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Main Electronic Supplies Ltd
4554 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5V 3R5
T: 604-872-0267 / F: 604-872-0268

*Dear Valued Customers*

We would like to inform you that Main Electronic Supplies is now permanently closed.

We are currently in the process of selling off our entire inventory in larger sections.
If interested, please email us at:

We sincerely thank you for your continued support!



    - Record Player Needles, Cartridges & Accessories (Sold to Innovative Audio)
    - Foam Surrounds (Sold to Innovative Audio)
    - Vacuum Tubes – Modern Stock (Sold)
    - Vacuum Tubes – NOS Stock (Sold)
        - Contact: Michael Charles (
        - Contact: Clark Graham (
    - Capacitors (Sold)
    - Resistors (Sold)
    - Bulk Wire (Sold)
    - EL Wire (Sold)


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Proper care of solder irons and tips

Most iron tips today are a copper core surrounded by iron, hence the term 'iron clad' that is then nickel or chrome plated. Because solder won't stick to nickel or chrome the plating on the chisel end of the tip is removed to expose the iron cladding. Solder does stick to iron. To keep the tip from rusting you must keep it coated with a layer of tin, hence the term tinning. It will ensure that you are receiving the maximum heat at the tip surface. You will extend the life and improve the performance of your soldering iron and tips by following a few simple guidelines:
Tip Care

1. Make sure to use good quality solder. Impurities in the solder can build up on your tip, effecting heat transfer and making it difficult to solder.

Solid to
Liquid at
Pasty Range

·60/40 Solder: Composed of 60% tin and 40% lead, this solder melts at 374 ºF, but doesn't become completely solid until it cools to 361ºF. This means it has a "pasty range" or "working range" of 13 degrees.
·50/50 Solder: This is composed of 50% tin and 50% lead. It is liquid at 421ºF, solid at 361ºF and has a range of 60 degrees.
·63/37 Solder: This solder is 63% tin and 37% lead. It becomes liquid at 361ºF, solid at 361ºF, and has a pasty or working range of 0 degrees. This solder is called a eutectic alloy, which means at 361ºF, you can go instantly from solid to liquid to solid just by applying or removing the heat source.
·Lead-Free Solder: Depending on the specific mix of metals, lead free will produce differing liquid, solid, and pasty range temperatures. Check with the solder manufacturers for these specifics.

2. Keep the tip of the iron clean while you work. Have a damp sponge handy to occasionally wipe your tip on while soldering to keep it clean. Properly cleaned tips are bright and shiny. Keeping it clean ensures you receive the maximum heat at the tip surface. You can also use metal mesh pads made for the same purpose.
3. Keeping the tip clean is important but constantly wiping it on a wet sponge can cause early tip failure. Excessive wiping causes the tip temperature to drastically rise and fall and the different metal layers in the tip to repeatedly expand and contract.This cycling leads to metal fatigue and ultimately tip collapse. The more frequently you wipe the tip, the more you stress it.
4. Avoid the practice of dipping your tip into flux in order to clean it. Flux is corrosive. Never use sandpaper or any abrasive material to clean a tip. The best way to minimize your tip maintenance is to find a good quality solder. Use solder that has a high tin content and high metal purity.
5. At the end of a soldering session, wipe the tip clean, flood the tip with solder (63/37 or 60/40 is best), wipe it again and then unplug the iron. This will flush and re-tin your tip, protecting it from oxidation and corrosion.
6. Prevent the tip from seizing (becoming stuck) in the barrel by loosening the nut or screw that secures it. This is an especially good practice when storing your iron. If your tip seizes, you can easily damage the heating element trying to remove it. It is best to return your iron to the manufacturer for removal.
7. When reinserting tips, make sure they are properly seated in the barrel
8. If your tip becomes "blackened," and isn't coming clean using the wet sponge, you might try a tinning block or a brass brush. A "tinning block" (sal-ammoniac) is used by placing a small amount of flux on the block and rubbing the tip of your hot iron in it.Wipe the tip on a damp sponge to remove debris. You may need to repeat this several times if your tip is very dirty. Do be aware that the sal-ammoniac block is abrasive and excessive use can wear away the iron cladding, exposing the copper core and making the tip unusable. You can also gently use a soft brass bristle brush to clean your tip and then re-tin.

Soldering Iron Care

1. Always place your soldering iron in a stable iron stand whether it is being used or not.
2. Make sure you plug the iron into the correct type of outlet.
3. Try not to use an extension cord. If you must, use a heavy duty one.
4. Regularly check the cord for burns or cracks and have a professional electrician replace worn cords before using.
5. Make sure that the cord is not hanging in such a way that it can be pulled off of the table.
6. Don't drop or bang the iron. Ceramic heaters are especially easy to crack or break.
7. Do not allow the iron to idle at operating temperatures for extended periods. This could burn out the element or even the iron. If you are using a rheostat, turn it down to a low "idle" setting. If not, unplug the iron.
8. Occasionally, remove the tip and lightly tap the barrel of wire wound heater irons to remove debris.
9. If you will not be using your iron for an extended period of time, you may want to store it (after it has fully cooled) in a zipper type bag to protect it from corrosion and humidity.

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*Dear Valued Customers*

We would like to inform you that due in part to the passing of both Phil and Daniel,
the founders of our family business, Main Electronic Supplies is now "Closed."

We are currently looking to sell the whole lot or large sections of our inventory.
If you or anyone you know (including businesses) are interested,
please email us at:

Once our inventory has found a new home,
we will gladly provide an update below as to where it has moved.

We sincerely thank you for your understanding and continued support since 1971!



- Our stock of both "Record Player Needles, Cartridges & Accessories"
and "Foam Surrounds" have now moved to Innovative Audio!

Prices are subject to change without notice.