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  • soldering irons

    Hi to All,
    I have been getting a lot of assistance with my Fender Blues junior on this great site. Thanks to all ! I have ordered my new tubes and bias pot but wanted to ask a question on soldering.

    It seems to be common knowledge that the boards and traces on the Blues junior do not hold up well to heat.

    I have a old but reliable Weller WTCP soldering station (does not have a temperature control) and 700 degree tips that I use for general things on my guitar, a roll of solder wick, and rosin core solder. Does this soldering station produce to much to heat to work on this board safely?

    If I need a pencil tip what wattage would you recommend?
    Thanks Again
    dadroadie

  • #2
    The tip on the WTCP soldering iron is temperature controlled. A PTA7 is 700 degrees. A PTA8 is too hot for most circuit boards, but it may be required for a board that uses lead-free solder. Wattage doesn't control temperatures. It controls how much the temperature of the tip droops when you touch it to a cold surface.

    I bought a digitally controlled Hakko soldering station, and I love it. With the best equipment in the world, you still have to master the art of applying enough but not too much heat.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dadroadie View Post
      I have a old but reliable Weller WTCP soldering station (does not have a temperature control) and 700 degree tips that I use for general things on my guitar, a roll of solder wick, and rosin core solder. Does this soldering station produce to much to heat to work on this board safely?
      I bet it's not as old as mine. I've been using it for decades.

      Click image for larger version

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      No wait that was my dad's.
      This is like mine but mine has a black base unit.
      It's temperature controlled by tip selection as Pat said and I second the reliable.

      Click image for larger version

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      I'm also using a No7 tip. I think it's a PT-BB7
      It's fine for tube amps and PCBs with leaded or unleaded solder.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        I have been using my Weller WTCP-S (50W, temperature tip-controlled) for almost 40 years now.
        - Own Opinions Only -

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        • #5
          I too have been using Weller WTCP stations and normally 700 deg tips, while having a collection of different tips. My portable station in my tool case is the Military version that comes in a neat grey metal case, tip storage/tips, even has the Desoldering Iron assembly.

          Click image for larger version

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          I had picked this up at a TRW Radio Amateur's Technical Swap Meet in Redondo Beach back in the 90's for $40. My other Weller WTCP station got the usual upgrade to a Male XLR connector on the front, Female A3M on the cable to replace the original locking-collar connector that tended to wear out. Those work forever. More than adequate for servicing your Fender combo amp....all about soldering technique. Those PCB's do want to lift off the board all too easily.
          Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence

          Comment


          • #6
            Another WTCP user here. It fell off the bench once and the casing cracked open. It was too good to let go, I just ran a zip tie around it to hold the base together.
            When we were running these full time in the shop, we did have to replace the mag switches in the iron occasionally.
            The 700 deg. tip is great and you should have no problem if you don't hold it on the joint too long. I bought a 600 tip by accident once and it's useless. Not sure what it would even be for.
            "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

            Comment


            • #7
              Within a reasonable range, my experience is that not enough heat will cause more problems than too much heat. You have to hold the iron on the joint longer. That said, there's no substitute for experience and/or practice when it comes to soldering.
              "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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              • #8
                It is bad technique that damages boards, not just heat.
                Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Along the lines of what Dude said, I have a Radio Shack adjustable station (that is actually really nice) and I set it at 715F. That small extra nudge gets me in and out faster and seems to heat the actual component body less. I can't say how that might be on a tender PCB, but the idea is the same. Get the solder and what it's being applied to heated to flow temp and GTFO Because I proto a lot I sometimes get a joint that's been worked over a few times and the solder gets stubborn. That use to cause some trouble, but I have a feel for when that's happening before it becomes a problem now and I desolder the joint and apply new, flux core solder. My point is that if you're going to be soldering on the same pad several times for tweaks and adjustments you'll want to desolder it every couple of times just so you don't have to heat the bejeesus out of it to melt it or hold the iron on there too long trying to get it to flow. I see this as learning from my own failures, but the pros here are calling it "technique"
                  "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                  "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                  "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                  • #10
                    A few guys here have promoted the idea of picking up electronic junk to practice de-soldering/soldering on. I think it's an excellent idea. Thrift shops or e-recycle bins are full of cheap/free practice material.
                    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, and FWIW...

                      If you're soldering and desoldering and resoldering (etc.) you can take that lead free solder and just toss it in the bin. Plain ol' 60/40 is the stuff.
                      "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                      "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                      "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by g1 View Post
                        A few guys here have promoted the idea of picking up electronic junk to practice de-soldering/soldering on. I think it's an excellent idea. Thrift shops or e-recycle bins are full of cheap/free practice material.
                        And the best part of that is if you screw up or lift a pad well you know what not to do, because its not your amplifier your trying to fix. Like going to the batting cage to practice hitting the ball you get as many swings as you can afford....
                        nosaj
                        Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lead free solder sucks.

                          It is required in Europe. Not here. You are under no obligation to use the stuff in the USA, even if the unit is built with it.
                          Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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                          • #14
                            to work on those boards,you need to solder and desolder in the fastest way possible,that means you need enough power,especially on ground planes,i use 48W minimum,today you can find even a bargain TS100,which is a very powerful tool,powered at 24v/3A you can get more than 60w and the tip is superfast.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alexradium View Post
                              to work on those boards,you need to solder and desolder in the fastest way possible,that means you need enough power,especially on ground planes,i use 48W minimum,today you can find even a bargain TS100,which is a very powerful tool,powered at 24v/3A you can get more than 60w and the tip is superfast.
                              I have found as of late working on RF amps removing the finals A weller Heat gun with a short piece of 12g copper gets solder flowing real quick to use the solder sucker. Works great for chassis connections also, but also acts as a quick media eraser for magnetic tapes.

                              nosaj
                              Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                              Comment

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