Soldering iron temperature

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#1
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I'd like to validate the temperature adjustment on a new soldering iron I recently purchased. I have an IR temp gun, but it doesn't work well on the small tip of the iron. My multimeter doesn't support a temperature probe.

I could purchase a thermocouple and do it myself, but I was hoping to find some existing low cost solution. Anyone know of a decent surface contact temp probe that might work on the end of an iron?

-Brad

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Here's a simple technique to verify that the temperature readout of your soldering iron matches the known melting point of your solder: http://weller.blog.com/1278957/

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Thanks, that's a good idea.

-Brad

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One more suggestion for the IR temp gun. The problem is that the solder tip is too small for the gun to get a good lock onto it. If you use the tip to heat a metallic object (large solder-pad, etc) and then measure the temp of the tip+heated surface you should get close too. Don't choose a too large surface, though or you'll get a too low reading because the tip can not heat it up completely.

Markus

Markus

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I checked my solder and it all has a pretty low melting point (183 degrees C). My iron doesn't even go that low. Maybe I'll look for another type.

I'll try heating something else, but that seems like it would be pretty inaccurate due to cooling on any larger surface.

I remember seeing little strips of paper that change colors at given temperatures. I don't remember what its called, but people use it to monitor reflow ovens. I wonder if pressing the tip on a strip of this stuff would work also.

-Brad