This Hobby Is Actually Useful!

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Sat Aug 1 19:12:40 CDT 2015

> On Aug 1, 2015, at 6:36 PM, TeoZ <teoz at> wrote:
> I still use a bunch of lead solder I purchased to fix the RAM on a C64 back in the late 1980's plus you can still get it from China on ebay super cheap.

Fortunately, real solder is still readily available; my current tools catalog (from Stanley Tools, I think) has a whole section for solder and soldering equipment, and while more than half of the solder listing is various flavors of lead-free, the real stuff is still there, too.  That includes the good stuff: 63-37 eutectic, which is the kind to go for if you can.

> Just this week I fixed an Apple Ibook G3-500 that had the connector for the trackpad/mouse come off the board from bad lead free soldering at the factory (what a pain stripping the whole unit to get the motherboard out). You can get all kinds of fixable and useful equipment cheap because of bad solder joints these days if you like to fix things.
> The Chinese knock-off soldering equipment isn't too bad for the hobbyist. I just snagged a desolding gun with vacuum pump for $100ish a few months back and it works very well.

I still have the Weller temperature-controlled (Curie effect) unit I bought 40 years ago.  That too is still available (WTCPT), and still excellent.  It is fairly high power, so you get the safety of an effective temperature control with the flexibility of a higher power iron.


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