Another soldering question

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Greggy, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    I've recently begun to take on projects like building kit amps, rewiring guitars, modding amps, biasing amps, etc. So I've developed soldering skills. I currently own a 40 watt Radio Shack pencil iron.

    Question: my tips are wearing out fast. Specifically, a notch begins to develop on the edge about 1/16 of an inch or so up from the tip. I keep the tip tinned between touches, and wipe it clean with the moist sponge on the soldering station after each touch then tin the tip before placing the iron on the stand. The notch begins to appear after 1 hour or so of use. BTW, I'm using Radio Shack tips, rosin core solder also. What could be causing this? I expect longer life from these tips.
     
  2. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    central Illinois
    It sounds like your doing most things right.It all comes down to "you get what you pay for."Get off of a hundred bucks and buy a Hako and don't look back.I've been using the same tip on mine now for over 6 months of daily use and it looks new.
     
  3. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard good things about Hako.
     
  4. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    Tejas
    Yeah, I have a hako and love it too. Better then the
    Weller stuff that I have, (and had) which I've found to start
    falling apart and one iron even melted in 1/2 on
    my bench--go figure, yes folks that was a Weller!

    I've don't lots of soldering with my current tip
    and lots of times of heavy desoldering, I max
    out the temp control and let it sit there and
    bake. While I start doing other stuff, not ideal
    but hey tip hasn't worn out yet.

    Here is a link, buy this one, it is also ESD save
    and is ANSI-IPC-J-STD-001 compliant:

    http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bin/scripts/product/0460-0004/

    Buy a couple of tips so you learn which works best
    for what you do.

    Thinking the standard tip might be a bit large,
    so you might want to try the .045.

    If you doing real fine stuff the .02 is good.

    Any way, good luck and enjoy.
     
  5. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    I'll have to avoid those melt in half irons. That's wild. Thanks.
     
  6. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

    Messages:
    1,477
    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    The standard Rat Shack tips are soft copper with a very thin tinned layer. As soon as you wear through the tinning (due to the mechanical friction of soldering) the tip erodes in a hurry.

    Basically, they're garbage.
     
  7. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    That is entirely consistent with what's occurring. Either I find another manufacturer of tips that fit this iron, or I'll buy a new iron. Rats.
     
  8. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring
    Whichever new soldering iron you buy, it ABSOLUTELY MUST BE a temperature controlled iron. Inexpensive, non-temp controlled irons are intended only for doing quick repair jobs; they're not meant for idling on a workbench for hours at a time. If an iron is not temperature controlled, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Even a good quality tip will wear out very quickly because the plating easily oxidizes when heated beyond normal soldering temperature (700 - 750 degrees F). Also, making good connections is difficult when the tip gets too hot. And it becomes more likely the components you're soldering will get damaged from being overheated.

    You're already seriously enough into electronics to warrant making the investment in a high quality temperature controlled soldering station. You won't regret it.
     
  9. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    Makes sense to me. THe iron is 40 watt, I plug it into a weller soldering station ( a cheap one that has a dial with numbers from 1 to 5, but no way to estimate actual tip temperatures). So I have no real control over temps.
     
  10. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    From all the reviews here, I decided to go ahead and order a new Hakko last night. I went with the 936-12 and I bought a few extra tips too.

    Should be here in a few days. Then, I'll get started on my first amp project.

    Dan
     
  11. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    Tear it up. By amp project I assume you mean a kit. Those are fun and educational. I'm almost ready to spring for my second amp kit, but waiting to pay uncle sam on April 15 first. Damn taxes.:mad:
     
  12. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Actually no, not a kit (yet). I have a '68 SF Bassman that belongs to a friend of mine. Gonna BF it and give it a good tune up. Then, I'll be moving on to my '63 Ampeg Reverberocket combo. This one needs a little more than the Bassman, so I wait till I'm a little more skilled. Maybe next year I'll look into a kit.

    Dan
     

Share This Page