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EEVblog => EEVblog Specific => Topic started by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 12:07:56 pm

Title: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 12:07:56 pm
Weller responds to the magic smoke escaping from their WE1010 soldering station, and the lack of a primary side mains fuse.
Prepare to be awestruck at their commitment to safety!

https://weller-tools.com/we1010na/ (https://weller-tools.com/we1010na/)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUtj-bWHeKY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUtj-bWHeKY)

The Current Source tears down a Weller WEP51 iron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo6B1aYUffE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo6B1aYUffE)





Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr.B on December 18, 2018, 12:17:28 pm
Weller reputation.
Toilet.
Flush...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 12:52:43 pm
They may be typing up another letter very shortly.

ROFL - what a cluster.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 01:00:03 pm
Weller reputation.
Toilet.
Flush...

Sure, plug up 120V only device , designed mostly for professional electronic technicians to 240V and voilla:
Their reputation , what?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: ataradov on December 18, 2018, 01:03:57 pm
But hey, it has safety brochure included. What else do you want?

It probably does not affect their reputation very much, but makes me personally not want to buy one for sure.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: The Soulman on December 18, 2018, 01:05:17 pm
I don't like to spoil a nice rant, but does the 110V model ship with a fused plug in the supply lead?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 01:07:27 pm
It doesn't, I believe the fuse in the plug is the British only idea (thanks God).
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 01:08:43 pm
My Goodman AC system has no fuse between 240V and its control xfmr. It costed me $5000 to install, and it came with a defective defrost controller board, and the new board has been ordered for a week and I still haven't seen it. As a result, I'm burning electricity on heating strips to keep myself from freezing.

Proudly made in USA.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 01:09:46 pm
I don't like to spoil a nice rant, but does the 110V model ship with a fused plug in the supply lead?

If it is, they should would have and should have said so in their response.
But no, I don't believe it has one, that's not a US thing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 18, 2018, 01:13:17 pm
A grounded product here usually has a fuse, if it has one (and something like a soldering iron really should) in the case. How much could it possibly add to the cost, maybe $1 ?

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 01:21:05 pm
My Goodman AC system has no fuse between 240V and its control xfmr. It costed me $5000 to install, and it came with a defective defrost controller board, and the new board has been ordered for a week and I still haven't seen it. As a result, I'm burning electricity on heating strips to keep myself from freezing.

Proudly made in USA.

If it cost you $5000 to install you paid way too much.
Not sure about USA but it should be close, the Canadian code states that up to 15A you usually don't have to provide a primary fusing, being that the smallest size commercially available breaker is 15A and the lowest gauge acceptable for wiring is 14 and that the objective of the code is o protect the wiring.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 01:22:05 pm
A grounded product here usually has a fuse, if it has one (and something like a soldering iron really should) in the case. How much could it possibly add to the cost, maybe $1 ?

It's not even about cost. It's just the legislators say if a mains certified product is used at the entry point, a fuse is not necessary. UL/ETL/whatever assumes the xfmr never fails if it bears their certificate.
It's exactly like sometimes we have LC filters with X caps unfused, hence the self igniting Rifa thing.

Weird and stupid laws, but in the books.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 01:26:01 pm
If it cost you $5000 to install you paid way too much.
Not sure about USA but it should be close, the Canadian code states that up to 15A you usually don't have to provide a primary fusing, being that the smallest size commercially available breaker is 15A and the lowest gauge acceptable for wiring is 14 and that the objective of the code is o protect the wiring.

The system costs $1700, and local installers usually inflate that by 3x.
I know a guy who does it cheaper, and is very experienced, but at the time my AC failed, he was not in the town, and 90F was killing me in mid summer.
So I asked the company with the shortest queue, which probably is not the best idea.

The AC has a rated power of 8kW for the indoor unit, mostly dictated by the heating strip.
Sure, a failed xfmr won't burn the thick wires, but the xfmr can burn the air handler, then my house.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 01:26:37 pm
The more important question is will EEVBlog get another copyright strike for an injection of humor  :scared:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: HwAoRrDk on December 18, 2018, 01:30:02 pm
I cracked open my cheapo Atten soldering station to see what that was like. It has a 1A fuse on the mains input. The transformer has a fuse symbol on it's label too, implying that is also fused! The label rates it at 5A. And to top it off, the (captive, so you can't misplace it) mains plug is also fused at 13A.

If the Weller did originally come with a fused mains cable/plug, they should have made it captive so it can't easily be lost and operated with a non-fused input. Plus then someone in Dave's situation would not have plugged it in to 240V because it has the wrong plug ("What's this bloody yank thing doing on here? Ah, it's 110V...").
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 01:36:23 pm
If it cost you $5000 to install you paid way too much.
Not sure about USA but it should be close, the Canadian code states that up to 15A you usually don't have to provide a primary fusing, being that the smallest size commercially available breaker is 15A and the lowest gauge acceptable for wiring is 14 and that the objective of the code is o protect the wiring.

The system costs $1700, and local installers usually inflate that by 3x.
I know a guy who does it cheaper, and is very experienced, but at the time my AC failed, he was not in the town, and 90F was killing me in mid summer.
So I asked the company with the shortest queue, which probably is not the best idea.

The AC has a rated power of 8kW for the indoor unit, mostly dictated by the heating strip.
Sure, a failed xfmr won't burn the thick wires, but the xfmr can burn the air handler, then my house.
Ie US you don't rate AC systems in KW, guess is that you're talking about run of the mill 2 Ton system (2 ton = 24,000Btuh ).
And that XFMR wouldn't burn your house, it may have stinked it, that's all.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 01:40:41 pm
Ie US you don't rate AC systems in KW, guess is that you're talking about run of the mill 2 Ton system (2 ton = 24,000Btuh ).
And that XFMR wouldn't burn your house, it may have stinked it, that's all.

The Ton rating is for the compressor, which is powered by outdoor unit power panel.
The indoor unit only runs air handler and heat strips, aka emergency heat, and is rated in kW.
And you might be right, it is hard for that little guy to set the metal enclosure on fire, but still it is a hazard, anything mains without a fuse is one.

FYI, the past participle of stink is stank.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 01:52:12 pm
Ie US you don't rate AC systems in KW, guess is that you're talking about run of the mill 2 Ton system (2 ton = 24,000Btuh ).
And that XFMR wouldn't burn your house, it may have stinked it, that's all.

The Ton rating is for the compressor, which is powered by outdoor unit power panel.
The indoor unit only runs air handler and heat strips, aka emergency heat, and is rated in kW.
And you might be right, it is hard for that little guy to set the metal enclosure on fire, but still it is a hazard, anything mains without a fuse is one.

FYI, the past participle of stink is stank.
d,
I  really don't know if stanked is any better than stinked don't  care much anyway.

All I know is that either indoor evaporator coils or outdoor condensing units are rated firstly in BTUh then in the customary tons of refrigeration.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 01:57:24 pm
that transformer looks like it shit its pants. You removed a brown panel and it looked like there was a bunch of dookie in there. Clearly designed by children. It's like those old school night dress that had a flap around your butt. This one clearly got soiled.


 They are too lazy to modify a document and put a 1$ fuse holder in there with a piece of wire. I think they did it so something hard to replace fails and they can sell more or charge exorbitant repair prices. I am pretty sure you can have a 5 second over voltage on the mains easily. I don't know how it passed testing?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: lowimpedance on December 18, 2018, 02:03:45 pm
A grounded product here usually has a fuse, if it has one (and something like a soldering iron really should) in the case. How much could it possibly add to the cost, maybe $1 ?
Especially with all the effort/cost that went into protecting the secondary,  leaving the primary without one is totally bewildering.

They are too lazy to modify a document and put a 1$ fuse holder in there with a piece of wire. I think they did it so something hard to replace fails and they can sell more or charge exorbitant repair prices.

Put in a thermal fuse in the transformer and achieve the same end with out burning down the owners home/work.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alpher on December 18, 2018, 02:04:44 pm
that transformer looks like it shit its pants. You removed a brown panel and it looked like there was a bunch of dookie in there. Clearly designed by children. It's like those old school night dress that had a flap around your butt. This one clearly got soiled.


 They are too lazy to modify a document and put a 1$ fuse holder in there with a piece of wire. I think they did it so something hard to replace fails and they can sell more or charge exorbitant repair prices. I am pretty sure you can have a 5 second over voltage on the mains easily. I don't know how it passed testing?
Why would they do that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 02:14:34 pm
Usually people that buy lab equipment fix their own stuff. Especially broke high schools and whatever. This works and its cheaper then a thermally fused transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheSteve on December 18, 2018, 02:17:23 pm
I'm kind of tired of the rant videos - are you more worked up about the lack of a fuse or Weller's response?

It is sad there is no fuse though, I used to like Weller gear and with the prices they charge they can certainly afford a fuse.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to make a video showing why a fuse is important and how a fuse should be correctly(value/rating) sized for a given product.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: boB on December 18, 2018, 02:22:27 pm
Sometimes UL (or other NRTL) will make you add a fuse internal to the transformer.  Another idea is to add a resettable fuse (PTC) next to it so that it opens up when the windings get hot.   But what UL standard did this iron get tested to ?  Most irons should be tested to the same document I would think.

Weller has been around for a very long time.  I would think that they would not move from what already works ?

I don't remember if that soldering iron base actually emitted fire or flames ? That is not allowed.  Not sure about the smoke.

What UL and others do is to place a cheese cloth over the unit and during an overload, if it marks the cloth, then it fails that test.  It can break but can't be unsafe.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 02:31:05 pm
I'm kind of tired of the rant videos - are you more worked up about the lack of a fuse or Weller's response?

It is sad there is no fuse though, I used to like Weller gear and with the prices they charge they can certainly afford a fuse.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to make a video showing why a fuse is important and how a fuse should be correctly(value/rating) sized for a given product.

because its annoying corporate bullshit guiding the decision not to implement a fuse. if you worked for a engineering company you would know why it makes engineers angry. especially if sales is involved. I mean if you are someone that cares about the product like you say you do when you apply. You want to work on it, do more testing, make it reliable but some guy is annoyed a document has been on his desk for too long so he pushes it through so he can say he pushed it through. Who would think this is an acceptable failure mode if you found it during testing?????????? It even looks unclean. I would feel embarrassed. You can't even give some kind of complicated electrical mumbo jumbo as to why it broke, even a lay person can figure out its built like shit when it breaks like that. 0 class trashy.

I wonder if weller even has toilets, perhaps they shit on the floor if this looks acceptable to them.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 18, 2018, 02:31:20 pm
I don't know what all the fuss is about. So your iron spewed some smoke. So what??

This isn't evidence that it's going to "burn your lab down".  It probably would have gone open circuit and then died. It's probably packed full of fire retardants. I don't think Weller needs to go looking for certification loopholes for a two cent part. I'm also sure they also don't want to be sued.

Prove that it's dangerous first. Then you can rant.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NiHaoMike on December 18, 2018, 02:45:36 pm
My Goodman AC system has no fuse between 240V and its control xfmr. It costed me $5000 to install, and it came with a defective defrost controller board, and the new board has been ordered for a week and I still haven't seen it. As a result, I'm burning electricity on heating strips to keep myself from freezing.
Are you sure there isn't an embedded thermal fuse like most transformers have? I'm not sure why they bother with heat strips when infrared lamps are a far more efficient (probably better to say "effective") way for backup heat.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on December 18, 2018, 02:47:04 pm
I have to ask the question:  Aside from improper use (which is certainly the case for Dave's experience) has there been any confirmed problems with the lack of a mains fuse reported from units in the wild?

I'm not saying a fuse isn't worth having - it absolutely is - but have there ever been cases where these units have caused issues by not being fused on the mains side?

If they've been doing this for years and years without problems, then the argument to include a fuse becomes a bit harder to win - especially in the corporate arena.

For those who wish to argue that the moral thing to do is to add the protection of a fuse before something dramatic goes wrong, then I will point you to other corporate decisions where a known and demonstrable problem was left unaddressed because it was cheaper to deal with any lawsuits than to fix the problem properly.


It does not go unnoticed by me that the response came from Marketing.  I might suggest the Engineering people might like to make a more appropriate response to a forum frequented by EE's and like minded people, but external communications are going to be the domain of the Marketing crowd - no matter how loyal an engineer might be to the company, nor how protective they would be of its reputation.

Edit:
Even if a response from Engineering was drafted and passed to Corporate Communications for review, I can easily imagine they would not understand what the engineers said and would toss it out of fear and ignorance.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 02:48:40 pm
Are you sure there isn't an embedded thermal fuse like most transformers have? I'm not sure why they bother with heat strips when infrared lamps are a far more efficient (probably better to say "effective") way for backup heat.

There could be, but I'm pretty sure there's no external fuses.

IR lamps only work for direct heating. The AC unit is supposed to deliver hot air through out the entire house by ducts. I don't see how IR travels down the ducts.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 02:54:35 pm
I don't know what all the fuss is about. So your iron spewed some smoke. So what??

This isn't evidence that it's going to "burn your lab down".  It probably would have gone open circuit and then died. It's probably packed full of fire retardants. I don't think Weller needs to go looking for certification loopholes for a two cent part. I'm also sure they also don't want to be sued.

Prove that it's dangerous first. Then you can rant.

This Video is more about the SMOKE and Mirrors of the corporate kind. Here have a freebie and say nice things about us giving you a .....

The first video well oops I screwed up but if it had a fuse maybe it wouldn't have. That is debatable but should just serve as a warning to others as much as a rant on the lack of a fuse. For me it stopped me using a variac on a 100V Meter and I have made that meter incapable of being plugged into anything besides the 100V down converter I now have. It cost me money to do but maybe it has saved me from a cock up in the future.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thmjpr on December 18, 2018, 03:24:50 pm
Especially with all the effort/cost that went into protecting the secondary,  leaving the primary without one is totally bewildering.

That is where it gets weird, and a response from a weller engineer would be enlightening.
The mains rated fuse is already there, just on the wrong side of the transformer (the secondary). As established in the last thread, it was designed that way, not an assembly mistake.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 03:32:00 pm
its not on the 'wrong side'. You put them on both sides if you want, its better. Plenty of documentation on there. But you always want it on the front side.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: santiall on December 18, 2018, 03:44:36 pm
I'd not be surprised if the station actually passes the safety standards without a problem. I've seen more dangerous products passing the tests and others properly designed failing for whatever minor margin or simply because the safety test operator doesn't understand the standard.

It is not that the standards are also that 'perfect'. I'd need to go through the document but a mains fuse isn't actually compulsory as long as there are other safety means and the product 'fails safe' (maybe a bit of smoke is considered a safe failure as long as there is no fire :D). Also, for example, till not long ago you could use a crappy power switch if it was located on the back of the device but a heavy duty one would be deemed unsafe if located on the front. The famous TV-rating nonsense that related back to the 50s probably.

The joy of the safety and EMC approvals  |O
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blacksheeplogic on December 18, 2018, 03:45:59 pm
Weller responds to the magic smoke escaping from their WE1010 soldering station, and the lack of a primary side mains fuse.
Prepare to be awestruck at their commitment to safety!

This first video was good, made a mistake, here's what happened, could be better designed. This video adds no value outside of bashing Weller for your mistake... I have both 110 and 230/240 gear, and don't have a problem remembering which is which. If I did, I wouldn't be trying to pass the blame off to the manufacture.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Xenon on December 18, 2018, 04:53:43 pm
Mains fuses are not always doing their job.
In my office I had a Weller WTCP51 with a 315mA mains fuse. It was 10 years old when the silicon iron cable shorted internally because the insulation had crumbled for some reason.
The transformer released the magic smoke in under a minute and the mains fuse did not blow.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: johnlsenchak on December 18, 2018, 04:54:18 pm

I would have  taken  Weller up  on  a free offer  of a   soldering station  just to trash  it further  in a  bad review  >:D >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Towger on December 18, 2018, 05:08:37 pm
I have to ask the question:  Aside from improper use (which is certainly the case for Dave's experience) has there been any confirmed problems with the lack of a mains fuse reported from units in the wild?

Yes. There is another thread months ago on the forum, which did not get much attention at the time. 

Added link: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/repairing-a-weller-soldering-station/
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 05:25:45 pm
The first video well oops I screwed up but if it had a fuse maybe it wouldn't have. That is debatable

No that is not debatable. A properly rated mains input fuse would have blown preventing the transformer from melting down.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 05:26:24 pm
I have to ask the question:  Aside from improper use (which is certainly the case for Dave's experience) has there been any confirmed problems with the lack of a mains fuse reported from units in the wild?

Yes. There is another thread months ago on the forum, which did not get much attention at the time. 

Added link: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/repairing-a-weller-soldering-station/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/repairing-a-weller-soldering-station/)

There is a comment on the Youtube video about someone who's unit burned down.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 05:32:48 pm
I don't know what all the fuss is about. So your iron spewed some smoke. So what??

If I had walked out the door after switching it on and hadn't noticed it and reacted it would have set of the smoke alarm automatically evacuating the building and calling the fire brigade. That's at a minimum.
Sure it's not Weller's fault that I plugged a 120V unit into 240V, but it is their fault for not including a mains side fuse that's defacto industry standard in competing products.

Quote
This isn't evidence that it's going to "burn your lab down".  It probably would have gone open circuit and then died. It's probably packed full of fire retardants. I don't think Weller needs to go looking for certification loopholes for a two cent part. I'm also sure they also don't want to be sued.

That's why any sensible company adds a primary fuse.

Quote
Prove that it's dangerous first. Then you can rant.

If you can't figure out how a non-fused primary can be potentially dangerous even if it is legal and common in all sorts of stuff, then you shouldn't be on an engineering forum.
Of course it's not a huge deal in practice, but it's perfectly warranted to rant about it and point it out to people so they can make informed buying decisions.
And I can rant about whatever I want on channel, you get no say in that, ever.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 18, 2018, 05:53:26 pm
This isn't evidence that it's going to "burn your lab down".  It probably would have gone open circuit and then died. It's probably packed full of fire retardants. I don't think Weller needs to go looking for certification loopholes for a two cent part. I'm also sure they also don't want to be sued.

As I said in an earlier post. It's not about cost. It's about culture.
If I can get around with certification, then I go the simplest way. The law didn't mandate a fuse, then I can throw common sense away.
That's what they got ranted on.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 05:56:19 pm
The first video well oops I screwed up but if it had a fuse maybe it wouldn't have. That is debatable

No that is not debatable. A properly rated mains input fuse would have blown preventing the transformer from melting down.

You are saying 'properly rated mains fuse' in the case of a 110V rated appliance like you plugged in and didn't figure out that's what it is then the stock fuse it comes with will be rated about twice the current rating of the 240V one. Ergo the Transformer when powered off 240V when switched of can run at 200%+ load before something gives. A primary side fuse would certainly be the recommended and better option but not guaranteed to make it safe.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: capt bullshot on December 18, 2018, 06:01:52 pm
I'm pretty sure, someone at Weller stated: Yes, that's the intended failure mode and we don't have a primary fuse for a reason. These smallish transformers fail open after spewing out the smoke, so it's perfectly safe. Then it's all about  corporate wank and bullshit what lead to the answer Dave got. Never admit to a customer that something might have been wrong with the product in the first place. Every company lawyer will strongly recommend against admitting a fail, since that will seriously impact a lawsuit that the customer might start.

And I have no doubt that this particular product passed all safety tests, so it's clearly their point to state that to "Sir" Dave. Maybe some internal action will start, but we'll never come to know about that.

So one shouldn't rant about the missing fuse (which surely would have prevented the smoke event depending on the "strength" of the transformer), but about all the corporate bullshit that's happening behind the doors everywhere today.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SparkyFX on December 18, 2018, 06:04:14 pm
No matter what my opinion is, i still wonder how they got it certified and which reasons from an electrical design point of view could explain the lack of a fuse (other than money or bad engineering). Does this somehow "justify" an existing risk? There could also be a gain somewhere. Maybe requirements of the transformer dropped, a problem with a startup condition (open load, short circuit load) or otherwise failed tests?

They obviously used to have them... i have an older Weller model here with the fuse holder right in the front panel in series to the switch and transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: tchicago on December 18, 2018, 06:06:34 pm
There is no such company called Weller anymore. There is some nebulous "Apex Group" which acquired Weller brand name due to a series of acquisitions of acquisitions of acquisitions. As a result, they keep manufacturing (contracted in China) and selling the legacy Weller products. There are no Weller technical people left with the company to reply to your query. All that is left is marketing, lawyers and a bunch of MBAs. They have no idea about any technical stuff, all they know is that there is a certification mark, so they are OK.
When those legacy products become very obsolete, they hire some noname oem/design company to uplift their product line, and make sure they pass through the certification. Once this is done, the oem design contract is over, and Apex just manufactures and sells boxed products, having no idea how it was designed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 06:07:22 pm

You are saying 'properly rated mains fuse' in the case of a 110V rated appliance like you plugged in and didn't figure out that's what it is then the stock fuse it comes with will be rated about twice the current rating of the 240V one. Ergo the Transformer when powered off 240V when switched of can run at 200%+ load before something gives. A primary side fuse would certainly be the recommended and better option but not guaranteed to make it safe.

Wait...what? A properly rated fuse is there to protect the cabling so that it doesn't, you know, burn to a crisp. In this case the primary cabling burnt to a crisp, ergo the cable had far more current through it than it was capable of handling. A fuse would have prevented this.

In this case the core would have saturated through the well above voltage and the 50 Hz wouldn't have helped.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: capt bullshot on December 18, 2018, 06:11:04 pm
That's why any sensible company adds a primary fuse.

There're no more sensible companies today. At least if their primary goal is a "two digit growth".
Even HPAK does bullshit that a sensible company wouldn't, see their shiny E36312A series power supplies. This thing doesn't have a mains power switch, and the front panel power button just turns off the display while the rest of the unit still consumes a whopping 10W standby power. A sensible company wouldn't release such a thing today. At least the horrendous bug (a really large transient at mains turn on that can destroy your circuits) get fixed, but you'll have to read EEVblog forum to get knowledge about the available fix. A sensible company wouldn't just say "There's no danger for the (human) operator of the unit" but recall all the units or offer field applicable fixes.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 06:19:25 pm

You are saying 'properly rated mains fuse' in the case of a 110V rated appliance like you plugged in and didn't figure out that's what it is then the stock fuse it comes with will be rated about twice the current rating of the 240V one. Ergo the Transformer when powered off 240V when switched of can run at 200%+ load before something gives. A primary side fuse would certainly be the recommended and better option but not guaranteed to make it safe.

Wait...what? A properly rated fuse is there to protect the cabling so that it doesn't, you know, burn to a crisp. In this case the primary cabling burnt to a crisp, ergo the cable had far more current through it than it was capable of handling. A fuse would have prevented this.

In this case the core would have saturated through the well above voltage and the 50 Hz wouldn't have helped.

So you have no problem with a fuse rated at twice the current rating on a transformer wound for 60hz and 110V being put on 240V? That is not Engineering by any stretch. With say 1 sq mm mains cable should take 10A your 110V fuse on a 60W iron is going to be 0.75 or 1A sure the cable is safe but are the windings? In the case of it having a 1A fitted your well over 200% and more like 300% power at the windings before the fuse goes.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: doktor pyta on December 18, 2018, 06:34:36 pm
Another place worth closer look in Weller is the grounding of the tip.
My Weller PU81+WSP80 has the tip tied directly to mains PE.
In my case I modified it adding 1Meg resistor in series as it is done in ESD  wrist strap.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: capt bullshot on December 18, 2018, 06:49:02 pm
Another place worth closer look in Weller is the grounding of the tip.
My Weller PU81+WSP80 has the tip tied directly to mains PE.
In my case I modified it adding 1Meg resistor in series as it is done in ESD  wrist strap.

Yes, bonding the tip to PE is quite annoying, but appears common today. Many years ago, I was told the "main advantage" of a proper soldering station over a simple mains operated iron would be "and the tip is isolated from PE, so one can do soldering on a live (not mains, of course) circuit". Imagine, some ten years ago I was quite suprised that with modern stations the tip is solidly bonded to earth again.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 06:51:19 pm

You are saying 'properly rated mains fuse' in the case of a 110V rated appliance like you plugged in and didn't figure out that's what it is then the stock fuse it comes with will be rated about twice the current rating of the 240V one. Ergo the Transformer when powered off 240V when switched of can run at 200%+ load before something gives. A primary side fuse would certainly be the recommended and better option but not guaranteed to make it safe.

Wait...what? A properly rated fuse is there to protect the cabling so that it doesn't, you know, burn to a crisp. In this case the primary cabling burnt to a crisp, ergo the cable had far more current through it than it was capable of handling. A fuse would have prevented this.

In this case the core would have saturated through the well above voltage and the 50 Hz wouldn't have helped.

So you have no problem with a fuse rated at twice the current rating on a transformer wound for 60hz and 110V being put on 240V? That is not Engineering by any stretch. With say 1 sq mm mains cable should take 10A your 110V fuse on a 60W iron is going to be 0.75 or 1A sure the cable is safe but are the windings? In the case of it having a 1A fitted your well over 200% and more like 300% power at the windings before the fuse goes.

I'm sorry, I really don't understand your last.

The primary winding is going to have some basic capability rating, for example 1 amp. You would then use a fuse of say approximately 0.8 amps to protect it from burning out in the situation that Dave found himself in. Nothing to do with the voltage, or the power of the iron etc. Just a basic fuse that will protect the primary winding of the transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 07:04:55 pm

I'm sorry, I really don't understand your last.

The primary winding is going to have some basic capability rating, for example 1 amp. You would then use a fuse of say approximately 1.5 amps to protect it from burning out in the situation that Dave found himself in. Nothing to do with the voltage, or the power of the iron etc. Just a basic fuse that will protect the primary winding of the transformer.

The Base station Dave fried was a 110V unit and to get the same power out it would have say a 0.75 - 1A fuse. Plug that into Australia's 240V with the 'correct fuse' and you can pull 200%+ of the power before the fuse will let go. So 200%+ (not allowing for saturation frequency etc.) power can go somewhere before the fuse will let go.

Given a worst case of a shorted secondary or another fault the current rating of the fuse hasn't magically changed but the power available at the Primary taps has due to the increased voltage, simply more power more heat. Not saying the fuse won't beat the winding to break but it isn't good engineering as a protection device against incorrect voltage being used. Adding some additional thermal protection would change this for the better but I haven't seen it done on any Wellers?

So I am happy to stand by 'Debatable' as per my older post.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 07:21:05 pm
You don't select a fuse for this type of application on the power rating, just the current carrying capability of the device you are trying to protect, in this case the input transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 18, 2018, 07:22:59 pm
it would have set of the smoke alarm
A shitty time to be sure. At the end of the day, I think the manufacturer is mainly responsible for making sure their product doesn't cause bodily harm. But if user error causes them inconvenience...  :-//

Of course it's not a huge deal in practice, but it's perfectly warranted to rant about it and point it out to people so they can make informed buying decisions.
Sure, inform them of the facts.

And I can rant about whatever I want on channel, you get no say in that, ever.
Of course. You can go overboard about whatever you want.

My point wasn't about fuses, or who is right. I just take issue with you saying it's going to burn your lab down, which is not substantiated.
This video has a very clickbaity, "the sky is falling" vibe to it.  :blah:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 07:24:38 pm
So select one then for a 60W 110V iron then? You get around the 0.75-1A mark depending on the headroom you want and what the transformer can handle. Take that same transformer leave the fuse in because you are having a bad day and plug it into 240V and then what happens does the fuse blow or do the windings?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 07:32:14 pm
So select one then for a 60W 110V iron then? You get around the 0.75-1A mark depending on the headroom you want and what the transformer can handle. Take that same transformer leave the fuse in because you are having a bad day and plug it into 240V and then what happens does the fuse blow or do the windings?


If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheNewLab on December 18, 2018, 07:45:42 pm
I am sure this has been said many times, but,

Dave you just have to accept the 240volt one and do the teardown on it. If, two for two, after all this. It would be truly revealing

Also, regarding the UL listing. You can contact UL laboratories by email and they will respond quickly to let you know if the UL rating is valid.

I did this regarding a CLC Tech bag that had a 4 plug surge suppressor and slot to put inside the bag. It didn't look right so I contacted UL, and I received a response within a day or two to learn that they had applied, accepted, then canceled. They did follow tests for some reason, then removed the UL rating.

I thought that was rather interesting.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 18, 2018, 07:46:23 pm
It would be useful to ask them exactly which standards were applied for CE marking - this is sometimes included on the declaration of conformity, but I don't think it's a requirement.
It might also be good to take up their offer to see if the 230v version is any different - the 110V would only need the UL listing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: beanflying on December 18, 2018, 07:50:42 pm

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 08:01:33 pm
a Chinese one with a seemingly bad reputation does?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 08:02:59 pm

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?

Nup, just no. This is not powering a resistive load.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 08:06:20 pm
Dave you just have to accept the 240volt one and do the teardown on it. If, two for two, after all this. It would be truly revealing

No, Weller should have simply said that in their response. It's shouldn't be my job to have to verify anything.
As for a 240V unit:

(https://i.imgur.com/2ddVl4Y.png)

Quote
Also, regarding the UL listing. You can contact UL laboratories by email and they will respond quickly to let you know if the UL rating is valid.

I have no doubt it is, under the product category they listed it under.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 08:12:16 pm
how are they not sure if it had certification if they made it?? Do they send a few bad dogs through once in a while for fun?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 18, 2018, 08:24:25 pm

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?

Nup, just no. This is not powering a resistive load.

I'd better expand upon that. We could cut the wire from the secondary to the board to open circuit the secondary and exactly the same thing would have occurred when Dave plugged it in.  The power is going to be in the magnetisation current and the I2R of the primary winding - excluding eddy currents etc. If the current exceeds the rating of the current carry capability of the primary winding then a correctly sized fuse would interrupt the current before damage to the winding could occur.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: nsd_c on December 18, 2018, 08:25:12 pm
There is no such company called Weller anymore. There is some nebulous "Apex Group" which acquired Weller brand name due to a series of acquisitions of acquisitions of acquisitions. As a result, they keep manufacturing (contracted in China) and selling the legacy Weller products. There are no Weller technical people left with the company to reply to your query. All that is left is marketing, lawyers and a bunch of MBAs. They have no idea about any technical stuff, all they know is that there is a certification mark, so they are OK.
When those legacy products become very obsolete, they hire some noname oem/design company to uplift their product line, and make sure they pass through the certification. Once this is done, the oem design contract is over, and Apex just manufactures and sells boxed products, having no idea how it was designed.

I think your information is kind of way off except for one aspect (which I'll get to).

I'm not sure of the exact history/timeline of the Cooper Group / Apex, but I believe that I read recently that Weller was acquired around the 70s. As evidence of this, I have a Weller soldering gun that is approximately this vintage that says "WELLER APEX" on it. I know it to be this vintage because the housing is bakelite and not the newer ABS type, and because it belonged to my grandfather. The case that I have it in is slightly older, I'd say 60s vintage, and says "Cooper Group" on it. Yet, you can find on the Internet Archive that the Cooper Group name was being used as recently as about 10 years ago (http://web.archive.org/web/20090606201054/http://www.cooperhandtools.com:80/brands/weller/index.cfm), with the name switching back to Apex again in ~2010 (http://web.archive.org/web/20101027045738/http://cooperhandtools.com/brands/weller/index.cfm).

My (first) point being, for a good many decades while Weller was owned by the Cooper Group / Apex group, they were definitely designing new stations.

Second, I don't know that Weller has ever built any of their flagship soldering stations in China. (If so, this has been a recent development.) My understanding was that, at some point in the (late?) 90s (or thereabouts), they moved manufacturing from the US to Mexico. This is consistent with Weller stations that I have found at my place of employ, which I'd date to about the mid 90s (based on what projects they would have been purchased for and by looking at PDFs of old Weller catalogs). I have purchased a number of brand new tips (from suppliers such as Digi-Key and Mouser) as well as parts for some Weller stations (ET and PT series tips and components) in the past year, and these have all been mfg'd in Mexico. I did recently purchase a Weller fume extractor that was made in China, however. (But this seems to be a rebadge of a generic fume extractor; e.g., Tenma sells an identical looking unit.)

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist (:o), my belief is that (and this gets back to your theory) development of new Weller products ceased in the US approximately when manufacturing was moved to Mexico (if not at the same time). If you look at Weller catalogs from the late 90s/early 2000s, then compare their product line-up year after year to that point, you'll notice that, yes, they have been producing the same few "legacy" soldering stations since then: the WES51 and WESD51 (with variable temp control and use ET series tips), and the WTCPT (MagnaStat-based and uses the corresponding older PT series tips with the TC201 handpiece). I will point out that the WTCPT is visually identical to the WTCPS, which you can find images of both with and without "Made in USA" visible on the front (implying that mfg. moved to Mexico during the production of the WTCPS). The WES51 power supply appears to be nearly visually the same as the older EC1002, except that the EC1002 used a larger handpiece, similar in appearance to the TC201 (which I believe shares some parts).

To address this point and continue my theory,

Quote
When those legacy products become very obsolete, they hire some noname oem/design company to uplift their product line, and make sure they pass through the certification.

I believe that the "noname oem/design company" here is actually Weller's German-based offices. I use as evidence the fact that, at some point in the early 2000s, all of the new Weller models started to gain visual styling that diverged from the WTCPT and WES51. In addition, these newer models used vastly different tips, and it seems that they've even started to move to cartridge-based heaters at some point in the past ~ten years.

I also point to catalogs from a couple years back (http://www.montiontools.com/catalogs/WELLER%20catalog.pdf) where nearly every soldering station can be seen to indicate "Made in Germany" prominently on the front panel. Note that that particular catalog appears intended for the European market and does not show any of the US legacy models (WES51, WTCP, etc.).

It might be the case that newer Weller units are being made in China, though, as I noticed that photos of the same Weller stations that, in that catalog, all say "Made in Germany" now do not on Weller's current website. (Can anyone confirm/deny this?)

Also, btw, if you go to the US Weller website (e.g., this page (https://www.weller-toaols.com/professional/USA/us/Professional/Product+lines/WX+Line/Soldering+stations+and+sets/WX1)) and do a "View Image" (or equivalent) in your browser, images are hosted on a web server with a .de web address, such as:

https://media-weller.de/phpthumb/phpThumb.php?&w=412&h=343&bg=ffffff&far=1&f=jpeg&q=85&src=../weller/data/images/images%202/WX_1_T0053417699.jpg (https://media-weller.de/phpthumb/phpThumb.php?&w=412&h=343&bg=ffffff&far=1&f=jpeg&q=85&src=../weller/data/images/images%202/WX_1_T0053417699.jpg)

One last thing, if you search "Weller made in Germany," you can find old marketing gibberish (https://www.eve-electronics.com/linecard/weller.html) such as this:

Quote
The success story of Weller is built on the success factors of passion, innovative spirit, open-mindedness, German manufacturing and quality.

For over 50 years Weller has been passionately developing, designing, manufacturing and selling its products at its German location in the Swabian town of Besigheim. The Weller team of skilled and dedicated professionals manufactures high-quality soldering products in Germany using highly complex production processes.

A number of employees have been with the company for decades and so are able to pass on their extensive experience and know-how to young and motivated co-workers.

Consistent quality assurance, sustainable production and high development standards have made Weller the world market leader in manual soldering systems.

"Made in Germany" is a seal of approval for the Weller name - a name synonymous with quality, reliability and innovative spirit. It symbolizes the trust people place in products made in Germany and embodies the highest quality standards in the global market.

Aaaaand one last thing: the guy in that marketing video that Dave linked to sounds awfully German.

So, TL;DR: Weller US branch moved operations to Mexico, probably laid off all US engineering staff. Weller German offices probably existed prior to this move and continued to exist to be able to sell Weller products to the European market. Their offices there designed new units for the European market, and those were ported to the US market slowly. Eventually someone high up decided to hand the reigns of the US Weller branch more or less fully over to the German branch.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: FrankBuss on December 18, 2018, 08:44:54 pm
My Ersa i-con has a primary side fuse, and a spare fuse. Attached is a mini-slideshow-teardown :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 09:02:25 pm
It's no excuse because they are using the brand name and the model number. You can get a recommendation that this thing was good and then you buy the same spec and its missing a fuse or something? If they don't maintain quality over time then its a bullshit brand. It's cutting your own product line with unknown crap. You don't do this.

If they were smart they would randomly pick some of their over seas units and throw a few in to the final inspection phase of their primary line (if they are good enough to have one) to make sure they are not producing crap. Not drop shipping stuff.

I am kinda laughing about von neumann machine behavior of production lines. You setup a alternate line in Germany, then the German manager sets one up in Mexico, then the guy in Mexico decides to set one up in China, then the Chinese decide to set one up in Africa. Then in the end you end up with a portion of your brand being assembled with a wood fueled PCB oven ran out of a cave in ISIL contested territory by American funded freedom fighters........

There is a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode about this about some kinda military mind reading machine that ended up getting over produced by accident and no one can track it down.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Muttley Snickers on December 18, 2018, 09:35:27 pm
I don't know what Dave wrote when he initially contacted Weller and he didn't state that in the video but either way I thought the response from Weller was less than adequate, rather disappointing in fact.   :--

Somebody also mentioned in the Youtube comments that they believed this series of soldering station to have an illuminated LCD display as shown in all the brochures and marketing material and apparently they don't, again Weller's response was a joke. I won't be buying another Weller product.   :--
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 09:49:52 pm
I don't know what Dave wrote when he initially contacted Weller and he didn't state that in the video but either way I thought the response from Weller was less than adequate, rather disappointing in fact.   :--

I wrote:
Quote
Please forward this to the appropriate person if it's not you.
Not sure if you have seen my video, but my WE1010 smoked and could
have started a fire.
Sure I goofed and plugged into 240V instead of 110V, but the unit has
no safety fuse on the primary winding to prevent a fire hazard in case
of transformer failure. This is very bad, and many people are
wondering how it passed UL certification.
(Forum and videos links)
It would be nice if we could get some sort of official response from
Weller on this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 09:53:28 pm
Somebody also mentioned in the Youtube comments that they believed this series of soldering station to have an illuminated LCD display as shown in all the brochures and marketing material and apparently they don't, again Weller's response was a joke. I won't be buying another Weller product.   :--

Official photoshopped product promotional image used by them and countless dealers:
(https://media-weller.de/weller/data/Weller%20Professional/images/WE-1.jpg)

What it actually looks like:
(https://www.heimwerker-test.de/images/testbilder/thumb_big/weller-we1010-loetkolben-45197.jpg)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 18, 2018, 10:04:52 pm
Out of curiosity, was your 110V unit CE marked?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 10:50:20 pm
Out of curiosity, was your 110V unit CE marked?

No

(https://i.imgur.com/KGfvwUR.png)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 18, 2018, 10:50:40 pm
What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 18, 2018, 11:06:38 pm
i don't know how a EE, even fresh out of college, would not realize the secondary can short out from many different reasons and that secondary fuses won't help with that, or that the primary can short out either.


Thats why I said its a money maker of some kind.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Towger on December 18, 2018, 11:26:46 pm
What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.

I firmly believe this is a manufacturing (lost in translation) mistake, but they don't want to admit it.  But, still think there should be a thermal fuse in the transformer.  Everything else which uses a linear power supply seems to have one, certainly in 220~240v land.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 12:06:43 am
FYI, for those asking why I found their reply so inadequate. My contact at Weller who passed on the question to higher up came back to me to assure me they weren't fobbing me off and they were busy working on a formal response, so it was kinda like the response was hyped up, and then I got the lackluster Dear Sir response.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 12:07:49 am
What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.

I firmly believe this is a manufacturing (lost in translation) mistake, but they don't want to admit it.  But, still think there should be a thermal fuse in the transformer.  Everything else which uses a linear power supply seems to have one, certainly in 220~240v land.

But this (lack of primary fuse) was done on two different models, bot bottom end units. Seems like a very deliberate choice.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 12:15:20 am
protection money :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on December 19, 2018, 12:17:34 am
But this (lack of primary fuse) was done on two different models, bot bottom end units. Seems like a very deliberate choice.

Especially when (I would expect) they would have had pre-production units, engineering samples and a few prototypes to have reviewed before manufacture began.

There's no way in hell the manufactured unit should have had a "surprise" like a missing mains fuse.  It would have been a very deliberate decision to build them as they are.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jmaja on December 19, 2018, 12:33:51 am

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?

Nup, just no. This is not powering a resistive load.

I'd better expand upon that. We could cut the wire from the secondary to the board to open circuit the secondary and exactly the same thing would have occurred when Dave plugged it in.  The power is going to be in the magnetisation current and the I2R of the primary winding - excluding eddy currents etc. If the current exceeds the rating of the current carry capability of the primary winding then a correctly sized fuse would interrupt the current before damage to the winding could occur.

