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Vasto

Soldering Iron Recommendations

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Hey everyone, it's been a long time but anyways:

 

My HP dv6500t DC in has become loose and I got sick and tired of having to hold the power cable in that exact position to power the laptop. I've heard that the fix is relatively straight forward and involves removing the old solder and then resoldering the DC in to the motherboard. My dad's soldering iron is made for soldering copper wires together, so I'm guessing it is too high a wattage for motherboard connections.

 

What I'm asking for is for a few reputable brands, what wattage to use (I've heard anywhere from 15-40 watts), and what features you really enjoy about your iron. Some bonus questions I have is what to look for to make sure I'm buying high quality solder, and if anyone has any recommendations on a cheap kit I can buy to practice circuit soldering before I attempt it on my laptop.

 

I took it to a PC repair place and they told me anywhere between 150 and 200, but considering that the battery on this laptop is shot I would sooner buy a netbook. I'm actually aiming to turn this laptop into a media center eventually seeing as I rarely use it.

 

Thanks guys!

(And ignore my Avatar, that's when Intel was sueing AMD for some reason a few years back, lol).

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Weller and Antec make good quality soldering irons. A power rating of 25~50W would be ideal for general purpose electronic use. The better ones are temperature controlled but they do get expensive. How much money are you looking to spend?

 

If you want to practice soldering then get yourself some stripboard and either just use tinned copper wire links or buy a selection of cheap resistors and solder away!

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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When I went to the repair shop I was hoping for a $50 dollar repair. So that would be roughly the high end of what I'm looking to spend. Obviously if I can go cheaper I will, but I also don't want to go so cheap that I regret buying an iron that cheap later.

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I found this one at Radioshack. Weller products aren't cheap but they are built to last and spares are widely available.

 

I wouldn't pay $50 for something that you are only going to use once. Something like this one would do for a quick repair job.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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^ +111

 

I have used the same pencil iron for almost 5 years now. its simple, gets hot quick, but it has a bad habit of falling/rolling around and burning whatever it lands on.

 

otherwise its a champ for little fixes

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It has a bad habit of falling/rolling around and burning whatever it lands on.
You can make a stand for one of those in less than minute out of a metal coathanger.

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You know... my HP v5000 had the same issue. Picked up a new connector on eBay which was 100 times better than the original. As far as the iron, I just picked up one at Home Depot. I don't know what it is off the top of my heard, but I can check when I get home.

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You can make a stand for one of those in less than minute out of a metal coathanger.

 

thats why i listed falling first. i always knock it over and around. its just my set of murphys law.

 

something about the man in me always makes me just try to balance it on its middle though :X

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You know... my HP v5000 had the same issue. Picked up a new connector on eBay which was 100 times better than the original. As far as the iron, I just picked up one at Home Depot. I don't know what it is off the top of my heard, but I can check when I get home.

Thanks d3. What makes the connector better? I was planning on just wicking the old solder away and applying new solder.

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I use one very similar to this:

 

http://www.bernzomatic.com/PRODUCTS/TORCHE.../3/Default.aspx

 

It has many applications ranging from soldering, heat shrink, hell even lighting cigarette's...lol. I decided to get one of these a while back, so I can do more things with one tool. It stands up on its own and the trigger says in the on position to keep it hot. It has various tips for it and I have even used it to solder on PCB's. Works great and I bought it at Wal-mart for $30.

 

Just a side note while I am thinking about it, wicking old solder is usually a bad idea due to the loss of control factor that comes with it. It would take very little to bridge the wrong connection and let the magical smoke out. An old cheap way is to get the old solder hot and use a baby bulb (one they use to clean noses out and stuff, cheap at the pharmacy) then suck the solder off. Usually does the trick.

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I was talking about using one of those desoldering braids. People seem to recommend that over the bulbs. Granted this will be the first thing I'm going to solder, but I just remembered I have a dead mobo lying around that I plan on practicing on. Athlon XP mobo. :-)

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