I SPENT REAL MONEY!
Being as underemployed as I am it is very hard to allocate funds such as this, but I threw 80 bucks at a new soldering station because this is no longer a hobby. I may only make a little here and there, but soldering and designing electronics is now a profitable experience.
I thought to myself "If I wish to further my abilities, then I had better stop limiting myself with this horrid Radio Shack iron..." So I did. :)
I researched and asked and polled for the best station under $80 and the 'nearly' unanimous response was the Kada (or similar) 852D+ 2-in-1 SMD rework station. The one I picked up is by XPower, but it uses the same iron and case as other clones; it probably even has the same 'stolen' program as Kada's.
So far, my experience has been very positive. I haven't given it any extensive use as of yet, but my Gameboy Programmer Boards will be arriving soon! If you've read that post, they have some surface mounted IC's and I am just dying to try out my new hot air gun! I have watched a few videos on how to apply SMT chips and components with a hot air gun and solder paste. It seems as simple as if I were to glue them on and blow dry it!
Once the boards and parts arrive, I may make a video on the completion of one board. The video will also be a review of the station so that others may learn before they buy. (Though I suggest any self-respecting modder should) ;)
well here she is:
I REALLY need to clean off my desk...This should fit well at the back but I still have to build my solder-smoke filters to rest underneath. Those will be another post soon enough.