I don't know that much about transformers. What does actually hapen with increased voltage? Without a secondary load a perfect transformer doesn't take any power. I measuser my 230 V Ersa to have about 2H (measured at 100 Hz using DE-5000) and 42 ohm primary side. Simulating that (just an inductor) with LTSpice I got 5.7 W idle power at the transformer. I added a 1 ohm fuse. It took 135 mW.

Doubling the voltage changed these values to 22.9 W and 540 mW. Since the fuse must be able to handle about 100 W, which equals to 0.43 A and 430 mW at 1 ohm, it wouldn't cut the circuit at 540 mW, but the transformer can probably handle 23 W.

If the inductor is no longer 2H at the increased voltage, it's a different story. Decreasing it to just 1H increases the power at the inductor to 91 W and power at the fuse to 2.1 W, which would probably blow the fuse.

What would happen, if somebody applied DC? At least 100 W could be put to the transformer causing it to overheat before the fuse blows.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 01:53:18 am
Put in a thermal fuse in the transformer and achieve the same end with out burning down the owners home/work.

Would it respond fast enough? Dave said this went up in seconds.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 01:57:39 am
So you have no problem with a fuse rated at twice the current rating on a transformer wound for 60hz and 110V being put on 240V? That is not Engineering by any stretch. With say 1 sq mm mains cable should take 10A your 110V fuse on a 60W iron is going to be 0.75 or 1A sure the cable is safe but are the windings? In the case of it having a 1A fitted your well over 200% and more like 300% power at the windings before the fuse goes.

The current rating of the fuse should match the current rating of the wire in the transformer.

Voltage doesn't enter into it.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: paschulke2 on December 19, 2018, 02:01:27 am
So, TL;DR: Weller US branch moved operations to Mexico, probably laid off all US engineering staff. Weller German offices probably existed prior to this move and continued to exist to be able to sell Weller products to the European market. Their offices there designed new units for the European market, and those were ported to the US market slowly. Eventually someone high up decided to hand the reigns of the US Weller branch more or less fully over to the German branch.

Weller was founded in 1959 in Besigheim, Germany. It never was only an "office". Weller soldering tools were developed and (at least for the european market) manufactured in Besigheim, Germany until 2016, when manufacturing was moved to Mexico and 130 people were laid off. Weller claim that they still develop the soldering tools in Besigheim, Germany.

BTW: my 2014 Weller PU81 was made in Germany and has a 500mA slow blow primary fuse which is user-accessible. I bought another one last year, which was "Made in Mexico".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sonic on December 19, 2018, 02:24:11 am
I regret owning a Weller WSM 1. While going into standby during usage again and again, look what it did hours/days (/months? I have no idea!) after being switched off:

(http://sven.killig.de/photos/technik/_MG_0222.JPG)

It kept heating all the time! Their support didn't even replace the surely burnt very expensive tip >:(
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 02:33:07 am
Seems like a very deliberate choice.

Definitely not an "oversight", they chose to leave it out.

(probably to save ten cents)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SiliconWizard on December 19, 2018, 03:06:28 am
Weller seeming a reputable company, their reply is not just hilarious, this is also very disappointing.

We can understand they probably got trapped because giving a technical explanation would have led to potential backfiring. They certainly know they are (at the very least) borderline on this, and as long as they don't get sued, they will probably opt for polite silence, as they just did, instead of trying to justify themselves.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SiliconWizard on December 19, 2018, 03:11:32 am
Seems like a very deliberate choice.

Definitely not an "oversight", they chose to leave it out.

(probably to save ten cents)

Agree on this being deliberate, but they are probably saving more than ten cents.
As their secondary protections are hand-mounted, "flying" stuff, they chose not to put those on a PCB with better mounting.
At the primary side, they would have had to use either a mains socket with a built-in fuse holder (which are significantly more expensive) or mount the fuse holder properly (a primary side fuse on flying wires... yuck!) with maybe a total added cost of a few dollars if you count parts and added labor...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: PA0PBZ on December 19, 2018, 03:23:39 am
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 03:34:16 am
Definitely not an "oversight", they chose to leave it out.

(probably to save ten cents)

Agree on this being deliberate, but they are probably saving more than ten cents.
As their secondary protections are hand-mounted, "flying" stuff, they chose not to put those on a PCB with better mounting.
At the primary side, they would have had to use either a mains socket with a built-in fuse holder (which are significantly more expensive) or mount the fuse holder properly (a primary side fuse on flying wires... yuck!) with maybe a total added cost of a few dollars if you count parts and added labor...

These don't cost much more and require zero extra labor to install:
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=599656;image)


Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Cnoob on December 19, 2018, 03:39:33 am
@Fungus

My pace wjs 100 has one of those as well as a long good quality mains cable.
Just to the pace also came with a European mains cable which I put a uk plug on.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SiliconWizard on December 19, 2018, 04:38:45 am
These don't cost much more and require zero extra labor to install:
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=599656;image)

Well, if you go for quality parts, it can make a significant difference (and I'm willing to think that Weller uses quality parts at least). As an example, compare these two Schurter receptacles:
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/6100.4325/486-2196-ND/640558 (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/6100.4325/486-2196-ND/640558)
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/4304.6015/486-3720-ND/2645616 (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/4304.6015/486-3720-ND/2645616)

Obviously you can find much cheaper IEC receptacles but they could cause other safety and reliability issues.
(Could be interesting if Dave could identify the manufacturer of the IEC plug Weller used to see if that could be the reason. I'm willing to believe Weller could have taken such a decision to save a couple bucks on their "low-end" soldering station line, as dubious as it is, but not for a couple cents...)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: nsd_c on December 19, 2018, 05:04:55 am
So, TL;DR: Weller US branch moved operations to Mexico, probably laid off all US engineering staff. Weller German offices probably existed prior to this move and continued to exist to be able to sell Weller products to the European market. Their offices there designed new units for the European market, and those were ported to the US market slowly. Eventually someone high up decided to hand the reigns of the US Weller branch more or less fully over to the German branch.

Weller was founded in 1959 in Besigheim, Germany. It never was only an "office". Weller soldering tools were developed and (at least for the european market) manufactured in Besigheim, Germany until 2016, when manufacturing was moved to Mexico and 130 people were laid off. Weller claim that they still develop the soldering tools in Besigheim, Germany.

BTW: my 2014 Weller PU81 was made in Germany and has a 500mA slow blow primary fuse which is user-accessible. I bought another one last year, which was "Made in Mexico".

Sorry, I did not mean to insult Weller's presence in Germany as being in some way inferior to the US-based Weller offices. This is obviously not the case when you look at the significant degree of sophistication of the German-designed units produced in the past 15 years over the state of Weller's product line from ~2000.

That is saddening information about the lay-off.

I would like to point out one thing, though, which is that Weller was originally founded in the United States back in the 1940s. See for example, this marketing bit that I pulled from the Apex Tool Group website (http://www.apextoolgroup.com/brands/brands-timeline):

(https://i.imgur.com/WZ2zSBx.jpg)

There is also this text on their website (http://www.apextoolgroup.com/brands/weller):

Quote from: Apex Tool Group
In the soldering industry, the name Weller® carries a lot of weight. Carl Weller patented the first hand-soldering tool to heat and cool rapidly in 1941. Weller Manufacturing Company was founded in 1945 as a family partnership near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Somewhere I have read (though I don't have time to find it now--perhaps later today) that Weller began operations in Germany because it was too difficult for the US offices to alter their products to European electrical safety specs from afar.

Also, copying this from a different thread (where I posted in by accident... whoops)

Quote from: me in the wrong thread
(https://i.imgur.com/7frqADx.png)

Going back to my earlier theories about design moving from Weller NA to Weller Germany, just look at the label on this unit... "Designed & Engineered in Germany" then "Made in Mexico." Keep in mind that this is the NA-variant.

What I would really like to know is, are the units which are intended for the European market, like the rest of the European Wellers, made in Germany. If this is the case, I wonder if there are differences in the design. My thought is that perhaps Weller in Germany designed the European version of this unit, then it was "ported" to the US market. And, who might have done that "port?" I wouldn't be surprised if that was a task given to Weller NA who, being apparently now a shell of a company, went the route that they did (i.e., no primary side fuse) without running that past the original designers in Germany.

So, my question would be, (a) where are the 230V units made and (b) do they have better protection?

Of course, paschulke2 seems to have answered the question to part (a), which is that prior to 2016 they would perhaps have been made in Germany, but now in Mexico. I would wonder then if there are differences between the pre/post 2016 versions of these. (if there is a pre-2016 version.)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 05:12:25 am
Well, if you go for quality parts, it can make a significant difference (and I'm willing to think that Weller uses quality parts at least). As an example, compare these two Schurter receptacles:
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/6100.4325/486-2196-ND/640558 (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/6100.4325/486-2196-ND/640558)
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/4304.6015/486-3720-ND/2645616 (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/schurter-inc/4304.6015/486-3720-ND/2645616)

I'm not an expert on these things but I found this on digikey:

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/qualtek/723W-X2-04/Q206-ND/245547 (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/qualtek/723W-X2-04/Q206-ND/245547)

I believe Qualtek is an American company, are they rubbish?

Obviously you can find much cheaper IEC receptacles but they could cause other safety and reliability issues.

Such as? I don't recall one of those sockets ever failing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 19, 2018, 06:18:52 am
Transformers can be designed to be "fusible" so no primary side fuse is required for safety and I assume that was the case here.  It is cheap but arguably safe since it is tested under adverse conditions.

Do their older low voltage soldering irons have primary side fuses?  I do not remember.

I always assumed that Weller was in the typical position (like Fluke and Tektronix) of having been purchased to extract the value of their name and reputation with declining quality and value of their capitol with debt.  For Weller this showed up in design changes to their products years ago and a marked decrease in quality.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rhodges on December 19, 2018, 06:27:59 am
Even if a response from Engineering was drafted and passed to Corporate Communications for review, I can easily imagine they would not understand what the engineers said and would toss it out of fear and ignorance.
A little off topic here...
Over the years, I have heard the "facts of life" that at some point, I will have to leave my field (software) and go into management. I did not really like that. I LIKE programming! Can't a good worker stay in his field forever?

I think this is a good reason why the skilled workers SHOULD be promoted into management positions.

Back on topic...
When I was reading the comments about fuse size for 120v versus 240v, my first thought was: Why not select a MOV suitable for 120v and put that behind the fuse? Wouldn't that buy enough time to blow the fuse before the transformer smoked? I am not a transformer guy, but my second thought was: Wouldn't the transformer saturate (with 240v), and blow the fuse quickly?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NANDBlog on December 19, 2018, 06:28:43 am
Turns out, you cannot replace a primary side fuse with some printing on the label.
BTW for future reference for everyone:
CE approval <- not a thing
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: In Vacuo Veritas on December 19, 2018, 07:04:36 am
Was never too impressed with Weller. Seem poorly built and not very powerful.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: metrologist on December 19, 2018, 07:30:56 am
BTW for future reference for everyone:
CE approval <- not a thing

Since my company complies, CE is everything...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 19, 2018, 07:33:07 am
my entire response from Weller engineering department:
"The WE 1010NA is UL and cUL approved and fulfill the UL standards according “UL 499- Standard for Safety Electric Heating Appliances”. That is and was the base to release this product for sales in NA (USA and Canada).

The WE 1010(230V) for the European market is manufactured according the CE directive and fulfill the safety Standard according DIN EN 60335-1 and DIN EN 600335-2-45. "


UL 499 (https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_499) is an antique safety standard from an era where soldering irons were just a power cord and a handle with heater. Older versions of the standard relied on the mains breaker for protection against mains faults.

But here we have a power transformer (component) which can fail partial shorts (shorted turn on primary or secondary) which is not a dead short but rather a fire hazard as the transformer draws high current and heats up. There are ways to heat up a transformer to burn up and catch fire.
This failure mode a certifier will assess by overloading or shorting the transformer secondary, to see if that component failing makes a hazard.

Your home stereo, wall warts, clock radio etc. consumer electronics all require a primary fuse of some sort in the power transformer.
Seeing that fuse on Hakko and other Weller products, Metcal etc. is common sense - but too bad the politics of a fuse are at play.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NANDBlog on December 19, 2018, 07:48:07 am
BTW for future reference for everyone:
CE approval <- not a thing

Since my company complies, CE is everything...
CE is only declaration of conformity. You (or a notified body in some case) declares that it confirms the law.
"Approval" means (for example) that the product got checked that it can be placed on the market.
Two very different thing, with different liability and different procedures.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 19, 2018, 07:59:03 am
A little off topic here...
Over the years, I have heard the "facts of life" that at some point, I will have to leave my field (software) and go into management. I did not really like that. I LIKE programming! Can't a good worker stay in his field forever?

Some organizations decouple pay from position.  Rank then depends on who you manage and who manages you.

Quote
I think this is a good reason why the skilled workers SHOULD be promoted into management positions.

Some skilled workers are just not suitable for management on a larger scale.

Quote
When I was reading the comments about fuse size for 120v versus 240v, my first thought was: Why not select a MOV suitable for 120v and put that behind the fuse? Wouldn't that buy enough time to blow the fuse before the transformer smoked? I am not a transformer guy, but my second thought was: Wouldn't the transformer saturate (with 240v), and blow the fuse quickly?

I can tell you right now from personal experience that using a MOV this way is a bad idea.  We had a batch of low voltage MOVs somehow get mixed into production with results better imagined than witnessed; the fuses did not blow and some undergarments needed to be changed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Bud on December 19, 2018, 08:01:31 am
Was never too impressed with Weller. Seem poorly built and not very powerful.

You can only pry my 25 years old Weller from my cold dead hands. Very robust, plenty of power and the newer JBC looks a toddlers toy against it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:31:23 am
Comment from Youtube:
Can anyone confirm?

(https://i.imgur.com/B1mi5T6.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/5qWsFCT.png)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 19, 2018, 08:32:23 am
You can only pry my 25 years old Weller from my cold dead hands. Very robust, plenty of power and the newer JBC looks a toddlers toy against it.

OTOH, my WES51 looked like a POS. Bent handle (seriously, the handle and the tip are not concentric) right from the factory.
Once acquired my first Metcal, it was sold for maybe $25.

It's not a German made one, though. I believe all low-end US units are made in Mexico.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:33:30 am
Put in a thermal fuse in the transformer and achieve the same end with out burning down the owners home/work.

Would it respond fast enough? Dave said this went up in seconds.

It was literally seconds. If I hadn't pulled the plug and tossed the unit in a box to trap the smoke, the building would have been evacuated and the fire brigade would have been on their way.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 19, 2018, 08:35:12 am
Comment from Youtube:
Can anyone confirm?

<snip> "temperature of the isolation does not exceed a particular limit".

So it is a word play? The isolation indeed never broke down, but the insulation did, and since it's not covered by the regulation, they decided to slip through?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:36:22 am
At the primary side, they would have had to use either a mains socket with a built-in fuse holder (which are significantly more expensive)

I doubt it, not at the volumes Weller would be dealing with and likely use across multiple items.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blacksheeplogic on December 19, 2018, 08:37:08 am
I always assumed that Weller was in the typical position (like Fluke and Tektronix) of having been purchased to extract the value of their name and reputation with declining quality and value of their capitol with debt.  For Weller this showed up in design changes to their products years ago and a marked decrease in quality.

I have a WHA3000P, there is nothing cheaply made about it but my WX2D not the same quality but it's still not bottom of the barrel. The biggest change I noticed was the quality of TIPs from Mexico, for a while XNT tips from Mexico were disposable after first use although that problem seems to have been fixed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:37:53 am
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//

Someone on Youtube said their EU unit does not have a fuse, but I have yet to see actual visual evidence of this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on December 19, 2018, 08:40:38 am
Comment from Youtube:
Can anyone confirm?
Nothing freely available out there...

One aspect I haven't seen in this discussion is the toxicity of the components of the burning enamel. I suspect this is not qualified by the certification agency (maybe the wire manufacturer) but, for someone like me that always lived with respiratory problems, having a massive ejection of fumes is a health hazard.

Oh well... Fuses FTW.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:42:28 am
I am not a transformer guy, but my second thought was: Wouldn't the transformer saturate (with 240v), and blow the fuse quickly?

Yes, that's what happened, except that there was no fuse, so the transformer heated up within seconds and melted all the insulation, which started to short out the turns causing more power to be delivered.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 08:43:30 am
One aspect I haven't seen in this discussion is the toxicity of the components of the burning enamel. I suspect this is not qualified by the certification agency (maybe the wire manufacturer) but, for someone like me that always lived with respiratory problems, having a massive ejection of fumes is a health hazard.

I immediately put my lab carbon filter on full and left it on for a few days.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 19, 2018, 08:46:17 am
Sometimes a manufacturer will certify to an old lazy safety standard because it's easier- cheaper and quicker way to get product to market.
Regional differences, between North America UL 499 and rest of the world EN/IEC 60335 are probably the reason a fuse may or may not be seen.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 19, 2018, 08:50:35 am
UL 499 (https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_499) is an antique safety standard from an era where soldering irons were just a power cord and a handle with heater.... But here we have a power transformer (component) which can fail partial shorts (shorted turn on primary or secondary)
And the heater was .... a coiled up resistance wire (capable of partial shorts.)

not a dead short but rather a fire hazard
I wasn't aware that copper and steel were flammable.

the transformer draws high current and heats up.
kind of like a heating appliance.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thm_w on December 19, 2018, 08:57:11 am
its not on the 'wrong side'. You put them on both sides if you want, its better. Plenty of documentation on there. But you always want it on the front side.

You are missing the info from the previous thread (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1152-240v-120vmagic-smoke/msg2019226/#msg2019226). They are using two fuses in series, one is suspiciously mains rated and UL listed, one is not. In this case it makes zero sense to have two fuses in series. Therefor, the mains rated fuse is on the wrong side (according to me).

What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.

yep, the polyswitch is functionally useless. It will never do anything, unless the air near the transformer secondary somehow heats up enough to trip it, which it won't, because its not thermally coupled.

Agree on this being deliberate, but they are probably saving more than ten cents.
As their secondary protections are hand-mounted, "flying" stuff, they chose not to put those on a PCB with better mounting.
At the primary side, they would have had to use either a mains socket with a built-in fuse holder (which are significantly more expensive) or mount the fuse holder properly (a primary side fuse on flying wires... yuck!) with maybe a total added cost of a few dollars if you count parts and added labor...

This is the first argument that makes sense to me. They had designed the 4A fuse to go on the primary, then it was too costly or labor intensive to find a way to mount it on the primary. Or maybe the regulations do not allow that. So, someone moved it over to the secondary. Ok that is still hard to believe.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: lowimpedance on December 19, 2018, 09:54:56 am
Put in a thermal fuse in the transformer and achieve the same end with out burning down the owners home/work.

Would it respond fast enough? Dave said this went up in seconds.

Smoke perhaps, what about actual flames and heat ??, which a thermal fuse would presumably be the proper choice as opposed to just a regular fuse.
They do come in different temp and current ratings.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 19, 2018, 10:17:19 am
Smoke perhaps, what about actual flames and heat ??

The lack of flames is a small consideration when the self extinguishing materials they used are spewing bromine compounds into the air.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: JustMeHere on December 19, 2018, 10:22:20 am
Comment from Youtube:
Can anyone confirm?

I've skimmed the IEE document.  Frequently used is the term "rated voltage supply".  It says stuff like the coil should not get to hot when use at "rated voltage supply".  They also say "normal use" a good bit.  It looks like the overload only needs to protect an overload of 1.1x "rated voltage supply" and "normal use" is used in that section too.

In general plugging a 120v rated device into a 240v supply seems to invalidate the protections dictated in the document.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Grapsus on December 19, 2018, 11:02:21 am
Here is a WSD50 from 1999 still going strong.

Like many pepople here I used to have a lot of confidence in this brand as a brand making solid tools that will outlive you with spare parts available.
It really doesn't matter if it's legal or not to omit the primary fuse. The fact that they cut a corner where even chinese clones don't dare to do it means that this company has gone to shit.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Respondsd
Post by: MasterTech on December 19, 2018, 11:03:49 am
That symbol states that the transformer is safe to short-circuit or overload at the secondary. The IEC 61558 norm gives tables as to the maximum temperature it may reach, it may be classsified as inherently or non-inherently short circuit proof, depending on if the temperature self regulates or there is a protective device, and thats what the ptc and fuse are doing at the secondary.

I dont see how this protects fails at the primary and makes the use of a fuse unnecessary
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Uncle Bob on December 19, 2018, 12:38:29 pm
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//

Someone on Youtube said their EU unit does not have a fuse, but I have yet to see actual visual evidence of this.

I'm new here but I am trying to upload a picture of the inside of my WE1010 bought here in Sweden in October.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: lowimpedance on December 19, 2018, 12:52:28 pm
Smoke perhaps, what about actual flames and heat ??

The lack of flames is a small consideration when the self extinguishing materials they used are spewing bromine compounds into the air.

That maybe, but isn't all the talk about fusing which would hopefully have mitigated the emissions to some extent to start with.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: santiall on December 19, 2018, 01:16:16 pm
Comment from Youtube:
Can anyone confirm?

(https://i.imgur.com/B1mi5T6.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/5qWsFCT.png)

yes, that's correct and also that a mains fuse isn't compulsory as long as other safety requirements are met.

in your case, I guess the test would be happening under 'abnormal operation conditions' and in some cases also under 'reasonably foreseeable misuse' where it is expected that someone could set a voltage selector in the wrong position or insert a battery backwards. I'm not saying that this station complies or not but I'd not be surprised if it passes the tests even there is 'a bit of smoke' as long as there was no fire or explosion.

It may also well have happened that the transformer has been preapproved so there are some tests that are taken as a pass even if in this particular use case it may have occured a fault.
Also take into account that in the past the safety requirements for NA (USA + Canada) could have be more relaxed than now and since those stations are intended for 120V, and they don't have voltage selector (do they?) they may just assume it is simply not possible for anyone to use them at 240V in the intended market.

I'm speculating a bit, I'm far from an expert in safety standards, but as per my experience the situation can be quite convoluted and there are many ifs, could, should...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 02:14:38 pm
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//

Someone on Youtube said their EU unit does not have a fuse, but I have yet to see actual visual evidence of this.

I'm new here but I am trying to upload a picture of the inside of my WE1010 bought here in Sweden in October.

Thanks. Any fuse further in the primary wiring?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 02:16:18 pm
I'm speculating a bit, I'm far from an expert in safety standards, but as per my experience the situation can be quite convoluted and there are many ifs, could, should...

Which is why any company with any sense what so ever just puts a primary mains fuse. Even the cheapest of cheap crap has one.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 19, 2018, 03:34:19 pm
Read whats also changed/changing (legally) in my post from the other day on the law and economics movement. (in 'Dodgy Technology') It's quite a significant, global change.

(How scary that this policy also seems to apply to 'reactors' - I see the atomic symbol on the transformer!)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 04:45:27 pm
Someone questioned Weller and got a more detailed reply from a product engineer (specific to Australian supplied units).
Guess he didn't get the "don't say anything" memo:

Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
The only Weller soldering tools fitted with fuses at all are the soldering stations.
The WES51D, WESD51D have an internal fuse on low voltage side of the transformer on the circuit board. The new WE station has a fuse on the low voltage side of the transformer.
The WD series and other German designed stations have a fuse on the high voltage side.
None of the hand held line voltage soldering tools have fuses and all are compliant to the Australian standards and have Australian electrical approval.
There is no requirement in either Australian or international standards to fit a fuse to the primary circuit.
This is no different to any number of other products that also have transformers include literally millions of plugpacks, TV’s, radios, Stereos, battery chargers and other small appliances, very few of which contain primary fuses.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Richard Crowley on December 19, 2018, 04:59:00 pm
Using a global-standard IEC 60320 C14 power inlet on a gadget hard-wired for 120V seems like just asking for trouble.
Where is is trivial to plug in your power cord from whatever your local mains voltage is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60320#C13/C14_coupler
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 05:07:02 pm
how easy are they trying to make it for manufacturers lol?

Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 05:08:27 pm
Using a global-standard IEC 60320 C14 power inlet on a gadget hard-wired for 120V seems like just asking for trouble.
Where is is trivial to plug in your power cord from whatever your local mains voltage is.

Exactly, especially with the voltage label on the bottom. Why any engineer or large company like this selling professional products to a professional market would go out of their way to avoid a fuse in such a product is beyond me.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 19, 2018, 05:09:28 pm
Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.

Very often they have thermal fuses built into the transformer, so it's not immediately obvious.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jmaja on December 19, 2018, 07:14:00 pm
Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.

Very often they have thermal fuses built into the transformer, so it's not immediately obvious.

What's the difference of having a thermal fuse and not having a fuse at all, BUT making sure there is no fire or electrical hazard? Once the thermal fuse is blown 99+% of users still need to buy a new one, since they are not able to replace the fuse inside the transformer.

Having a fuse that can be easily replaced is another thing. Then you may have gotten away with by just replacing the fuse.

The questions are.
Is it possible to make a transformer safe without a primary fuse?
Is this Weller safe?

It gave some smoke out, but was there a real possibility of a fire or an electrical hazard?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 07:37:39 pm
Generally having voluminous turd masses expanding in your chassis should be avoided in a quality product. Of course its not safe it made a shit load of easily preventable toxic smoke.

Can you really engineer something like that right, burning foam expanding crap acting as a safety barrier from shorts to the chassis?? It's alot of weird systems to trust (insulation type, wire type, the brown enclosure box type, can it push the crimps off possibly? Etc). Manufacturing wise your process of making that transformers failure mode act like a safety feature is unreasonably hard compared to using a fuse.

Also, it popped his breaker. Breakers are not supposed to be triggered as a safety feature. They can over heat and you should do your best to not reduce the cycle life of a mains circuit breaker its important for building safety, plus it can cause all sorts of problems like fire alarms and building power problems, having to call a electrical or qualified personnel to reset a breaker (say in a school) leading to downtime and probably a room evacuation.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 07:41:06 pm
Is it possible to make a transformer safe without a primary fuse?

Yes, but probably expensive as you have to double the thickness of the wires and use a larger core that won't saturate.

Is this Weller safe?

Not at the wrong voltage.

It gave some smoke out, but was there a real possibility of a fire or an electrical hazard?

In a few seconds it got hot enough to melt enamel and the mains circuit breaker didn't trip, so... not looking good.

Plus: Smoke is a hazard all by itself and you shouldn't have to pay for a cleanup after something like this. Not for the lack of a 10 cent fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 07:42:07 pm
You consider using the mains breaker as a primary safety feature of your product???  :wtf:

fired bro. I would literally fire you if that was the design you approved.

Could be plugged in through a extension cord etc... that shits supposed to be a back up. Your nuts.

Are you gonna use 20A rated cable to plug in a soldering iron too since your relying on the mains? come on.

this is a total no brainer I can't believe people are contemplating if this is a good idea!!!!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 07:59:12 pm
You consider using the mains breaker as a primary safety feature of your product???  :wtf:

If you're referring to me, then:

No, I'm just reminding somebody of what actually happened in a real event (ie. not an imaginary one).

The thing stopped melting down because Dave pulled the plug. Who knows what would have happened if Dave had panicked and ran away.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alxpo on December 19, 2018, 08:10:16 pm
UL 1585 Class 2 transformers can be inherently protected by impedance or not inherently protected. The transformer certified as inherently protected do not catch fire in any circumstances and do not require a primary side fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 08:18:36 pm
yea and whats gonna break the circuit? A circuit breaker. Or a mains fuse. How is that acceptable?

How do you ensure the transformer will not go full short circuit? The EEVBLOG circuit breaker went off, that means the transformer failed or its a shit spec.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Uncle Bob on December 19, 2018, 08:22:44 pm
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//

Someone on Youtube said their EU unit does not have a fuse, but I have yet to see actual visual evidence of this.

I'm new here but I am trying to upload a picture of the inside of my WE1010 bought here in Sweden in October.

Thanks. Any fuse further in the primary wiring?

No, nothing that I can see.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: alxpo on December 19, 2018, 08:34:56 pm
yea and whats gonna break the circuit? A circuit breaker. Or a mains fuse. How is that acceptable?

How do you ensure the transformer will not go full short circuit? The EEVBLOG circuit breaker went off, that means the transformer failed or its a shit spec.

An inherently protected transformer meets isolation requirements also under overload conditions (sections 31-33 of the UL) so it will not be short-circuited.

But here we have of course the question about the range of potential misuses.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 08:56:36 pm
An inherently protected transformer meets isolation requirements also under any overload conditions so it will not be short-circuited.

This one might be inherently protected at 110V, which is why they didn't put in a fuse.

The problem is that Weller didn't say that in their response. If they'd said that and promised to put a "110V only" sticker next to the power inlet on future models then this thread wouldn't exists.

They didn't do that though, they fobbed Dave off with a bunch of non-specific twaddle that shows that the person who wrote it didn't even watch the video.

What probably happened is this:

Some manager heard about the original video, asked an engineer about it and was told, "He's a test gear reviewer who accidentally plugged a 110V unit into 240V and the smoke came out".

The manager then writes "Sir" a letter offering to send him a 240V unit to review, imagining he's giving good customer service and promoting the Weller brand, but totally missing the point of the video.

The message was Lost in Translation.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: psatu on December 19, 2018, 09:06:52 pm
But how come you still have this station on your recommended soldering gear list (https://kit.com/EEVblog/soldering-equipment)!  Even twice on the same list!

And actually I was about to buy myself a one some time ago but was put off largely because of your comparison review with the Hakko FX888D!

If I recall right the Weller didn't do very well on the tests. Or maybe the comments were just negative.

And more over the Pace ADS200 review won me over buying that instead. Or maybe more likely the follow up chat of the review.

Actually already received a one but is was some used demo unit and the tips too were used.

So returned it and now waiting for a new unit to arrive, hopefully with a new FW 1.4 inside  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: goaty on December 19, 2018, 09:23:11 pm
From what I read, Weller is now just a brand of Apex Tool Group,
so maby the quality isn´t the same as the earlier products...
Just a thought.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 19, 2018, 09:27:07 pm
Someone questioned Weller and got a more detailed reply from a product engineer (specific to Australian supplied units).
Guess he didn't get the "don't say anything" memo:

Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
<cut>
None of the hand held line voltage soldering tools have fuses
<cut>

That explains the bad feelings I've always had when using Weller, and why I have had it for so long  :horse:

I wonder why (not really  :-DD) there is not much info regarding CE/cUL certification in the reply Dave.
Since the products is UL approved/recognized, the product is essentially not allowed to catch on fire. I have done a lot of type test certification work, and performed UL tests for electrical shorts, open, etc. in circuit. Every once in a while a rep from UL would show up and demand testing of whatever the rep deemed a safety concern or of interest. We used gaze to test for ignition, and it could ignite even without the main component shooting out flames.
https://services.ul.com/service/flammability-testing/

Will it catch on fire or 'just' smoke until mains is removed or the short has 'fixed' itself :palm:.
I am thinking a surge test (lightning strike) while powered on would be a great place to start. A bunch of positive/negative repetitive pulses might weaken the enamelled wire, causing a short?
I only have a 110V and a  220V handheld unit (now truly 'grounded' from usage  ;D - was also missing in the first place), so I can't test for myself. Anybody?

It would also be quite interesting to know exactly which norm (CE/EN/UL) it was testet up against, though I am a practical engineer - not a laywer engineer.
If it is only to be used in certain conditions, I would REALLY like to know before I or others use it. I don't care if laywers fight in court, especially if I am in my grave, dead. (Say an utility fault where the mains live neutral suddenly has going missing - and mains voltage is now phase-phase, or 220V instead of 120V)

Thanks!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 19, 2018, 09:36:29 pm
Is it actually that much of a problem? I agree it'd be better to have a fuse on there and other Weller products actually do, so even they seem to agree. Considering the widespread use of the products that don't have a mains fuse and the apparent lack of problems so far, is it really enough reason to not buy the product or consider it inherently unsafe?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 19, 2018, 10:16:33 pm
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition.  Standard (non-switching) wall warts are like this as well.  They tend to be designed to be short circuit proof simply by being impedance limited, they simply can't draw enough power to burn up in normal operation but a fault like shorted turns, connection to completely the wrong voltage or even the nasty square wave that comes out of cheap inverters will blow the winding open.  They are contained within housings that are either metal or plastic that is (supposed to be) flame retardant enough to not burst into flames and burn down completely before the winding blows up and opens the circuit.  Of course, I'm not sure that today's typical chinesium-grade plastic is as flame retardant as it should be but Weller doesn't need to put a fuse in there (though it is obviously a good practice) and I doubt it would actually burst into flames with any input voltage.  It might fill your lab with smoke to remind you of your blunder if you leave it plugged in, of course, though!  :) 

A fuse won't always prevent smoke from a device anyway.  For example, a typical computer power supply will happily pump out 500 watts of 12 volts without going into overload protection.  You can get a whole lot of smoke out of something connected to one of those babies while it is still perfectly within it's input fuse range and output protection.  Should every device, perhaps every chip even, connected to it be required to have a fuse just in case there is a malfunction that might produce smoke?  :)

If I connect something that is rated for 120 volts to 1000 volts, it is going to fry.  Probably more quickly than on 240 volts.  Maybe with more smoke, maybe a quick death and less.  There will be some sweet spot on most devices (often even with a fuse) where it is likely to go into thermal runaway meltdown at some particular input voltage or fault condition.  That's what enclosures are for.  A fuse does not 100% stop components from emitting smoke.  :)

If they were regularly actually bursting into flames, I would be concerned, but a PEBKAC on Dave's part doesn't instantly make the device itself inherently dangerous.  This is why things like actual UL listing (unlike Batterizer's UL tests) do things like take a blowtorch to your product, to see what would happen when someone puts a 15A fuse in your 1A fuse holder.  Does the enclosure actually stop the flames?  What happens when we put 5000 volts on it?  Does it remain "safe" per the standards, even though the device doesn't survive, etc., etc.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 10:19:47 pm
whats going to short out at 450W and current limit itself? :wtf

parts are just gonna fail to a happy impedance like that? its probably gonna trip. What part is going to make plenty of smoke like a giant transformer winding dissipating 500W @ 0.3 ohms on a 12V rail?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 19, 2018, 10:22:21 pm
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition.  Standard (non-switching) wall warts are like this as well.  They tend to be designed to be short circuit proof simply by being impedance limited, they simply can't draw enough power to burn up in normal operation but a fault like shorted turns, connection to completely the wrong voltage or even the nasty square wave that comes out of cheap inverters will blow the winding open.  They are contained within housings that are either metal or plastic that is (supposed to be) flame retardant enough to not burst into flames and burn down completely before the winding blows up and opens the circuit.  Of course, I'm not sure that today's typical chinesium-grade plastic is as flame retardant as it should be but Weller doesn't need to put a fuse in there (though it is obviously a good practice) and I doubt it would actually burst into flames with any input voltage.  It might fill your lab with smoke to remind you of your blunder if you leave it plugged in, of course, though!  :) 

A fuse won't always prevent smoke from a device anyway.  For example, a typical computer power supply will happily pump out 500 watts of 12 volts without going into overload protection.  You can get a whole lot of smoke out of something connected to one of those babies while it is still perfectly within it's input fuse range and output protection.  Should every device, perhaps every chip even, connected to it be required to have a fuse just in case there is a malfunction that might produce smoke?  :)

If I connect something that is rated for 120 volts to 1000 volts, it is going to fry.  Probably more quickly than on 240 volts.  Maybe with more smoke, maybe a quick death and less.  There will be some sweet spot on most devices (often even with a fuse) where it is likely to go into thermal runaway meltdown at some particular input voltage or fault condition.  That's what enclosures are for.  A fuse does not 100% stop components from emitting smoke.  :)

If they were regularly actually bursting into flames, I would be concerned, but a PEBKAC on Dave's part doesn't instantly make the device itself inherently dangerous.  This is why things like actual UL listing (unlike Batterizer's UL tests) do things like take a blowtorch to your product, to see what would happen when someone puts a 15A fuse in your 1A fuse holder.  Does the enclosure actually stop the flames?  What happens when we put 5000 volts on it?  Does it remain "safe" per the standards, even though the device doesn't survive, etc., etc.
The housing of the Wellers I know has been made out of proper "tool grade" PA6, but I'm not sure about this cheaper range of products. Maybe Dave could inspect the housing for markings and let us know?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 10:28:56 pm
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition. 

why did it blow the breaker if its supposed to fuse??

your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

its unacceptable in a laboratory regardless. trash . What am I gonna do call building maintenance in a high end facility because of a 50 cent part? lose a room to smoke for 3 days? (who would make their employees  or students work in that smell??) NO.

you know what happens when you make a bunch of smoke at work? people think you are a fucking clown
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ice-Tea on December 19, 2018, 10:48:53 pm
your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 10:58:39 pm
your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

tripping a breaker is a safety issue. so is toxic smoke.

you got a double wammy with that piece of shit. its devoid of common sense.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheAmmoniacal on December 19, 2018, 11:04:45 pm
Anyone able to find the manufacturer of this transformer? Someone should buy a pair, plug it into 230/240V outside with and without a fuse just to demonstrate the difference $0.2 makes. Photonicinduction style?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 19, 2018, 11:08:39 pm
yea i wanna see this tested with and without a fuse on a proper 240v line thats low impedance with a bypassed breaker, feeder breaker only at 50 or 100A
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheAmmoniacal on December 19, 2018, 11:12:55 pm
yea i wanna see this tested with and without a fuse on a proper 240v line thats low impedance with a bypassed breaker, feeder breaker only at 50 or 100A

With the station placed next to your jar of rubbing alcohol-soaked tissues.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:13:06 pm
Anyone able to find the manufacturer of this transformer? Someone should buy a pair, plug it into 230/240V outside with and without a fuse just to demonstrate the difference $0.2 makes. Photonicinduction style?

What we really need is another one of these and not pull the plug after six seconds. See what happens if it's left alone.


They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

This thread has nothing to do with "standards", it's here because:

a) Weller should know better than to sell an unfused device that could easily end up in a different country in 2018 (eg. ebay has been around for over 20 years).

b) The letter they wrote was pathetic. Clearly written by some management type using third-hand information.

Anybody quoting standards at each other has clearly missed the main point: Weller knows better than to do this, but didn't.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 19, 2018, 11:15:39 pm
whats going to short out at 450W and current limit itself? :wtf

parts are just gonna fail to a happy impedance like that? its probably gonna trip. What part is going to make plenty of smoke like a giant transformer winding dissipating 500W @ 0.3 ohms on a 12V rail?

You've really never seen anything fail in a way that was not a direct, low-impedance short?   :-//

why did it blow the breaker if its supposed to fuse??

Wait...  What?  Who blew what breaker now?   :-//
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 19, 2018, 11:16:39 pm
Anyone able to find the manufacturer of this transformer? Someone should buy a pair, plug it into 230/240V outside with and without a fuse just to demonstrate the difference $0.2 makes. Photonicinduction style?

Anyone able to find the responsible manager(s)? Someone should fire up that board instead.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:16:44 pm
PS: Does anybody know why these things even use old iron transformers instead of switch-mode supplies?

It's just a simple 12V heating element (or 24V, or whatever).

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 19, 2018, 11:20:07 pm
a) Weller should know better than to sell an unfused device that could easily end up in a different country in 2018 (eg. ebay has been around for over 20 years).

Wait, you're saying that all electronics, appliances, etc. should be built to some mythical worldwide standard that covers all situations, all regulations in all jurisdictions?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 19, 2018, 11:22:24 pm
PS: Does anybody know why these things even use old iron transformers instead of switch-mode supplies?

It's just a simple 12V heating element (or 24V, or whatever).

I think you answered your own question.  :)

Personally, I would much prefer the simple, reliable transformer in such a device rather than some silly switching supply.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 19, 2018, 11:22:43 pm
PS: Does anybody know why these things even use old iron transformers instead of switch-mode supplies?

It's just a simple 12V heating element (or 24V, or whatever).
Dave mentioned it in the original video. Something to do with switchers not liking the high current on and off switching of a heating element.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:23:51 pm
Wait, you're saying that all electronics, appliances, etc. should be built to some mythical worldwide standard that covers all situations, all regulations in all jurisdictions?

It only takes a $0.10 fuse...  :horse:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:25:27 pm
Dave mentioned it in the original video. Something to do with switchers not liking the high current on and off switching of a heating element.

It's only 60W or so.

I find it hard to believe that manufacturing/shipping something with a heavy iron transformer costs less than a decent filter capacitor.

Edit: Maybe there's a video in this for Dave.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: kosine on December 19, 2018, 11:27:10 pm
There's no such thing as "proper "tool grade" PA6" - it's just marketing noise.

PA6 is softer and weaker than PA66, and melts at a much lower temperature. Typically 200-220C versus 250-280C. Glass-filled versions are better, but harder to mould and quite abrasive on the tooling.

