Soldering station -- bad station, bad tips, bad user... or all of them?
October 10, 2012
Well, I have a Fixpoint AP2 soldering station... it's basically a cheap soldering iron with a knob to control (or try to) temperature. I recognise that my soldering skills are nothing to write home about (I had no previous experience). Despite that the solder tip that came original with the soldering iron (despite being a bit "thick") I think would behave normally/properly so any soldering mistake I could only blame myself. Then I decided to use it to poke holes in plastic (and yes, I knew I would ruin it). Which led me to buy a set of 4 tips. I bought one purposely sold for my specific soldering station model... and yet, there's something not quite right.
These tips don't seem to like tinning very much, it quickly "fades off" and the tip seems to "sweat rust"... and it would seems to get worse over time... no matter how much tinning I do... last night I decided to replace my first replacement tip, here's how it looks:
NOTICE the "Sweat spot" I was talking about... I see it "sweating" while tinning... so I replaced it for a new one:
Also notice the shaft... over time it because that "burnished color" is it normal, is it in any way related to the issues I've been having? Also... even with the new tip... right away I noticed I got a little bit of "rusty sweat" on the new tip, albeit much less than in the older one...
What about the sponge? the yellow one... can it be a problem? being too wet or too dry... I usually soak it and twist it up until it's only moist. Am I doing it wrong?