Hah - thought I could resist making any comments about all the connector
threads, but, alas...........when JC mentioned his "ancient Weller"......
My all time favorite was an old (ancient) dual heat Weller gun that had a
high rating of maybe 260 watts. This poor gun had been dropped twice from
about 40' (not by me!), fortunately onto soft ground, but breaking the case,
nevertheless. It worked for many years until it was dropped again and the
tape just couldn't fix it any more. The dual lights only worked for a
couple of minutes when it was new, anyway, but finally the last drop did
in the internal parts.....off to the local hardware store.
The new dual heat model has the same model number, but not as high a rating.
Bought one. What a disappointment. This thing could hardly heat two rotator
cable wires enough to solder them. I got so frustrated with it on a tower
trying to make a PL-259 (!!) repair, that I tossed it - it didn't survive.
Off to the store, figuring this was a fluke. Afterall, the original one was
great. New dual heat gun. Next tower job, making similar PL-259 repair, but
on the ground this time. Really difficult to get enough heat to make the
connections - not like the old one. Tightened up the element. No change.
Went to the store - new element - tightened it up - no change. Gave it to
the fellow who owned the tower. Off to the store. New dual heat gun. On a
tower again....one would think I would have learned, but the old one worked
sooooo well. The third one is just like the other two.
Maybe OSHA clamped down on them for making something that actually put out
enough heat to be useful outdoors?!! The butane ones are fine, just need to
be careful on the tower! The wind is also sometimes a problem. When I lived
in Minnesota, I used a propane torch with soldering tip in the wintertime.
Of course, the tank would get cold and the propane wouldn't ignite, so I
carried a spare tank inside the snow suit. The rough part was when I was on
the tower - putting the cold one back inside the suit.
I have kept this third "new" dual heat gun, just as a reminder to keep
looking at flea markets for a REAL Weller Dual Heat Gun. I occasionally use
it indoors to solder small wires together, or look at it and remember the
good old days.
The soldering station that does work great is the one here at the office. It
is a Weller (they do make something good) EC-2001 ESD, temperature
controlled, chisel tip. This small iron pours out the heat quickly and does
a very fine job. Now, if there were one I could carry up the tower.....
Oh, yes - my technique for attaching PL-259's is very quick and have never
had a problem with a single connector. My record time for putting 10
PL-259's onto RG-8 is 20 minutes (total, 2 minutes average each). I did use
a glove on my right hand to handle the toasty parts. I also had on my tower
climbing jeans and boots to be sure I didn't get tatooed by a hot PL-259.
Have a great day.........CU in the pile-ups.
73, Tom, N6BT
Force 12 Antennas and Systems
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