x-tronic 4000 soldering station

Need to buy soldering station, after reviewing a few including Hakko, Atten, Weller came at X-tronic 4000, this one out there includes the hot air gun as well, magnifying lamp, quite a few tips. Temp range from 150C which is suites me, I need 180C to work with WBT solder. Any experience on this from DIY folks would be great, anything I should be concerned about...
Thank you
Weller makes about the best there is as far as soldering stations - we have about 5 of them.

Good luck on your project - if soldering wire to connectors make sure you get an iron with enough tip mass to do the job properly.

Actually the solder iron is minimum 200C, I am afraid this is to high for the solder I use, I guess I looked at the gun temp which has 150C minimum. Hm...
Avs9 - I'm not sure why you need station and not the soldering iron. Do you do any work with surface mount?

180degC iron is wrong. Eutectic 63/37 solder (or solder paste) melts at 183degC and it would take forever to solder. Flux would clean oxidation and then evaporate while oxidation would come back. Proper temperature is 700degF (371degC). You can go higher but then flux will evaporate before completing cleaning job. If your solder contains silver you need perhaps 800degF.

I would recommend simple Weller like that one: http://www.amazon.com/WTCPT-Temperature-Controlled-Soldering-Station/dp/B00004W463/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1335131348&sr=8-18

It has tips marked for different temperature ranges. Typical one for typical Eutectic solder (63/37) is marked 7 for 700degF (you can buy different tips) Iron is 60W and adjusts power switching on and off in precise temperature point. Tip's butt has pressed in end piece made of metal that has precise curie point of 700degF (temp point where metal looses magnetic ability). Behind end of tip is small magnet connected to switch. It works really well - seems to be immune to larger objects that sink heat (solders exactly the same small and large objects). It lasts forever and parts are replaceable. My company uses these soldering irons for at least 30 years.

If you want to work with surface mount you need different set of tools. For removal of resistor's and capacitors you need hot tweezers (two soldering irons will do) and for soldering you need syringe with "no clean" flux paste, very thin "no clean" solder (like 0.015") and small hot air pencil + very small temp controlled soldering iron (assuming practical way, right way requires syringe with solder paste). I assume that you can only do 50 mil pitch. For 25 mil pitch ICs you would need hot air column. 20 mil pitch is out of the question. You also need "no clean" solder wick. For thru-hole components all you need is 60W Weller iron.
Kijanki - thank you a lot for the response.
No surface mount work, at least for now, may be later, I am considering playing with capacitors in my CJ PV-12.
I guess you are correct that having the 180C lower iron limit is not practical since it will take a long time to solder as you said. I was gonna use the WBT 4% Ag.
But for now I need to wire the arm, do it a couple of times with different wires, Audio-Note silver arm wire, also C37 litz wire. Some other speakers wiring work as well.
So I was told the soldering station (I do have a very simple radio shack solder iron) will play better since I would be able to ajust the temperature easily. The heat gun could be used for shrinking the colored sleeves onto the cartridge clips.

Avs9, Hot air gun might be usefull for shrink tubing. I use standard large Wagner heat gun but smaller hot air gun or hot air pencil might be easier to use. If you plan to use different solders (different melting temp) then perhaps you need soldering iron with adjustable temperature (changing tips is less convenient). Look for at least 40W power. When your soldering station has adjustable air flow and temperature for hot air gun/pencil it will be useful in future for surface mount.

Hakko is well known but most likely more expensive. X-tronics looks like a very good bargain especially with magnifying glass lamp. I found model 4040 here for amazing $140 http://www.amazon.com/X-TRONIC-MODEL-4040-Soldering-MAGNIFYING/dp/B003TC8EQS

