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Well, I don't focus on wattage as much as temperature.  I normally use my Hakko FX888D soldering station, usually set at 500F for PCB work.  IMO, if you're going to be doing much soldering on PCB's, you want a temperature controlled iron.  The Hakko is actually a 70 watt iron, so if you need the heat for a heavier job, it can deliver the goods.  However, the temperature control allows you to do fine work on PCB's without the danger of lifting traces.  Excessive heat is the enemy of any PCB.  I've seen some ugly PCB soldering jobs in my time, so I always recommend the proper tool for the job.

That's the danger of using too much heat, that can happen even with a low wattage iron.  I've gotten several Super-Chuffers back for "repair", and more than once I've just aimed it at the trash can.

You really need a fine tipped soldering iron for doing the wiring to the Super-Chuffer and Chuff-Generator.  I've actually offered a service where I solder the wires to those and then ship them, that way you don't have to do any PCB soldering.

You want a temperature controlled iron.  The reason I keep pushing the Hakko FX888D is it not only has a clear digital temperature display, but it can also be calibrated by the end user so you know that the temperature you see is actually the tip temperature.  IMO, irons that you can't calibrate are not nearly as desirable.  I've found that this FG-100 Soldering Iron Tip Thermometer from eBay for $16.49 is quite accurate and certainly inexpensive enough to keep around.

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I'd be lost without my magnifier on the bench!  I also have one of the visor models you stick on your head with lights for working away from the bench.  I have this Brightech LightView PRO on my bench, I would be lost without it.  Best $70 I've spent in a long time.  I got it four years ago, and it's been in constant use.  I finally wore out the cord at the last bend, and I had to take it apart and slide the power cord up about six inches and connect it again, good for another four years.  With all the bending and adjustment it gets, I'm surprised it lasted the four years without maintenance!

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@Windy City posted:

GRJ,  Did you come up with a more secure mounting system than the included clamp?  I've repurposed an old kitchen counter top and don't have enough overhang to accommodate the clamp.

Nope, the clamp works fine on my bench, so I had no need to do something different.   Given that the light just drops into the hole in the clamp, you could drill a hole and find some sort of bushing to keep it solid to mount the lamp.

Well I installed a Super Chuffer II in my C&O Mallet, thanks to all the good advice from gunrunnerjohn. It did not seem to work at first. But now it looks like there is a fire in the livingroom. I wanted to share the reason that it did not seem to be working. I could hear the smoke unit motor running. And if I blew into the smoke stack, smoke would come out by the steam chest. So it knew everything  was hooked up, but smoke would not come out of the smoke stack. So I took the locomotive back apart. I un soldered the smoke unit motor wires. And I put the batting and the circuit board on a brand new smoke motor housing with a brand new motor. Apparently  the motor was too weak for the Super Chuffer. Moral of the story, if your going to install a Super Chufer II in your locomotive. I would strongly suggest building it with a brand new motor assembly.

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