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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 08:33:56 AM



Title: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 08:33:56 AM
Good Morning everyone.

I would love to get advice on a good soldering Iron and what accessories I would need.
I have a basic one from home Depot it was about $20. But I know there are better ones out there.

What I am using it for.
Primarily it will be used for soldering wires together for Sound boards and DCC install on engines.

I will eventually need it for soldering track wires and so forth.

What type of solder is the best? Where to get it? Radio shack?
What accessories?  Like holders for the solder it self.  or wire holder to help me when I need and extra hand.

Thanks for the help!

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: ebtbob on January 02, 2010, 09:10:22 AM
Robert,

      I have a nice unit from Weller.   It has a master base with an iron holder and a sponge to wipe of the iron's tip.   The base has a rotary switch which allows you to use of one of any five heat levels available.  I love the thing and found it a great unit especially if you are new to soldering.   BTW....there are also replacement tips of different styles,  one of which is a "needle"  point,  good for the small areas.


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Tim on January 02, 2010, 10:29:09 AM
Robert

The soldering station Bob is talking about is the Weller "WLC100" it is an excellent
piece of equipment, it can do very fine work and with the change of a tip can solder
rail or parts onto a brass model.  Price is about $50.00 .

Tim Anders
Souderton, PA


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 10:41:47 AM
ebtbob & Tim

I found it on Amazon for $50 to where I have a gift card.  I also saw the WES51 for $90  I may need to do some research on the brand to learn more.

BTW what solder do you recommend for my work in wiring?

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 02, 2010, 12:36:16 PM
i have been using the weller wlc100 for a few years. i set the heat control halfway for most soldering.
i use radio shack solder which is sometimes called electrical solder. i like to use a dab of rosin flux also.
stay away from hardware store solder which is usually acid based soldering for soldering copper pipes in homes.
lowes and home depot will most probably have electrical solder. i use the smallest size solder.
practice on scrap wire/track. good soldering is an art that develops with practice and experience. You might say, it is not plug and play for most people.
makes sure the spot you are soldering is clean. when soldering to track, I uses a scratch brush to brighten up the metal.

links about the weller with prices. migth help to get extra sponges or rob one from the kitchen sink.

http://tinyurl.com/yes3m3j

scratch brush

http://tinyurl.com/ydazvhx

lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 12:49:11 PM
Lex
Thanks I like that brush. Now there are 2 things I want from that store.


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 02, 2010, 01:08:24 PM
Lex
Thanks I like that brush. Now there are 2 things I want from that store.


micro mark has a pretty good selection of tools. get an extra brush refill.

some links to soldering.

part of andy sperandeo book.

http://tinyurl.com/yelm74l

http://tinyurl.com/yfvghkm

in my local club before i joined, the hand laid track was installed using acid core solder. the expert who did it said the solder was ok if cleaned with alcohol after soldering. he said the acid based stuff made it easier to solder. he did do excellent track and turnout work. that was done around 1984. i have even found a forum where someone said acid based makes soldering track easier and just clean it up with alcohol.

years later, 1990s we started to have occasional poor connections where the feeder wires have come loose because of residual acid in the solder joint. even an occasional track joint.
i found back then he was using acid paste also. since he was gone, i threw out all the old solder and paste.

lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 01:25:20 PM
Lex

That is a great book. I need to get that too!
Below I post some of the Weller Tips  which ones are good for my application?  I heard needle but I am guessing that is ST7 or ST6

(http://i885.photobucket.com/albums/ac56/Robertj668/WELLER_B000AS28UC-3-lg.jpg)

I am going to order the Soldering iron today and maybee a few tips on eBay! too!
I need to figure out the with of the solder as well.

Thank you everyone in taking an interest in this!

