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Discussion Starter #1
For a long time I have used a soldering gun for wiring repairs….it’s heavy and cumbersome so time
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to get something easier to use.

I got the one pictured but now wonder if it is powerful enough for working on train/tender/loco/transformer wiring.

I also saw a 40 watt. 900 degree type, and a variable temp kit that goes up to 900 degrees

Anything I hate is buying something not powerful enough and having to go back later and get one that is.

What do you think? Did I get the wrong one?
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Thanks.
 

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I prefer a 30 watt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The more I think about it and looking at the comments, I'm more leaning toward the variable rate iron.
 

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40 watts is probably over the top. If you do any electronic component soldering, the you probably want something that is temperature controlled (more bucks). I use a Hakko fx 888d, just because it was what the teck's at work used.
 

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I used a 25 watt iron for years on my room size HO DCC layout. it is.just right for soldering drops to rails as well
as wire to wire. It's also light and easy to handle; The key thing is to learn how to use flux both liquid and paste. It helps
to do some practice 'soldleriing' to get the touch timing correct,

Don
 

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For soldering at the workbench, I use a Weller WLC100 soldering station. They're not too expensive and work very well. For soldering decoders and other electronics work, keep the heat on about the middle of the dial. For heavier duty soldering, turn the heat up. For extreme jobs, use the soldering gun you already have.

For soldering feeders and rail joiners, I use a Wall Lenk L40 40 watt iron.

Again, not too expensive and it works very well. It puts out the heat so I can on and off rails quickly before the ties melt. I bought this one because I got tired of unplugging the Weller and plugging it back in again. The workbench is in a different room than the layout.
I also bought a soldering stand.

A good soldering iron is a joy to use!
 

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Guys, it's not the wattage that's a problem with delicate soldering, it's the temperature control. With a quality temperature controlled iron, you will have the correct temperature for critical work no matter what the wattage rating of the iron is. I have the Hakko FX-888D soldering station, it's a 70W unit, but for soldering PCB's, especially SMD devices, I set it at 500F, the recommended temperature for that work. Truthfully, that cheap 30W iron will do a lot more damage to a PCB than my 70W iron, simply because when I set it to the proper temperature, it maintains it to within a few degrees. Cheap irons, even with temperature control, can have temperatures all over the map!
 

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I'll just add:
It took me a couple decades to learn that in this hobby a soldering iron or pen is preferred over a soldering gun...Leave them to the electricians who deal with high voltage wiring, 110 AC house current and upward.
That's my scept on it...M
 

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Yes ! But the more intricate work, that with delicate printed circuits in DCC locos and controllers needs a sharp, tinned-point, instantaneously at its hottest, to get in and out fast before melting anything. And the weight of the gun is a factor, arm fatigue-wise above a circuit board, loco wiper or, Delrin ties,...say.
At the same time, John, I respect your preference...I don't think it's burned, soldered, or carved in stone !

Happy tidings in the new year, M
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the one I was thinking on getting is the weller 5-Watt to 40-Watt Soldering Station flyboy mentioned above
 

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the one I was thinking on getting is the weller 5-Watt to 40-Watt Soldering Station flyboy mentioned above
You won't be disappointed with it! Weller is a respected brand in the soldering world.
 

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i have had good luck with a hakko station, but still sometimes use a weller , big gun, maybe 100/140 watt , especially for feeders
 

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Yes ! But the more intricate work, that with delicate printed circuits in DCC locos and controllers needs a sharp, tinned-point, instantaneously at its hottest, to get in and out fast before melting anything. And the weight of the gun is a factor, arm fatigue-wise above a circuit board, loco wiper or, Delrin ties,...say.
At the same time, John, I respect your preference...I don't think it's burned, soldered, or carved in stone !
First off, if you're working with SMD components, soldering at too hot a temperature will cook the part very quickly, usually too quickly for you to compete the soldering job. Most SMD parts are rated at 260C for 10 seconds. Since the wand on my soldering station is quite light, I don't see how that enters into the picture, at least for me. My iron also holds temperature very closely, something that I deem very important when soldering up dense SMD PCB boards.

Fun fact: Year ago, I was using 650F (340C) for soldering my circuit boards. Yes, they do solder quicker at times. I kept having issues with certain chips and many SMD LED's. I now use 500F (260C) and that problem is gone. The chip manufacturers quite likely know what they're talking about when they specify the soldering temperature specifications, but back then I thought I knew better. :oops:

As for the soldering gun, you apparently overlooked all that I said. I use that for heavy work like soldering to track. Try soldering to O-gauge Atlas solid track with your 30W iron and get back to me next week and let me know if you ever finished. ;)
 

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I can't solder well, and im impatient. Plus i dont work on boards and such. Just wires, so i use the butane one. No wires to attach, I can easily move it around. Not for purists. Kicker is , works great on rv wiring also.
 
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