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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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soldering iron not getting hot

What's up guys? First and foremost, I'm a soldering noob, so ANY advice is greatly appreciated.

I got a cheapo iron from Radio Shack (not even sure of the voltage) and I had soldered some pickups in before with it and all that good stuff. Today, I went to take the pickups out of a recently acquired LTD EC-1000 and the tip isn't getting hot enough to melt the solder. The barrel is still VERY hot, but it's just not transferring to the tip. What do you think?
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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

I use a cheapo 25W Radioshack soldering iron most of the time, works great.

Is the little screw that holds the tip in tight? Also, is the tip clean? If it's cruddy it may not be able to let the heat out.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by MM54 View Post
I use a cheapo 25W Radioshack soldering iron most of the time, works great.

Is the little screw that holds the tip in tight? Also, is the tip clean? If it's cruddy it may not be able to let the heat out.
I will tighten it, screw it, then clean it........and then I'll tend to the soldering iron
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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Originally Posted by MM54 View Post
I'm thinkin I just need a new tip. I dunno man it's just not even melting solder or getting hot. Any suggestions from anyone else of a better soldering iron to get or something? Mine is a 30 watt by the way.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

My little radioshack one has been going string for a long time, for being cheap I think they're pretty well made (really, a soldering iron isn't complicated). I'd try a new tip, and then look for a new iron. If it turns out you need a new iron, you'll have a spare tip!
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Ya the screw(s) that holds the tip is always the first suspect. They loosen themselves from the expansion/contraction of constantly heating up and cooling down no matter how tight you turn them. Also it's often too easy to over tighten them and strip the threads

I have a few soldering guns, some highend ones and cheap ones, and the one that actually works best is a no-name chinese made one, because it actually has a compression fitting to hold the tip tight, rather than screws. I don't know why they all don't have that.

Next suspect is a dirty tip as MM54 said.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

If the tip isn't tight, it can't transfer the heat...
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

The tip is most definitely tight as an update. Still no go.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Try sanding or filing the tip.

Also, try "tinning" the tip...melt a dab of solder on it, it helps transfer the heat. It also prevents the tip from oxidizing, which can impede heat transfer.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

yeah i'm willing to bet it's an oxidized tip
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I'm happy to pay my tech $40 buck to take the Zap for me.
Quote:
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can somone tell my how to drain caps, I got a pretty good jolt last night.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Originally Posted by chuckmehh View Post
What's up guys? First and foremost, I'm a soldering noob, so ANY advice is greatly appreciated.

I got a cheapo iron from Radio Shack (not even sure of the voltage) and I had soldered some pickups in before with it and all that good stuff. Today, I went to take the pickups out of a recently acquired LTD EC-1000 and the tip isn't getting hot enough to melt the solder. The barrel is still VERY hot, but it's just not transferring to the tip. What do you think?
1) The tip must be cleaned (paste cleaner)
2) You must tin the tip before using it
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Unread 01-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

sand the tip a little so it has a slightly flat side and try that. I've had the same exact problem. Sometimes a larger gauge tip helps.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 10:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

+1000000000000 Blisster...I would recommend sanding both sides with 40 grit to clean it..then tin it up
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Unread 01-12-2011, 10:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

It also should be noted that sometimes cheap irons or guns just don't work worth a crap after a while. But it's likely a dirty/oxidized tip. Sometimes you just need a new one. Sanding can help for awhile though.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

yeah i'm thinking you just need to sand the tip or replace it. if nothing else works though take it back. I've got a 30 watt weller that i use and you need to remember to let it heat up for at LEAST 10 min first. the first time i tried soldering with it it didn't work right either and it was because it wasn't hot enough and because i didn't angle it properly. if you have the cone shaped tip on use the side of the cone NOT the tip. Good luck homie.

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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

get a weller gun off amazon
i think i paid less than 40$ shipped, and you can get the tips from rat shack for like a buck apiece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charveldan View Post
I'm happy to pay my tech $40 buck to take the Zap for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smcgov View Post
can somone tell my how to drain caps, I got a pretty good jolt last night.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

throw it away and go to home depot and buy a weller. I used radio shack irons before some are just sh!t . Sounds like you got one of those
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

here you go:
Amazon.com: Weller WEL8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts Universal Soldering Gun Kit: Home Improvement Amazon.com: Weller WEL8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts Universal Soldering Gun Kit: Home Improvement
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charveldan View Post
I'm happy to pay my tech $40 buck to take the Zap for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smcgov View Post
can somone tell my how to drain caps, I got a pretty good jolt last night.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Personally I wouldn't recommend the gun. Too many watts and too bulky. A 40 watt iron works much better for me. All the power to those who get good results with guns, but I never have.

Find a Weller 40 Watt Soldering Kit Torches & Soldering Irons from The Home Depot
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

LOL I have never seen some jargon about soldering irons! First of all don't buy one of those big gorilla soldering guns for working on Amps & guitars. You don't need anything more a 30-35 watt Iron. If you are on a budget and in the US try here:

Stahl Variable Temperature Soldering Station
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

100 watt soldering gun means you can get in, flow the solder, and get out quicker than with a low watt pencil
the quicker you take the heat off of whatever component you're soldering, the less of a chance you have to torch the component

rg keen agrees: How to Solder

the light on the front is damned convenient, too
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charveldan View Post
I'm happy to pay my tech $40 buck to take the Zap for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smcgov View Post
can somone tell my how to drain caps, I got a pretty good jolt last night.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:37 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

I agree in the 40 watt iron, it'll give you much better heat for soldering pots and such. I had the same problem with my LP Custom, with my old 25 watt iron I couldn't get it hot unless I held it there forever. The 40 watt was the trick!
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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Should you use a 100 watt iron on 100 watt amps and a 50 watt iron on a 50 watt amp?

I use the bulky gun, but I'm not working on amp PC's. I like the power, the light bulb and the reliability. It's better for working on my car as well.

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Unread 01-13-2011, 11:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Should you use a 100 watt iron on 100 watt amps and a 50 watt iron on a 50 watt amp?

I use the bulky gun, but I'm not working on amp PC's. I like the power, the light bulb and the reliability.

Ken
yeah. make sure to get acid core solder too. that's the bomb on live electrical components.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:00 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Originally Posted by diesect20022000 View Post
yeah. make sure to get acid core solder too. that's the bomb on live electrical components.
LOL I've never even SEEN acid core solder! Who uses it anyway? And who sells it?

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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Man you guys are dangerous! LOL For those of you that use you grand dad's 100 watt gorilla soldering gun, "I want to see you solder some diodes without frying them or do you realize that when you are super heating a guitar POT with a gorilla gun that you are shortening the life of the pot?"

The key to soldering is a clean well tinned iron, clean parts and good solder. And if you got a tough job to solder use some solder juice. I can solder the earth lug to the chassis with a 30 watt iron no problem.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

60/40 resin core solder.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:43 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

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Man you guys are dangerous! LOL For those of you that use you grand dad's 100 watt gorilla soldering gun, "I want to see you solder some diodes without frying them or do you realize that when you are super heating a guitar POT with a gorilla gun that you are shortening the life of the pot?"

The key to soldering is a clean well tinned iron, clean parts and good solder. And if you got a tough job to solder use some solder juice. I can solder the earth lug to the chassis with a 30 watt iron no problem.
Exactly. There are simple rules to soldering and I already stated them in my earlier post.
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Unread 01-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: soldering iron not getting hot

Get a weller 25w soldering iron and griffin solder.
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