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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 05-18-2018, 3:40 AM
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Default Would the soldering iron below work for discriminator tap?

I would like to know if the Weller SP12 "12 watt" soldering iron would work for installing a discriminator tap on both BC780XLT & BC898T scanners. I had my friend install one on an older scanner and he was using an old 30w radio shack iron but he has a steady hand. Here is the iron,

I know it needs to be low wattage or it can damage the small solder points.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-18-2018, 5:47 AM
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any soldering iron will work if you know how to solder.
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Old 05-18-2018, 6:14 AM
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The wattage isn't as important as whether or not it is temperature controlled, and you're using a tip size appropriate for the job. Too low of wattage can actually be problematic, because you have to hold the tip to the work longer, and heat has more time to flow into surrounding areas and potentially damage components.

I actually use this unit ( for scanner modding. It has enough wattage to heat to working temperature in about 15 seconds, but because it is temperature controlled, I can set it to be just hot enough to melt solder without burning the circuit board. Temperature control also means that the tip doesn't oxidize as much when the iron is on but not actually in use compared to an iron that is not temperature controlled, meaning less tip fluxing, cleaning, and erosion. The tip is also grounded, to prevent ESD damage.

The iron you linked is probably OK if all you want to do is solder two wires to pads on the circuit board, but it may be underpowered for soldering the wire to an external jack. If you intend on doing more than that, get something with temperature control.
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