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Hey seriously, what soldering tools will everyone be using to put this thing together?
@coolpizzaguy - I have a basic weller station, anyone interested in doing audio stuff I strongly recommend getting one. <br /><br />@TrevC - I think its pretty much on schedule for whats to be expected. I imagine that the first order lead time will be the most, they said they are shipping in 20 unit batches, so I bet the second 20 will be on their way to MD around the time the first group receives theirs.
@coolpizzaguy Hakko FX-888, along with Kestor 44 small solder, some desoldering braid (just to upgrade to the speedball, of course I won't make any mistakes that would need this... of course...) and a Fluke 87 III DMM for testing.
@mvrk10256 @JDWarner Thanks for the tips! I've been looking at Weller and Hakko, Digital or Analog or do you guys think it really matters? I can't find Kester 44 Solder in Canada, anyone know where I can get that? The Fluke DMM is crazy expensive. I remember DocB saying it just needs to be able to read a certain voltage range? I wonder if Bottlehead will give us the badges for free or a discount to those who buy both the Crack and the S.E.X. for delaying the shipment out for so long.
@coolpizzaguy <br /><br />I have a weller WES51 - its the basic industrial grade analog station. Because I do a LOT of work with it, I justified paying about $80 at the time. Now its around 100. I would not suggest buying it just for this project but f you want a BIFL tool this is it. Otherwise I would suggest a more pedestrian $20 analog soldering station. go to your local Fry's or whatever Canadians have and get one. The Velleman VTSS5 is a pretty good cheapo unit. <br /><br />As far as Kester 44 is concerned. I get mine on ebay. There are plenty of international shippers, but beware, its not cheap, and usually comes in larger quantities (1/4, 1/2 lbs ect). I bought a 1/2lbs some years ago for about $40 I think and I swear it will last me another decade at least. <br /><br />Finally. I have a Fluke 179, with a bunch of attachments. I bought it used for about $100. For a project like this it is completely necessary. All you need is your basic sub $10 DMM - The $4 Harbor freight unit will work. Again plenty for ~$10 options on ebay.
@mvrk10256 Thanks for the great info! I was reading on head-fi forum and someone said they preferred Kester 245 over Kester 44 because of the no-clean flux core. 245 or 44? Or doesn't matter? Also 63/37 over 60/40. Do I care about no-clean flux? Also, what diameter should I get? :) Thanks for all the help!
@coolpizzaguy Here are my thoughts:<br /><br />Kester 44 is non-corrosive if left on the board or wires. I don't clean after it, and have yet to experience a single problem. I've used it for SMD stuff and very close joints, where the solder doesn't bridge but the rosin definitely does - it always measures an open circuit. So, specifically talking about Kester 44, I don't care about no-clean flux. There are other solders with acidic or corrosive flux products out there you really must clean, but Kester 44 is not one of them. You definitely should stay away from water soluble flux like the plague.<br /><br />As far as solder goes 63/37 is my choice. It has a perfect solid-liquid transition point. 60/40 has a few degrees where it is rubbery, but 63/37 goes from molten to frozen solid instantaneously.<br /><br />I use 0.031" diameter as a compromise for small utility vs. having to feed in a bunch to solder a larger gauge wire or the like. With this diameter a good quality through-hole joint usually needs 1-2cm of solder, so you do have to push some in there. It's usable for SMDs, though not as convenient as the smaller stuff.