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Soldering System Suggestions?

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noumenon75

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dknguyen

Well-Known Member
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There's a Hakko station that can be had for $100 that's really good. Any Hakko station realy.

Amazon.com: Hakko Soldering Station, 936, ESD, With 907 ESD Iron: Home Improvement
Hakko 936 ESD Safe Temp Controlled Soldering Station Product Reviews

Apparently the Hakko 936 also has hot tweezers available for it too.

THere is also a digital version of the Hakko 936 which is the 937:
http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bin/scripts/product/0460-0023

Also...where is the temperature control on that OKi?
 
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dknguyen

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What do you need hot air for? Unless you are working with packages where the connections are beneath the chip like BGAs. Most mounting can be done more efficiently with a soldering iron, and most reworking can be done with a soldering iron and braid.
 
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felis

New Member
Any SMD is much easier to work with using hot air, especially for rework or solder leadless packages like QFN (I know very few people capable of soldering QFNs to a standard size land pattern pads with an iron). Hot air is also handy for heatshrinks.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
If you are useing solderpaste on a new buildup the frypan method from sparkfun works.

I am no expert but about the ony time I use hot air is for removing a chip.

Everything works. You just have to take the time to learn how to do it.
 

felis

New Member
Most mounting can be done more efficiently with a soldering iron, and most reworking can be done with a soldering iron and braid.
You and I can do it( I still prefer hot air for fine pitch packages - the result looks nicer under microscope); however, I doubt that a newbie can do such soldering from the get-go.
 
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dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I just find that solder paste is a pain to work with (and hot air can be expensive).
 
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Sceadwian

Banned
dk hot air stations go for the same price you paid for your Hakko
I have this.
SOLDER STATION TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED-MPJA, Inc.
Works really well for me, lots of iron options comes with a replacement heating element as well, very solid iron.

They also have an inexpensive hot air tool
HOT AIR SMD REWORK STATION-MPJA, Inc.

You could buy both for less than your 200 dollar budget, even including shipping.
As far as price/performance goes, you can't do better. It is not rocket science it is not hi-fi audio, don't spend an arm and a leg for something that has little to no improvements over cheaper units.
 
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tcmtech

Banned
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My personal soldering system is very basic but it was always worked well for me.
I have a 15 watt needle point pencil, a 35 watt standard pencil, a 100/150 buzz gun, a 180/235 watt buzz gun and a propane torch with several different tips.

I can do anything from surface mount to 2 gauge lug connectors. Anything bigger than that I go to the oxy/propane torch.

All of that heat control stuff is nice if you dont know how to solder correctly, but if you learn to do soldering correctly you really dont need it.
I worked for a company that had a $400 automatic heat controled super soldering station. I used it for about two days before I brought my 35 watt pencil and my 100/150 buzz gun to work. The super station went in a storage closet for the rest of the time I worked for them. :p

I would recommend getting a good pencil type and a good buzz gun. And about 10 pounds of misc sizes of copper wire, straps, sheets, Old circuit boards with various sizes and thicknesses of traces, and misc odd copper pieces and a 1 lb roll of flux core solder and practice until you cant stand to solder any longer. :)
All of the fanciest equipment in the world wont do you any good if you still dont know how to use them properly. ;)
 
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