1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice

Equipment for Hobbyists

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by hugoender, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Oh and solder... it is a lot more expensive than i thought!!! I believe I already know exactly what solder I want (25-32 mil diameter with 63 Tin/37 Lead composition) but I don't know where to buy it and what are normal prices for solder. If you guys could let me know where I can find solder at good prices and how much solder goes for I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes:
    175
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    I would get one of those irons with temp control. Anything else will not serve you as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    863
    Likes:
    6
    Location:
    cambodia
    As you have some people that suport you in your buys (pressents)

    buy a good meter (fluke) and a cheapo as a second one

    buy a weller or a hakko soldering unit (you might consider a desoldering unit if you want into the repair business)

    build your own power supply
    build your own function generator

    start building things and learn

    your start set up is good

    Robert-Jan
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1997
    Messages:
    -
    Likes:
    0


     
  5. quixotron

    quixotron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes:
    13
    Location:
    God Bless America!

    I'd also advise putting up pictures or calendars of semi nude, voluptuous babes. that'll brighten up the shop. and a fridge for beer and soda and a tv and xbox 360! and if you have cash to blow like those MIT alums, a maid!
     
  6. jrz126

    jrz126 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes:
    5
    Location:
    Erie, PA - USA
    I bought one of these a few years ago Circuit Specialists Inc. - CSI Deluxe Station w/Analog Display (CSI-STATION1A) mine is a slightly different model though. Havent had any problems with it. I've just made sure to keep the tip clean and tinned and I never went too crazy on the temperature for long periods of time. I also made sure to shut it off.

    Also, dont wait to get those little drawer organizers. I waited about 6 months til I got my first set. by then I had too many components to organize.
     
  7. astronomerroyal

    astronomerroyal New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Likes:
    2
    Although a little mundane, does anyone have any recommendations for sets of small drawers for organizing components? Maybe 100 drawers, each 2 or 3" in width. Possibly a variety of sizes.

    Also, I recommend the Hakko 936 soldering station. I've not destroyed any components yet, and the tips are nice to work with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  8. Speakerguy

    Speakerguy Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,473
    Likes:
    15
    Location:
    USA
    Akro-Mils 64 drawer storage unit. This is definitely the one to get. $30 online. Unbreakable polypropylene? drawers. .5" x 1.75" address labels fit the front of the drawers perfectly. I can put 3 lines on a label using MS word and the label printing function. Part name (1N4002), MFG part # (xxxx), and Supplier. I have one and plan on buying another.

    Techni-tool has the best prices on solder. I like Kester 44 in 63/37 core 66 in .025 or .032 for through hole stuff, and .015 for surface mount stuff.

    OH! And an absolute MUST HAVE is a DS017 'Soldapult'. Do not buy any other solder extractor pump. This is the only one you will ever need.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,047
    Likes:
    141
    Location:
    Rochester, US
  10. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes:
    175
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    That looks ideal. Once you have a temp controlled station you will never go back to a WP-25, unless your friend want to borrow an iron :D
     
  11. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,047
    Likes:
    141
    Location:
    Rochester, US
    Even for bulk desoldering it pays to have a temperature controlled iron, avoids really bad oxidation when the iron is sitting idle and heating up WAY past usable limits, exposed to atmosphere at those kinds of high temperatures (idle a 40 watt iron without limit should hit 800F (425+C) with no air running across it) metals will oxidize rapidly, even stainless steel. Best case scenario is the iron over time will insulate better than it conducts and becomes useless as a soldering device. Worst case is it insulates well enough to set itself on fire.

