Hands on: Aoyue 937+ soldering station review – House of Hacks

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hands on: Aoyue 937+ soldering station review


Description

Inexpensive temperature controlled soldering stations are a great upgrade to an entry-level pencil soldering iron. In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley does a quick review of his Aoyue 937+ soldering station that he’s used for a number of years. The Aoyue 937+ is a good type of soldering iron for circuit boards and what he uses for electronics.

Aoyue 937+ on Amazon (Affiliate link)

Soldering stations on Amazon (Affiliate link)

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For a written transcript, go to Hands on: Aoyue 937+ soldering station review

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com

Transcript

Want to replace your pencil soldering iron something else?

Today at the House of Hacks, we talk about one of your options for an inexpensive digital temperature controlled soldering station.

[Intro]

Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-youselfers. Harley here.

For years and years, I used a pencil type soldering iron. In fact I started with one of these and I used one up until about six years ago. These are really inexpensive. They're usually less than $10 and they just plug right into an outlet. There's nothing in between. The cord goes directly into the soldering iron and the resistance inside the soldering iron is what controls the temperature. They're not the best things around but they get the job done. And like I said, I used these almost my whole life now.

About six years ago I picked up an inexpensive soldering station off of Amazon for about $60 and I've been really pleased with it. About 30 years ago, I used a Weller on the job briefly and really, really liked it. But it was a $300 dollar soldering station. I'm guessing. It was somewhere in that neighborhood. So, it was significantly more expensive than what I was using. And for hobbyist use it was more than I wanted to afford.

But about six years ago I picked up an inexpensive temperature controlled digital soldering station off of Amazon. And I've really enjoyed it. It works really well for hobbyist use around the workshop and it's been my "go to" iron for now the last six years or so.

So, let's take a look at some of the features that it has and just explore it a little bit.

I have no idea how to pronounce this manufacturer. It's five vowels. But it's the 937+ and it's digitally controlled.

It comes with this control unit, a power cord, the soldering iron itself, a sponge for wiping the tip off and a little holder to keep the hot soldering iron in and to hold the sponge.

You can also put a roll of solder on here, and somewhere in the shop I have a little dowel thingy that holds the solder in here. But personally I don't like putting the solder on there. It's a little bit cumbersome and the rolls don't really fit on there very well. It's hard to get the solder out when you're trying to use it. So I just leave the solder loose.

One of the nice things about this unit is the tips on it are interchangeable. They have a number of different designs for different types of applications. And the way you change it is you just loosen this little knurl and this heat shield comes off and the tip just slides on. And here inside we can see the ceramic element that is the heating element. And you can get all kinds of different tips for this. This one is a small sharp tip that works really well for general electronics use. It's large enough to work for most applications but small enough that you can get in on PCBs and stuff. They also have things like chisel and angled tips and a number of different styles depending on your application.

You have the power switch on the front that turns it on and you have a digital display that shows the current temperature.

So it kind of has two modes depending on what it's doing. Normally it shows the current temperature. But if you press the up and down buttons, it shows the temperature that you're setting it to. And when you let it go, after a couple seconds, it reverts back to the current temperature of the soldering iron.

It takes 30 to 60 seconds to initially come up to temperature. Once it's at temperature, it holds the temperature really well. I've not had a problem with it dropping temperature. It always keeps it right spot on what you set it for.

It'll go all the way up to 480 and this is Celsius, so it's 800 and something, almost 900 degrees Fahrenheit. And it goes down to 200, I believe, is the lowest it'll go. So you can set it in 1 degree Celsius increments anywhere between those two ranges.

One thing I don't like about it is this base. It's pretty lightweight and moves around pretty easily and also the soldering iron is kind of touchy in terms of how it fits in there. It's easy for it to not get in there quite right. And so I'm not a bit fan of this little base thing. I use it sometimes. A lot of times I'm using this Panavise for my projects and it has its own soldering iron holder and if I'm using this I just use that instead. It's a whole lot more convenient. It works really well.

So it's a real basic simple unit. It gets the job done really well. Like I said, it's about $60. I'll leave a link to it down in the description below if you're interested in this particular model. Check out Amazon for this and other competitors.

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