Suggestions for a soldering iron?


#1

Can somebody help me pick a soldering iron? What is everyone using? Toodles?


#2

I use a dirt cheap 20W one which I have filed to get a finer tip for all my padhacking and dual mods.


#3

This is the one I use for all of my stuff


#4

I don’t really go for anything fancy, but honestly I’ve been using the one that he sells on gamingnow.net for a while now and it’s working out perfect for me.


#5

Now this is one area Radioshack doesn’t suck ass at lol
I’ve used the same one for over a year now. Really the only thing you’d wanna do is gob the tip with solder when your done soldering. When your ready to solder the next time use a sponge dipped in flux to clean and it’s just like new. I’ve been using the same tip for the past 9+ months :slight_smile:


#6

As long as don’t get a high wattage one, you’re fine. 15 watts is plenty. That cheapo one from Radio Shack works fine for stick building applications.


#7

I was gonna start cleaning my tip, but the cost of a new tip is only like 2 bucks, and the cost of the cleaner was just as much or more. I figured I may as well just replace the tip when it’s not working well.

Anyways I totally recommend a 15 watt from radioshack. I first started off using a 30 watt and it was way too hot. I hated soldering back then. Now I love it.


#8

I use a cheapo Welter iron w/ station gotten from Fry’s. It’s nice as it was only $20 and has an adjustable temperature + iron holder.


#9

i didnt want to make a new topic so i think ill ask here

besides the Soldering Iron and Solder what else should i buy before i use it? like things necessary for cleaning?

edit:
also is this sold good

i was thinking not all solder is the same so wasnt sure


#10

All solder isn’t the same but that’s good solder. You need rosin-core for the type of work you do on arcade sticks. The other kind is for heavier duty soldering I believe, and doesn’t work well unless you have some flux to go with it.

I personally don’t use flux when I solder with rosin-core solder but I know a lot of people who do. If you’re quick at soldering then you don’t really need the flux as the rosin inside the solder does the same job. But flux does help when you’re first learning because it makes the solder not stick to your gun as much.


#11

You likely wont need that much solder. I bought a 1/2oz tube of it from radioshack and after soldering up the MC Chtulhu with an RJ45 Jack, tinning my ground wire daisy-chain, and doing a bunch of practice by soldering in random wires into an old modem, I still haven’t gone through a fourth of it.

I also bought the 15/30 watt iron from them, and it works fine. I watched a few tutorial videos, and practiced on old circuit boards I had from an old PC and now I’m pretty comfortable with it. It’s really not that hard as long as you have patience and a steady hand. Unless you plan to do a bunch of projects that require soldering, I’d just go for the cheapest options, it worked for me and many others.

I’d worry more about spending money on a decent multimeter.


#12

Oh wow I didn’t realize you were looking at a lb of it. Get the smallest amt of that type of solder they sell, its like 3 dollars.

I also concur about practicing on older circuit boards. I practiced on broken N64 controllers. Just solder random wires to the copper contact points. Be aware though that it’s harder to solder to old contact points because of corrosion. But if you can do it on hard mode, then newer parts should be easy mode.


#13

alright sounds good how bout for cleaning the soldering iron?

but is a multimeter really worth buying for these small projects?


#14

I got the 15 watt version of this from Fry’s:
http://www.hakkousa.com/detail.asp?CID=49,118&PID=2476&Page=2

Was $15-$30 and $3 for a really sharp tip.

I had one of those expensive $200 Heat Adjustable Weller’s from my mom when she was an electrical technician in the 80’s, but it died. This one works just as well.

For cleaning a soldering iron, I usually just wipe it on a damp sponge. You definitely need a multimeter if you do a RJ-45 mod and/or use a MC cthulhu for PS2, Gamecube cables, or need to trouble shoot a dual mod.


#15

I wipe mine off with a wet paper towel, and always tin it. They do have sponges and flux you can get which will clean it better if you want to keep it in tip-top condition, but again, if you aren’t using it much it probably wont be worth it and a replacement tip is pretty cheap anyway.

And you could get away without using a multimeter. However, it is extremely useful in checking all your connections. I’m in the process of doing an RJ-45 mod to the MC Cthulhu and I made sure to double check every pin in every cord and especially when connecting it through my neutrik jack, and it all checks out. Plus I found that my soldering joint to the VCC line on the Cthulhu was bad so I had to re-melt the solder and move the wire a bit more centered to get the joint right. If I hadn’t had the multimeter, I would have had to have done a lot of trial and error to determine just where the bad connection was.

Continuity checks are your friend.


#16

so my friend told me to go with this since it’s dual wattage but the reviews kinda giving me second thoughts any opinions on this or other recommendations


#17

Ok guys, if you’re going to be doing some real soldering, you want something like this:

http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/CF_Files/model_detail.cfm?upc=037103191922

That’s what I use… I think I paid like 100 bucks online somewhere when I got mine. I know you guys say that you get by using cheap irons, but you won’t believe how much easier it is to put together Toodles’ tiny-ass boards using something like this… You need something with a small tip, and you can set the temp to exactly what you want… You guys should be using small solder too, I use .032" 60/40 Rosin Core… works like a champ… just my 2 cents…

Chad
www.lizardlick.com


#18

i use a cheaper weller station (wlc100?) similar to the one chad posted, and it’s so much easier being able to adjust the wattage.


#19

Weller is the stuff.
I have the same one Chad posted.


#20

it’d be nice to get one of those but i honestly doubt ill have many projects just probably small things like leds and a stick for both ps3/xbox 360