A good soldering Iron has a role in determining the quality of the solder joint. Gone are the days where soldering stations were large and bulky, compact soldering stations are equally competent. Today we are going to take a look at one of such soldering Iron, the Sequre SQ D60 Soldering Iron.
Soldering Iron can be attributed to as one of the most essential tools to build a Quadcopter. Soldering is a process of joining 2 or more items, in our case wires, by melting a filler material that has a melting point lower than that of the adjoining metals. A good solder joint ensures a good flow of current with minimal resistance offering minimal efficiency losses.
Building a quad requires a good amount of soldering, 20-25 different solder joints to be exact. All these 25 joints must be done flawlessly as a bad solder joint can hinder the flow of current, stressing, and overheating components.
100 - 400°C
280, 350, 400°C
Power supply modes
Type C USB/ 2.5mm DC jack/ XT60
The Soldering Iron comes packed in a neat hard case, upon opening contains
- Soldering Iron
- 0.8mm solder neatly packed in circular tube
- 1.5m of desoldering wick
- Soldering Flux
- 4 interchangeable soldering iron heads
- Type C to 2.5mm DC jack, XT60 to 2.5mm DC jack adaptors
- A hey key
The D60 is a compact soldering Iron, similar to the much popular TS100 - 80 soldering iron, has a large operating temperature in a compact form size. The temperature range is helpful where smaller solder jobs (signal wires to Flight controllers) require a much lower soldering temperature and larger soldering jobs (ESC and Lipo battery leads) require a much higher temperature.
The Soldering Iron itself is compact, with a thickness similar to that of a typical Pen. The Iron has 2 Buttons: Button A and B - helps to navigate the Menus. And an LED indicator that shows the temperature with the version A; whereas version B gets a 3-dot light indicator.
The menu can be accessed by long-pressing button B, has options to adjust the working temperature of the Soldering head for version A and version B has the option to change the temperatures between 3 preset values, STANDBY/ IDLE times, and temperature compensations.
The Soldering Iron accepts voltages from 3-6S (12-24V) LiPo. The claimed heating times hold true with the heating tips getting heated around the claimed figures, more on this below. If you own an ISDT charger for which you might already have a power supply powering the charger, the same power supply can be used to power the D60 instead of LiPo batteries.
The D60 kit has everything inside the box to get you soldering right away. The included solder in the kit can be used to solder at least 10 drones before needing to buy some solder. Ask yourself this, how long would you take to build 10 drones?
Testing D60 Soldering Iron
Now comes the testing phase to see how good the soldering Iron performs. We are going to test the heating temperatures, ergonomics, and ease of use.
Traditionally soldering irons were large and bulky with a docking station, the D60 is what is known as a compact soldering iron. The D60 is a marginally thicker than a regular sized pen but still is light enough where the weight of the D60 is not a concern.
Removing the tips is quite easy but rather inconvenience when compared to the TS100 which uses an easy to remove headphone jack. The D60 uses a rather ancient approach, under the rubber sleeve, are 2 screws hiding. These screws are tightened and loosened to keep the tips in place. Long periods of use of the Iron did not cause any uncomfortable heating near the tips (this is where the heating element is present). The rubber sleeve provides some grip but feels somewhat plasticky.
Be careful not to remove the tips when plugged in. Let the soldering iron cool down to room temperature before changing tips.
The heating of the soldering tips was rather quick and stay true to the claimed values. In our testing, the tips heated consistently with a 3S battery heating the tips at around 90 seconds and a 6S battery heating the tips at around 15 second mark which is rather impressive for its size and price point.
Something to keep note is the battery voltage. The current consumption on a 3S battery is higher than that of a 6S battery. If you are using a smaller 3S battery try not to over discharge the battery and keep note of the battery voltage as soldering takes a while.
Entering and navigating through the menus is quite easy. Long pressing the button B enters the menus and the menus has 3 options. The first option is the timer that can be used to put the Soldering Iron to sleep. The auto sleep feature uses an accelerometer in the control circuit board, can be enabled to put the soldering iron to sleep between 1 and 30 minutes. The last parameter is the temperature control which can be changed between 280, 350 or 400°C for version A and 100 to 400°C for version B.
Pros and Cons
The D60 is an inexpensive Soldering Iron performing exceptionally while not compromising on the functionality of the Iron. The version B retails at $35, $5 more than Version A, is well worth the price making the LED indicator alone worth it. The D60 due to its compact nature is comfortable to use for long periods of time and is perfect for beginners as the D60 comes everything out of the box.
The D60 is not too expensive but a necessary piece of hardware that every quad builder must own. The D60 is suitable for beginners and advanced builders alike and the lower price than the competitors makes it a competitive offering.