Main reason for using PA6 instead of PA66 is the cost. It's easier mould and resin prices have increased enormously in the last couple of years due to supply issues. PA6 is the cheaper option, hence its prevalence. Both will burn nicely if they get hot enough. (Fire retardant plastics are very expensive and little used.)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 19, 2018, 11:32:07 pm
Dave mentioned it in the original video. Something to do with switchers not liking the high current on and off switching of a heating element.

It's only 60W or so.

I find it hard to believe that manufacturing/shipping something with a heavy iron transformer costs less than a decent filter capacitor.

Must be isolated from mains - expensive
More components to fail - warranty expenses
- every sub-cent apparently counts, I guess this is why a transformer is used.

Corp'ies - dead entities, no guilt or remorse. Will kill you at any chance. Go after management, just like the walking dead - only a head shot counts  :popcorn:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 19, 2018, 11:34:26 pm
a) Weller should know better than to sell an unfused device that could easily end up in a different country in 2018 (eg. ebay has been around for over 20 years).

It only takes a $0.10 fuse...  :horse:

There are a hundred other ways for a typical device to fail that a simple fuse won't magically solve.  In most countries it is technically illegal to plug an incorrectly certified, out-of-region device into the mains.  Certainly if it does burn down your lab and your insurance company finds out you were using non-conforming electrical devices that you imported from some other jurisdiction, they're not going to pay your claim.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm surprised that this station doesn't have a primary fuse and would put one there if I were designing it, but the exaggerated claims about being death-trap level junk because it doesn't have a primary fuse are unfounded.

There are other, far sketchier devices out there.  Many of them are even legitimately tested and certified.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:40:48 pm
There are other, far sketchier devices out there.  Many of them are even legitimately tested and certified.  :)

Make a list. We can start on those after we finish with this one.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 19, 2018, 11:41:31 pm
AFAIK safety standards only address fire, so it can probably put out as much smoke as it likes as long as it doesn't set something on fire, wouldn't surprise me if it didn't even mention toxic fumes.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:43:29 pm
Don't get me wrong.  I'm surprised that this station doesn't have a primary fuse and would put one there if I were designing it, but the exaggerated claims about being death-trap level junk because it doesn't have a primary fuse are unfounded.

The full experiment hasn't been done yet.

We only have a single preliminary experiment that was terminated before conclusions could be drawn.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 19, 2018, 11:52:16 pm
Must be isolated from mains - expensive

You think switch mode supplies aren't isolated from mains?

- every sub-cent apparently counts, I guess this is why a transformer is used.

Cost of copper. Cost of iron cores. Cost of shipping them based on weight. It all adds up.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 19, 2018, 11:58:50 pm
You think switch mode supplies aren't isolated from mains?

Cost of copper. Cost of iron cores. Cost of shipping them based on weight. It all adds up.
What makes you think the people working on cost optimisation in these huge firms haven't thought of that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 20, 2018, 12:01:18 am
You think switch mode supplies aren't isolated from mains?

Cost of copper. Cost of iron cores. Cost of shipping them based on weight. It all adds up.
What makes you think the people working on cost optimisation in these huge firms haven't thought of that?

Maybe their customers are old-fashioned and think that heavy iron power supply = quality/reliability.

(there's already a few examples of that in this thread)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 20, 2018, 12:07:24 am
Quote
None of the hand held line voltage soldering tools have fuses and all are compliant to the Australian standards and have Australian electrical approval.

I know from personal experience that the 120 volt AC line voltage soldering pencils fail by having the heater go open when 240 volts AC is applied.  They are safe but expensively fragile.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: zucca on December 20, 2018, 12:21:10 am
Louis Rossmann joined in the rant... check his YT channel.  :box:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 20, 2018, 12:23:29 am

Your home stereo, wall warts, clock radio etc. consumer electronics all require a primary fuse of some sort in the power transformer.
Seeing that fuse on Hakko and other Weller products, Metcal etc. is common sense - but too bad the politics of a fuse are at play.

I have opened a lot of wall warts and small electronics (clock radio, etc) and very few have a fuse, it is not a requirement.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 20, 2018, 12:31:18 am
I have opened a lot of wall warts and small electronics (clock radio, etc) and very few have a fuse, it is not a requirement.

a) Most (all?) wall warts use switch mode supplies and will accept a wide range of input voltages, even DC.

(do you own wall warts with huge iron transformers in them?)


b) The "requirement" will be that that devices fail safely, not that they must have fuses.

The reason fuses are being discussed here is that a fuse would be a cheap way to make Weller soldering stations fail safely. No other reason.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 20, 2018, 01:15:38 am
I have opened a lot of wall warts and small electronics (clock radio, etc) and very few have a fuse, it is not a requirement.

a) Most (all?) wall warts use switch mode supplies and will accept a wide range of input voltages, even DC.

(do you own wall warts with huge iron transformers in them?)


b) The "requirement" will be that that devices fail safely, not that they must have fuses.

The reason fuses are being discussed here is that a fuse would be a cheap way to make Weller soldering stations fail safely. No other reason.

a) Lots of non high current phone chargers are transformers.  The 200mA to charge a cordless screwdriver, the charger for the FRS radios you can but anywhere, chargers for cheap razor/trimmers, cordless phones, etc.  I've torn apart some simple radios, with and without clocks that had a simple transformer wired direct to the cord with no primary fuse.

even simple heating appliances like a toaster typically don't have a fuse in the main cord.

Yes, cell phones are switching but most other wall warts are not.

b) I was disputing someone saying fuses are a requirement, I haven't see anything that states fuses are a requirement and have seen plenty of evidence to show that fuses are not a requirement.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: capt bullshot on December 20, 2018, 01:16:10 am
(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)

SCNR  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2018, 01:26:34 am
Your home stereo, wall warts, clock radio etc. consumer electronics all require a primary fuse of some sort in the power transformer.

Not according to a direct quote from a product engineer at Weller, see my previous post for this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ice-Tea on December 20, 2018, 01:27:56 am
your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

tripping a breaker is a safety issue.


Is it? I think you are still confusing "safety" with "convenience".

Quote
so is toxic smoke.

- What is your proof that the smoke is toxic?
- Even if it is, that's well beyond the scope of an electrical safety standard.


Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2018, 01:28:31 am
Louis Rossmann joined in the rant... check his YT channel.  :box:

Haven't watched it, but I'm sure it's good  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyBE-h-Sge8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyBE-h-Sge8)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: 2N3055 on December 20, 2018, 01:30:10 am
I have Weller WD1.
It has primary fuse and thermal fuse in transformer.
Problem is that 110V version specifies fuse of 1 A. 1A fuse will not blow if you connect 110V station into 240V in a time to save transformer.

Transformer might or might not overheat into short circuit. Some of them will just keep on smoldering. If primary wire is thin enough, it might even fail open.
Transformer wire coating is temperature resistant and flame retardant. If you heat it enough, it might char and become conductive, but not short, not immediately...
Current will rise slowly, until it finally either shorts, or breaks open.
If device catches fire it is usually case or something else made of non fire retardant plastic.
If exists thermal fuse will trip and kill off transformer. Thermal fuse is permanent disable, because if it trips, it is considered that temperature was so high that insulation of transformer was compromised, and should not be used anymore even if it seems to work.
Transformer can be designed to fail open.

Primary fuse is there mainly if short circuit does happen, and serves only to avoid your external fuse trip on a power distribution, so it doesn't shut off other devices.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Richard Crowley on December 20, 2018, 01:32:59 am
b) I was disputing someone saying fuses are a requirement, I haven't see anything that states fuses are a requirement and have seen plenty of evidence to show that fuses are not a requirement.
The issue here (as I see it) is not "requirement" as much as "SAFETY" and perhaps "common sense".
Small wall-wart power supplies are by definition low-current, low-power devices. The "old-school" variety that use iron-core, mains-frequency 120V transformers will likely fail quickly when connected to 220V because the primary wire gauge is so small, approaching the wire gauge in a fuse.

Of course, the "old-school" iron-core, mains-frequency transformers are becoming rare as it is cheaper here in the 21st century to use switch-mode power supplies (SMPS). And many (most?) of those SMPS are "universal" to handle anything from 100V (Japan) to 240V (UK) mains voltages.

OTOH it is probably silly to expect common sense here in the 21st century.

Producing a high-power device that is hard-wired for 120V and has a "universal" power inlet connector and NO FUSE is just asking for trouble.  It is trivial to grab a handy power cord and just quickly plug it in. But if you are in a 220-240 part of the world, it results in this kind of nasty failure and potential disaster. 

As a user of Weller soldering gear for over 50 years, I find this kind of short-sightedness to be quite disappointing.  And the typical legal CYA response to be reprehensible and remarkably condescending and contemptuous.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ice-Tea on December 20, 2018, 01:38:32 am
Quote
They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

This thread has nothing to do with "standards",

It doesn't? Weller claims it's a certified product and complies to applicable standards. So the that begs the question if that's correct or not.

Quote
it's here because:

a) Weller should know better than to sell an unfused device that could easily end up in a different country in 2018 (eg. ebay has been around for over 20 years).

Doesn't even have anything to do with 110/230V IMO. Stuff breaks, even when used on the correct voltage.

Quote
Anybody quoting standards at each other has clearly missed the main point.

Or, you know, people that are considering/quoting standards take it as a given that Weller did a dumbass thing, should burn on the cross for that but are still intellectually triggered by the underlying standards and reasoning...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 20, 2018, 01:40:45 am
Louis Rossmann joined in the rant... check his YT channel.  :box:

Haven't watched it, but I'm sure it's good  ;D

Weller should be going into damage control soon.


I hadn't thought too much about that phrase in the Weller brochure. Let me reproduce it here for posterity.
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=600406;image)

I'm sure no comments are needed, it speaks for itself.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 20, 2018, 01:41:42 am
I have Weller WD1.
It has primary fuse and thermal fuse in transformer.
Problem is that 110V version specifies fuse of 1 A. 1A fuse will not blow if you connect 110V station into 240V in a time to save transformer.

Transformer might or might not overheat into short circuit. Some of them will just keep on smoldering. If primary wire is thin enough, it might even fail open.
Transformer wire coating is temperature resistant and flame retardant. If you heat it enough, it might char and become conductive, but not short, not immediately...
Current will rise slowly, until it finally either shorts, or breaks open.
If device catches fire it is usually case or something else made of non fire retardant plastic.
If exists thermal fuse will trip and kill off transformer. Thermal fuse is permanent disable, because if it trips, it is considered that temperature was so high that insulation of transformer was compromised, and should not be used anymore even if it seems to work.
Transformer can be designed to fail open.

Primary fuse is there mainly if short circuit does happen, and serves only to avoid your external fuse trip on a power distribution, so it doesn't shut off other devices.
Good point. The specified fuses on dual voltage devices tend to be different, so if people simply plug in the device into the wrong mains voltage a fuse may still not save the device.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: kosine on December 20, 2018, 01:55:39 am
May be different elsewhere, but 110V tools are actually quite common in the UK, even though our mains is 240V.

110V tools are used on construction and building sites, and have their own style of plug & socket. As a friend recently considered, there's nothing to stop people buying these tools on the cheap and swapping the plug for a domestic one.

Fortunately he asked about it first, but in light of the current discussion, I'm now wondering do these 110V tools have any additional protection in them as standard?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 20, 2018, 02:07:10 am
whats going to short out at 450W and current limit itself? :wtf

parts are just gonna fail to a happy impedance like that? its probably gonna trip. What part is going to make plenty of smoke like a giant transformer winding dissipating 500W @ 0.3 ohms on a 12V rail?

You've really never seen anything fail in a way that was not a direct, low-impedance short?   :-//

why did it blow the breaker if its supposed to fuse??

Wait...  What?  Who blew what breaker now?   :-//

did you read the discussion? someone said it could deliver 500W before it triggered a fuse. So you would have a short settle down to a stable 0.3 ohms before it tripped the fuse or LVSO ? If it goes under 0.3 ohms you exceed your wattage. What kind of short settles to 0.3 ohms and stays there for maximum power transfer?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Grapsus on December 20, 2018, 02:15:32 am
From the amazon reviews:

August 7, 2018 : "Only used this iron for less than 2 months before the transformer blew up on me in the middle of an important job. Would not recommend."

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2E3U67D56PT9M/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077JDGY1J (https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2E3U67D56PT9M/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077JDGY1J)

So maybe they're not using the best quality transformers out there...

Edit: also this one is suspicious

June 25, 2018: "IT STINKS!!

I had to store it outside in the shed when I first got it. It had a strong chemical odor and stunk up the room when used.
The plastic is still out gassing months after I bought it.

Other than that, it's OK."

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1T2PUCK5KWZA/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077JDGY1J (https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1T2PUCK5KWZA/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077JDGY1J)

Sure new plastic items smell sometimes, but this could also be the transformer heating.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 20, 2018, 02:17:06 am
NOTE: This message has been deleted by the forum moderator Simon for being against the forum rules and/or at the discretion of the moderator as being in the best interests of the forum community and the nature of the thread.
If you believe this to be in error, please contact the moderator involved.
An optional additional explanation is:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 20, 2018, 02:51:27 am
Maybe their customers are old-fashioned and think that heavy iron power supply = quality/reliability.

(there's already a few examples of that in this thread)

Are you saying that you have found small switchmode power supplies to be more reliable than a standard transformer?!   :-//
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 20, 2018, 03:10:30 am
(do you own wall warts with huge iron transformers in them?)

Absolutely.  Dozens, possibly hundreds of them.  I can count on my fingers without resorting to toes the number of times I've encountered a failed transformer-type wall wart.  The percentage would be a fraction of a percent of the total I've ever dealt with in my lifetime.

Contrast that with switchmode type wall-wart supplies, plug-packs and inline supplies.  I've seen more like hundreds of failures.  Guaranteed it is a double-digit failure rate percentage on average over the years.  Certain ones I have dealt with approach a 100% failure rate within the type.

Yes, most of these that fail are cheap junk and it is possible to build a good quality switching supply but it seems to actually still cost more than a small transformer type supply that lasts.  Even the best switchmode supplies have been far less reliable than a transformer supply in my personal experience.  YMMV.

I take it your experience is somehow completely different...  ??

Quote
b) The "requirement" will be that that devices fail safely, not that they must have fuses.

The reason fuses are being discussed here is that a fuse would be a cheap way to make Weller soldering stations fail safely. No other reason.

Dave's failed safely...   With a smoke signal saying, "ouch, you hurt me," to boot!  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: joeqsmith on December 20, 2018, 03:16:19 am
From Rossmann's video,  Pace tweezers may burn your hand if you use them all day...  I really like Pace's MT100 and am waiting to for them to release a version for their new station before upgrading.    Hope their new stations have fuses.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 20, 2018, 03:22:29 am
Fortunately he asked about it first, but in light of the current discussion, I'm now wondering do these 110V tools have any additional protection in them as standard?

I believe the idea is that they increase "safety" by supplying the upstream power for these tools from a center-tapped transformer with the center tap grounded, creating a 55-0-55 power supply, keeping the voltage to earth at a safer 55 volts AC from ground instead of 240.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 20, 2018, 03:28:20 am
did you read the discussion? someone said it could deliver 500W before it triggered a fuse. So you would have a short settle down to a stable 0.3 ohms before it tripped the fuse or LVSO ? If it goes under 0.3 ohms you exceed your wattage. What kind of short settles to 0.3 ohms and stays there for maximum power transfer?

I was talking about a PC 12V power supply being able to deliver enough power to create smoke.  Period.  This was a standalone point, not related to any prior specifics in the thread except the fact that some people seem to be implying that no failure of any device may ever be permitted to expel smoke, magic or otherwise.  My point was that attitude is misguided and unachievable.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: paschulke2 on December 20, 2018, 03:57:52 am
"We will change the world & Own The Bench":

https://media-weller.de/weller/data/CMS%20Bilder/Rueckblick_productronica/Distributor%20Day%20Productronica%202015_External.pdf (https://media-weller.de/weller/data/CMS%20Bilder/Rueckblick_productronica/Distributor%20Day%20Productronica%202015_External.pdf)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 04:11:21 am
The picture illustrates graphically why soldering stations should ALWAYS be fused, even if increasingly brain dead legislators rubber stamped a likely industry written change that allows them to not fuse some of them.

(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 04:18:28 am
This is why I retired, people astound me!
Plug a station into 240 volts that's designed for 110 and it burns up. First if they fused the secondary side (I don't know either way) it would still burn up
if you plugged it into 240v.

Did you ever wonder when you see a warning on a package that says something like, "don't put your hand into the flame you might get burned!" And you think who could be so stupid to stick their hand into a flame?  Don't be surprised if you see a warning on Weller stations saying, "Don't plug 120v stations into 240v you could burn up the station!"

So there's smoke, gee I wonder why! I doubt it will catch fire the wire coating is usually fireproof so eventually it will melt away, the primary resistance will drop and the wire itself will melt just like the millions of wall transformers that are not fused.

So the fuse IS the primary winding and if you plug it into 240 you deserve to burn up the station.
I have a $900 Weller station - it will never see 240v. It's electronics it's my field, I'm buying an expensive station!

Let's blame Weller for my stupidity.

By the way it's a great station with long lasting tips in lots of styles.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 20, 2018, 04:22:03 am
Must be isolated from mains - expensive

You think switch mode supplies aren't isolated from mains?


I know a lot about switch mode design. I have designed both isolated and unisolated types, and know about each type BOM and cost price.

It is absolutely possibly to make a SMPS that is unisolated from mains, but then there is added danger to the end-user - safety concern, which is also an added expense.  :-//
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply#Types

Please note the differences between Non-isolated topologies and Isolated topologies
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 04:23:07 am
The picture illustrates graphically why soldering stations should ALWAYS be fused, even if increasingly brain dead legislators rubber stamped a likely industry written change that allows them to not fuse some of them.

(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)


That would happen regardless if it was fused or not. The fuse would only work if the iron got down to some point on the board where it caused a short. But look at the picture, does that look like someone who should own a soldering station or anything that gets above 20C?

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TassiloH on December 20, 2018, 05:19:36 am
So the fuse IS the primary winding and if you plug it into 240 you deserve to burn up the station.

Of course the soldering stations might be safe in the sense that they won't catch fire, probably the transformer will smoke and draw more and more current until the wire melts someplace or the current is so high that it trips the circuit breaker. As long as the enclosure plastics is flame retardant and is not melted yet when this happens, the device is safe.
But consider this: Here we have 3-phase power to almost all buildings. It is rare but not unheard of that a neutral connection fails somewhere. Depending on the load distribution, this will give you almost 400V instead of 230V on the outlets - no stupidity involved. I would prefer equipment that either just burns a fuse or breaks without emitting lots of smoke (e.g. transformer with thermal fuse) in that case regardless of regulations, and I'd say it is not an unreasonable expectation that brand name stuff satisfies this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 20, 2018, 05:39:26 am

Weller should be going into damage control soon.


I hadn't thought too much about that phrase in the Weller brochure. Let me reproduce it here for posterity.
(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=600406;image)

I'm sure no comments are needed, it speaks for itself.

This is probably why it took so long for a response, (Weller) legal had to make sure they had documentation showing UL test passed = safety
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 20, 2018, 05:42:46 am
That would happen regardless if it was fused or not. The fuse would only work if the iron got down to some point on the board where it caused a short. But look at the picture, does that look like someone who should own a soldering station or anything that gets above 20C?

I think you missed the tongue-in-cheek satirical humour on that one...   ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 20, 2018, 05:44:58 am
Let's be careful, if that's possible with all the flames here.

There are component-level certifications for a power transformer, like UL 1411, UL 506, CSA 22.2 No.66 and ‪IEC 61558. We don't know this transformer's approvals.
There are product-level safety standards for soldering irons, audio-, radio-, and television-type appliances, IT equipment etc.
There are regional differences in safety standards between North America, Australia and Europe as well for the component's and the product itself.

It makes a complicated soup.

Weller safety cert. for Europe is IEC 60335, and the 240VAC transformer pic http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2051086/#msg2051086 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2051086/#msg2051086) shows a third bobbin lead, surely a thermal fuse is in there. 60335 does not specify a mains fuse but calls 61558 for the transformer's requirements.

Weller safety cert. for North America is UL 499. A different standard with different requirements, although the confusion around other soldering stations incorporating a primary fuse begs the question of WTF. UL 499 seems for higher power heaters and the mains breaker is the protective element.
At the 80VA power level, it is not an "energy-limited" transformer (Class 2) or "fail-safe".


This was not a "normal use" scenario as defined in the safety standards - but it did flush out an error in the product's safety.
Is there a safety hazard running it off 120VAC? Of course. I've seen three power transformer fires in electronics gear, quite a mess of smoke, soot and carbon.
Notice other safety standards IEC 60950 and 61010 require a fuse (DUH!) and (torture) load test a transformer for "maximum heating effect" limited by the fuse if there is one:

IEC 61010
9.6 Overcurrent protection     
9.6.1 General       
"Equipment intended to be energized from a MAINS supply shall be protected by fuses, circuit-breakers, thermal cut-outs, impedance limiting circuits or similar means, to provide protection against excessive current being drawn from the MAINS in case of a fault in the equipment."

4.4.2.7  MAINS transformers
4.4.2.7.1 General       
"The secondary windings of MAINS transformers shall be short-circuited as specified in 4.4.2.7.2, and overloaded as specified in 4.4.2.7.3.

4.4.2.7.3 Overload       
Each untapped output winding, and each section of a tapped output winding, is overloaded in turn one at a time. The other windings are loaded or not loaded, whichever load condition of NORMAL USE is less favourable. If any overloads arise from  testing in the fault conditions of 4.4, secondary windings shall be subjected to those overloads.

Overloading is carried out by connecting a variable resistor across the winding. The resistor is adjusted as quickly as possible and readjusted, if necessary, after 1 min to maintain the applicable overload. No further readjustments are then permitted. If overcurrent protection is provided by a current-breaking device, the overload test current is the maximum  current which the overcurrent protection device is just capable of passing for 1h. Before the test, the device is replaced by a link with negligible impedance. If this value cannot be derived from the specification, it is to be established by test.

For equipment in which the output voltage is designed to collapse when a specified overload current is reached, the overload  is slowly increased to a point just before the point which causes the output voltage to collapse.
In all other cases, the loading is the maximum power output obtainable from the transformer.

Transformers with overtemperature protection which meets the requirements of 14.3 during the short-circuit test of 4.4.2.7.2 need not be subjected to overload tests. "
----------------------------------
In all likelyhood, UL 499 has been wrongly interpreted/assessed or is simply antique.
A modern safety standard like 61010 and 60950 requires a fuse, which is what I go by.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thm_w on December 20, 2018, 05:56:26 am
Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
...
This is no different to any number of other products that also have transformers include literally millions of plugpacks, TV’s, radios, Stereos, battery chargers and other small appliances, very few of which contain primary fuses.

When is the last time anyone has seen a plugpack with a transformer inside? Every major brand is using SMPS now due to standby power regulations (and cost). A modern TV without a fuse, what?
The cheapest of crap might have a fusible resistor instead of a glass fuse, but that is better than nothing (and probably questionably certified). Toaster is really the only thing I can think of that is a modern device without a fuse (that I am aware of).

This guy is living 20 years ago.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jmaja on December 20, 2018, 06:02:11 am
"Equipment intended to be energized from a MAINS supply shall be protected by fuses, circuit-breakers, thermal cut-outs, impedance limiting circuits or similar means, to provide protection against excessive current being drawn from the MAINS in case of a fault in the equipment."

So a fuse is not required. The task described can be achieved even with unspecified "similar means".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on December 20, 2018, 06:10:42 am
I have taken apart lots of assorted wall warts, and every one with a small iron core transformer had, buried in the primary winding either in the middle (with a 130C rating) or on the outside (with a 110C rating) a non resettable thermal fuse. Many different Chinese manufacturers, and even some Korean ones ( Samsung) along with some locally made ones. Those also had built in mains filters and phone line protection ( and 1mm of separation from mains live or neutral, depending on how the assembler felt that day for the phone line protection), and they all had mains fusing on the primary side. While the diodes on the secondary side could look like charred blobs, the filter capacitors look like well cooked sausage ( complete with domed top and bottom rubber extruding) and be brittle as anything they still worked, and shorting the secondary would just result in the primary side eventually popping, meaning another trip to find a replacement.

Even clock radios with the mains transformer as part of the line cord have this fuse built in. That Weller does not simply means this was a grandfathered part, you probably find this part number is the same transformer ( 110VAC 24VAC 60W) used in 1956 in the first WTCP soldering stations, and has never in all the decades been upgraded part wise, because it was tested then, the design did not change, and the original test certificate is still in an archive somewhere.

Standards may have changed, but rarely do they require you to redesign existing parts. You can still buy E27 stove fuses, despite the common circuit breaker having been de facto the go to part for the last half century, and there probably are still brand new stoves made with those screw in fuses in them, just the same old model of industrial cookware that has literally had standards written around them.

Then again, I do have some very old control relays, dating from the 1980's, that I use as spare parts donors, and a good number have unfused  110VAC primary transformers in them, might just take one outside, connect it to a somewhat dodgy mains connection, or find a 11 pin base and plug it in correctly ;) and power it up with the relay cover removed. Toss up if the transformer will fail or if the Siemens capacitors on the power supply will blow up first, or if the 555 IC in some will survive 30V till something fails. Outdoors, because there will be flames, spitznsparken and possibly confetti generation. Mains protection is a 20A CBI residential breaker, and upstream is a 100A Heinemann breaker, with the substation 220m away having a 400A fuse on this phase. I think the little mains cable I intend to use will pop first.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:11:35 am
So the fuse IS the primary winding and if you plug it into 240 you deserve to burn up the station.

Of course the soldering stations might be safe in the sense that they won't catch fire, probably the transformer will smoke and draw more and more current until the wire melts someplace or the current is so high that it trips the circuit breaker. As long as the enclosure plastics is flame retardant and is not melted yet when this happens, the device is safe.
But consider this: Here we have 3-phase power to almost all buildings. It is rare but not unheard of that a neutral connection fails somewhere. Depending on the load distribution, this will give you almost 400V instead of 230V on the outlets - no stupidity involved. I would prefer equipment that either just burns a fuse or breaks without emitting lots of smoke (e.g. transformer with thermal fuse) in that case regardless of regulations, and I'd say it is not an unreasonable expectation that brand name stuff satisfies this.

I don't know how Weller addresses 230V stations. They may simply tap off one side or phase and if the center leg opens the station loses voltage too. What happens with wall transformers where you are? Do you get smoking transformers? If what you're saying is true then a neutral leg failure would be doing major damage with appliances wouldn't it? Does Weller make 3 phase stations? I took a quick look and all I see are single phase.

I have transformers here that work on 120 or 230. All you get are two wires to the transformer with dual windings. How you run those windings (series or Parallel) determines the input voltage. I would think Weller probably does it pretty much that way saving money on different transformers.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:15:35 am
OK, I just checked my Weller WX2 station (110V)
Here's the photo:



Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:20:39 am
One more note.
When I was 8 years old my mom asked what I wanted for my birthday. As any budding wire nut would say - "Mom, I want a soldering iron!" That Weller iron still works and I'm 73 years old, so you do the math.

Me, I'll stick with my Weller station.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:34:56 am
That would happen regardless if it was fused or not. The fuse would only work if the iron got down to some point on the board where it caused a short. But look at the picture, does that look like someone who should own a soldering station or anything that gets above 20C?

I think you missed the tongue-in-cheek satirical humour on that one...   ;)

Right!! I missed it because I'm still scratching my head that people actually complained about a manufacturer after plugging the thing into 230 volts! I'd love to see them around high voltage, I guess you can't complain to the grid supplier if you're dead!
This whole thing is so preposterous to me that I can't stop laughing!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:37:58 am
Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
...
This is no different to any number of other products that also have transformers include literally millions of plugpacks, TV’s, radios, Stereos, battery chargers and other small appliances, very few of which contain primary fuses.

When is the last time anyone has seen a plugpack with a transformer inside? Every major brand is using SMPS now due to standby power regulations (and cost). A modern TV without a fuse, what?
The cheapest of crap might have a fusible resistor instead of a glass fuse, but that is better than nothing (and probably questionably certified). Toaster is really the only thing I can think of that is a modern device without a fuse (that I am aware of).

This guy is living 20 years ago.

No, he's comparing apples to apples. The Weller has a transformer so do a lot of higher end audio products, etc.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on December 20, 2018, 06:56:38 am
Toasters do have a thermal fuse in them, somewhere in the element path. Might not look like a fuse but is there in some form or the other.

As to Weller, they make different transformers for 120V and 230V, different standards to conform to with each one in different countries, so much easier to conform one to EU specs ( which require primary side thermal fuse) and the other to the old US spec. Cheaper than having to recertify every single product again, with a major part change like that. you can see that in pics of them, US one no fuse, EU one has the tell tale third connection showing they have a fuse. My Weller WTCP-S, from The Cooper group 11-91, does have both primary side 0.315A slow blow fuse and thermal fuse in the transformer primary. This is the "travel iron' as it goes out to functions, even though the magnastat switches, heaters and tips themselves are getting expensive. Can buy a Solomon complete for the price of just the heater, tip and magnastat.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 06:59:38 am
Toasters do have a thermal fuse in them, somewhere in the element path. Might not look like a fuse but is there in some form or the other.

As to Weller, they make different transformers for 120V and 230V, different standards to conform to with each one in different countries, so much easier to conform one to EU specs ( which require primary side thermal fuse) and the other to the old US spec. Cheaper than having to recertify every single product again, with a major part change like that. you can see that in pics of them, US one no fuse, EU one has the tell tale third connection showing they have a fuse. My Weller WTCP-S, from The Cooper group 11-91, does have both primary side 0.315A slow blow fuse and thermal fuse in the transformer primary. This is the "travel iron' as it goes out to functions, even though the magnastat switches, heaters and tips themselves are getting expensive. Can buy a Solomon complete for the price of just the heater, tip and magnastat.

My US one does have a fuse, again, here's the pic:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: chris_leyson on December 20, 2018, 07:06:40 am
Quote
do you own wall warts with huge iron transformers in them?
Only one or two.

For low power, lets say 10W for example, an SMPS wall wart will make a lot of sense from a manufacturing point of view. In general they will be flyback supplies and will be "universal" i.e. they will work from 80V to 265V or at least they should if they've been designed properly. They will also have to pass transient, surge and maybe ESD tests as well as conducted and radiated EMC. If it accidentally gets shorted out because of a capacitor or connector failure how hot is it going get ?

For higher power, lets say 150W and that would include laptop supplies for example, you can either do flyback or forward topology it doesn't matter it's whatever is cheapest and meets the safety and EMC standards for that particular product and there is a lot more design work and testing involved when switched mode supplies get bigger.

Those who say use an SMPS have probably never designed one that is guaranteed safe from an isolation point of view, that is reliable and will work for a decade or more and one that is squeaky clean from an EMC point of view. It takes a lot more R&D budget than some piss ant soldering iron manufacturer can affford so that's why they use big lumps of iron for voltage translation.

If you're talking about phone chargers, laptop supplies, TV's or any whitegoods you could be talking about 100's of thousands or millions and it would nice if they were universal, 80V to 265V, so you get a bigger development budget. You don't have to go to school to learn economics, just use some common sense.

 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thm_w on December 20, 2018, 07:11:28 am
No, he's comparing apples to apples. The Weller has a transformer so do a lot of higher end audio products, etc.

Not sure which high end audio product you are referring to, something like a Yamaha or Sony integrated stereo amplifier will all have mains fusing before the transformer.
If you are referring to $2k+ hand built audiophile amps, I don't think that is a reasonable comparison.


Those who say use an SMPS have probably never designed one that is guaranteed safe from an isolation point of view, that is reliable and will work for a decade or more and one that is squeaky clean from an EMC point of view. It takes a lot more R&D budget than some piss ant soldering iron manufacturer can affford so that's why they use big lumps of iron for voltage translation.

https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/mean-well-usa-inc/RPS-75-24/1866-4083-ND/7706111 (https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/mean-well-usa-inc/RPS-75-24/1866-4083-ND/7706111)

Heres a medical grade 75W PSU for $22.
Not saying it would be suitable to use for the product, I'm sure a transformer costs them less, maybe $5-10?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eliocor on December 20, 2018, 07:13:11 am
Please take care that the 60950 norm cannot be applied for soldering irons: Quote
1.1.1 Equipment covered by this standard
This standard is applicable to mains-powered or battery-powered information technology equipment, including electrical business equipment and associated equipment, with a RATED VOLTAGE not exceeding 600 V.
This standard is also applicable to such information technology equipment:

− designed for use as telecommunication terminal equipment and TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK infrastructure equipment, regardless of the source of power;
 
− designed and intended to be connected directly to, or used as infrastructure equipment in, a CABLE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM, regardless of the source of power; 
 
− designed to use the AC MAINS SUPPLY as a communication transmission medium (see Clause 6, Note 4 and 7.1, Note 4).
 This standard is also applicable to components and subassemblies intended for incorporation in information technology equipment. It is not expected that such components and subassemblies comply with every aspect of the standard, provided that the complete information technology equipment, incorporating such components and subassemblies, does comply

But I add: if you follow this norm it would be A LOT better!!!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TassiloH on December 20, 2018, 07:14:35 am
I don't know how Weller addresses 230V stations. They may simply tap off one side or phase and if the center leg opens the station loses voltage too. What happens with wall transformers where you are? Do you get smoking transformers? If what you're saying is true then a neutral leg failure would be doing major damage with appliances wouldn't it? Does Weller make 3 phase stations? I took a quick look and all I see are single phase.

If there is a neutral fault (I admit this is rare, but not non-existent), there are indeed broken small appliances. I don't think Weller makes 3-phase stations (does not make sense for the low power). Three-phase outlets are generally not available unless in special circumstances, but there is 3-phase power to most homes, each phase (to neutral) is used for some of the 1-phase 230V outlets in a building, and all three phases (400V phase to phase) for things like tankless water heaters (at home) or large motors (commercially).
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eliocor on December 20, 2018, 07:17:28 am
I forgot to mention: I'm a really happy user of several (de/soldering) Weller stations.
All of them are mains fused, but I live in Europe!!!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: chris_leyson on December 20, 2018, 07:22:11 am
From a safety point of view you are always going to get better creapage and clearance from a big lump of iron, try doing that with an SMPS transformer. Besides, I don't want another SMPS noise source on my bench.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: wraper on December 20, 2018, 07:22:35 am
Please take care that the 60950 norm cannot be applied for soldering irons: Quote
1.1.1 Equipment covered by this standard
This standard is applicable to mains-powered or battery-powered information technology equipment, including electrical business equipment and associated equipment, with a RATED VOLTAGE not exceeding 600 V.
This standard is also applicable to such information technology equipment:

− designed for use as telecommunication terminal equipment and TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK infrastructure equipment, regardless of the source of power;
 
− designed and intended to be connected directly to, or used as infrastructure equipment in, a CABLE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM, regardless of the source of power; 
 
− designed to use the AC MAINS SUPPLY as a communication transmission medium (see Clause 6, Note 4 and 7.1, Note 4).
 This standard is also applicable to components and subassemblies intended for incorporation in information technology equipment. It is not expected that such components and subassemblies comply with every aspect of the standard, provided that the complete information technology equipment, incorporating such components and subassemblies, does comply

But I add: if you follow this norm it would be A LOT better!!!
I don't see why soldering station would not fall under information technology equipment.
Quote
Information Technology Equipment (ITE) is electrical/electronic equipment that inputs, stores, modifies, or outputs data. Typical examples of IT Equipment are servers, personal computers, office equipment, data storage devices, telecommunication equipment, display monitors, printers and various IT accessories.
It certainly inputs, stores and modifies setting data and outputs it on display.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Richard Crowley on December 20, 2018, 07:30:34 am
If there is a neutral fault (I admit this is rare, but not non-existent), there are indeed broken small appliances. I don't think Weller makes 3-phase stations (does not make sense for the low power). Three-phase outlets are generally not available unless in special circumstances, but there is 3-phase power to most homes, each phase (to neutral) is used for some of the 1-phase 230V outlets in a building, and all three phases (400V phase to phase) for things like tankless water heaters (at home) or large motors (commercially).
You may have missed the point here.  Sure it makes no sense to have a hand-held soldering apparatus operated from 3-phase power.
But in many places, that "single-phase" circuit is just one of the three phases in the larger scheme of power distribution. And establishing the proper voltage depends on the "neutral" connection. If that fails, in some conditions, you could have considerably more than 230-240 volts in your wall outlet.  That is just one of the hazards that fuses protect us from.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 07:35:57 am
From a safety point of view you are always going to get better creapage and clearance from a big lump of iron, try doing that with an SMPS transformer. Besides, I don't want another SMPS noise source on my bench.

I agree, I'm happy there's an xformer in the Weller.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on December 20, 2018, 07:42:07 am
Let's blame Weller for my stupidity.

I don't think the crux of the matter is blame but instead frustration.

Frustration happens when we have an unmet expectation. Case in point, the expectation is that a very reputable brand of electrical products would add a century-old safeguard mechanism to all of their products regardless of being forced by an external agent (regulatory agency or certification norm). Instead, when an inquiry was made, the company replied with a garden variety response from a public relations department that did not understand the core of the matter.

It is an entirely personal opinion if this frustration is important enough to blame and shame the company publicly.

Blame would be the scenario where Dave or the others were asking for reparation for the damage caused. I don't think anyone is blaming Weller for what happened - although one could argue there was a small possibility of lesser damage if the century-old safeguard mechanism was used, but asking for reparation is not reasonable.

At any rate, this discussion would be bound to happen anyways, especially due to the competitor's approach to fuse protection and the price level of Weller's products. Not only Weller but many other corporations degraded severely in the last decades in pursuit of market dominance / lower cost.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 07:46:37 am
No, he's comparing apples to apples. The Weller has a transformer so do a lot of higher end audio products, etc.

Not sure which high end audio product you are referring to, something like a Yamaha or Sony integrated stereo amplifier will all have mains fusing before the transformer.
If you are referring to $2k+ hand built audiophile amps, I don't think that is a reasonable comparison.



Weller cited other products with xformers as a comparison not SMPS. Again, my Weller has the transformer and it's fused. I don't know what model was plugged into the 230 mains but it wasn't a WX2 from the US running 120.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 07:55:40 am
Let's blame Weller for my stupidity.

I don't think the crux of the matter is blame but instead frustration.

Frustration happens when we have an unmet expectation. Case in point, the expectation is that a very reputable brand of electrical products would add a century-old safeguard mechanism to all of their products regardless of being forced by an external agent (regulatory agency or certification norm). Instead, when an inquiry was made, the company replied with a garden variety response from a public relations department that did not understand the core of the matter.

It is an entirely personal opinion if this frustration is important enough to blame and shame the company publicly.

Blame would be the scenario where Dave or the others were asking for reparation for the damage caused. I don't think anyone is blaming Weller for what happened - although one could argue there was a small possibility of lesser damage if the century-old safeguard mechanism was used, but asking for reparation is not reasonable.

At any rate, this discussion would be bound to happen anyways, especially due to the competitor's approach to fuse protection and the price level of Weller's products. Not only Weller but many other corporations degraded severely in the last decades in pursuit of market dominance / lower cost.

What was the price tier level of the unit? I'm running the fused pro station. I've beat this thing up for a couple of years now and it has run flawlessly. The tips last a very long time too. The heat sink on the back is specifically molded to the station and massive. You can see there was a lot of thought that went into it along with quality parts. OK, it may die on me in a month but right now there isn't anything I'd trade it for. I've got Weller irons from 25 years ago that still work too. The WX2 irons have a balanced feel and are small , really great for 0402 SMD work which I do from time to time.

I guess you get what you pay for, this thing wasn't cheap, maybe the bottom line of their irons cut corners but not this model, I think they made it for professional work.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 20, 2018, 08:12:13 am
"Equipment intended to be energized from a MAINS supply shall be protected by fuses, circuit-breakers, thermal cut-outs, impedance limiting circuits or similar means, to provide protection against excessive current being drawn from the MAINS in case of a fault in the equipment."

So a fuse is not required. The task described can be achieved even with unspecified "similar means".

EN 61558-1 Safety of power transformers does mention:
3.3.7 intentional weak part
part other than overload protective device (fuses, circuit-breaker, thermal cut-outs, ...) intended to rupture under conditions of  abnormal operation to prevent the occurrence of a condition  which  could  impair compliance with this standard. Such a part may be a replaceable component, such as a resistor or a capacitor or a non-replaceable part of a component such as an inaccessible weak point in a winding."

BUT no sign of that in the Weller 120VAC transformer- the primary copper wire is too thick to act as a fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eliocor on December 20, 2018, 08:14:36 am
Quote from: wraper on Today at 21:22:35 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=158089.msg2053225#msg2053225)
I don't see why soldering station would not fall under information technology equipment.
 