    Stupid user error (me) even cracked the ceramic element of my MPJA unit because I screwed the handle on too hard and the thermal expansion cracked the tip of the ceramic off (stripped the handle screw as well) I cheated a bit trying to postpone putting in the new element and used a tiny dab of heatsink paste to relink the broken tip and it's still holding on just fine. Wondering if I should try coating the entire element and inside iron with a thin layer of heat sink paste to increase the thermal bonding, give it a little expansion room etc... Anyone ever done that before to an iron? Ideally you want the heating element, temperature feedback and 'load device' AKA tip in the same package anyways, even thin layers of air (JUST like a CPU) will cause localized over/under heating, a thin layer of thermal paste seems natural to me? The MPJA units the ceramic is the heater/feedback connector, the failure point seems to me to be the ceramic to iron interface, I don't think simple physical pressure is enough, especially with ceramic (ungiving) to metal (ungiving)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  12. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,047
    Likes:
    141
    Location:
    Rochester, US
    I seriously think a good soldering setup is one of the best things a hobbyist should buy first. I've already bought a 20 dollar crapshack special which the casing has actually warped due to overheating (another good reason to temperature control) and the MPJA unit at 40 dollars. I've also picked up a 20 dollar hot air gun (read mini hair dryer, I've already had to bypass the internal one shot thermal cutoff trying to raise the temperature another 20 degrees (blocking air inlet)) That's pretty fringe. I think I should have just dropped the 200 bucks or so for one of the MPJA (Ebay also has a few units worth looking at) hot air + temp soldering iron centers. I think I might have more fun building my own hot air tool when I find I truly need one. The mini blow drier will work till then, much like the 40W soldering iron will work till I need a 100 watt one. Then yer talking 500+ dollars for a solid station.
     
  13. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    9,404
    Likes:
    227
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA USA
    I agree. A while back when we were talking soldering stations I purchased the MPJA unit too.l I went whole hog and picked up the hot tweezers too.

    The sponge is giving up the ghost. No problems.

    At some point I will get a hot air station. MPJA will be in the running.
     
  14. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Thank you very much speakerguy... your suggestions were great! They do indeed have the best price on solder (at least better than anything else I found) and those storage shelves are indeed pretty awesome. Much thanks.
     
  15. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    hmm... the MPJA site seems to be down. Is this temporary or are they out of business?
     
  16. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,080
    Likes:
    20
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    temporary, as I just visited the site. I would go for a adjustable iron, but do not have it set to max temp when you are soldering temp sensitive parts (Laser diodes sheesh).
     
  17. Menticol

    Menticol Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    681
    Likes:
    35
    Location:
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Well here is my supply, I hope it can inspire you to make yours. Consists of: beautiful ATX supply, a simple LM317 for the variable output and an old stereo transformer, to get 12VDC unregulated voltage, all inside an old dremel box

    Don't mind the spanish text, I made it for my friends (who doesn't know what a power supply is)

    Engallamientos de La Rotta: Fuente de Poder
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  18. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    863
    Likes:
    6
    Location:
    cambodia
    looks nice but according the specs you give (5 volt 22 Amp) than your wirering is a bit on the thin side

    Robert-Jan
     
  19. Menticol

    Menticol Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    681
    Likes:
    35
    Location:
    Bogotá, Colombia
    oh yes you're totally right, I use it to power small circuits, never reached more than a few amps (except on short circuits, explosions, etc hehe)

    I have read an article about upgrading a "cheap" ATX PSU, soldering new thicker wire from the PCB and upgrading components. Don't know how cost/effective can this technique be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  20. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    9,404
    Likes:
    227
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA USA
    There is a difference between an adjustable iron and a temperature controlled iron. An adjustable iron can be turned up or down but is open loop. A temperature controlled iron has a sensor that keeps the iron within a few degrees of the set temperature.

    The nice thing about the temperature controlled irons is that you do not have to run them as hot. When you start a joint and head is pulled from the tip the iron kicks in and keeps the temperature stable.

    An adjustable iron is easier on components and less prone to lifting foil from a PCB. The tip is cooler when idle and does not degrade as fast. I set my iron at about 260C.

    MPJA is up.
     
  21. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes:
    175
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Good explanation. Maybe they should have called them thermal homeostatic irons.
    Sorry... Bad joke :(
     

Share This Page