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soldering iron question

Old 10-02-2016, 02:14 PM
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Default soldering iron question

Hello all,
One year into electrics with some connector changing and my soldering iron needs to be replaced. I have an old Radio Shack iron, on it's last legs. I will be soldering battery and esc connectors such as Deans, EC3's and XT60s with 2,3 and 4S batteries. I checked radio shack today, pretty good selection. How many watts should I be looking for? I want to keep it simple and not too expensive.
Thanks for any tips!

Bill in Pa.
Old 10-02-2016, 03:57 PM
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For soldering connectors and the like, I suggest at least 40 watt soldering iron. I would avoid Radio Shack though. I bought a soldering iron from them a few years back and now they have discontinued that model and I cannot get replacement tips any more. I have one left and when that tip goes I will replace it with a Weller. Probably something like this:
Old 10-03-2016, 04:50 AM
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As mentioned above, get at least a 40 watt or larger iron. Also get a selection of tips, large mass chisel tip for such items as large connectors and heavy gage wire and small pointed tips for the smaller electronics type soldering.
Old 10-03-2016, 10:58 AM
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Just remember that when soldering bigger connectors onto thicker gauge wire you need to be able to provide a lot of heat quickly rather than high temperature so the bigger the tip the better!
My 150W iron with a huge tip solders a Deans with just a brief touch!
Old 10-03-2016, 07:12 PM
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I would stay away from soldering guns. The heat is intense and inconsistent. Try to keep the head around 525 degrees or so. Also use a beveled tip and not a pinpoint or needle tip....
Old 10-07-2016, 06:36 AM
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Look at weller adjustable soldering stations.

If you use the iron any more than once
every few months, you will really appreciate
having one.

Old 10-11-2016, 06:26 PM
Flypaper 2
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Soldering gun works well. I have an old Weller gun about 50 yrs old. it's a two stage. A 100 and a 140 watts. I hold the trigger till the flux starts to smoke. That's the time to put it to your batt connectors. Only takes a second or two to make a joint. Tin the components before you actually solder them together.
Old 10-12-2016, 12:06 PM
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Now don't laugh here. my ole reliable Weller 301 soldering station finally died. I have a "cheap" soldering station that works well for small circuit stuff. Has a very small needle type tip. Does not work so well for soldering the battery leads, or 4mm bullet connectors. So I ordered this one. Figured if it did not work, I was not out a lot of money. Turns out it works great. I use the deer foot tip and it solders the big connectors better than my old Weller did.

Old 10-13-2016, 05:53 AM
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The trick with a soldering iron be it a station or stand alone is to have the proper mass at the tip to hold the heat though out the soldering job. A fine tip no mater how hot will most likely do a poor job of soldering connectors like the EC5 because the heat is drawn down very quickly. A lighter wattage iron with a large tip will easily finish the job right with no cold solder problems. Other mistakes some make are using the same iron for mechanical joints as well as electronic. If you use an acid flux with your mechanical joints I don't recommend using that iron for soldering electronic components. I have two sets of soldering tools. One for acid flux and one set for rosin (electronics) and I don't even store them together.

I don't like soldering guns as the tips are not fine enough for small electronics and they are not massive enough in my experience to give good consistent results for large jobs.

One can get by with three inexpensive irons. One fine tip (even a butane one) for small electronics. Then they make large tip irons for stained glass work for around 30 bucks so one for mechanical (acid core) such as wire landing gear and push rods etc. and another same size for larger connectors for batteries and the like.

Two of these for heavy duty use

One of these for fine electronics

Under 100 bucks and it should cover every soldering need you will have without any cross contamination.


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