Author Topic: Best soldering iron???  (Read 1039 times)

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Steveruger45

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2019, 06:43:08 PM »
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This is what I have.  I have not tried or likely won't try any decoder installs, however it works great on everything else.




Looks the same as mine. I love it. Like I said in earlier post I use the finest tips for decoder work (meaning soldering onto the decoder aux function pads and sometimes on the easy to get at ends of onboard caps) together with good quality solder 15 or 20 thou thick no issues with it at all. Now, if I had to go deep into a board replacing components that are real close then that’s a different story and IMHO a more surgical type iron would be needed like what Peteski says.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

Lemosteam

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2019, 07:39:20 PM »
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There are degrees of smallness John.  :D  That Pace TD-100 iron John mentions is more like surgical scalpel than a small pencil-type iron. It is *REALLY* small. Designed for working with those tiny SMD components on densely populated PC Boards.
Click on the link for a good description: https://www.paceworldwide.com/products/handpieces/soldering-irons/td100-tipheater-cartridge-soldering-iron-intelliheat



I can do that as well.  I'm merely suggesting that multiple irons are not necessarliy required.

peteski

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2019, 09:55:06 PM »
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I can do that as well.  I'm merely suggesting that multiple irons are not necessarliy required.
The big difference between standard (small) pencil irons and the Pace TD-100 is the diameter of the heating element and the distance from the tip to the handle.  The TD-100 heating element is a slim 3/16" diameter, and the distance from the tip to the handle is only 1.9".  It is a precise soldering instrument. When you are trying to solder some really small component and your hand is not perfectly steady, the short length of the iron gives you more stability.  This iron accepts larger tips too, so it can be used for larger soldering jobs, but it's really designed for precision soldering. I wouldn't use mine for building handlaid turnouts.

If you note, I didn't even mention it until John chimed in.  I recommended it to, him and he is quite happy with his purchase. But not every model railroader will benefit from owning that unit.  Most modelers will be quite happy with other, larger soldering irons.  Again, as I mentioned to Y-it, the irons he already owns should be quite sufficient for his hobby needs. No need for upgrades.

But is someone is striving to become a DCC decoder doctor, then a Pace TD-100 will make their hobby much more fun. It is a very good tool for that job.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

MK

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2019, 07:46:25 AM »
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But is someone is striving to become a DCC decoder doctor, then a Pace TD-100 will make their hobby much more fun. It is a very good tool for that job.

That would be a cool username for someone.... Dr. DCC.

woodone

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2019, 09:51:44 AM »
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I just looked at a TD 100. WOW! About $ 90.00 and I don’t know if you need a control station.
I have been getting by with just an cheap temp controlled unit for years. Doing DCC decoder installs.
That looks like a real nice unit (the TD 100) to do your soldering work. It looks to me you need to spend about $300.00 to get this ? Pete-can you clear this up for me? Do need a control station to use the TD 100 .
At $300.00 you are going to do a bunch soldering to get a pay back.

woodone

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2019, 02:03:58 PM »
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Opps, re reading this I see where John C got one of these with a controller for about $ 300.00.
Guess that I will keep on using my $ 25.00 unit for a bit longer.

peteski

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2019, 03:51:53 PM »
+1
Opps, re reading this I see where John C got one of these with a controller for about $ 300.00.
Guess that I will keep on using my $ 25.00 unit for a bit longer.

Like I said, that unit is for a very small target audience who will need it and who will pay for the best tools for the job.  Yes, the handpiece and the base station are pricey, but the cartridges (heater and tip are integrated) are quite inexpensive.  It is one of those things that once you try one, you will have a hard time saying "no".  But I'll say ti again: it is not for everyone.  :)
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taholmes160

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2019, 09:02:43 PM »
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Right now I'm using a weller 25 watt pencil with a fine point tip I got from fast tracks -- is that appropriate for building turnouts etc?  It seems to work well for attaching feeders to track, but I have to break out a 100watt gun to attach them to bus wires (they are 12 gauge) -- input welcome!!!

TIM

mighalpern

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2019, 09:27:50 PM »
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Taholmes:
Give the 100 watt iron a rest and use suitcase connectors for the buss ( many types out there, and previous discussions too ) .
 Sooo much quicker and no dropping solder or the iron on yourself or looking up for a long time.
otherwise the 25 watt is fine for all other things
Miguel

peteski

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2019, 12:06:05 AM »
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Taholmes:
Give the 100 watt iron a rest and use suitcase connectors for the buss . . .

Miguel,
I just like to mention that a bundle of electrical wires is called a "bus".  A large vehicle  which carries passengers is also called a "bus".  Both carry something:  wires carry electric current, and the vehicle carries passengers.  :)  "Buss" in old English language means a "kiss".  That word is not used much anymore.  Buss is also a brand name  of a electric devices (like fuses).  I think that is the source of confusion - why people think that the electrical bus is spelled with two esses.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

mighalpern

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2019, 01:25:45 AM »
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LOL
thanks peteski :facepalm:
going to bed with a smile on my face

woodone

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2019, 10:31:22 AM »
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Taholmes:
Give the 100 watt iron a rest and use suitcase connectors for the buss ( many types out there, and previous discussions too ) .
 Sooo much quicker and no dropping solder or the iron on yourself or looking up for a long time.
otherwise the 25 watt is fine for all other things
Miguel

I think that I will stay with soldering. Suitcase connectors are just not my thing. 

One thing about a real good soldering set up is this - you no longer can blame a poor connection on the tool- its your skill set that's bad.!

Doug G.

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »
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"Buss" is also an affectionate nickname for a small child in the southern United States. When my daughter was little, that's what my mother-in-law called her. My mother-in-law was from Arkansas.

Doug
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kwledbetter

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Re: Best soldering iron???
« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2019, 11:42:55 PM »
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Another  one to throw in.

https://www.mpja.com/Solder-Station-with-LED-Display-ZD-929C/productinfo/15845+TL/

I have had mine for probably 3 years now.  It heats instantly and the replacement tips are super cheap.  Unless you are doing extreme surface mount type work I have found this one to be great for all my model RR needs including dozens of n scale decoder installs.