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Ken Gracey
02-03-2012, 03:54 AM
Hello,

This Spring we'll be running a bunch of people (5-10K) through a little soldering project [more on the project later, from Phil Pilgrim]. The project consists of basic through-hole assembly of about five parts, plus battery installation.

We'll be using these stations at the USA Science Festival (http://www.usasciencefestival.org/), a Maker Faire, the Parallax EXPO/UPEW in Rocklin and a few other smaller venues.

We need to purchase a dozen soldering stations for these appearances. Ideal price is between $50-100 or so. What would be your favorite suggestion? I'm inclined to go with a Weller, Hako or similar name brand.

We will also have PanaVises for holding the PCB. As these could be purchased with a wire ring for holding the solder and the iron, we could look at a wider variety of irons that don't include a base.

Recommendations?

Thanks,

Ken Gracey

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
02-03-2012, 04:09 AM
Ken,

I picked up one of those ELENCO SL-5 units a couple years ago. It's had very regular use (at least once a week), has hit the floor a couple times and works extremely well. It was my last attempt at using an inexpensive soldering station before breaking down to buy an expensive Weller station. Honestly, with the service it's given here, I'd not hesitate to recommend them. Inexpressive and reliable is a very rare combination.

This:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=ELENCO+SL-5&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1228&bih=783&ix=sea&ion=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14609325873844471436&sa=X&ei=W14rT8fcMKGK2QXbufDvDg&ved=0CEcQ8wIwAw

OBC

Franklin
02-03-2012, 04:24 AM
for hakko http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_dash.html or EDSYN http://www.edsyn.com/index.php?Mode=piw&pn=CL1481

Al Booth
02-03-2012, 04:27 AM
Ken,

I've had good luck with a Weller WLC100. They are only $40 and Fry's carries replacement tips. It's great for all around soldering.

I have a Weller WESD51 50W Digital Soldering Station for more delicate soldering, but at $129, it's out of your price range.

Al

W9GFO
02-03-2012, 04:49 AM
$80, even includes the brass tip cleaner.

Hakko-Soldering-Station-FX-888

89248 (http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-Soldering-Station-FX-888/dp/B004M3U0VU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1328244361&sr=1-1)

Peter KG6LSE
02-03-2012, 07:00 AM
Ill say EDYSYN too. mine is now 4 Years old and still is on its 3rd tip ..

wass
02-03-2012, 08:02 AM
I'll second the Hakko. I have the earlier (better looking?) version of this, model 936. I've had it for several, maintenance-free, problem-free years. This replaced my old Weller WTCPT which was ok, but not as nice to use and required occasional maintenance.

OppaErich
02-03-2012, 10:53 AM
Is ERSA not known in the US ? I'm still using my old analogue ERSA station from the early 80s, it has even passed it's very first lead free solder test a couple of days ago. Weller is good too.

Erik Friesen
02-03-2012, 01:11 PM
I use the hakko 936. I like its holder and sponge setup. It takes about 30 seconds to be ready to solder from startup.

Shawn Lowe
02-03-2012, 01:59 PM
Ken,

I've had good luck with a Weller WLC100. They are only $40 and Fry's carries replacement tips. It's great for all around soldering.

I have a Weller WESD51 50W Digital Soldering Station for more delicate soldering, but at $129, it's out of your price range.

Al
I have one of these, and while I dont use it alot, it has done a good job when I used it. You may have to get finer tips for them, but they are inexpensive

RDL2004
02-03-2012, 02:54 PM
I have an older model Hakko too. Mine is a 937 that I bought used and it's been a great soldering iron. Heats up in like 20 seconds. I'm sure the newer, non-digital FX-888 would be just as good. Plato makes a good selection of economical tips to fit the Hakko irons, and they're available from Mouser.

Ken Gracey
02-03-2012, 09:32 PM
$80, even includes the brass tip cleaner.

Hakko-Soldering-Station-FX-888

89248 (http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-Soldering-Station-FX-888/dp/B004M3U0VU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1328244361&sr=1-1)

This seems to be the choice we'll make. Only problem is that I want it in black, which is only available in Japan. I know what you're thinking "aw, come on, get over it!" but it ties in better with the whole theme. More on that later.

Thanks everybody for the tips.

Ken Gracey

mindrobots
02-03-2012, 09:41 PM
Don't you have a willing supplier/distributor/customer in Japan??

If they were only available in Ohio, you'd be set!

Publison
02-03-2012, 10:27 PM
Ken, I always get slammed on recommending this one:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3132686
(http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3132686)
Radio Shack had at least two dozen in their booth at Maiker Fair NY and as many people using all day long them when I was there.

Maybe find out from your contacts at RS to see how they held up.

I have had one for over a year, and it does all Leaded and Non-Lead that I threw at it. Through hole and SMD, ( after I bought an assortment of tips).

It is made by a good manufacturer out of Canada, :

http://www.madelltech.com/index.html
(http://www.madelltech.com/index.html)
Radio Shack sells them for $79.99 and Madeltech has them (AT201D) on sale for $67.00 :

http://www.madelltech.com/m3-8.html
(http://www.madelltech.com/m3-8.html)
Replacement tips can be found here:

http://www.madelltech.com/Soldertips.html
(http://www.madelltech.com/Soldertips.html)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Tip-Kit-QK936A-SD-04B-SD-06-AT201D-Etc-/320810811161#ht_2734wt_1008

Maybe get a good deal from your Radio Shack buddies"?


(Why do I still get my next line Hyperlinked.? )

Jim
(http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Tip-Kit-QK936A-SD-04B-SD-06-AT201D-Etc-/320810811161#ht_2734wt_1008)

schill
02-03-2012, 11:29 PM
This seems to be the choice we'll make. Only problem is that I want it in black, which is only available in Japan. I know what you're thinking "aw, come on, get over it!" but it ties in better with the whole theme. More on that later.

Thanks everybody for the tips.

Ken Gracey

The blue one really does look much more "toy like" than the older ones. I wonder who it is supposed to appeal to.

RDL2004
02-04-2012, 02:09 AM
(Why do I still get my next line Hyperlinked.? )

I'm not sure how you're doing it, but you're putting line breaks inside the html tags, and continuing on without the closing tag.



<a target="_blank" href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Tip-Kit-QK936A-SD-04B-SD-06-AT201D-Etc-/320810811161#ht_2734wt_1008">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Tip-Kit-QK936A-SD-04B-SD-06-AT201D-Etc-/320810811161#ht_2734wt_1008<br/>
<br/>
Maybe get a good deal from your Radio Shack buddies"?<br/>
<br/>
<br/>
(Why do I still get my next line Hyperlinked.? )<br/>
<br/>
Jim<br/>

</a>

Peter KG6LSE
02-04-2012, 10:25 AM
The blue one really does look much more "toy like" than the older ones. I wonder who it is supposed to appeal to.


just slap a Michigan Wolverine sticker on it .. problem solved..

:tongue:

Don't feel bad Ken . I have a thing with mis-matched stuff .. Breaks up the fung shui.

wass
02-04-2012, 05:34 PM
Only problem is that I want it in black,

Ken Gracey

Someone must have the black 936 station left in stock, it's wasn't discountinued all that long ago.

Perhaps here:

http://www.ackelectronics.com/magento/default/hakko-936-12.html