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Workshop Aliexpress Desoldering Tool

 
WayneD
(@wayned)
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Here's my thoughts/opinions/experience on this desoldering tool I bought from Aliexpress. It cost around £10 including shipping.

desoldering
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I was already planning to replace the plug for a UK plug but the first thing I notice is how thin and flexible the cable is and there's no earth so I may as well just replace the whole cable and add an earth. It's really easy to take apart with three screws holding it together.

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Sooooo... the wires connecting to the heating element are just twisted together and then have black insulating tape over them! There is also a cable grip that's moulded into the plastic handle but the cable was so thin that the grip didn't really serve much purpose.

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I've soldered the new cable to the heating element and added some heat-resistant tubing over the connection, connected the earth wire to the metal barrel and I've added some tape to hold the cable in place, but I'm going to add some heat shrink tubing over the top of this.

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I'm running this through a 100 watt incandescent bulb as not only will this inform me if something really bad happens but the resistance of the bulb keeps the voltage nicely around 220 volts which Chinese stuff like this is best run on.

So, what's it like? It works best with older PCBs with nice thick tracks. Not great at surface mount stuff, definitely suited to through-hole components. A coat of modern liquid flux first before desoldering makes a huge difference. 

Overall opinion? Don't bother. Get an RS Pro Desoldering Gun for £35 instead. 

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Topic starter Posted : 11/01/2022 3:47 pm
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Cathovisor
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@wayned 

I can remember buying something similar to this - but much better made! - from one of the suppliers in Television magazine in the mid-80s, probably East Cornwall Components (who were actually in Shropshire!). I wasn't that impressed with it. I have a Weller DS900 now but for what little I tend to do these days and especially with SMD stuff, I just use Chemtronics braid. One day I'll fire up the Hakko for SMD.

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Posted : 11/01/2022 6:05 pm
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crustytv
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Yikes indeed!

These CN products use some appalling wire for our 240V mains. I recently bought a replacement PSU for my CNC. Although better built, they had still used too small gauge wire for 240V. Luckily, they seem to produce bricks which now pop apart. I replaced the mains cable with a much heavier gauge.

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As for desoldering guns/stations, like MIke, I bought a really nice and not inexpensive Weller DS900, I used it for a few months and then boxed it away where it still sits to this day. I don't like manual solder pumps either, way too aggressive, and I've lost many a pad with one of them.

No, my go to is desoldering braid, mind you, you have to get the good stuff like ChemWick, the cheap stuff is useless. I see a lot of people saying wick is crap, more often than not, It's because they've scrimped. Each to their own though, what suits each of us best. 👍

p.s. That RS one for £35, surely that needs to be connected to a solder station with a vacuum pump. I cannot see how it would work otherwise.

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Posted : 11/01/2022 6:31 pm
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Cathovisor
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Posted by: @crustytv

No, my go to is desoldering braid, mind you, you have to get the good stuff like ChemWick, the cheap stuff is useless. I see a lot of people saying wick is crap, more often than not, It's because they've scrimped.

In one. I tried a *lot* of braids before settling on the state of Georgia's finest and haven't looked back. I've used it to successfully remove LCD screens from radio talkback systems in the past, and clean up the tiny little pads in plug-in radio microphone transmitters when fitting the ferrite transformer that generates the phantom supply. The key to success is to use a size of braid that matches the job in hand.

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Posted : 11/01/2022 8:00 pm
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WayneD
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Posted by: @crustytv

p.s. That RS one for £35, surely that needs to be connected to a solder station with a vacuum pump. I cannot see how it would work otherwise.

You're right, DOH! I do have a heat gun which has a very fine cone attachment which is good at desoldering surface mount.

I've never totally got on with braid but I've found that a really powerful iron helps. I tend to use smaller irons for general stuff.

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Topic starter Posted : 11/01/2022 8:52 pm
crustytv
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Another thing I occasionally use (1st pic), and far less aggressive than those click sticks, though I do have a nice hefty Philips one.

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Posted : 11/01/2022 8:56 pm
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Sundog
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These form my chosen desoldering tools for through hole.

Top is a Japanese desoldering pump. It as a silicone tube as a nozzle which is very gentle on pads and easily replaced. It wasn't cheap.

Below is a cheap Chinese set of implements. Various sizes of stainless steel tube with handles. The tube inner size to correspond to the component wire thickness, the outer (hopefully) fits through the hole. 

I haven't yet found the need for a powered desoldering station.

Desoldering

 

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Posted : 11/01/2022 9:20 pm
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WayneD
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@crustytv I used to have that very desoldering "bulb" I got it from Tandy back in the 80s.

 

@sundog That's very interesting! I shall investigate further.

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Topic starter Posted : 11/01/2022 9:41 pm
Cathovisor
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@crustytv 

There is a Weller device which is a rubber bulb attached to a desoldering head that fits the older TCP-series irons.

https://uk.farnell.com/weller/51304099/desoldering-att-for-tcp2-tcp3/dp/419060

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Posted : 12/01/2022 12:38 am
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crustytv
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Now that is ingenious, good old Weller. I may now just be tempted to remove one of my 4 ( 😲 ) TCP stations from the retirement cupboard, specifically for use as a desoldering tool.

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Posted : 12/01/2022 9:23 am
Doz
 Doz
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Posted by: @cathovisor
Posted by: @crustytv

No, my go to is desoldering braid, mind you, you have to get the good stuff like ChemWick, the cheap stuff is useless. I see a lot of people saying wick is crap, more often than not, It's because they've scrimped.

In one. I tried a *lot* of braids before settling on the state of Georgia's finest and haven't looked back. I've used it to successfully remove LCD screens from radio talkback systems in the past, and clean up the tiny little pads in plug-in radio microphone transmitters when fitting the ferrite transformer that generates the phantom supply. The key to success is to use a size of braid that matches the job in hand.

I know that transformer well!

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Posted : 12/01/2022 12:37 pm
Cathovisor
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@doz 

I'm not surprised! I'm still amazed I've managed to stitch one down conventionally without hot air and paste in the past...

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Posted : 12/01/2022 2:13 pm
19Seventie
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I've had a couple of these desoldering irons now. I found it works great and use it for most desoldering jobs now (Especially ICs and transistors) 

I dont think thought that their temperature is regulated, so will continue to get hotter and hotter. My first one got so hot it ended up melting the plastic supports and shorting two wires together, tripping the RCD and spitting hot solder all over the room - lesson learned. It may be that that particular one was faulty, but I never leave it on for long any more. I'd rather sit and wait for it to heat up every time I need to use it than leave it on, just in case
 

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Posted : 18/01/2022 10:03 pm