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 02, 2010, 01:43:43 PM
i have the st7 along with the tip the station comes with. sometimes i do pc board work and the st7 is good for that kind of work.

i also use the below item that helps keep the tip clean. you will find some nay sayers say you don't need extra flux or tip cleaner but after soldering for nearly 40 years, those items still are an advantage to me.

http://tinyurl.com/ykjjx5q

no doubt there are people who can solder with a simple pencil iron. more power to them but i like the extra helps.
don't forget the practice part. for some difficult jobs, i even practce a little. never know what you will run into.
a suggestion, copy all the text from messages in the forums that interest  you and paste them into a word document for future reference.
i must have nearly 2 gb of documents, photos, videos for model railroad reference.

i have about fifty links in favorites for different model railroad subjects for myself and to help others.

fun hobby.

lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 02, 2010, 08:01:48 PM
I just ordered the following;

"Easy Model Railroad Wiring, Second Edition (Model Railroader)"
"Weller WLC100 Soldering Station for Hobbyist and Do-It-Yourselfer"

Thank you for the advice. 

I am going to order a few tips from another web site as Amazon was a bit confusing on that part.

AS for the old I think I am getting the 60/40 Non acid solder for electric.

Is the rosin core good? 

What size.

Sorry for all of the extra quesitons but this is definitely not my specialty.

Robert

PS Lex Thanks for all the help!



Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 02, 2010, 08:19:40 PM
i forgot about the solder size. the size i use is 0.032" OD with rosin core, 60/40 which many use.
there is larger diameter but many years ago i got away from soldering in tube circuits and settled on this size solder for solid state circuit use. i bought a 1 lb roll some years ago.
an example below.
for soldering feeders to track, you might kick up the control to maybe 3/4. been a while since i did any track soldering and what i did had wood ties.

another thought, many people cut a couple plastic ties out from track joints, solder, trim the tie and slide it back in place. usually will not be noticed that the tie plate on the tie has been trimmed away. you can do that where a feeder is attached also. tricks you will figure out as you learn.
http://tinyurl.com/yjm9lzx

Just in case, you cannot solder to aluminum or stainless steel with this stuff.
you can solder to brass but clean it good with the scratch brush and use extra flux.
just some added thoughts.

Lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: glennk28 on January 02, 2010, 09:19:52 PM
All I can do is ssecond what has already been recommended.  A good thermostaticaly-controlled pencil iron for work on the bench, I like a heavy-duty Weller D-550 gun for track wiring,  the small-diameter 60/40 solder--and I use No-Ko-Rode paste flux.   

For work on brass models, I have a heavy-duty HoTip resistance unit, and a Blazer butane torch. 

gj


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: jward on January 03, 2010, 01:53:29 AM
it is a little more expensive, but silver bearing solder has a stronger bond than standard solder.

what you don't want to use is the standard acid core solder as used by plumbers. it is not good for electrical connections as the acid causes corrosion. stick with rosin core solder, and only use a rosin based flux.


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 03, 2010, 12:37:58 PM
Thanks Jeff and GJ for the info
I cannot wait for Amazon to ship my Soldering Iron!

I just need to get the solder.

GJ - Where can I get the Silver bearing solder?

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 03, 2010, 01:04:27 PM
again, radio shack.
http://tinyurl.com/ykwef26

maybe home depot of lowes. i have never check there though.

i bought a 1 lb roll of silver bearing solder about ten years ago but it cost $38.00 a 1 lb roll. great stuff.
it cost about $44 a roll now. it is used in high end audio circuit pc boards.
forgot to mention, i put my 60/40 solder aside some time ago and forget i am even using the silver solder now.

lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 03, 2010, 01:23:33 PM
Thanks Lex

Well I will try both
I see radio shack has silver bearing with rosin core and with out. The 1.5 oz rosin core was about $6 and the 1 oz with out the rosin core was about the same price.

I put the link in just in case anyone else is following this.

http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=silver%20bearing%20solder&origkw=silver%20bearing%20solder&sr=1

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: ebtbob on January 04, 2010, 09:32:45 PM
Good Evening All,

       Question......when this thread started,  the message and my reply fit on my monitor screen.  Now,  starting at the beginning with the original post,  this seems to be supersized.   What the heck happened?   BTW......this is the only thread on any of the catagories that is like this.


