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Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Topic_readTopic: Weller WTCP & Guns Repairs.
FrankB

Replies: 0
Views: 134

Search in: Hints & Kinks   Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minipostSubject: Weller WTCP & Guns Repairs.    Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minitimeNovember 25th 2018, 4:49 pm
Now I am a cheap guy, and used Weller products for decades.

I have picked up a number of the WTCP series soldering irons.

  The magnetic switches, heating elements and such became way too expensive to replace.
So I started picking up "parts" units at Hamfairs and garage sales.

 Hint#1  I find them now at Hamfairs and boot sales. Typically 15-25$ in working cond. A complete parts unit should cost no more than 5 bux.

 Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] If you find one without the tip & sleeve, just turn it on and shove a small metal screwdriver in the end. If it starts heating up- the unit is good. You can also feel the magnet pull a bit, IIRC.

 Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The fuses in the bases often fail from age, and IIRC a 2A fuse with pigtail leads works great for replacement- or modify the base to add a fuse holder to it, and a pilot lite.

 Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] the power transformers do fail and I found a 24V secondary transformer works great to replace the OEM one. Sometimes I have to outboard them though. (At least that's what the U.S. models use.)

Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Use an 800 degree tip. The reasoning behind this is the tip has enough heat as to bring the connection up to soldering temp, quickly, without damaging the PC board traces.
 A lower temp tip will cause you to leave the iron on the connection longer to heat it up, and often lift the PC trace from the board. ( I had to repair way too many peeled and broken traces caused by the field techs using a 600 deg tip. or one of those $1.95 irons. Ever try to repair most of the traces on a 40 pin IC the outside tech damaged the traces on? It is no fun.)

Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The most common failures of "No heat" are: loose barrel assy or the wires in the base to the iron are open. Tighten the nut, and when you find the break in the cord, if its close to the strain relief (Most are) shorten the cord. Viola! working again.

 Hint [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The loose barrel nuts on the older (Much better quality) Weller guns are the biggest cause of no heat on them too. Just loosen & retighten with a "real" wrench, not the flimsy one from the Weller gun kit. Round off the nuts on the older guns, and its difficult to get them loose without Vice Grip pliers.(Or find replacements now days!)
 The newer Weller guns use a set screw, and they strip out of the barrel collar all the time. [You must be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see this image.]  I have re-tapped for a larger screw, but that was the best solution I found. Poor re-design IMHO.
Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Topic_readTopic: Driving in ground rods- the EZ way
chas

Replies: 1
Views: 235

Search in: Hints & Kinks   Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minipostSubject: Driving in ground rods- the EZ way    Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minitimeFebruary 2nd 2018, 4:04 pm
Very, very important, call dig safe and find out where ALL the buried utilities are. Drive a rod through one of those and all hell will break loose in your wallet [You must be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see this image.]

Buy good ground rods, bronze if available or heavy copper clad steel for electrical service.

Buy a 10' length of 1/2" galvanized electricians steel conduit pipe, it will be threaded for 1/2" at both ends. Not EMT nor RMC, the other electrical pipe.

Buy a forged 1/2" high pressure Tee, these are made just like a quality pair of pliers, impossible to smash.

Buy a forged 1/2" high pressure steel plug with a hex head, again, impossible to smash.

Buy a 1/2" household water garden hose thread adapter, get a real brass one, not a brass plated aluminum China. In a couple of years, electrolysis eats up the flat seal surface on cheap adapter fittings.

Garden hose and water under pressure, 40 psi is O.K., will be required...

Assemble the Tee, plug and adapter such that the 10' pipe is one of the through sides of the tee and the plug on the other. The adapter is at the right angle. Use Plumbers tape if you wish, should any fitting need replacing. The plugged end will be hit with the hammer.

Select the ground rod location, stay away about a foot to 18" from foundation to avoid hitting the footing some 8' below.

Get the step-ladder and hook up the hose and turn on the water. Set the 10' pipe upright water on and pound on the cap with your favorite 5 pound sledge. Wear gloves, eye protection and maybe boots..The water will clear away most of the small stones and make it real easy going. If a boulder is encountered, all progress will stop. Find another location.

