This article was previously published on lhexapod.com as part of my journey of discovery into robotics and embedded assembly programming. A full index of these articles can be found here.
I decided to treat myself to an early christmas present and bought a 60W temperature controlled soldering station (a ZD-916 which I got from Maplin). All I can say is WOW. Suddenly I can solder neatly rather than making a smeary mess. The difference between this and my cheapo 12W soldering iron is just unbelievable. It just makes the whole process SO much easier. Where in the past when soldering something with a large heat sink or onto a large pad would be painful as both items would never seem to get up to temperature now I hear the iron click on as I touch the items to be soldered and the heat stays constant and it just works… Highly recommended.