Welcome to Australia's only Vintage Radio and Television discussion forums. You are not logged in. Please log in below, apply for an account or retrieve your password.
Australian Vintage Radio Forums
  Home  ·  About Us  ·  Discussion Forums  ·  Glossary  ·  Outside Links  ·  Policies  ·  Services Directory  ·  Safety Warnings  ·  Tutorials

General Discussion

Forum home - Go back to General discussion

 Fixed my 42 year old Weller WTCP soldering iron
« Back · 1 · Next »
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:07:03 PM on 31 August 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 398

Pulled out my trusty 42 year old Weller WTCP soldering iron only to have a bit of a bright flash occur where the cable from the iron enters the base.
It's very flexible silicone cable and I was thinking where am I going to get some three core cable like it.
Common sense kicked in and I removed the base cover with four screws and was able to shorten the cable a few inches and I was back up and running again.
What a superb device to still be working as good as the day I bought it as a radio apprentice in the seventies, and I can still buy tips.
It has made in America on the base.
Says a lot really.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:00:03 PM on 31 August 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 645

I have a similar iron recently bought a new element for it. You can't beat the quality. I left it unrepaired for a number of years and bought one from Jaycar it lasted a very short time. Very happy to have my old Weller back in service.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 6:46:47 PM on 31 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5997

Some 6 years ago I accidentally left my 1970 vintage Weller W-TCP iron switched on in the garage for weeks before I noticed, and the element had given up the ghost by the time I discovered it. That model has no light on it (the PU-1A base) to indicate that it's powered on.

At that time, the only place I could source a replacement element was from an eBay seller in the UK who would not ship internationally. Fortunately, a friend living in the UK purchased it and posted it to me.

Although I have numerous other irons in my workshop, this was my first "good" iron which had served me well for decades so I went to the trouble of restoring it.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 9:48:03 PM on 31 August 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4330

I have a "Lotring" (Matson Automotive Industries). Interchangeable elements Bought 1968, 2 elements survive. It has (replacement) Silicon rubber cable, supposed to be very flexible & is more resistant to being hit by the iron, however the wire core is brittle and fatigue fails are common.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 9:19:27 AM on 2 September 2020.
Sirwin's avatar
 Location: QLD
 Member since 10 April 2009
 Member #: 465
 Postcount: 104

I used to have one of those. I had to retire it due to the cost of continuously replacing switches and heating elements. My current iron is a Hakko, but is a great disappointment compared to the Weller, with nowhere near the heating capacity, despite having a more powerful element. The element to tip heat transfer is very poor compared to the old Weller.

Unfortunately, new Weller irons are rubbish, by many accounts.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 10:59:18 AM on 2 September 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 398

The best soldering iron I've used in recent times was a JBC RF induction iron.
It's light, comfortable and the tips can be changed whilst in use and puts out some serious grunt using the larger tips.
It's designed for surface mount use but equally as good for everything else.
I had one on loan for a while but had to give it back unfortunately.
The down side, over $700 for the basic unit and the tips are quite expensive.
Back to my trusty Weller.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 12:21:08 PM on 2 September 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5997

a JBC RF induction iron

My workshop neighbour has two of those, as he does a lot of surface mount work. He also has a few Goot RX-802AS stations. I borrowed one for a while and liked it so much that I bought one from Japan for my workshop. It's my go-to iron these days.

If I need to burn something, I use an old DSE station cranked right up, or if the job really needs some heat I use my old Scope 100 watt iron.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 1:19:01 PM on 2 September 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 738

If I need to burn something...I use my old Scope...

Scopes were also good for cigarette lighters!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 3:51:35 PM on 2 September 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5997

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 4:36:54 PM on 2 September 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6334

I am not big on temperature-controlled irons. I don't see anything wrong with them but for vintage radio work I've always used a 40W Weller of 1990s vintage. The element and the tip are still original, all Australian-made and the only change to it over the time has been filing the tip to the correct shape one a year (on average) and retinning it.

In the 1990s I did build a temperature controller for a soldering iron in the form of a Dick Smith kit. I think I still have it somewhere and it was a good unit but at the end of the day I've just not found them necessary for this sort of work, in which a lot of heat is required for some aspects of chassis restoration.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 7:11:55 PM on 2 September 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5997

The advantage of temperature controlled is that they shut down (or hibernate) when not is use, greatly extending the life of heaters and tips for bench soldering stations which are in frequent use throughout the day.

My Goot comes up to temperature from cold in 5 or 6 seconds.

Another advantage of the Goot that I own is that the correct operating temperature can be locked in via password for production situations.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 8:30:16 PM on 2 September 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4330

Thing that is handy here as I have Oxy Acetylene, is a Jewellery torch, which goes down to a #1 tip, it should be able to weld a bit of 5A fuse wire back together. #3 will solder a radiator core.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 10:38:17 AM on 3 September 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 398

I still have a Scope and a mini Scope iron.
They are great for soldering to chassis lugs etc.
The other iron I have is a portable gas iron which I bought from Aldi which is very handy for use in my boat.
It cost about $40.00 or so and is easily as good as the Weller gas iron at a fraction of the price.
It has a nozzle for heatshrink also.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 11:02:27 AM on 3 September 2020.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 154

Irexit I've got the same Aldi iron as well and it is very handy although I never use it that often when its needed it does the trick.


 
« Back · 1 · Next »
 You need to be a member to post comments on this forum.

Sign In

Username:
Password:
 Keep me logged in.
Do not tick box on a computer with public access.