what metal are soldering iron tips made out of usually?



The weller tips also use the curie point, but as you say to affect the switch in the handle.
I work with a *lot* of MOS and otherwise static sensitive devices, and I've never had one of the weller irons like that cause a problem. In fact they're my preferred iron, the variable temp weller ones just don't last more than a year, and I don't like the 'feel' of the metcal ones.
The handle's just not 'right.'
Jim
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jim rozen wrote:

My curie point mechanically switched Weller (now proably 25 years olde.) uses a third conductor in the cord which grounds the barrel and tip. I'd imagine the newer ones also have that.
I'm wondering if that switching transient NASA worried about was a very narrow one, standing on the inductance of the cord leads?
Jeff (Who remembers when most soldering irons were called "soldering coppers", and heated over gasoline blowtorches.)
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You need tiny delicate hands to solder 0201 resistors ;) Here is a trick that increases the life of the Weller iron switch. Solder a 1N400X diode across the switch terminals. The iron will not cool down as rapidly and, switch will not will not cycle as frequently and it will be switching less current. The transformer in the one that I modified was beefy enough to handle the DC component caused by the half wave rectifier without overheating.
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    Hmm ... my own favorite for variable temperature and tiny workpieces used to be the Edsyn "Loner" -- but those seem to have vanished from the list of available ones.
    Now, I use either of two PACE units -- one is a portable one which will run from 12 VDC or the AC line, and which contains a tiny DC vacuum pump for the solder-sucking functions. The other is a dual station -- one solder sucking, and one for just direct soldering. That one is rather less portable.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Nichols says...

I guess I'm spoiled, we have house vacuum at work - so no venturi pumps or otherwise are required. <g>
Jim
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I've been using a Weller WTCP for almost 40 years, and never had any such problem. I'm still using the original heater, though I recently found my spare heater, bought 30 years ago. Parts are still available.
All soldering iron tips benefit from cleaning with sal ammoniac every so often, to re-tin them.
I've seen the Hakko units, and they do look good. Although the color scheme is garish.

That's strange. In the 1960s, NASA projects used nothing but Weller. The spikes were contained because the metal around the switch and heater are all grounded.
Joe Gwinn
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You are talking about the Magnastat Wellers. Weller also has conventional (regulated and non-regulated) irons. They all can be reccommended-
Nick
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On 29 Jan 2006 16:32:05 -0800, "Andrew VK3BFA"

Didn't those things go out with valves ? ("vacuum tubes", you heathens)
Weller's combination soldering iron / arc welders must have kept the CMOS factories running for years, the amount of 4000 series they killed.
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wrote:

heathens)
killed.
Andy,
Shame on you - they are excellent irons. Been using them boy and man and now old man !
AWEM
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Andrew Mawson wrote:

Maybe they didn't have a grounded style or perhaps the ground was bad?
dennis in nca
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On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 22:54:22 +0000 (UTC), "Andrew Mawson"

I don't know if "VK3BFA" is an amateur radio callsign, but Curie-point Wellers will regularly kill whatever the dual gate FET is that I used to use for all my receiver front-ends 20 years ago. Gave the thing to my Dad in the end - even an Antex wasn't _that_ bad.
(I'm not calling him Andrew. We're all bloody Andrews!)
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On Wed, 01 Feb 2006 01:05:51 +0000, Andy Dingley

