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Thread: Recommend a Noob Soldering Kit

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    Default Recommend a Noob Soldering Kit

    Ideally looking for a kit I can buy on Amazon or at Harbor freight. I’ve been looking but getting confused. Wattage, max temperature, type of solder, etc. No mention on any of the kits on what type of solder they include. Lead, lead free. Rosin core is a term I’ve seen. Would ideally be nice to find a kit with everything I would need for light soldering jobs in the bike, other projects. for around $30?

    I have a soldering gun, but don’t think it’s precise enough (fine enough point?). I’ve used it only a few times to fix some various electronics but really have no idea what I’m doing. Think it was my dads. Don’t remember buying it. Watched some videos but found none that mention wattage and temp, etc.

    Looking to learn.

    Help a noob out? Links most appreciated.

    TIA

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    Nessism's Avatar
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    60 Sn and 40 Pb works well. Rosin core.

    Can't help you with what soldering iron but I can say I used a $30 weller for years and it was a POS. Just got a Hakko and it was some of the best money I've ever spent on a tool. It literally heats up fully in about 10 seconds. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    I'm a long-time user of Antex irons, but there's a flood of cheap'n cheerful irons on the market now, most of which won't electrocute you.
    For fine stuff, a 15w iron, for normal sized automotive soldering, a 25 to 30w one is what you need.
    When soldering joints that you've crimped just make sure that solder doesn't creep up the strands of the cable, as it will fail through vibration later.
    Oh yeah, avoid lead-free - it's crap and harder to work with. Plenty of sources of the older standard 60/40 rosin cored stuff around if you look on ebay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    60 Sn and 40 Pb works well. Rosin core.

    Can't help you with what soldering iron but I can say I used a $30 weller for years and it was a POS. Just got a Hakko and it was some of the best money I've ever spent on a tool. It literally heats up fully in about 10 seconds. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Ed, youíre stretching my memory of HS Chemistry periodic table Sn=Tin60%/Pb=lead 40%. Rosin Core. Got it. Not sure if I can swing the Hakko, bit it does seem like top of the line. Fatherís Day is coming up, so just maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimly View Post
    I'm a long-time user of Antex irons...
    When soldering joints that you've crimped just make sure that solder doesn't creep up the strands of the cable....
    Dave, the Antex irons look good too, some come without tips, I think Iím seeing?
    How does one keep the solder from creeping past the end of the insulation? Is this a result of temp too high/low, or wattage too high/low, too much solder?

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    We used Pace equipment where I worked. (Circuit board assembly for over 30 years). I salvaged a broken station years ago out of the trash, and fixed it.
    Anyway, if you are searching eBay, look at the Pace stuff also. Very solid, although maybe too costly.

    Keep in mind, a good station, will heat up faster, have adjustable temps, and will just plain works better, than a pencil type.

    And yes, 60/40 or 63/37 works. Rosin is OK, but I prefer a good no clean flux for long term use.
    Bob T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    Dave, the Antex irons look good too, some come without tips, I think I’m seeing?
    How does one keep the solder from creeping past the end of the insulation? Is this a result of temp too high/low, or wattage too high/low, too much solder?
    The basic Antex (of whatever size) usually comes with a general slash-cut tip, but there's a range of other tips available.
    To avoid solder creep, it's essential to have a clean surface/wire, and just dab the joint with just the right amount for just long enough.
    That last part doesn't come in a box. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it soon enough - it's not rocket surgery.
    A seperate flux can be useful, again easy to garner the experience.
    For practice, I'd recommend rummaging around some old car harnesses and try cleaning and soldering some manky connectors.
    My personal preference is just crimping, no soldering - a proper crimp with the right tool is all you need. However, I'll solder where necessary.
    ---- Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baatfam View Post

    And yes, 60/40 or 63/37 works. Rosin is OK, but I prefer a good no clean flux for long term use.
    What is "no clean flux?" Are you suggesting that rosin core flux needs to be cleaned off after soldering? I realize that's ideal but is is necessary?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    What is "no clean flux?" Are you suggesting that rosin core flux needs to be cleaned off after soldering? I realize that's ideal but is is necessary?
    Short answer: It depends.

    For long term reliability of circuit boards, yes. For large, electrical connectors on old motorcycles, probably not. And crimping alone is generally going to be fine.

    When we used rosin core flux, both in wire core, and wave soldering, we cleaned all the assembles in a vapor degreaser, or by hand with alcohol. The rosin remains active, and can cause issues over time, especially on intricate pc boards. "No clean" doesn't do that.

    But....No clean doesn't work near as well on old wires and connectors, unless they are new or really clean. Rosin is much better for that. I use no clean because I am usually using new components.
    Bob T.

    "That which you manifest is before you." -- Enzo
    "I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." -- Rudyard Kipling
    "...for our existence to hold any value, it must end. To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return." -- Number Six

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    ...if you think you'll use a soldering iron a lot, get spare tips. They wear out..they can be filed once or twice before they do, though.

    .



    I also prefer a crimp alone-very few car/bike manufacturers solder anything so I take my cue from them.

    Grimly's recco per 2 speed irons is a good one (15 and ~35 watt).

    i use a butane soldering iron occassionally..hard to control heat but in cold weather these can be the thing that works if you can get em lit on a windy day!

    Look for a longish cord. Perhaps cheapos are worse. Electrical ones are also awkward with their heavy stiff cord.


    more than you need know but...Possible to MAKE tips too, if you have some copper rod, a file, and a die to thread them(they often unscrew)...sources of round hardened copper rod is hydro wires from pole- scraps from torn down houses, lightning rods, even near the bottom of a pole where they have been repaired or ask the lineman maybe
    Bronze boat rivets are another possible but -they are bronze- an alloy and I'm not sure about heat transference...should be good enought though.

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    My station.....When I was fixing my oven.

    Bob T.

    "That which you manifest is before you." -- Enzo
    "I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." -- Rudyard Kipling
    "...for our existence to hold any value, it must end. To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return." -- Number Six

    '83 GS1100E ~ '01 TRIUMPH TT600 ~ '99 TRIUMPH TROPHY 900 ~ '67 HONDA CUB



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