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'[OT] The Cold Heat Soldering Irons Recently on the'
2005\02\27@090326 by Martin McCormick

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       Has anyone actually tried one of those relatively new
battery-powered soldering irons that have recently appeared?  I saw a
story on them on CNN's "Next" from a report at the Las Vegas Consumer
Electronics Show.

       The tip reportedly reaches 800 F in a second and cools back
down to safe temperatures just about as quickly which is cool, all right.

       I frequently use one of the Wahl cordless miniature guns in my
projects when I need a very tiny hot tip.  As an experimenter who
happens to be blind, I like a soldering gun when ever possible because
one can position the cold tip, the work and solder before heating the
tip.  One thing that bothered me about the ad was when the narrator
said, "Just apply solder to the tip---"
which is exactly what I have always been told _NOT_ to do.
You apply the hot tip to the work and, if at all
possible, get the work hot enough to melt the solder via the conducted
heat (easier said then done on some large masses).

       The Wahl Isotips work well but use built-in nicads which are a
headache when they need replacement.

       The new device would need to have a small tip area to be
comparable to the Isotip, but it sounds interesting.

       On the CNN report, someone commented that the tip was a
composition material which was why it could heat and cool as quickly
as it did.

       The Cold Heat device shown on the cable advertisement says it
will run on 4 AA batteries.  Ironically, I might want to try
rechargables although that might make the tip run a bit cooler.

       We had a very similar discussion to this last
December or so, but I didn't know there was actually a new device on
the market.  

       Has anybody tried one on electronics to see if it is
practical?  Many soldering tips are way too big for small electronics.

       Thanks for any replies.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
OSU Information Technology Division Network Operations Group

2005\02\27@092822 by Howard Winter

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Martin,

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 08:03:25 -0600, Martin McCormick wrote:

>        Has anyone actually tried one of those relatively new
> battery-powered soldering irons that have recently appeared?  I saw a
> story on them on CNN's "Next" from a report at the Las Vegas Consumer
> Electronics Show.

Yes, I bought one just to see what it was like.  The "tip" is actially a pair of pieces with a gap in the
middle, and it almost seems to use the target to bridge of the gap.  You often get a small spark as you press
the button (they tell you that's normal) and this, combined with not-very-small tip size means that I don't
think it's suitable for electronics.  I certainly won't be using it on anything with semiconductors in it!  

In your case you may find it difficult to position the tip, because the shape of the body of the unit doesn't
give much clue as to where the tip is, the way a conventional iron (or even a soldering gun) does.

It may be useful for medium-sized joints such as car electrics, and useful to carry in the car for
emergencies, but otherwise I don't see it being a replacement for a conventional iron.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\02\27@231847 by Ben Hencke

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I also have one of these. The gap is huge! possibly 1/10th of an inch
or more, making it uselss for soldering most stuff, even through hole.
It does heat up and cool down pretty quick, but the heating process
only happends when the 2 sides of the tip touch a conductive surface.
- Ben

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 14:28:20 +0000 (GMT), Howard Winter
<spam_OUTHDRWTakeThisOuTspamh2org.demon.co.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\02\28@091738 by Martin McCormick

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"Howard Winter" writes:
>Yes, I bought one just to see what it was like.  The "tip" is actially a pair
>of pieces with a gap in the
>middle, and it almost seems to use the target to bridge of the gap.  You often
> get a small spark as you press
>the button (they tell you that's normal) and this, combined with not-very-smal
>l tip size means that I don't
>think it's suitable for electronics.  I certainly won't be using it on anythin
>g with semiconductors in it!  

Ben Hencke writes:
>I also have one of these. The gap is huge! possibly 1/10th of an inch
>or more, making it uselss for soldering most stuff, even through hole.

       Thanks to both of you!  I seem to remember the iron is around
$20 or so which does not make it a major purchase in the over all
scheme of life, but if I bought it with the idea of soldering
component leads on through-hole perforated board which is what most
of my electronic projects are built around, and discovered what both
of you described, I would be annoyed.  It isn't a good deal if it
doesn't do what you bought it for.

       I can also imagine what it could do to a PIC or any
other solid-state electronics if the two halves of the tip fed the
roughly 6-volt power in to the circuit rather than shorting through
the target and solder.  It wouldn't be pretty.

       Howard Winter also mentioned the problem of orienting the tip.
If everything else was perfect and this was a must-have tool, I could
probably mark the correct spot, but there are too many gotcha's.  If
I were designing such a tool, I would give it a setup mode in which a
Sonalert module could be switched in series with the tip to whistle
when contact was made.  Then one would know that it was ready to go.

