Talk:Electronics Lab

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I don't wanna tear down your page to put up my opinions, but:

I disagree with a lot of these picks. The cheap meters and soldering equipment are more difficult to use and I wouldn't train people on them by choice. I'd strongly recommend avoiding these cheap irons and meters.

The thing is, GOOD equipment isn't all that prohibitively expensive!

Fluke started selling meters to China dirt cheap, some vendors violate the region-agreement and resell back to US at a ridiculous discount:

Fluke 17B, ~$100, has thermocouple input and REL button. You probably only need ONE on-hand with the thermocouple.

Fluke 15B, ~$75, cheaper but just as good if you don't need the thermocouple or REL function.

LARGE "Soldapult"-type sucker, $6. None of the other solder suckers compare, many don't work at all. This one single type (black antistatic or "ordinary" blue) DOES work, and very very well.

Hakko FX888 stations- top notch industry standard and only about $75 shipped off eBay. Regulated, super-fast warmup, wide temp range, and LOTS of tips which are ridiculously cheap on eBay and basically never wear out anyways. You will find many Hakko tips in a T18 and 900M version. The T18 is the new one, the 900M is an older design and obsolete. I don't know what the difference actually IS.

Of those:

The T18-D16 tip that comes with the Hakko FX888 is good for 90% of hobbyist soldering, including a lot of SMD tasks.

A wide chisel tip like the T18-32D(900M-3.2D) is GREAT for 3 things- solder-dragging (or even removing) an SMD IC package, attaching or removing SMD packages like 1206, 0805, etc with one side-touch, and transferring a TON of heat into large objects like battery lugs.

The T18-S4 (900M-T-S4), excellent for tiny fine-point work. However, note that MOST SMD work, including fine-pitch, is done with solder-drag, not fine-point.

There's also some "knife tips" like T18-K (900M-T-K). Good for solder-dragging, can also be a hot-knife for cutting nylon webbing. The 900M is under $3 shipped so who cares if you melt gunk all over it.

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