"Cold Soldering" Guns - Have You Used One?

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#1
I was watching a U Tube video on repairing a drone and the hobbyist used a battery operated "Cold" soldering gun on some fine electrical connection repairs.

Has anyone used a "Cold" soldering gun for working on decoder wiring or track feeders? The idea of a battery operated soldering gun appeals to me to use without the electric cords. Now, I use a both a 25 and 40 watt pencil irons for most of my soldering work.

Any recommendations?

Thanks.

Greg
 
#2
I was given one as a gift many years ago. I tried using it once and quickly got out my Weller gun. The cold one wasn't powerful enough to solder 18ga wire for me. I don't remember if I threw it away or not.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#3
I have a Wahl cordless soldering station and use it mainly for work on circuit boards. I use either a 25 or a 40 watt solder iron for most all model railroad projects.

The key to soldering is heat.

I worked on the radars and computers for the guided missile systems and had so many kids come out of school that didn't know how to solder correctly. The worst thing you can have in electronics is a cold solder joint. Had to school these guys and once they figured it out it was easy. They almost all would touch the solder to the tip of the iron and think the solder flowing onto the joint would be good. WRONG.

First thing was to have them "tin" the tip of the soldering iron. Then apply the tip of the iron to the joint that they wanted to solder, and not to apply the solder to the tip of the iron, but instead to the joint that they were soldering and then touch the solder to the joint and when it was hot enough, the solder would easily flow into the joint making a good connection.
 
#4
I also have a Weller battery powered soldering tool. I used it once, and now it sits in the tool box. I just use my Hakko station. The biggest benefit (of the Weller) is its portability, but I've just never seemed to need that. The cord on my Hakko is long enough to go where ever I want. They are called "cold solder" tools because the tip only heats when the control button is pressed. They still get hot, ~700 degrees; they just go cold between applications.
 
#5
I was watching a U Tube video on repairing a drone and the hobbyist used a battery operated "Cold" soldering gun on some fine electrical connection repairs.

Has anyone used a "Cold" soldering gun for working on decoder wiring or track feeders?
I Have never heard of a "cold" soldering gun, but I do assume the proper term for what they are talking about is an inductance soldering unit. Inductance soldering works by heating up the item being soldered with electricity rather than transferring heat from the tool to the work.

I have several, but I can hardly imagine a battery powered one. Two of mine are 90 watts and two are 250 watts. Both sizes use two wires (about 6 gauge) from the base station to the point (head?). A battery powered one must have a very low capacity unless it has an automobile battery for a source. I like the tweezer point best. I tweeze the item I want to solder. Touch the solder to the tweezed location. Hit the foot peddle, slight spark, solder flows instantly and exactly to the tweezed location. Done. Whole solder joint takes about 1/2 second. With the proper point (head?) and practice one can put down a good solder joint the size of a pin head. Perfect for surface mount electronics.

The issue I've had using them for feeders on track is keeping the feeder from moving once done. When one untweezes, since the solder is still liquid the wire wants to pull away from the side of the rail, so one still needs the proverbial 3rd hand with some tool to hold it tight until the solder solidifies.

With the ones like mine one has to be careful though, I accidentally left my foot on the peddle when I looked away for a second or two. When I looked back the joint was cherry red, and the heat was quickly conducting out through the work.
 
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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
#6
I nust use the old standard pencil soldering iron.
One thing I can't figure out though is: why do I get such a build up of black fuzz on the tip between each solder. I can just about watch it grow each time and have to run it across a file in order to get a good heat flow.
 

Selector

Active Member
#7
It sounds like 'swimming' in ice, or descending to heaven. Does not compute. Soldering requires that the solder metal be heated, AND that the metal to which the solder is to attach itself be heated to an extent. Those battery operated toys, according to the several discussions I have seen across the train hobby, just don't cut the mustard. They don't have the heated mass that can let go of heat and let it build up in the various materials to be soldered. I have yet to see a post from someone saying it was a great tool and that he/she recommended them. Instead, quite the opposite...save your money, according to those who have posted comments that I recall.
 
#8
One thing I can't figure out though is: why do I get such a build up of black fuzz on the tip between each solder.
You're not supposed to stick the pencil behind your ear between each use. :p Sounds like you need to replace the tip. Or better yet, throw the whole thing out and replace it with a modern soldering station.

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