Tools Recommendations? Need Soldering iron, Multi-meter, etc....

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Skelevate
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Tools Recommendations? Need Soldering iron, Multi-meter, etc....

Hello fellow flasholic+modders,

I’m looking to mod my SMALL SUN ZY-T13 (T40cs clone) like the links below. It’s under-driven and I won’t stand for it Wink

Do you have any recommendations/deals for tools?

I know I’ll need a decent soldering iron with a fine tip, and something to measure voltage and current. Depending on how this goes, I hope to mod more in the future.

Thank you for your help!!

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11830
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11493

Edited by: Skelevate on 04/01/2013 - 18:11
ohaya
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Hi,

You might want one (or two) of those “Helping hands” things…. a pair of alligator clips on some pivots. It’s helpful when soldering stuff, since we only get two hands :). Something like this:

http://toolguyd.com/helping-hands/

You’ll want solder, some flux, and some stuff to desolder, maybe braid or one of those solder sucker things.

I always find a small magnifying glass helpful (a loupe works well for me) and headlights.

Jim

AlexGT
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For iron one of the hako clones or Elenco with adjustable temp. 40w would be good,

For multimeter one of the craftsman or Fluke if you can afford it

AlexGT
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forgot to add, get one of those jeweler magnifying glasses, helps a lot when working with small things

Pulsar
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most likely you will not need it for that mod, but a decent set of files is nice to have
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Screwdriver-set-with-precision-files-new-/330891...
that looks just like the set i have, works real good

Chloe
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You don’t need to spend much to get started.

Hakko 936 clone:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=19240

You could get by with a cheap multimeter for now. No need to fork out for a Fluke just yet. Best to get one with continuity beep to help check connections, e.g.:
http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002443/1179801-best-dt830d-digital-...

Solder (I prefer 60/40), solder braid or desolder pump (I use both depending). Cheap pumps tend to be pretty rubbish though.

Helping hands are useful, as are tweezers and side-cutters.

If you can, try to work somewhere with decent ventilation and/or use a fan to blow away the fumes. You will also need good lighting.

moderator007
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I’ll add to the list some long needle nose pliers for removing pills and switch’s.
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-3-4-quarter-inch-needle-nose-pliers-40696...
While you are there might as well get this to.
http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piece-precision-needle-file-set-4614.html
and this
http://www.harborfreight.com/helping-hands-319.html
I know most of the items have already been mentioned but they have a lot of useful tools in one store if you have one near you. They also have 20% off one item coupons online, this is the place where I find mine.
http://slickdeals.net/f/1276399-Harbor-Freight-Coupon-Thread?sduid=0
If you want to go cheap they have this also, although I would recommend the hobbyking hakko 936 clone mentioned above.
http://www.harborfreight.com/30-watt-lightweight-soldering-iron-69060.html

ohaya
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One more: Shining Beam has a fairly inexpensive tweezer… used to unscrew various things using the prongs, plus you actually use them as tweezers to pick things up :)…

Jim

Skelevate
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Wow, you guys are awesome! So many things I never would of thought of (the helper, magnifying glass, braid/suction, flux).

Here’s what I’m about to order from Amazon: (going to get that multimeter and some 18650’s from fasttech as well)

Iron: Elenco Soldering Station (40W Iron) comes with extra tips!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002KW4AC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?i...

Helper: TEKTON 7521 Helping Hand with Magnifier
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NQ4Q4C/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?i...

Desoldering Braid
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NEUII8/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?i...

Rectorseal 74026 3-Ounce C-Flux
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IN1B8E/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?i...

How does that sound thus far?

