I am a beginner assembling a valve preamp kit from Elekit in Japan. I am using a Weller 1010 soldering station with a Weller ETT 0.6mm conical tip. Solder is the MG Chemicals Sn63/Pb 37 0.032" diameter, 22 gauge eutectic solder with 2.2% flux.
I am really confused about what my tip temperature should be for this type of setup. The books say that as a general rule of thumb, the optimal soldering temperature should be high enough so that when making a solder connection, the solder is approximately 50°C above its melting point. The set temperature for a soldering station should be “an additional 70°C to 100°C higher to provide a heat reserve for the quick thermal recovery of the tip” after the solder connection is made. The performance of the soldering station used and the type of solder used seems to effect the optimal soldering temperature.
For Tin/Lead (Sn63/Pb37) solder the melting point is 183°C. Adding 50°C to make a good soldering connection ie 183°C + 50°C = 233°C
How do I know if my Weller 1010 is equal to a Hakko 936 Soldering Station which is quoted as having very good performance. It mentions for this station add approximately 100°C as the heat reserve for quick thermal recovery. The resulting temperature settings are therefore 233°C + 100°C = 333°C
Clear enough…but what is the setting for the Weller 1010??? Can anyone help p[lease?
To add to the confusion the article I read said "But before you raise your set temperature, you must consider the setting you are currently using, and the performance of the soldering station. Most Hakko soldering stations are typically set at about 399°C (750°F). "
"Now let’s look at the optimal temperature settings if we were using a high performance soldering station such as the Hakko FX-951 Soldering Station. Because of the performance of this soldering station and the thermal recovery performance of the composite tips, we only need to add 70°C as the heat reserve for quick thermal recovery. The resulting temperature settings are:
Tin/Lead: 233°C + 70°C = 303°C"
So the temp could be 233 or 333 or maybe 303. do you reckon I’m confused. Believe it?
That’s a great question, it’s difficult to determine what’s optimal for your exact use case. As you said, adding some extra heat by raising the temperature to at least 233°C is a good idea, as that will ensure you get decent flow over the joint and that you have your crystals form more rapidly. And the heat reserve on the Hakko can be useful, particularly for larger joints (for example if you had some low gauge wire that you needed to connect for a high current setup) as this will ensure that you remain above the melting temperature for a wider area and get a decent connection. That being said, sometimes when you’re soldering, you want to use a lower temperature (if you’ve got sensitive components, or you need to heat up a large pad without damaging the material it’s on) or even use a higher temperature, if you’re working on a display, for example, you may need to quickly heat up an area to a high temp, without giving the delicate connections or screen any major heating (this usually results in a finer solder joint, but sometimes that’s necessary). In summary, the temperature you want to use can vary a fair bit between different tasks, although, I personally aim for a range between 320°C and 360°C depending on the job I’m working on. You may be interested in this tutorial that we’ve put up on getting started soldering. Have a great day!
Thanks very helpful however there were a couple of questions I asked in that first post which you may have missed.
“How do I know if my Weller 1010 is equal to a Hakko 936 Soldering Station which is quoted as having very good performance. It mentions for this station add approximately 100°C as the heat reserve for quick thermal recovery.” What is “thermal recovery” and is a Weller 1010 a good performing solder station?
Why do you need to add extra temperature to the tip to aid quick thermal recovery
Also yes, the WE1010 is a good soldering station, comparable to the 936. Fyi, the successor to the 936 was the 888, and the successor to the 888 is the 888D, to which the WE1010 is a direct competitor.
That NASA document is a good, if long winded, read. Especially for anyone interested in “high reliability” techniques.
The bit about removing gold may interest some. I thought for quite a few years that gold was wonderful stuff to solder. Noble metal so does not oxidise or tarnish and “wetted” very easily. Then about 45 years ago I discovered not so. Gold does not make for a reliable joint and must be removed. This NASA document describes a common method of doing this. Up until then my brush with gold plating was with domestic/commercial very thin flash plating on connector pins. The act of soldering was considered enough to remove this type of plating. However when dealing with Mil Spec plating which is very much thicker the gold has to be removed, usually using the method described. You will find that solder bucket connectors in this category have the buckets pre tinned and the gold removal has been done. This requirement is not confined to NASA. It applies to any high reliability situation.
Comments regarding turning up the iron temperature to compensate for thermal loss when soldering items which may be a bit heavier can cause problems due to the iron being far too hot at initial application and burning the resin flux. I think a better solution is if possible use a higher WATTAGE iron that is up to the job and keep the temperature within a better range. I found that when soldering things like the old style PMG terminal blocks with lots of heavy pins an iron of 80 or even 100watts to be the best way to go. One could complete a block without having to stop every so often to let the iron recover.
Another technique used to solder a heavier item to a ground plane or something having large heat sinking effects is to use 2 or even 3 irons. If 1 iron won’t hack it you are likely to take too long and do damage.
A little add on.
A useful tip.
For through hole cut the component lead BEFORE soldering.
This removes the heat sinking / dissipation effect of the excess lead. Especially when thick. And results in a better solder joint.
you should finish with a protective coating of solder over the bare copper cut end.
This is not my idea. was in AWA Standard Practice Manual and probably in that NASA document. I only skimmed through it and did not notice.
And you can get our latest projects and tips straight away by following us on: