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How to Solder, beginners guide

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Silver - Posts: 662
Silver spacespace
Joined: December 11, 2002
Location: New York, United States
Posted: February 01, 2005 at 6:30 PM / IP Logged  
Well that Cold Heat soldering iron really isn't for heavy duty use but just for light and hobbyists' use, as written on the sheet that comes with it. I bought it and at first when I put in some batteries that I could find around the house, I got totally dissapointed so much so I could not wait the weekend to be over to return that thing to the Radio Shack where I purhased it. A day later, I put in some freshly re-charged Alkaline batteries and the thing did work. I soldered some wires to a 12volt transformer to test its efficacity. I was not dissapointed anymore and decided to keep it for it wasn't too expensive even. Try with a fully charged alkaline set of battries and let us know if you find any difference.
Member - Posts: 10
Member spacespace
Joined: February 01, 2005
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 8:05 AM / IP Logged  
I did use brand new fresh batteries and it just doesn't do it for me...also considering the price of tip replacement, when buying 2 tips it makes more sence to just buy a whole new unit.
Copper - Posts: 73
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 17, 2004
Location: North Dakota, United States
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 9:14 AM / IP Logged  
For the price you would pay for that, I bought a butane unit from radio shack ($20). My old one was a 30 watt from the same place. After using the butane I would never go back, no cords, its small, more heat than needed. With the old electric one I could never get the wire heated up enough to solder the right way. With the price and heat that it produces, butane is the way to go, hands down.
Silver - Posts: 662
Silver spacespace
Joined: December 11, 2002
Location: New York, United States
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 9:30 AM / IP Logged  
Well, if it does not work for you, then get rid of it.
Of course I prefer my Weller soldering station with variable heat control a lot better for serious work.
And in regards to the butane unit, I was tempted to buy it many times but ended up not getting it for two reasons, a) it has this "cancer warning" on the back and b) you got to keep buying the butane gas in those small containers. Thats only my opinion.
I know some of you will jump and say "dont all soldering irons have the cancer warning?" of course yes. But this one has the gas component, in addition to the lead in the solder to worry about. A portable soldering iron is always a handy thing to have.
Member - Posts: 1
Member spacespace
Joined: March 04, 2005
Posted: March 09, 2005 at 12:20 AM / IP Logged  
Member - Posts: 10
Member spacespace
Joined: February 01, 2005
Posted: March 09, 2005 at 9:51 AM / IP Logged  

       I got the butane solderer, after returning back the ColdHeat that didn't do crap for me.  In my opinion Butane is the best way to go : It's portable, light , easy to handle, adjustable heat and less messy.I'm also surprised at the refill need for the unit , it lasts surprisingly long.          

     About the cancer warning...all soldering tools will have it, as you are working with chemicals+heat.     It's same butane gas that fills up your lighter and no one ever had a problem with that.

So for me - I preffer the butane unit, for the ease of use and the performance.

* Funny thing : the label says that the thing is harmful for the people of  CA , i live in NY - so i guess it wouldn't affect me. ......right.

Copper - Posts: 55
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 07, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: December 23, 2005 at 8:31 PM / IP Logged  
GOOD portable Soldering Iron::
WAHL 7700 cordless soldering iron
It's electric and has a nice light below the tip to illuminate the work area. this one can do 125 solder joint before recharging. I like it because it is not butane. no pesky open flame to bune wires or human flesh.
specialized tools also has this soldering iron. to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image. How to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image. How to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image. How to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image. How to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image.
Just because you've done something for a long time doesn't mean you're any good at it.
Cable Ties Rock!
Member - Posts: 22
Member spacespace
Joined: February 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: March 01, 2006 at 9:23 AM / IP Logged  
I like the Cold Heat Soldering Gun it's great for beginners and little stuff you have to do. All im doing is 50 LEDS so it's good for me. Had to get one so the Resistor didn't keep sliding off. But agian thats just my opinion...
This is what I Think doesn't mean I am wrong doesn't mean im right. I Make my ride look the way I want it I don't care what everyone else thinks... All Eyes On Me -2Pac
Platinum - Posts: 3,527
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: April 14, 2005
Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: March 18, 2006 at 1:24 AM / IP Logged  

All this talk about soldering and no pictures!!!!

How to Solder, beginners guide - Page 6 - Last Post -- posted image.

When soldering you need to make sure the final result is nice and shiney, all the way through. Apply heat to both wires and apply the solder to the WIRE, NOT the iron.

Also, when possible, make sure you have a solid mechanical connection before trying to solder.  This basically means wrap one wire around the other wire tightly so that it is snug before its even soldered.  This is practical in 90% of car soldering, but when it comes to some tach wires you have to settle for whatever you can manage.

Another important thing to try and do is keep all the strands of the wire together.  If the strands get spread out when you solder them they will leave single strands standing straight up.  This isn't that big of a deal, but it hurts like heck when you stab yourself with a single copper strand (especially if its hot still).  Also, these single strands will poke through the electrical tape and could potentially short out.

The above joint was made by me (I don't generally take pictures of other peoples soldering...) and was made by a butane iron I picked up at  In my old age I've gotten away  from my Craftsman soldering gun that I cherished as a professional installer because, simply enough, the butane is quicker, easier, and doesn't have to be plugged in.  I don't solder enough to go through a lot of butane, so it works out.

Oh, another important thing is to use the correct heat for the project at hand.  I have a buddy who tried to solder a mod chip on his Playstation using a 30 watt iron (~950 degrees or so).  For most wire (16 ga and smaller) I try to stay around 650 degrees, IF you can control the temp.  My 'nice' iron is a Pace ST45N that features digitally controlled temperature.  You select the temp you want and it maintains it, pretty cool for a soldering iron!

Once you get the hang of soldering you'll quickly see the benefits and will never want to go back to butt connectors.

Remember, when you're done with the joint that shiney solder is good, dull solder is bad!

Kevin Pierson
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