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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 609
Loc: It's grim up north.
Soldering iron wattage for PCB work.
      #1090177 - 22/02/14 11:01 AM
I have an old QSC PLX1602 that has the dreaded dodgy ribbon connectors (A well known fault on a certain serial no, batch).

Not had a look inside it yet, but from what i have read its pretty small\close 20 pin connectors. My iron is 25w, IIRC, but was thinking maybe something less brutal?


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Happy Birthday Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090186 - 22/02/14 11:43 AM
Power really isn't the issue, it's soldering technique, solder flux, and the tip size that matter!

I use a 48W temperature-controlled iron as standard.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 553
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090191 - 22/02/14 12:08 PM
A good temperature controlled iron is really important.

Tim


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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 609
Loc: It's grim up north.
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090208 - 22/02/14 02:50 PM
Thank you gentlemen, all good advice. I have a desoldering pump laying around somewhere that should make removal (hopefully) easier.


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3685
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090219 - 22/02/14 05:44 PM
Although it seems counter-intuitive, a lower powered is more likely to damage the board. This is because it takes longer to heat the part you want to work on, so more heat spreads through the components and trackwork.

Generally, if at all possible (with the exception of surface mount) I recommend carefully breaking up parts to be removed in situ then desoldering and removing - I use tweezers - one leg at a time.

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10774
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090241 - 22/02/14 09:44 PM
Another vote for a decent temperature controlled iron - I use a 50W one at home and usually an older 60W one at work although various people have tried to tempt me to use those fancy soldering stations which just seem too wimpy to me.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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nathanscribe



Joined: 19/01/07
Posts: 818
Loc: Yorkshire, by 'eck.
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: Folderol]
      #1090279 - 23/02/14 12:28 PM
Quote Folderol:

Although it seems counter-intuitive, a lower powered is more likely to damage the board. This is because it takes longer to heat the part you want to work on, so more heat spreads through the components and trackwork.




Interesting. Never thought of that. *starts browsing supplier catalogues*

--------------------
my nerdy synth tech blog


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Happy Birthday Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Posts: 21916
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: nathanscribe]
      #1090297 - 23/02/14 02:23 PM
There are some quite acceptable digitally-controlled 50W (ish) Duratool Soldering Stations on CPC for well under £50. Perfectly adequate for light domestic applications.

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: nathanscribe]
      #1090354 - 23/02/14 09:49 PM
Quote nathanscribe:

Quote Folderol:

Although it seems counter-intuitive, a lower powered is more likely to damage the board. This is because it takes longer to heat the part you want to work on, so more heat spreads through the components and trackwork.




Interesting. Never thought of that. *starts browsing supplier catalogues*




Thought I'd posted this? http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/48w-lcd-display-solder-station-used-b94ln

I was a Magnastat devotee for 30 years but circumstances forced me to buy that and it has served me very well for 3 years. CPC also sell it.
I would not use a solder sucker, I find they can lift print. Wick is the best bet and try to get hold of some 60/40 lead solder.

Dave.


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nathanscribe



Joined: 19/01/07
Posts: 818
Loc: Yorkshire, by 'eck.
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: ef37a]
      #1090356 - 23/02/14 09:54 PM
Yeah, I prefer wick too. Soldamop.

--------------------
my nerdy synth tech blog


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090821 - 26/02/14 04:22 PM
I'm still using one of these Weller temperature-controller soldering irons that's been going strong for over 40 years



It's 50 watts, has a fine enough tip to even attempt some SMD soldering tweaks, and you can even still get spare parts for it!

That's a workhorse for you.


Martin

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YewTreeMagic


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Happy Birthday Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21916
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Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #1090824 - 26/02/14 04:30 PM
I have a similar Weller which is certainly very well made and I do still use occasionally.

The problem is that the standard tips I have for it operate at too low a temperature for lead-free solder work.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #1090834 - 26/02/14 04:43 PM
Quote Martin Walker:

I'm still using one of these Weller temperature-controller soldering irons that's been going strong for over 40 years



It's 50 watts, has a fine enough tip to even attempt some SMD soldering tweaks, and you can even still get spare parts for it!

That's a workhorse for you.


Martin




Yes Martin, that's the one I started with many years ago. I used to maintain about 50 of the stations and about 100 pencils so got to know them quite well!
Spares you say? Well yes but be careful! Weller have changed the diameter of the element barrel and therefore the sleeve and old and new parts are no longer interchangeable.
There is probably no better iron for medium duty work and fine. The pencils are supplied with a #7 tip which is ok-ish for leaded solder and cable work but a much better general purpose bit is a "screwdiver" tip #8 which will work fine for Pbfree small caps and Rs. I had a chunky #9 that I used to extract 6pin switches but had to be wary as it runs at about the ignition point of paper!

So, very good tool yes, but pricey. The pencil alone will set you back more than a modest complete temp'stab' station these days. BTW if any of you have a gash traff about the place that can produce 12-30V at a couple of amps you just need to buy the pencil!

Dave.


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3685
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: mick.n]
      #1090870 - 26/02/14 07:48 PM
Our ancient workshop iron gave up the ghost about 3 years ago so the nice people got me one of these It's holding up very well, and I like the instantly switchable temperature settings (adjustable). It can also be set to automatically drop to a standby temperature after a while.

Typical of RS though they can't even describe their own products clearly. It gives the impression the iron voltage is 230V AC. It is actually 24V DC

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: Folderol]
      #1090907 - 26/02/14 11:50 PM
Actually the best solder station I ever used was this one..
http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_fx951.html

Auto shut off when you parked the pencil and even with a fairly fine tip it made easy work of tags and 3mm screens on PTFE cables I soldered for a time in big antennas for J.Beam Ltd.

Dave.


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dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
Posts: 2399
Loc: High Wycombe, UK
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: ef37a]
      #1090910 - 27/02/14 12:22 AM
I have a rather well used example of the FX951, the tips include the heating element so they are not particularly cheap, but last ages because of the way it drops the temp when put in the stand.
The availability of a 'hoof' tip for doing large smt packages is especially nice.

Great iron.

At work we have a modern Weller station that is also quite excellent (But about 700 quid!).

There is much to be said for high power irons with temperature control, ***MUCH*** nicer then arsing around with oldschool antex non temperature controlled 15W rubbish.

Regards, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Soldering iron wattage for PCB work. new [Re: dmills]
      #1090911 - 27/02/14 12:33 AM
Quote dmills:

I have a rather well used example of the FX951, the tips include the heating element so they are not particularly cheap, but last ages because of the way it drops the temp when put in the stand.
The availability of a 'hoof' tip for doing large smt packages is especially nice.

Great iron.

At work we have a modern Weller station that is also quite excellent (But about 700 quid!).

There is much to be said for high power irons with temperature control, ***MUCH*** nicer then arsing around with oldschool antex non temperature controlled 15W rubbish.

Regards, Dan.




Who here recalls the Henley Solon with the split-pin secured bit? (that you could never get out anyway!)
Junk.

Dave.


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