Very frustrated!! Have gotten into electronics recently and watched many videos about soldering and proper technique. I started out with the iron from this kit:
It's not variable temperature, just plug in and use. So I waited for it to heat up, tinned the tip with my solder and used as I had seen in all the videos I watched, cleaning it on a wet sponge after every few solders. I thought maybe I had left the iron on for too long as the tip became blackened and the solder wouldn't liquefy when making contact with the iron tip. So I clean it off on the wet sponge a bunch and it starts looking better, but I still can't tin it. So I follow the instructions in this video:
Get my iron heated and sink it into the flux, but the solder still won't stick to the tip, it just kind of balls up if i bring it to the edge of the coated part of the iron (the edge opposite of the tip). I think ok maybe it got burned out or something because I left it on too long, also it was part of a $20 kit so maybe it was just a piece of crap.
So I buy this guy here:
Variable heating, I check the manual it says to heat it just beyond the 4th notch to about 700 degrees for lead-free solder. I heat it right where it says to and wait, it tins and everything is fine and dandy. I start using it, this time cleaning between every solder because I'm trying to be extra good to not mess it up, but after 28 solders it stops working
I can't tin it, even while trying after dipping it in the flux. The solder doesn't liquefy at all.
The station came with two tips, the left one is the one I used that no longer works, on the right is what it looked like before: https://i.stack.imgur.com/aVXc7.png