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 04, 2010, 09:38:43 PM
Bob

I think it may be all of the inserted links? Some are lenghty. I noticed it too the other day.  I thought it was my browser. I thought it was on another post but after looking at a other posts I think this is the only one.

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 04, 2010, 10:17:12 PM
Bob

I think it may be all of the inserted links? Some are lenghty. I noticed it too the other day.  I thought it was my browser. I thought it was on another post but after looking at a other posts I think this is the only one.

Robert

i converted all my links with tiny url. Did that make any difference?

Lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: NarrowMinded on January 05, 2010, 01:20:51 AM
It fixed mine, I wondered why this thread was wider and made me use the scroll bar to read it. Now it is fine.


NM


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: bevernie on January 05, 2010, 05:13:13 PM
GREETINGS!! ;D Some time back, I ordered a "COLD HEAT" soldering outfit (off tv), but never used it. ??? It's a battery-powered iron that is supposed to only produce heat at the tip at only the precise moment that you need it. -Never enough heat to damage anything; :o it only melts the solder and causes it to do only what it is supposed to do! ;)
 Has anyone used one of these?
 I'm thinking about getting mine out and trying it(FINALLY!!)!! ::)
                                                                                           THANX!!
                                                  8)                                        Ernie


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 05, 2010, 06:37:10 PM
our club bought the cold heat some time ago. Mostly a waste of money. you need ideal conditions for it to work and then not much battery time. it is very good for producing frustration though so I guess it is not a total waste. Don't forget, these companies use ideal conditions for this to work in TV ads.
It is a resistance soldering iron. Search using google for resistance soldering iron if not familiar with it.
I have made my own resistance soldering iron and they do a very good job for certain soldering jobs. Track feeder wires are a very good job for these type irons but the cold heat just does not have enough power for this type of soldering.

Lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Robertj668 on January 05, 2010, 08:55:49 PM
I too had the "Cold Heat" soldering iron, I was not impressed. 

And the message post are back to normal for me too.

Robert


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: rich1998 on January 05, 2010, 09:00:54 PM

And the message post are back to normal for me too.

Robert

ok. I will try to remember to use the Tiny Url option in the future. I like to use links to prevent myself from interjecting incorrect opinions in messages.
Lex


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: NarrowMinded on January 05, 2010, 10:55:52 PM
I have a cold heat gun and found after practice it works ok, but only on very fine wire and it is best for soldering the backside of circuit boards. I use it in the field when I run out of fuel for my butane powered unit.

NM


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: jward on January 06, 2010, 06:04:53 AM
i, too, had a cold heat. i found it to be totally worthless for most model railroad applications. i couldn't solder rail joints with in, or feeder wires to the track, or even rail ro pc board ties. for what they cost you can get  a soldering iron that will do all those things and more, and still have money in your pocket.

cold heat is a prime example of why i never buy things "as seen on tv" as there are way too many hucksters hawking inferior products as a miracle solution. yeah....right. if it performs like they show on tv, that's the miracle.....


Title: Re: Would Like advice on a good Soldering Iron & accessories.
Post by: Jhanecker2 on January 06, 2010, 01:46:31 PM
Considering the amount of energy required to heat wires & and rails to soldering temperature , any battery operated device connected to dry cells would appear to be underpowered . I have used electrical soldering irons , soldering guns , butane microtorch soldering irons for wires.  I used resistance soldering pliers at work when I was a Q.C. Inspector when soldering contacts and wires for testing and making up test equpment. We used  a " Triton " type resistance soldering transformer for contacts between #18 to #10 contacts . This worked very well in an industrial setting and resulted in very uniform solder joints.    We  had really heavy duty  resistance  for  larger work  ,  we built cables and connectors for  prototype railroad and mining equipment as part of our product lines. J2