Basic Soldering Iron Parts

Feb 22, 2016 by

Basic Soldering Iron Parts

Are you a soldering beginner looking to master this fundamental skill in the world of electronics? This article highlights the basic soldering parts that you should be familiar with.

  • Tips – there’s no soldering iron without a tip. This crucial part is the accessory that heats up and allows the solder to move around the components being merged. Basically, solder has to stick to the tip when it’s being applied, but most people tend to think that the tip transfers the solder. What the tip does is transfer heat to the surface being soldering. Once the surface temperature reaches that of the solder, it melts accordingly. Most soldering iron kits are flexible enough to allow you to change the soldering tip so that you can fine-tune your soldering based on your specific needs.
  • Wand – this is the part of the soldering iron that actually holds the tip (above). The wand is also the part that is handled/held by the user. These parts are typically made up from insulating materials such as rubber so that heat cannot be transferred from the tip to the wand’s outer parts. Wands house the metal contacts and wires that make a solder complete. When shopping for a soldering iron, you’ll want to work with one that has a high-quality wand.
  • Base – this is a control box that usually allows you to adjust the temperature of your soldering iron. The base has a connector where the wand can be attached so that it derives heat from the electronics inside it. Traditional bases in the market are still analog, which means that you use a dial to control temperature. However, more modern base controls are digital, meaning that they have a button for temperature setting, as well as a display that gives you the currently-set temperature. Commonly, some newer bases have extra features that are meant to make your soldering work much easier.
  • Stand – this is a cradle where you can rest/house your soldering iron any time when it’s not being used. This part might seem trivial at first, but you don’t want to expose yourself and others to the risk of unattended soldering iron lying barely on a workbench or desk. This part may be designed as a simplistic metallic stand, or as a complex part that provides an auto-shut feature.

Brass Sponge – your solder typically oxidizes, which makes it turn black and solder-resistant. This is more so common with lead-free solders, where multiple impurities build up at the iron tip, leading to oxidization. The sponge comes in handy in that it allows you to give your tip a thorough cleaning through a simple wipe-off operation. Wet sponges were used in the past. But doing this can dramatically scale down the lifespan of our soldering tip.

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Through-Hold Soldering Basics

Feb 19, 2016 by

If you do anything in the world of electronics, soldering is a basic skill. Soldering and electronics go together like bread and butter. While some people will just do with building electronics without lifting a solder, there’s a whole new world that’s unlocked with this simple skills. This tutorial delves you head-first into the basics of through-hole soldering, which is also popularly referred to as PTH (Plated Through-Hole Soldering). You will learn a couple of things that should get you going.

What is a Solder

Before you can learn how to solder, you need to understand what a solder is. Solder is an alloy made substance that’s comprised of two or more metallic components. It usually comes wound in a long, thin wire or tube. Soldering has everything to do with joining two metallic parts through what is known as a solder joint!

Leaded vs. Lead-Free Solder

Traditionally, solder was made up of tin and lead, as well as a couple other trace metals. These are what’s typically referred to as leaded solder. But since we now understand that lead metal is very harmful to human beings, the use of lead in solder-making is reducing. Through the restriction of hazardous substances, some countries have restricted the use of lead in soldering. This has led manufacturers to make lead-free solder.

Safety

When getting started with through-hole soldering, you need to put safety first. You should be cautious when you handle hot irons and employ hold boards when soldering. Your iron should be set at a good medium heat of between 325 to 375 degrees Celsius. If you note any smoke coming from your solder, you should immediately turn down the heat.

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Common Soldering Iron Accessories

Feb 8, 2016 by

Common Soldering Iron Accessories

Do you already have your soldering iron, and enough information to go about the job? Sometimes, you need accessories to enhance your soldering iron kit and make your work a lot easier. The following common accessories can help aid your soldering endeavor.

Soldering Wick

  1. Soldering Wick – this is a considered an eraser to a soldering pencil. When working with parts removal and jumpers, solder wicks can come in handy. Also known as a desoldering braid, it’s made up of a very thin copper wire that has been braided together. The solder is easily wicked or soaked up this copper accessory thus ‘erasing’ extra solder globs.
  2. Tip Tinner – this is a chemical plate that’s typically used to clean of a soldering iron. It’s made up of mild acid and designed to help eliminate baked on residue. This is the accessory you need when you accidently melt your soldering tip on a certain component. It also aids prevent oxidation that would otherwise build up on your soldering tip, especially when it’s not being used.
  3. Flux Pen – this is a useful chemical agent that boosts the flow of lead-free solder. A flux pen is precisely what you need to dab stubborn parts with liquid flux in order to create a better-looking joint.
  4. Solder Vacuum – this is also commonly known as a solder sucker. It’s an important tool that’s mostly used to remove solder that may have been left behind, typically in through-holes, during desoldering.

These accessories can dramatically enhance the efficiency and quality of your soldering work.

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iCooker Soldering Kit Review

Jan 30, 2016 by

iCooker Soldering Kit Review

iCooker is one of the most popular soldering iron kits today. When shopping for a soldering iron kit, most people think about the tip shape and size, the wattage, the brand as well as temperature control. Small electronics soldering jobs will do just fine with a wattage of about 30 watts. But to get away with bigger projects, such as those involving considerably thick coppers wires, you need either a soldering gun or a soldering iron that’s more capable.

The iCooker soldering iron provides a maximum wattage of 60, which is ideal for a wide range of soldering applications. Compared to other popular brands, such as the Weller, iCooker seems to be provided a tasty experience to soldering buffs. The accessory heats up pretty fast and helps users avoid the rampant frustrations that most traditional irons pose. It also comes equipped with a temperature regulation thermostat spanning the 200 – 450 degree Celsius range. This gives you another cool perk to adjust and control the speed of your project.

iCooker Soldering Kit

With an easy grip, 5 free tips, and some other perks, the iCooker is no doubt a handy soldering accessory. It’s currently one of the best-selling products on Amazon.com, as well as other top e-tailing marketplaces. The accessory offers real value for money and makes a reliable tool especially if soldering is something you do often. Its iron-plated stainless steel is not just good aesthetically but provides a safe and long-lasting wand. The entire package contains a solder wire tube, as well as 5 soldering tips kit. Selling at just $19.99 dollars on most major marketplaces, this product is definitely a winner!

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