Soldering iron

Hi,
Any recommendations for a soldering iron? I'll be using it for all the standard model railroading tasks, including installing decoders and
lights in locomotives and wiring the layout.
Specifically when I remember having problems soldering when I was younger which I attributed to having a low-wattage iron. What should I get?
Cheers,
Colin
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Hi Colon,
I am also moving toward this purchase. I recall from a previous thread that an iron in the 60 watt range was recommended.
Someone offered a great idea which I plan to use.
You add a dimmer switch to the soldering system on your bench top. Then, you can dial in the appropriate wattage as the jobs change. That sounds ideal.
Regards, Matt
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Add in a C7 night-light type bulb in parallel and you will have a nice pilot lamp indicator. Even better, get a surplus panel rms voltmeter and you can make out a tick-sheet with settings for various tasks as you learn what the ideal setting is for each.
Rob
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Colin 't Hart wrote:

A little one 15-25w for electronics/loco wiring work, and a medium sized one 40-50 watt for soldering to rails.

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I prefer to use temperature controlled irons as they do several things very well. First off, the irons don't get too hot and burn themselves or the stuff to be soldered up. Next, they will provide plenty of heat when it is needed - I've soldered auto gas tanks with a Weller 40W iron! The old Weller TCP irons are available on the surplus market for a fairly decent price (usually in the $50 or so price range) and, with a range of tips, they will do all of the work you will need of them short of soldering large O scale parts together.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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Bob May wrote:

Has anyone tried one of the cold/heat soldering guns shown on tv? Just wondering if they are any good.
ChrisGW
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several things very

the stuff to

it is needed -

for a fairly

a range of

short of soldering

tv? Just wondering

I have a "Cold Heat" iron for use in my repair shop. It's okay for soldering to PC boards and small wire-to-wire jobs. But I will not be giving up my corded irons or resistance unit any time soon.
The "Cold Heat" unit's not so great for use unsoldering joints. Or for jobs involving larger wires, multiple wires to something like a Lionel E-Unit, or the pick-up wire to an American Flyer tender truck rivet. -- Len Head Rust Scraper KL&B Eastern Lines RR Museum
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I have only been at it for a month and a half with a temperature controlled soldering station. Tried a dual wattage iron from Radio Shack, but I am much happier with the Xytronic station. There's an outfit in Arizona called Circuit Specialists Inc., www.circuitspecialists.com , with decent prices but high shipping costs. They usually throw in a digital multimeter with orders over $50. You don't want to submit a lot of small orders. If you live in the East as I do, the shipping will kill you. Still, I would buy from them again.
Peter
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