At the same time you can be sure of a set temperature and a long-term stability that´s why it´s suitable even for the most demanding usage.
Production of company Weller (member of Apex Hand Tools) represent a synonym for top quality soldering stations intended even for a continuous 24h usage. In the Weller portfolio can be found several series, from which we can choose the right type for our usage. Right to the top belong for example series WX, WX2, WXD, introduced to you some time ago. This time Weller comes with an innovated version of station WSD81 – WSD81i.
WSD81i soldering station hides behind a relatively plain classic design a top level technique. WSD81i uses „Silver line“ technology of a heat transfer to a relatively short tip with a copper core, ensuring excellent heat transfer and excellent temperature accuracy. LT series tips usable with WSD81i provide a wide selection for absolute majority of joints. Thanks to a precise construction, they have a prolonged lifetime and even thin tips lead heat very well and we´ll succeed with them even on solder pads, which appear to be small, but they require a lot of heat (ground connections with a lot of vias on a PCB and similar).
Platinum thermal sensor built-in right beneath an exchangeable tip ensure a long-term stability, what results in a fact, that WSD81i doesn´t require calibration even after a long-term operation (IPC compliant).
WSD81i also contain electronics checking usage of a soldering tool and in case of rest, the station goes to a standby mode (adjustable in a range of 1-99min). If we decide to change a real temperature of a tip, we can make it by means of an “offset” function. This can be advantageous for example in plants, where workers were used to set say 380°C but at WSD81i even 360°C would be sufficient (thanks to excellent heat transfer to a tip). In this case a worker doesn´t have to differ which soldering station he uses and he can use a unified setting for all types.
At the same time, it´s possible to lock a station by your own code or to set a “window” in which a temperature can be changed.
Comparison of three main technologies and also a comprehensive description of particular tips can be found in the „Weller soldering tips” brochure. Detailed description of the WSD81i station can be found in the WSD81i user guide.
WSD81i is available in 3 basic versions (80W tool + dry/ wet cleaning stand or a 65W tool + dry cleaning stand), from which we bring you type T005 32 946 99, i.e. 80W tool WSP80 + stand for wet cleaning (sponge).
Weller WSD81i soldering station doesn´t need a calibration - [Link]
A Flexible Oven Controller controlled via touch screen or through USB. Draw and download your own profiles using free Profile Creator.
Zallus Oven Controller - [Link]
Transformer soldering tool Toolcraft SP200 is a useful complement even if you already have a quality soldering station.
In praxis, it´s possible to heard various opinions on “transformer soldering tools”. Usually this is the first type of a soldering tool with which a young electro-technician begins. It´s small, a tip heats up quickly, doesn´t take a lot of space, it´s easily transportable and last but not least it´s also price – affordable.
From the point of view of a professional working with SMT components it can be reproached, that it´s not suitable for SMT components of 0603/ 0402 and similar, it creates a pulse at switching on (weak ESD safety) and it has no soldering tip temperature control.
Despite this, many of us are glad to return to it sometimes, because it´s simply “handy” :-). It provides a magic of an easy application of a solder and a colophony in a single step by a classic way, when we take a bit of a solder on a hot tip and after switching off (during cooling down) we immerse a tip into a colophony. This way we get prepared one “soldering dose” on a tip, suitable for soldering of poorly solderable joints (depending on features of a solder and colophony). At the same time, it´s very convenient in case we need to have one hand free for holding a soldered component, wire, …
Even a small stability of a tip temperature can be bypassed by experience (not too long heating) and the risk of sensitive components damage can be considerably decreased if we always switch on a soldering tool before touching a given component, and similarly – switch off after taking away a tip from a component.
It can be said, that a quality soldering station is irreplaceable for a serious work, but there are many cases, where a classic pistol-type soldering tool alike. In respect to an extraordinary affordable price level of the Toolcraft SP200 and also other in our offer (10-20 Eur), this tool is a suitable complementary tool for every electro workshop and for a work in places, where a transport of a bulky soldering station might be quite impractical.
Toolcraft SP200 has a more robust tip, suitable also for bigger joints. On the opposite side, soldering tools of the series ETP use classic relatively thin tips usable even for small soldering tools.
