New Electronics stuff Pre-proposal discussion

Heya Sparky people,

Some of the stuff in electronics is a bit lackluster and clumsy to use. So i thought i’d put together a proposal in the next couple of weeks to get some new bits and bobs.

If anyone has any comments or additional suggestions then please do reply. If you’re proposing something please include a link to somewhere we can buy it.



2 x Adjustable temperature soldering irons - LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS.

  • Works well
  • Temperature adjustable
  • Tips easy to source within UK
  • CE/BS marked, so probably needs to be bought from a propper UK shop, not ebay/amazon.

Automatic wire strippers - £16.98 - C.K Automatic Wire Stripper | Toolstation

Desolder gun and desolder wick - £8.80 -
I’ve been told these ones are really good as they suck for longer than the usual ones we have that pull in a very short sharp burst of air.

2x Wire snips - £3.50 each - Precision Diagonal Cutters | The Pi Hut

Cable cutters - £8.99 - Minotaur Cable Cutter 200mm | Toolstation

Anyone got any other ideas?

We have a shopping list that is still open, which I think will be amended. You’ll find the list pinned in the electronics Telegram chat.

We only need one new solder station since we have the Hakko, which will work much better with purchasing the new thinner solder wire. You’ll find a selected soldering station in the shopping list mentioned above.

We could use some solder wick. However, we already have usable desolder guns. I used one last week when replacing a USB connector. Sometimes, pad preparation is required to make these tools work well.

We don’t need more wire strippers, snips or cable cutters. The ones we have just got moved out of the electronics area. I usually return the tools as I find them while moving around the space.

Atten AT938 Soldering Iron Station is what I initially found on Rapid Online, but I’ve just seen the same model much cheaper from Amazon - £65

Here is the solder wire I’ve chosen from Rapid Online:

R-TECH 857033 SC100e Solder 2% Rosin-Free HF Flux Halide-Free 0.5mm 500g Reel.

We probably should remove all the old solder wires to use a cleaner and more friendly version as above.

I’m the current maintainer of the electronics area and usually one of the most active users of that space. I’m generally in the hackspace Mondays and Tuesdays to work on stuff and to also give the electronics area a bit of a tidy-up and a sweep-out.

The electronics area section has been update in the The Space Plan Wiki Post to give an idea of what is coming for the electronics area.

I’ll be in the hackspace tomorrow and I’ll take another look at the tools we have. I’ll also run some tests with the Hakko soldering iron to check usability status.


Thanks for the thorough response Mark.

I’ll take a look at the wishlist again, I forgot that was there. I’ll be in the space tonight so I’ll say hello and we can discuss, as through personal experience I’ve struggled soldering 3 pcbs with the equipment we have currently, and just ended up doing my project at home instead.

Link to wishlist for others interested:



Electronics Area Update

So, I’ve given the electronic desoldering tool a service, and it’s now working again. I unblocked the nozzle and reassembled the solder collection chamber. I found that the solder collection chamber was not assembled correctly.

The manual desoldering tools we have, appear to be in good order. Also, I found three units of desolder wicks.

After gathering all the tools, we see three small red-handled wire snips missing. However, we have three precision wire strippers that also work as wire snips. If I remember correctly, wire snips are listed for purchase on the electronics new equipment shopping list.

The Hakko soldering iron was found to be poorly calibrated, possibly due to users adjusting the wrong temperature setting. So, the iron is now calibrated, and I’ve left instructions on how to set the temperature.


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The Hakko soldering iron has now gone missing and we’ve had at least one person in today complain because all the other irons are a bit shit in terms of the tips and time to heat up
so I think we need some new irons

One thing I have at home which is very useful btw is one of these

If you really want to push the boat out then I have one of these at home which is handy for smd work

Bob recently posted a link to the other good one we have in the space

I think we just need some new tips for that one

I’d recommend as a good general purpose tip to stock for the oki/metcal - they’re significantly cheaper on ebay - OKI METCAL - SFV-CH18AR - TIP, SOLDERING, CHISEL, LONG, 1.8MM - NEW IN PACKET | eBay

we need some instructions on cleaning the duratool vacuum desolder after use. The ‘jabber’ has been missing from day one. Anyone know where that is as it is used to clean post use.


You can use a length of solid core wire wiped with a flux pen. You can find the solid core wire on the wire rack. just cut a length and strip off the insulation.

Add more solder to the pad where necessary before attempting to use the tool.

Hope this helps.


yup, thats what i’ve done in the past. just what you suggest. I think i even put a label on it: ‘clean after use’ at one point.
but for other people, the jabber might be more to the point.
lead-free solder could also be the issue too.

Ok so looking at the electronics wish list:

Atten 60W soldering station - ~£62 - Amazon

Automatic wire strippers - £16.98 - C.K Automatic Wire Stripper | Toolstation

5x Wire snips - £13.90 each - Amazon

Cable cutters - £8.99 - Minotaur Cable Cutter 200mm | Toolstation

10 pack chisel soldering iron tips - £7.19 - Amazon

10 pack pointed soldering iron tips - £6.99 - Amazon

0.5mm lead free Solder 500g - £66.71 - Rapid Online

Cable fixing down things - £3.89 - Ebay
The space plan says the Pi cables need fixing down so they don’t go missing. If this is still the case, the above might be useful.

Helping hands - OPTION
Richard has suggested some helping hands which look good. The one suggested has a magnetic base, and i get the feeling if all the parts aren’t strapped together they’ll go missing from one another. I’ve found these two on amazon which both have magnifying lenses.

6 legged option - £29.99
4 legged option, bench clamping - £35.49

Some questions before i put the final proposal together:

  1. Do we now need 2 soldering stations now one has disappeared?
  2. If we have 2 soldering stations, we should really have 2 rolls of solder. I don’t think we have the budget to buy 2x 500g rolls, as it’s too easy for someone to wonder off with, but if we bought a second smaller roll, should this be 0.5mm as well? I see you can buy the same stuff in 0.7 and 1.2mm as well?
  3. Which helping hands look best, or should we look for some others?
  4. Did we ever buy precision screwdrivers? I see them on the wishlist, though those ones are discontinued. Alternative if needed
  5. With regards to fume extraction, the main problem is our current 2 units aren’t on arms, nor are they very positionable. Would something like this work for us?

That’s about ~£250 worth of bits and bobs which isn’t that much in the grand scheme of the space.

Would be great to hear some thoughts before i put something final together.

Additional items to add to the list:

To repair the PS-900 soldering iron, we need the following items:

1 x Metcal PS-CA3 PS-900 Coil Assembly - £32.40 (inc VAT) - Farnell
1 x SFV-CH18AR soldering iron tip - £14.16 ( inc VAT ) - Farnell

Also, we would like the following tool:

1 x Soldering Iron Tip Thermometer - £22.08 - Amazon

In regards to the list in the above message

Maybe we go for the six-legged option.

About the solder wire, we can divide the 500g reel into three—one for each soldering station and one to hold as a spare.

Since we can get parts to repair the OKI PS-900 soldering iron, we should only purchase one soldering station.

Precision screwdrivers - no harm in getting these.

Fumes extraction is something I’m looking at sorting myself. In the meantime, I can clean/service the existing ones to improve performance.
I usually move the extractor into position, then set up my soldering job in front of it, which works with our type of extractors. Having extractors on arms is likely to cause additional problems.