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Summary of available soldering
A good soldering station can be quite inexpensive, as you'll see from
the list below (provided by Tom Hammond, N0SS). But it can make a huge difference in ease of kit assembly, as well as electrical performance,
as compared to a conventional soldering iron. The latter is likely to have very poor temperature control, and may have the wrong type of tip
for IC and transistor work.
Please let us know if you find one or more of these units to be unavailable.
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BEST PRICE OF ALL:
This is a very nice T/C station. Certainly worth the $$$. They offer a decent assortment of tips available as well. The company is Circuit Specialists, Scottsdale AZ; they've been in business for a long time.
This is the T/C station I have and I dearly love it. Very solid. Hakko makes a LOT of different tips for this iron. The URL shown has the best pricing I've been able to find on this station.
Weller WES50 T/C station. Looks to be VERY good. I'd much prefer it to the WTCPT everyone seems to be so enamored with. Mainly because you have temperature control WITHOUT having the change tips for each new heat range (as is required for the WTCPT). And of course, Weller offers a pretty wide variety of tips for this iron as well.
For a temperature-controlled soldering station, I'd recommend the following:
(Prices as of 23 Oct., 2002)
Hakko 936-9 with/907 iron $74.72 Grounded tip, but NOT specifically ESD (electrostatic discharge) protected 936-12 with /907 iron 84.17 includes added ESD protection
Both the Hakko 936-9 and the 936-12 come with the 907 iron attached, and include the 1.6mm chisel tip.
I'd suggest you consider investing in several additional tips as well, to match whatever width PC board pad you are working on. I try to use a tip that's about 75%-90% the width of the pad... helps to prevent solder shorts between adjacent pads.
Download the HAKKO Tips & Nozzles catalog from: http://www.hakkousa.com/Products/Tips-Nozzles/TC2000-04.pdf
The tips you're looking for are the 900M & 900L series.
900M-T-LB Long, round, .008" tip, really skinny, helpful when cleaning out PCB holes
900M-T-1.2D .047" Chisel tip --
900M-T-1.6D .063" Chisel tip |-- For PCB work. The HAKKO 936-12 | and -9 models ship with the 900M-T-1.6D tip included.
900M-T-2.4D .095" Chisel tip --
900M-T-3.2D .126" Chisel tip - For non-PCB work
900M-T-S3 .205" Chisel tip - For heavy-duty work, incl. Coax Conns.
900L-T-S1 .221" Chisel tip - For heavy-duty work, but might be too wide for Coax Conns. The 900M-T-S3 is probably a better choice.
All of these tips are (I believe) available from: http://www.tequipment.net/HakkoPriceList4.html
I'm sure they're available from a number of other vendors, but the prices are this site are better than I've found elsewhere.
If you're interested in the Hakko model 808 DE-Soldering Gun, check out: http://www.tequipment.net/Hakko808.html and http://www.tequipment.net/HakkoPriceList4.html , for pricing.
The #A1394 (long, thin) nozzle for the Hakko 808 can be found on page 20 of the Tips & Nozzles catalog (URL at top of page), and prising is at: http://www.tequipment.net/HakkoPriceList8.html
I have NO interest in ANY of the conpanies references above
It 'would be a good idea to add Gary's comments... EVERYONE trusts Gary! In
fact, it might be good to REPLACE my comments here with his.
At 08:05 PM 10/11/01, Gary Surrency wrote:
I have had the Solomon soldering station sold by Circuit Specialists for more than 8 years. I bought the digital one they have for $85, and the one Tom mentions is the same except it has an analog slide temp control. I'm very happy with it.
They are actually in Mesa, even though they say they are in Scottsdale. I also bought my 100MHz scope from them.
73, Gary AB7MY