Must have modding tools/AKA the best micro soldering iron.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by keine, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. keine
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    Member keine GBAtemp Fan

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    So I had to do an emergency LPT on my 360 the last night, and I feel like the radio shack 15watter is just not cutting it anymore. I've always threatened to get a Weller WM120 pencil. Toughts on the WM120? or other soldering irons for micro work. Assembly of IC boards and installation of various mod chips?

    What would you consider some must have tools on top of the soldering iron? Where are the best places to buy these tools.

    Side question: Where is your favorite place to buy electronic components like Microcontrollers, Resistors, Etc. I've tried Futurelec due to its easier interface, but shipping is somewhat tough. The problem with places like Newark and Mouser is its SOO hard to find what you are looking for and then shipping is always a big hassle. I wish there was somewhere with a more newb friendly interface and light cheap shipping.
     
  2. keine
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    bump?
    Any thoughts on practice arenas for soldering?
     
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    http://www.digikey.com/ is sometimes worth a look as is http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php

    Not necessarily for you but UK wise is a bit harder
    http://uk.rs-online.com/web/
    http://www.bitsbox.co.uk/
    http://www.rapidonline.com/
    http://uk.farnell.com/


    As for the soldering I have not used that one. Mod chips and IC (especially IC repair) is rapidly heading into a surface mount of nothing line of thought so you are going to want something to match- surface mount assembly can and is done using a hot plate by some people. If you are making investments it might be worth a hot air station or better yet something that could make a dent in the BGA world (although that gets pricey very quickly). If you are heading down this path I would actually consider a look at some of the Chinese warehouse type distributors (DX is not the only one) like http://www.virtualvillage.com or http://www.ownta.com/wholesale-dropship-re...epairing-tools/

    On top of the soldering iron it depends what route you want to go
    If you want to hack (as in generate new hacks) then an oscilloscope (make it a nice one- a common thing to do is hack one of these http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.30573 with http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=553.0 ), a logic probe, maybe some debug/test kit (JTAG and I2C sort of thing, perhaps http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate is worth a look here). NAND and EEPROM programming is a must and I would also consider some form of programmable chip (the big name in this world is the arduino http://www.arduino.cc/ but there are many options and http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/MS...T+launchpadwiki made something of a splash a few months back.
    It gets a bit easier if you just want to use hacks someone else made although I would still consider a bus sniffer and still keep NAND and EEPROM programming options handy.

    Something I do if I am setting up in a new place is grab a bunch of grab bags/kits with various resistors, LEDs, switches, transistors, diodes (zener and regular) and so on- it will probably cost you over the odds and you will probably not use them right away but they are still worth it for the odd things that come your way.
     
  4. keine
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    Thanks FAST, awesome awesome reply.

    That launchpad is dang cheap.
     

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