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  1. #1
    RC Champion Dcuda69's Avatar
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    Soldering irons?

    What's the recommendations? I had a Blue Point pistol grip style that just melted so I need to replace it. What say you? I really don't want to spend a fortune here, it will only be for occasional RC/light automotive use. I'd like to stay under $50 if possible but I'm open to options. Thanks!!
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  2. #2
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    I went with Hakko FX888D, its a little more than your budget range but its worth in the long run. I got a Harbor Freight $10 at first but I could never get it to melt together.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Weller has some 80w irons for around $40. Weller is a good brand that should last and all of the parts are replaceable. Just do a Google search for 'Weller 80w soldering iron'.

    If you stretch your budget a little, the station Pedro suggested is pretty good. I have a Trak Power station, it is a little less and it has worked very well for me.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier MilitaryRcDude's Avatar
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    Radio Shack has some good soldering irons. http://www.radioshack.com/search?q=Soldering+iron
    Thanks, MilitaryRcDude

  5. #5
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    I'm a big fan of butane soldering equipment. No cords can take it anywhere and it takes 5 seconds to heat up. Plus it can be used as a heat gun and a torch.
    2.5r Pede, 2-speed O.S.21tm rusty , 3.3T-maxx

  6. #6
    RC Champion Dcuda69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mxaustin View Post
    I'm a big fan of butane soldering equipment. No cords can take it anywhere and it takes 5 seconds to heat up. Plus it can be used as a heat gun and a torch.
    We use these at work. The chisel tip on the ones we have seem a tick small but I borrowed one anyway...we"ll see if I like like them for RC stuff. Thanks for the input guys. Keep the ideas coming!
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  7. #7
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    The small tips are better for small wires. Its not like your messing with 6guage or larger. Rc wires normally are 14-8 guage at the largest.
    2.5r Pede, 2-speed O.S.21tm rusty , 3.3T-maxx

  8. #8
    Traxxas Employee TireSlinger's Avatar
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    Having some extra flux helps too. Solder typically has flux in it but using a tiny dab of liquid rosin flux before hitting the wire with the solder makes a HUGE difference in how easily the solider flows into the wire. Just make sure it's not an acid based flux.

  9. #9
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    A good soldering station, be it Weller, Hakko, Trakpower, or another reputable brand is usually less than $100 and is a long-term investment. Butane may be convenient sometimes, but soldering very small wires or on a PC board can be impossible for a non-expert. My station will heat to 675F in less than thirty seconds and won't run out of fuel. It surely isn't something I'd take into the field, though. Then again, I prefer to work with molten metal in a very controlled environment.
    My vote will always be for a Weller first, and in this case specifically, a WES51.
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  10. #10
    Traxxas Employee TireSlinger's Avatar
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    +1 to the Weller WES51. Used one for many years myself. It's a high quality station and the tips are easy to find.

  11. #11
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Mine replaced an old-style WTCP on its third (at least) owner and that is older than most of the active members here.
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  12. #12
    RC Champion Dcuda69's Avatar
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    The butane one I borrowed worked rather nicely doing 12 gauge wire and 4mm bullets so I got done what I needed to. Now to figure what I want to purchase for the long term. I'll stop by the lhs tomorrow and see what they carry, I have a couple coupons that may ease the wallet pain a little. Thanks again guys and keep the ideas/links/sales coming...I don't have to buy right away so if there's sales/bargains coming up I'm all ears! I can borrow this butane one as needed so no big rush.
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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    What does one look for when choosing a *good* soldering station or iron?
    460, straightpipes, buried throttle, nuff said :D

  14. #14
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Soldering irons?

    I like to look for a good name, a wide selection and wider availability of tips. Hakko, Trakpower, and the rest are all well and good, but I like that I can find tips at my Local Electronics Store or even a big box home improvement place if I need to. That typically makes the price cheaper too.
    Also, for how long will the manufacturer provide support for the tool? Weller has outstanding parts support and from what I have read, so does Hakko. You do have to be sure you get a real Hakko because I have also read warnings about bootleg versions.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 09-14-2015 at 08:44 PM.
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  15. #15
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jezza's Avatar
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    I have a usefull cheap one from the hardwar store for now that does the ob, I got a 80W iron that would use for the thicker and heavier soldering obs, got another 25W for small electrical circuits.....but definetely eying the trakpower as that is easily availble at the lhs and the spcs looks good for my choice.

