PC Review


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Flasherly
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      29th Nov 2011
Got my soldering station today. Model STSSVT. Guess the VT stand for
why they charged me $17 for their product. Variable Temperature
ranging settings from 0-40watts. About beat up my old Weller Orange
stick, pretty bad, and figured I'd give Stahl a try between maybe
picking a 20-ish watt Blue (Weller's pro) unit. Seems having no
sensor feedback at its tip, hence the name prone actually to stall at
some material points, is about right. Ever used one?
 
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John Doe
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      29th Nov 2011
Flasherly <Flasherly live.com> wrote:

> Got my soldering station today. Model STSSVT.


You call that a "soldering station"? Or maybe I should have
translated it...

> Guess the VT stand for why they charged me $17 for their
> product. Variable Temperature ranging settings from 0-40watts.
> About beat up my old Weller Orange stick, pretty bad, and
> figured I'd give Stahl a try between maybe picking a 20-ish watt
> Blue (Weller's pro) unit. Seems having no sensor feedback at
> its tip, hence the name prone actually to stall at some material
> points, is about right. Ever used one?


I have been doing some ordinary soldering, as opposed to soldering
integrated circuit chips. My heavy soldering iron is pretty much a
POS, but at least it gets hot enough to easily solder appliance
cord wire and its trigger heats up the tip quickly.

Water-soluble core solder is great stuff if you like sparkling
clean. To remove the resin, run it under warm water or wipe with a
paper towel. Neat stuff IMO. I still have a roll from way back
when I used to connect IC chips to make little things.
 
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Flasherly
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      29th Nov 2011
On Nov 29, 12:04 am, John Doe <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Flasherly <Flasherly live.com> wrote:
> > Got my soldering station today. Model STSSVT.

>
> You call that a "soldering station"? Or maybe I should have
> translated it...
>
> > Guess the VT stand for why they charged me $17 for their
> > product. Variable Temperature ranging settings from 0-40watts.
> > About beat up my old Weller Orange stick, pretty bad, and
> > figured I'd give Stahl a try between maybe picking a 20-ish watt
> > Blue (Weller's pro) unit. Seems having no sensor feedback at
> > its tip, hence the name prone actually to stall at some material
> > points, is about right. Ever used one?

>
> I have been doing some ordinary soldering, as opposed to soldering
> integrated circuit chips. My heavy soldering iron is pretty much a
> POS, but at least it gets hot enough to easily solder appliance
> cord wire and its trigger heats up the tip quickly.
>
> Water-soluble core solder is great stuff if you like sparkling
> clean. To remove the resin, run it under warm water or wipe with a
> paper towel. Neat stuff IMO. I still have a roll from way back
> when I used to connect IC chips to make little things.


I'll have to try it first before measuring the tip dimensions and
ordering all kinds of nifty and larger tips. Ebay's got tons of
those. The tip that came with it is supposed to be small enough and
may be OK for chip work. Also need a solder sucker, but will keep
washable resin flux in mind. Also need to read for brushing up on
soldering techniques in general. Part of the reason my fixed Weller
tip looks like its been through hell (constantly dipping into a can of
flux is corrosive on tin covering the lead core). Projects
withstanding, the first time it gets used to fix something smaller
than the Weller might fry to a crisp, at $17, it pays for itself.
Though $50+ gets out of potluck territory and into a real instrument
with a temperature probe calibrated for a base regulator to keep the
tip temperature constant. See how this one goes, anyway. Just got
it, free shipping with $10 for a couple quarts of compressor oil.
There's a 30 or so reviews at the supplier Amazon's selling it
through.

http://www.amazon.com/Stahl-Tools-Va...1&sr=8-1-fkmr0
 
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david
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      29th Nov 2011
On Tue, 29 Nov 2011 05:04:10 +0000, John Doe rearranged some electrons to
say:

>
> Water-soluble core solder is great stuff if you like sparkling clean. To
> remove the resin, run it under warm water or wipe with a paper towel.
> Neat stuff IMO. I still have a roll from way back when I used to connect
> IC chips to make little things.


And if you don't get EVERY little bit of it off, it can cause long term
reliability problems and corrosion of the joint. Regular RMA flux is
much better, and you don't have to wash the flux off, it's non-conductive.
 
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larry moe 'n curly
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      29th Nov 2011


Flasherly wrote:
>
> Got my soldering station today. Model STSSVT. Guess the VT stand for
> why they charged me $17 for their product. Variable Temperature
> ranging settings from 0-40watts. About beat up my old Weller Orange
> stick, pretty bad, and figured I'd give Stahl a try between maybe
> picking a 20-ish watt Blue (Weller's pro) unit. Seems having no
> sensor feedback at its tip, hence the name prone actually to stall at
> some material points, is about right. Ever used one?