If the pipe hits a tough spot don't go on. One must be able to extract the pipe at any depth. Once the pipe has reached a depth of about a foot shorter than the ground rod. Shut the water off and extract the pipe and promptly insert the ground rod into the hole. The ground rod should be easily pounded to the depth and the final foot or so with small effort. Usually the first four feet the rod can be hand pushed in.

I came up with this method when I was installing TV antennas and used it to install 8' ground rods around my home too.

Hey, if your happy with the galvanized pipe as a ground rod, first cross drill a few 1/16'" holes in the first 2'. Not too many holes, that would spoil the water pressure. When the galvanized pipe is left in the ground, bash up some ice melt or rock salt, dump into pipe add water. The salt electrolysis will lower the resistance, the holes will spread the salt solution around. Cap with a Brass cap with thread tape (it won't rust on) so it can be salt loaded every so often [You must be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see this image.]

The ground wire should be as large as one can afford, at lease [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but larger is better.

If you know your property has been back filled with boulders, well what can I say [You must be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see this image.]

YMMV


Chas
Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Topic_readTopic: A repeat of a couple of notes on grounding.
FrankB

Replies: 0
Views: 212

Search in: Hints & Kinks   Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minipostSubject: A repeat of a couple of notes on grounding.    Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minitimeSeptember 10th 2017, 12:58 am
Grounding is essential for safety, and proper operation of the equipment.
 A good outside ground system is required for proper operation of your radios and transmitters.

NEVER try grounding to a gas pipe! 

Water pipes are out now days too, as they are mostly plastic. Not exactly a good conductor, one might say.

I recommend at least 3 or more ground rods, spaced out,  all tied together with [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or heavier wire. Make sure to use the bronze or brass ground clamps rather than the pot metal/Zinc ones. Corrosion is minimal with them, and periodically check them for tightness. Yes, you can dig a hole and pound the ground rod in below the surface, then cover with dirt.
 BE SURE TO WRITE DOWN WHERE THEY ARE BURIED.  Your rototiller can get an unpleasant surprise!

If your ground has poor conductivity, you can install a plastic pipe around the ground rod and pour copper sulphate crystals into it and water periodically. Some plants really like the copper sulphate, and others...well... not so much.
 I would say water once a week min. in Summer and maybe every 2-3 weeks in winter, depending on the amount of rain you get. Some folks recommend using salt, but that can corrode copper quite badly. I would not use salt, myself.
 Good grounding can cut a massive amount of the noise level down also. I have seen it for myself at a friends house. He used the copper sulphate trick and his noise level dropped from almost unreadable to pretty clear in 2 days!


You say "It's too hard to pound a ground rod in", "I don't have the strength".
 Work smart. Use a Roto-hammer to drive the ground rod in. Just chuck it in the bit and it's in the ground in a few minutes. No broken hammer handles, smashed fingers, [You must be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to see this image.] or frayed tempers! Been there, and have both the tee shirt and the hat!

Also you can build a "Tuned Ground". Just what it says. You build an antenna tuner and install it in the ground line.
 That can make a great difference in reception. Again I saw it first hand. My friend experimented with many types until he found the best configuration for his situation. (Note: He lived on a 2nd floor apt. and his ground wire was quite long.) Some of the older radio manuals, 'teens to '30's) talk about them. Now days they are almost a forgotten item, but they can work great when properly configured.

Don't forget to check your ground system periodically. Maintaince is sometimes needed.
Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Topic_readTopic: Can't remove solder from chassis
herromc

Replies: 9
Views: 365

Search in: Radios -Tube type   Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minipostSubject: Can't remove solder from chassis    Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB Icon_minitimeAugust 28th 2017, 8:05 am
Vulcan Electric "Mercury" #6 Soldering Iron 150 Watt

Chas, do you think this one would work, "Vulcan "Mercury" #6 Soldering Iron 150 watt"?  See photo.


Thanks,

Mike


Topics tagged under 6 on ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB S-l16012
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