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Cordless/butane soldering irons

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by gafftapegreenia, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Just a general question on which brand's of butane solder irons are acceptable and which should be avoided. I'm looking to get one but of course have to ask first.
  2. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Audio Engineer
    On Tour
    I have a butane BernzOmatic basic micro-torch kit. So it converts from a hot blower to hot knife and comes with several soldering tips.

    It works well enough - I only use it when I need to work quickly and don't have access to electricity for my regular soldering iron. It's kind of clunky and doesn't hold too great in my hand, but I do love that I can go from a soldering iron to a heat shrink shrinker in a few minutes with one tool - great for working on wiring through the theatre.
  3. 00AVD

    00AVD Active Member

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    Brisbane, Australia
    I have one of the Weller WSTA-3 Pyro-Pen units. It seems to be a good balance of size and usability. Also has piezoelectric ignition and runs for a couple of hours on a single tank of gas.

    Whenever I've tried the cheap versions before, I've always regretted it. Sometimes you just need to spend the money.
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I have a Weller cordless iron also, wasn't impressed with it in soldering DMX following my seeing some security system person using it to install his own wires onto a circuit board which seemed for him in perminant install to work fine. Just as with the cool to the touch irons, it's not persay initial heat they can develop, it's more about stustaining that heat sufficient for a good solder connection especially on a larger gauge of wire which is of problem.

    Sure if you gotta have a cordles to make a show happen go with such a tool for emergency use, but I absolutely wouldn't depend on such a tool for proper work and re-look at such a connection after the show. Wouldn't rely on some 15W Radio Shack iron either for proper work given the above. Easy enough to run an extension cord to a proper 50 or 60W variable temperature iron in doing a proper job more often than not. Such irons you can adjust in temperature dependant on what gauge or type of wire you are working on from 350 thru 850 degrees - normally in the 600F range for thermoplastic 24 ga wire in a five pin, to 650F to 700F wire from 22 thru 20 gauge or if rubberized jacket, than some range upwards from that between scroller cables to 12ga Soco wires needing 850F and that Umph in wattage behind the iron in giving it a proper solder.

    While I have a cordless butane iron I might have used twice in ten years (assuming its seals are good any longer as another factor), I also have a portable solder station and my newer cable repair kits also have a soldering station iron attached to the cable repair kit.

    This as with the cordless butane torches. Onto my second one now given the first after ten years didn't hold it's seal. Good stuff the newer ones, good for high temperature heat shrink as used in some cases but a cigarette lighter would work better for normal heat shrink use.

    This all much less to use such a tool you need a butane bottle to keep them in action which would be really hard to put in luggage and or have on-hand at times. Got the toys but rarely use them. Perhaps those more doing shows have a use for emergency fix tools but also they properly fix the gear after such a fix. Wouldn't be the top of my list to buy unless you frequently run into situations where a proper solder sations are not able to be hooked up an extension cord to - this say if high up in the truss or something and it cannot be brought down for a better repair. Perhaps something to toss into the back of your road box with a refil tank for when crap hits the fan. This if you have the budget and already have the proper tools.
  5. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    My company seems to have agreed that Weller WPA2's are the way to go. They get to 932 F all I know is that when we have to solder dimmer racks with their silver connections they get plenty hot enough. They have removable tips with plenty of sizes for all size cables. They are easily fillable and butane is cheap, only worry is over filling and if that happens you just leave them on in good ventilation for a bit. Cordless is a must have for a touring show.

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