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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 13th Oct 2006, 6:51 pm   #1
Sam
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Default Weller Magnastat TCP-1

I bought this in town today from the stall on the Friday Market that sells old tools. It looked in good nick, the bloke said it worked, and I need a decent soldering iron. As lots of good things have been said about these Weller Irons on here I bought it. Now comes the dumb question...

How do you vary the temperature? There isn't anything on the base unit (which I have looked inside - just a transformer) or the Iron itself that looks to me like a 'twiddly-thing' to adjust the temperature.

A bit of work on the cable to the Iron, dress the bit with a file, and a new mains lead and I will have a handy tool. 12 well spent I feel!

Sam

P.S. 'twiddly-thing' is an engineering term.
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Old 13th Oct 2006, 7:24 pm   #2
jim_beacon
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

Sam,

The bit sets the temprature - to change temp, you change the bit. If it is a proper magnastat bit, it will have a number stamped in the bottom (and be magnetic).

If not, the element will run flat out, and it will get very hot.....

Jim.
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Old 13th Oct 2006, 7:38 pm   #3
Kat Manton
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

Hi,

To add to that; the number on the bit is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit divided by 100. I tend to use a number 8 (800 degrees F) in fine pointy conical style for most stuff but have a big chunky screwdriver no. 9 for soldering car battery terminals and bits of brass and steel. I've some random 5, 6 and 7 bits in a tin but these don't see much use. I think 7 is considered "normal" but my soldering style is fast and very well refined so I prefer an 8

How it works: It works by using the Curie Point of the metal. Above a certain temperature it decides not to be magnetic. It cools down a bit and becomes magnetic again. This operates a switch; the switch turns the element (24V 45W usually) on and off. Hence "Magnastat" - Magnetic Thermostat. Simple, not much to go wrong, in my opinion these irons rock - been using one since 1986

Regards, Kat
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Old 13th Oct 2006, 8:45 pm   #4
Sean Williams
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

A file? No, No, No!

If the bit is worn, then you need a new one - attacking a tcp bit with a file is a bit like attacking a Bonneville with a chainsaw......

Cheers
Sean
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Old 13th Oct 2006, 9:00 pm   #5
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

I'd agree with Sean there.
One of the good things about TCP bits compared to those of lesser irons is that the bits seem to last forever, just wipe on a damp sponge, tin and off you go. I have some TCP tips that must be at least 35 years old and have seen lots of use with no serious signs of deterioration.

John
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Old 13th Oct 2006, 9:11 pm   #6
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Exclamation Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

Soldering iron bit for a TCP-1.

A bit of advice (yes, pun intended!) . . .

DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, file the end!
The "business" end of the tip is plated over the copper beneath. If you file away - or even make a small hole in the plating - the copper beneath will very quickly migrate into subsequent solder joints, leaving a cavity at the end of the bit. The bit is then useless.

The important thing with these bits is always keep them clean - hence the sponge pad. And don't use the iron for making holes in plastic by melting. This causes non-recoverable contamination of the plating, and any further soldering with it will be impossible.

By and large, they are quite good irons for lightweight soldering. The only occasional problem is a bit that either won't get warm (let alone hot) or a bit that gets far too hot. The usual cause of this trouble is a sticky thermostat switch inside the handle. This 'stat is available as a spare part.

BTW ~ Note: TCP-1 = lightweight soldering. If you find yourself needing to do medium to heavyweight stuff, you need a much more powerful iron. Personally, my favourite is the RF-powered "Metcal" - will solder almost any chunk of copper - snag is, though, they are very expensive!

Hope some of that helps.

Al.
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Last edited by Skywave; 13th Oct 2006 at 9:14 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old 14th Oct 2006, 8:11 am   #7
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

OK then, I won't file it! Sounds like I have been cruel to my three-quid iron from Durham market in the past then.

It is fitted with a No. 7 bit. I will get the cable repaired and see if I can tin the bit.

Sam
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Old 14th Oct 2006, 7:22 pm   #8
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Wink Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

Just a last thought Sam - it's worthwhile getting a number 8 and especially a number 9, for those odd occasions when you need a lot of heat. Err, well, within the limitations of a 45-watt iron, that is.

Al.
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Old 16th Oct 2006, 8:55 am   #9
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

I have always used these irons at work and recently acquired one for use at home. The standard bit used at work is the PTAA7. I find it useful to have an armoury of other bits both large and small. For heavy work like soldering to chassis a No8 temperature bit comes into its own.
Neil
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Old 16th Oct 2006, 9:58 am   #10
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

One point to watch with these irons is that the bits can seize into the tube on the iron element. Remove the bit regularly to stop this happening. Otherwise a very good industry standard workshop iron. Now you just need a Weller Pyropen gas iron for portable stuff (and to warm your hands on when working outdoors)

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Old 16th Oct 2006, 4:11 pm   #11
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

funny enough I bought one of these Weller transformers with a TCP1 iron at the last Harpendon, it works fine and the bit is good it just had the sponge pad missing, can anyone tell me where I can obtain spare bits and what the part numbers are, it looks like it came with a med bit, just had a look like Sams its a No 7 could do with one a little smaller for pc boards and one a bit larger good pun in there somewhere
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Old 16th Oct 2006, 4:23 pm   #12
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Default Re: Weller Magnastat TCP-1

All the PTxxx series bits are in the RS catalogue. Or they were last time I looked which was some time ago.

The 2 letters after the PT define the shape and size. The number at the end is the operating temperature. 7 for 700F, 8 for 800F are the most useful.

I usually use a PTAA7 for PCBs and other fairly fine work.
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