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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Soldering iron wattage?

    Well I am about to order the Rega motor upgrade and I have some questions. It has been years since I have soldered or built any kits so I need to purchase the iron, solder and some form of solder remover. I need to know what wattage of iron and this will be about the only time I use it. Advice on solder is also needed.

    I will have to remove the wires from the on/off switch from the PC board and desolder the power cord to remove the motor. Installing the new motor I will only have to resolder the switch wires. The PC board contains the inputs for the walwart or the TT PSU so no need to reuse the old power cord.

    All the other wires are soldered from the motor to the PC board. I will be removing more wires than I will reattach. I am also curious if anyone would think I need any form of heatsink. Doing the math I have not soldered in over 30 years.

    Thanks for any advice.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
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  2. #2
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    John Michael,

    Do you think you are going to solder more in the future? If so, than I would invest in a variable one that way you can alter depending on the work. If not, I think a 30 to 40 watts would be ok. Just remember to form a "V" with the iron and solder with wire or lead as the central point. Don't put the solder on the tip and then apply, it makes a mess and might burn PCB contact lines.

    Hakko and Weller make decent ones.

    Get a wick or solder sucker for the old solder. Removing to old solder is paramount for a good contact. Also, watch that you don't burn out the PCB connection lines.

    Good luck, it can be a pain. I just went through solder boot camp and I can't tell you how many mistakes I made. Paying someone to do it is expensive on the flip side.
    Main System: Exposure 2010s - VPI HW-19jr - Denon DL-103LC - ClearAudio Basic - Sony SCD-S7700 - PS Audio DLlll - Revel M20

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome View Post
    John Michael,

    Do you think you are going to solder more in the future? If so, than I would invest in a variable one that way you can alter depending on the work. If not, I think a 30 to 40 watts would be ok. Just remember to form a "V" with the iron and solder with wire or lead as the central point. Don't put the solder on the tip and then apply, it makes a mess and might burn PCB contact lines.

    Hakko and Weller make decent ones.

    Get a wick or solder sucker for the old solder. Removing to old solder is paramount for a good contact. Also, watch that you don't burn out the PCB connection lines.

    Good luck, it can be a pain. I just went through solder boot camp and I can't tell you how many mistakes I made. Paying someone to do it is expensive on the flip side.


    Thanks for the answers and yes this will be my only planned soldering project. So I am looking for a single wattage, quality but less expensive iron. I know there are different types of solder and wondered which would be best.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  4. #4
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    Fine 0.032" dia 60/40 tin/lead rosin core solder ... More tin raises melting temp.
    Heatsink
    Pencil 30W
    etc.
    Radio Shack sells "kits". I am sure other stores also do this.
    Last edited by Mash; 04-17-2012 at 12:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with Cardas quad eutectic solder (tin/lead/copper/silver). It melts and flows easily to make excellent joints.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
    You can't go wrong with Cardas quad eutectic solder (tin/lead/copper/silver). It melts and flows easily to make excellent joints.


    Is it ease of use that you are recommending it? The solder points are merely for the on off switch of the table to the PC board.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  7. #7
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    if it is two points get whatever standard lead free version for a reasonable cost, especially because its non-sonic related.
    Main System: Exposure 2010s - VPI HW-19jr - Denon DL-103LC - ClearAudio Basic - Sony SCD-S7700 - PS Audio DLlll - Revel M20

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome View Post
    if it is two points get whatever standard lead free version for a reasonable cost, especially because its non-sonic related.


    Thanks the Cardas was $27 for 110 grams. I do not mind spending money but I do not know what I would do with the other 108 grams. I like spending money but I hate waste.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  9. #9
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Thanks the Cardas was $27 for 110 grams. I do not mind spending money but I do not know what I would do with the other 108 grams. I like spending money but I hate waste.
    You can by 1/2 oz. of Kester 3 % silver solder from Parts Express for $4.96: see HERE ...

    ... tbis will work fine.

  10. #10
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    I purchased a variable wattage soldering station from Parts Express for $20 (up to 800+ watts). Any 60/40 solder should be fine. In contrast to Enochrome's comment, I find it better to have just a touch of solder on the tip to help transfer the heat to the solder junction. Touch both components you want to solder to heat them, then touch the solder to the junction. When properly heated the solder will flow to the heated components (wire, PCB run, etc...). If not properly heated the process could result in a cold solder joint. Bad for conduction. Difficult to troubleshoot.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfalls View Post
    I purchased a variable wattage soldering station from Parts Express for $20 (up to 800+ watts). Any 60/40 solder should be fine. In contrast to Enochrome's comment, I find it better to have just a touch of solder on the tip to help transfer the heat to the solder junction. Touch both components you want to solder to heat them, then touch the solder to the junction. When properly heated the solder will flow to the heated components (wire, PCB run, etc...). If not properly heated the process could result in a cold solder joint. Bad for conduction. Difficult to troubleshoot.

    Thanks for the refresher tips. I knew about tinning the tip and when I first soldered I did what Enochrome warned against. Instead of heating the component and letting the solder flow I would melt solder on the tip and let it drop on the connection. I learned about cold solder joints quickly.

    All the information is reminding me of all the good things to do and what early mistakes to avoid. I may just be able to do this job.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I felt confident enough to order the motor upgrade. Now I have to save up for the Rega TT PSU.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  13. #13
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash View Post
    Heatsink
    Pencil 30W
    Radio Shack sells "kits".
    I bought one of those pencil soldier iron from RadioShack about 20 years ago and still use it for small project around the house. Just make sure the tip is clean periodically with wet paper towel when the iron tip is hot.

  14. #14
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    I felt confident enough to order the motor upgrade. Now I have to save up for the Rega TT PSU.
    That would be one hell of TT!!!
    Main System: Exposure 2010s - VPI HW-19jr - Denon DL-103LC - ClearAudio Basic - Sony SCD-S7700 - PS Audio DLlll - Revel M20

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfalls View Post
    I purchased a variable wattage soldering station from Parts Express for $20 (up to 800+ watts). Any 60/40 solder should be fine. In contrast to Enochrome's comment, I find it better to have just a touch of solder on the tip to help transfer the heat to the solder junction. Touch both components you want to solder to heat them, then touch the solder to the junction. When properly heated the solder will flow to the heated components (wire, PCB run, etc...). If not properly heated the process could result in a cold solder joint. Bad for conduction. Difficult to troubleshoot.
    Parts Express now has this soldering unit for under $16.

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