Antex soldering Iron.

Suggest or recommend suitable tools for use in constructing your model railway.
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yelrow
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Antex soldering Iron.

#1

Post by yelrow » Sun May 17, 2020 10:29 am

Greetings, what model, is recommended please. I see there are ones with finger piece attached. thanks.

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Brian
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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#2

Post by Brian » Sun May 17, 2020 10:35 am

XS 25, 25watt is the one recommended for most modelling work. Do try and obtain one with a Silicone mains cable though as its far more flexible than the standard PVC cable and of course its heat resistant too! I have had my 25 watt Antex for more than 15 years (probably 20 now?) and its used regularly and all I've ever done is replace the tip once.
An adjustable and thermostatically controlled iron (Soldering station) though is by far the best, but usually costs much more, :?
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RAF96
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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#3

Post by RAF96 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:47 pm

My Antex C15 (15W) iron finally bit the dust after decades of service, so I replaced it with exactly the same from RS On-line, ordered after tea one evening and it was delivered by Royal Mail first post the next day. In fact I had used it to do some work before the bank reported having taken payment for it. Superb service or what.

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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#4

Post by Mike Parkes » Mon May 18, 2020 7:09 pm

I have a both a 18W and a 25W - I bought the 25W to replace a quarter of a century old 18W that and got to the point of needing a new element, a new handle etc so rather than being the typical old broom I chucked it only to find the 25W was actually too hot for some tasks so bought another 18W. Have read where many insist you need a 50W and then show a picture of a Weller iron. At school my techonology teacher was adamant that Antex irons ran hotter per watt than Weller ones because the Antex tip slides onto the heated shaft meaning most dissipating heat from the shaft has to have to pass through the metal of the tip whereas on Weller ones as the tip fits inside the shaft the dissipating heat from the shaft simply warms the surrounding air. Was borne out by a Weller 15W I had that struggled to melt solder.

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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#5

Post by Brian » Mon May 18, 2020 8:22 pm

The major issue is the transfer of heat and maintaining that heat into the item being soldered. Failure to maintain constant heat transfer will result in frequently a poorly made soldered joint, as much of the irons heat has been absorbed in the item being soldered, but the iron can't maintain the heat needed. A 25watt is about the minimum for effective heat transfer, typically into rails or a twisted wire joint. PCB soldering is slightly different. But the small bit works very well preventing excessive prolonged heat being applied to the item being soldered that could destroy the item if its over heated for too long
The Antex 25 watt soldering iron is actually an industry accepted soldering iron for most electrical and electronic work. It was used in my former life where TV and radio etc repairs were made and railway signalling repairs that's back in the 1960' to 2005s'!! The Antex irons bit size can easily be exchanged for a smaller size or a larger one where needed.
IMO the 25 watt Antex with either the 2.3mm or 1.0mm bit or even the taper bit of 0.5mm, depending on use, its an excellent first class all round soldering iron, especially when supplied with the Silicone cable. Next is the temperature controlled soldering station with around a 45 to 60 watt element.
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RAF96
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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#6

Post by RAF96 » Wed May 20, 2020 12:22 pm

Agreed Brian
Chisel bit for general work and the 0.5mm one for SMD 6/8-legged devices (magnifying specs essential - separate topic if to be discussed).
The beauty of the Antex iron is the tips just slide on and off, especially if you don’t leave them on there for years before trying.

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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#7

Post by Tricky Dicky » Wed May 20, 2020 4:20 pm

When I was working we used the Antex 18W 24V versions simply because our benches had built in power supplies with soldering stations. The work was mainly PCB assembly so they were more than adequate we dId have a few higher wattage ones when extra grunt was needed.

I have have long held the view that you can have too little power but you can never have too much. Using a high watt soldering iron does not prevent you from doing fine work. As Brian has said it is all about heat delivery, a high watt iron will replenish the heat in the tip quicker but the size of tip is also a factor in how much heat is delivered to the work.

Often one of the issues I come across with people having soldering issues is that they linger over the job usually because they are using an underpowered iron the result is that the flux burns off and once that happens you are struggling. Soldering droppers to rails is a typical situation as they act as a heat sink low powered irons struggle to bring the area being soldered to fusing temperature. The result is heat travelling along the rail melting the sleepers. A higher wattage iron lets you get in and out quick localising the heat and as perverse as it may seem is less likely to melt sleepers.

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Stese
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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#8

Post by Stese » Thu May 21, 2020 8:41 am

My go-to Iron is the Antex 25w with a silicon cable. Its the second one i've had after the first was lost in a house move!


Since my railway is outdoors, I'd like to try a cordless iron, as it would save me carting an extension lead out in the garden... does anyone use a one? what type are you using, and how do you find it compared to a mains iron?

TIA

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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#9

Post by IanS » Thu May 21, 2020 8:59 am

The only 'cordless' I've used was from Lidl or Aldi (can't remember which) and it was useless. Be aware!

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Re: Antex soldering Iron.

#10

Post by yelrow » Thu May 21, 2020 9:54 am

On the Repair Shop, on tv, all repairers use Gas irons, some like my wife uses for Creme Brule, or the bigger ones with camping gas. Surprised me, but obviously, they get better results.

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