transformer that supplies 3 or 6 volts at a high current to stainless steel or carbon tips. The transformer is turned ON by a foot switch and OFF by an electronic timer. The timer can be adjusted for as long as 3 seconds soldering time.">
Resistance Soldering Set
A time-controlled resistance soldering set (figure 2-32) is now used at many maintenance activities. The set consists of a transformer that supplies 3 or 6 volts at a high current to stainless steel or carbon tips. The transformer is turned ON by a foot switch and OFF by an electronic timer. The timer can be adjusted for as long as 3 seconds soldering time. This set is especially useful for soldering cables to plugs and similar connectors; even the smallest types.
Figure 2-32. - Resistance soldering set
In use, the double-tip probes of the soldering unit are adjusted to straddle the connector cup (connector barrel) to be soldered. One pulse of current heats it for tinning. After the wire is inserted, a second pulse of current solders the connection and completes the job. Since the soldering tips are hot only during the brief period of actual soldering, burning of wire insulation and melting of connector inserts are greatly reduced.
The greatest difficulty with this device is keeping the probe tips free of rosin and corrosion. A cleaning block is mounted on the transformer case for this purpose. Some technicians prefer fine sandpaper for cleaning the double tips.
Do not use steel wool for cleaning tips. It is dangerous when used around electrical equipment because the strands can fall into the equipment and cause short circuits.
Q.33 What is an advantage of using a resistance soldering iron when soldering wire to a
Pencil Iron and Special Tips
An almost indispensable item is the pencil-type soldering iron with an assortment of tips (figure 2-33). Miniature soldering irons have a wattage rating of less than 40 watts. They are easy to use, and are recommended for soldering small components, such as miniature connectors.
Figure 2-33. - Pencil iron with special tips.
One type of pencil iron is equipped with several different tips that range from one-fourth to one-half inch in size (diameter) and are of various shapes. This feature makes it adaptable to a variety of jobs. Unlike most tips that are held in place by setscrews, these tips have threads and screw into the barrel. This feature provides excellent contact with the heating element, thus improving heat transfer efficiency. "Antiseize" compound is generally applied to the threads of the tip each time a tip is installed into the iron. This allows the tip to be easily removed when another is to be inserted.
A special feature of this iron is the soldering pot that screws in like a tip and holds about a thimbleful of solder. It is useful for tinning the ends of a large number of wires.
The interchangeable tips are of various sizes and shapes for specific uses. Extra tips can be obtained and shaped to serve special purposes. The thread-in units are useful in soldering small items.
Another advantage of the pencil soldering iron is that it can be used as an improvised light source to inspect the completed work. Simply remove the soldering tip and insert a 120-volt, 6-watt, type 6S6 lamp bulb into the socket.
If leads, tabs, or small wires are bent against a board or terminal, slotted tips are provided to simultaneously melt the solder and straighten the leads.
If no suitable tip is available for a particular operation, an improvised tip can be made (see figure 2-34). Wrap a length of bare copper wire around one of the regular tips and bend the wire into the proper shape for the purpose. This method also serves to reduce thermal inertia when a larger iron must be used on small components.
Figure 2-34. - Improvised tip.