Author Topic: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)  (Read 1712 times)

remmelt

Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« on: December 22, 2005, 09:01:25 AM »
Did I just do it? Did I really start another soldering station thread?

Disclaimer
Yes, I used the search. Yes, I read all the other threads, sometimes even finding a couple of my own posts that I had forgotten about.
I know about the "magic wand" combination: the Xytronic station with the 63/37 solder and here's the thing: Xytronic is not for sale in Europe. There are websites reporting that it might be, but I've looked and looked and all we have here is Weller, Ersa, Voltcraft and Cruft. Cruft being the rest. I can't even locate the solder!

The reason
My birthday is coming up soon and I'm getting some cash to buy a soldering station. I now have a Weller pen with an old tip. It's been OK so far but it never really worked great. It seems that I lack heat or power or something, I always have to heat the parts a tad too long, making me nervous, making for bad work. I tried a Weller station from work once and it was way better, I think it might have had auto temp control because there was no dial and it felt like it wasn't too hot or too cold. I'm now looking at either an Ersa or a Weller.

The choices
60€: http://www.conrad.de/script/digitale_lotstation_whs.sap (The analog version)
80€: http://www.ersa.de/en/produkte/loetwerkzeuge/view-article.php?id=357&template=template_stationen&title=Soldering%20Stations
120€: http://www.ersa.de/en/produkte/loetwerkzeuge/view-article.php?id=285&template=template_stationen&title=Soldering%20Stations
130€: http://www.cooperhandtools.com/europe/electronics_products/weller/soldering/WTCP51.htm

The latter two are over my budget, which is about 80~100€, but I'd rather get something good that will last me 30 years than something that's not so good, ruins my fun and lasts only 3 months.

What I've learned so far
A summary of what I've learned from my researches:
- I need automatic temperature control. I'll see if I can afford that.
- Check out prices on tips. Looks OK, large range, reasonable prices.
- If you can, get one of those brass scouring pads instead of sponge.

My questions
- What wattage (ha) should I get? Is more better? What is enough? What does it mean anyway? Is wattage like power, the ability to maintain a certain heatlevel, startup speed?
-  Are there any other points that I should consider?

Conclusion
I just want to get something nice and I'm afraid to spend a lot of cash on something that will disappoint me later on, hence the new topic. I'ts too bad that there are so many computer parts comparison and review sites out there, but hardly anything for soldering stations. Eh, they do seem to be less of a commodity than a PC is...  :D
I hope I haven't bored you with more of the same... Many thanks!

remmelt

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 03:24:56 PM »
Come on people, it's not that bad is it?

I really don't know what the specs to a soldering machine mean, and the salespeople just want to sell me something expensive. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

Bernardduur

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2005, 03:43:21 PM »
I can't live with my Weller WHS-40..... It is still the old version (wich is a bit worse than the new ones; a lot of transformer noise) but it is ALWAYS there for me when I need it. It is quick warm, quick cold..... and more than enough watts.
Am learning something new every day here

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Steben

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2005, 03:46:09 PM »
I use a Velleman 25W soldering "stick", no station. It costs about 9,5€  :D
I soldered veroboards, PCB's, ... I desoldered BBD chips with it ...

Of course a station is practical, but I mean, practice is maybe better than euro's, no?
Is there something I don't see?
Rules apply only for those who are not allowed to break them

remmelt

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 04:43:13 PM »
Oh I know I should pratice more, point well taken. It's just that when I do have the opportunity to solder with a station, it's MUCH easier, and now I have the cash to get me one... But which one? What is good? What is not good? What is marketing fluff? What are the points I should watch? I have no idea!

 ???

Paul Perry (Frostwave)

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2005, 07:11:32 PM »
Being in Australia, I don't have experience with those. And not many people have experience with a NUMBER of different stations and irons... (I'm very very happy with Hakko, which is probably over budget in Europe).
But, searching Google Groups always gives a LOT of opinions on things like solderign stations, so i dsuggest reading there.
As for the wire tip cleaner, I use a stainless steel pot scouring wire thing in a squat wide mouth bottle.

Rick

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2005, 10:46:00 PM »
Yes your guess is right about Watts = Power. In fact the "PIE" power formula is very simply:
P (expressed in watts) = amps x volts ... ie 100 watts = 10 amps x 10 volts etc.   ...Rick

remmelt

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2005, 06:01:04 AM »
But, searching Google Groups always gives a LOT of opinions on things like solderign stations, so i dsuggest reading there.

Perfect! Why didn't I think of that? Thanks a lot!

Johan

Re: Yet another soldering station q (mostly for Europeans!)
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2005, 10:38:34 AM »
I'd say, get a new tip for your weller...the pen last a lifetime, but the tips dont..and sometimes someone somewhere has had the bad taste of changing the tip without paying attention to what number ( they are gradead after temperature ) when bying tips...I use a 2,4mm number "7" ( 380C )  and I use it for everything...but when I found it, it had a "6" wich wasnt what I was hoping for...the number is usualy stamped on the base of the tip..

johan
DON'T PANIC