[Coco] Soldering Irons/Stations

RETRO Innovations go4retro at go4retro.com
Wed Jul 1 12:18:49 EDT 2020

On 7/1/2020 10:42 AM, Salvador Garcia via Coco wrote:
>   I've been looking into desoldering tools and am partial to the desoldering gun similar to the one mentioned in this video (although it is quite noisy!):
> https://youtu.be/Z38WsZFmq8E

They are noisy, but don't skimp due to audio level.  THat said, I'm not 
a fan of "guns" in that config, as that's a lot of mass and weight to 
hold against a small and sensitive PCB board.  I noted Richard Lorbieski 
uses a "PACE" desoldering station, where the pump and such are in a box 
onthe desk, and the pencil grip is quite small and lightweight.  I 
purchased a used PACE MBT 301, though I am sure there are other brands 
that look and act the same.  I'd just recommend staying away from huge 
things you have to hold to solder or desolder.

I also have a knockoff hot air station, and it's worth having as well, 
even with the PACE.  larger multi-pin packages are much easier with it, 
PACE seems best with through hole, and solder wick is still useful (for 
that last little bit, ground plane pins, etc.).  Sounds obvious, but 
don't skimp on the wick quality.  I bought a bunch of the cheap wick, 
and it's just useless (actually, worse than useless, as you get only so 
long to wick, and then you thermal damage stuff).

Also, for solder, I used 60/40 (from Radio Shack :-) all the time up 
until probably 2010, but buy 63/37 if you can.  You can read up on it, 
but 63/37 is just a touch better formulation, where the tin and lead 
solidify closer in time to each other, preventing cold solder joints.  
That's always been my achilles heel.

I still have a Radio Shack "bulb" solder sucker, but I rarely use it.  I 
am not sure I ever had a manual spring loaded solder sucker, but I seem 
to reall using them and being disappointed.

Maybe Hakko has a combo unit that's attractively priced.  My issue is 
that the PACE and the hot air station both have soldering pencils, but I 
wouldn't trade my Metcal for anything, so they are wasted and unused.


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