Hi,Hi gentlemen. It is interesting seeing this thread with no mention to temperatures, just wattage. Both should be considered.
To melt a given solder, it is temperature what we should watch. To melt a small or a large solder blob (or small/large heat sinking piece) wattage is what we should watch. For repeated soldering, both and more should be considered.
A 80W iron may not reach a desired temperature.
A 15W iron may not reach a desired temperature.
A 80W iron may overheat a joint.
A 15W iron may overheat a joint.
Judging an iron by its wattage does not determine its capability for satisfaction on all tasks.
The proper use comes from skills and experience after understanding the different things 'heat' and 'temperature' are.
----> A match to light a cigarette, and a house on fire may be at about the same temperatures. But the amount of heat in them is very different <----
Further, in the skills section, the wetness, shape, size/length of the tip and the item to solder plays also a role.
The temperature an iron reaches can vary on factors as its thermal insulation, thermal conductivity of its materials/construction, ambient temperature, wind, time...
Try to solder a RG-8 on a PL259 on the roof of a ship on a windy winter and you will find the same 60W iron that worked great indoors is garbage.
The length from the heating element to the tip also affects its behavior. It may initially produce a proper joint, but the next one can fail as the tip drops temperature and there should be a wait time until the heat transfers and replenishes the tip raising its temperature to the desired level in order to continue.
There is hidden factors in the art of proper soldering that are usually not considered, relying on the iron marketing specifications, fanatism for brands, and wrong expectations bringing deception.
Aeons ago, there was a stone egg, upon a mountain top, ... Oh wait wrong storyTry to solder a RG-8 on a PL259 on the roof of a ship on a windy winter and you will find the same 60W iron that worked great indoors is garbage.
LOLAeons ago, there was a stone egg, upon a mountain top, ... Oh wait wrong story
Aeons ago, when I was a teenager, I would resort to using a blowlamp for heavy stuff like this, since I only had a 30w Antex iron. Deep satisfaction. Would have thought it a better choice of tool for the roof of that ship too. (Though you'd want to be using a windshield or the wind would blow it out...)
Hi,The temperature of the tip of my Weller soldering iron is controlled mechanically, not electronically. The part of the tip that is inside the barrel of the soldering iron has a special piece of iron. The 24VAC switch inside the soldering iron has a rod with a magnet on it. When below the required temperature the magnet pulls on the iron piece and turns on the switch. When the iron piece reaches the desired temperature then it becomes non-magnetic and a spring releases the switch. It is called the "Curie" temperature.
Tips are available with different temperature ratings. Mine is 700 degrees F which is 371 degrees C (ouch!).
I hear the switch click on and off all day when it is turned on. In 51 years I never needed to replace the switch or spring. I replaced the tip only a few times and it has been turned on all day for most days.
Healing? One time I cut my hand then I "accidently" cauterized it with my soldering iron. The bleeding stopped immediately.Audioguru's much loved soldering iron gradually acquires mystical status.... Next instalment I'm sure we will learn of it's healing properties :O
Test table may be flawed with Average power vs peak power In PWM controlled heatersThought provoking MrAl. So much so that I gathered up all my soldering irons and did a few tests.
I measured the resistance of the heating element, hot and cold, and calculated the power at both maximum and minimum rated supply voltages.
The results are presented in the table below.
The Antex iron is a simple 15watt iron which always surprised me how well it would deal with large joints and chassis connections when the large (6mm) tip was fitted. This iron dates from the early 1970s.
The two Oryx irons are nominally identical and are temperature controlled and adjustable by means of a screw in the side of the handle.
The tips are easily replaceable and I only "retired" this as my everyday iron when the tips wore out and seemed to be unobtainable. I have recently found a source of tips and have a few on order so that I can use the iron out in my garage with out having to come into the house to borrow the Weller.
The Weller is the old faithfull TCP type as used by Audioguru when he installed the sound system on the Ark for Mr Noah.
The Solon is a large heavy duty iron for soldering big lumps. The actual iron belonged to my father and probably dates from the 1970s, but, it is identical to an iron which he had in the 1950s which presumably failed at some time.
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