Author Topic: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?  (Read 27232 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2010, 06:06:27 PM »
The variation in metcal tip temp is mostly for niche uses.  If you have a particular process then you only need one line of tips for the most part.  The metcal tip selection doc for my particular model suggests 500 degree tips for heat sensitive parts and no-clean fluxes

And stuff like that turns up all the time in general lab work.

Quote
, 600 degrees for everything else by default and 700 degree tips for bus bar.  I almost always use 600 degree tips though.  I have a small 500 if I really need it.  I frequently turn my metcal on and off so I like the instant heating features.

I think this is turning into an Apple vs PC argument now.  Either one will get you where you want to go.

Sure, but the point is even with fixed temp irons you have to make a choice on your tip temp. So for any fixed temp iron fan boys to argue that variable temp irons aren't advantageous is really quite ironic (pun intended!).
A good variable temp iron can be fixed temp too, just don't touch the knob. But you get the flexibility of tweaking it when needed, that can't be viewed as anything but an advantage.

Fixed temp irons IMO only have an advantage when it comes to production work when you don't want the operators dicking with the temp.

So to answer the OP's question, get the variable temp iron.

Dave.
 

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2010, 06:17:06 PM »
Out of curiosity Dave, was the Metcal you used the MX series or the lower-end 470KHz family?
Obviously there is a big personal preference factor, however you're the first person I've ever heard of that has owned a Metcal and decided they didn't like it..

Can't remember, but I've used the new MX series too. But like I said, Metcals are good irons, I liked it, it's the fixed tip temp I don't particularly like. I prefer having extra flexibility for the same reason you have more than one temperature tip in your kit, plus many more reasons that vary between the infinite combination of gear and solder/flux I work with. I prefer to tweak my temp to the job at hand rather than just "make do" with the one that's on there.

You're a Metcal fanboy, I get it, it's ok.

Dave.
 

Online Hero999

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2010, 06:41:42 PM »
I agree with Dave here, there's no advantage of having to change the tip to alter the temperature, other than in a production environment where you don't want operators messing with the temperature.

Another thing to avoid is cheap temperature controlled irons, which just use a lamp dimmer circuit to change the temperature but still a step up from non-temperature regulated irons though.

The cable should also be made of heat resistant silicone rubber, never PVC which will just melt if the tip touches it.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2010, 06:52:20 PM »
The argument is not so much fixed vs. variable but the benefits of an RF type super-tightly coupled system versus a conventional thermal heater, which always needs electrical insulation between the tip and the heater, inherently compromising thermal coupling.
The advantages of the former generally overcome the inherent limitation that the physics don't allow temperature adjustment, and for those occasions you need it, you do still have the option of different tips.
Quote
You're a Metcal fanboy, I get it, it's ok.
I really don't know what you can possibly mean.... ;D


..and for those odd occasions when the Metcal can't quite cut it, I do occasionally resort to this...





« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 07:00:12 PM by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline PeterG

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2010, 07:06:29 PM »
With an iron like that, who is gonna argue with you?
Outguns my T-2000 thats for sure..LOL
Testing one two three...
 

Offline lhc

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2010, 07:49:50 PM »
You can have bigger caliber but my gun will be first to fire!  ;D
(Notice the attached target acquisition device, you just can't hide from me even in darkness)

« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 07:52:07 PM by lhc »
 

Offline djsb

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2010, 08:23:58 PM »
I have more or less decided to buy a Hakko FX-888 as an intermediate solution for the following reasons.

1/ Easy straightforward purchase from 1 supplier.
2/ Quality of the product and the information on the Hakko website (including informative video's on tip use).
3/ An adequate supply of bits that are easy to understand and use.
4/ Small footprint.
5/ High power and variable temperature with adequate heat up speed.
6/ Reasonable cost.

My issues with the Metcal brand are.
1/ The most affordable Metcal machines have been discontinued and can only be bought secondhand.
2/ The PS series uses a lower frequency (470KHz) RF current than the higher end models. They have compromised the design in my view.
3/ Not enough power for my liking.
4/ I do not need super fast heat up times as I dont work in production.
5/ The bits are too expensive AND DIFFICULT TO GET HOLD OF.
6/ I don't understand how the bits work.

Used Metcal units,bits etc are scattered all over the world on EBay and the postage costs add up to more than a new Hakko. When I'm more solvent I may experiment with a Metcal. However my favourite tool so far is the PACE mbt-350

http://www.blackandco.com/govtsales/pace/

which can use 7 handpieces (micro tweezers, hot air pen, vacuum desoldering tool, universal soldering iron, TD-100 iron with tip heater cartridges) in one compact square unit that can be stacked. It has 3 independent channels that can all be used at the same time. Problem is it costs nearly £1k. I think the Hakko FX-888 will do me for now.