       Again, thanks for saving me time and money.:-)

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
OSU Information Technology Division Network Operations Group

2005\02\28@141300 by Cnc002

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In a message dated 2/28/2005 9:18:36 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
.....martinKILLspamspam@spam@dc.cis.okstate.edu writes:

I can  also imagine what it could do to a PIC or any
other solid-state electronics  if the two halves of the tip fed the
roughly 6-volt power in to the circuit  rather than shorting through
the target and solder.  It wouldn't be  pretty.



I seem to recall someone awhile back, not too long after these were  
introduced, saying that they did damage some semi-conductor devices with one of  
these.  It might be usefull for what I would call "rough" repair but  definately
NOT for use with electronics or other precision applications.



Randy  Abernathy
4626 Old Stilesboro Road NW
Acworth, GA 30101-4066
Phone /  Fax: 770-974-5295
Mobile: 678-772-4113
E-mail:  cnc002spamKILLspamaol.com

I furnish technical support, repair, and other  related services for your
industrial woodworking machinery. My background as  Senior Service Engineer for
the SCMI Group for nearly fifteen years with factory  training, combines with
my extensive background in electronics, mechanics,  pneumatics, electrical and
CNC machinery to offer you needed support for your  machinery.

2005\02\28@161337 by James Newton, Host

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I have personally "welded" wires onto a SMT device using a sort of
"tweezers" built from two different bits of spring steel (actually a regular
tweezers that I cut into two) with a battery (6v lantern) connected across
the sides. I applied paste, positioned the wire against the pin, held it
down with one side of the tweezers, then got my solder ready, and made
contact with the other side of the tweezers against the pin. I would get a
little arc sometimes, but usually it just got damn hot, melted the solder,
and did the job. Very quick. I would just break the connection on the pin
side and continue to hold down the wire with the other as the solder cooled.
Really slick, however...

After completing the job, the device failed to function. All the connections
looked perfect, and it was easy to work in the limited space, but some of
the power must have traveled through the device and fried it. Maybe. Maybe
not; the chip was just on an adapter with none of the pins connected to
anything so how the juice would manage to flow through the chip is beyond
me. Anyway, it wasn't worth risking another chip, so I went and paid for a
new soldering iron with a fine point.

I've often wondered if using a different material at the tip of my
"tweezers" would have solved the problem. E.g. a little block of nichrome or
something like that so the power would flow from tip, through that sort of
resistive element and to the other tip, and the resistive element would
couple the heat to the wire and pin. The element could be really tiny and
have almost no mass making it easy to get in and out of cramped quarters.
The tweezers tips could always be connected and the power switched from
somewhere else, or one "tip" could be cut short and fixed just above the
element so that pressing down would close the circuit.

If anybody tries it, let me know.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\02\28@165406 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2005-02-28 at 13:13 -0800, James Newton, Host wrote:
> I have personally "welded" wires onto a SMT device using a sort of
> "tweezers" built from two different bits of spring steel (actually a regular
> tweezers that I cut into two) with a battery (6v lantern) connected across
> the sides. I applied paste, positioned the wire against the pin, held it
> down with one side of the tweezers, then got my solder ready, and made
> contact with the other side of the tweezers against the pin. I would get a
> little arc sometimes, but usually it just got damn hot, melted the solder,
> and did the job. Very quick. I would just break the connection on the pin
> side and continue to hold down the wire with the other as the solder cooled.
> Really slick, however...

Neat. This reminds me of a show I was watching last night where some
people in New Zealand were trying to build a gold smelter. At one point
they had purified the gold, but had the problem of the gold had been
separated into several pieces. They though about heating up the furnace
again, but one of the people suggested a different solution.

He picked up two lantern batteries, opened them and salvaged the carbon
rods inside. Connecting them to a set of jumper cables, the cables to a
car battery, and donning a welders mask, he proceeded to "weld" the
pieces of gold together with just the current of the battery! Very neat
to see, and quite a clever solution. Of course, don't try that with
pretty much any other type of metal, unless you either like it oxidizing
like nuts, or you immerse it in an inert gas.

TTYL


-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\02\28@174133 by Andre Abelian

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James,

I worked with SMT device very long time and my method always worked
fine.
===============================
For soldering SMT components I use solder paste when I apply heat
It becomes solder like how manufactures are soldering boards.
===============================
For disoldering  I use hakko tweezers or solder all pins together
then I apply head.
===============================
For portable soldering I used gas based soldering iron
Very reliable and the gas will last long time too.


Andre Abelian  




{Original Message removed}

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