Basic Electronic's Hobby fun Q1: Which soldering Iron, 40 or 60?

Maybe this thread can have a little future. I haven’t touched electronic tools since I was 16 so I’d like a quick refresher. I want to build cheap fun circuits that I could incorporate in my English lessons or do entertaining things for my kids.
The first project is a code oscillator.
I’m going to build it on perf board. I’m just looking for the best general-purpose soldiering iron. I know if the wattage is too low I could damage components by exposing them to heat too long.
What other fun projects should I build? Is Arduino worth getting into?
This is just a fun and amusing diversion I’d like to get back into. I don’t want to spend too much money

I would say 60 watts unless you’re soldering extremely fine components all the time (SMD or something).

I find 40 to be too weak for almost everything.


Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Both great little toys, cheap and powerful.


You’ll probably struggle a bit. Things have moved on since you were 16!

Rather than Arduino etc., I would suggest looking at some of the big microcontroller vendors and buying one of their eval boards. Most of them offer a free toolchain for code-size-limited projects. Alternatively, if you go to the electronics area near ZhongXiao ShinSheng station, they have a whole bunch of locally-made boards with Atmel AVR and Microchip processors on them; most have a breadboarding area. These are great for newbies (or returnees).

If you’re really in skinflint mode, I have an almighty amount of prototype boards and eval boards which I’d be happy to get rid of (mostly ARM CortexM0). You’ll have to buy your own debug tool, but those are available from Ruten or the electronics shops for not much money.

To answer your question: I’d go with a 60W, with a fine tip.


That’s what people say. Can you link a couple of fun starter projects?

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