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What is the correct way to use the tip tinner?
The tip tinner should be used sparingly. My preference is to have just the very tip of the iron tip tinned. Gently press the tip into the tinner, submerging it only a few millimeters. Let it sit on your tip for several seconds, then wipe your tip off on a brass sponge. You should have a nice, shiny tip! You can also add a little tinner to your tip before you shut it down. That will ensure your tip is ready to go next time you want to solder. It will also help prolong the life of your tip.
I have been ISO certified in soldering for about 4 years now (for my job). I have used wall-socket irons, and production irons, and my advice is to go with the best iron you can afford - temperature-controlled is preferred. Wattage mostly determines how fast the iron will recover after being touched to something cold. For very small parts this is not very important. The thermal mass of the tip itself does the job.
For through-hole soldering, ordinary solder by itself works fine. For surface mount parts there is an increasing need to apply flux to the joint before you apply heat, so wetting will be fast and complete. Your "dwell time" (how long you leave the iron touching the connection) becomes important in SMT soldering, so you want the solder to "take" with a minimum application of heat to the joint.
Can you use a Stainless Steal Sponge instead of a Brass Sponge?
Hi. Great question. From my experience, you can use either, and it should work just fine. Brass is known for being a better thermal and electrical conductor, but I think that plays a very small part in the role of the sponge. I see its purpose as scrapping the solder off the tip, leaving you with a nice, shiny tip. Not so much to pull heat. However, that's the downfall of the wet sponge: changing the temperature of the tip too rapidly. Perhaps the brass allows the tip to retain its heat by reaching a state of thermal equilibrium faster than the steel would.
please don't forget that another reason lead is added to solder is to prevent tin whisker growth, something that is yet to be solved easily with lead free solder.
Useful serious tip, pick up the cold soldering iron the same way your pick up the hot one, because I swear they look the same.
what was the black thing he was playing with in the advanced pth soldering video?
What are the shape and measurements in millimeters of the ideal tip for through-hole soldering?
I prefer the conical tips for through-hole soldering. They provide a good contact on both the through-hole and the component. As for size, that is more of a personal preference. Typically, the smaller the components you're working with, the skinnier you want your tip to be, but that's not true in all cases.
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