 
Surely you have never certified some IT technology equipment against 60950, so your answer....
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 08:25:09 am
"Equipment intended to be energized from a MAINS supply shall be protected by fuses, circuit-breakers, thermal cut-outs, impedance limiting circuits or similar means, to provide protection against excessive current being drawn from the MAINS in case of a fault in the equipment."

So a fuse is not required. The task described can be achieved even with unspecified "similar means".

EN 61558-1 Safety of power transformers does mention:
3.3.7 intentional weak part
part other than overload protective device (fuses, circuit-breaker, thermal cut-outs, ...) intended to rupture under conditions of  abnormal operation to prevent the occurrence of a condition  which  could  impair compliance with this standard. Such a part may be a replaceable component, such as a resistor or a capacitor or a non-replaceable part of a component such as an inaccessible weak point in a winding."

BUT no sign of that in the Weller 120VAC transformer- the primary copper wire is too thick to act as a fuse.
About what gauge? Maybe a cheaper product would have blown the winding before it smoked?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: boffin on December 20, 2018, 08:30:55 am
Using a global-standard IEC 60320 C14 power inlet on a gadget hard-wired for 120V seems like just asking for trouble.
Where is is trivial to plug in your power cord from whatever your local mains voltage is.

Exactly, especially with the voltage label on the bottom. Why any engineer or large company like this selling professional products to a professional market would go out of their way to avoid a fuse in such a product is beyond me.

And working in a data centre, C14 @ 208V L1/L2/G vs  120V L1/N/G is a pretty common sight.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 20, 2018, 08:49:15 am
About what gauge? Maybe a cheaper product would have blown the winding before it smoked?

For low VA transformers, the primary copper wire melts (fuses) in an exposed area, on the lead in to the winding coil. I think it's from the wire getting less cooling in open air, compared to being wrapped in the coil.
Fusing currents for copper wire (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge) are surprisingly high, example 30AWG 10A after 10 seconds according to Preece 1883 tests. It's highly imprecise and using too skinny a wire limits the transformer's power due to I2R losses. I think this is why you don't see larger ~60-100VA up transformers relying on the primary winding as the fuse, or maybe inrush currents are too high.
Instead manufacturers just put in a thermal fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 09:13:11 am
Of course its not safe it made a shit load of easily preventable toxic smoke.
your not supposed to ...  smoke the joint up ...
 safety issue. so is toxic smoke... lose a room to smoke for 3 days? (who would make their employees  or students work in that smell??) NO.
you know what happens when you make a bunch of smoke at work? people think you are a fucking clown
Plus: Smoke is a hazard all by itself
What part is going to make plenty of smoke
Will it catch on fire or 'just' smoke until mains is removed or the short has 'fixed' itself :palm:.
some people seem to be implying that no failure of any device may ever be permitted to expel smoke


We are still talking about soldering irons right? The thing that makes smoke every time you use it?

The thing who's job it is to get hot enough to melt things, and could damage things, and burn or hurt you ....

Dave's Weller couldn't even manage that. LOL

I say plug it back in and see what it can really do!

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 09:25:01 am
About what gauge? Maybe a cheaper product would have blown the winding before it smoked?

For low VA transformers, the primary copper wire melts (fuses) in an exposed area, on the lead in to the winding coil. I think it's from the wire getting less cooling in open air, compared to being wrapped in the coil.
Fusing currents for copper wire (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge) are surprisingly high, example 30AWG 10A after 10 seconds according to Preece 1883 tests. It's highly imprecise and using too skinny a wire limits the transformer's power due to I2R losses. I think this is why you don't see larger ~60-100VA up transformers relying on the primary winding as the fuse, or maybe inrush currents are too high.
Instead manufacturers just put in a thermal fuse.

OK, makes sense but for some odd reason I always thought a wire driven past it's current ability would get hottest in the middle.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 09:28:17 am
Smoke from virtually all plastics is extremely unhealthy, even if its not recognized to be so yet, innumerable dangerous chemicals were just grandfathered in with no testing because they have been used for a long time.

The world of plastics is a ticking time bomb (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=endocrine+disrupting+chemicals+plastics) especially because of so called endocrine disrupting chemicals (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=endocrine+disrupting+chemicals) comminly used in many of them that persist in and build up in the environment and in people, causing cryptic effects related to many aspects of our biology.. particularly those that are hormonally related. (The list of serious - in many cases - like cancers, life threatening conditions which seem to be rising because of these chemicals is very long.)

Increasing exposure to these chemicals which in many cases were known to be unhealthy before they started being used commonly, is known to be causing a plethora of extremely costly health conditions throughout the entire world as the amounts of them in peoples bodies increases. (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5244983/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5244983/) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27003928 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27003928)

Also, "flame retardants" used to slow down combustion in many products are a set of chemicals that contains some extremely nasty chemicals many of which that have known, serious health effects, also they persist in the body and its exceedingly hard to get rid of them.

Like many plasticizers, many flame retardants also cause endocrine disruption.

It seems that rising exposure to EDCs is also behind some substantial amount of the rising rates of metabolic disorders (many) and obesity (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2018.00582/full) we're seeing, as obesity and related health issues in both animals and humans clearly increase in direct proportion to obesogen exposure to both the animal/person and its mother, in other words, for some reason we don't understand this exposure's obesogenic effect is inherited. 

They change the body's energy set points.

All of this is the subject of a great deal of research right now and what is emerging isn't good. Its terrifying. It threatens both human and animal reproduction.

Because of exposure to various chemicals, as a group electronics industry workers are at substantially increased risk it seems.

Example search: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=endocrine+disruption+electronics (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=endocrine+disruption+electronics)

For this reason people should do as much as they can to reduce or eliminate their exposure to whatever can be reduced, such as fumes generated by hot plastics and other substances used in electronics. Also minimize dermal exposure by washing hands frequently. Minimize dust in the environment by vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum while aggressively ventilating to minimize inhaling dusts. It might even make sense to wear a high quality (I wear a magenta P-100 half face HEPA particulate filter face mask) while doing so, thats what I do.

 

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 20, 2018, 09:31:53 am
How about an EEVblog survey on the Weller WE1010NA primary-fuse issue?

1. It's missing the fuse, fix it already - humans make mistakes
2. It doesn't require the fuse, leave the product design and certification as-is, and spank the engineers
3. Include a complimentary fire extinguisher with every Weller product
4. Instead buy a Hakko/Metcal which has already has the fuse
5. Pull a Volkswagen and deny any allegations for months
6. Announce the new "vape" option where you can smoke in the lab with this station
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 20, 2018, 09:33:50 am
"will reduce potential hazards"... except, you know.... fire hazards :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 09:38:24 am
How about an EEVblog survey on the Weller WE1010NA primary-fuse issue?

1. It's missing the fuse, fix it already - humans make mistakes
2. It doesn't require the fuse, leave the product design and certification as-is, and spank the engineers
3. Include a complimentary fire extinguisher with every Weller product
4. Instead buy a Hakko/Metcal which has already has the fuse
5. Pull a Volkswagen and deny any allegations for months
6. Announce the new "vape" option where you can smoke in the lab with this station

You crack me up, as if this topic wasn't already hilarious enough!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 09:45:58 am
Since a lot of people have them why not post an easy to follow set of instructions on where and how to add ones own, with the arguments for doing it even if they are technically 'legal' without it?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 20, 2018, 09:48:45 am
Quote
They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

This thread has nothing to do with "standards",

It doesn't? Weller claims it's a certified product and complies to applicable standards. So the that begs the question if that's correct or not.

I have no doubt it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 09:54:23 am
minimize dermal exposure ...Minimize dust ... aggressively ventilating to minimize inhaling dusts... wear a magenta P-100 half face HEPA particulate filter face mask

absolutely.  Of course don't forget about eye gear ... gotta protect those peepers from solder splashes. Might as well wear a full face mask. You should probably wear gloves too for the dermatitis. Ah, you know what. Why stop there? Might as well do it right ...






(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/19/35/c2/1935c22416bcb9c999487f47a0f4869c.jpg)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 10:03:54 am
They change the body's energy set points.
I heard that exposure to dihydrogen monoxide can cause asphyxiation, tissue damage, and is a major contributor to acid rain.
Ingesting it upsets your hydration balance and makes you less thirsty!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 10:06:27 am
I'm just explaining how I try to minimize inhaling dust - I'm just sharing that fact.

My home isnt an electronics factory nor do I solder that much I am sure compared to lots of other people here. Still I try and especially if I did more of it I would REALLy try to minimize exposure to things commonly encountered, such as heated or burning plastic fumes - or whatever.. fluxes, various dusts..

Yes, it makes sense for workers to get the best practicable protection. For a manufacturer, that would mean efforts to reduce dust and solvent exposures exhausting any fumes and dust outside and replacing that air with fresh air, and wearing non-latex gloves if they were handling dangerous materials. Not being around plastics that were getting hot. (even if they are supposed to be able to handle the temperature, personally I don't think thats healthy)

And washing hands.

Many of the chemicals and materials used in electronics at all stages of the product life cycle are hazardous to varying degrees. That's commonly known. Its not speculation. Common sense dictates that people use adequate measures to protect themselves.

minimize dermal exposure ...Minimize dust ... aggressively ventilating to minimize inhaling dusts... wear a magenta P-100 half face HEPA particulate filter face mask

absolutely.  Of course don't forget about eye gear ... gotta protect those peepers from solder splashes. Might as well wear a full face mask. You should probably wear gloves too for the dermatitis. Ah, you know what. Why stop there? Might as well do it right ...

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 10:12:41 am
Water is essential to human life while rising levels of EDCs threaten it's continuation. They add up in so called 'cocktail effects' so what are claimed to be safe levels of one become unsafe in the real world environment because there are dozens of them.

With the links I posted higher up you can judge for yourself.

They change the body's energy set points.
I heard that exposure to dihydrogen monoxide can cause asphyxiation, tissue damage, and is a major contributor to acid rain.
Ingesting it upsets your hydration balance and makes you less thirsty!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 20, 2018, 10:16:40 am
Quote
They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.

This thread has nothing to do with "standards",

It doesn't? Weller claims it's a certified product and complies to applicable standards. So the that begs the question if that's correct or not.

I have no doubt it.

I'm also questioning the safety standard. UL 499 originated in 1931 so it's got a huge legacy.
A problem with zillions of safety standards is having a zillion committees and as the years get along, the standards are different and miss coverage of certain faults and unsafe scenarios.

Why should a product with a power transformer have such different requirements whether in a soldering station, clock radio, stereo, control panel, bench multimeter etc. ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 10:22:13 am
minimize dermal exposure ...Minimize dust ... aggressively ventilating to minimize inhaling dusts... wear a magenta P-100 half face HEPA particulate filter face mask

absolutely.  Of course don't forget about eye gear ... gotta protect those peepers from solder splashes. Might as well wear a full face mask. You should probably wear gloves too for the dermatitis. Ah, you know what. Why stop there? Might as well do it right ...






(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/19/35/c2/1935c22416bcb9c999487f47a0f4869c.jpg)

I got one of those suits. My neighbor started shooting at me - he thought I was an alien. I figured I'm safer just breathing all the crap I'm bombarded with on a daily basis.
By the way I've been soldering, welding, machining and grinding for 6 decades. My doctor told me I'm in the top 1% of healthiest people he sees. My advice.... keep breathing and eat lots of vegetables.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Muttley Snickers on December 20, 2018, 10:46:13 am
I'm also questioning the safety standard. UL 499 originated in 1931 so it's got a huge legacy.

And it probably wouldn't have provided for or taken into account that one day products and equipment would be readily available for anyone to purchase from anywhere else. Nowadays with global shopping and shipping this should perhaps be a consideration with all electrical products to avoid these types of hazards.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 20, 2018, 11:09:26 am
I'm also questioning the safety standard. UL 499 originated in 1931 so it's got a huge legacy.

And it probably wouldn't have provided for or taken into account that one day products and equipment would be readily available for anyone to purchase from anywhere else. Nowadays with global shopping and shipping this should perhaps be a consideration with all electrical products to avoid these types of hazards.

Or you could just plug it into the correct voltage....
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 11:14:09 am
What's happening is international harmonization, downward.

Countries with higher standards are being pushed to lower them.

https://www.ciel.org/issues/toxics (https://www.ciel.org/issues/toxics)

https://www.ciel.org/issues/trade (https://www.ciel.org/issues/trade)

https://www.ciel.org/reports (https://www.ciel.org/reports)


I'm also questioning the safety standard. UL 499 originated in 1931 so it's got a huge legacy.

And it probably wouldn't have provided for or taken into account that one day products and equipment would be readily available for anyone to purchase from anywhere else. Nowadays with global shopping and shipping this should perhaps be a consideration with all electrical products to avoid these types of hazards.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 20, 2018, 11:15:53 am
NOTE: This message has been deleted by the forum moderator Simon for being against the forum rules and/or at the discretion of the moderator as being in the best interests of the forum community and the nature of the thread.
If you believe this to be in error, please contact the moderator involved.
An optional additional explanation is:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 11:22:15 am
Note- this is a general principle, not specifically about any one product, but important to know- For pregnant ladies and their unborn children a great many pro-oxidant substances may pose substantial additive risks due to Fyn and c-Cbl (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790953/) at levels commonly found in everyday environments.

N-acetyl-cysteine may prevent it. Everybody should take NAC because our glutathione is getting used up quicker in many environments now than it was in the past, with potentially life changing consequences.

Read the linked paper. It's about a basic principle that should be widely known but isn't.

People can verify what I am saying at sites like nutrition.org (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: boB on December 20, 2018, 11:37:09 am

I'm also questioning the safety standard. UL 499 originated in 1931 so it's got a huge legacy.
A problem with zillions of safety standards is having a zillion committees and as the years get along, the standards are different and miss coverage of certain faults and unsafe scenarios.

Why should a product with a power transformer have such different requirements whether in a soldering station, clock radio, stereo, control panel, bench multimeter etc. ?


That's not how that "mafia" operates....

UL wouldn't be able to make all that money if they had just one standard OR didn't make people pay a LOT for the newer and updated standards.

You can be sure that UL 499 was updated fairly recently and make everybody buy the new version !

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 01:31:33 pm
hi there leukemia

bye bone marrow
Yup, you're definitely gonna die.

Better just buy your quarantine bubble now.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 01:40:45 pm
a great many pro-oxidant substances may pose substantial additive risks due to  .... blah blah ... N-acetyl-cysteine  ... blah ... Everybody should take NAC because ... Read the linked paper. ...  sites like nutrition.org (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) ... blah

I have a crazy idea for you. It will make you much happier, which will result in you being healthier.

STOP READING PAPERS AND NUTRITION WEBSITES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvWNFX3Rrk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvWNFX3Rrk)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 20, 2018, 01:42:36 pm
yes if you lose your shit and can't filter information its a good idea to isolate yourself

how is this relevant to not inhaling burning dielectric materials and metal smoke? if you stick your nose into that smoke stream your gonna feel severely ill and cough up a lung. real quick. its not the difference between drinking chai tea and lipton, its fucking plastic smoke. This shit is completely obvious look at the fire service statistics.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jonovid on December 20, 2018, 02:05:29 pm
Weller reply to your letter had all the signs of artificial intelligence.  |O
Weller tombstone mentality and an automated complaints procedure  >:D
looks like saving pennies, is more important than paying humans to reply to your letter.

here is another example of tombstone mentality to save some pennies on redesign & product recalls.

tombstone mentality
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone_mentality (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone_mentality)

remington rifle tombstone mentality
remington rifle trigger problems
Remington rifle and a problem with them firing by themselves.
https://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/guns/rifles/i-heard-something-about-remington-700s-and-a-problem-with-them-firing-by (https://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/guns/rifles/i-heard-something-about-remington-700s-and-a-problem-with-them-firing-by)

https://xmprecall.remington.com/ (https://xmprecall.remington.com/)

example of tombstone mentality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS_GDpZM3ak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS_GDpZM3ak)
Remington Under Fire: CNBC Investigation
Remington rifle and a problem with them firing by themselves.
remington rifle trigger problems cost pennies pur unit to fix.   a trigger redesign & product recall.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on December 20, 2018, 02:16:02 pm
What was the price tier level of the unit?
The bottom of the barrel of their product line, which is still much more expensive than the actual bottom of the barrel. Heck, I have a Hakko FX888 that was 60% of the price of this unit and is rock solid (and has a fuse!  ;D )

I'm running the fused pro station.
That is a very nice unit, and I would be quite surprised if Weller cut that kind of corner on this model - that is why it was so frustrating to see them hiding behind a technicality instead of priding themselves in producing a tool with at least such basic safeguard.
 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 02:30:04 pm
if you stick your nose into that smoke stream your gonna feel severely ill

 :-DD Yeah you probably would.

By the way, picturing someone stick their nose into a cloud of plastic smoke made me literally laugh out loud.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 20, 2018, 02:48:32 pm


I have a crazy idea for you. It will make you much happier, which will result in you being healthier.

STOP READING PAPERS AND NUTRITION WEBSITES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2fYguIX17Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2fYguIX17Q)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 20, 2018, 03:12:31 pm
Haha! That was funny. I'm going to go find that movie.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 20, 2018, 08:41:20 pm

Weller have been getting away with unfused dumbassery for decades. I'm amazed they still do it today, and get away with safety regulation BS approval markings.

The gear is good quality and performs well, except for no fusing on the primary and secondary. 

It cost me $5? retail to fit two internal inline fuse holders with appropriate surge friendly T-fuses rated just above the primary 240v AC and secondary 24v AC currents,
taking into account worst case cold startup and running current draw.

That R+D took a few minutes extra, to measure, test and verify by cooking two sacrificial fuses which clapped out at the calculated point where they should, with no losses whilst intact at normal operation.   

That deal would have cost Weller 50? cents or less to implement on all their wares, and this EEVblog post might be active in a darker alternate unviverse perhaps, instead of here. 

Don't get me started why I opened up the solder station in the first place to find out why the unit was intermittent in operation,
and notice zero fuse protection on top. No one would believe it, I should have taken photos...

Anyways, my Weller now rocks and I don't have to think about it going barbeque,
unless I fall asleep soldering in bed...  :=\


Suggest to owners to fuse both sides, it may save you a bundle especially if a repair being soldered becomes live or charged whilst soldering, or the base station drops on concrete,
or thrown at a zombie 

i.e. a coupla bucks for a fuse or two and back in business   :-+


Hey, does this post mean a lot of unfused Wellers will now get flogged off dirt cheap ? 
You can never have too many Wellers, I will wait for the panic sellling to start  :scared: :scared: :scared:

 >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MrMobodies on December 20, 2018, 09:31:27 pm
From what the vice president wrote it sounds like they're all embarrassed.
I find a little odd:

"Dear sir,"
Formal.

"Kindest regards,"
Informal.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: WN1X on December 20, 2018, 11:55:01 pm
Weller reply to your letter had all the signs of artificial intelligence.  |O

I disagree...Weller's reply had all the signs of marketing "intelligence"  :palm:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 21, 2018, 12:00:41 am


I have a crazy idea for you. It will make you much happier, which will result in you being healthier.

STOP READING PAPERS AND NUTRITION WEBSITES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2fYguIX17Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2fYguIX17Q)

Thanks, and make sure to inhale the smoke deep into your lungs  ^-^
Here is another great movie about smoking I can recommend to watch - Thank you for smoking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df32RijORLo&t=6s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df32RijORLo&t=6s)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: joeqsmith on December 21, 2018, 12:19:48 am
Weller reply to your letter had all the signs of artificial intelligence.  |O
Weller tombstone mentality and an automated complaints procedure  >:D
looks like saving pennies, is more important than paying humans to reply to your letter.

here is another example of tombstone mentality to save some pennies on redesign & product recalls.

tombstone mentality
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone_mentality (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone_mentality)

remington rifle tombstone mentality
remington rifle trigger problems
Remington rifle and a problem with them firing by themselves.
https://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/guns/rifles/i-heard-something-about-remington-700s-and-a-problem-with-them-firing-by (https://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/guns/rifles/i-heard-something-about-remington-700s-and-a-problem-with-them-firing-by)

https://xmprecall.remington.com/ (https://xmprecall.remington.com/)

example of tombstone mentality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS_GDpZM3ak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS_GDpZM3ak)
Remington Under Fire: CNBC Investigation
Remington rifle and a problem with them firing by themselves.
remington rifle trigger problems cost pennies pur unit to fix.   a trigger redesign & product recall.

I belonged to a small club where we would have a competition once a week.  There were different events, some for handguns, some shot guns...  I remember one event I attended was for a center fire, couple hundred yard.   You get five rounds while standing, kneeling and prone, or 15 total.  It's a timed event.  I decided to bring my 700 that I had owned since my youth.  During the event I chambered a round and the gun fired.   Basically I was locking the bolt.  Safety plays a HUGE part at these events.  Barrels are ALWAYS pointed down range.  Guns are on the benches with their bolts open and flagged and no one next to them before anyone is allowed down range.   Under the circumstances, the risk was low but it could have played out much differently.    I fitted it with a Timney. 

I checked my serial number and it was not on their recall list. 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 21, 2018, 12:20:05 am
It's a really great movie. I like "Bananas" a lot too.


Haha! That was funny. I'm going to go find that movie.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 21, 2018, 01:26:03 am
OK, how many stations has Weller sold over the years? A lot. How many stations have failed because someone plugged them into the wrong voltage? I'll bet a lot less. They complied to the standards, maybe people who are upset should go after the standards - and good luck with that!

If I plugged my station into twice the working voltage I'd be too embarrassed to tell anyone. And how did that happen, aren't their plug standards and differences? what country was it and why did it happen?

My Weller station is fused and I'd have to work to plug it into 230v, I'm still scratching my head. I need more info, more details but the last people I'm blaming is Weller, they complied.
 
When I was a kid we a had radio called the "All American 5", everyone had one. It had 5 tubes and the filament voltage added up to 121 volts. 12,12,12,35,50 was the working filament voltage for each of the 5 tubes. No input transformer, no isolation from mains. If you plugged the mains in one way the chassis was hot, if you touched a pipe or earth ground you got zapped. I used to work in a TV repair shop back then and I got nailed more than once. The manufacturers were following code, you can't blame them, blame the code, fix the code if you're pissed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 21, 2018, 01:46:11 am
How many stations have failed because someone plugged them into the wrong voltage?

Not many, but there was a case recently...  :popcorn:

And how did that happen, aren't their plug standards and differences? what country was it and why did it happen?

The IEC connector on the back is an international standard. People just tend to grab an IEC cable from their bench and plug things in.

(maybe we can blame IEC for not designing different shape plugs for different voltages, plus another one for multi-voltage devices)

My Weller station is fused

So... Weller does know how to put fuses in things.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 02:23:45 am
Apparently all the German designed Wellers are fused. Figures.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2051380/#msg2051380 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2051380/#msg2051380)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 21, 2018, 02:29:39 am
OK, how many stations has Weller sold over the years? A lot. How many stations have failed because someone plugged them into the wrong voltage?

From my personal experience?  *counting* 1 out of 6.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Grapsus on December 21, 2018, 02:53:32 am
The wrong voltage is beside the point, it's just the circumstance in which we discovered that those stations lack a safety feature that, even if not legally required, might be expected in lab equipment sold by a reputable manufacturer.

The stupidity of the whole situation is intensified by several factors:
 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: zucca on December 21, 2018, 02:54:34 am
You crack me up, as if this topic wasn't already hilarious enough!

When I was living in USA, Greenville, SC one day coming back from work I noticed there was no Internet service/Wifi.
4 minutes later I discovered the Charter Modem had the Main PSU AC120VAC/DC Unit melted, and the lights in my apartment were acting funny.
5 Minutes later I checked the main voltage with my Fluke 87V: 230VAC on the US 110VAC wall sockets!
6 Minutes later I disconnectted my entire apartment with the main switch.

Duke Energy had to fix a transformer for my area.

We need a main fuse and there is nothing hilarious in this topic, that melted Charter PSU could have started a fire.

Safety seems always funny until something bad happens.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Dataforensics on December 21, 2018, 03:23:51 am
For what its worth my very old Weller PS-3D power supply has a user accessible primary fuse specified on the labelling as 0.315A. This is a 50VA 240V/24V 50Hz unit as labelled.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MasterTech on December 21, 2018, 03:36:09 am
5 Minutes later I checked the main voltage with my Fluke 87V: 230VAC on the US 110VAC wall sockets!

Years ago, in my area, electricity went out, then came as 380V instead of 220V, someone connected phase-phase instead of phase-neutral....  and all for the same price
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 21, 2018, 03:42:32 am
5 Minutes later I checked the main voltage with my Fluke 87V: 230VAC on the US 110VAC wall sockets!

Years ago, in my area, electricity went out, then came as 380V instead of 220V, someone connected phase-phase instead of phase-neutral....  and all for the same price

Not a good day to be using a Weller soldering iron.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 21, 2018, 04:27:40 am


We need a main fuse and there is nothing hilarious in this topic, that melted Charter PSU could have started a fire.




But it didn't start a fire, which is the whole point of the UL testing.

Really the IEC plug should be different, the one with the notch should be used for  ~120v only devices and the one without the notch for ~220 v devices so that you can't plug a 220 cord into a 110 device.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: zucca on December 21, 2018, 04:45:11 am
But it didn't start a fire, which is the whole point of the UL testing.

So melting a PSU is safe and approved? mmmm thanks I did not know.
Anyway that smoke out from the Weller could have triggerd a smoke detector... you know what can happen next.

Just put a fuse and done with it. Regardless what the laws/testing/conformity says it should be a no brainer.

Really the IEC plug should be different, the one with the notch should be used for  ~120v only devices and the one without the notch for ~220 v devices so that you can't plug a 220 cord into a 110 device.

I agree but a fuse is more safe than a notch.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on December 21, 2018, 04:59:05 am
All marketing wank. Example vacuum cleaner: ...vacuum has a powerful 10 amp motor!
It has nothing to do with the ability to suck (or suck). Buzzwords that are meaningless.

A 120V station is a feature? So I guess by that definition a 230V one is a deficit?

This isn't the 1940's 50's, 60's, 70's etc. where nothing consumer was fused.

Fix your blunder/cost cutting measures and thermally and electrically fuse as well as put the MOV's on the primary side AFTER THE FUSE. Wankers. I haven't bought or recommended Weller for anything professional (or hobbyist) in forever. As I said.. Wankers all.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: FrankBuss on December 21, 2018, 05:11:52 am
Weller reply to your letter had all the signs of artificial intelligence.  |O
Weller tombstone mentality and an automated complaints procedure  >:D
looks like saving pennies, is more important than paying humans to reply to your letter.

No, it is genuine marketing speak :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 05:12:31 am
So melting a PSU is safe and approved?

Should I post it again?

(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: zucca on December 21, 2018, 05:19:37 am
Should I post it again?

Yes you did.
To me it's all super easy: put a fuse and move on safely.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 21, 2018, 05:45:23 am
When people buy a brand like Weller they are paying substantially more for an item thats functionally very similar to items one can buy on ebay for literally a quarter or less of what they charge.

We all know that to be true.

The cheaper products used to be - rightfully- associated with shoddy construction and inadequate safety protections. As discussed a great deal here. But thanks to outspoken articulate users, things have improved somewhat.

We now expect even those cheap products to be rising in quality and safety, and they are. Everybody - or almost everybody- has been benefiting from the process.

So I think thats why its particularly distressing that what amounts to a name brand - Weller - a brand we have all recommended to new buyers as almost certain to be safe, now doesn't have this $1 fuse.

Even if it is legal for them to leave it out, as it seems to be, its more than a symbolic gesture as shown by what happened when the power was exceeded. 

Also, by leaving it out they are throwing away a good argument many used to justify spending more, getting a product that is certain to be safe. We can argue until we're blue in the face over whether a transformer with no fuse can be safe, but the fact is common sense is telling a lot of people its stupid, even if it is legal.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 21, 2018, 05:53:22 am
What makes sense to me, what I do, is always check new instruments. This wasn't a mains problem. I always look to see, even here in the US with standard cords, if there is a 120/240/ switch  on the back. Especially since companies like Keysight, TTI, R&S, Tektronix, etc. sell products all over the world.

As far as my bench goes, I run off inverters from my PV system which are better AC than the grid. If I didn't have inverters I would run dedicated supplies to feed my VERY EXPENSIVE instruments. My rural grid has been known to surge during storms etc. I never take a chance and I get the benefit of lower stray noise.

So maybe the lesson here is to check your new instruments AND buffer the grid if you think it will pump high voltage or spikes into your instruments. We can gab here about how company 'A' should have done this or that but isn't the best solution to do it yourself? To not take any chances, aren't we supposed to be versed in electronics? Shouldn't we know better?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 21, 2018, 06:03:08 am
When people buy a brand like Weller they are paying substantially more for an item thats functionally very similar to items one can buy on ebay for literally a quarter or less of what they charge.

We all know that to be true.


I don't agree with that! You want to compare a cheapo solder sucker to my Edsyn? Not even close. You want to compare a Chinese to my Weller? I've had both, the Chinese cost me a few hundred bucks, not even that cheap, the iron cord twisted on it one day and blew the circuit board out. It took me several hours to fix it and the quality was horrible. It's a hobby station.

If you're a hobbyist, fine by all means buy cheapo stuff but don't think it comes up to the level of Keysight.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 06:08:01 am
A large part of what you pay for in professional tools is that the quality is consistent and that you don't have to expect to fiddle with it to make it work. Considering the large amount of threads on modifying the TS80 and TS100 devices, you need to tinker with it quite a lot to get it going. If you don't value your time and don't have to worry about production being backed up and costing money, that's fine. If your hours cost real money and contracts can't be fulfilled, that's a risk you cannot take. In general, the price you pay for cheap devices is having to faff around.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 21, 2018, 06:13:06 am
This is very simple: this thing can potentially burn your house if a power surge damages the transformer. A simple fuse prevents that. Who in the world desings a mains-connected equipment that doesn't have at least a fuse inside on the PCB, or something like that?

In any case, you don't want to draw unlimited power from the grid. Bad things will happen.

(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/81526123/unlimited-power.jpg)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 06:38:50 am
This is very simple: this thing can potentially burn your house if a power surge damages the transformer. A simple fuse prevents that. Who in the world desings a mains-connected equipment that doesn't have at least a fuse inside on the PCB, or something like that?

In any case, you don't want to draw unlimited power from the grid. Bad things will happen.

(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/81526123/unlimited-power.jpg)
Will it draw unlimited power, though?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 21, 2018, 06:44:44 am
It didn't draw enough power to pop the breaker. Just enough to start to burn itself up.

Which as people have pointed out, isnt super surprising when it was powered with twice the voltage plus a lower frequency. However, it really should have been fused for that and the other reason that its a frigging soldering iron.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 06:59:49 am
It didn't draw enough power to pop the breaker. Just enough to start to burn itself up.

Which as people have pointed out, isnt super surprising when it was powered with twice the voltage plus a lower frequency. However, it really should have been fused for that and the other reason that its a frigging soldering iron.
Would a fuse have saved it? Remember that fuses for the wrong voltage tend to be twice the rated current of what they should be.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 21, 2018, 07:15:10 am
Would a fuse have saved it? Remember that fuses for the wrong voltage tend to be twice the rated current of what they should be.
The iron in that cheap transformer saturated and the current was more than twice what it would have been with the correct transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 21, 2018, 07:15:22 am
I've had both, the Chinese cost me a few hundred bucks, not even that cheap, the iron cord twisted on it one day and blew the circuit board out.
If you're a hobbyist, fine by all means buy cheapo stuff but don't think it comes up to the level of Keysight.

I don't know any Chinese brand irons costing few hundred bucks, so I presume you meant a Chinese made international brand one. Then that must be a Metcal.
I have a Metcal died for no reason, and I'm aware it's not visually appealing on the internals since I've also tried to fix mine.
But people don't buy a Metcal for reliability or quality. They buy a Metcal for the performance

Inductive heating gives superb thermal recovery, better than all stations in the same price range.
I keep three stations for small, medium and large jobs. A $1400 JBC Nano with tips, a $700 Metcal with tips and tweezers, and a $1200 JB Heavy Duty with tips.
That's how I rank Metcal in terms of performance, and you can see the value of the Metcal compared with much more expensive competitors.

As for Keysight, just search the word "Keysight" posted by me, and see how they fail repetitively. Here's a brief list of Keysight fails on my limited collection of Keysight gears:
1. MSOX3104A, failed to boot, NAND corruption, sent to repair once.
2. MSOX6004A, booted fine but randomly crashes, sent to repair once, reflashed by myself twice.
3. MSOX6004A, power supply made hiccup overcurrent noise, sent to repair. This is the fourth fail of the same unit within 2 years.
4. MSOX6004A, came with DOA logic probe, new in box.
5. U1461A, came with two sets of DOA ultra-fine probes.
6. U1461A, tried to kill me with a faulty input mux. Probes were at high voltage, displays 0V, unit replaced.
7. U1620A, CH1 had ~0.2 div bias regardless input range, replaced.

May I remind you that those are not cheapo. The MSRP combined, with software options I have, sums up to $70k.
Putting my tin foil hat on, I even think those are just FUD movements by KS to force their customers to buy warranty extension services.
I know it is not, since the stupid NAND problem is actually under free repair regardless of warranty, but still it's not good impression.
Luckily, Daniel and other kind people from KS are extremely helpful, but that's only in US. I've heard news from India and Saudi Arabia that the service there are not nearly as good as it is in the US. So it's a YMMV thing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 07:54:45 am
The iron in that cheap transformer saturated and the current was more than twice what it would have been with the correct transformer.
How much more? Because a little over twice is probably not enough to blow the fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 21, 2018, 08:09:39 am
At 240v 50hz an included fuse intended for 120v 60 Hz operation quite likely would have popped because the current draw would also have been higher.

It didn't draw enough power to pop the breaker. Just enough to start to burn itself up.

Which as people have pointed out, isnt super surprising when it was powered with twice the voltage plus a lower frequency. However, it really should have been fused for that and the other reason that its a frigging soldering iron.
Would a fuse have saved it? Remember that fuses for the wrong voltage tend to be twice the rated current of what they should be.

Also, I bet the email Dave got from them was written by an AI. Shows how crappy customer service is becoming a lot of the time.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 21, 2018, 08:24:25 am
At 240v 50hz an included fuse intended for 120v 60 Hz operation quite likely would have popped because the current draw would also have been higher.

That was the point. The current rating of a 120V fuse tend to be much higher than that of a 240V fuse. Not to mention the inrush current, for which the fuse is also specified.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 21, 2018, 08:31:44 am
This is very simple: this thing can potentially burn your house if a power surge damages the transformer. A simple fuse prevents that. Who in the world desings a mains-connected equipment that doesn't have at least a fuse inside on the PCB, or something like that?

In any case, you don't want to draw unlimited power from the grid. Bad things will happen.

(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/81526123/unlimited-power.jpg)
Will it draw unlimited power, though?
Well, it didn't but potentially it could "try to", if left alone and continuing melting and overheating. Sooner or later, it would trip a breaker, but the soldering station could be on fire by then.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 21, 2018, 08:35:48 am
The iron in that cheap transformer saturated and the current was more than twice what it would have been with the correct transformer.
How much more? Because a little over twice is probably not enough to blow the fuse.
Much higher. When the core saturates it no longer behaves as an iron core and the primary winding basically becomes air cored. The only thing limiting the current is the much smaller inductance of the air cored primary and the resistance of the wire. This current will quickly destroy the primary unless a fuse interrupts the current.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 08:56:55 am
this thing can potentially burn your house
You are talking out of your arsehole.

its particularly distressing that what amounts to a name brand - Weller - a brand we have all recommended to new buyers as almost certain to be safe
Where is your proof that it is unsafe?


If you plugged 240V into my house right now, probably half my appliances will go up in smoke. My ikea lamp, my kettle etc. etc....

You people need to stop shitting your pants when you see a puff of smoke and go outside once in a while.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 21, 2018, 08:58:38 am
I've had both, the Chinese cost me a few hundred bucks, not even that cheap, the iron cord twisted on it one day and blew the circuit board out.
If you're a hobbyist, fine by all means buy cheapo stuff but don't think it comes up to the level of Keysight.

I don't know any Chinese brand irons costing few hundred bucks, so I presume you meant a Chinese made international brand one. Then that must be a Metcal.
I have a Metcal died for no reason, and I'm aware it's not visually appealing on the internals since I've also tried to fix mine.
But people don't buy a Metcal for reliability or quality. They buy a Metcal for the performance

Inductive heating gives superb thermal recovery, better than all stations in the same price range.
I keep three stations for small, medium and large jobs. A $1400 JBC Nano with tips, a $700 Metcal with tips and tweezers, and a $1200 JB Heavy Duty with tips.
That's how I rank Metcal in terms of performance, and you can see the value of the Metcal compared with much more expensive competitors.

As for Keysight, just search the word "Keysight" posted by me, and see how they fail repetitively. Here's a brief list of Keysight fails on my limited collection of Keysight gears:
1. MSOX3104A, failed to boot, NAND corruption, sent to repair once.
2. MSOX6004A, booted fine but randomly crashes, sent to repair once, reflashed by myself twice.
3. MSOX6004A, power supply made hiccup overcurrent noise, sent to repair. This is the fourth fail of the same unit within 2 years.
4. MSOX6004A, came with DOA logic probe, new in box.
5. U1461A, came with two sets of DOA ultra-fine probes.
6. U1461A, tried to kill me with a faulty input mux. Probes were at high voltage, displays 0V, unit replaced.
7. U1620A, CH1 had ~0.2 div bias regardless input range, replaced.

May I remind you that those are not cheapo. The MSRP combined, with software options I have, sums up to $70k.
Putting my tin foil hat on, I even think those are just FUD movements by KS to force their customers to buy warranty extension services.
I know it is not, since the stupid NAND problem is actually under free repair regardless of warranty, but still it's not good impression.
Luckily, Daniel and other kind people from KS are extremely helpful, but that's only in US. I've heard news from India and Saudi Arabia that the service there are not nearly as good as it is in the US. So it's a YMMV thing.

So you had better luck with cheapo stuff?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 21, 2018, 09:01:16 am
It's likely Weller thinks they did nothing wrong.

Weller submits a new soldering station to UL for approvals as they have been doing for decades prior. It gets assessed to UL 499 like all previous North American soldering irons.
Not IEC 60335 for Europe, not UL 60335 (which is IEC 60335 with USA particulars).

Vintage safety standard UL/ANSI 499 (87 years old) is for Electric Heating Appliances. A real mix of products-  up to 15kW steam-bath generators, soap kettles, reptile tank heaters, heat guns, hot glue guns, ceramic kilns and more.

All are directly mains-powered heating elements, no step-down transformer is considered, even in the soldering gun clause. The mains breaker is considered the protective element, as it would be in say a 10kW heater. I would say UL 499 is weak in some areas, like a component (power transformer) burning up. It's not calling for a fuse, or an approved transformer, or a fault test there. The standard says it must be grounded but no spec or test on fault current, wire gauge etc. I could go on, but it seems this standard is full of holes.

An "engineering" boss I had used to say "it's meeting the requirements" and when I demanded to add a fuse he'd say "where is it a requirement, show me".
I put the fuse in anyway as I had to under the code of ethics as an engineer and "good practice". A non-engineer or marketing type for an engineering boss has no rights to command or instruct there.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 21, 2018, 09:06:46 am

Where is your proof that it is unsafe?


I didn't say that.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 21, 2018, 09:45:07 am
Let's put it this way: it's a 70w station. It will draw like 600 mA at 120v. Instead of putting a fuse, and be safe from any random fault, you don't put a fuse, and just rely on tripping a breaker that could at the very least have 10A on a 220v system, and i assume double of that on a 120v system. WTF kind of engineering is that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 21, 2018, 09:53:16 am
So you had better luck with cheapo stuff?

I have a Quick 957DW that has been serving me since 2014, and a Owon VDS3102L since 2014, though I don't use it that often. It's used as a portable USB scope for field works.
I also have an Analog Discovery since the same time, and it's been used occasionally on MCU projects. It's still working fine.
Also on my list is a Uni-T insulation meter. It blew up a Fluke and survived (purely my fault). I use it for testing PSUs I made.

And none of them run chips below their rated minimum operating voltage, and we can't take that as granted.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 09:57:14 am
70W won't even toast your bagel.

Assuming the worst case, and the transformer gets the full 2000W, how long do you think the 30AWG wire will last?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NANDBlog on December 21, 2018, 11:27:57 am
70W won't even toast your bagel.

Assuming the worst case, and the transformer gets the full 2000W, how long do you think the 30AWG wire will last?
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.

So melting a PSU is safe and approved?

Should I post it again?

(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)
I like the safety stand.

It could be plugged into an IEC plug, so 16A and 240V could go into the box. This is not a USB charger or a clapping monkey. This is a instrument to be used in a professional environment. When they decided that it will get grey color, and not red, they made this statement.
It is for professional environment, where people go to make money. Downtime, fire drill, debugging why your instrument doesnt work > this all cost money. So I damn well expect them to do everything in their power to avoid  AC/DC smoke effects. Especially if they splattered safety a dozen times on their product page.

