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What is in your Solder kit? Where did you buy it?

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    What is in your Solder kit? Where did you buy it?

    I want to start recommending or even selling solder gun kits to new builders. Which kits do you guys use and which ones do you recommend?

    #2
    I've been using this kit for over a year. It's so far lasted through 10 builds. Cheap but serviceable!
    http://www.amazon.com/Vastar-Adjusta...ords=Soldering
    Attached Files

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      #3
      Gee,

      I'm not an electronics technician, so this mini butane torch/soldering iron was a big help when it was given to me by a sister.

      They heat up so fast, stand up without touching stuff accidentally, and are economical on fuel.

      I'll probably never use a corded one again. Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by Christian Livingstone; 02-21-2016, 04:02 PM.

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        #4
        Depending on my needs, currently I use this 40w or this 80w (both usable with base)









        Also, for the price this hobbyking unit isn't bad. While it lasts, 220v version lasted 6 months w/ heavy use.


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          #5
          Here's another primary tool in my wiring toolbox.

          Click image for larger version

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          It's an inexpensive crimper, modified a bit to work well for those tiny JST connectors.

          I'll post a link to a video that advertises an actual crimper designed for the JST connectors. They have two models, both of which will work for the JST connectors that are commonly found with eBike controllers and accessories, and are pretty well priced, I think, from vendors at Amazon at $30-$50.

          I think mastering the JST connector and reusing the various housings is an important skill for an eBike enthusiast. It doesn't take much time or resources to do so, but once you have you'll be fearless in severing those hall sensor wires and others to make repairs or custom length cabling.

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            #6
            I think JST kits and crimpers are coming to Lunacycle too. I'll be glad when I don't have to buy 100 to get a decent price.

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              #7
              I found a 100W soldering iron very cheap a long time ago, and it was at a craft supply store in the stained glass window building section. It has a fat tip so that once it's fully heated up, it does not cool down Immediately as soon as It touches anything, like thin tips do.

              I made a fold up wooden box to hold it and also work as the stand when I mount the metal coil that acts as the holder when the iron is hot. I made that coil from a metal coat hangar.

              I can now afford something more professional-looking, but it still works great.

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                #8
                This is high tech. Actually I'm just learning and yes I know I need an upgrade
                Amazing deals on this 30 Watt Lightweight Soldering Iron at Harbor Freight. Quality tools & low prices.

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                  #9
                  Got an new $14 set from Amazon. works like a champ! 30W is a little weak from my use...

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                    #10
                    Here's a quick primer on re-using JST connector housings. You can get the contacts out, much like the ferrules, of the male housing side too, using a paperclip shoved into it.



                    Here's more on crimping those little suckers.

                    Last edited by Christian Livingstone; 03-11-2016, 07:17 AM.

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                      #11
                      Don't even know the brand of my soldering iron it's so cheap, but a huge godsend for me was plumbers flux. I was able to re-tin the tip on my old soldering iron I ruined with lead-free solder (second tip, don't ever buy/use lead free solder). Simply heat up the iron and then alternate between dipping it in flux, tinning solder and wiping excess with steel wool.

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                        #12
                        Plumbers flux is usually acid core and acid core flux is never recommended for electronics as it causes future corrosion. Hopefully you were able to totally remove all the flux before using the tip for soldering electronics. Tips are cheap, perhaps just replace it.

                        Usually lead solder and electronics flux will overcome lead free solder. Lead free solder is hard to work with and not recommended. It is required for commercial products in many countries but not for DIY work.
                        Alan B

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                          #13
                          Yes should have mentioned that. As Alan mentioned definitely do not use this flux for soldering electronics! There is already rosin flux in electrical solder so there is no need for flux when soldering. However, I've found that when a tip is very oxidized there isn't enough flux in the core of electrical solder alone to recover the badly oxidized tip with solder alone (though it's fine when tinning for the first time or if the tip only has a couple places it's oxidized). It could be because I'm terrible with the soldering iron, but I think it's because I mistakenly bought and used lead-free solder.

                          Basically flux is a reducing agent to keep the metal from oxidizing until it gets burned away (that's the stuff in the smoke coming from the iron). I used plumbers flux only for tip recover which allows me to easily scrape off oxidized solder without scraping the plating on the tip. Plumbers flux, unlike (most?) rosin, creates a residue that is water soluble so you you can easily remove the excess (which you will have if you are dipping a hot iron in flux) after tip cleaning with water without re-oxidizing the tip by overheating (another reason to get a good soldering iron with temperature control instead of a cheapie). I think when plumbers use it, they don't worry about the corrosion because the inside of the pipe will flush the excess when the pipe is used and they wipe down the outside of the pipes with a wet rag.

                          As for replacing the tip, my iron is so cheap, the tip is non-replaceable. I should get a $100 Weller or Hakko soldering station, but I solder so rarely and the copper isn't showing through just yet so I think I have a few more good uses before I have to bite the bullet on a decent iron.
                          Last edited by tychay; 04-06-2016, 12:39 AM.

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                            #14
                            OK, there are some good Hakko/Weller clones that have replaceable tips and don't cost much. I use Hakko and Aoyue and the Aoyue is not bad. I haven't tried to get replacement tips for it yet but according to the sra-solder website they are interchangeable. With the dial adjust temperature the tips last longer if you turn the temperature down or shut it off, they warm up fast with 60W or so of electronically regulated heater.
                            Alan B

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                              #15
                              I had a pricey station go south and took up with cheap Amazon irons. So far I've gotten scores of projects out of a $14 kit. I think the one or two bike household can do very well with a budget kit. I just posted one for $15 that had enough solder for a dozen projects. I made my first helping hands out of copper wire stripped from romex and alligator clips. A used heat sink from a computer made a slick little wire soldering, joining table.

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                              • JPLabs
                                JPLabs commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Old PC heat sink for holding wires, that's clever! I'll try it.
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