Soldering Iron/ Station etc
« on: April 24, 2019, 09:56:36 am »
Hi all,
After a few attempts over the years to get into RC stuff I've found that I enjoy making and modifying electronics and these quads etc give up endless opportunities for someone like me.

I have a Electrical and Refrigeration / Air Con trade background so have a lot of the big stuff with handtools etc but these are quite bulky for PCB's etc.

What would you recommend for a decent setup? I do intend to play for a few years to come so want to do it right. I had thought of just buying a cheap soldering iron, but I see these solder and rework stations and they have power supplies and all that stuff and wonder if it's worth it.

Any help greatly appreciated,


Re: Soldering Iron/ Station etc
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 07:14:48 pm »
Let me start by saying that a 30W $3 (yes, that cheap, shipped on eBay :) ) soldering iron with a small tip does a pretty good job.  I have several and used them for electronics for many years.  I also have 2 or 3 temperature controlled 40-60W soldering irons ($5 shipped on eBay) that I frankly haven't used much because I bought a solder/rework station about the same time.

For soldering heavy wire for ESCs there is nothing that beats a 325W Weller gun.  (For the soldering newbie, you really need watts to do those thick wires.)

I bought an 853D solder/rework station a couple years back and recommend it.  Digital temperature on the soldering iron and on the hot air reflow gun.  Hot air gun automatically goes into cool down mode when you put it on the stand (magnetic sensor?).  It has a 0-15 volt 1 amp variable voltage power supply (with a 0-1 Amp analog current meter) that comes in handy for many things.  The power supply's digital voltage meter can be switched to read a separate test input so it is also a volt meter.  It even has a built in RF field strength meter (tested OK up to 1.3GHz but not 5.8GHz IIRC).

I paid about $100 for mine.  You can get them for $68 shipped now.  I would absolutely buy one of these over an expensive name-brand.

I also have a nice temperature controlled heated solder sucker with electric suction pump on a trigger.  It costs more than an 853D.  It's so much better than the usual manual plunger types, but it isn't a necessity.

Re: Soldering Iron/ Station etc
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 10:52:33 pm »
Cheers for the info.
I'd seen these and they looked okay so was just curious on someone who's used them.
Helps a great deal.