I also found review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC30-GUbgk4 You might want to find second part of it. His soldering of capacitor requires perhaps one second longer to make solder flow into the hole. I usually solder about another 2 seconds from the moment of melting.
If you are using WBT 0800(4% Ag); the melting point is 178/180 degrees C, according to my spool's label. No problems, at all, soldering at just slightly above that temp. If the lower limit of a soldering station is 180 degrees, so what? You can always increase the temp.
Rodman99999, You should not solder at 180degC. Proper temperature is 370degC otherwise fluxes evaporate and new oxidation will appear (takes too long). Higher temperature is not only to melt solder quickly but to heat up soldered leads, PCB etc. - otherwise solder doesn't "flow". Some Weller soldering Irons use Curie effect to regulate temperature. Standard tip is set at 700degF.
Like I said, I've been soldering at slightly above the temp on the WBT 0800 spool, without any problems. I would not have bothered commenting, but for the fact that the OP is using the same solder. These guys recommend 250 degrees C, as the ideal temp: (http://www.takefiveaudio.com/PDF/WBT%200800.PDF) That's very close to what I'm reaching, with excellent flow, and the halogen-free flux does a fine job. Have you ever used WBT's lead-bearing/4% silver solder?
These days for hobbiest use I wouldn't over-invest in this area. I've had great luck with this Chinese station for both SMD and general-purpose soldering-- everything except for heavy terminations like speaker binding posts. For those heavy jobs a Weller SP80L with a massive tip does the trick.


This Chinese digital station survived a fall from a countertop. It is better made than its price suggests. The hot air gun accessory is helpful.
Rodman99999, Yes I used this solder at exactly 700degF and it is no different than standard 63/37 eutectic solder commonly used (melting temp. 183degC). You can follow any advise you want but common in whole electronics industry is 650-750degF.

Kester, one of the largest and oldest manufacturer of solder in the world, recommends 700degF.


As I said before - 700deg is so common that it is set as default tip temperature for Weller irons (with Curie point thermostat).
Maybe I'm missing something here? Kester and WBT solders are now the same formulations/fluxes, and I should believe Kester over WBT(regarding WBT's product)? Of course WBT will still perform at 700 degrees F. The issue is whether it will, equally as well at around 500 degrees F, which I(and others) have found it will. Happy soldering.
Rodman99999, Can you post link to recommendation from WBT - I could not find any. If they recommend particular tip temperature than I cannot argue with that, otherwise with the same melting point and most likely similar rosin I would follow advice of Kester since they specialize in solder (don't do anything else). I've used quite a bit of WBT 4%Ag solder and it solders perfectly with 700degF - pretty much the same as typical Kester solder.
Mr K- Actually; I've never seen any recommendations regarding temps, from WBT. I started using Wonder Solder about 15 years ago, and found it worked wonderfully at lower temps than I was used to. To me; that was desirable, as dielectrics(like Teflon)tend to release gases, when heated. That means the chemical composition is changing. Not something I wanted to do to the expensive cables to which I was attaching various connectors, or the RCAs going in a chassis. When I started using WBT; I never raised the temp and never had a problem. Kimber Kable recommends 750 degrees, when using Wonder Solder, but I've never experienced any problems at 500 to 550.
Rodman99999, Next time I'll try 550. Teflon can be really bad if overheated,especially large surface like frying pan. If I remember correctly it releases Fosgen - a gas that was used as chemical weapon.
Mr K- Absolutely NOT the kind of thing I want, hanging in the air about my soldering station. In this first reference; they mention that Teflon begins off-gassing toxic particulates at 464, and emitting six toxic gases at 680 degrees F(plus a few other tasty treats):(http://www.tuberose.com/Teflon.html) Next to a vacuum or air; Teflon has been my favorite dielectric(since the 80's). Many of the components I've soldered have been configured in a way that left them hard to heatsink, and I was always more concerned with the idea of altering the chemistry of the Teflon, than that of my own body(typical). (http://www.ewg.org/node/8305)
Rodman99999, My all cables are either Teflon or foam Teflon insulated. We use at work very thin Teflon insulated wires. It is very difficult to strip ends without nicking wire.

Thanks for the links. Overheated Teflon is really scary. We had two larks that died one after another, bought for our daughter when she was young. The only explanation that comes to mind is common usage at the time of new wonder "Teflon Frying Pan". Our daughter also had constant upper respiratory problems that suddenly stopped when we got rid of Teflon. Now I use mostly cast iron wok seasoned to black non stick layer of carbon and ceramic coated pans. As dielectric, on the other hand, it is perfect. My interconnect have oversized tubes made of foam Teflon - dielectric constant likely close to 1. Capacitance: 5pF/ft.

Getting back to soldering - I would also make sure to use ventilated area or at least small fan that blows fumes sideways. Washing hands is necessary after touching led.
I have a Hakko temp controled FM-202 soldering station and just love it. It has interchangable tips, and will even do surface mount with a heated tweezer attachment. Each tip is calibrated by the controller so it produces the right temperature irrespective of the power needed by the tip.

BTW, the digitally set tip temp is 750 F by default.