And they better not just make their station "compliant with standard" but use all reasonable methods to make sure the thing doesnt blow up in my face, or I dont electrocute myself with it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 11:42:53 am
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.

That would be a feat. Please explain.

Actually, you can choke on your muffin for 0W.

It could be plugged into an IEC plug, so 16A and 240V could go into the box

You have 3800W available in a standard outlet shape? That's a bit worrisome. At least the iron would suffer a quicker, more humane death.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 21, 2018, 11:56:53 am

So melting a PSU is safe and approved? mmmm thanks I did not know.


Thats not what I said.  It performed just as the UL test said, it didn't burn down his house.


Anyway that smoke out from the Weller could have triggerd a smoke detector... you know what can happen next.
I know exactly what happens next, someone gets annoyed by the beeping and has to disable the smoke detector :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 21, 2018, 11:58:15 am
70W won't even toast your bagel.

Assuming the worst case, and the transformer gets the full 2000W, how long do you think the 30AWG wire will last?
Well, that's what Weller says, that this is a 70W station. Here they say 85W, so it seems like the soldering iron is 70W, and the consumption is 85W: https://weller-tools.com/we1010na/

The thing is that the transformer won't die immediately. As you can see in the video, it will start burning itself from excess power dissipation, and while it burns it will short it's windings, until someone notices and pulls the plug, or it trips a breaker.

The breaker has like 20 times the current rating of the fuse that the soldering station should have. Do we really need to discuss what is safer and why?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Muttley Snickers on December 21, 2018, 12:46:14 pm
Anyway that smoke out from the Weller could have triggerd a smoke detector... you know what can happen next.
I know exactly what happens next, someone gets annoyed by the beeping and has to disable the smoke detector :)

More than that, in a commercial environment it could cost you thousands of dollars for a fire brigade attendance, the adjoining businesses would also be required to evacuate the building losing time and money as well and no doubt giving you a bad reputation with the neighbours, and for what?, the lack a ten cent fuse.   :o ::)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764)
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 12:47:07 pm
that this is a 70W station. Here they say 85W,
Oh well that changes everything!


As you can see in the video, it will start burning itself
The video I watched showed some crusty wires.

it will short it's windings, until someone notices and pulls the plug, or it trips a breaker.
Or it goes pop. Have you ever pumped a bunch of current into a thin copper wire? I don't think you have.


. Do we really need to discuss what is safer and why?
I don't know. Aren't you discussing it right now?

Personally I think the station would have been more dangerous if it was working.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 21, 2018, 12:51:38 pm
and for what?, the lack a ten cent fuse.   :o ::)

For some ding dong who doesn't know what he is doing. The fuse didn't cause it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jonovid on December 21, 2018, 07:14:54 pm
before Dave's shocking discovery, I trusted the Weller name.  8)
having seen it, in electronics magazines for yrs. as a sign of safety , reliability & quality used by the professionals.
sad to see this is no longer true!  :'(
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: AmmoJammo on December 21, 2018, 07:27:59 pm
I was trying to think of another transformer based device that was sold without a mains fuse....
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 21, 2018, 08:24:05 pm
before Dave's shocking discovery, I trusted the Weller name.  8)
having seen it, in electronics magazines for yrs. as a sign of safety , reliability & quality used by the professionals.
sad to see this is no longer true!  :'(


Don't throw in the towel yet just because of lack of correct value and type of fusing you can fit yourself,
I'm still buying re "reliability & quality used by the professionals"
i.e. their solder stations and tips have been great.

But the 'safety' thing is now up to the end user, and has been for a while on a lot of gear,
I fitted primary and secondary fuses on a Weller WTCPN station ages ago, because it wasn't obvious to me what will happen if there's a short or fault somewhere.

I assumed an internal transformer fuse of sorts, but that's a one way ride and a dead transformer if the issue has an external cause.
 
So between the fuses and or RCD popping, it's a good punt that magic smoke, flames and fumes are less likely  :phew:

Weller should do better damage control, now that they are sprung,
Hakko and others have their coffers wide open ready to rock  :popcorn:

What kind of protections do the competition and KnockoffsRus Inc. have in their gear?  :-// 

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 21, 2018, 09:02:54 pm
Would a fuse have saved it?

Yes.

Remember that fuses for the wrong voltage tend to be twice the rated current of what they should be.

Voltage doesn't enter into it. The fuse would be matched to the wire in the transformer.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: FrankBuss on December 21, 2018, 09:35:17 pm
Luckily, Daniel and other kind people from KS are extremely helpful, but that's only in US. I've heard news from India and Saudi Arabia that the service there are not nearly as good as it is in the US. So it's a YMMV thing.

In Germany Keysight support is very good as well. Once I discovered a triggering bug for my DSO-X 3012A and they could reproduce the problem and fixed it with a firmware update (but needed a few months for the regular next firmware). But maybe this was the headquarter support, can't remember.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 21, 2018, 09:36:54 pm
Also, at 220v instead of 120v, even ignoring core saturation, it will draw twice the current, at least for a while. The fuse should die rather quickly with twice the current draw, while a circuit breaker won't trip at all, until the unit draws more than the breaker's rated current fow a while. That means a lot more time overheating, release smoke, and a lot more chances for it to set into fire.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 21, 2018, 10:21:50 pm
keep in mind chinese stuff has other problems, like those hot air stations that the handle actually catches on fire. bad plastics/thermal design
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 21, 2018, 10:39:49 pm
keep in mind chinese stuff has other problems, like those hot air stations that the handle actually catches on fire. bad plastics/thermal design

Lost all ground connection(s) as the wire was too thin and acted as a fuse, or worse - grounding was never implemented in the first place.

The list of bad examples keeps getting longer and longer.  :--
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 21, 2018, 11:57:38 pm
Anyway that smoke out from the Weller could have triggerd a smoke detector... you know what can happen next.
I know exactly what happens next, someone gets annoyed by the beeping and has to disable the smoke detector :)

More than that, in a commercial environment it could cost you thousands of dollars for a fire brigade attendance, the adjoining businesses would also be required to evacuate the building losing time and money as well and no doubt giving you a bad reputation with the neighbours, and for what?, the lack a ten cent fuse.   :o ::)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764)
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589)

So its somehow Weller's fault if someone overreacts?

Years ago I got pages to replace a terminal in a dispatch center the next town over.  When I arrived the monitor wasn't there and when I asked where it was the dispatcher said he tossed it out the back door as it was putting out smoke.  So I put the replacement in place and picked up the old one from out back, tossed it in the truck and went home and back to bed.

He didn't over-react, just tossed it so he didn't have to smell the smoke.  Imagine if everyone over-reacted and called the fire department every time an iphone battery went up in smoke.

The dispatcher did say he was tempted to tone out the fire department which shared the building since it would have been humorous to call the fire department for a fire in the fire department :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 22, 2018, 12:17:22 am
Anyway that smoke out from the Weller could have triggerd a smoke detector... you know what can happen next.
I know exactly what happens next, someone gets annoyed by the beeping and has to disable the smoke detector :)

More than that, in a commercial environment it could cost you thousands of dollars for a fire brigade attendance, the adjoining businesses would also be required to evacuate the building losing time and money as well and no doubt giving you a bad reputation with the neighbours, and for what?, the lack a ten cent fuse.   :o ::)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2048764/#msg2048764)
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/pull-in-case-of-fire!/msg707589/#msg707589)

So its somehow Weller's fault if someone overreacts?

Years ago I got pages to replace a terminal in a dispatch center the next town over.  When I arrived the monitor wasn't there and when I asked where it was the dispatcher said he tossed it out the back door as it was putting out smoke.  So I put the replacement in place and picked up the old one from out back, tossed it in the truck and went home and back to bed.

He didn't over-react, just tossed it so he didn't have to smell the smoke.  Imagine if everyone over-reacted and called the fire department every time an iphone battery went up in smoke.

The dispatcher did say he was tempted to tone out the fire department which shared the building since it would have been humorous to call the fire department for a fire in the fire department :)

i imagine if people were not bravado and actually recognized the hazard it might be fixed better because of all the bad PR from fire departments  ::)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 12:45:57 am
Would a fuse have saved it?

Yes.

Can you please show your data proving this?  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 22, 2018, 12:58:40 am
Can you please show your data proving this?  ;)

You're asking for data showing that fuses work?  :scared:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 01:07:33 am
You're asking for data showing that fuses work?  :scared:

Yes...  Data that shows that in this case, with the fuse that would be fitted by Weller, that is large enough that it would not cause nuisance fuse opens under normal operation in the long term at the usual 110-130 volts you see in North America, would always protect the transformer and not allow any smoke to escape when powered from 220-250 volts 50 Hz.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 22, 2018, 01:09:53 am
they do it for the high end customer
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 01:12:49 am
they do it for the high end customer

Irrelevant.  We are talking about this specific model.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 22, 2018, 01:14:09 am
you don't know how cost reduction works in a corporate setting do you?

typically they have a A team, but its like the A-team from breaking bad.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 01:17:11 am
you don't know how cost reduction works in a corporate setting do you?

I don't understand your point.  Various different models of various products often have different feature sets, even within closely related families.  This is unrelated to whether any one particular model has an input fuse or not.  Decisions like these are not always purely economic, either.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 22, 2018, 01:18:13 am
yea right
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 22, 2018, 01:27:19 am
... the fuse that would be fitted by Weller, that is large enough that it would not cause nuisance fuse opens under normal operation in the long term at the usual 110-130 volts you see in North America

Why on earth would it do that if it's rated the same as the wire in the transformer?

You seem to be fixated on voltage when the problem (and solution) is expressed in amps.

(magnetic field strengths are proportional to amps, not volts)

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: N2IXK on December 22, 2018, 01:34:15 am
FWIW, I looked at my Weller WSD81, with the intent of adding a line fuse to it, and found that it already had one.  Has one of the IEC power inlets with the little slide-out drawer for fuse access.

I guess that fuse only gets omitted on the "cheaper" models?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 22, 2018, 01:37:35 am
So you had better luck with cheapo stuff?

I have a Quick 957DW that has been serving me since 2014, and a Owon VDS3102L since 2014, though I don't use it that often. It's used as a portable USB scope for field works.
I also have an Analog Discovery since the same time, and it's been used occasionally on MCU projects. It's still working fine.
Also on my list is a Uni-T insulation meter. It blew up a Fluke and survived (purely my fault). I use it for testing PSUs I made.

And none of them run chips below their rated minimum operating voltage, and we can't take that as granted.

There's a distinction between electronic equipment and electro-mechanical equipment which soldering stations fall into. You have consumable tips and tip changes involved in stations you don't have in say a frequency counter. So you can probably get a decent Chinese bench meter as there isn't the constant wear and tear like my Edsyn solder sucker gets. No vacuum pumps, seals and such that rely on higher quality materials. Weller soldering tips hold up extremely well and the station itself has been excellent. I'd like to see Chinese tips that hold up as well, they may be out there but I'm not testing that stuff. All I know is when years were lean and I was using Chinese tips they weren't close to Weller's. They were bulky too boot and got hot in your hand, an XMPS Weller handle is a delight to use, as are their tweezers.

I'm not sure what the "below their rated" voltage remark is about, are you saying Weller does that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: zucca on December 22, 2018, 01:39:32 am
Thats not what I said.  It performed just as the UL test said, it didn't burn down his house.

I don't argue that UL was performed well and a lot of products are UL conform.
I am just saying, a fuse is much better than an UL melting approved and specified procedure.

I know exactly what happens next, someone gets annoyed by the beeping and has to disable the smoke detector :)

well when I was living there in US, in the one of my friend house this:

(https://delfour.net/gdelfour/Photos/US_Cars/Firetrucks/Photos/2007%20San%20Francisco%20Firetruck.jpg)

showed up in front of his home. My friend had to sayto them "sorry,  it was just a toaster". They were not happy and replied:" Next time you pay".
Since I love to cook, I often triggered the smoke alarm with wine or alcohol vaporated in a pan. I was surprised why no firetruck were showing up in my case.
Then I discover there was a faulty in the fire alarm sistem and my home was not radio connected with the firefighter station.

I assumed then all US fire alarm system should trigger a fire fighter truck close to the home.
Otherwise a smoke detector is there just for a beep-beep?

(https://thegoodgoodlife.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/beep-beep.jpg)

I am not an expert but is seems not enough for me. In my home I want the fire fighter running at full speed to my address in case of fire.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 22, 2018, 01:40:06 am
FWIW, I looked at my Weller WSD81, with the intent of adding a line fuse to it, and found that it already had one.  Has one of the IEC power inlets with the little slide-out drawer for fuse access.

I guess that fuse only gets omitted on the "cheaper" models?

It looks that way, I have the same fuse. So how much was that station?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: N2IXK on December 22, 2018, 02:02:12 am
It looks that way, I have the same fuse. So how much was that station?

It appears to be discontinued now, but I got mine at a surplus auction so no idea about original retail price...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on December 22, 2018, 02:11:41 am
Just a normal Chinese day where, they make formula that kills babies, chargers and power supplys that catch your house on fire, memory devices which do not come near the advertised size. And so on and so on.
Saw a programme from the UK, that may containers from China were seized at port because of the laptop chargers not meeting safety standards. One of the reasons was fire.

As far as the fuse blowing out of nuisance, I guess you have never heard of time delay fuses or resettable PTC's.

Nothing to get on about...

I forgot, multimeters with ridiculous CAT ratings, which will short out with HV and possibly explode/kill you and any nearby observers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaIszMlrQNE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaIszMlrQNE)
And as Big Clive has demonstrated, heated shower heads with live mains on the elements. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNjA0aee07k (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNjA0aee07k)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 22, 2018, 02:37:53 am
As far as the fuse blowing out of nuisance, I guess you have never heard of time delay fuses or resettable PTC's.

Not needed. Weller makes 110V soldering irons with fuses and nobody seems to be reporting that they're constantly blowing.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 22, 2018, 03:21:16 am
You're asking for data showing that fuses work?  :scared:

Yes...  Data that shows that in this case, with the fuse that would be fitted by Weller, that is large enough that it would not cause nuisance fuse opens under normal operation in the long term at the usual 110-130 volts you see in North America, would always protect the transformer and not allow any smoke to escape when powered from 220-250 volts 50 Hz.
No need to prove that. You have a lot less chances of something going really wrong with the fuse in place.
Fuses don't blow in normal operation with correctmy designed equipment. Does that happen a lot to you?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: jonovid on December 22, 2018, 03:22:28 am
As far as the fuse blowing out of nuisance, I guess you have never heard of time delay fuses or resettable PTC's.

Not needed. Weller makes 110V soldering irons with fuses and nobody seems to be reporting that they're constantly blowing.


even if a resettable primary side fuse had failed to save the transformer from damage.
it would still have saved the lab from fire. had it been a careless operator that panicked!  :scared: did not disconnect the unit from the power source & just bolted out of the room, a failsafe, is a sign of a quality product IMO.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 22, 2018, 03:34:30 am
As far as the fuse blowing out of nuisance, I guess you have never heard of time delay fuses or resettable PTC's.

Not needed. Weller makes 110V soldering irons with fuses and nobody seems to be reporting that they're constantly blowing.

Mines not, which ones, how many and whose?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 22, 2018, 03:51:22 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 22, 2018, 04:50:40 am
I don't argue that UL was performed well and a lot of products are UL conform.
I am just saying, a fuse is much better than an UL melting approved and specified procedure.

Sure its better, but its not required.  Many people say that self driving cars are better than non self driving, many people say that traction control, or automatic braking is better.  but there are many people who will buy cars without those features, usually due to cost.  But you can't say those cars are defective because they don't have a feature more expensive cars have.

A side effect of super cheap (usually china) clones is that people will see that the Weler (clone) is half the price of the (real) Weller so the real Weller looses sales and has to come up with a price reduced model to get some sales back or get run out of business.  So they cut costs wherever they can.  And as someone pointed out a fuse is just a thin wire and so is a transformer so if it passes UL (therefore legally safe) then thats what they have to do.


well when I was living there in US, in the one of my friend house this:

showed up in front of his home. My friend had to sayto them "sorry,  it was just a toaster". They were not happy and replied:" Next time you pay".
Since I love to cook, I often triggered the smoke alarm with wine or alcohol vaporated in a pan. I was surprised why no firetruck were showing up in my case.
Then I discover there was a faulty in the fire alarm sistem and my home was not radio connected with the firefighter station.

I assumed then all US fire alarm system should trigger a fire fighter truck close to the home.
Otherwise a smoke detector is there just for a beep-beep?


Nope, in the US its $ driven.   People want the biggest house for the cheapest amount of money so the home builder puts in the cheapest smoke detectors they can as long as they still meet the legal requirements.  If you want them monitored then you find a monitoring company (ADT for example) and pay them for a monitoring subscription.

Really no different than the Weller scenario here, lowest cost model gets the fewest features, want more (safety) features then pay more.

I am not an expert but is seems not enough for me. In my home I want the fire fighter running at full speed to my address in case of fire.

You would also want a way to cancel false alarms. 

But why would you want to wait for the fire department, why don't you have am automatic fire suppression system in your house?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 22, 2018, 04:52:09 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 22, 2018, 04:54:03 am
My Goodman AC system has no fuse between 240V and its control xfmr. It costed me $5000 to install, and it came with a defective defrost controller board, and the new board has been ordered for a week and I still haven't seen it. As a result, I'm burning electricity on heating strips to keep myself from freezing.

Proudly made in USA.

Goodman is pretty much bottom of the barrel. It's one of those infamous brands that a lot of HVAC guys sneer at, although not surprisingly it's also one of the best selling brands out there because it's one of the cheapest. I made the mistake of installing a Goodman gas furnace years ago and it has been a hassle to keep it going.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 22, 2018, 04:55:05 am

even if a resettable primary side fuse had failed to save the transformer from damage.
it would still have saved the lab from fire. had it been a careless operator that panicked!  :scared: did not disconnect the unit from the power source & just bolted out of the room, a failsafe, is a sign of a quality product IMO.

or maybe, since the iron passed a UL safety test without a fuse, it wouldn't have burned down the lab even if it had been left plugged in.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 22, 2018, 05:02:55 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Because they are not required by law and it is cheaper to not include them.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: eugenenine on December 22, 2018, 05:39:16 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Because they are not required by law and it is cheaper to not include them.

Same reason why a soldering station doesn't include it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 22, 2018, 06:03:17 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Any electrical safety standard will call for a mains primary-side protective element, in smaller gear.
Very few products (appear) to use nothing. From what I see...

The (North American) Weller is approved ONLY to meet the product-specific "soldering iron" safety standard UL 499 which has a few miscellaneous safety clauses. It does not fully cover basic electrical safety.

The (European) Weller approvals cover basic electrical safety IEC 60335-1 AND the product-specific part 2 IEC 60335-2-45 for the soldering iron aspect, AND calls a power transformer safety standard IEC 61558. So that product is probably safe - I haven't seen secondary-side fusing in pics, and assuming a legit agency did the assessment, not CE crap.

I'm not totally defending Weller, their electrical engineering dropped the ball but some blame is on a vintage safety standard that should be deprecated. 87 YEARS OLD is a safety standard long past its re-vamp. It allowed the engineering error to make it out to market. Or engineering designed it only to pass approvals.

Every Pace station has a primary fuse, but no mention of what UL/CSA standard they certify to, as a comparison.
Metcal/OK PS-900 no mention of its approvals and I did not see a teardown.
Edsyn has a fuse and no formal electrical approvals "COMPLIES WITH MIL-S-45743E, MIL-STD-2000-1B, WS6536E AND ESD SPEC, DOD-STD-1686, DOD-HDBK-263"
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 22, 2018, 06:27:08 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Because they are not required by law and it is cheaper to not include them.

Same reason why a soldering station doesn't include it.
... and it shows how Weller values its customers.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 06:31:40 am
Voltage doesn't enter into it. The fuse would be matched to the wire in the transformer.

Lets's say you put a 0.75A fuse in there.  How does the fuse know the difference between 90 watts (at 120 volts) being drawn, most of which is going into the actual iron element while it is heating, versus 180 watts (at 240 volts, which is still 0.75A) being dissipated solely by the primary winding of the transformer in a fault or mishap condition? 

That poor little primary winding isn't going to last very long dissipating even 180 watts.

Again, I'm not arguing that a fuse isn't a good idea and I would put a fuse in there if I designed it, but the people ranting about it automatically being a fire-breathing, smoke-emitting death trap just because it doesn't have a primary fuse and seem to think that adding a fuse would somehow solve all faults and potential failure modes that might emit some smoke or something are being at least a bit hyperbolic.

Fuses are not always required in the regulations because it has been deemed to not be necessary in all cases.  If there were any significant number of fires caused by things like this, it would be in the regulations.  The insurance industry (which is what started UL, of course) would see to it that it became a regulatory requirement if it was costing them any significant amount of money.

I'm not sure about 00 where you live, but in North America, it has been shown that things like bedroom fires caused by faulty line cords causing arcing or small smouldering below the limits that would trip the mains breaker was a larger problem than things like small transformers bursting into flames.  We are therefore now required to install Arc-Fault breakers on all bedroom circuits which are supposed to help protect against fire by trying to detect these kinds of conditions.

The UK has another approach which helps protect line cords and the connected devices by mandating fuses in every plug to help limit potential damage from their crazy 7700-watt-to-the-wall, double-connected, low impedance ring mains setup.  The same has not been deemed necessary in North America, apparently because there are not widespread problems with small transformer operated devices like this bursting into flames and burning your house down.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 22, 2018, 07:03:33 am
Voltage doesn't enter into it. The fuse would be matched to the wire in the transformer.

Lets's say you put a 0.75A fuse in there.  How does the fuse know the difference between 90 watts (at 120 volts) being drawn, most of which is going into the actual iron element while it is heating, versus 180 watts (at 240 volts, which is still 0.75A) being dissipated solely by the primary winding of the transformer in a fault or mishap condition?
What makes you think that the soldering station will draw twice the power with twice the voltage? It seems to me that it's a lot more likely to just apply full voltage to the heating element until it reaches the set temperature, so, ignoring core saturation, it's double the voltage over a resistive heating element. That's 2 times the current and 4 times the power. The fuse will likely blow quickly under twice the maximum current draw.

For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Because they are not required by law and it is cheaper to not include them.

Same reason why a soldering station doesn't include it.
... and it shows how Weller values its customers.
Also, a fuse is very cheap for the safety it provides. Hardly an excuse to not include one. Very different from car security systems that are expensive. And even considering that, some car security systems are mandatory by law here since a few years ago, like driver and passenger airbarg, and ABS brakes.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 07:31:12 am
What makes you think that the soldering station will draw twice the power with twice the voltage?

That was just an example, specifically to Fungus in response to his assertion that the voltage never ever matters in terms of fusing a transformer.

Of course a simple load will attempt to draw 4x the power at double the voltage but the real world is seldom quite that simple.  Even most small heating elements won't draw 4x the power since the resistance will usually rapidly rise as the temperature increases, and in the case of a controlled soldering station the unit may not even send any power to the iron upon power-up, depending on the state of the user controls or whether whatever control circuitry might exist is even receiving power if you blast it with twice the voltage.  It could blow regulators, microcontrollers, other components or whatnot meaning no power is ever even sent to the iron.

Since nobody has actually tested anything yet on this particular unit and provided any data, everything thus far is just pure speculation.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NANDBlog on December 22, 2018, 07:37:47 am
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.

That would be a feat. Please explain.

Actually, you can choke on your muffin for 0W.

It could be plugged into an IEC plug, so 16A and 240V could go into the box

You have 3800W available in a standard outlet shape? That's a bit worrisome. At least the iron would suffer a quicker, more humane death.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trxZY2bxOe8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trxZY2bxOe8)
1W setting things on fire.

Yes, I have 3500+W in a standard outlet. Everyone in Europe has. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuko  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuko)
Why would that be worrisome? I also have 50KW electric motor in my car and the wires in the circuit breaker box can deliver 10.000A potentially.

For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?

Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
And all new cars have ABS, ESP, airbag and seatbelt. And if a car doesnt have the advanced features,  they get lower score on Euro NCAP. So there is a third party, who tells them that it is OK, that these features are not mandatory, but your car is 0 star rating. And they publish this data. Just like Dave.
While it might not be mandatory to place a that fuse there, Weller gets 0 stars for this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: HKJ on December 22, 2018, 07:46:35 am
You are missing a parameter, when the iron in the transformer is saturated the current is not just slightly higher, it is much higher.
I do not have a 120VAC transformer around or I could do a curve of current vs. voltage.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 22, 2018, 07:46:50 am
Dave's 240VAC blunder is not "normal" operation and merely flushed out the fact that the product is missing a protective element on the primary side.

The (North American) fault condition not covered here is a transformer shorted (or partially) shorted primary or secondary winding. You don't know which two turns in a winding have shorted, it's not always end to end.

You'd have to short the secondary of the 120VAC transformer and see what the primary current rises to, and wait for the house to burn down. This is the danger: no overcurrent protection and a spread of fire under a single fault condition. The secondary winding will heat up. The magnet wire, bobbin, end covers are plastics and will burn. The product enclosure may join in. There may or may not be an arc fault at some point.

This is why a thermal fuse is inside smaller power transformers.
Bigger transformers don't have a thermal fuse because the safety standards require fusing at 167% (some 150%) of rated power.
This overload is enough that they don't get dangerously hot under a fault condition.

Let's go to the casino and bet on the mains breaker tripping, or bet on the product burning up.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MT on December 22, 2018, 07:50:13 am
Soldering iron with augmented reality app??!! Management must be bored ore something"
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on December 22, 2018, 08:04:31 am
You are missing a parameter, when the iron in the transformer is saturated the current is not just slightly higher, it is much higher.

That is a reasonable assumption, however it may or may not be true.  That depends on exactly when that particular transformer design saturates, etc.  Not all transformers will blow up instantly just because you connected them to 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz, or stuck twice the voltage across the primary, although most certainly some will be very unhappy in one or both of those cases.  :)

Quote
I do not have a 120VAC transformer around or I could do a curve of current vs. voltage.

Just taking any ol' transformer and showing a curve doesn't tell us anything about how this one behaves.  I have plenty of transformers around here that are intended to run on 120V but will work fine with a 240V input.  I have plenty more that would definitely go try to go thermonuclear.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: HKJ on December 22, 2018, 08:30:12 am
You are missing a parameter, when the iron in the transformer is saturated the current is not just slightly higher, it is much higher.

That is a reasonable assumption, however it may or may not be true.  That depends on exactly when that particular transformer design saturates, etc.  Not all transformers will blow up instantly just because you connected them to 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz, or stuck twice the voltage across the primary, although most certainly some will be very unhappy in one or both of those cases.  :)

If it not designed to use the transformer iron fully it will, of course, not have serious problems.

Quote
I do
not have a 120VAC transformer around or I could do a curve of current vs. voltage.

Just taking any ol' transformer and showing a curve doesn't tell us anything about how this one behaves.  I have plenty of transformers around here that are intended to run on 120V but will work fine with a 240V input.  I have plenty more that would definitely go try to go thermonuclear.  :)

A Weller 120VAC transformer would be ideal, but any transformer that saturate the iron would give a good idea about what happens.
Anyway I hope somebody with a 120VAC Weller Iron can do a I/V curve for it. I expect it will go nuclear somewhere between 150VAC and 200VAC.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:34:45 am
the unit draws more than the breaker's rated current fow a while. That means a lot more time overheating, release smoke, and a lot more chances for it to set into fire.

Go ahead and stuff 2000W into a thin copper wire and see how long it lasts.

Which part would set fire? The copper wire or the steel core?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Robaroni on December 22, 2018, 08:35:51 am
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.

That would be a feat. Please explain.

Actually, you can choke on your muffin for 0W.


Perfect one liner.
 I'll exit here, it isn't going to get any better. We've beat this topic into complete submission.

Enjoy your Holiday everyone!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:38:53 am
I am just saying, a fuse is much better than an UL melting approved and specified procedure.
I don't know about you, but the lesson I learned here is: Don't plug devices intended for another country into your socket and you will be fine.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:40:52 am
it would still have saved the lab from fire.
What fire?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:42:37 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?
To save you from a cooked transformer when you make bonehead mistakes, obviously.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 22, 2018, 08:42:47 am
I have plenty of transformers around here that are intended to run on 120V but will work fine with a 240V input.
Why would Weller, a company saving money by omitting fuses, add extra iron in the transformer? That small transformer probably have just enough iron to survive at 120 volts.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:44:42 am
safety standard that should be deprecated.
Why?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:46:13 am
... and it shows how Weller values its customers.
Maybe Weller think better of you that you won't go sticking thing where you shouldn't. But if you want to avoid embarrassing smoke then it seems like you can buy their higher model.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:52:52 am
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.
...
1W setting things on fire.

I really hate when I leave my burning laser pointed at sticks of dynamite. That illustrated your point marvelously.  :palm:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 08:56:47 am
You'd have to short the secondary of the 120VAC transformer and see what the primary current rises to, and wait for the house to burn down.
If I recall, the secondary was fused.


. The magnet wire, bobbin, end covers are plastics and will burn.
Can you substantiate that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on December 22, 2018, 09:17:39 am
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?
To save you from a cooked transformer when you make bonehead mistakes, obviously.
What mistake did they who wrote about the incoming 240 volt on their 120 volt service do? You don't have to take your Weller to Australia to make this happen.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 22, 2018, 09:40:42 am
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.
...
1W setting things on fire.

I really hate when I leave my burning laser pointed at sticks of dynamite. That illustrated your point marvelously.  :palm:

Which point was that?

I accidentally set something on fire with a diode laser years ago. It sounds silly now but at the time a laser capable of starting fires generally meant 3 phase power and water cooling. You wouldn't typically expect something the size of a deck of cards running off some C batteries to do that, but now it's nothing unusual.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sibeen on December 22, 2018, 10:53:35 am
Since nobody has actually tested anything yet on this particular unit and provided any data, everything thus far is just pure speculation.  :popcorn:

Yes the unit was tested and it was fairly obvious that the current drawn by the transformer exceeded the current carrying capability of the primary winding. This was evident by the amount of smoke released (reported - but by a source some here will trust), and the damage that was viewed after the event. A fuse, sized to protect the primary winding, will have prevented this.

I find it difficult to believe that many here don't get that basic point.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MrMobodies on December 22, 2018, 10:56:22 am
There is an saying in England back over 20 - 30 years ago and it was, "Safety doesn't sell". Now they plaster themselves up with safety approvals and certificates and safety words but only up to a compliance on what they can get away with.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 12:02:29 pm
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?
To save you from a cooked transformer when you make bonehead mistakes, obviously.
What mistake did they who wrote about the incoming 240 volt on their 120 volt service do? You don't have to take your Weller to Australia to make this happen.

So what do you have to do?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 12:06:49 pm
You can blow up stuff with 1W of power with the right conditions.
...
1W setting things on fire.

I really hate when I leave my burning laser pointed at sticks of dynamite. That illustrated your point marvelously.  :palm:

Which point was that?

I accidentally set something on fire with a diode laser years ago. It sounds silly now but at the time a laser capable of starting fires generally meant 3 phase power and water cooling. You wouldn't typically expect something the size of a deck of cards running off some C batteries to do that, but now it's nothing unusual.

I think the point was that the small amounts of power can damage stuff. I think that is pretty evident to everybody. I could build a Rube Goldberg to do whatever you like. It doesn't mean that it's realistic.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 22, 2018, 12:09:38 pm
it was fairly obvious that the current drawn by the transformer exceeded the current carrying capability of the primary winding.

I think it's pretty obvious that the winding WAS carrying the current. Who knows, maybe if you plug it back in , it'll carry it a little longer.

A fuse, sized to protect the primary winding, will have prevented this.

I find it difficult to believe that many here don't get that basic point.
I think you're confused because nobody is denying that point.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 22, 2018, 04:26:40 pm
For everyone defending Weller: Why has the more expensive Weller stations a fuse on the primary side if it isn't needed?
Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?

Except that in this case even the $20 clone cheapies have the fuse. Weller completely fails at competing if nothing else.

The interesting question is why Weller deliberately chose to do this on at least two models.
They have the IEC fuse holder BOM item in other products, so it seems like a no-brainer to re-use it and do the basics of covering your corporate arse.
Saving cost? If that was their goal, why is there no less than three protection devices on the secondary? You could easily get away with one.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 22, 2018, 06:35:34 pm
maybe the fuse is on the edge of the schematic and the cost-cutting team figured out how to hold it just right during the 'glance approval'.\

depends on how their assembly line is setup, potentially it could be manufacturing cost if there is like a work station where one guy does some parts and another guy later does the other parts.

also a chassis mod like a drilling operation is alot of exposure and time (make the guy a marking jig, mark, drill, drill again (enlarge), debur, make sure you did not mess up the chassis, buy a drill for the worker, get the worker keys so he can tighten the fuse holder insert, have him tighten it without scuffing the chassis, insert fuse, tighten, green loctite maybe saves a second). Do their other models have a fuse holder thats externally accessible?

They might be able to ask the manufacturer but it looks to be plastic so you need to do shop work on it.. even so they sometimes don't like to change cad drawings and stuff.

After a line is 'running smooth' for a while I expect they don't like changing anything because its a fine tuned money making machine at that point. They want to remove steps more then anything. In certain setups they want the most zombie like worker possible. And they can pay less because its less skilled then the guy next to him doing two more steps. "we don't need such a high skill level for this job (the other guy that does the higher end station with the drilling step for instance)'. Having two concerent processes of different 'quality' might allow them to make a mask to pay people less.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 22, 2018, 11:38:26 pm
Well, the fuse isn't there, so they decided to not use one in the desing phase. You can put a fuse on the pcb, or even hanging from the transformer's post, or you can order a transformer with a built-in fuse or the power connector at the back of the soldering station could have a fuse holder. But they decided to not put one there, to what? Save some pocket change per unit? How did that played out now with the electronics community talking about the missing fuse?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MrMobodies on December 22, 2018, 11:53:10 pm
Well, the fuse isn't there, so they decided to not use one in the desing phase. You can put a fuse on the pcb, or even hanging from the transformer's post, or you can order a transformer with a built-in fuse or the power connector at the back of the soldering station could have a fuse holder. But they decided to not put one there, to what? Save some pocket change per unit? How did that played out now with the electronics community talking about the missing fuse?

They'll have to do that but for a well known a big brand name product.
Alter it for safety.

The cost savings of pocket change by not putting in a fuse can be paid back in the form of fines from visits from your local Fire and Rescue when they turn up all at your expense. I see at the end of the video they made double digits.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 23, 2018, 03:48:43 am
Well, the fuse isn't there, so they decided to not use one in the desing phase. You can put a fuse on the pcb, or even hanging from the transformer's post, or you can order a transformer with a built-in fuse or the power connector at the back of the soldering station could have a fuse holder. But they decided to not put one there, to what? Save some pocket change per unit? How did that played out now with the electronics community talking about the missing fuse?

They'll have to do that but for a well known a big brand name product.
Alter it for safety.

The cost savings of pocket change by not putting in a fuse can be paid back in the form of fines from visits from your local Fire and Rescue when they turn up all at your expense. I see at the end of the video they made double digits.
Of course, i meant that weller should have done that at the design phase.
Just to think about for all the stuff that is permanently connected to power sockets... Imagine if everyone wanted to be on the cheap and removed the fuse!
And what if this thing decides to fail when no one is watching? Someone cold even forget to turn it off before leaving!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 23, 2018, 03:55:29 am
Why do more expensive cars have more safety features than cheaper ones?
Because they are not required by law and it is cheaper to not include them.

MUCH, cheaper.

(unlike a $0.10 fuse on a $100 piece of equipment).
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kleinstein on December 23, 2018, 06:11:57 am
For the soldering station they may assume that it is used under supervision only, as it would be a fire danger anyway of used unattended. So legally they may get away with not have a fuse.

Still it would be common sense to use a safe transformer with a thermal cut out. These are commonly used even in price sensitive products - though these may be used unattended.  The most logical way to add protection would be ordering transformers that include the thermal fuse. It is a few cents more, but worth it. They could safe those few cents by leaving out the poly-fuse on the secondary.

An IEC connector with fuse may need a modified case.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 23, 2018, 09:02:16 am
Greed and stupidity belong to the largest renewable resources available to mankind.
In this case here to risk that your premium brand is caught pants down for a cost advantage of some ten €cents.

The attempts of the vice president of marketing to waffle himself out of this discussion makes them look even more incompetent.
Weller a premium brand with premium prices ?! No mains fuse and no overtemp protection ?! Think twice.  :palm:


Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ice-Tea on December 23, 2018, 09:57:26 am
The interesting question is why Weller deliberately chose to do this on at least two models.
They have the IEC fuse holder BOM item in other products, so it seems like a no-brainer to re-use it and do the basics of covering your corporate arse.

Just going to put it out there as nobody else has: MTBF.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 23, 2018, 02:37:09 pm
A very useful and cheap addition to a soldering setup would be a countdown timer as are used on bathroom fans. They are mandatory in hot tubs and usually go up to a maximum of 60 or 90 minutes. Its totally worth the inconvenience of turning a knob to reset the timer every hour or so if there is even the smallest chance you might suddenly have to go and do something and might forget that your iron is on.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on December 23, 2018, 02:40:41 pm
I really enjoyed the hilarious Microchip videos they made in response to Dave's review of the PICkit3 (#39 ) and its sequel. Maybe Weller could ...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on December 23, 2018, 03:35:18 pm
Leaving out the primary side fuse could just represent a decision that fuses blown from otherwise harmless power surges are a problem.  A transformer which included a primary side fusible link would have been a particularly poor choice.  But it does not explain not using a slow primary side fuse and series instead of shunt protection on the secondary.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 23, 2018, 08:05:07 pm
A very useful and cheap addition to a soldering setup would be a countdown timer as are used on bathroom fans.

They are mandatory in hot tubs and usually go up to a maximum of 60 or 90 minutes.

Its totally worth the inconvenience of turning a knob to reset the timer every hour or so if there is even the smallest chance you might suddenly have to go and do something and might forget that your iron is on.


 :-+

I have my rig on a 10 amp 0.1s > 2 hour timer digital thingie, with a Bypass switch if I know I won't be moving from the work or test scene for any reason

If I do, I press the timer switch and walk away...

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Gary350z on December 23, 2018, 09:52:38 pm
I have my rig on a 10 amp 0.1s > 2 hour timer digital thingie, with a Bypass switch if I know I won't be moving from the work or test scene for any reason
Just the soldering iron, or all the test equipment?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 23, 2018, 11:07:51 pm
Leaving out the primary side fuse could just represent a decision that fuses blown from otherwise harmless power surges are a problem.

Or it could be that they aren't a problem and it's all in your head.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 23, 2018, 11:13:48 pm
Or it could be that they aren't a problem and it's all in your head.
The same may apply to this entire discussion.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 23, 2018, 11:26:50 pm
Or it could be that they aren't a problem and it's all in your head.
The same may apply to this entire discussion.

Maybe. This thread (and the video) was about the corporate-speak reply from Weller.

Then again, let's remember that Weller puts fuses in their more expensive gear. I don't see anybody asking to have them removed so they can save $0.50 on the purchase price.
.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: madires on December 23, 2018, 11:48:16 pm
Just going to put it out there as nobody else has: MTBF.

Another term which product marketing gets wrong all the time. :( In case you don't know: MTBF = MTTF + MTTR

MTBF: Mean Time Between Failure
MTTF: Mean Time To Failure
MTTR: Mean Time To Repair

A large MTBF doesn't imply a large MTTF, it could also mean an extremely high MTTR. ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 24, 2018, 01:07:56 am
Leaving out the primary side fuse could just represent a decision that fuses blown from otherwise harmless power surges are a problem.

Or it could be that they aren't a problem and it's all in your head.

The only question is how so many other brands got around this problem so elegantly despite having a fuse in it.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: MrMobodies on December 24, 2018, 02:37:35 am
I really enjoyed the hilarious Microchip videos they made in response to Dave's review of the PICkit3 (#39 ) and its sequel. Maybe Weller could ...

EEVblog #39 - Microchip PICkit 3 Programmer/Debugger Review
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfIS65mwn8#t=8m27s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfIS65mwn8#t=8m27s)

Quote
"I don't think we'll ever get it back, why? Some dickhead manager at Microchip who actually, you know, who managed the projected on this thing and made those decisions would never admit they're wrong and never admit that MpLab sucks if you just want to program a chip, so really we will never see it, that dickhead is probably going to get promoted too."

They removed the fuses to save money and promoted themselves to double digit growth.

Here's a version for Weller:

"I don't think we'll ever get the fuse back, why? Some dickhead manager at Weller who actually, you know, who managed the projected on this thing and made those decisions would never admit they're wrong and never admit that removing the primary fuse sucks if you don't want some random unprotected mains fireball in your lab, there is only one place it belongs is the trash, that dickhead is probably going to get promoted too."

