Author Topic: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?  (Read 22850 times)

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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. 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.


 Royel products are still available at

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!!!.  ::)

You call that current ?.......
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 »

Offline saturation

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2011, 11:54:57 PM »
All the quality soldering standards, set temps pretty much to ~ 350C or lower [ +/- margin for variation within the standards, but definitely not about 400C]. Thus, the fixed temp camp lead by Metcal argue what's to adjust? There are temp scales for different needs, ~ 300C for SMT sized parts, and ~ 400C for large wires or connectors, but none in between. The induction type heat used in Metcal tips are very consistent and constantly adjusts power output to maintain tip temp regardless of the tip load, such as small solder points to points in large ground planes. There is no calibration for such soldering stations. The temp sensor, heater and tip are one piece. Other technologies work differently, but are built around the philosophy of fixed temps.

OTAH, the adjustable camp uses cheaper low tech separate heater units and tips, both of which wear unevenly with use; thus the need to recalibrate. It may be worn to the point the temp provided at the tip is off but the tip is still usable. There is also no sensor on the tip, its on the heater or the tip body, and the scale and adjustment assumes the calibrated heat output of the station is fully and evenly transmitted to the tip. So the adjustment is really there to extend the life of a workable tip, preferably, than to adjust heat for soldering purposes. This is typified by the Hakko 936 or the Weller WES51.  If a user adjust the temp to offset the wrong size tip for the heat load or to get better performance from a worn tip then again, those suboptimal technique are allowed by the manual stations, which helps in the short term and for small labs.

There are also stations that are both adjustable and have direct tip temperature feedback and such stations are not calibrated either, and cost more than the Hakko 936.

Both the adjustable have locks to fix the station temps, so the user cannot adjust them which I presume are used in commercial production soldering situations, to emulate what the Metcal folks do.

So who is right? I don't know. But for home lab needs, the Hakko 936 types are the cheapest stations to meet soldering standards, so it provides both the ability to give the lowest heat to solder and maintain tip life, while being the lowest cost. We know for certain were the floor is in terms of modern soldering irons for best outcome, but the ceiling and benefits of moving up depends on what you are willing to spend for a need. For example, the costly stations don't require calibration, so it saves the owner/user the hassle, this can be large if you have many stations and find out the calibration is off when product defects starting popping up or the ISO inspector finds out and cites you; or if you solder a huge volume the difference is tip life between a Metcal and a Hakko 936 may start to become economically feasable.
Best Wishes,


Offline LEECH666

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Re: soldering station METCAL VS PACE ?
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2012, 07:55:13 AM »
I just bought this and I am very happy with it. For 287 euros (375 US$) this was a steal, imo. Yes it's old but I think it will last me a lifetime. The amount of accompanying consumables alone are worth over 900$ if you where to buy them new from Pace Direct.

The only thing that sucks about it are the stands where you rest the handpieces. Only one of the handpieces really fits.

Any suggestions on buidling your own soldering iron rests?

« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 08:04:12 AM by LEECH666 »

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