped with the connectivity.

I'm to the point now that I buy replacement irons when they start wearing out. Unless it is the heating element (plug in) dealing with thermostats, sensors and aged materials becomes more trouble than it is worth. I just picked up two replacement EC-1201A irons for my stations; one was old NOS and other had very light usage.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Weller Soldering Iron Cord
PostPosted: Oct Sat 11, 2014 11:58 pm 
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Greetings to Peter and the Forum:

My iron is old enough that the original connection method was dinky wire nuts. I don't trust these with badly corroded wire, hence the need to tin.

I guess I should look for newer replacement irons. I have (or had before my move) a whole box of soldering stations. I hope it made it up here, but I can't put my hands on it. (Sigh)

Regards,
Jim T.
KB6GM

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