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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › Soldering Iron
01-12-2009 01:47 AM  9 years agoPost 21
Tailspinner

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JAMAICA, NY

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Any iron will do the job. The question is how efficiently will it do the job? I've always found that the lower wattage irons will heat your work faster than melt the solder. Higher wattage with a light touch gets the job done better. Also look for an iron that takes a 3/8 inch tip. I was able to fashion my own tips from the same size copper rod. (very cost effective)

Are you on the list?

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01-12-2009 02:24 AM  9 years agoPost 22
Clintstone

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GA

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I use the Weller 40 watt. A broad tip helps transfer the heat an tinning the tip also helps transfer the heat. I found some 60/40 soldier at radio shack that is easy to work with. The weller unit from Ron's is the same one that I use.

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01-12-2009 02:26 AM  9 years agoPost 23
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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Details
I learned long ago that good solder joints come from using an iron that is large enough and powerful enough to keep the tip hot at all times.

There is a big difference between total heat temperature and total heat energy.

Example:

Take a bathtub full of warm water and compare it to a tea cup full of boiling hot water. Which one has more heat energy? We know the tea cup is much hotter, but it cannot do much work.

Lets throw a 40 pound dumbell in the freezer for a while so it gets really cold.

Now, take that dumbell out and pour the hot water on it from the tea cup. The water is very hot, but it only has a limited amount of total heat energy. It cannot effectively change the temperature of the 40 pound dumbell very much. The water will cool off before the job is done. That heat will transfer in a flash and be useless to finish the job.

Next, take a frozen dumbell and put it in the warm bathwater. Although the water is only warm, there is a lot more heat energy due to volume. When water molecules touch the dumbell they transfer the cold out of the dumbell. As more and more water transfers that cold out, there is a large supply of warm water standing in line to do their share of the job. Eventually the dumbell will be warmed up and the bathwater will only be slightly cooler than when it started.

The same theory applies to soldering. A small iron may get hot, but it won't have the mass to transfer enough total heat energy to the deans connector, solder, and wire. A super hot but small iron will fizzle out early.

The larger the iron, the cooler you can set the temperature and still get the job done. This helps prevent the plastic body of the deans connector from melting.

Remember that the wire, plug, solder, etc. all transfer heat away from the work site. Flash heat will quickly disipate away from the work area. A small iron won't be able to keep sending the needed heat to get the job done. Irons don't heat up quickly.

Now, we have to talk about speed. The goal is to get the solder and joining parts very hot in the shortest amount of time possible. The only way to accomplish this effectively is via surface area. The more surface area on the soldering iron tip you can touch to the work site, the more heat can travel in a designated amount of time. This is just like a small hose verses a large hose. Remember VOLUME.

You want to touch the worksite and instantly have the job done. If you have to wait for the parts to heat up and the solder to melt, you are losing all that energy into the power wires, battery, motor, esc, etc. You DON"T want those parts to see any heat. One half of a second should be long enough to "get r done". More than that is inefficient.

Get in and get out. This is the best way to solder.

Now, a big tip and plenty of power behind it is what works best. However, a big tip and average power is still better than a high wattage iron with a small tip.

Does any of this help at all?

Tyler

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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01-12-2009 02:39 AM  9 years agoPost 24
what_the_helli

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cookeville, tn USA

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very nice analogy Tyler that should help out someone for sure!

I put the fun in dysFUNctional :)
Team KBDD & Funding by TnPrintMasters.com

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01-12-2009 03:36 AM  9 years agoPost 25
Steeltoes

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Mankato MN

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I had an Ungar for a long time when I was racing the rc cars and it was excellent but I don't think you can find those anymore.
Has been bought out by Weller

AMA #913061

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01-12-2009 03:48 AM  9 years agoPost 26
rcjon

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Macon, GA

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And as I recently learned, if the tip is not clean, it won't melt anything.

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01-12-2009 04:28 AM  9 years agoPost 27
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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if the tip is not clean, it won't melt anything
True, but lets not throw the soldering iron in the bathtub with the dumbells...

Tyler

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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01-12-2009 04:48 AM  9 years agoPost 28
fiveoboy01

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Waunakee, WI - USA

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I have this:

Runs about 85-95 bucks at most major online hobby shops.

Awesome iron. I can't believe I suffered with an orange-handle Weller for years.. Never again

Mikado Logo 400, hopefully ready by spring.

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01-12-2009 04:53 AM  9 years agoPost 29
TJinGuy

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Socorro, NM - USA

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I use a Pace ST-25 soldering station and it has been one of the best tools I have purchased. I have used cheap models and yes they will work but they don't even compare to a good solder station.

My question is, why do people have no problem spending $20 on a swash leveling tool they will hardly use but refuse to spend $100 on a good soldering iron they will use often. Plus a heli will fly with an unlevel swash but not if a connection to a deans connector fails

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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01-12-2009 05:30 AM  9 years agoPost 30
Anthony.L

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Seattle, WA

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Weller WES51 analog or digital soldering stations are the best period. You can get them at many local electronic shops and if there is a Fry's in your area they carry them along with replacement tips. The key is having the right tip for the job, best to pick up a couple different sizes. Get a large chisel for things like deans on batteries, and pin point tip for working on small stuff like replacing 72mhz antenna wire on a RX.

