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I have an old KADA 852A soldering station. I can't find any info about it except on russian websites google translate helps.

It is my retired Dad's station. It has not used for a few years (might be the cause of the problem.) I used it to solder some small perfboard projects and modules.

The problem is that it doesn't heat fast enough. The solder is in bad shape on the pad and I think I almost damaged the module trying to solder it due to applying heat for a long time

This is the tip I am using. I just bought a new one so the tip is new. The specifications say it is a 35watt iron.

  • Is it not enough?
  • Can I make do if I bought a bigger tip or something or should I give up on the station all together and buy a new one?
  • If so what wattage is recommended for a soldering iron and what tip for perfboards and through hole components?
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    \$\begingroup\$ Those tips are suitable for small SMD and fine pitch work, not for through-hole components. For larger stuff/general soldering, get a wider square tip. Other than that, do you know what temperature the station is set to give out? What do the actual tips look like, could you take a picture? What solder are you using? Are you using external flux? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 9:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok when you buy a new tip, ensure to "bathe" it in solder for a while. The solder you linked looks like leaded but it could be bad quality. 350° C should be more than enough, assuming that the station actually delivers. Leaded solder wets somewhere between 180-200°, RoHS solder around 220°. And 350° would be the usual "pro" setting - beginners might use as low as 250° - then the joint wets slower, but it does wet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 10:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually the solder should say something like "Rosin core no clean flux"... if it doesn't, who knows what it is you bought. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 10:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well there are different kinds of flux and I'm far from an expert there, though rosin works best imo. But it should say some sort of "flux core" at least. Also it should say "no clean" or you are expected to clean the surface afterwards, to prevent board damage. Most importantly buy from well-known vendors so you don't get some fake solder where they tampered with the tin/lead ratio. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 11:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ As for diameter I'd say 0.5mm to 0.7mm for through-hole component work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 11:04

2 Answers 2

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35W should be plenty for perfboard as it doesn't have any ground planes or similar that will sink all the heat away.

Make sure the tip is clean, and put a bit of fresh solder onto the tip before you start soldering, the fresh solder will help with heat transfer as opposed to a completely dry tip.

Since the tip is with a small, sharp point, don't use the actual point to solder large components, instead use the side of the tip, maximizing the surface area is key for heat transfer.

Also make sure the perfboard is clean. Non tin-plated ones that's been lying around for some time are often pretty oxidized which is horrible to solder. If it's oxidized, it can often be cleaned with some fine sand paper or scotch-brite.

I personally prefer somewhat large chisel point soldering tips, about 3-4 mm wide. That makes for great heat transfer. But it should be fully doable with your tip as well, especially if you tilt it instead of using the point.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you are missing the point: the tips in the linked picture aren't suitable for through-hole soldering. Bit of oxidation on them and they will perform poorly, especially if the station is of some questionable quality. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 9:32
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Try using flux while soldering or purchasing solder from a well known brand, such as Multicore.

The soldering tips should be compatible with a type of Hakko-brand tips. You can find thicker tips from eBay etc.

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