David

P.S Unless I change my mind and buy a Pace ST30 unit with a PS-90 iron. The good thing about pace is that the same iron used on the cheaper units will also work on the more expensive models so the handpieces only have to be bought once. I have also used pace tools before.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 08:18:50 AM by djsb »
David
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Offline SnakeBite

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2010, 06:08:37 AM »
wowwwww what i have done ;D
anyway thanks guys i think i will go on the pace one.

Dave , maybe you can make a video blog on it with Constant soldering stations VS variable soldering stations.

THANKS
Ido
Ido Aricha , Israel.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2010, 06:40:02 AM »
Call me mad but I've just bought myself a new Pace MBT350 station (as shown in the link above). Bought it from the states and it's saved me £300 on buying in the UK (including all taxes,delivery etc). It's a 120v version, but a 500VA transformer only costs £40. Will last me for the rest of my life and does everything I want from a unit. What the heck you only live once.
Just have to sell my Xytronic hot air station now so I can buy some tips and maybe a PS-90 iron.
I'll do a quick review when I recieve it in the post.
Brickbats and bouquets equally welcome.


« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 03:58:26 AM by djsb »
David
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2010, 10:26:31 PM »
Seems like someone at Thermaltronics took offence at my 'knock-off' comment - they've sent  me some of their tips to try!
 I'll  post findings in the reviews section when I've used them for a while.
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Offline cybergibbons

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2010, 01:02:15 AM »
I'd be interested to see what you think.

BTW - I think the Fluke 87-V sucks, it's just a knock off copy of a Rigol meter. And the LeCroy Wavemaster 8s are just a copy of the Rigol scopes.
 

Offline slburris

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2010, 01:46:42 AM »
BTW - I think the Fluke 87-V sucks, it's just a knock off copy of a Rigol meter. And the LeCroy Wavemaster 8s are just a copy of the Rigol scopes.

Oooh, nice try!  Let us know when a 87-V and Wavemaster show up at your door!  :) :)
 

Offline mobbarley

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2011, 01:34:54 AM »
Well i've recently upgraded to a thermaltronics station + desoldering gun.. Even without a temperature control - It's amazing
 

Offline ciccio

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2011, 05:31:21 AM »
Nothing is more personal than the choice of a solder station.
I've used Weller fixed temperature station not for years, but for decades, and I changed bits when I needed to change size, not temperature. Not only me in the lab, but the guys in production used the same tool (I must admit that their "hand" was better than mine: their joints were better, even when they used an unregulated Philips iron that was so hot you could light a cigarette  with the red hot barrel).

Two years ago I changed my two stations with two Weller WS81 because I felt that I needed adjustable temperature for SMD work, but I realize  that I do not like them very much (the tip is smaller, with lower thermal inertia, and is too short for reaching a pad in a board passing through a forest of uncut resistor legs) and that the temp dial is always at 350 °C.

There is another choice, apart from Metcal: the JCB Advanced series,  that combines a very fast heat production with adjustable temperature.
I have a friend that uses them, both in the lab and in production, and he is delighted by the performance.
See the video on their site: http://jbc.es/.
The real problem is the price: they are expensive....
 
Ciccio

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Offline robrenz

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2011, 06:52:09 AM »
Just bought the JBC.  Very impressive,  better than Metcal thermal recovery and still adjustable temperature.  Dave,  this is the best of both worlds!   $396.00 US and free shipping  http://www.janelonline.com/JBC_CD_1BB_p/cd-1bb.htm 

Offline ciccio

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2011, 07:59:10 AM »
$396.00 US and free shipping

The price is really good: in Italy the current price is 377 euro + 21% VAT = 456 euro > 631 USD. And you must pay the shipping!
Incredible for an European product !!!! Next time I'll be in Barcelona I'll try to buy one "over the counter"...
Ciccio

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Offline robrenz

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2011, 11:25:44 AM »
I found this after I ordered the JBC.  http://www.howardelectronics.com/jbc/images/performance-comparison_1209.pdf  looks pretty good.

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2011, 12:58:59 PM »
Well,I'm a Weller WTCP "fanboy"!

What I would like is a WTCP for 90% of the work,& a halfway reasonable variable for the other 10%.
As it is,I have the Weller,& a cruddy "El Cheapo" variable temp thingy from Jaycar,so the Weller does 99% of the work! ;D

My old Weller's element died,& I bought the Jaycar one so I could have something to solder with while I saved up for a new element.
As it happened,I found a secondhand Weller at a Hamfest ,so now I have lots of spare Weller parts I'll never need!

My last job had a rather nice "work station" with a fairly useless hot air gun & a good variable temp iron--I'd like one of those,but can't remember the brand.
It was a bit limited though,most of the grunt work was done with a WTCP.
I've never been a big fan of Pace--their desolder stations were never as good as the Royel ones.As far as I know,Royel are out of business now.