I have a $4 hand-held variable power iron that goes from 10-60W in 10W
steps. 40W is about the minimum power needed to solder leads into the
ground plane or power plane of 4+ layer circuit boards, at least 50W
is needed to unsolder them, and that's with 60/40 tin/lead solder --
forget about lead-free. Also if the power setting is kept above 40W,
the iron can't be left to idle for long because the tip will overheat
and turn blue. Maybe this iron just isn't very good (cone-shaped tip,
rather than chisel), but I tried a Hakko 936 50W with real temperature
regulation, and it's a lot better, both at melting solder more quickly
and at not overheating the tip or copper traces.

AFAICT the cheapest temperature regulated iron is the Goot PX-201,
about $50, and it can deliver up to 60W to the tip (iron draws up to
70W), meaning it's suitable for lead-free solder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3RDu6FIg7w



 
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John Doe
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      29th Nov 2011
david <none nospam.com> wrote:

> John Doe rearranged some electrons to say:


>> Water-soluble core solder is great stuff if you like sparkling
>> clean. To remove the resin, run it under warm water or wipe
>> with a paper towel. Neat stuff IMO. I still have a roll from
>> way back when I used to connect IC chips to make little things.

>
> And if you don't get EVERY little bit of it off, it can cause
> long term reliability problems and corrosion of the joint.


Have you ever used water-soluble flux solder? Sounds like you are
trolling for answers... Yes, it's good stuff, try it.

Every little bit of water-soluble flux core solder comes off very
easily by simply running the circuit under warm water. Or, again,
you can just wipe off the flux with a paper towel. I have an
excess of recycled paper towels, so that's always very easy.

> Regular RMA flux is much better,


Says some nym-shifting troll. That is clearly false, since
water-soluble core solder is readily available. Obviously it
depends on your application. I do not like hard junk all over my
work, the junk that ordinary flux solder leaves. Apparently
water-soluble flux solder is mainly used for difficult to solder
metals (a quality that is always desirable here), but being able
to rinse the flux off is great for soldering lots of little stuff
closely spaced. Or if you are into neatness. Or if you don't like
ordinary flux getting in the way of soldering/resoldering
connections. I started using water-soluble flux when designing and
piecing together LEDs and little electronics stuff with 4000
series logic. All of the soldering mess was easily removed with
warm water, to leave a sparkling clean product, UNLIKE ORDINARY
FLUX SOLDER (apparently the maroon has never even used water
soluble flux solder). Being able to wash off the flux was helped a
lot for easily soldering tens or hundreds of nearby connections
and being able to see what I was doing.

> and you don't have to wash the flux off,


Ordinary flux is hard, it gets in the way, and you cannot wash it
off with water. I can imagine someone liking ordinary solder if he
has no experience with water-soluble flux solder, he does little
soldering, does not solder difficult metals, and does not require
detail or neatness. Or maybe you have no easy way of rinsing or
wiping your work.

> it's non-conductive.


Water soluble flux is not conductive since there isn't any left on
your circuit. Neatness and ease of soldering is the point of using
it.

This is the widely available water-soluble flux solder I use.

"KESTER "331" Water-Soluble 3.3% flux...promotes complete wetting
of the surfaces to be soldered and is specially designed to clean
with warm water. Kester Solder...provides shiny joints for easy
visual inspection."

Very clean and shiny.

According to Kester.

Kester 331 is a high-activity water-soluble core flux for
soldering difficult metals...it does need to be washed off within
a few hours of soldering or the solder joint will become dull."

According to others.

http://www.galco.com/techdoc/kstr/24-6040-6411_cp.pdf

"Kester 331...is more efctive than rosin fluxes in soldering
difficult metals. The residue can be completely removed with a
simple water rinse...Soldered samples left up to 48 hours in a
simulated production environment, without removing the flux,
showed no evidence of the flux residue having any corrosive
properties."

I'm sold!
Or "resold".

Since the flux is soft, if you are not careful, I suppose it might
make you messier. Conceivably more hazardous (the solder being led
and all), but not as difficult as working with super glue.
--















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> From: david <none nospam.com>
> Newsgroups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
> Subject: Re: Stahl SS
> Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 11:10:13 +0000 (UTC)
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Flasherly
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      1st Dec 2011
On Nov 29, 12:30 pm, "larry moe 'n curly" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
>
> I have a $4 hand-held variable power iron that goes from 10-60W in 10W
> steps. 40W is about the minimum power needed to solder leads into the
> ground plane or power plane of 4+ layer circuit boards, at least 50W
> is needed to unsolder them, and that's with 60/40 tin/lead solder --
> forget about lead-free.