With Weller it'll be:

Mean Time Before Fire.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 24, 2018, 04:17:52 am
What do people think Weller's corporate response should have been?  It does need an update...  :-DD

Last time I went through something similar to this, it was an all day meeting with the CEO, exec's and a team of lawyers advising what to do. The discussion was strictly about weighing liability and costs. Quite sad actually.

The product line I was involved in could do a lot more damage than a soldering station transformer burning up.

Even if engineering could find a fix, it would take many weeks to change the product, go through approvals again, roll that out to market. Backtracking model numbers and how many are already out there that are affected, the numbers could be very high.

Then, the decision was made to immediately issue a recall notice- as a corporation having knowledge of a product's unsafe aspect and not doing anything about it leaves them wide open to litigation. That got the exec's off their arse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 24, 2018, 08:40:15 am
You're asking for data showing that fuses work? :scared:

Yes...  Data that shows that in this case, with the fuse that would be fitted by Weller, that is large enough that it would not cause nuisance fuse opens under normal operation in the long term at the usual 110-130 volts you see in North America, would always protect the transformer and not allow any smoke to escape when powered from 220-250 volts 50 Hz.

I accept the challenge  :P

to calculate and test a working fuse type and value under those conditions,
if Weller supplies me with a FREE unit (or three) to keep,

and forks out some serious cash for my R+D work,

 to save them time, money, reputation and face

Primary and Secondary fusing btw, with simple user swapout and generic fuse replacement,


...no half baked solutions from me   :popcorn:


Edit: the 'Data' will be posted here at EEVblog  :-+  exclusively

...once the deal is done and I've been paid  >:D

 ;D



Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 24, 2018, 08:49:17 am
Just going to put it out there as nobody else has: MTBF.

Another term which product marketing gets wrong all the time. :( In case you don't know: MTBF = MTTF + MTTR

MTBF: Mean Time Between Failure
MTTF: Mean Time To Failure
MTTR: Mean Time To Repair

A large MTBF doesn't imply a large MTTF, it could also mean an extremely high MTTR. ;)

... some more important MTT something values:

MTTX: Mean time to xplode
MTTD: Mean time to dump product
MTTSF: Mean time to set something on fire
MTTSC: Mean time to switch to *competitor* product.

Guess the MTT something values for the Weller product without a fuse.  >:D


Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 24, 2018, 08:58:04 am
I think that the most clean way to go out of this mess for Weller would be to say that there was a mistake in production, that resulted in the fuse to be omitted, and that they're going to receive the faulty models for recall, and just get some people to solder the goddamn fuse directly to to the transformer's post. Of course, after testing to make sure that the fuse will not prematurely blow, as that would be a pain in the ass to replace.

Of course, that would had to be done in the response to Dave, now it's clear that they did that on purpose, for sheer greed. Still, they need to say "sorry, we made a stupid decision" and recall to solder the fuse there.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 24, 2018, 09:29:26 am
What do people think Weller's corporate response should have been?

How about: "Thanks for pointing this out, it was a management oversight and we're updating our policies. We're also going to add a fuse and a large "110V only" warning label to this model" (and all other models that don't already have them)."


This is a company that happily spends hundreds of thousands a year just on trade shows, etc.

The free publicity Dave could have given them with a positive followup video would easily pay for a few fuses and sticky labels.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: AmmoJammo on December 24, 2018, 09:38:53 am
There's actually a solution that doesn't require fitting a fuse, and would actually reduce the bom cost!

Hard wire the mains leads...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 24, 2018, 09:40:00 am
But wait- even on 110VAC ("normal operation") there is still a hazard. That's the issue still.
A sticker ain't gonna fix this debacle
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 24, 2018, 09:43:56 am
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world. Don't plug equipment into double its rated supply voltage.

The part that does concern me to some degree is what if a short occurs in one of the windings? I've had transformers short internally before and a fuse on the primary is good to have in that situation.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 24, 2018, 06:01:45 pm
What do people think Weller's corporate response should have been?

How about: "Thanks for pointing this out, it was a management oversight and we're updating our policies.
We're also going to add a fuse and a large "110V only" warning label to this model" (and all other models that don't already have them)."



This is a company that happily spends hundreds of thousands a year just on trade shows, etc.

The free publicity Dave could have given them with a positive followup video would easily pay for a few fuses and sticky labels.



Great advice  :clap: 

if Weller were interested in some FREE damage control suggestions that work   :popcorn:

It's 2018 ffs, well what's left of it, they need to buy a clue...  ::)


EDIT and addendum:
"We're also going to SEND OUT FOR FREE a fuse kit and a large "110V only" warning label to all owners of this model (and all other models that don't already have them)"
Just coz we value our customers
after blab king Electro Detective does all the R+D for us on the cheap



Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 24, 2018, 06:48:27 pm
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world.

How many people here have seen equipment burnt out due to voltage surges on the mains supply?

(raises hand)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 24, 2018, 07:27:31 pm
It's 2018 ffs, well what's left of it, they need to buy a clue...  ::)

The guy who wrote that letter should be fired. There's no way he should be head of marketing.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 24, 2018, 08:09:46 pm
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world.

How many people here have seen equipment burnt out due to voltage surges on the mains supply?

(raises hand)

Not once in my life. And nobody around me.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 24, 2018, 08:24:00 pm
For the soldering station they may assume that it is used under supervision only, as it would be a fire danger anyway of used unattended. So legally they may get away with not have a fuse.

I have absolutely no doubt that Weller are covered legally.
If it's anything like Australia they will have professional product liability cover that protects them if someone sues. All they have to show to defend that is show that the unit meets the various approvals.
A really really keen prosecuting lawyer could hassle them for not using "best industry practice", and could maybe try to show they removed it deliberately etc, but ultimately the third party test standard would win the day I think.
But still it's really silly stuff from Weller - You design countless products with a fuse as per safe industry practice and then very deliberately design out a protective device in a few of your low end products. Crazy. I do not understand to mindset at the company to do this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 24, 2018, 08:29:23 pm
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world.
How many people here have seen equipment burnt out due to voltage surges on the mains supply?

I don't know what caused it, but I've seen primary windings fail, but not melt and progressively break down and burn like this one, not under normal use anyway.
But again, in a product which uses a universal voltage IEC connector, no voltage label on the back (bottom in this case), and your other products having one, there is no excuse for it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: madires on December 24, 2018, 09:52:44 pm
But still it's really silly stuff from Weller - You design countless products with a fuse as per safe industry practice and then very deliberately design out a protective device in a few of your low end products. Crazy. I do not understand to mindset at the company to do this.

It's about how the product is perceived by the customer. Product marketing has to create value gaps between the different product families to justify the different prices. So a simple fuse becomes a state-of-the-art safety device for professional soldering stations with a perceived value of US$50. The only problem is that it doesn't work with EEs because we see a simple fuse as best current practice and know that the IEC snap-in socket with integrated fuse holder is just 50 cents more.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on December 25, 2018, 01:26:02 am
Having a large number of small 110VAC mains transformers around, decided to try one out on 230VAC. Connected it up, and turned on the power. Took nearly 4 minutes for it to fail with a small pop and a flash as the wire blew out.

German made transformer, made around 1982. Got hot, but no smoke, no flames and only the pop as it went out. Strangely enough the board was still working at double the input voltage.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 25, 2018, 01:47:11 am
It's about how the product is perceived by the customer. Product marketing has to create value gaps between the different product families to justify the different prices. So a simple fuse becomes a state-of-the-art safety device for professional soldering stations with a perceived value of US$50. The only problem is that it doesn't work with EEs because we see a simple fuse as best current practice and know that the IEC snap-in socket with integrated fuse holder is just 50 cents more.
Or it could be that they worked out that the fuse isn't making a large difference, so they left it out. An engineer does for a penny what a fool does for a dollar and in the bottom end of the market every penny counts. Many people here perceive a problem, but it has so far not really been demonstrated. SeanB's experiment shows it may not be as straightforward as it seems.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 25, 2018, 01:50:36 am
But still it's really silly stuff from Weller - You design countless products with a fuse as per safe industry practice and then very deliberately design out a protective device in a few of your low end products. Crazy. I do not understand to mindset at the company to do this.

It's about how the product is perceived by the customer. Product marketing has to create value gaps between the different product families to justify the different prices. So a simple fuse becomes a state-of-the-art safety device for professional soldering stations with a perceived value of US$50. The only problem is that it doesn't work with EEs because we see a simple fuse as best current practice and know that the IEC snap-in socket with integrated fuse holder is just 50 cents more.

... just as an idea the product marketing people should put their value gaps in nicer colours or other freaky features, not in basic safety features.

I always knew why marketing people are hardly ever good for an engineering product.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 25, 2018, 02:11:48 am
But still it's really silly stuff from Weller - You design countless products with a fuse as per safe industry practice and then very deliberately design out a protective device in a few of your low end products. Crazy. I do not understand to mindset at the company to do this.

It's about how the product is perceived by the customer. Product marketing has to create value gaps between the different product families to justify the different prices. So a simple fuse becomes a state-of-the-art safety device for professional soldering stations with a perceived value of US$50. The only problem is that it doesn't work with EEs because we see a simple fuse as best current practice and know that the IEC snap-in socket with integrated fuse holder is just 50 cents more.
If that's the case, it's a really stupid decision, because as you say, when your products are used by people with electronics knowledge like in this case, it's almost guaranteed that someone will notice, and the result is that the company's reputation will suffer. That should be a lot more valuable than a cheap-ass fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: chris_leyson on December 25, 2018, 02:34:15 am
Somewhat off topic but safety related. Take a small 10W flyback converter for example and lets say a transient or some other fault condition takes out the primary side switch and the controller chip lets out the magic smoke. You could conceivably use a small fast blow fuse or a fuseable resistor between the bulk primary capacitor and SMPS controller but would it be fast enough and open before the controller lets out the magic smoke ? The fuse will have a safety rating but the controller, the component that usually fails, is NOT safety rated. It's a bit of a gray area.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 25, 2018, 03:40:16 am
Having a large number of small 110VAC mains transformers around, decided to try one out on 230VAC. Connected it up, and turned on the power. Took nearly 4 minutes for it to fail with a small pop and a flash as the wire blew out.

German made transformer, made around 1982. Got hot, but no smoke, no flames and only the pop as it went out.

It's all going going to depend on whether the iron core saturates magnetically or not. When the core saturates there's not much inductive resistance and a lot of amps can flow.

Dave's went up in seconds so I'm guessing the Weller cores saturate.

(and your core didn't)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 25, 2018, 03:47:11 am
Or it could be that they worked out that the fuse isn't making a large difference, so they left it out.

Of course it won't make a large difference, that's not the point.

The point is that these things aren't cheap, the people who buy them are engineers, engineers open them up and notice things like that.

An engineer does for a penny what a fool does for a dollar and in the bottom end of the market every penny counts. Many people here perceive a problem, but it has so far not really been demonstrated. SeanB's experiment shows it may not be as straightforward as it seems.

Any money they saved by not including a fuse has now been blown because they've been called on it and are getting a ton of negative publicity.

It reflects on their brand.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 25, 2018, 04:19:18 am
Of course it won't make a large difference, that's not the point.

The point is that these things aren't cheap, the people who buy them are engineers, engineers open them up and notice things like that.

Any money they saved by not including a fuse has now been blown because they've been called on it and are getting a ton of negative publicity.

It reflects on their brand.
My point was that it doesn't necessarily reflect bad on Weller, as the practical difference isn't huge or possibly even non-existent. The negative publicity seems to come mainly from people who pile on the bandwagon here, but people who buy Weller's products based on their practical requirements may not be deterred. The last thing we want is companies installing token parts to pacify the community. It'd be interesting to get some insight into the decision making process here, though I suspect the legal risks are too big to do so.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 25, 2018, 06:25:30 am
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world.

How many people here have seen equipment burnt out due to voltage surges on the mains supply?

(raises hand)

I have never seen that before, ever, and nobody that I know has ever reported that either. If you are getting power surges massive enough to burn up a mains transformer then you need to talk to your utility.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 25, 2018, 06:58:29 am
I've had transformers short internally before

Wow. I have also never heard of this happening.
TransformerS plural? Why would transformer just suddenly fail under normal usage?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on December 25, 2018, 09:17:24 am
Having a large number of small 110VAC mains transformers around, decided to try one out on 230VAC. Connected it up, and turned on the power. Took nearly 4 minutes for it to fail with a small pop and a flash as the wire blew out.

German made transformer, made around 1982. Got hot, but no smoke, no flames and only the pop as it went out.

It's all going going to depend on whether the iron core saturates magnetically or not. When the core saturates there's not much inductive resistance and a lot of amps can flow.

Dave's went up in seconds so I'm guessing the Weller cores saturate.

(and your core didn't)

Trust me it saturated, after a minute turned off the power and felt the core, and it was at around 50C, and after the winding shorted internally it was at that point you could smell it. Was hoping it would get to smoke point, but it failed before that. Taken a few apart before and there is no internal thermal fuse in them.

Should dig up that cheap voltage converter that has a fun function, it can work as step down or step up, and has a switch to select if the input is 110 or 220V, and another to select output of 110 or 220V, and of course it has only a fuse protection, and is rated at 100VA. Input is via the usual fixed cheap and nasty cable and output is via the (in)famous universal socket. At least that has PE continued through, unlike another that has a 2 wire mains lead, yet has an earthed socket outlet that connects to the case. That did have a first for me, the screws were tight, as in almost use impact driver tight, strange for a M4 screw.

As to transformers going internally short, very common, especially on those that have large capacitive loads on them, where the peak charging current of the capacitors heats up the wire internally, or for those run at full load with high mains input and then run at 175C plus till they cook.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 25, 2018, 09:17:57 am
Its a runaway problem. Suppose some winding part gets warmer than the rest (normally somewhere in the middle of a winding packet), the copper resistance there will rise, creating even more resistive losses and heat. This goes on until the interwinding insulation breaks down in smoke. The shorted windings draw a lot of current and heat up even more until the whole transformer burns out.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 25, 2018, 11:16:41 am
I've had transformers short internally before

Wow. I have also never heard of this happening.
TransformerS plural? Why would transformer just suddenly fail under normal usage?

Failure of the insulation causing shorted turns I'd imagine, I don't think I ever tore them apart to do an extensive analysis. Two of them were in 1970s HP chart recorders years ago, one was a small power transformer in something else. Then fluorescent ballasts, I think I've seen 4 or 5 of those burn up, mostly 8' slimline ballasts which are essentially just transformers. I just replaced one of those in my mom's garage last year, it got so hot that it burned the paint off the fixture and spewed out molten tar before tripping the breaker. Oh and HV flyback transformers in CRT displays, I must have replaced at least half a dozen of those over the years. Transformers fail occasionally.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 25, 2018, 11:19:18 am

If a suss batch of transformer has weak spots and or thin on the insulation, once the excess heating starts, the product needs an old school FUSE in there to stop the 'Kiss Live' pyrotechnics

Weller can end this farce by fitting fuse/s, pumping up the price by $1? and add some safety drivel in their brochure = more or faster sales and save face

All that aside, any company that flogs their gear to 120 and 240 volt markets SHOULD KNOW BETTER that snafus like this can and will happen.
 

i.e. Put a freakin fuse in there ya cheap bastards...  :rant:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 25, 2018, 12:00:31 pm

If a suss batch of transformer has weak spots and or thin on the insulation, once the excess heating starts, the product needs an old school FUSE in there to stop the 'Kiss Live' pyrotechnics

Weller can end this farce by fitting fuse/s, pumping up the price by $1? and add some safety drivel in their brochure = more or faster sales and save face

All that aside, any company that flogs their gear to 120 and 240 volt markets SHOULD KNOW BETTER that snafus like this can and will happen.
 

i.e. Put a freakin fuse in there ya cheap bastards...  :rant:
It'd be easier to simply use properly made and QC'ed transformers, rather than patching the problem with a fuse. It seems that may very well be what they did.

Did anyone test whether an oversized fuse for 120V would pop when used at 240V?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 25, 2018, 01:07:52 pm

If a suss batch of transformer has weak spots and or thin on the insulation, once the excess heating starts, the product needs an old school FUSE in there to stop the 'Kiss Live' pyrotechnics

Weller can end this farce by fitting fuse/s, pumping up the price by $1? and add some safety drivel in their brochure = more or faster sales and save face

All that aside, any company that flogs their gear to 120 and 240 volt markets SHOULD KNOW BETTER that snafus like this can and will happen.
 

i.e. Put a freakin fuse in there ya cheap bastards...  :rant:
It'd be easier to simply use properly made and QC'ed transformers, rather than patching the problem with a fuse. It seems that may very well be what they did.

Did anyone test whether an oversized fuse for 120V would pop when used at 240V?
The only problem here seems to be the lack of fuse. No doubt that the correct fuse will blow, as the primary was smoking badly. If the primary windings overheated like that, imagine a fuse!
The current at 220v will double the current at 110v (at the very least).
The transformer itself isn't at fault here, as you cannot expect for it to work under twice the nominal voltage. Nor to fail safely.
The transformer isn't an overcurrent protection device. I don't understand the people that acts like if that was the case. A fuse is an overcurrent protection device.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on December 25, 2018, 01:15:17 pm
A properly made transformer would have a non-resettable thermal fuse buried under the primary winding, with a temperature rating such that if the abs. max. temperature rating of the enamel on the wire was exceeded it would open-circuit the primary *before* it got hot enough to emit significant quantities of toxic fumes, or be an ignition hazard.  That makes it fail safe if it experiences a serious sustained overload, or a shorted turn, or heavy core saturation.  Even cheap non-SMPSU wallwarts typically have a thermally fused primary, so you really have to be a bunch of sharks squeezing the last cent out of the product to leave it out.

If it needed extra secondary side fusing it wouldn't be bodged on, but would ether have tags to support it or more likely, have a PCB mounted to its pins carrying the PTC trip (which I suspect is there as half-assed over-temperature protection) and fuse.   Extend the PCB across the top of the transformer and it could also carry a replaceable timelag fuse on the primary side if you want to save the transformer if it gets over-voltaged to saturation.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 25, 2018, 07:25:40 pm

FWIW: Behringer equipment had/still has? IEC power sockets with a flippable fuse holder for 120 or 240 volts.

You can buy these chassis mount things for cheap at most electronics stores here, Altronics, Jaycar etc without stuffing about ordering from the big players

If the fuse is in the 120 volt slot for use in the USA, flipping the fuse holder to 240 results in no power to the unit because no fuse is in that slot, and vice-versa

i.e. it's hard to balls that up AFAICT

Someone has to pull out the fuse holder to make any changes, like fit the proper value fuse as indicated on the label for 120 or 240, align it and push in   

I'll be extra optimistic and state that even if there is a mix up of the above, the proper factory installed fuse should blow anyway if the wrong voltage selected
or the torroid or circuit cakes itself at 120 or 240 volts

No fuse is bad news   :scared:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 25, 2018, 09:12:17 pm
The transformer itself isn't at fault here, as you cannot expect for it to ... fail safely.
The transformer isn't an overcurrent protection device .. A fuse is an overcurrent protection device.

Like somebody just mentioned, transformers are used in gas discharge lamps as magnetic ballasts which are .... current limiting devices.

What are fuses but thin pieces of wire.

Very likely in your automobile you have a "fusible link" which is just a short section of wire which is of a thinner gauge than the rest of the wiring.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on December 25, 2018, 10:36:34 pm
does the thing inside of a fuse look like a normal section of copper wire to you?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 25, 2018, 11:13:52 pm
The only problem here seems to be the lack of fuse. No doubt that the correct fuse will blow, as the primary was smoking badly. If the primary windings overheated like that, imagine a fuse!
The current at 220v will double the current at 110v (at the very least).
The transformer itself isn't at fault here, as you cannot expect for it to work under twice the nominal voltage. Nor to fail safely.
The transformer isn't an overcurrent protection device. I don't understand the people that acts like if that was the case. A fuse is an overcurrent protection device.
It was already discussed that fuses aren't always required by the safety standards, because transformers limit the current by their nature. They're essentially a coil, after all. We also shouldn't forget safety standards are designed to protect the user and not the device. This all means it's a little more complicated than no fuse equals bad, especially without knowing anything about the engineering and testing that went into the product.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 26, 2018, 12:33:37 am
I don't even think the mains voltage is an issue, how many people with 240V sockets on their bench have 120V equipment? That's pretty much a non-issue in the real world.

How many people here have seen equipment burnt out due to voltage surges on the mains supply?

(raises hand)

I have never seen that before, ever, and nobody that I know has ever reported that either.

Jeez, it was only a few pages ago:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2055256/#msg2055256 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2055256/#msg2055256)

you need to talk to your utility.

Yep. They actually admitted liability last year after destroying the phone system in my wife's office.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 12:48:10 am
Jeez, it was only a few pages ago:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2055256/#msg2055256 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2055256/#msg2055256)

Yep. They actually admitted liability last year after destroying the phone system in my wife's office.
In all fairness, the arguments for fusing presented so far seem to be increasingly unlikely scenarios requiring multiple failures or massive fuck ups. Apparently 380V coming from the mains did happen, but I can imagine that being a bit outside of what Weller can be expected to reasonably deal with.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 26, 2018, 12:57:27 am
The transformer itself isn't at fault here, as you cannot expect for it to ... fail safely.
The transformer isn't an overcurrent protection device .. A fuse is an overcurrent protection device.

Like somebody just mentioned, transformers are used in gas discharge lamps as magnetic ballasts which are .... current limiting devices.

What are fuses but thin pieces of wire.

Very likely in your automobile you have a "fusible link" which is just a short section of wire which is of a thinner gauge than the rest of the wiring.
Interesting, but they have to be designed to do that, and here it clearly isn't the case.


The only problem here seems to be the lack of fuse. No doubt that the correct fuse will blow, as the primary was smoking badly. If the primary windings overheated like that, imagine a fuse!
The current at 220v will double the current at 110v (at the very least).
The transformer itself isn't at fault here, as you cannot expect for it to work under twice the nominal voltage. Nor to fail safely.
The transformer isn't an overcurrent protection device. I don't understand the people that acts like if that was the case. A fuse is an overcurrent protection device.
It was already discussed that fuses aren't always required by the safety standards, because transformers limit the current by their nature. They're essentially a coil, after all. We also shouldn't forget safety standards are designed to protect the user and not the device. This all means it's a little more complicated than no fuse equals bad, especially without knowing anything about the engineering and testing that went into the product.
Well, it didn't looked like the smoking transformer in Dave's video was limiting the current, right?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 01:00:01 am
Interesting, but they have to be designed to do that, and here it clearly isn't the case.

Well, it didn't looked like the smoking transformer in Dave's video was limiting the current, right?
Didn't it? Did you ever poke a shorted wire in the mains and did it fail as safely as this unit at twice its rated voltage?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 26, 2018, 01:18:41 am
Didn't it? Did you ever poke a shorted wire in the mains and did it fail as safely as this unit at twice its rated voltage?

We don't know exactly how it failed, Dave pulled the plug out of fear before the 'experiment' ran to completion.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 01:27:55 am
We don't know exactly how it failed, Dave pulled the plug out of fear before the 'experiment' ran to completion.
There you go.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: foubarre on December 26, 2018, 02:49:45 am
The problem that Dave saw made me look a bit more inside my own weller unit, and mainly, pushed me to check why my tweezers failed for the third time in less than one year.
I am happy i did, because what i found inside really shocked (almost a pun, could be literally) me. That thing was full of shorts and utterly dangerous.
Weller does not deserve any respect, in my own opinion.

For more details: https://youtu.be/_L4Owsz90No
If you have any of them, please check them out as i believe they are actively dangerous.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 03:25:49 am
At this point it'd be interesting to sacrifice a couple of units for science. Plug a 110V unit into 230V mains and let the fault run its course until it's properly broken or one of the mains safety devices kicks in. Add a fuse to a second unit and do the same. Compare results. I assume most people debating the possible dangers would be willing to chip in.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 26, 2018, 06:09:04 am
Interesting, but they have to be designed to do that, and here it clearly isn't the case.

Well, it didn't looked like the smoking transformer in Dave's video was limiting the current, right?
Didn't it? Did you ever poke a shorted wire in the mains and did it fail as safely as this unit at twice its rated voltage?
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell. In fact, a piece of wire thin enough, encapsulated so that there isn't any melt metal flying around, is what a fuse is all about. And they work quite well. And also very cheap!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 06:14:48 am
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.
Why do you suppose it hasn't if it's smoking? One doesn't follow from the other.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 26, 2018, 06:26:47 am
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.
Why do you suppose it hasn't if it's smoking? One doesn't follow from the other.
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 26, 2018, 06:28:45 am
At this point it'd be interesting to sacrifice a couple of units for science. Plug a 110V unit into 230V mains and let the fault run its course until it's properly broken or one of the mains safety devices kicks in. Add a fuse to a second unit and do the same. Compare results. I assume most people debating the possible dangers would be willing to chip in.

Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 06:29:49 am
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 06:34:52 am
Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
Considering the far-fetched examples discussed here, it'd be good to see the actual difference it makes. Not only whether the device fails safely, but also whether a fuse with the wrong current rating saves the device completely.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 26, 2018, 09:39:30 am
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.

Go ahead and connect a small piece of .08mm2 or 28awg wire to 240V and see what happens. It will not have time to smoke because it will go POP in less than a second. Of course the current was limited.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 26, 2018, 09:48:09 am
In all fairness, the arguments for fusing presented so far seem to be increasingly unlikely scenarios requiring multiple failures or massive fuck ups. Apparently 380V coming from the mains did happen, but I can imagine that being a bit outside of what Weller can be expected to reasonably deal with.

So why do they bother fitting primary fuses to any of their other gear?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 26, 2018, 09:49:45 am
What are fuses but thin pieces of wire.

They are thin pieces of specially designed wire that have been carefully designed and qualified to meet their specifications.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 26, 2018, 09:52:29 am
Just forget about the 240V thing, that's such an unlikely real world occurrence that it doesn't matter.

The real reason that a primary fuse is needed (I had assumed it was a mandatory safety requirement) is that transformers can and do fail. The turns are insulated by an incredibly thin layer of enamel, all it takes is a thin spot or a nick, or vibration of the wire due to magnetic forces to create a shorted turn or section of turns. No form of protection on the secondary can protect against this, a fuse on the primary whether built into the transformer or wired as an external part is an absolute necessity, there is no reason not to have one, even if there is absolutely no chance of the input voltage being out of range. With a single fuse on the primary you can protect the transformer itself and provide reasonable protection to loads on the secondary.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 10:08:22 am
So why do they bother fitting primary fuses to any of their other gear?
I'd love to know more about the engineering decisions made here, but I doubt Weller is going to open up about them. That's why some testing would be interesting. It might answer whether they properly engineered things or saved a few pennies too much at least in those tested scenarios.

Maybe there's occasionally a benefit to having a fuse fitted and they want to make sure less cost sensitive customers benefit. Maybe there's a difference in the transformers used. Who knows?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: tautech on December 26, 2018, 10:26:31 am
Just forget about the 240V thing, that's such an unlikely real world occurrence that it doesn't matter.

The real reason that a primary fuse is needed (I had assumed it was a mandatory safety requirement) is that transformers can and do fail. The turns are insulated by an incredibly thin layer of enamel, all it takes is a thin spot or a nick, or vibration of the wire due to magnetic forces to create a shorted turn or section of turns. No form of protection on the secondary can protect against this, a fuse on the primary whether built into the transformer or wired as an external part is an absolute necessity, there is no reason not to have one, even if there is absolutely no chance of the input voltage being out of range. With a single fuse on the primary you can protect the transformer itself and provide reasonable protection to loads on the secondary.
This ^ and only this !
Why in the case of a mains transformer soldering station would you design/engineer anything different ?
Secondary side fusing ?  :bullshit:

One would also wonder so to reduce BOM for a worldwide sold station why a single design 120/240 configuration with appropriate fusing wasn’t made ?  :-//
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 26, 2018, 11:32:19 am
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
Considering the far-fetched examples discussed here, it'd be good to see the actual difference it makes. Not only whether the device fails safely, but also whether a fuse with the wrong current rating saves the device completely.
What "wrong" current rating? This soldering station would likely have a 0.8A to 1A primary fuse, if they bothered to install one. If it's connected to 240v instead of 110v, that means at least twice the normal current, and in practice likely more.
In any case, if the enamel burns before the fuse blows, that sounds like a badly chosen fuse to me. Of course in this case there was no fuse, so it's not surprising that the thing smoked.

I live in a 220v country, and i seen some 110v equipment connected to 220v. And we are talking about the lowest quality chinese computer AT and ATX PSUs with a 220/110v switch here. Of course, they didn't work again without repairs, because the power transistors failed, but nothing smoked as badly as the transformer on the Weller.

I even have a 110v Epson LX-810 lying around that my brother connected without the 220 to 110v transformer, and back in the day i opened it without much hope, but only had to change an internal fuse and it worked again.

Anyways, it would be interesting to check exactly what fuse do reputable soldering stations normally have. If there is a datasheet for it, that's good data to check.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 26, 2018, 11:44:28 am
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

 :palm: Do we have to keep spelling it out to you? YOUR SAFETY. Not the safety of your iron or smoke detector. I don't think the the transformer got much hotter than a soldering iron tip.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 26, 2018, 12:32:32 pm

May we safely conclude and advise anyone with any Weller product that has not been inspected and 'upgraded' (aka fuse/s)

should not leave it powered up during:

a tea/coffee making exercise,

visit to the latrine/dunny,

or whilst answering the front door to insult drivelling door knock sales knobs   >:(
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: blueskull on December 26, 2018, 01:19:45 pm
Free speech at its finest moment.

Put it simple. If you can live with it, then keep using it.

It's anyway not supposed to be used without attendance.

If you prefer to let the iron sleep all day long, then it's your choice and you are supposed to have a better iron.

I turn my irons off right after use, and as the privilege of a JBC and Metcal user, I can afford doing so as thermal recovery takes literally seconds.

If you can't live with it, get another iron or get it fixed.

Simple as that. No discussions will make it illegal. It's legal. Period.

If you guys really want to make fuseless devices illegal, then don't bitch here. Lobby your local legislators.

The absolute most you can achieve here is to let Weller PR to know that you are not happy. At most it will help Weller to improve, not changing the law.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 26, 2018, 01:57:54 pm
... another piece of free speech:

- no fuse, marketing waffling, dumb excuses ?
- its still legal. Weren't they lucky !

A possible response : JUST DONT BUY THIS CRAP - discussions here make no sense. in the end, its your decision.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 09:36:24 pm

May we safely conclude and advise anyone with any Weller product that has not been inspected and 'upgraded' (aka fuse/s)

should not leave it powered up during:

a tea/coffee making exercise,

visit to the latrine/dunny,

or whilst answering the front door to insult drivelling door knock sales knobs   >:(
That's what people have been arguing here, but mostly based on a whole lot of assumptions and not much else. Have these been banned by insurance companies yet?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 26, 2018, 10:26:47 pm
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

 :palm: Do we have to keep spelling it out to you? YOUR SAFETY. Not the safety of your iron or smoke detector. I don't think the the transformer got much hotter than a soldering iron tip.
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 26, 2018, 10:49:09 pm
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
That's because they're spelling out "safety". ;D What personal safety hazard are you talking about? There were no signs of significant danger or damage on the inside of the device, so there definitely weren't any on the outside. Smoke is to be expected when you grossly overload a device.

Safety standards are meant to keep you safe, not the device. It's no more complicated than that.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 26, 2018, 11:43:10 pm
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
That's because they're spelling out "safety". ;D What personal safety hazard are you talking about? There were no signs of significant danger or damage on the inside of the device, so there definitely weren't any on the outside. Smoke is to be expected when you grossly overload a device.

Safety standards are meant to keep you safe, not the device. It's no more complicated than that.

I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kleinstein on December 26, 2018, 11:47:27 pm
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.

The problem is that there are other ways a transformer can fail, even if a 120 V unit is used at 115 V, e.g. a unexpected short from repeated hot / cold cycles or a damage to the enamel from grid transients. It is these cases that can pose a safety hazard if there is no fuse at the primary of the transformer.  If one sits next to it the smoke is bad enough, but there could also be a fire hazard form the transformer and case getting too hot.  It does not look there is a reliable way for the current to be interrupted in case of an overheating transformer. One should not let the iron run unattended, but this stall happens sometimes by mistake.

Not sure what would have happened if Dave had not turned off the unit when the smoke came out, but took the camera. It is still possible they have flame retardant plastic so they can safely a few cents on the fuse. 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: james_s on December 27, 2018, 07:22:05 am
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.

Typically you need the fire to spread a bit before you get enough smoke or carbon monoxide to be fatal. If it did in fact remain contained in the unit and didn't spread to any surrounding materials it's unlikely to result in a fatality. That's still no excuse for not having a fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: f4eru on December 27, 2018, 08:18:31 am
Weller went down the drain, really.
At my previous company, we bought a WX station, in 2013, so probably of the first batches.

Every time an ESD pulse 1m appart got discharged in some completely unconnected stuff, the WX station beeped, and resetted.
After 1 Year, the iron cable failed !  With moderate use !

We got rid of this POS, and got us some good old WSD station.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 09:13:25 am
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
Cute, but irrelevant. Let's stay on subject.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 27, 2018, 09:18:05 am
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.

The problem is that there are other ways a transformer can fail, even if a 120 V unit is used at 115 V, e.g. a unexpected short from repeated hot / cold cycles or a damage to the enamel from grid transients. It is these cases that can pose a safety hazard if there is no fuse at the primary of the transformer.  If one sits next to it the smoke is bad enough,

but there could also be a fire hazard form the transformer and case getting too hot.

It does not look there is a reliable way for the current to be interrupted in case of an overheating transformer. One should not let the iron run unattended, but this stall happens sometimes by mistake.

Not sure what would have happened if Dave had not turned off the unit when the smoke came out, but took the camera. It is still possible they have flame retardant plastic so they can safely a few cents on the fuse.



What if there were some paper based schematics, electronics magazine, parts catalogue, tissue box or iso wipes nearby to fuel the barbeque?

Even though highly unlikely (...famous last words? ::)) I've seen transformers shoot serious sparks through equipment vents when they go south, there's a source of ignition too.

Insurance or not, the victim is screwed to replace items, some perhaps uninsured, irreplaceable, expensive, or vintage/sentimental, as well as get back in business asap

And let's not forget that burnt out magic smoke and burning premises/water combo SMELL that just keeps on keeping on 24/7  !  :o

All because some arrogant company bean counting twat refuses to install CHEAP basic safety measures,
post stone-age 'technology' that's been around since the 1800s to protect wiring, user, and manufacturers reputations and stock market share prices

and doesn't even bother to give past and present customers a simple heads up about it, and or an offer to rectify the issue

Everyone also needs to consider our Fire Brigade/Departments sorting real danger in the community, especially in summer months, 
instead of blowing their rest time and wasting resources mopping up manufacturer's cheapassery based snafus,
after taking their trusting customers cash  :-- :--

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 09:19:16 am
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.

The problem is that there are other ways a transformer can fail, even if a 120 V unit is used at 115 V, e.g. a unexpected short from repeated hot / cold cycles or a damage to the enamel from grid transients. It is these cases that can pose a safety hazard if there is no fuse at the primary of the transformer.  If one sits next to it the smoke is bad enough, but there could also be a fire hazard form the transformer and case getting too hot.  It does not look there is a reliable way for the current to be interrupted in case of an overheating transformer. One should not let the iron run unattended, but this stall happens sometimes by mistake.

Not sure what would have happened if Dave had not turned off the unit when the smoke came out, but took the camera. It is still possible they have flame retardant plastic so they can safely a few cents on the fuse.
We're going around in circles. The ability of transformers to limit current and fuses not always being required have been discussed multiple times in this thread.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 09:23:56 am
What if there were some paper based schematics, electronics magazine, parts catalogue, tissue box or iso wipes nearby to fuel the barbeque?

Even though highly unlikely (...famous last words? ::)) I've seen transformers shoot serious sparks through equipment vents when they go south, there's a source of ignition too.

Insurance or not, the victim is screwed to replace items, some perhaps uninsured, irreplaceable, expensive, or vintage/sentimental, as well as get back in business asap

And let's not forget that burnt out magic smoke and burning premises/water combo SMELL that just keeps on keeping on 24/7  !  :o

All because some arrogant company bean counting twat refuses to install CHEAP basic safety measures,
post stone-age 'technology' that's been around since the 1800s to protect wiring, user, and manufacturers reputations and stock market share prices

and doesn't even bother to give past and present customers a simple heads up about it, and or an offer to rectify the issue

Everyone also needs to consider our Fire Brigade/Departments sorting real danger in the community, especially in summer months, 
instead of blowing their rest time and wasting resources mopping up manufacturer's cheapassery based snafus,
after taking their trusting customers cash  :-- :--
People really need to stop pretending Weller employees are basically sneaking into people's houses setting fires. This is getting ridiculous.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 27, 2018, 09:31:32 am
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
Cute, but irrelevant. Let's stay on subject.

You're the one pretending that smoke isn't a hazard.

(at least, I hope you're only pretending not to know that)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on December 27, 2018, 09:32:29 am
We're going around in circles. The ability of transformers to limit current and fuses not always being required have been discussed multiple times in this thread.

And in this case it dodn't limit the current so a fuse was necessary.

End of.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 09:46:56 am
You're the one pretending that smoke isn't a hazard.

(at least, I hope you're only pretending not to know that)
We both know that this amount of smoke doesn't present a hazard. Again, let's stay on subject.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 09:48:17 am
And in this case it dodn't limit the current so a fuse was necessary.

End of.
Didn't it? Please refer to this exact discussion earlier in the thread. It's no use going over it again.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 27, 2018, 10:05:55 am
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
Cute, but irrelevant. Let's stay on subject.

Actually, it's not that irrelevant in this case.
If I had switched it on and left the room then the smoke alarm would have gone off and automatically evacuated the entire building and called the fire brigade in which case two fire trucks would have turned up. That's two trucks taken away from any other potential fire.
Sure, for the dozenth time, it was my mistake, and wouldn't have happened under normal circumstances. But if it's no big deal then why do Weller have fuses on almost all of their other products which have identical functionality?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on December 27, 2018, 10:09:15 am
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
Cute, but irrelevant. Let's stay on subject.

Actually, it's not that irrelevant in this case.
If I had switched it on and left the room then the smoke alarm would have gone off and automatically evacuated the entire building and called the fire brigade in which case two fire trucks would have turned up. That's two trucks taken away from any other potential fire.
Sure, for the dozenth time, it was my mistake, and wouldn't have happened under normal circumstances. But if it's no big deal then why do Weller have fuses on almost all of their other products which have identical functionality?

Hi,

fuses are a bit like airbags and safety belts in cars. If all drivers were perfect, nobody would need them. In reality ... )
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 10:21:03 am
Actually, it's not that irrelevant in this case.
If I had switched it on and left the room then the smoke alarm would have gone off and automatically evacuated the entire building and called the fire brigade in which case two fire trucks would have turned up. That's two trucks taken away from any other potential fire.
Sure, for the dozenth time, it was my mistake, and wouldn't have happened under normal circumstances. But if it's no big deal then why do Weller have fuses on almost all of their other products which have identical functionality?
As I've mentioned before, I'd love to know what went into that decision. Maybe asking Weller about it would yield some information, though considering their last formal response I'm not getting my hopes up. Without that information it's hard to know whether it's a properly researched decision and therefore engineered product, or that the penny pinchers won one round too many like some here are suggesting.

Considering it's apparently specifically the German designed stations that do have fuses, it wouldn't even surprise me if the answer is essentially "Germans will be Germans".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 27, 2018, 10:28:44 am
Actually, it's not that irrelevant in this case.
If I had switched it on and left the room then the smoke alarm would have gone off and automatically evacuated the entire building and called the fire brigade in which case two fire trucks would have turned up. That's two trucks taken away from any other potential fire.
Sure, for the dozenth time, it was my mistake, and wouldn't have happened under normal circumstances. But if it's no big deal then why do Weller have fuses on almost all of their other products which have identical functionality?
As I've mentioned before, I'd love to know what went into that decision. Maybe asking Weller about it would yield some information, though considering their last formal response I'm not getting my hopes up. Without that information it's hard to know whether it's a properly researched decision and therefore engineered product, or that the penny pinchers won one round too many like some here are suggesting.

Considering it's apparently specifically the German designed stations that do have fuses, it wouldn't even surprise me if the answer is essentially "Germans will be Germans".
Oh, yes, only the Germans protect their stations with a fuse: https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN (https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN)  ::)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on December 27, 2018, 10:44:18 am
Oh, yes, only the Germans protect their stations with a fuse: https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN (https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN)  ::)
Those are your words, not mine. Please note the context of my reply. I'm not sure I appreciate the context of replies being repeatedly changed to facilitate arguing against them.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: nctnico on December 27, 2018, 11:52:04 am
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.

