Radio Shack 70w Soldering Station - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm interested in learning about electronic soldering, and my first project will be connecting up some custom RCA cables. I also need to de-solder. Besides the cables, I'll probably play with some kits and other practice-parts (garage sale electronics). However I envision most of my A/V work starting with building custom cables.

I can satisfiy my "get it now" craving by picking up this Radio Shack station:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=15725446

Radio Shack GX-881 - 70w
(Temp range: 392~896°F (variance ±40°F))

Any advice on this station?
Should I be more patient and get a Weller or Hakko?

Is this adequate for cable-building?
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 06:37 AM
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This will work just fine for getting started. Quite honestly, it will work for "experienced" too.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062738&locale=en_US

Get a solder sucker too if you're going to be desoldering. I was in a bind one time and grabbed this thinking it would likely not do much of anything. To my surprise it worked quite well.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062742

-Suntan
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks: so maybe the soldering station is overkill?

With this pen, I'd just buy the various accessories (Stand, cleaning pad, etc) and be ready to roll?

Soldering stations are well reviewed for their improved ability at heat control. I notice the pen has a smaller heat range: 600-640. No need to be worried about the limited range?
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 07:14 AM
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If you're going to be soldering some very delicate and temperature sensitive components, then adjustable temp settings may be beneficial. For soldering RCA cable together, not really.

Personally, I tend to just use speed to control temp of the parts. Heat up the leads to the point you can get the solder to flow, but don't hold it on until stuff starts cooking.

I've soldered a lot of stuff (cables to PC board assemblies) with a junky soldering iron like that, works fine once you get the hang of it.

The other bits are take/leave. A stand might be useful if you're going to use it in a place where you might otherwise burn something setting it down (I just make sure to set it down without touching the tip on the table.) As for the "Cleaning pad" just wet a rag and use that.

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I very much appreciate your advice. Thanks!
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 09:02 AM
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Check Parts Express for the Stahl 40 watt station. Temp controlled, convenient iron holder, comes with an assortment of tips and under $20.
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A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Check Parts Express for the Stahl 40 watt station. Temp controlled, convenient iron holder, comes with an assortment of tips and under $20.

This is a good deal. I grabbed one

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Check Parts Express for the Stahl 40 watt station. Temp controlled, convenient iron holder, comes with an assortment of tips and under $20.

 

That is what I used to build my crossovers and it works well.



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post #9 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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That PE station is a good deal. For now I went with the single "pen" that was originally recommended because I could just go and get it.

I wondered what the best solder to use was - from the Radio Shack offerings - and the guy said it didn't matter as long as it was thin (he knew I was doing cable work). I went for the cheapest solder, which was "silver bearing" solder. They also had specific lead-free and another rosin-core solder.

Is there much of a difference? Was the Shack-Guy right?
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:23 PM
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Rosin core can help to get a good joint with older/corroded/crudy wires or contacts. It helps the solder to flow better and adhere to the metal surfaces. Basically rosin core solder is as the name explains, it has rosin inside the hollow solder string so it flows out when soldering.

Personally, I prefer to just stick the ends of wires into a tub of rosin paste before soldering because I also use rosin when soldering copper pipe with a blow torch.

As for the type to use, I'm sure what you got will work just fine.

If you're having problems getting a good joint, or only getting poor/cold joints, then wiping some rosin soldering paste on can help. Alternatively, filing/sanding a clean surface onto contacts will make a big improvement too.

-Suntan
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 01:25 PM
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60/40 rosin core solder is what most people recommend and use for electronics. Silver bearing has no no flux.



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post #12 of 13 Old 08-26-2013, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again! I'll play with this silver bearing stuff but may end up getting the rosin core or rosin paste.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-19-2014, 01:11 PM
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@ CubicleCrusher, for that purpose, you first need to have a soldering station that can both solder and de-solder. Since these are two different operations that require different amounts of power from the soldering iron. Secondly and more importantly, you need to have a de-soldering wire. Generally, people use the same material for soldering and de-soldering which is not the correct way to go. It might be in the start for a few amateur projects but beyond that, professional approach is required.
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