Cool, then they actually work. Hell of a price, if that's also what I
was looking at on Ebay, $6 variable irons. Think I've a Weller gun -
amazing the jobs it'll do for anything involving heavy heat. I've
soldered 220V dryer cords together for a Lincoln stick welder with
that. 60watts are also popular in the reviews with stained glass-
workers (Tiffany), although, more along what I was reading, was
20watts for cars and not much more for components and PCBs. My other
Weller, an iron, has been a good little workhorse, though tends to be
on the hot side for anything delicate. Hakko is of course top of the
line even among better names, so that would be a nice experience. I'd
probably go into one of those other "better names" before dropping $50
on an iron alone. A Hakko has got to start twice what these run . . .

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_po...dtextbin=Aoyue
 
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david
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      2nd Dec 2011
On Thu, 01 Dec 2011 06:15:22 -0800, Flasherly rearranged some electrons to
say:

> On Nov 29, 12:30 pm, "larry moe 'n curly" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>>
>> I have a $4 hand-held variable power iron that goes from 10-60W in 10W
>> steps. 40W is about the minimum power needed to solder leads into the
>> ground plane or power plane of 4+ layer circuit boards, at least 50W is
>> needed to unsolder them, and that's with 60/40 tin/lead solder --
>> forget about lead-free.

>
> Cool, then they actually work. Hell of a price, if that's also what I
> was looking at on Ebay, $6 variable irons. Think I've a Weller gun -
> amazing the jobs it'll do for anything involving heavy heat. I've
> soldered 220V dryer cords together for a Lincoln stick welder with that.
> 60watts are also popular in the reviews with stained glass-
> workers (Tiffany), although, more along what I was reading, was 20watts
> for cars and not much more for components and PCBs. My other Weller, an
> iron, has been a good little workhorse, though tends to be on the hot
> side for anything delicate. Hakko is of course top of the line even
> among better names, so that would be a nice experience. I'd probably go
> into one of those other "better names" before dropping $50 on an iron
> alone. A Hakko has got to start twice what these run . . .
>
> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_power-hand-tools?

_encoding=UTF8&node=228013&field-brandtextbin=Aoyue


It all depends on what you want to do with it. If you're working on ESD
sensitive, expensive gear, you'll want an iron with a grounded tip. The
cheap ones may or may not be grounded. You'll also want a temperature-
controlled model to keep from overheating your work. I've been soldering
for 30 years, and recently invested in a Hakko 936 in order to build this:

http://www.elecraft.com/k2_page.htm

After soldering thousands of joints in this radio kit, the Hakko 936 has
proven its value. Every joint was perfect, and the iron had plenty of
heating power to flow solder on the heavy power components without
overheating them.

I suspect that you would go through several cheap irons before the Hakko
breaks.

"Buy quality and only cry once"
 
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Flasherly
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      2nd Dec 2011
On Dec 2, 6:20 am, david <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> "Buy quality and only cry once"


That's a beauty of a kit, for sure. I surprised myself, not so long
ago, supposing I did well enough with SSB Kaito SW receiver regardless
of horrible, inner-city reception for listening in. Considering years
and years of work, transmitting over radios for coordinating crews out
of a central location. Never thought I'd come to that point, touch a
mic or listen over "the bands" after an 8-hour shift. But
occasionally I do now, returning to switch it on for a quiet ambiance
to distant voices, off the air, late in the night. I wouldn't
hesitate to buy a proper station if ever I gain the confidence
actually to trace circuitry for an understanding of necessary
components for building a respectable vacuum tube stereo amplifier.
 
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david
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      3rd Dec 2011
On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 09:03:30 -0800, Flasherly rearranged some electrons to
say:

> On Dec 2, 6:20 am, david <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>> "Buy quality and only cry once"

>
> That's a beauty of a kit, for sure. I surprised myself, not so long
> ago, supposing I did well enough with SSB Kaito SW receiver regardless
> of horrible, inner-city reception for listening in. Considering years
> and years of work, transmitting over radios for coordinating crews out
> of a central location. Never thought I'd come to that point, touch a
> mic or listen over "the bands" after an 8-hour shift. But occasionally
> I do now, returning to switch it on for a quiet ambiance to distant
> voices, off the air, late in the night. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a
> proper station if ever I gain the confidence actually to trace circuitry
> for an understanding of necessary components for building a respectable
> vacuum tube stereo amplifier.


It was a fun build. It took about 50 hours to build the base kit, and
another 50 hours or so to build the 100 watt amplifier add-on. My
farthest 2 way contact so far (using a compromised antenna) was in
Ukraine (from the eastern US). I'm working on a better antenna now.

If you send me an email address to a j 4 t f at a r r l dot n e t I will
send you a link to some build pictures, if you're interested.

 
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