Strick9
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Here’s a reasonably priced soldering iron…
http://www.sciplus.com/p/540-WATT-VARIABLE-SOLDERING-STATION_48254

…you can get files and all sorts of useful gadgets/tools from this place (American Science and Surplus)

Chloe
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I do not know about that Elenco iron, but it looks like it has temperature control which is important. Question to ask is, can I buy new tips for it easily? Good thing about the Hakko clones is you can buy replacement parts for it, e.g. heating element, new pen (should you need to replace it), etc.

radiancez567
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My only suggestion would be an auto-ranging multimeter rather than a manual-ranging one as suggested above. Though it’s much more expensive, but the convenience is superb.

mhanlen
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I’ll piggyback off this thread… any better soldering stations than the 936 clone for under $50 shipped? Or is that the best you’re gonna get? I have a few other hobbies that require a soldering iron and I’m tired of the shitty 30w radioshacks lifting traces on vintage electronics. That could be a combination of OE and bad tips though.

Pulsar
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The 937d, I think it’s the same station but with an LCD showing temp… So can’t really say its better I guess…

Chloe
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mhanlen wrote:
I have a few other hobbies that require a soldering iron and I’m tired of the shitty 30w radioshacks lifting traces on vintage electronics. That could be a combination of OE and bad tips though.

Sounds like they aren’t temperature controlled either.

mhanlen
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Chloe wrote:
mhanlen wrote:
I have a few other hobbies that require a soldering iron and I’m tired of the shitty 30w radioshacks lifting traces on vintage electronics. That could be a combination of OE and bad tips though.

Sounds like they aren’t temperature controlled either.

But they’re the finest that 9.98 can buy! Say it ain’t so!

garrybunk
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Step up to a better DMM if you want reliable tailcap currents.  Use a 20% off coupon and get this Mastech 8229 clone from Harbor Freight for +/- $36 (or wait forever for it to go on sale and get 20% off the sale price).  Amazon link to the Mastech 8229PilotPTK recommended!

-Garry

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Hikelite
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Try the UT-61E, just make your own leads, short and thick, those they come with are not good as you measure in series of course you get a lot of resistance. At least the physical build quality of the DMM is top notch.

ohaya
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radiancez567 wrote:
My only suggestion would be an auto-ranging multimeter rather than a manual-ranging one as suggested above. Though it’s much more expensive, but the convenience is superb.

Hi,

It’s been a long while since I’ve bought a new meter, but back then, I had generally been avoiding auto-ranging, because I use to hate that the readings on the meter would usually fluctuate for awhile before the auto-ranging kicked in and settled down.

Is that still the case with the newer meters?

Just curious…

Jim

radiancez567
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ohaya wrote:
radiancez567 wrote:
My only suggestion would be an auto-ranging multimeter rather than a manual-ranging one as suggested above. Though it’s much more expensive, but the convenience is superb.

Hi,

It’s been a long while since I’ve bought a new meter, but back then, I had generally been avoiding auto-ranging, because I use to hate that the readings on the meter would usually fluctuate for awhile before the auto-ranging kicked in and settled down.

Is that still the case with the newer meters?

Just curious…

Jim

I only have one auto-ranging multimeter (the one I linked) and the auto-range when measuring batteries voltage takes less than a second. I didn’t feel there was a “delay” at all. I’m not sure about other multimeters or higher-ends ones (I think there are higher-ends one like Fluke that would take some time to settle.)

I’ll link some Youtube to show the speed of the auto-range I get on that multimeter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln59xlYvaaM (watch 10:20)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBbgiBU96mM (watch 16:20, 17:40)

Hikelite
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Is the Mastech MS8268 available in another shape? someone that re-branded it but changed the external appearance?

keltex78
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As mentioned above, no need to spend big bucks and Harbor Freight is your friend if you have a store nearby:

I don't have any expensive tools. I have a very old/cheap Sperry Multimeter that I have used for ~20 years (?) similar to this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Gb-Electrical-Digital-Multmeter-DM4100A/dp/B000NNKDMO/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1364997416&sr=8-8&keywords=sperry+multimeter

...and a cheap 25W soldering iron I bought at Wal Mart many years ago.