I've repaired both old and newer Weller Station/Pencils. the old ones just switched on/off. The newer ones used a zero point switching system in the handle. I think it was just a triac device, but it has been a while since I looked. A TO-220 case style if I recall correctly. The semiconductor was added so they would be okay to use on static sensitive devices. It was just tacked across the magnetic switch in the handle.
I thought the WTCPT Model had this circuit, but in looking at the manual it doesn't show it. It does claim to be safe for IC's and such though. Maybe they decided that the triac wasn't needed after all. I know it was there in the ones I repaired because it bulked up the switch area and made it harder to assemble. Quote:
"Transformer Powered Soldering Stations Unique closed loop method of controlling maximum tip temperature protects sensitive components.
ESD safe and safe for IC soldering. Features a low voltage circuit which automatically maintains output and temperature in three ranges: 600, 700, and 800 DegreeF (with appropriate tip). 60 watts. Temperature is easily selected by changing tips. Includes lightweight pencil-style iron with heat shield and 4-ft. nonburnable silicone cord, impact-resistant power unit with On-Off toggle switch, neon indicator light, nonheat sinking iron holder, storage tray for extra tips, tip cleaning sponge with receptacle, and 1/16", 700 DegreeF screwdriver tip. UL Listed."
This is what they have to say about their tips:
"All Weller PT series soldering iron tips are plated with an exclusive process that deposits three protective coatings. The high conductivity copper tips are iron plated, nickel plated, then chromium plated on the non-working surfaces. The working surface is then pre-tinned. The chromium and nickel plating of the tip prevents oxidation of the iron plating which can cause freezing of the tip in the iron. Weller temperature sensing tips have a small ferromagnet sensing element attached to the tip shank. The sensing element is coded with a number to indicate the tip idle temperature in hundreds of degrees F. Thus a simple change of tips is all that is necessary to adapt the tool to an entirely different temperature range."
I've never had any particular problems directly attributed to using this iron. It was probably ~15 years ago when all the stations in our Two-way shop were upgraded to at least this level of static protection. Some of the other stations were supposedly better yet. The 700 deg tip they came with was worthless. I always used 800 deg tips, the lower temp ones were too big a pain to keep tinned for more than a few seconds. I used maybe two or three tips over a years time with pretty much everyday use. These heat up pretty fast, so I only turned the station on when I would be using it for awhile. That alone does wonders for tip life.
Here is a nice pdf of the WTCPT with instructions, schematic and parts list.
ftp://bama.sbc.edu/downloads/weller/wtcpt/WTCPT_OI_PL.pdf
Main page for above:
http://bama.sbc.edu/weller.htm
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Leon Fisk
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Boris Mohar wrote:

I have not tried it myself, but the Handbook of Industrial Electroplating (1947 edition) gives this formula for plating with iron:
Solution Composition:
Ferrous Chloride 96 oz. Calcium Chloride 105 oz.
Operating Conditions:
Temperature 140-160 deg. F. Current Density up to 120 A/sq. ft. ph 5 Anodes Pure Iron Vat Lead or rubber lined Agitation Desirable for high current densities
"This solution is used for depositing iron facing on printing plates, etc., and also for coating cast iron with a layer of electrolytic iron prior to hot tinning. The solution requires ageing before it will work satisfactorily and it is desireable to keep it working because if allowed to stand without working for any length of time it becomes unsatisfactory. The principal difficulty in operating this solution is the tendency to form ferric salts, which are detrimental. This may to some extent be overcome by floating on the surface small lumps of carbon or rubber. If the bath becomes oxidised it will normally be shown by a yellowish colour. Hydrochloric acid must be added and scraps of pure iron hung in the solution. The solution should be kept warm and left for several hours, preferably overnight. Anodes are preferably bagged with asbestos cloth or woven glass."
Best of luck.
Mike
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Snip..
Thanks.
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Boris Mohar



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That is great - I proposed almost this - and a hope for the best. This is a good reference and facts.
Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
KyMike wrote:

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Ed Huntress wrote:

AHA that explains the steel type look to my PACE tips
my madness is to turn myself some replacement tips for my pace irons including is possible the SMT tip shapes
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A trick I have used is to take a beat-up weler tip, saw off the tip, and drill and tap for 6-32. Then, you can make pretty much any shape you want, dip it in anti-seize, and screw it in. These tips don't last long, but they can save the day when you need something special.
Making them out of copper would probably work better than the steel and brass that I have tried.
p.
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RangersSuck wrote:

the Pace tips are smoothbore held in palce by a setscrew and in this case i'm looking specifically at vacuum tips which hav eot be center drilled deep to allow a channel to suck solder through
but in itself its 4 lathe steps 2-3 are turning and one deep centre drilling for the bit depth od 1.5 inches
and i think that they are 30 bux apeice at leas they were last i checked
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I am curious, where can one find high quality soldering tips that holdd solder nicely where I want it to be.
i

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    Copper! Modern ones often have a coating of iron over the copper, to control the slow dissolution of the copper in the lead/tin alloy of the solder.
    And -- those are sometimes coated with gold over the iron, to prevent corrosion of the iron before it gets tinned.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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