Think about a soldering tool for every occasion - [Link]
Matt of SkyLabs has a nice build log about a temperature controlled reflow oven he built using an Arduino based PID controller and a standard toaster oven:
We have successfully managed to build a temperature controlled reflow oven using an Arduino based PID controller and a standard toaster oven from Robert Dyas! This is a must have accessory for any hobbyist who regularly uses surface mount components within their designs. Below we have a build log documenting the process of constructing the oven including:
Teardown of the original oven
Custom enclosure construction
So to start off I will outline a basic parts list of what I used:
Reflow Oven Shield
Solid State Relay
230v AC to 5v DC Power Supply
Custom Laser Cut Enclosure
Temperature controlled reflow oven build - [Link]
JColvin91 @ instructables.com writes:
I recently got a collection of soldering iron tips and realized that many people (including myself) might not know what the different tips are used for. After all, for a long time I was under the impression that there was only about three different types of soldering tips and only one useful type of tip.
While I still only use two different types of tips (an improvement), I am much more familiar and confident in using whatever soldering iron tip I may happen to find on the iron. Please know that is far from a comprehensive list of all the different types of soldering tips available, but rather a small handful that I am personally prone to use.
Uses of Different Soldering Iron Tips - [Link]
by Henrik’s Blog @ hforsten.com:
Nowadays many of the most “exiting” chips come only in leadless packages, such as BGA and QFN which are hard or impossible to solder just by soldering iron, because leads are under the chip where they can’t be reached. These kinds of chips are usually soldered using reflow soldering. In reflow process solder paste is used instead of solder wire. It contains very small balls of solder in flux, diameter of the balls is just few micrometers. First this paste is put on the contact pads, then components are placed on the pads and whole board is heated in reflow oven where solder balls in the paste melt and attaches the components firmly in place.
Toaster oven reflow controller - [Link]
We’ve again reached record attendance of our webinar! More than 100 registered patricipants and 4 winners of Weller products.
Last webinar before summer was dedicated to Weller. Rudolf Horl from Weller prepared interesting information about new soldering station WSD81i, as well as other information about various functions or tips concerning care about soldering station and tips.
Record from SOS webinar – Mastership in soldering - [Link]
Solderdoodle is a portable, cordless, USB rechargeable soldering iron. Solarcycle @ instructables.com writes:
After learning how to use 3D printers, one of my friends asked if there was such a thing as a USB soldering iron and I said that I had instructions to build one, but the battery was external. I then realized that I could create my own case design on a 3D printer and put the battery, charge controller, and other parts inside as one single unit! It worked! .stp files for the case are provided below.
Solderdoodle: Open Source USB Rechargeable Soldering Iron - [Link]
Geir Andersen over at LetsMakeRobots has designed and built this cool solder paste dispenser:
As I’m doing SMD prototypes I wanted to do reflow soldering instead of hand soldering and needed a solder paste dispenser.
The professional ones are not that expensive but you need an air compressor and I was trying to avoid that extra cost and noise. So I came up with this design.
It uses a PICAXE M14 microcontroller and ULN2003 Darlington driver to run the 28BYJ-48 stepper motor. As a stepper the 28BYJ-48 sucks with its gear ratio, but for this purpose it is cheap and has lot of torque. For my type of work and one-off prototypes it works great.
DIY solder paste dispenser - [Link]
Diogoc shared his Hakko T12 soldering controller in the project log forum:
I finally finished my Hakko T12 soldering controller.
Thanks to sparkybg and arhi for all help and sugestions.
Some features of the controller:
– 3310 graphic display
– rotary encoder for easy and fast temperature selection
– sleep mode when the iron is in the stand
– turn off when a long time in sleep mode
– audible indications
– intuitive menu navegation
– percentage visualization of output power
– powered by a compact and lightweight 24V dc laptop power supply
– ambient temperature sensor for a better cold junction compensation
– lcd backlight control
– alarm for very high temperature, turning off immediately the heater
– indication of tip removed to allow hot swapping the tips
– bootloader for easy firmware upgrade via integrated usb port
– usb port and c# software to monitoring all parameters and help to adjust the pid parameters
The controller still need a little adjust in the PID parameters but for me it is almost perfect.
Hakko T12 soldering controller - [Link]