This Hobby Is Actually Useful!

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at
Sat Aug 1 17:26:10 CDT 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Paul Koning
> Sent: 01 August 2015 22:39
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> Subject: Re: This Hobby Is Actually Useful!
> > On Aug 1, 2015, at 5:24 PM, Robert Jarratt <robert.jarratt at>
> wrote:
> >
> > PS A related question. I struggled somewhat with the Weller Magnastat
> > No. 8 tip, when trying to solder leads to the ground plane, I could
> > not get the solder to stay molten very long. I was using lead-free
> > solder, its melting point is much lower than the temperature which a
> > No. 8 tip reaches. The iron is 50W. Clearly the ground plane was
> > taking heat away, but is it a problem with the tip not being hot
> > enough, the iron not powerful enough, or perhaps some operator error?
> Politically correct solder is harder to use and has a higher melting point.  I
> asked one of the professionals at the office about it; her answer was to avoid it
> unless it was required for the job.  In other words, for hobby use and for
> anything else that isn’t sold, stay away from it.  Modern components are
> perfectly happy being soldered with real solder, even though they are made
> lead-free.
> I followed that advice and was very happy with the outcome.
> Meanwhile, 50 watts isn’t all that much when you have a major heat sink.  A
> ground plane may be enough to give you trouble, but I suspect it’s the use of
> lead free solder that’s the real issue.

I did consider using leaded solder. I used lead-free because it is a more modern piece of equipment probably made with lead-free solder, but that was probably misguided. I made the repair anyway, but next time I will try using leaded.



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