Olorin

Which soldering iron to get (was: "sammichSID Prototype")

21 posts in this topic

I have passed the point of no return!

Changed my mind for economical reasons to green LEDs and LCDs and just paid the invoice for my kit.

Now I really got to do this - I am so nervous I can almost feel my hands shaking the solder already. Which is strange since I don't have a solderstation yet. Speaking of which I think I will save up some cash and go for ERSA RDS-80 for 130 euros if you guys don't have a better suggestion (at the same price or less).

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130 Euros? That's twice the price of my cheap temperature-controlled soldering iron. Possibly this is overkill... shop around some more.

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Although I've never used an ERSA station, they're said to be very good quality. One suggestion though, the ANALOG 60 is about the same price as the RDS80 but many people on different forums say it's way better than the RDS.

Whether a station in this price range is a good purchase mainly depends on how often you intend to use it. If you're only buying it to assemble a few small kits and cables or you don't have much money, a station in the 40-50 Euro range will be more than enough. E.g. the AYOUE brand is supposed to be quite alright for a chinese low budget brand. But if you see yourself soldering a lot in future, 130 Euros is a perfectly reasonable price tag. I'm using a Weller WS81 (about 210 Euros if you find a very good deal) and I didn't ever regret this purchase for a second. If you can afford them, good tools make DIY easier and more fun.

S

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I agree... I spent far too long using a cheap 25W iron when I should have bought something better... but even these fixed temperature ones are good enough to put together a sammichSID. I recommend something better because that's what I use, and it will make this and all your future DIY projects a lot easier.

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I have bought my last piece of low budget chinese stuff. Mainly because I have had crappy drills and woodworking tools that I ended up replacing with better brands and paid for both a cheap and a not so cheap one when I could have bough a REALLY great in the first place for the same money. And also cause I have seen horror storys from the sweatshops where they make the low end crap. It is inhuman to buy stuff that is too cheap cause that means somebody else have suffered for it.

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Although I've never used an ERSA station, they're said to be very good quality. One suggestion though, the ANALOG 60 is about the same price as the RDS80 but many people on different forums say it's way better than the RDS.

Whether a station in this price range is a good purchase mainly depends on how often you intend to use it. If you're only buying it to assemble a few small kits and cables or you don't have much money, a station in the 40-50 Euro range will be more than enough. E.g. the AYOUE brand is supposed to be quite alright for a chinese low budget brand. But if you see yourself soldering a lot in future, 130 Euros is a perfectly reasonable price tag. I'm using a Weller WS81 (about 210 Euros if you find a very good deal) and I didn't ever regret this purchase for a second. If you can afford them, good tools make DIY easier and more fun.

S

Consider buying a Weller WHS40. You get it cheap at Reichelt. It´s way better than every non temperature regulated iron. You need a thin soldering tip though which is a spare part (about 3 euros).

I am doing all my stuff with it and it´s just fine. Of course a ERSA Analog60 would be better, but as longs as it´s not for everyday use you will be satisfied with the whs...

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Consider buying a Weller WHS40. You get it cheap at Reichelt. It´s way better than every non temperature regulated iron. You need a thin soldering tip though which is a spare part (about 3 euros).

I am doing all my stuff with it and it´s just fine. Of course a ERSA Analog60 would be better, but as longs as it´s not for everyday use you will be satisfied with the whs...

Thank you. I have been looking at the Weller too, but Reichelt add a lot of extra fees and shipping and also has a minimum ordervalue of 150 euros so I got to find it elsewhere. BTW looking at the specs there are two Weller 40's - on go down to 150 and one to 200 degrees celsius. Is that of any importance on a project like the Midibox?

Edited by Olorin

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the two Wellers are the WHS40 and the WHS40D. The difference in minimal temperature doesn't matter at all because solder will only start to melt at around 220 degrees and you usually set the station to around 300-350 degrees anyway. The main difference is that the -D has a digital display showing the set temperature. If you ask me, that's only a gimmick not worth paying any extra money for.

If you can't get the WHS40 for a reasonable price, check out the AOYUE 936 (35W), 937 (45W) or 936A (60W). They're always on offer at ebay. E.g. a really cheap offer is this - 43.99 Euros including international shipment from Luxembourg. These are supposed to be better than the average China crap and you can get a lot of different tips and replacement heater elements really cheap. The 937 or 936A are a bit more expensive but you'll get more heating power.

S

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I got my kit yesterday. I'm in Quebec City, Canada.

Thank you very much Wilba. The packing is awesome!

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Is it china crap?

well not the worst probably, but it's the conrad house brand, so definitely china. I think I had a look at it at the conrad store and didn't like it very much, very bulky and plasticy. I guess the aoyue is probably better quality. Or, if you're considering buying from conrad anyway, they sell the WHS40 too, that one is definitely better.

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well not the worst probably, but it's the conrad house brand, so definitely china. I think I had a look at it at the conrad store and didn't like it very much, very bulky and plasticy. I guess the aoyue is probably better quality. Or, if you're considering buying from conrad anyway, they sell the WHS40 too, that one is definitely better.

Thank you Seppoman. If you are sure it is china crap I cross that of my list now.

I saw somehere that it is generally a bad idea to get a solder station with power lower than 50 Watts. But then many also recommend the Weller 40 watt. Is there different Watts here? Is Ersa 60 watt somehow equal to Weller 40 watt? Is it like to old Fake Amp watts in the HiFi world?