    I am using silver , lead free iron and so far have bn very happy with the reults of all my soldering, I solder absolutely everything, all my esc and motor connections, battery connctions and everything else that needs to be connected.
    Live life to the fullest

  16. #16
    RC Champion Dcuda69's Avatar
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    This is the one I used today:

    http://www.amazon.com/Power-Probe-PP...soldering+iron

    Starting to think something along that line may be best for me. Dragging a whole station under a hood or car(I have a couple 1:1 toys too) or trailer may not be the best idea. I never really liked the pistol grip one I just melted because it required an extension cord when away from my bench. Then there's storage...I have limited bench space so storing a solder station becomes a thought whereas one of the butane deals slips right in a toolbox drawer. still thinking so keep ideas/thoughts coming!! Thanks!!
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  17. #17
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    i like mine, its a little on the larger side, BUT i did get a 300pc connector kit with clamps, washers, joints, crusher connectors and heat shrink in MANY guages (30$ kit)free when i bought the 40$ solder\heatgun\torch iron
    2.5r Pede, 2-speed O.S.21tm rusty , 3.3T-maxx

  18. #18
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    seeing as i cannot edit my post due to time restriction, the soldering iron i use is

    OEM tools 24355

    http://www.amazon.com/OEM-24355-Prof.../dp/B00ILPT6Y2

    i ordered through my local auto zone (i get their commerical discount and tool catalogs) and thats how i ordered my with the extra kit they had as a promo. but it was 34.99 for the kit and the 30$ connector kit free. its a decent kit, the heat gun shroud is plastic and can melt if used to long at a time.

    the only thing i wish it came with is a knife blade attachment.
    Last edited by mxaustin; 09-15-2015 at 01:48 PM.
    2.5r Pede, 2-speed O.S.21tm rusty , 3.3T-maxx

  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    I grabbed a weller ec 2002m station, iron, and tip off eBay. Excited to solder up my Mamba Monster X with it!
    460, straightpipes, buried throttle, nuff said :D

  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    How do you know where to set the temperature? Is there a rule of thumb when soldering things such as our rc stuff?
    460, straightpipes, buried throttle, nuff said :D

  21. #21
    Traxxas Employee TireSlinger's Avatar
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    Get it hot enough to melt the solder quickly but not so hot the flux boils and it starts to spatter. A lot of people think the iron isn't hot enough but all they're lacking is enough solder. (The smoke comes from the burning flux that's embedded in the solder.)

    It's the liquid solder that transfers the heat from the iron into the wire / connector so you have to have a little extra. An ideal solder joint should still have the outline of the strands of wire just visible but enough solder that there is a bit left on the iron when you're done.

    You'll also want to use a damp sponge for cleaning. Every so often drag the tip across the sponge and it'll get rid of all the black gunk that builds up. Then just hit it with a little bit more solder so the tip isn't dry.
    Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

  22. #22
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TireSlinger View Post
    Get it hot enough to melt the solder quickly but not so hot the flux boils and it starts to spatter. A lot of people think the iron isn't hot enough but all they're lacking is enough solder. (The smoke comes from the burning flux that's embedded in the solder.)

    It's the liquid solder that transfers the heat from the iron into the wire / connector so you have to have a little extra. An ideal solder joint should still have the outline of the strands of wire just visible but enough solder that there is a bit left on the iron when you're done.

    You'll also want to use a damp sponge for cleaning. Every so often drag the tip across the sponge and it'll get rid of all the black gunk that builds up. Then just hit it with a little bit more solder so the tip isn't dry.
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  23. #23
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    So test it first to reach the desired temperature?
    460, straightpipes, buried throttle, nuff said :D

  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwe-maxxowner View Post
    So test it first to reach the desired temperature?
    When you go to get your tip wet you will see how quickly the solder melts. If it sizzles off right away it's too hot, if you can get it to puddle or form a drop on the end of the tip then it should be at the right temp...
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  25. #25
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    I use Trakpower....
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  26. #26
    Traxxas Employee TireSlinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitronaught View Post
    When you go to get your tip wet you will see how quickly the solder melts. If it sizzles off right away it's too hot, if you can get it to puddle or form a drop on the end of the tip then it should be at the right temp...
    It should smoke for a few seconds too. That's the flux burning out of the solder. If it stops smoking instantly you're burning it off so fast it doesn't have a chance to help the solder stick to the wire. No flux = very difficult soldering.
    Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

  27. #27
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    I got a Harbour Shipping $10 at first but I could never get it to burn together.
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  28. #28
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. O.G.'s Avatar
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    Weller WES51 FTW!!! Since I bought my Weller a couple years ago, my other soldering machines gather dust. I wish I'd have purchased the Weller first and saved me some money.
    My Black & Blue Rally is faster than your color...

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