From Harbor Freight, I would definitely buy the following items:

Helping Hands - $2.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/helping-hands-319.html

Needle Files - $3.49: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piece-needle-file-set-468.html

Needle Nose pliers - good for unthreading retaining rings - $2.19: http://www.harborfreight.com/5-3-4-quarter-inch-needle-nose-pliers-40696.html

Strap wrench set - for unthreading tight flashlight bodies - $4.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-rubber-strap-wrench-set-94119.html

Dental Pick set - $3.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/6-piece-pick-set-93514.html

Hobby Knife - $3.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/hobby-knife-with-five-fine-point-carving-blades-96739.html

Survival Knife - Just because it's cool - $8.59: http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-hunting-survival-knife-90714.html

Other good items (listing Fasttech because they are currently my favorite):

Desoldering pump - $2.59: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002629/1195701-aluminum-alloy-desoldering-pump

Desoldering braid - $1.75: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002730/1202500-goot-wick-soldering-remover-20mm-x-15m

Soldering paste - Makes tinning wires/contacts and general soldering very easy - $3.28: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10003546/1261003-chips-repair-tool-soldering-paste-grease

Fujik Heatsink Adhesive - $6.15: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10000468/1049304-fujik-heatsink-silicone-thermal-glue-50ml

Flux - for cleaning/helping solder adhere - $1.15: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002129/1153800-amt-amtech-professional-soldering-flux-10ml

 


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Skelevate
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keltex78 wrote:

As mentioned above, no need to spend big bucks and Harbor Freight is your friend if you have a store nearby:

I don’t have any expensive tools. I have a very old/cheap Sperry Multimeter that I have used for ~20 years (?) similar to this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Gb-Electrical-Digital-Multmeter-DM4100A/dp/B000NNKDMO/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1364997416&sr=8-8&keywords=sperry+multimeter

…and a cheap 25W soldering iron I bought at Wal Mart many years ago.

From Harbor Freight, I would definitely buy the following items:

Helping Hands – $2.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/helping-hands-319.html

Needle Files – $3.49: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piece-needle-file-set-468.html

Needle Nose pliers – good for unthreading retaining rings – $2.19: http://www.harborfreight.com/5-3-4-quarter-inch-needle-nose-pliers-40696.html

Strap wrench set – for unthreading tight flashlight bodies – $4.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-rubber-strap-wrench-set-94119.html

Dental Pick set – $3.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/6-piece-pick-set-93514.html

Hobby Knife – $3.99: http://www.harborfreight.com/hobby-knife-with-five-fine-point-carving-blades-96739.html

Survival Knife – Just because it’s cool – $8.59: http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-hunting-survival-knife-90714.html

Other good items (listing Fasttech because they are currently my favorite):

Desoldering pump – $2.59: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002629/1195701-aluminum-alloy-desoldering-pump

Desoldering braid – $1.75: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002730/1202500-goot-wick-soldering-remover-20mm-x-15m

Soldering paste – Makes tinning wires/contacts and general soldering very easy – $3.28: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10003546/1261003-chips-repair-tool-soldering-paste-grease

Fujik Heatsink Adhesive – $6.15: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10000468/1049304-fujik-heatsink-silicone-thermal-glue-50ml

Flux – for cleaning/helping solder adhere – $1.15: http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002129/1153800-amt-amtech-professional-soldering-flux-10ml

 

This is awesome. Thank you for putting in the time to compile this.

I had a very long response ready but I navigated out of the page and lost everything Sad

Chloe: It comes with extra tips. To buy more it would be ~13$

I ordered the Equus 3320 because the price was right, reviews were good, and I don’t need all the fancy extras at this point.
Had I known Harbor freight was so close to my house, I would have just gone there! I’m in IL near Chicago, I should have known.

You guys have been great. Everything has been ordered, the only thing I’m missing are tweezers, a desoldering pump, and a hunting knife Smile

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yup, when working at your dining room table, you need a rather large hunting knife stabbed into the table beside you. keeps people from bothering you while your hard at work Wink

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Added... Emery boards! Cheap, come in a 10-12 pack from Wal-Mart; very handy for sanding the edges of drivers to fit...


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

garrybunk
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I just received these tweezers from FastTech.  They feel very nice and solid.  No bending them while cranking on a tailcap retaining ring.  I also ordered these plastic tweezers (so as not to short any connections), but I haven't used them yet. 

-Garry

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