The problem is that there are other ways a transformer can fail, even if a 120 V unit is used at 115 V, e.g. a unexpected short from repeated hot / cold cycles or a damage to the enamel from grid transients. It is these cases that can pose a safety hazard if there is no fuse at the primary of the transformer.  If one sits next to it the smoke is bad enough, but there could also be a fire hazard form the transformer and case getting too hot.  It does not look there is a reliable way for the current to be interrupted in case of an overheating transformer. One should not let the iron run unattended, but this stall happens sometimes by mistake.

Not sure what would have happened if Dave had not turned off the unit when the smoke came out, but took the camera. It is still possible they have flame retardant plastic so they can safely a few cents on the fuse.
I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet so forgive me if I'm repeating something: could it be that the 120V models have to adhere to a safety standard which doesn't assume such fatal errors? The response from Weller seems to be 'the device adheres to safety regulations' (for the market it is sold in) and that is the end of the story.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 27, 2018, 12:31:54 pm
Oh, yes, only the Germans protect their stations with a fuse: https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN (https://www.banggood.com/FX-951-Style-230V-AU-Plug-Solder-Soldering-Iron-Station-p-932704.html?rmmds=buy&cur_warehouse=CN)  ::)
Those are your words, not mine. Please note the context of my reply. I'm not sure I appreciate the context of replies being repeatedly changed to facilitate arguing against them.
Oh, well, if you meant something else, i didn't understood what it was. Sorry.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on December 27, 2018, 12:58:32 pm
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.
I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet so forgive me if I'm repeating something: could it be that the 120V models have to adhere to a safety standard which doesn't assume such fatal errors? The response from Weller seems to be 'the device adheres to safety regulations' (for the market it is sold in) and that is the end of the story.
If that is the case then IMHO that safety standard is defective due to the significant risk of 240V being applied to a 120V appliance if it is on a multi-wire branch circuit in accordance with US NEC 210.4(B).  All it takes is a high load on the other phase, and a high resistance or open neutral, which can be due to as small a defect as a loose or otherwise improperly applied wirenut.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 27, 2018, 07:49:28 pm
why do Weller have fuses on almost all of their other products which have identical functionality?
Simple. When you pay extra for a higher end station then you get more features, such as being able to keep your iron after stuffing too much voltage into it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: nuclearcat on December 27, 2018, 07:56:45 pm
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.
I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet so forgive me if I'm repeating something: could it be that the 120V models have to adhere to a safety standard which doesn't assume such fatal errors? The response from Weller seems to be 'the device adheres to safety regulations' (for the market it is sold in) and that is the end of the story.
If that is the case then IMHO that safety standard is defective due to the significant risk of 240V being applied to a 120V appliance if it is on a multi-wire branch circuit in accordance with US NEC 210.4(B).  All it takes is a high load on the other phase, and a high resistance or open neutral, which can be due to as small a defect as a loose or otherwise improperly applied wirenut.
I am getting from time to time portable propane heater units from friends to repair. Units seems imported as second hand, from japan, japanese language everywhere.
They are all 100V and big transformer with lot of secondary windings(no SMPS shit). All of units are fused + MOV on high side, for overvoltage protection, and this scheme works perfectly (220V here, and mistakes happen a lot) saving the units all the time. After changing failed parts i remove plug and solder it to 220V/100V transformer directly :)
As with companies like Weller, they sell units that are barely changing for many years, despite technology evolved a lot (and recent amazing chinese soldering stations dave reviewed prove that), so Weller still have sales just because of their past reliability and reputation.
MOV cost $0.2 in quantity, fuse was mentioned as $1. Seems Weller reputation flushed to toilet because of this $1.2 .
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: madires on December 27, 2018, 09:26:39 pm
As with companies like Weller, they sell units that are barely changing for many years, despite technology evolved a lot (and recent amazing chinese soldering stations dave reviewed prove that), so Weller still have sales just because of their past reliability and reputation.
MOV cost $0.2 in quantity, fuse was mentioned as $1. Seems Weller reputation flushed to toilet because of this $1.2 .

Yep, nice executive summary of the issue. >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: DL3CE on December 27, 2018, 11:35:47 pm
For europe:

I only read citations because I didn't buy the original standard EN 61558 (a thing I hate with passion, since those standards are quasi-law, therefore they should be available for free..), but it seems that they are "safety transformers" which are short-circuit proof (the Weller transformer bears the symbol for this) and don't need to be fused, but one interesting point is, that they aren't allowed to have multiple primary voltages or, for non-mobile devices, they have to be changable only with specific tools.

So I think they totally knew that they will smoke if subjected to higher than normal voltage and forbade switchable input voltage since they thought of "choosing a wrong voltage" as an to be expected "oops". But "wrong voltage out of the wall socket" was "that won't really happen" ... I don't agree with that.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 28, 2018, 09:08:26 am
Weller WES51 transformer is a different bird at 40VA. Previously a custom Tyco part, 4000 series (https://www.te.com/usa-en/product-CAT-P9426-A87.html#guest-click) 4000-01E07G827, Tyco 2-1611453-5, Class II UL1585. Get this from Tyco:
"Inherently Energy Limited Transformers - Class II transformers up to 50 VA are “Inherently Limited” which means that the transformer, if overloaded, will short itself out and fail safely, not requiring a fuse."  :-DD

Looking at IEC 61558 Transformer Safety, Part 15 on short-circuit testing and considering the WE1010 is almost twice the power 80-100VA would be a "non-inherently short-circuit proof transformer".

15.3.1  "The output terminals are short-circuited...."
15.3.2  "If protected by a fuse... the transformer is loaded for a time T and with a current equal to
k  times  the  current  marked  on  the  transformer  as  the  rated  current  of  the  protective  fuse-
link, where k and T have the values shown in Table 4." {This is 1hr at 210% rated unless the polyfuse is easier}

The safety standard fails to say where the fuse is located- at the transformer input or output winding.
Secondary fuses are downstream of both windings, thereby useless at covering a transformer (winding) fault.
The safety standard fails to state where the output terminals are- before or after the Weller secondary fuse bodge?

It looks like a vague, poorly worded safety standard that can get exploited. Engineers have to let common sense prevail and "fuseless technology" would make most of us gasp.
If you want to see the hazard, run the station on 120VAC and short the transformer secondary or load it at max. power. Then grab a coffee.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on December 28, 2018, 10:12:30 pm
<cut>
Looking at IEC 61558 Transformer Safety, Part 15 on short-circuit testing and considering the WE1010 is almost twice the power 80-100VA would be a "non-inherently short-circuit proof transformer".

15.3.1  "The output terminals are short-circuited...."
15.3.2  "If protected by a fuse... the transformer is loaded for a time T and with a current equal to
k  times  the  current  marked  on  the  transformer  as  the  rated  current  of  the  protective  fuse-
link, where k and T have the values shown in Table 4." {This is 1hr at 210% rated unless the polyfuse is easier}

<cut>

The transformer is not truly protected by a fuse if there is only a fuse on the secondary
- the secondary side fuse is protecting against overloads on the output, preventing a long term short-circuit of the output terminals.

Selecting the correct standard is not always easy, it requires extensive knowledge - and faults can be made. Responsible entities will correct their mistakes - will, well - or err?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Asad on December 28, 2018, 11:46:41 pm
As with companies like Weller, they sell units that are barely changing for many years, despite technology evolved a lot (and recent amazing chinese soldering stations dave reviewed prove that), so Weller still have sales just because of their past reliability and reputation.

Link?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on December 29, 2018, 12:03:17 am
When I was young, we didn't need no "fancy" soldering sticks. :-// Heat came in 4 models. The extreme heavy duty, the heavy duty, the medium and the last for fine 0402 work.
If you lost heat change the tank, or plug it in. If you lost a tip, just make one up out of a #00 round copper buss bar, #10 or #12 wire. She'll be good as new.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on December 29, 2018, 03:19:17 am
When I was young, we didn't need no "fancy" soldering sticks. :-// Heat came in 4 models. The extreme heavy duty, the heavy duty, the medium and the last for fine 0402 work.
If you lost heat change the tank, or plug it in. If you lost a tip, just make one up out of a #00 round copper buss bar, #10 or #12 wire. She'll be good as new.
:-DD :-DD :-DD

How far have we come... we didn't have the torch or the fancy guns (so expensive back then that it was relegated to the professionals), but we certainly has a 30W "stick" for the delicate jobs and a heavier 120W stick for the chassis' jobs.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 29, 2018, 07:27:46 am
Both IEC 61558 and UL 1585 wrap the transformer in tissue/cheesecloth for the overload, heating, short-circuit (fire) tests, with 16A or 20A mains feed.

Confusion with the Class 2 "doorbell" transformers seems to also plague the safety standard.
These are energy-limited output by impedance or external secondary fusing, used for doorbells, zone valves etc.
Condo fire after a cable staple shorted out the 24VAC wiring and I found the transformer had improper secondary fusing. I had to design a replacement panel for that.

I've reached out to IEC and will see if the technical committee is approachable, to possibly patch the holes in the standards.

Weller needs to patch up their ethics or explain their hypocrisy- the WS81 and WD1 stations are the same power level and have a mains fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 29, 2018, 07:33:56 am
When I was young, we didn't need no "fancy" soldering sticks. :-// Heat came in 4 models. The extreme heavy duty, the heavy duty, the medium and the last for fine 0402 work.
If you lost heat change the tank, or plug it in. If you lost a tip, just make one up out of a #00 round copper buss bar, #10 or #12 wire. She'll be good as new.

The good old 8200 soldering gun makes a few kV at the tip when you switch the trigger off! ZZzzzzt.
I killed a lot of solid-state electronics before realizing that one. The soldering gun is not earth-grounded and uses that solenoid-style transformer with tons of leakage inductance.
Never use one on modern electronics. A-OK for vacuum tube stuff  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 29, 2018, 09:38:41 am
When I was young, we didn't need no "fancy" soldering sticks. :-// Heat came in 4 models. The extreme heavy duty, the heavy duty, the medium and the last for fine 0402 work.
If you lost heat change the tank, or plug it in. If you lost a tip, just make one up out of a #00 round copper buss bar, #10 or #12 wire. She'll be good as new.

The good old 8200 soldering gun makes a few kV at the tip when you switch the trigger off! ZZzzzzt.
I killed a lot of solid-state electronics before realizing that one. The soldering gun is not earth-grounded and uses that solenoid-style transformer with tons of leakage inductance.
Never use one on modern electronics. A-OK for vacuum tube stuff  ;)

I'll bet there was some FUSE wire in the switchboard just in case one of those "fancy free" 4  -pick a duty-  models  :-+  went south on a job,
or the cat or dog nibbled on the power cord   :o

;D

----------------------------

To address earlier comment/s, unless the Weller transformer is an isolation welding class type with a 100% Duty Cycle on a dead short without too much temperature rise,
then it can't possibly be considered a 'Safety Transformer'

i.e. toast may/will happen eventually
and or the Fire Truck rocks up and a lecture comes your way after the water hoses and axes get packed away

Secondary fuse values F or T types aren't that difficult to work out,
it's every EE/manufacturers task to do that

and it's been done like many many many times before over the decades and documented,
so no mystery Dead Tech ancient scrolls to search for, buried in the ruins of Silicone Valley...   :popcorn:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: N2IXK on December 29, 2018, 10:22:11 am
Those old Weller guns also made a pretty good degaussing coil for working on color TV sets, too.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: ruffy91 on December 29, 2018, 10:35:57 am
All those security standards assume a fault either in the transformer itself or downstream!
There is no way to protect the transformer of all upstream failure cases.
Just imagine they added a fuse. What should the voltage rating of the fuse be? 150V, 300V, 1kV? Also what should the interruption capability be, a few dozen ampere, 25kA? All those choices assume some upstream components (for example a defined maximum voltage, the maximum current the upstream breaker allows for a short time etc. everything defined in countless standards.)

All those assumptions do not apply when the device is connected to the wrong grid.

Should it also withstand to be connected to 15kV 16 2/3 Hz Bahnstrom and fail safely?

So you should search for the standard applied to the wiring which allowed 240V on a 120V device in the first place.
IMHO the connector is the root of all evil in this case.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on December 29, 2018, 11:08:26 am
As with companies like Weller, they sell units that are barely changing for many years, despite technology evolved a lot (and recent amazing chinese soldering stations dave reviewed prove that), so Weller still have sales just because of their past reliability and reputation.
Link?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdV7XBae74 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdV7XBae74)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on December 29, 2018, 11:36:08 am
@ 10:32

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=607567;image)

There's the fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 29, 2018, 01:07:52 pm
All those security standards assume a fault either in the transformer itself or downstream!
There is no way to protect the transformer of all upstream failure cases.
Just imagine they added a fuse. What should the voltage rating of the fuse be? 150V, 300V, 1kV? Also what should the interruption capability be, a few dozen ampere, 25kA? All those choices assume some upstream components (for example a defined maximum voltage, the maximum current the upstream breaker allows for a short time etc. everything defined in countless standards.)

All those assumptions do not apply when the device is connected to the wrong grid.

Should it also withstand to be connected to 15kV 16 2/3 Hz Bahnstrom and fail safely?

So you should search for the standard applied to the wiring which allowed 240V on a 120V device in the first place.
IMHO the connector is the root of all evil in this case.
It's a 120v 70w soldering station. Probably a 0.8A fuse would be ok. Voltage rating is not a problem, because those IEC connectors are for single phase, and 240v is the maximum woldwide, right?
Now, if you connect it to 240v, it's going to draw a lot more current. At least twice the current. It's just a matter of choosing the right fuse.
It's not the only way the transformer can fail. Hell, the transformer can be faulty from manufacturing, and overheat after some time in use. Just imagine what could happen if a whole batch of this soldering stations had a fault like that!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on December 29, 2018, 01:16:34 pm
I used one about 2 months ago because I forgot my coil at home and the customer was 50 miles away.. It worked a treat on an RCA CTC-9. A D550 though..
Quote from: N2IXK on Today at 19:22:11 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=158089.msg2074618#msg2074618)
Those old Weller guns also
made still make a pretty good degaussing coil for working on color TV sets, too.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: orion242 on December 29, 2018, 02:03:59 pm
Weller WES51 transformer is a different bird at 40VA. Previously a custom Tyco part, 4000 series (https://www.te.com/usa-en/product-CAT-P9426-A87.html#guest-click) 4000-01E07G827, Tyco 2-1611453-5, Class II UL1585. Get this from Tyco:
"Inherently Energy Limited Transformers - Class II transformers up to 50 VA are “Inherently Limited” which means that the transformer, if overloaded, will short itself out and fail safely, not requiring a fuse."  :-DD

Looking at IEC 61558 Transformer Safety, Part 15 on short-circuit testing and considering the WE1010 is almost twice the power 80-100VA would be a "non-inherently short-circuit proof transformer".

Both IEC 61558 and UL 1585 wrap the transformer in tissue/cheesecloth for the overload, heating, short-circuit (fire) tests, with 16A or 20A mains feed.

Confusion with the Class 2 "doorbell" transformers seems to also plague the safety standard.
These are energy-limited output by impedance or external secondary fusing, used for doorbells, zone valves etc.
Condo fire after a cable staple shorted out the 24VAC wiring and I found the transformer had improper secondary fusing. I had to design a replacement panel for that.

Thanks for some standards to look at.

I work in the class 2 world (<50vac <100va) and far as I recall NEC requires:  Under 100va low voltage cable can be used without any additional fusing, pretty loose regulations.  >100va requires fusing down to 100va per circuit or you fall outside of class 2.  At that point likely have to deal with things the same as 120vac mains wiring or close to.  Assuming there is some parity between feeding a listed device with a trany and including one in a product...

Seen many a class 2 trany with shorted secondary turn into a smoke bomb, never fire.  Seen them installed backwards by mistake as a step up.  That typically blows the living hell out of the end devices where the real fireworks show is.  Even in those cases, can't recall a trany fire, least none that didn't self extinguished when power was removed.  End devices...not spreading fire, at least in the cases I seen.  Stack flammable materials in the area, probably a bad day.  Soldering iron in a office space, not good.  Control systems on rated walls and concrete floors, usually not a building fire.

Closest thing in the US would be plugging this into a 240/277vac receptacle which is very different than 120v recp and unlikely in most residences.  Even in a lab setting, I assume these are rare and would clearly stand out.  Anyone even make a US 240v -> IEC cord?  NEMA 6-20P looks close to NEMA 5-20P but I'm guessing they cannot be interchanged.  So at least here, it seems it would take some real stupidity or a shared neutral circuit failure (as someone mentioned earlier) to bring on this fault.  The NEMA receptacles typically prevent this nonsense.  As bigclive calls it, a "death dapter" could certainly bypass NEMA designs, but that's still something that has to be a unicorn just thinking about the 240/277v recps I can think of.  That said NEMA far as I know, spells out different connections by voltage and current.  Little interconnection worries unless the install is borked or the end user goes out of their way.

So is a US vs international safety standard issue?  Does Weller sell this model in areas where 220/110v issue may really be a problem?  Or is it the IEC standard on the device that may allow for this?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on December 29, 2018, 02:32:04 pm
Closest thing in the US would be plugging this into a 240/277vac receptacle which is very different than 120v recp and unlikely in most residences.  Even in a lab setting, I assume these are rare and would clearly stand out.  Anyone even make a US 240v -> IEC cord?  NEMA 6-20P looks close to NEMA 5-20P but I'm guessing they cannot be interchanged.  So at least here, it seems it would take some real stupidity or a shared neutral circuit failure (as someone mentioned earlier) to bring on this fault.  The NEMA receptacles typically prevent this nonsense.  As bigclive calls it, a "death dapter" could certainly bypass NEMA designs, but that's still something that has to be a unicorn just thinking about the 240/277v recps I can think of.

So is a US vs international safety standard issue?  Does Weller sell this model in areas where 220/110v issue may really be a problem?

Here's a US 240V to IEC C13 power cord for you:
https://www.amazon.com/NEMA-6-20P-C13-Power-Cord/dp/B004WJNVH4 (https://www.amazon.com/NEMA-6-20P-C13-Power-Cord/dp/B004WJNVH4)

If your bench has both 120V and 240V outlets and you've got any 240V only kit with an IEC C14 inlet, then there's a real risk of a mishap if you ever disconnect multiple items to move them, clean behind them etc.   

If I had IEC C13 leads in a US dual voltage environment, I think I'd spray paint all the 240V C13 ends bright red!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: orion242 on December 29, 2018, 02:34:52 pm
Closest thing in the US would be plugging this into a 240/277vac receptacle which is very different than 120v recp and unlikely in most residences.  Even in a lab setting, I assume these are rare and would clearly stand out.  Anyone even make a US 240v -> IEC cord?  NEMA 6-20P looks close to NEMA 5-20P but I'm guessing they cannot be interchanged.  So at least here, it seems it would take some real stupidity or a shared neutral circuit failure (as someone mentioned earlier) to bring on this fault.  The NEMA receptacles typically prevent this nonsense.  As bigclive calls it, a "death dapter" could certainly bypass NEMA designs, but that's still something that has to be a unicorn just thinking about the 240/277v recps I can think of.

So is a US vs international safety standard issue?  Does Weller sell this model in areas where 220/110v issue may really be a problem?

Here's a US 240V to IEC C13 power cord for you:
https://www.amazon.com/NEMA-6-20P-C13-Power-Cord/dp/B004WJNVH4 (https://www.amazon.com/NEMA-6-20P-C13-Power-Cord/dp/B004WJNVH4)

If your bench has both 120V and 240V outlets and you've got any 240V only kit with an IEC C14 inlet, then there's a real risk of a mishap if you ever disconnect multiple items to move them, clean behind them etc.   

If I had IEC C13 leads in a US dual voltage environment, I think I'd spray paint all the 240V C13 ends bright red!

That's not fitting a standard 120vac recp in the US.  It has the opposed blade which will not fit a standard 120vac 15A US recp.  The proper and closest equal are NEMA standards fittings I already quoted far as I can tell.  I assume there is a dimensional diff between them that makes them not interchangeable.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on December 29, 2018, 02:45:31 pm
Of course it wont fit a 120V NEMA receptacle.  However it is sold and used in the USA , will fit the IEC C14 inlet on the offending Weller  soldering station and any other 120V kit with a C14 inlet, so  presents a risk of applying 240V to 120V only equipment.

IMHO the use of IEC C14 inlets for 120V only equipment that cannot withstand 240V without permanent damage, should be prohibited.   
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: orion242 on December 29, 2018, 02:50:20 pm
> IEC C14

Exactly.  IEC failure, safety standards, etc.

Seems IEC is a bit too standard or the safety standards don't reflect the potential issues properly.  Wax on, wax off with the mains fuse aside.

Pointing blame at weller for selling a US specific model then somehow it gets exported...its their fault the product is placed in a condition it was never designed for.  Bit overkill IMO.  Fuse is cheap enough, so it seems silly to omit.  If they sell it world wide, shame on them for not adding a fuse.  Again, what are the real safety standards in this case??

If its a US only product, the chances of this happening are extremely low IMO.  Even at that, a class 2 limited trany as far as I have seen will put on a spectacular smoke show without fire.  So where really is the failure that allows for this?  Why is the primary fuse a choice is my question.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 29, 2018, 05:21:52 pm
> IEC C14

Exactly.  IEC failure, safety standards, etc.

Seems IEC is a bit too standard or the safety standards don't reflect the potential issues properly.  Wax on, wax off with the mains fuse aside.

Pointing blame at weller for selling a US specific model then somehow it gets exported...its their fault the product is placed in a condition it was never designed for.  Bit overkill IMO.  Fuse is cheap enough, so it seems silly to omit.  If they sell it world wide, shame on them for not adding a fuse.  Again, what are the real safety standards in this case??

If its a US only product, the chances of this happening are extremely low IMO.  Even at that, a class 2 limited trany as far as I have seen will put on a spectacular smoke show without fire.  So where really is the failure that allows for this?  Why is the primary fuse a choice is my question.

I have to wonder why IEC power cords are all different on one end- but not the other. What's the point really? You need a unique power cord for each country anyhow.

Transformers, as a component have two windings and the error is in putting the fuse after them, as Weller has done.
Either winding can fail partial or full short circuit. Turn #200 can short to turn #199 or to turn #1. In either winding. Or it can simply arc inside for a while. The heat generated is unpredictable, you don't know fault current, it could be 300W or 1500W. I have seen badly burnt power transformers, charred and blackened equipment. They don't always fail in a polite manner with the mains breaker tripping.

A Class 2 transformer protects the LOAD from overcurrents. Think of your doorbell wiring shorting with only the transformer's inherent current-limiting to stop the wiring from burning up. This is done with high primary impedance (OK to around 50VA) and higher power require a secondary fuse/circuit breaker - all to chiefly protect the load from fire, and give some overload protection to the transformer output. The transformer itself can still overheat or fail and needs a protective element at its input.

240V in to a 120V part is not "normal operation" so the safety standards could care less.
The failure is running a 120VAC station off 120VAC, with a failure of that power transformer- with no fuse there is no coverage other than the mains breaker.

There are at least four applicable safety standards and going down that rabbit hole is complicated here. Which one requires a fuse and which one bungled it, is a long dig.

Another mistake may be in the component (transformer) standard or the product (soldering iron station) standard being the place to call for a fuse. Each standard can assume the other's got it covered.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 29, 2018, 07:36:39 pm
I have to wonder why IEC power cords are all different on one end- but not the other.

It's so that manufacturers don't have to worry about making 12 different versions of their product. They put one standard plug, and you supply the cable. (paying close attention to voltages of course). I thought that was pretty obvious  ???
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: metrologist on December 30, 2018, 01:24:35 am
I have to wonder why IEC power cords are all different on one end- but not the other.

It's so that manufacturers don't have to worry about making 12 different versions of their product. They put one standard plug, and you supply the cable. (paying close attention to voltages of course). I thought that was pretty obvious  ???

I think his point was, why bother with 12 different power cord versions - at least if the intent of the plug design is to prevent miss-connection, then the standard IEC bypasses that safety feature. But then, I do not know the real reason why the plug designs are different, if it was nothing more than chance.

It seems to me a standard connector as such should require the device to take all possible power supplies without fault.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 30, 2018, 02:22:57 am
Yes, i also think that IEC connectors should only be used for equipments with PSUs that can be used worldwide. Otherwise, it would be a far better idea to have a different equipment-side connector for every voltage, or why not the cable going directly into the case? Specially in this case, as a soldering station will just sit on a bench all it's life, so it's not inconvenient to have a permanently attached cable.

Back in the day, all computer PSUs had a 220/110v switch, which caused some trouble, as it was common to have 220 to 110v transformers lying around (some equipment sold here was designed for 110v only at that time. Don't ask me why as we never had 110v mains).
Nowadays only 220v PSUs are sold. That probably has to do with a law from some years ago.

Still, no one asks weller to desing their stations to survive misconnections to 240v mains, but that doesn't means that it can release such a smoke screen if you do, because a lack of protection for the transformer's primary. Lets hope that they don't get a faulty batch of transformers that develops a fault on the primary side after some use.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 30, 2018, 05:39:10 am
if the intent of the plug design is to prevent miss-connection
It's not. Like I said, the intent is to have a easily swappable cable. Power leads tend to break a lot.

But then, I do not know the real reason why the plug designs are different
same reason we drive on different sides of the road I guess.

a standard connector as such should require the device to take all possible power supplies
I guess in North America people just don't treat others like they're children, or stupid. They don't like nanny governments and like to take responsibility for themselves. After all, it's only 120V, so the worst case is you get a little tickle. If YOU use lethal voltage where you live, that's your problem. It's up to YOU not to kill yourself.

Barrel jacks have the same shape with many different voltages. Do we really need 50,000 different connectors for everything? (don't answer that)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 30, 2018, 06:01:04 am
I'm saying you already have a unique product build for each region. The power cord, power transformer, mains fuse is different, another bill-of-materials, so what to gain from the common C14 connector? I think it might even add cost.
Low cost stations just use a power cord+strain relief with no IEC receptacle.

IEC 60320 could have spec'd coloured keyways to prevent a 100/120vac to 240vac happening. Maybe they assumed there is a fuse to cover it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on December 30, 2018, 10:32:24 am
@ 10:32

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/?action=dlattach;attach=607567;image)

There's the fuse.


Yay! That's what we is talkin about :clap: :clap: 

and so-o-o easy to knock up another one Jerry Riggovitch style with component leg offcuts, and solder it in

or if the warranty is up, and now that the unit is open, consider soldering in a proper fuse holder

If companies like TooHungLoW can install one of the cheapest fuse arrangements as seen on EEVblog #596 "World's Cheapest Soldering Iron",   
why can't (won't) a reputable brand like Weller?   :-//

at the least solder a fuse link straight to the PCB that will blow or sizzle away to oblivion under most 120/240/440 volts fault conditions.
LOL that's as cheap as I can think of (at the moment ::)) to score bean counters more coke and casino money to blow   :D

I've seen this arrangement on primary and secondaries and it works.
Well quite a few transformer powered items with a 120/240 selector are still kicking many years later after being to hell and back a few times  >:D 
the fuse links still intact with no apparent sunburn anywhere or trannie rattle 

BTW: Does anyone in Australia sell/distribute fuse link wire in bulk lengths and various amperage ratings ? 
besides the common 8, 15 and 30 amp stuff for older electrical switchboards 

I've tried all the major electrical places, no go so far.
 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on December 30, 2018, 11:15:42 am
There's nothing magical about tinned copper fuse wire.
See http://electricguru.in/page_view.php?id=29 (http://electricguru.in/page_view.php?id=29) for wire sizes.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on December 31, 2018, 02:30:20 am

a standard connector as such should require the device to take all possible power supplies
I guess in North America people just don't treat others like they're children, or stupid. They don't like nanny governments and like to take responsibility for themselves. After all, it's only 120V, so the worst case is you get a little tickle. If YOU use lethal voltage where you live, that's your problem. It's up to YOU not to kill yourself.
Fallacy. Then explain to me how come US was the first to make brake lights mandatory if not to increase safety? How NEC now mandates AFCIs on new constructions if not to increase safety? How US was one of the earliest places to mandate GFCIs on wet areas if not to increase safety? How US adopted the PRND in automatic transmission if not to increase safety? The examples are too many to count, but certainly laws and regulations were created to minimize the possibility of hazard.

Also, 120V is more than enough to cause a cardiac arrest, not a tingle.

Barrel jacks have the same shape with many different voltages. Do we really need 50,000 different connectors for everything? (don't answer that)

Barrel jacks with different voltages and polarity are a cause for grief for many years now, but the only difference is that power is not in excess of 1000~2000W with the increased possibility of a fire or injury hazard.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 31, 2018, 07:17:31 am
Those are all sensible improvements.
But there are just as many examples that show you have some level of personal responsibility. For example, you can still stick your finger in an edison socket.

Also, 120V is more than enough to cause a cardiac arrest, not a tingle.
Maybe with sweaty hands and a weak heart.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on December 31, 2018, 09:57:48 am
Deleting that transformer fuse for North American models saved Weller 3 pennies!  Unbelievable  :palm:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on December 31, 2018, 11:38:00 am
Also, 120V is more than enough to cause a cardiac arrest, not a tingle.
Maybe with sweaty hands and a weak heart.
But they do use ground fault interrupters in the US, right?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on December 31, 2018, 02:21:38 pm
But they do use ground fault interrupters in the US, right?

US was one of the earliest places to mandate GFCIs on wet areas

GFCI = ground-fault circuit interrupter

I've only ever seen them in bathrooms though. Oh and the backyard.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on December 31, 2018, 09:37:36 pm
Bathrooms, hot tubs - spas, kitchens, outside outlets which are required at the front and rear of the home, the rear at an HVAC installation and must have a lockout at the distribution panel. Dishwashers & garbage disposals, yada yada yada.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on January 01, 2019, 12:40:50 am
The examples are too many to count, but certainly laws and regulations were created to minimize the possibility of hazard.

Even more laws and regulations advance rent seeking under the guise of safety.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 01, 2019, 12:56:25 am
But they do use ground fault interrupters in the US, right?

US was one of the earliest places to mandate GFCIs on wet areas

GFCI = ground-fault circuit interrupter

I've only ever seen them in bathrooms though. Oh and the backyard.
That's surprising. I wouldn't bet on the conditions and just protect every circuit with them. Better to be safe than sorry.
I don't mean thay they should be mandatory by law for any circuit, but i would install them anyways.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 01, 2019, 06:36:08 am
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanMacdonald on January 01, 2019, 07:13:22 am
"Weird and stupid laws, but in the books."

An epidemic problem throughout society these days. If you take a look at the latest IEE wiring regs, you'd think the Mad Hatter had been suffering a bout of OCD when he wrote them. The regulations for handling a live nuclear missile are simpler.  (I do not exaggerate!) I recall seeing two electricians arguing over simple job of feeding power to a shed, and eventually telling the owner that it couldn't be done within the regs. The owner was using a trailing extension, and wanted it replaced with a safer arrangement. Guess he didn't get his safer arrangement and is still probably using the extension.  |O

Even worse are the vehicle test (MoT) regulations, which started out as basic safety checks but have become equally insane.  In the States they don't have any equivalent, it being up to owners to maintain their vehicles, and they reckon that vehicle defects account for only a tiny percentage of accidents.

The MoT test may actually discourage people from maintaining their cars properly, because almost any vehicle can be declared unroadworthy for some obscure reason, and if you've spent a wad of cash on brakes or tyres in the last few months then you are going to feel a right idiot.  So, you don't. You wait until the certificate runs out before changing anything. Whereas in the USA there would be no disincentive to fixing it rightaway, so unless you were really hard-up you probably would. You wonder how many unsafe vehicles are on the UK roads for just this reason. As always, beware the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on January 01, 2019, 11:28:18 am
I always do. It's lined with alfoil. :scared:

Quote from: timelessbeing on Today at 15:36:08 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=158089.msg2081200#msg2081200)
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 01, 2019, 12:19:33 pm
I always do. It's lined with alfoil. :scared:

Quote from: timelessbeing on Today at 15:36:08 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=158089.msg2081200#msg2081200)
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"


Make sure you hook it up to your wireless esd wrist strap
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 01, 2019, 09:13:05 pm


Deleting that transformer fuse for North American models saved Weller 3 pennies!  Unbelievable  :palm:



Let's do the math:

Minimum Order of 10,000 at .029 cents U.S., plus shipping, let's make it tidy and call it all up $300

$300 well spent to reduce the likely-hood of 10,000 properties catching fire

less resource wastage and stress on Fire Brigade/Departments

and keeps things sweet with Weller's reputation on those 10,000 units sold.


A backyard battling tech would flex their credit card and pay that for peace of mind,

mod the gear with those temperature fuses to make stuff  'safer' with less comebacks :phew:

keep some spares on hand (100, 1000?)

and sell off the rest (to Weller perhaps?  ::) ) to recuperate costs


Then again, maybe that's too complicated for most manufacturing companies nowadays to digest  ???  :-\ 

plus the fact that $300 saved can score a bean counter a few snorts of coke, and or a couple of roulette wheel spins... :popcorn:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on January 01, 2019, 11:37:37 pm
Let's not forget that just purchasing a part is not all that is involved.  It has to be fitted, at least.  That won't involve a lot of cost, but it won't be zero.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on January 02, 2019, 01:41:09 am
Their more recent but old Magnestat stations (https://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/manuals/372-140-weller-wtcpt-manual-41680.pdf) include a primary side fuse on the inside and I have never even heard of one blowing.  I do not know about their older ones.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 02, 2019, 03:53:11 am
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: sbode on January 02, 2019, 03:54:28 am
My Ersa i-con has a primary side fuse, and a spare fuse. Attached is a mini-slideshow-teardown :)
Hi all,
I'm shocked about Weller.
I looked on my Ersa icon-2: it's a 120W system for up to two devices and it has a 1.25A primary Fuse for the 230V Version.

I have also an old Ersa TE50 24V 80W iron with a desoldering adapter, working since 1978 !
It has an NiCrNi thermo and controlled via an old Elektor analog control. ... (Yes analog technologý of the 70's which is going really fine)

Cheers

STephan
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 02, 2019, 07:54:41 am
Weller executives do want new Mercedes after all.

A thermal fuse is in the 240VAC European transformer but not the North American 120VAC version.
So the cost savings are $0.03 plus some manual labour done in Mexico, per unit. Get a robot to install the fuse.
Hakko FX afforded a die-cast metal base and a primary fuse...

To lower cost of this soldering station:
1. Ditch the redundant secondary fusing.
2. Shorten the power cord one foot. Would save $0.35 from copper savings! :-DD
3. Shrink the size of the station. It has a big footprint, it should be narrow and tall like Asian stations to not waste workbench room. Rotate the tranny 90 degrees.

An old WTCPT I have:
It has an illuminated on/off switch, primary fuse too. Ahh the glory days of Weller.
I add a bolt on the top to hold a roll of solder. I add an ESD ground banana jack.

P.S. WTCPT price is now silly $210, WES51 obsolete.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: David Hess on January 02, 2019, 08:03:12 am
I have a WTCPS sitting here in front of me and the military WTCPK (shown at the link below) in my tool bag.  My favorites are the WTCP-L and WTCPN.

But I wonder how much longer spare parts will be available for them.

https://stevenjohnson.com/soldering/weller.htm
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 02, 2019, 08:12:23 am
Let's do the math:

Minimum Order of 10,000 at .029 cents U.S., plus shipping, let's make it tidy and call it all up $300

$300 well spent to reduce the likely-hood of 10,000 properties catching fire

less resource wastage and stress on Fire Brigade/Departments

and keeps things sweet with Weller's reputation on those 10,000 units sold.


A backyard battling tech would flex their credit card and pay that for peace of mind,

mod the gear with those temperature fuses to make stuff  'safer' with less comebacks :phew:

keep some spares on hand (100, 1000?)

and sell off the rest (to Weller perhaps?  ::) ) to recuperate costs


Then again, maybe that's too complicated for most manufacturing companies nowadays to digest  ???  :-\ 

plus the fact that $300 saved can score a bean counter a few snorts of coke, and or a couple of roulette wheel spins... :popcorn:
We keep seeing these posts which suggest recklessness on the part of Weller, but that still only seems based on conjecture and the perception of some people how things should be done. The fact that Weller has decided not to fuse the US version, as opposed to the EU version, suggests that actual proper engineering may have gone into it. It's very possible they identified risks in the EU unit which weren't so much of a hazard in the US version, so they eliminated a part which wasn't required.

Can you substantiate any of your claims? Perhaps you can show us how the choice Weller made has made any meaningful impact on the stress of fire brigades? Or that the decision to leave out the fuse in some units has actually increased the rate in which properties catch fire?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 02, 2019, 09:03:20 am
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: NANDBlog on January 02, 2019, 09:57:29 am
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 02, 2019, 10:12:30 am
Let's do the math:

Minimum Order of 10,000 at .029 cents U.S., plus shipping, let's make it tidy and call it all up $300

$300 well spent to reduce the likely-hood of 10,000 properties catching fire

less resource wastage and stress on Fire Brigade/Departments

and keeps things sweet with Weller's reputation on those 10,000 units sold.


A backyard battling tech would flex their credit card and pay that for peace of mind,

mod the gear with those temperature fuses to make stuff  'safer' with less comebacks :phew:

keep some spares on hand (100, 1000?)

and sell off the rest (to Weller perhaps?  ::) ) to recuperate costs


Then again, maybe that's too complicated for most manufacturing companies nowadays to digest  ???  :-\ 

plus the fact that $300 saved can score a bean counter a few snorts of coke, and or a couple of roulette wheel spins... :popcorn:



We keep seeing these posts which suggest recklessness on the part of Weller, but that still only seems based on conjecture and the perception of some people how things should be done.
The fact that Weller has decided not to fuse the US version, as opposed to the EU version, suggests that actual proper engineering may have gone into it.
It's very possible they identified risks in the EU unit which weren't so much of a hazard in the US version, so they eliminated a part which wasn't required.

Can you substantiate any of your claims?
Perhaps you can show us how the choice Weller made has made any meaningful impact on the stress of fire brigades?
Or that the decision to leave out the fuse in some units has actually increased the rate in which properties catch fire?




AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: rsjsouza on January 02, 2019, 10:35:04 am
Those are all sensible improvements.
But there are just as many examples that show you have some level of personal responsibility. For example, you can still stick your finger in an edison socket.
Exactly, but the improvements were considered sensible enough to warrant the improvements to be put into norm, and not the umbrella statement that here the state leaves everyone to "fend for themselves".

The original video brought light to a regulation that is considered by many to have an unsensible gap. How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?

Also, 120V is more than enough to cause a cardiac arrest, not a tingle.
Maybe with sweaty hands and a weak heart.

Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence)
Well, around here I haven't heard about any electrocutions, but a bit far west of me a girl was electrocuted by a frayed cord.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/07/18/health/teen-bathtub-electrocuted-text-trnd/index.html (https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/07/18/health/teen-bathtub-electrocuted-text-trnd/index.html)

It is hard to say what was the girl's heart condition, but I know that 120Vac can kill someone, healthy or not, depending on the conditions of the event.

Before you use this as an example of how personal responsibility is at play (and I agree), I also point out that the now mandatory GFCI norm was created to address these scenarios.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 02, 2019, 10:39:01 am
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Thanks for the highlighting as it shows how I'm expressing myself carefully. I don't like to present matters as facts when I don't have solid evidence to back that claim up. As opposed to the endless and fairly malicious conjecture of some people here, assuming all kinds of things based on their perception of how things should be done but without any actual testing or knowledge of the decisions involved in the design process. If you go around calling a company out, it pays to have something more than "I feel it's a risk" to back that up. Otherwise they're just fairly hysterical imaginary scenarios made up to rationalize angry fist shaking.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kleinstein on January 02, 2019, 10:41:01 am
How about using one of the special "power-cords" (actually an arc fault protection) for the Xbox that MS send out instead of a recall. Dave has one - but to Weller anymore  :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 02, 2019, 10:51:34 am
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 02, 2019, 10:54:12 am
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Real data beats conjecture every time, even if it's anecdotal. What was the end result?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 02, 2019, 01:28:47 pm
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 02, 2019, 01:39:17 pm
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.

Aren't they the same mob running Fluke too ? That would explain the penny pinching biz goings on  ::)

------------------------

@ Mr. Scram,  there's no fist shaking or agro here mate, just a concerned heads up regarding Weller and others to fit fuses and or thermal cutouts to their gear,

otherwise people may steer their credit cards toward other players in the soldering station game when it's time to purchase

Previous math of $300 (and some programming code so the assembly robots fit the 10,000 parts for almost FREE :clap: )

would have saved OP DJ (and any random number of the 9,999 users in that production run) some drama and magic smoke

and 22 pages thus far of EEVblog server space

I fail to understand the un-apologetic WHY Weller did not fit protection in 120 volts units

Do the punters in the U.S. get better laminations  :D  and with little to no chance to plug into a 240 volt outlet?

