[Noisebridge-discuss] new soldering irons for Crucible?

miloh froggytoad at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 13:03:52 PDT 2011

On Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 10:39 AM, Lee Sonko <lee at lee.org> wrote:

> The Kinetics & Electronics department at the Crucible has several $12
> Stahl soldering irons<http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=374-100>,
> some still new in the box, but they sure wear out quick. Kids take their
> toll on an iron pretty quick. Do you think we'd get 4 times the value out of
> the new $40 Hakko 936 knockoff from Sparkfun<http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9672>?
> Better temperature control might keep the tips and units alive longer. Might
> you have any other suggested irons?

I'm afraid that if you end up buying the more expensive irons and people
overheat them it won't make much of a difference as they will wear out just
the same. Perhaps your adjustable irons are running too hot and wearing the
element and the tips out faster.  Are you seeing too much tip wear or are
the elments burning out?

The Xytronic irons from Jameco have an slot adjuster built into the handle
that most people don't/can't mess with without a standard screwdriver handy.
 Noisebridge has a handful of those.  They still work after 2.5 years of
abuses. We also have a bunch of 1-3mm wide chisel tips installed on these
irons that have a decent sized mass compared to smaller tips that can cycle
excessively when used by beginners.

The tips on these Xytronic irons at Noisebridge aren't in great shape, they
are corroding from too much water (see the sponge discussion on a new thread
created in response to your original post), but they can be rehabilitated or
replaced and should continue to solder on.

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