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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 12th Nov 2019, 2:28 pm   #61
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

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Originally Posted by ajgriff View Post
For anyone considering buying an Antex XS25 it's well worth spending an extra pound or two on the silicone cable option. The standard PVC cable is rather stiff and as a result tends to get in the way as well hampering manipulation of the iron. In addition to being heat resistant the silicone cable is much more flexible.

Alan
That's interesting. One of my reservations about the Antex is the stiff cable but I wasn't aware of the options. The old Solon irons had a wonderfully light and thin cable, but it melted quickly and probably wouldn't pass H&S requirements now.

B
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 3:07 pm   #62
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

I started with a big copper iron heated in the living room coal fire.
Next came a red handled Pifco electric iron (The one with a little light on a protuberance of the handle)

Then a 15W antex and a 15W antex CCN (ceramic shaft insulated)

Then the frankenstein Weller TCP made from salvaged bits and a home made PSU

Then some proper bases

Then the salvaged/repaired Metcals.

The Weller is great for larger jobs where the metcal has your hand a bit too close. I have 100W and 200W wellers.... 200W is good for plumbing with 15mm Yorkshire fittings!

For really big soldering jobs, I used to have oxy-acetylene gear which could do soft solder, silver solder and braze, but I've shifted to TIG.

If it's metal, I can join it, one way or another!

My only suggestion to the OP is to go for something good but second-hand rather than something new but not very good. The old stuff was built well and lasted well. Look around, ask around and see what turns up. Don't miss anything good if it turns up. The fancy stuff is affordable if you're lucky.

Use whatever you have to in the time being, but keep a watch out for something better.

David
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 3:49 pm   #63
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

Very cheap irons do have their uses. I have a market stall 60W iron which I bought for a couple of quid to do jobs which need a lot of heat. It does indeed get very hot! I added the usual switchable series diode to tame it a bit.

This iron is useless for general PCB soldering, but it's great for the odd chassis soldering job. I've no idea how long the element will last, but it's survived 5 years of occasional use.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 3:57 pm   #64
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

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I started with a big copper iron heated in the living room coal fire. David
I started with a screwdriver heated in the coal fire, soldering wires on to torch bulbs. So...you never had a Henley Solon - I didn't think that was possible? I still have a 15W model, but I suspect the leakage current could preclude its further use

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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:50 pm   #65
MotorBikeLes
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

Like many, I started with a Solon, a 25W bought in Stafford, probably 1953. I now have Solons in all sizes up to 240W (and many others as well).
However, my point to make was that mentioned a few times here. Leakage current. I started to see little sparks quite often, and realised that was not good. Shortly after, I bought a load of broken Weller junk and a few new bits. I think I got three workers eventually, with oddments left over.
Back in my TV days, working on thyristor line Grundigs, a blanket resolder using the big Weller gun on the line stage was my key to successful reliable sets. Many bits consumed, even more solder consumed, but very few bouncers.
I far prefer a copper bit to a tinned one, so when I have a faulty tip (damaged plating), I grind off ALL the plating, and save it for a job where copper will work, but plated not.
Les.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 7:17 pm   #66
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Soldering Iron For PCB's

Another who started with a Solon, until I got a Weller for my eighteenth (mains version with Magnastst). The Solon was my Dads. I recently got it back, along with the 'warm it up on the stove' one when helping him clear out. So those have moved to Stafford instead of from it. I do have some Oki desoldering tweezers, I wonder if I should look at getting an iron to match the power unit? We had a Pace unit at work once, it was expensive and the spares it constantly needed were expensive too. Everything is now Weller, of various models.
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