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I saw somehere that it is generally a bad idea to get a solder station with power lower than 50 Watts. But then many also recommend the Weller 40 watt. Is there different Watts here? Is Ersa 60 watt somehow equal to Weller 40 watt? Is it like to old Fake Amp watts in the HiFi world?

well it's probably not as bad as with "hifi" watts where you get crap advertised as 1000 W PMPO when in reality it has 10 W RMS (PMPO is like "don't care what the sound is, it will deliver 1000 W for 0.5 ms and afterwards explode")

But there's a difference - it depends on how good the iron will manage to bring its power to the tip end, how much mass it needs to heat up before temperature is reached, how precise and fast the temperature sensor reacts etc. So I'd rather have 40 W from a quality brand than 60 W from a cheap model. More Watts don't hurt. E.g. my WS81 has a very light 80 W iron that has the heater at the very end and very short and light tips, so it heats up from room temperature in just 10 seconds and even if you're working on a solder joint that draws away much heat, it's able to pump up the power instantly so it won't cool down too much.

40 W is around the power where it starts to make sense as long as it's a good iron. You might have problems with very hungry solder jobs, like e.g. soldering a large piece of metal to a ground plane, but for the usual stuff it's alright.Ffor extreme situations you can still get yourself a large 100W 230V iron for another 10 Euros :) If you want to be more flexible and are prepared to shell out a little more, maybe consider the ANALOG60 or the AOYUE 936A, 60W are nice to have but you will be able to do good soldering with 40W, too.

S

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Actually PMPO is the "Product designer's rating for Maximum Possible Output volume while exploding" :smile:

FWIW, a decent soldering iron/station is certainly nice, and I agree with seppo and Wilba on this: If you have a lot of money at your disposal get a really nice one, if you don't and don't solder on a daily basis, the 30-50 eur range prolly makes more sense for you.

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Ok. Since I have crossed out the "child labour made China crap with possible toxic parts". I rather save up some cash and start my build next month than cheapo out. And I assume that I might be able to sell it off later if it is a decent brand and get a some back if I don't get hooked on building stuff.

I have nailed it down to the following four(which is more or less the same price), please help me make a choice.

Ersa RDS 80

Ersa Analog 60

Weller WHS 40 analog

Weller WHS 40 Digital

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Ok. Since I have crossed out the "child labour made China crap with possible toxic parts". I rather save up some cash and start my build next month than cheapo out. And I assume that I might be able to sell it off later if it is a decent brand and get a some back if I don't get hooked on building stuff.

I have nailed it down to the following four(which is more or less the same price), please help me make a choice.

Ersa RDS 80

Ersa Analog 60

Weller WHS 40 analog

Weller WHS 40 Digital

ERSA RDS 80 and ANALOG 60 are definitely playing in another class than the Weller WHS. You cant compare them. That would be the Weller WSD81. They´re more than double the price of the WHS series, have more power and various different soldering tips.

If you go for the WHS, save the money and take the analog. The digital display is just a gimmick. IMO, WHS 40 is definitely sufficient for soldering a midibox

and doing most kind of electronics. It´s not the most powerful iron though but as always you get what you pay for and you´re not soldering big parts...

Get the thin tip (extra part) and a 0,5mm to 0,75mm solder with lead. SN60PB40 or similar. Thats not very healthy but far easier to solder, coz you dont need high temperatures...

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ERSA RDS 80 and ANALOG 60 are definitely playing in another class than the Weller WHS. You cant compare them. That would be the Weller WSD81. They´re more than double the price of the WHS series, have more power and various different soldering tips.

If you go for the WHS, save the money and take the analog. The digital display is just a gimmick. IMO, WHS 40 is definitely sufficient for soldering a midibox

and doing most kind of electronics. It´s not the most powerful iron though but as always you get what you pay for and you´re not soldering big parts...

Get the thin tip (extra part) and a 0,5mm to 0,75mm solder with lead. SN60PB40 or similar. Thats not very healthy but far easier to solder, coz you dont need high temperatures...

Okey, since I have found them at almost the same price Ersa has the edge on the Wellers. RDS80 or Analog60 then?

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Okey, since I have found them at almost the same price Ersa has the edge on the Wellers. RDS80 or Analog60 then?

Definitely the Analog60.

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Definitely the Analog60.

Ok, but why?

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because

the ANALOG 60 is about the same price as the RDS80 but many people on different forums say it's way better than the RDS.

as I said, I've never used an Ersa station myself, but I've read e.g. on the German mikrocontroller.net forum where there are at least two dozen threads about this very question and nobody ever said the RDS was better. The Analog60 is good old-skool and proven over the decades technology. The RDS is a relatively new product probably designed with the two main goals of a) having a digital gimmick display and b) cutting costs.

Anyway, either one of these isn't a completely bad choice, you'll be able to solder normal DIY stuff with both just fine. If you need more persuasion, best idea is to search for a shop that carries both and have a real life look. Build quality and personal preference are things you can best evaluate by touching the thing. If you don't have a suitable shop nearby, then maybe just order one of these and get started with soldering ;) I think we've done enough talking now, you should start the making soon :)

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Thank you. I may seem a bit meticulous, but I do no have the Sammich kit yet or the money to buy the solderstation until next month so I can afford to investigate thoroughly.

I think I will go with my gut feeling and order one of them. I have always liked to have displays to tell me what is going on so I think I like that "gimmick" so I am leaning towards the RDS unless some whizz here can tell me what corners have been cut.

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