Soldering Iron Temperature - When Did You Last Check Yours?

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So for the last couple of months something has 'not felt right' when soldering up PCBs. I'm lead-free and use a solder with a 227degC melting point, and run my iron at 340degC.

 

 

 

Last week I decided to do something about it and splashed 19 GBP on one of these, which arrived this morning...

 

 

It turns out that, across the range, my iron was running between 40 and 50degC low.

 

A quick re-calibrate, by setting two points at 100 and 450, and at least the iron display now matches the thermometer display.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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I've had "poor" connections between the tip/collar & iron....so the tip gets "red hot", but  then cools down when actually soldering, to where the solder barely melts....it's a 40 or 60 W iron acting like a 10W iron.

 

I added some "tin" foil inside the body heater assembly where there was a "loose gap" & that seemed to help immensely.

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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avrcandies wrote:
I added some "tin" foil inside the body heater assembly where there was a "loose gap" & that seemed to help immensely.

Thanks for the "tip"! (pun intended)

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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Brian, how do you know this 19GBP meter is not lying ?

though they claim to be accurate within 3C I can hardly grasp that a manufacturer like Weller, who has a big reputation to keep up, would actually be 50C of.

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meslomp wrote:

Brian, how do you know this 19GBP meter is not lying ?

though they claim to be accurate within 3C I can hardly grasp that a manufacturer like Weller, who has a big reputation to keep up, would actually be 50C of.

 

I also have some ordinary K-type thermocouples which give a similar reading when I double checked. The calibration of the Weller is adjustable in software; I wonder if the unit simply forgot the settings? It is probably over 12 years since I bought it.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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A quick re-calibrate, by setting two points at 100 and 450, and at least the iron display now matches the thermometer display.

Well, did that fix the actual soldering issue?  If so, a likely conclusion.   

 

....The Chinese have been replacing copper wire with copper plated steel wire.  Maybe they will start selling solder coated steel too.    

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Brian Fairchild wrote:

I also have some ordinary K-type thermocouples which give a similar reading when I double checked. The calibration of the Weller is adjustable in software; I wonder if the unit simply forgot the settings? It is probably over 12 years since I bought it.

perhaps get a hold of a Weller tech guy then. If it uses a coin cell to keep its settings it might be that after you adjusted the values it will lose them again once you turn it off for a longer period of time.

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meslomp wrote:

perhaps get a hold of a Weller tech guy then. If it uses a coin cell to keep its settings it might be that after you adjusted the values it will lose them again once you turn it off for a longer period of time.

 

Or, search Youtube for how to open it up and see what's inside!

 

Nothing more than a PIC18F4620, so I guess the calibration goes into EEPROM. There's a surprising lack of active components in there. Other than the PIC I only spotted a Triac with associated opto coupler, a voltage regulator and a few diodes.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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Total votes: 0

meslomp wrote:

Brian, how do you know this 19GBP meter is not lying ?

though they claim to be accurate within 3C I can hardly grasp that a manufacturer like Weller, who has a big reputation to keep up, would actually be 50C of.

 

A basic ice point bath can give you a reference accurate to a few millikelvin.

http://nerdralph.blogspot.com/20...

 

If you live reasonably close to sea level, with a bit more work you could set up a steam condenser for a 100C reference.

 

I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein