Dave

Best soldering iron/gun for basic cable fixes by a novice?

44 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

Did a search for "soldering" but didn't find a recommendation for a basic soldering gun/iron kit for a novice repair. I've got an ever growing pile of good cables that I'd love to fix - mainly 1/4 " guitar cords and XLR mic cables.  

 

Is there a good soldering kit that you'd recommend?

 

In the meantime, back to the Youtube videos to learn more :-))

 

Thanks for your kind advice.

 

Keep well,

 

Dave

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Weller SP-23.

 

Wouldn't want to be without one.  I use others, too, but that's my mainstay, and I have several.

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Dave: " best? "

it depends.... sooo much.

and personal taste (subjective) is part of it.

there are all sorts of soldering options from a couple bucks, up into hundreds.  most tool places, and radio shack have inexpensive little irons that are a good start, for most of our cables, 25 - 50 watts.  start with almost anything inexpensive, and with a bit of experience, you'll be able to figure out what is better for you... and then the original becomes a spare, or goes into your basic field tool kit...

BTW: I really dislike lead free solder.

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Thanks Guys, 

 

Appreciate your tips. By "best" I meant a tool that I can handle as a total beginner and not find too tricky

and not burn anything down :-))

For audio soldering is it "solid core" or "lead free" solder that one uses?  

 

My old cables thank you:-)

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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dave: " For audio soldering is it "solid core" or "lead free" solder that one uses?   "

you do need some electronics learning: rosin core, never acid core for electronics, and you will need some other basic tools, and lots of practice.

 

" not find too tricky and not burn anything down :-)) "

you can burn yourself, and start a fire with just about any soldering tool... safety is a major component of soldering skills.

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IMO, spend a little extra and get a solder station.  If you're sitting at a table working on several cables you'll appreciate the stand, and the adjustable temperature is good for different types of work.

 

Weller: http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC

 

Tenma: http://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-7945-Adjustable-Solder-Station/dp/B00066U2T2

 

Here's a good intro to the craft: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/

 

Good info here as well: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/soldering-101-questions/

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+1 on either of John's recommendations and rosin core solder only. You'll want to get a roll of .032 diameter rosin core which you can get at Radio Shack.

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IMO, spend a little extra and get a solder station.  If you're sitting at a table working on several cables you'll appreciate the stand, and the adjustable temperature is good for different types of work.

 

Weller: http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC

 

 

The Weller is a solid iron everyone should have in there tool kit 

 

If you don't have a Multi-Meter This one is great for under $20.00 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EVYGZA/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

I keep one of these on my follow cart and it is very handy. Has held up for 3 years with zero issues 

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Hi Everyone,

 

Wow, thanks for all the great info and taking the time to gather links - very generous of you.

My vintage Fender and Rickenbacker cables just might be rockin' again... if I don't mess up :-))

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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unless you live in an isolated spot,  I would recommend sitting down with someone,  for even 30 minutes (if the other party is busy).  there are many tips and observations that are overlooked in most soldering videos.  it took me a while to see the worth of a good soldering station. I have a weller soldering station with a lightweight pencil iron. being able to dial in a temperature lets you get consistent results.  get on the list of a retailer and wait for a sale.  in the meantime,  a compact iron for travel or back-up will serve you well. a panavise or equivalent for holding your work in place reduces how often your fingers get burnt.  

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A de-soldering tool/pump is handy too! Especially for beginners...

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First, I'd like to give a plug to the Cable Clinic, a construction, soldering and field repair class run by Local 695. The class is available to all members of Local 695. I'm afraid it's only offered to 695 members but it is free of charge to members. James Eric, an experienced Boom Operator and Utility, teaches the class. Before working in production, he was the microphone technician at Location Sound for about five years. Members may inquire about the schedule and make a reservation by emailing: edu@695.com

 

Regarding inexpensive irons, I have had good experience with a Weller knock-off available through Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Soldering-Station-Features-Continuously-Variable/dp/B0029N70WM/ref=cm_rdp_product

 

This is a soldering station with variable temperature and a very attractive price.

 

I should caution that, while this has worked very well for me, I would never recommend it to anyone anticipating doing a lot of soldering work. There are often reasons the accepted standards in a field cost more than the imitations and these come into sharper focus over long acquaintance. But, for occasional use, I think it's likely to give good service.

 

David

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Obviously one would want the other necessary tools, wire stripper, razor blades, small side-cut nippers, needle-nose and assorted small pliers, magnifying lamp and Jack Daniel's for working on Hirose and Lemos.

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Obviously one would want the other necessary tools, wire stripper, razor blades, small side-cut nippers, needle-nose and assorted small pliers, magnifying lamp and Jack Daniel's for working on Hirose and Lemos.

 

Something like this do the job for you?

post-22-0-63411100-1409074786_thumb.jpg

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I believe that is Erics work bench, where he builds custom cables for us.

His toy chest is  another story and not suited for this forum as it is XXX rated.

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Al I beleive Eric uses some of his work bench items in his toy chest as well.

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Al I believe Eric uses some of his work bench items in his toy chest as well.

I though you promised not to tell after the wild Mixers Mixer weekend in Atlanta?

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One tip i picked up in is not just the tip! Multiple tips! for your solder station a few different sized tips are also a bonus for different sized cables and connectors. One that is good for xlr connectors may not be best for ta3 connectors, etc.

Ken

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One tip i picked up in is not just the tip! Multiple tips! for your solder station a few different sized tips are also a bonus for different sized cables and connectors. One that is good for xlr connectors may not be best for ta3 connectors, etc.

Ken

I've found that the conical needle point tip works for all connectors and wire gauges. It's always a smart move to have different tips and backups for the most common ones.

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I though you promised not to tell after the wild Mixers Mixer weekend in Atlanta?

I thought it was just the small furry woodland animals I couldn't talk about.

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 +1 on the Panavise.Really a great investment that will last forever. Buy it with that circular base. Great for holding connector parts as you are working. Also the best way to hold circuit boards. Best 85 bucks you'll spend.

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I thought it was just the small furry woodland animals I couldn't talk about.

Geez Jack, you're a real Aunt Blabby aren't you?

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