Let's Make Robots!

Soldering

I'm getting a new soldering iron to build my first robot. I bought the LMR bundle and was wondering what would be the best iron and tip for this. Also, what would be the best kind of solder to use? Thanks in advance.

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I go 60/40 clear flux solder from radio shack is this the stuff I want

Yeah, just get one of the cheap Radio Shack firestarter ones to start off with. Something like this will get you going, with a few useful tools and a wad of solder included.

Pick up a good one (a "soldering station") later on when you've decided whether or not you're going to keep building robots.

Well, they save the life of your tip.

Judging from the contradicting reports (Tofu vs Patrick) I'd say one of them knows the importance of a clean tip.

The Radio Shack ones last for like 6 months and then die (experience). I'd get a Weller from Fry's Electronics. I have one.

Like Rik said, clean tips. My ratshack iron has been going for around 8 years now.

Wellers that cost $50 or less are of no better quality than radio shack cheapies. That $50 adjustable soldering station they sell (the WLC100) is a $10 iron plugged into a $2 ceiling-light-dimming rheostat.

Weller and Cooper Tools can take a flying leap IMHO. The only remaining decent tools from Cooper are Crescent wrenches, and even those aren't as good as they used to be.

My electronics teacher has some wellers he;s been using for over 15 years and their like new. Weller can make really good ones. And it wasn't the tip of my soldering iron that broke. The heating element did so the tip one day didn't even heat up. my tip was fine.

You get what you pay for.

That is the exact kit i still use :)

That's very expensive, I suggest using a cheap 25W-35W soldering iron with a conical tip, with some 60/40 solder. That lead free stuff is terrible. You should also get a vacuum desoldering tool, they are far easier to operate than desoldering wick.

Yeah, and they can cost down to a couple of euros each, so too cheap to not have.

 

I don't think lead free is that bad, that's all I've used, but i never used leaded solder, so i can't compare i guess...