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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 9:02 pm   #1
winston_1
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Default Solder station in Lidl

As in the title Lidl are selling a temp controlled solder station for under a tenner. Couldn't resist even if it was a poor mans Weller. Thought I ought to have some spare tips. Apparently you have to phone the help line in Germany, surely not. Tried Mr Google. Yes they are available but two would cost more (including postage) than the whole solder station which actually included two.

Something wrong here! Anyone know of a source of tips at a reasonable price, I guess less than £2 each.

The tips screw in with a M4 thread. Wonder if I could make tips by grinding down M4 bolts.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 8:33 am   #2
barrymagrec
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Stuff in Lidl is always good value for what it is but you have to careful that what it is is what you want. (A non maintainable solder station?)
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 8:56 am   #3
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Years a go I has a Lidl temp controlled iron. It was very noisy HF-wise and lasted only a few weeks, I suspect because the rating on it was 220v. The current one will be different presumably but just check the rating.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 9:33 am   #4
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Quote:
Originally Posted by winston_1 View Post
As in the title Lidl are selling a temp controlled solder station for under a tenner. Couldn't resist even if it was a poor mans Weller. Thought I ought to have some spare tips. Apparently you have to phone the help line in Germany, surely not. Tried Mr Google. Yes they are available but two would cost more (including postage) than the whole solder station which actually included two.

Something wrong here! Anyone know of a source of tips at a reasonable price, I guess less than £2 each.

The tips screw in with a M4 thread. Wonder if I could make tips by grinding down M4 bolts.
I guess it might be the Parkside ’PLS48 D2’, which is on offer from time to time.

Threaded bar is widely available, usually mild steel, zinc plated. EG:

https://www.diy.com/departments/ffa-.../254213_BQ.prd

Years ago, as I recall, Henley Solon tips (and maybe Antex too?) were iron plated copper, which prevented the tip from being eaten away. If you filed the tip to expose the copper, I was etched away in use.

I very much doubt that steel threaded bar would be useful for the sort of soldering we have in mind. At the first YouTube link here, at 6mins.10 secs in – he uses a length of threaded bar as soldering tips, but not for soldering - for melting plastic:

https://www.google.com/search?q=lidl...CDR0ekFm4,st:0

Another 'review' here:

At 4 mins in, draw your own conclusions on soldering techniques:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rr1oZ5eSVg

If I was in the market for a soldering station, I'd be looking at the 'KSGER T12 V3.0 STM32' OLEDs Digital Temperature Controller Station. (The tips are tinned iron, come in several styles, and replacements are widely available from many suppliers, typically five for £12.00 post free on AliExpress.

Just my observations.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 10:23 am   #5
kalee20
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Quote:
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The tips screw in with a M4 thread. Wonder if I could make tips by grinding down M4 bolts.
I very much doubt it!

I had a GEC Henley 15W soldering iron... when the copper bit got heavily oxidised I looked for a replacement and found a 2" nail fitted like a glove.

Out with the hacksaw, cut a length off... cut one end at an angle... drill a hole through for the split-pin retainer... fit it... switch on...

It didn't get very hot!

Even heating the end in a gas flame and tinning it didn't work - after removing from the flame, it cooled to the point that the solder solidified at the business end.

Mild steel just isn't thermally conductive enough.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 11:14 am   #6
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Once when visiting a relative, I used a 6"nail held in a pair of pliers to reflow solder a dry joint in their TV's remote control. I got it up to red heat on a gas cooker ring and used some lemon juice as flux.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 11:43 am   #7
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Had a couple of centre-isle mains operated tools, such as angle grinders.

Only real safety concern was the quality of the mains cable outer sheath, that with not much age would go brittle and crack. Aside from that, they were cheap throw-away tools, they lasted long enough to do the job they were bought for, but you get what you pay for.

I hope the cable supplied with this iron is better.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 11:44 am   #8
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Once when visiting a relative, I used a 6"nail held in a pair of pliers to reflow solder a dry joint in their TV's remote control. I got it up to red heat on a gas cooker ring and used some lemon juice as flux.
Love this!
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 11:50 am   #9
winston_1
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Thanks everyone for your replies. I've now decided it is going back for a refund.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 12:17 pm   #10
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Hi Winston - here's an alternative point of view. You were happy with the £10 bargain soldering station and therefore bought it, well done. If you feel that you need two extra bits, and that would cost more than the original soldering station with its own two bits, then just buy a second soldering station. That way you have the safety net of redundancy for the whole system, as well as the 4 bits which will probably last a lifetime.

Cheers
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 12:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Cut a 4mm thread on a piece of brass rod, or even an off-cut of brass control shaft, file the other end to your preferred profile? It may dissolve relatively quickly in use, but should be near free, apart from the short time involved. I agree that trying to make a replacement bit from steel is doomed by poor thermal conductivity but brass ought to be better, especially with adjustable temperature.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 1:02 pm   #12
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

Some of Lidl's centre-aisle products are excellent but do beware of the spares and consumables situation. A product I recently bought has full details in its manual of the website where its accessories may be purchased, but the company is in Germany and they state that they don't ship to the UK any more.

Fortunately, the items I needed are actually available on Amazon and the order is fulfilled by - yes, you guessed it - the same company in Germany!
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 2:15 pm   #13
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Default Re: Solder station in Lidl

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Originally Posted by Beobloke View Post
Fortunately, the items I needed are actually available on Amazon and the order is fulfilled by - yes, you guessed it - the same company in Germany!
There's a sensible reason for that: as a large merchant site, Amazon will handle the business of importing, exporting and taxes, so that the supplying company doesn't have to.

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