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01-12-2009 05:31 AM  9 years agoPost 31
Anthony.L

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Seattle, WA

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FYI, the Hako is a cheap $35 chinese made iron, if you pay $80-100 for it in a hobby shop you are throwing away your money.

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01-12-2009 06:51 AM  9 years agoPost 32
fiveoboy01

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Waunakee, WI - USA

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Really? Where can I get it for $35?

Mikado Logo 400, hopefully ready by spring.

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01-12-2009 07:55 AM  9 years agoPost 33
Anthony.L

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Seattle, WA

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Really? Where can I get it for $35?
I honestly don't care enough to go find it again, ran across it several times in the past.

The point of my comment was don't buy the cheap Hako, get a quality Weller instead.

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01-12-2009 07:58 AM  9 years agoPost 34
fiveoboy01

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Waunakee, WI - USA

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Hmm... I didn't figure you "knew" where to find it.

Mine gets just as hot and makes just as good a solder joint as your "superior" Weller. That makes my iron inferior how? Please specifically list what makes the Hakko iron inferior. Please do explain. TRY to leave price out of it, if you can....

Mikado Logo 400, hopefully ready by spring.

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01-12-2009 08:58 AM  9 years agoPost 35
Marty55

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Spokane, WA

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Is 60/40 rosin flux core solder good?, will that do the job?

I am taking back my 25 watt weller, but i want to keep the solder i bought. and its 60/40

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01-12-2009 10:38 AM  9 years agoPost 36
Barney

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Inverness Scotland

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The Butane Gas(lighter Fuel) Soldering bolts are small, compact and can be taken to the field, have a good heat range and are a lot more versitile than the mains powered ones.

SPARTANRC Team pilot

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01-12-2009 11:36 AM  9 years agoPost 37
Synthax

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Warsaw - Poland

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Marty55

It depands. It should be sufficient for You. But.. when you use a big amperage, and for example you want to make a123 packs you shoud have a possibility to choose the power between 20-150W. Or have the two tools. Mostly i use 60watt at my rc works - servo, esc and so on.. But some times i wonder to have small like 15 W for precise works and 150 W for a123...

At some point it becomes your lifestyle

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01-12-2009 03:17 PM  9 years agoPost 38
Anthony.L

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Seattle, WA

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Please specifically list what makes the Hakko iron inferior.
I raced RC cars for 3 years and the Hakko 936 is very popular in the RC racing scene because of the price tag. I've used a Hakko on many occasions when mine wasn't available. My number one issue is the heat from the iron "goes quicker", in other words you have heat for less amount of time while soldering with the Hakko. The Weller keeps a lot more heat in the iron tip and makes soldering much easier and less likely to get a "cold joint". Also while soldering it felt like the Weller was hotter even though both say the same temp on the dial. I've even played with removing the small black plug under the 936 temp dial and cranking it up even more.

I've been soldering in RC for 15 years, owned 2 Wellers in that time period (one was older then me), and they are the best hand down. I've even used the $600 Hakko and was not all that impressed.

It's natural for you to feel defensive when I came on here and told you that your $100 investment was worthless...but hey life isn't always good news.

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01-12-2009 04:38 PM  9 years agoPost 39
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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If the heat "goes quicker", then get a thicker/bigger tip. It really has nothing to do with the iron, it is about how much stored heat the tip holds. Maybe some irons have bigger tips by design but the iron station is not at fault there.

As for Weller being the best, that is not the truth. They do make nice soldering equipment but there are lots of brands that make nice stuff. They are the cheapest of the nice stuff if you ask me, not that that is a bad thing but that is how I see it. Plus the new stations look gay. I like the old WES51s and stuff. Another gripe is that they don't all share parts like the Pace stuff does. I like the idea of being able to use the same iron on anything from a $4000 unit to a $150 unit

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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01-12-2009 04:57 PM  9 years agoPost 40
fiveoboy01

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Waunakee, WI - USA

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I raced RC cars for 3 years and the Hakko 936 is very popular in the RC racing scene because of the price tag. I've used a Hakko on many occasions when mine wasn't available. My number one issue is the heat from the iron "goes quicker", in other words you have heat for less amount of time while soldering with the Hakko. The Weller keeps a lot more heat in the iron tip and makes soldering much easier and less likely to get a "cold joint". Also while soldering it felt like the Weller was hotter even though both say the same temp on the dial. I've even played with removing the small black plug under the 936 temp dial and cranking it up even more.

I've been soldering in RC for 15 years, owned 2 Wellers in that time period (one was older then me), and they are the best hand down. I've even used the $600 Hakko and was not all that impressed.
As someone else pointed out, that has to do with the tip and nothing else.... Simple laws of heat retention say that the tip is what holds the heat... Nothing more. Even so I've never had such an issue with mine.
It's natural for you to feel defensive when I came on here and told you that your $100 investment was worthless...but hey life isn't always good news.
Not defensive in the least.

You asserted that the Hakko is junk and that it's a $35 iron.

I asked you to show me where it costs $35(you couldn't), and I asked you to show me what makes the Hakko inferior in terms of construction and performance(you didn't).

I see that brand snobbery here isn't just limited to helis

Mikado Logo 400, hopefully ready by spring.

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