VK6ZGO
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2011, 02:01:39 PM »
Well,I'm a Weller WTCP "fanboy"!

VK6ZGO

The WTCP has been my only pencil iron for the last 25 years and I have been very happy.  But I am often soldering heavy soldercup industrial connectors and I find myself wishing I had more power.  So this JBC is supposed to be the fastest recovery iron on the planet (see the propaganda link in my post below).  I will have it tomorrow night so I will let you know if my WTCP gets dethroned.

Offline nukie

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2011, 09:25:43 AM »
I once read an article that it is possible to tune the temperature of a Metcal, inside the electronics somewhere. I buy a JBC when I am rich.

So many types of solder out there. If you do enough soldering such as in house assembly you will notice that 0.8mm wire requires higher temperature to melt as oppose to 0.275mm. If you had the temperature set to melt 0.8mm wire, the 0.275mm wire flux will vaporize in no time. Have you seen flux splatter before?

Sorry I am a gearstick driver. Sometimes I prefer to drive in second gear just to make some noise. What's the point of having a big ass station on your bench when you are crippled of a wonderful feature?
 

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2011, 09:40:59 AM »
So many types of solder out there. If you do enough soldering such as in house assembly you will notice that 0.8mm wire requires higher temperature to melt as oppose to 0.275mm. If you had the temperature set to melt 0.8mm wire, the 0.275mm wire flux will vaporize in no time. Have you seen flux splatter before?
Higher temperature or more power?
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2011, 11:11:28 AM »
Well the WTCP is officially dethroned.  The JBC  CD-1BB station is awesome.  The thermal power is outstanding. You can put the tip in a bowl of cold water and watch the power meter jump up as it pours on the wattage to maintain the tip temperature while the water boils away.  This particular model will put out up to 130 watts to maintain the temp.  The heat up time is ridiculous. The 21mm wide tip goes from room temp to 350C in about 5 seconds. The 1mm cone tip takes about 3 seconds.  When you put the iron in the stand it goes into sleep mode after whatever delay you set.  sleep mode temp is setable but default is 200C.  In the time it takes to grab the iron and wipe the tip it is up to operating temp. You can set 3 different temps that you can toggle thru with a single button push.  Tip changes take about 3 seconds, no kidding.

You still have to use a suitable tip with the maximum contact area possible for the type of work you are doing to maximize heat transfer but with tip change and heat up time so quick  there is no reason to not put the best tip in.  Janelonline.com has the lowest prices I have found for the tips (around $25.00US each for average tips). I realize the metcals and clones have similar performance but as far as I know they cant put out 140 Watts to maintain temp and they are not adjustable temperature. 

So the heavy solder cup connectors I mentioned that take about 10 seconds to totally flow with the WTCPL using a 700F tip take 2 seconds with the JBC at 662F/350C.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 12:53:08 PM by robrenz »
 

Offline lowimpedance

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2011, 12:13:07 PM »
Well,I'm a Weller WTCP "fanboy"!

What I would like is a WTCP for 90% of the work,& a halfway reasonable variable for the other 10%.
As it is,I have the Weller,& a cruddy "El Cheapo" variable temp thingy from Jaycar,so the Weller does 99% of the work! ;D

My old Weller's element died,& I bought the Jaycar one so I could have something to solder with while I saved up for a new element.
As it happened,I found a secondhand Weller at a Hamfest ,so now I have lots of spare Weller parts I'll never need!

My last job had a rather nice "work station" with a fairly useless hot air gun & a good variable temp iron--I'd like one of those,but can't remember the brand.
It was a bit limited though,most of the grunt work was done with a WTCP.
I've never been a big fan of Pace--their desolder stations were never as good as the Royel ones.As far as I know,Royel are out of business now.

VK6ZGO

 Royel products are still available at
 http://www.royel.com.au/Royel%20pages/products.htm

When I started in electronics the WTCP was king and thats all that was used, and today I still like to use one, as well as the more fancy modern stuff from the major brands.
A rep from a company that represents Weller couldn't beleive I still used the WTCP!!!.  ::)

John
 
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I'll show you current !
 the odd multimeter or 2 or 3 or 4...or........never mind
 

Offline oliver602

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2011, 10:58:45 AM »
When did Metcal sell the STSS-002?

I got a power unit and iron on ebay for ~£80 yesterday and I'm pretty impressed with it so far. First test was soldering some coppers togther. No comparison to my old 25W Antex I've had for the last 15 years. I had a look inside and it seams pretty old school, which is why I ask when it was made. Not a complaint.
 

Offline oliver602

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2011, 10:36:19 PM »
METCAL RFG-30 power supply. Only STSS-PS2V-02 on the label.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 08:20:34 AM by oliver602 »
 


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