[Coco] Soldering Irons/Stations

Rick Ulland rickulland1 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 2 21:49:20 EDT 2020

I might agree with 'bad wick syndrome'.

If you've tried to cut up cheap test leads recently, there is sometimes 
still  copper wire (which melts in a lighter flame) but usually copper 
flashed chinezium (which burns away). I swear I've got some cheap solder 
wick also made from deslagged toyotas. Looks good new, but I think it 
rapidly sheds its veneer of copper leaving ???, which is kinda lame 
because you heat the underlying joint through the wick - by the time 
that is done, the micron of copper has burned away and no brand of flux 
will make the alumasteelincglass core attractive to solder ever again.

One reason I bought the desolder pump thing...


On 7/1/20 9:09 PM, Dave Philipsen wrote:
> Jim,
> Does putting flux on the bad wick make any difference? I bought a bunch of spools of wick from Circuit Specialists a couple of years ago when they were on clearance. I should be stocked for a lifetime!
>> On Jul 1, 2020, at 11:31 AM, RETRO Innovations <go4retro at go4retro.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Jim
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