AFAIK the U.S. has both 120 and 240 volts available via their center tap fitted street transformers

A lot of gear sold in the U.S. has options to run off either voltage, welders especially

I'm betting those units have some burn or BANG! protection fitted no matter what clever power auto selection options are on board,
or when using proper adapter leads/plugs, or DIY widow makers.

FUSE IT OR LOSE IT !    :-BROKE
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 02, 2019, 01:55:20 pm
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Thanks for the highlighting as it shows how I'm expressing myself carefully. I don't like to present matters as facts when I don't have solid evidence to back that claim up. As opposed to the endless and fairly malicious conjecture of some people here, assuming all kinds of things based on their perception of how things should be done but without any actual testing or knowledge of the decisions involved in the design process. If you go around calling a company out, it pays to have something more than "I feel it's a risk" to back that up. Otherwise they're just fairly hysterical imaginary scenarios made up to rationalize angry fist shaking.

The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 02, 2019, 02:01:35 pm
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Real data beats conjecture every time, even if it's anecdotal. What was the end result?

The end result was a lot of smoke like in my case, but they cut to power before anything else could happen.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 02, 2019, 02:27:56 pm
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
Who said I'm trying to convince anybody? I didn't realize this was an essay writing contest.

I judge things based on my own observations, and this has been my experience. And my own experience is a better test than some make believe threats. If I'm going to start installing GFCIs everywhere because of somebody else's paranoid delusions, then I might as well start believing in the spaghetti monster too.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 02, 2019, 02:39:27 pm
The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
It really isn't. I don't think people here will make the mistake thinking that slapping on a safety device will automatically make things safer. Note that I'm not defending Weller not using a fuse. I'm simply trying to view the matter from different sides, looking at the actual facts we have. Dave wasn't afraid to admit the problem in the video was user error. That leaves the question how much of a problem not having a fuse really is if you don't grossly overload the device. A decision I don't understand could very well be an opportunity to learn about something I hadn't considered before, but someone else did figure out. I've seen more than one teardown which shows something which seems a terrible idea, but actually turns out to work remarkably well. Are there reasons this design may be reasonable, like transformers inherently limiting the current or different transformer designs being used between the US and EU model? Are there other things we may be overlooking? If there's a negative impact, can we quantify it? Or is this really penny pinching of the kind we all hate? Some people seem really keen on getting out the pitchforks and don't seem to mind fabricating provocative stories to justify their outrage and that's what I object to. I don't feel the fundamentalist approach and piling on is very appealing, and alternatively hope to tap into the considerable knowledge of the population here to maybe learn a thing or two.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 02, 2019, 02:57:12 pm
the umbrella statement that here the state leaves everyone to "fend for themselves".
You are twisting my words. My point was that the regulations subsume a certain level of competence of citizens.

I believe that if you treat people with the assumption that they will behave a certain way, then that's how they will behave.

How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

When I said electrocutions, I meant death, not "getting burned on the hand". That's not news. That's what happens when you drag an extension cord to the bathtub. If that's not wake up call to all the kids who can't tear themselves away from their phones then I don't know what is. Hopefully she learned from it. Anyway, that's one case, and not the brightest one.

120Vac can kill someone, healthy or not, depending on the conditions of the event.
An asteroid CAN land on my house tonight if the conditions are right.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 02, 2019, 04:36:50 pm
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous  :box:
There is no guesswork or conjecture other than trolls saying "no" to a fuse and "prove one is necessary" or "how many houses have burned down?".

Limiting the amount of energy going into a product, having a protective element, is common sense and also a requirement of safety standards.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
Executives, sales and marketing, and management have no ethics to follow other than to maximize profit and shareholder return. They often push, rush and micro-manage engineering into rolling out unsafe product and to save money.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner deleting the fuse with a response saying "we meet the standard".
Why the double-standard of having fuses on other Weller US soldering stations?
Why every other manufacturer has primary-side fuses on their soldering stations?
Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?

I can delve into the safety standards and show the particular clauses that have been violated. It's hundreds of pages of documents and more than people here are accustomed to. UL/CSA charge over $350/hr for consults. Walking through a standard is tedious and it would be too much for the forum. It's even too much for everyday technologists and engineers doing product development.

After the holidays, I'm expecting more responses from involved parties.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 02, 2019, 05:07:24 pm
How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

No, it's not. Because Weller does precisely this on most of their products, yet they deliberately chose to do this on a few products. It doesn't matter the circumstances under which this lack of a fuse was found, it has simply highlighted that it's not there. THat may be a big deal to some people, and zero deal to other people, ans that's fine, but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products? Why does even a $20 clone iron have one? Why does seemingly every other same class product have one?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 02, 2019, 05:27:37 pm
they deliberately chose to do this on a few products.
ok. My car didn't come with heated seats.

but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
I like discussion. But this thread feels like a witch hunt, fueled by your video.

If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products?
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 02, 2019, 05:56:44 pm
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous
Your post is ridiculous.  :o

trolls saying ..."prove one is necessary"
Look who's talking, and it's a perfectly normal question to ask.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
LOL! :wtf:
Where did you find this verbal puffery?  The idea of holding safety up to some kind of unquestionable sacrosanct status is farcical. Safety is engineered to practical level, second to usability. There is a limit, hopefully tempered by common sense and level heads, not overreaction.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner
The fictional world between your ears dictates it, not logic.

Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?
I wasn't aware that they owe you anything. You can buy whatever equipment you like.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kean on January 02, 2019, 06:12:32 pm
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself.

Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.

But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Weller have yet to provide a decent response.  Hopefully after the holidays they will - else they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 02, 2019, 06:46:43 pm
From old WTCPT manual for the iron that burnt down, no primary fuse

(https://i.imgur.com/QWthh6P.png)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 02, 2019, 06:51:34 pm
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 02, 2019, 07:24:53 pm
From old WTCPT manual for the iron that burnt down, no primary fuse
(https://i.imgur.com/QWthh6P.png)

I have this schematic for WTCPT Rev. 8/2002 that matches the station I have and the pics, I got it around 1998.
Note the primary fuse was added and secondary only fuse was deleted- over 20 years ago. Weller has already gone back to the future  :P

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Muttley Snickers on January 02, 2019, 07:31:03 pm
My old Weller-Ungar 921-ZX has a fuse on the primary side, in fact they put the holder for it on the front of the unit so it's easily accessible, and no IEC socket either so you can't stuff it up. This station would probably go for another two decades except for the minor issue of Weller no longer providing replacement tips for it and I'm on my last one.   :( >:( :( >:( 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 02, 2019, 07:56:47 pm
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 02, 2019, 08:25:21 pm
Logic, common sense and sound business practice to score repeat and loyal customers would fit both to cover all bases  :-+

or hang all that, fit both just so the CEO and staff at Weller can sleep better   :=\ :=\

------------------

FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.


DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

Had DJ tried to run the unit from a 120 volt ugly square wave inverter, some aviation 400hz thingie or a dimmer buzz adapter to control the temperature, and the unit smoked or popped a lamination after a time,
well, that's definitely a strong case for 'user error'

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 02:13:18 am
Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.

I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?
That has indeed been discussed before and would be an interesting experiment. However, it seems the discussion has moved beyond that and now mainly is about whether the fuse it absolutely required when only using the appropriate voltages and whether other things may be in play which mitigate the obvious fuse equals bad.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 02:20:19 am
Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.

Weller have yet to provide a decent response.  Hopefully after the holidays they will - else they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
It doesn't seem it's about seeing an opinion more than once, it's about seeing the same argument used more than once while the reply to it hasn't been countered or addressed.

However, Weller seeing "a measurable impact on sales targets" would be an example of the sometimes overly dramatic statements being made here. If you eliminate the outrage, there's actually not that much quantified or to go on. It seems doubtful that will have a huge impact or even any impact at all.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on January 03, 2019, 03:06:38 am
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?

Was looking in the garage and found an old 220/120 autotransformer, 200VA or so, and the lovely type with deathdaptor input, so it can be used either way.
Wonder if I should dig up a US style 2 pin plug and connect that, along with a 1A circuit breaker ( those are special order from Hymag, they normally only go down to 5A as standard) that is rated to 3ka  as per IEC 947-2, and see if the breaker will trip before the transformer goes bang, and then test to see, using a 20A breaker, if that will trip before the smoke comes out.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: TheDane on January 03, 2019, 03:54:44 am
Logic, common sense and sound business practice to score repeat and loyal customers would fit both to cover all bases  :-+

or hang all that, fit both just so the CEO and staff at Weller can sleep better   :=\ :=\

------------------

FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.


DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

Had DJ tried to run the unit from a 120 volt ugly square wave inverter, some aviation 400hz thingie or a dimmer buzz adapter to control the temperature, and the unit smoked or popped a lamination after a time,
well, that's definitely a strong case for 'user error'

Who says it always is due to 'user error' ??

A fault with the power delivery system, say a missing neutral or insufficent grounding, and your mains 120V system could face 240V across L-N.
I have personally seen an extremly expensive projecter burn and die due to a such an error. The neutral connection at the convention center was not tightened well enough, eventually causing a thermal runaway situation before it disconnected/opened. Result: 240V mains was suddenly 380V, as this was the only phase-neutral drawing large amounts of power at the time. Fortunately a replacement could be fetched in time, though it was not nearly as good.

Some people hope/wish for the best, and if they are assured nothing will happen - nothing should, right?
Famous last words, I thought ... (and <gulp> I was wrong)

Difference in culture and opinion, what is common sence and so on. I totally understand why some people are so paranoid, it's usually those who has already been burned in the past :-)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kleinstein on January 03, 2019, 04:02:56 am
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?

I would expect a correctly chose fuse to blow faster than the transformer. At 230 V instead of 240 V the transformer would go into saturation and thus should have quite massive current peaks. Chances are good the fuse would even protect the transformer from damage.

However the case of using the 120 V version on 240 V (e.g. in Australia or with failing neutral in a split phase installation, accidentally getting 208 V) is not that main reason for having a fuse.  The main reason would be the possibility of transformer faults that can cause the transformer to run too hot. Here just a primary fuse may not blow very fast, maybe only after the damage to the transformer gets larger due to overheating. So the safer way would be a thermal fuse.

It's just that Weller should have spend some 50 cents extra on a transformer with thermal fuse inside. A primary fuse may than be optional.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 03, 2019, 06:17:05 am
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

Completely agree.
The discussion about the GFCIs was about the claim that "110v won't kill". Well, they will, at least under certain circumstances, or there would be no GFCIs installed at all.
I readed that the voltage legally considered safe to "touch" is between 40 and 50v in most places.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 06:34:58 am
Completely agree.
The discussion about the GFCIs was about the claim that "110v won't kill". Well, they will, at least under certain circumstances, or there would be no GFCIs installed at all.
I readed that the voltage legally considered safe to "touch" is between 40 and 50v in most places.
I would really help if the actual arguments aren't misinterpreted or misrepresented. As far as I'm aware nobody here claimed 110V can't kill. It is however much less likely to kill than 240V. The GFCI not being a black and white thing is illustrated by them not being used or required in all places with well developed safety regimes. It that regard it's a lot like the discussion here, which isn't as black and white as some people would make it seem in their enthusiasm to pile on. Kleinstein's remark on how a thermal fuse may be more appropriate than a primary fuse is a good example of how things are probably a bit more nuanced than "no primary fuse = bad".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 07:56:26 am
The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
It really isn't. I don't think people here will make the mistake thinking that slapping on a safety device will automatically make things safer. Note that I'm not defending Weller not using a fuse. I'm simply trying to view the matter from different sides, looking at the actual facts we have. Dave wasn't afraid to admit the problem in the video was user error. That leaves the question how much of a problem not having a fuse really is if you don't grossly overload the device. A decision I don't understand could very well be an opportunity to learn about something I hadn't considered before, but someone else did figure out. I've seen more than one teardown which shows something which seems a terrible idea, but actually turns out to work remarkably well. Are there reasons this design may be reasonable, like transformers inherently limiting the current or different transformer designs being used between the US and EU model? Are there other things we may be overlooking? If there's a negative impact, can we quantify it? Or is this really penny pinching of the kind we all hate? Some people seem really keen on getting out the pitchforks and don't seem to mind fabricating provocative stories to justify their outrage and that's what I object to. I don't feel the fundamentalist approach and piling on is very appealing, and alternatively hope to tap into the considerable knowledge of the population here to maybe learn a thing or two.

... in other words, you try to practice tolerance and understanding for the unworthy. I do not see *one* honest reason (greed excluded) for not using a primary side protection device like a fuse or a thermofuse. Its so simple - even if failures and injuries are rare, you still have a good point eliminating them. If profit comes first - bad choice, especially for a "premium" product. All the desparate reasearch for a good reason why Weller (they are still working on their response ...) did this is academic and a bit futile, no ?  :)

Discussion about safety belts have subsided after a few years, IIRC. Common sense will prevail in the end (I am an optimist)  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 08:49:38 am
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.

Right, so you post without reading. The fuse justification you keep repeating is that Weller puts them in their higher end stations. Explain.

A Cadillac comes with lane keep cameras. A Chevy Spark does not.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 08:56:21 am
... in other words, you try to practice tolerance and understanding for the unworthy. I do not see *one* honest reason (greed excluded) for a primary side protection device like a fuse or a thermofuse. Its so simple - even if failures and injuries are rare, you still have a good point eliminating them. If profit comes first - bad choice, especially for a "premium" product. All the desparate reasearch for a good reason why Weller (they are still working on their response ...) did this is academic and a bit futile, no ?  :)

Discussion about safety belts have subsided after a few years, IIRC. Common sense will prevail in the end (I am an optimist)  :)
I'm merely willing to accept that I may not have the full picture, and won't join a witch hunt as a consequence. Again, I've seen too many solutions which seem terrible at first glance, but which turn out to be fine. A recent example would be the plastic car ramps discussed in the TEA thread. Both my gut and experience tell me that's a terrible idea, yet the company has sold them for two decades or more. That must mean they're fine, even though I would have agreed with anyone crucifying the manufacturer if they were first introduced today.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 08:56:42 am
Had DJ tried to run the unit from a 120 volt ugly square wave inverter, some aviation 400hz thingie or a dimmer buzz adapter to control the temperature

 :wtf: Oh yah , I hate it when I can't use my iron on a long haul flight. A dimmer buzz adapter??

Why does everyone try to keep coming up with the most obscure use cases? Most people plug their iron in at their bench and there it lives. End of story.

I have exactly two 240V outlets in my house. One for the stove, and one for the dryer, and they're pretty difficult to mix up.
(https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/attachments/off-topic/47646048d1261252300-240v-outlet-question-24ov-outlet.jpg)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 09:06:11 am
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself.

Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.
There was no back and forth discussion. I'm talking about just spewing an opinion over and over without explaining it, or listening to/addressing the responses.

they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
wishful thinking
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 09:08:53 am
even if failures and injuries are rare, you still have a good point eliminating them.

So we should protect against each kind of failure, no matter how rare, even 1/1,000,000? That would be quite a task.
Please do some reading about cost-benefit analysis.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 09:29:03 am
the discussion here, which isn't as black and white as some people would make it seem in their enthusiasm to pile on. Kleinstein's remark on how a thermal fuse may be more appropriate than a primary fuse is a good example of how things are probably a bit more nuanced than "no primary fuse = bad".

 :rant: No no no. This is the internet. We exploit irrational fears to set up an extreme knee-jerk reaction, draw lines, set up a scapegoat to crucify, and we all jump on the tribe bandwagon. We paint mushy dissenters as the enemy and burn them, thus reinforcing our previously held beliefs. No prisoners. No compromise!  That's how progress works :P
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 09:31:37 am
Thanks for the tip, but I was working for years in the insurance industry. Cost/benefit/probability considerations were daily business.
The failure rate of electrical equipment has been improved *despite* the fact that the chance of suffering an electrical accident was quite low in the last years (before Chinese crap took over). Still, the laws and regulations have been strengthened a lot, and for a good cause. The *cost* of a failure can easily exceed millions (fire, causalties, injuries, ...) while the cost to prevent something like that can be really small (Weller case). So, as you write, a 1:1 Million chance can be a good reason to act. I am quite sure that the chance of a Weller blowing up is one or two orders of magnitude higher than 1:1E6.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: cdev on January 03, 2019, 09:33:03 am
The problem with cost-benefit analyses is that they tend to underestimate the very real costs of non-safety and overestimate the benefits of cutting corners, for various reasons which would only make us angry.

As a recent poll showed that Weller is the most commonly used brand here in this forum, maybe they'll change their minds.

even if failures and injuries are rare, you still have a good point eliminating them.

So we should protect against each kind of failure, no matter how rare, even 1/1,000,000? That would be quite a task.
Please do some reading about cost-benefit analysis.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 09:36:07 am
the discussion here, which isn't as black and white as some people would make it seem in their enthusiasm to pile on. Kleinstein's remark on how a thermal fuse may be more appropriate than a primary fuse is a good example of how things are probably a bit more nuanced than "no primary fuse = bad".

 :rant: No no no. This is the internet. We exploit irrational fears to set up an extreme knee-jerk reaction, draw lines, set up a scapegoat to crucify, and we all jump on the tribe bandwagon. We paint mushy dissenters as the enemy and burn them, thus reinforcing our previously held beliefs. No prisoners. No compromise!  That's how progress works :P

YES !!! All people that cut corners on safety that cost just a penny should rot in *HELL*.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 09:38:16 am
I totally understand why some people are so paranoid, it's usually those who has already been burned in the past :-)
I think think different people handle trauma in different ways. Most people employ "flight" and do everything they can to avoid future confrontations, and possibly blame others for their misfortune.

Others try to learn what happened and why, analyze it rationally, and then try to change their approach. It's like learning to swim.

I've gotten the 120V handshake several times, and I have a better understanding of it as a result. I don't cower from outlets or go install GFCIs on everything.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 09:42:43 am
I totally understand why some people are so paranoid, it's usually those who has already been burned in the past :-)
I think think different people handle trauma in different ways. Most people employ "flight" and do everything they can to avoid future confrontations, and possibly blame others for their misfortune.

Others try to learn what happened and why, analyze it rationally, and then try to change their approach. It's like learning to swim.

I've gotten the 120V handshake several times, and I have a better understanding of it as a result. I don't cower from outlets or go install GFCIs on everything.

One of this forums members got the slogan "Safety measures hinder evolution". Come on, just be a part of it !
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 09:45:03 am
The *cost* of a failure can easily exceed millions (fire, causalties, injuries, ...) ... the chance of a Weller blowing up is one or two orders of magnitude higher than 1:1E6.... people that cut corners on safety

Pure conjecture.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 09:47:47 am
FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.

DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

I'll still happily cop the user error tag.
But I do think that the use of a universal IEC socket without a mains fuse is begging for trouble in today's global economy. And the voltage label is on the bottom, not the back where the plug is.
If it had a fixed mains cable and 120V plug (like Hakko do) then they could get away with it. But even in this case, Hakko have a fuse.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 09:53:54 am
FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.

DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

I'll still happily cop the user error tag.
But I do think that the use of a universal IEC socket without a mains fuse is begging for trouble in today's global economy. And the voltage label is on the bottom, not the back where the plug is.
If it had a fixed mains cable and 120V plug (like Hakko do) then they could get away with it. But even in this case, Hakko have a fuse.

The car industry in the old times claimed that safety belts and crash energy reduction zones where not neccessary because it was always the fault of the driver.
The turning point was that even a faulty driver should be given a chance to survive.
Shit happens - just make sure that there is a safe way to fail.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 09:58:22 am
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.

Right, so you post without reading. The fuse justification you keep repeating is that Weller puts them in their higher end stations. Explain.

I don't read every post in this thread, if you have made a point somewhere and I didn't respond then either post it again or provide a direct link.

The explanation does NOT need to come from us, it needs to come from Weller. They are the ones that seemingly hold contradictory opinion on whether and why a mains primary fuse is needed, when it is industry standard practice to do so.
Quite frankly if any engineer at all the companies I've worked at proposed leaving out a mains primary fuse (for insert reason), they'd get shouted out or given the arse.
In fact it would be borderline against official professional liability training at companies I've worked at. i.e. the engineer makes a deliberate willful decision to remove a safety device against industry standard practice, that puts the personal liability on to them (and those that approve it). Sure, you can justify it and have the data to back up the decision, but the amount of work to do that is a lot, it's just silly, add the fuse and be done with it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 10:00:19 am
The car industry in the old times claimed that safety belts and crash energy reduction zones where not neccessary because it was always the fault of the driver.
The turning point was that even a faulty driver should be given a chance to survive.
Shit happens - just make sure that there is a safe way to fail.
You seem to insist on making the comparison to safety belts. Can you demonstrate that the actual impact of omitting the safety feature is similar in both cases? Or is it more like not fitting traction control?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 10:02:50 am
And the voltage label is on the bottom, not the back where the plug is.
Yeah, this is dumb.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 10:07:42 am
The car industry in the old times claimed that safety belts and crash energy reduction zones where not neccessary because it was always the fault of the driver.
That is suspiciously ignorant reasoning. Collisions often involve two vehicles. Usually, one party is at fault. Can you cite an example?

The turning point was that even a faulty driver should be given a chance to survive.
I think the death toll was turning point. You are making shit up.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 10:11:58 am
The car industry in the old times claimed that safety belts and crash energy reduction zones where not neccessary because it was always the fault of the driver.
The turning point was that even a faulty driver should be given a chance to survive.
Shit happens - just make sure that there is a safe way to fail.
You seem to insist on making the comparison to safety belts. Can you demonstrate that the actual impact of omitting the safety feature is similar in both cases? Or is it more like not fitting traction control?
Safety belts are just a trivial example. They saved a lot of lives before traction control was invented. IMHO, you are completely missing the point. As Dave has pointed out above, it is incredibly silly to do something that Weller did, for what reason *ever*.  In all the academic discussion, I found only *one* explicable reason to leave out the fuse : greed. Very human, but still silly. Or have I missed some incredibly smart theory that a fuse would do more harm than good ?  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 10:16:47 am
Still the wrong logic. Also the guilty should survive. You may read about the discussions regarding car safety between the manufacturers of cars and the US administration. The state inforced better protection (crash tests, ...) and the car industry tried to cut cost as much as they could.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 10:20:30 am
 ;D   ROFL at witch hunt accusations, Cadillac lane keep cameras, plastic versus metal car ramps, 'user error' stone throwing, scapegoat crucifixions, bandwagon jumping, safety belts,
keeping tabs and nagging the OP for repeating themselves over a 20+ page span...  ;D

----------------

If companies like Behringer that make affordable gear can fit IEC sockets with labelled 120/240v flippable idiot-proof fuse holders (I'll have to drum up a picture asap),
EDIT: picture posted 
Weller should have been on that wagon over 20 years ago.
 
I'm assuming DJ may have a 240 to 120 volt stepdown box or Variac kicking in the lab,

which would have come in handy -IF- Weller made some effort to label the unit
and or supply an incompatible IEC female to 120 volt plug cable,

or better still fit a ---FUSE--- in the thing too,

so all he had to do was 'DOH...!'  :-[    fork out a couple of bucks for a new fuse,

plug the recovered unit into the stepdown or variac, and continue on  :clap:


WORST CASE SCENARIO  :scared:  Had it been left unattended and caught fire in a business complex, or in a stacked shoe/dog box apartment tower,
let's talk about the price of lives and property versus the price of a fuse and thermal cutout. 


The only 'user error' here was failing to suspect the possibility of penny pinching that's wormed it's way into a reputable brand,

or 'Weller Error' in the design of these particular units,

hey **it happens, we understand > just FIX IT

and clue up the PR department in correct damage control procedures for now and next time,

so all can be well (er) again,

and the issue blows away...   :phew:


Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 10:24:21 am
Safety belts are just a trivial example. They saved a lot of lives before traction control was invented. IMHO, you are completely missing the point. As Dave has pointed out above, it is incredibly silly to do something that Weller did, for what reason *ever*.  In all the academic discussion, I found only *one* explicable reason to leave out the fuse : greed. Very human, but still silly. Or have I missed some incredibly smart theory that a fuse would do more harm than good ?  >:D
Something so incredibly silly should be incredibly easy to demonstrate or prove with numbers. We haven't exactly seen that, which is all that's asked for. If it's not that easy to demonstrate anything, maybe the difference isn't as big as is claimed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 10:27:03 am
;D   ROFL at witch hunt accusations, Cadillac lane keep cameras, plastic versus metal car ramps, 'user error' stone throwing, scapegoat crucifixions, bandwagon jumping, safety belts,
keeping tabs and nagging the OP for repeating themselves over a 20+ page span...  ;D

----------------

If companies like Behringer that make affordable gear can fit IEC sockets with labelled 120/240v flippable idiot-proof fuse holders (I'll have to drum up a picture asap),
Weller should have been on that wagon over 20 years ago.
 
I'm assuming DJ may have a 240 to 120 volt stepdown box or Variac kicking in the lab,

which would have come in handy -IF- Weller made some effort to label the unit
and or supply an incompatible IEC female to 120 volt plug cable,

or better still fit a ---FUSE--- in the thing too,

so all he had to do was 'DOH...!'  :-[    fork out a couple of bucks for a new fuse,

plug the recovered unit into the stepdown or variac, and continue on  :clap:


WORST CASE SCENARIO  :scared:  Had it been left unattended and caught fire in a business complex, or in a stacked shoe/dog box apartment tower,
let's talk about the price of lives and property versus the price of a fuse and thermal cutout. 


The only 'user error' here was failing to suspect the possibility of penny pinching that's wormed it's way into a reputable brand,

or 'Weller Error' in the design of these particular units,

hey **it happens, we understand > just FIX IT

and clue up the PR department in correct damage control procedures for now and next time,

so all can be well (er) again,

and the issue blows away...   :phew:
There's a lot of these posts with a lot of noise and fairly far fetched scenarios, but they're ultimately just reiterations of the same position on the matter. You want Weller to fix it. We got it. We're discussing how reasonable that demand actually is.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 10:27:37 am
if you have made a point somewhere and I didn't respond then either post it again
Three times? Kinda rude.

industry standard practice

OK they went against the status quo.   :-//

that puts the personal liability on to them
and what has the liability been so far? (when using them as intended)

I still feel like I can put this device on my bench and use it without worry. This video proves nothing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 10:32:06 am
You could ask your countless competitors that have a fuse in them why they did it.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 10:39:56 am
You could ask your countless competitors that have a fuse in them why they did it.  :)
That'd be interesting, but not as interesting as knowing why they didn't. "Because everyone else does it" is a terrible line of reasoning, even if it's legally sensible.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 10:41:45 am

I still feel like I can put this device on my bench and use it without worry. This video proves nothing.


I'm with you bro  :-+

I'm happy to put this device on my bench too, and use it without worry, 
only after I mod it with fusing and a temp cutout,
and then hook it up to a source of 120 volts AC.   :clap:

This video proves you can't assume a reputable manufacturer gets it right all the time.  :palm:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 10:44:43 am
You could ask your countless competitors that have a fuse in them why they did it.  :)
That'd be interesting, but not as interesting as knowing why they didn't. "Because everyone else does it" is a terrible line of reasoning, even if it's legally sensible.
Then I propose a new Weller Ad Slogan: "The ones without a fuse ! Fused devices are for sissies !".  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on January 03, 2019, 10:53:10 am
I'm happy to put this device on my bench too, and use it without worry, 
only after I mod it with fusing and a temp cutout,
and then hook it up to a source of 120 volts AC.   :clap:
I wouldn't. If Weller decided to save on safety features, what else have they saved on?

I took a serious look at Weller a year ago when I bought a new soldering station. I'm happy to say I bought a station from someone else (and as it isn't a Weller it is fused).
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 11:06:07 am

Here we go, I just saved Weller millions of dollars/euros of R+D work for their future models

and FREE retro-fit of current 120 volt ones   :clap:

I'll kit out my bench with some of them, once they post out the "thanks a bunch dude" royalty cheques   8)


 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 11:06:41 am
Then I propose a new Weller Ad Slogan: "The ones without a fuse ! Fused devices are for sissies !".  >:D
Maybe Chinese knock-off stations are more your thing. More blind copying and less original engineering. >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:08:35 am
I found only *one* explicable reason to leave out the fuse : greed.
Just one eh. Maybe you need to think on it some more.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:13:03 am
so all he had to do was 'DOH...!'

Are you intentionally ignoring the obvious? How often does one plugin appliances into the wrong voltage?

Had it been left unattended and caught fire in a business complex,
Is exaggeration and scaremongering your only argument?

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:15:50 am
This video proves you can't assume a reputable manufacturer gets it right all the time.  :palm:
uh huh... because you said so?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 11:16:31 am
Then I propose a new Weller Ad Slogan: "The ones without a fuse ! Fused devices are for sissies !".  >:D
Maybe Chinese knock-off stations are more your thing. More blind copying and less original engineering. >:D
Agreed. Leaving out a fuse *is* highly original. I use a XyTronics (not really cheap, and it has a fuse). No smoke so far.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:17:47 am
once they post out the "thanks a bunch dude" royalty cheques   8)
Let us know how it goes. Better yet, go design and sell millions of stations and I'll eat my hat.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 11:17:53 am
I found only *one* explicable reason to leave out the fuse : greed.
Just one eh. Maybe you need to think on it some more.

No. Its *your* turn to prove that Wellers decision was not silly. The audience is waiting ...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 11:19:25 am
Are you intentionally ignoring the obvious? How often does one plugin appliances into the wrong voltage?

Is exaggeration and scaremongering your only argument?
You have to wonder why there's a need to constantly field gross exaggerations when it's such an open-and-shut case.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 11:22:18 am
No. Its *your* turn to prove that Wellers decision was not silly. The audience is waiting ...
Thanks for cutting to the chase. It's actually exactly the other way around. The claim is that Weller is doing something incredibly silly or reckless or dangerous. We're get to be presented with any solid evidence for this claim, even though it's reportedly glaringly obvious. Please do so. The audience is waiting. Note that "others do it differently" isn't enough.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:22:29 am
No. Its *your* turn to prove that Wellers decision was not silly. The audience is waiting ...
What gave you that idea? I don't represent Weller. It seems they are doing OK without my help.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 11:28:27 am


so all he had to do was 'DOH...!'

Are you intentionally ignoring the obvious? How often does one plugin appliances into the wrong voltage?

Reply: not too difficult to do with an appliance fitted with a standard 120/240 IEC socket...   :clap:




Had it been left unattended and caught fire in a business complex,
Is exaggeration and scaremongering your only argument?

Reply: No chance, but do get into the possibility scenario thing occasionally    :popcorn:
 
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:31:15 am
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Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:34:00 am
Reply: not too difficult to do with an appliance fitted with a standard 120/240 IEC socket...   :clap:
So how many times has it happened to you?

Reply: No chance, but do get into the possibility scenario thing occasionally    :popcorn:
Ah the "what if" game. That's a fun one.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 11:39:27 am

Might be time to end this alleged witch hunt with a voting poll perhaps ?   

and let the 120 volt users have a concerned vote/say about it 

seeing as they have to wear the fuse-less unit...fingers crossed :scared:

 :D

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 11:48:52 am
My god yes! A popularity contest! Why didn't I think of that. Surely that will prove once and for all who is right and who is wrong, because that will definitely happen.
 ::)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 11:58:46 am

Might be time to end this alleged witch hunt with a voting poll perhaps ?   

and let the 120 volt users have a concerned vote/say about it 

seeing as they have to wear the fuse-less unit...fingers crossed :scared:

 :D



Link ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 12:05:06 pm
My god yes! A popularity contest! Why didn't I think of that. Surely that will prove once and for all who is right and who is wrong, because that will definitely happen.
 ::)
Everyone knows that engineering is about a popular vote. ;D Don't forget to include laymen!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:06:26 pm
If pros can build equipment without fuses, why should'nt laymen vote ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 12:08:57 pm
If pros can build equipment without fuses, why should'nt laymen vote ?
You ask the passengers how to fly the aircraft?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 12:09:08 pm
If pros can build equipment without fuses, why should'nt laymen vote ?
:clap:
Encore!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:11:01 pm
If pros can build equipment without fuses, why should'nt laymen vote ?
You ask the passengers how to fly the aircraft?

Depends on the pilots. With Weller, not so sure.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 12:20:15 pm
Depends on the pilots. With Weller, not so sure.  >:D
What kind of airlines do you fly with?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:25:13 pm
I fly only boring ones (having extra low accident ratings). As I told you, I was working in the insurance industry for a long time, so I got a bit risk-averse. moreover, I am a pilot myself (AS350). Old machine design, but very solid. A lot of fuses there  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 12:26:58 pm
I fly only boring ones (having extra low accident ratings). As I told you, I was working in the insurance industry for a long time, so I got a bit risk-averse. moreover, I am a pilot myself (AS350). Old machine design, but very solid. A lot of fuses there  :)
How many times did your pilots ask the passengers how to fly the aircraft?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:29:54 pm
I was lucky that my flight instructors had all their fuses working. On top of that, I refused to fly with "adventurous" people or people taking shortcuts.
I am still there, some others are not.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 03, 2019, 12:31:03 pm
Reply: not too difficult to do with an appliance fitted with a standard 120/240 IEC socket...   :clap:
So how many times has it happened to you?

The first time I've seen it happen was in the 1980's. And I'm sure it's happened many times in the decades since.

Situation: staging/test facility for systems that might be destined for 240 V countries. Therefore both 120 V 60 Hz and 240 V 50 Hz outlets were present and in use. VT 220 terminals have an IEC connector and work on a fixed voltage. VT 220 terminals configured for 120 V don't like being connected to 240 V. They go poof!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 12:37:51 pm
I was lucky that my flight instructors had all their fuses working. On top of that, I refused to fly with "adventurous" people or people taking shortcuts.
I am still there, some others are not.  >:D
So, no passengers were ever asked how to fly the aircraft. That's why a poll isn't a good idea. You almost drifted a bit off-topic there, but we got there in the end.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:41:05 pm
All wrong. If the pilots have no fuses, it might be all too late to ask. Fuses are all about *prevention*.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 12:42:12 pm
if you have made a point somewhere and I didn't respond then either post it again
Three times? Kinda rude.

There are over 800 posts a day on this forum, and this thread alone has 25 pages of posts, I can't possible read them all.
Kinda rude of you to expect an answer from me, so much so, that you had a whinge instead of actually posting a link, I now refuse to do respond to you.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 12:45:32 pm
Situation: staging/test facility for systems that might be destined for 240 V countries.

In situation where you might have greater than 0.01% chance of a losing a piece of equipment worth thousands of dollars, the fuse starts to make a lot more sense.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 12:47:00 pm
I now refuse to do respond to you.
ok so nothing's changed


I can't possible read them all.
Kinda rude of you to expect an answer from me,
I don't expect you to read them all Dave. That's perfectly understandable.
I expect that don't repeatedly spew the same argument into a discussion that you don't read.  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 03, 2019, 12:48:33 pm
... Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? ...

Measured a 120VAC 60Hz transformer to 190VAC with no load. Past 150VAC it gets very loud.
It is an older Hammond (pre-china) 167M25 rated 25.2VAC 3A 75VA, similar in power to the Weller part but a more conservative build. Primary is 4R 0.77H and secondary 0.3R 50mH.

True input power is about 5W 115VAC going to 90W at 190VAC. Effective turns-ratio did not sag as I expected. I got 42VAC out at 190VAC in, I thought it would eventually clip.

You can see primary current skyrockets from 0.25A at 120VAC, the up to 4A at 190VAC. To 240VAC... I did not release the magic smoke. So a fuse would cover long-term primary overvoltage, a thermal fuse as well with that much heat dissipated in the primary it's heating up.

edit: added 60Hz
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 12:53:01 pm
No. Its *your* turn to prove that Wellers decision was not silly. The audience is waiting ...
Thanks for cutting to the chase. It's actually exactly the other way around. The claim is that Weller is doing something incredibly silly or reckless or dangerous. We're get to be presented with any solid evidence for this claim, even though it's reportedly glaringly obvious. Please do so. The audience is waiting. Note that "others do it differently" isn't enough.

No need for "others do it differently. Weller themselves do it differently!
I don't think many are saying it's dangerous as such, it's clearly not as they countless things don't have mains fuses, and the standard (in this case) do not require it.
But it is demonstrably silly - how so? Not only two videos of mine along with 25 pages of responses on what a silly decision it is, and the equally silly public response, but also the fact that most of Weller's other products have a fuse. Most products of Weller's having a safety feature and then a couple of them that deliberately don't is, well, silly. Especially when they refuse to explain why.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 12:55:54 pm
You can see primary current skyrockets from 0.25A at 120VAC, the up to 4A at 190VAC. To 240VAC... I did not release the magic smoke. So a fuse would cover long-term primary overvoltage, a thermal fuse as well with that much heat dissipated in the primary it's heating up.

In this case of 240V on a 120V transformer, a primary fuse would blow almost instantly.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 03, 2019, 12:56:38 pm
... Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? ...

Measured a 120VAC transformer to 190VAC with no load. Past 150VAC it gets very loud.
It is an older Hammond (pre-china) 167M25 rated 25.2VAC 3A 75VA, similar in power to the Weller part but a more conservative build. Primary is 4R 0.77H and secondary 0.3R 50mH.

True input power is about 5W 115VAC going to 90W at 190VAC. Effective turns-ratio did not sag as I expected. I got 42VAC out at 190VAC in, I thought it would eventually clip.

You can see primary current skyrockets from 0.25A at 120VAC, the up to 4A at 190VAC. To 240VAC... I did not release the magic smoke. So a fuse would cover long-term primary overvoltage, a thermal fuse as well with that much heat dissipated in the primary it's heating up.

OK, that's cool. So at the rated load of 75 VA the primary current would be about 700 mA. Meaning a 3 A slow blow fuse should be OK for normal loads and turn on current. But the same 3 A fuse should blow rapidly at 240 V. Meaning such a fuse would be a good way of protecting the transformer from damage.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 03, 2019, 12:59:55 pm
No. Its *your* turn to prove that Wellers decision was not silly. The audience is waiting ...
Thanks for cutting to the chase. It's actually exactly the other way around. The claim is that Weller is doing something incredibly silly or reckless or dangerous. We're get to be presented with any solid evidence for this claim, even though it's reportedly glaringly obvious. Please do so. The audience is waiting. Note that "others do it differently" isn't enough.



Gents, its a bit late now in good old Europe, so I'll sum up for today.

I disagree that it is the job of consumers to prove that a product is unsafe. I will *never* buy from a company that asks for that. I buy from companies that I trust (see equipment list in my profile). Trust means that if customers has a concern, they will explain what they did and why it is OK. If they have done something wrong or maybe even just risky or unprofessionally, they will admit it and fix it without waffling discussions. In the Weller case I consider this an engineering blunder, a marketing catastrophy and an example of how not not handle customer concerns.

IMHO, everyone is free to decide on the cirteria he has chosen. Mine are the ones above. A weller for me ? Not even with a fuse now.

Have fun, but play safe. Never leave your soldering iron unattended.  >:D
  Wolfgang

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 03, 2019, 01:01:18 pm
Measured a 120VAC transformer to 190VAC with no load. Past 150VAC it gets very loud.
You should connect a load to it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on January 03, 2019, 01:04:27 pm
You can see primary current skyrockets from 0.25A at 120VAC, the up to 4A at 190VAC. To 240VAC... I did not release the magic smoke. So a fuse would cover long-term primary overvoltage, a thermal fuse as well with that much heat dissipated in the primary it's heating up.

In this case of 240V on a 120V transformer, a primary fuse would blow almost instantly.

Yeah - This is something I felt was painfully obvious from the get-go.

This, together with Dave's clear acceptance of culpability in feeding 240V to the unit says to me we DON'T need to continue with any further references to the 240V user error.  This is not a fair scenario to dump on Weller.


The question of a fuse should be constrained to the usage of the unit at 110V.That is a fair scenario to dump on Weller - nothing else.

JMHO
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: chris_leyson on January 03, 2019, 01:15:03 pm
@floobydust. Thanks mate, at least you bothered to make a measurement  :-+ Respect
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 01:18:33 pm
No need for "others do it differently. Weller themselves do it differently!
I don't think many are saying it's dangerous as such, it's clearly not as they countless things don't have mains fuses, and the standard (in this case) do not require it.
But it is demonstrably silly - how so? Not only two videos of mine along with 25 pages of responses on what a silly decision it is, and the equally silly public response, but also the fact that most of Weller's other products have a fuse. Most products of Weller's having a safety feature and then a couple of them that deliberately don't is, well, silly. Especially when they refuse to explain why.
Some here seem to suggest not having a fuse is equivalent to Weller setting fire to your house or some such sensationalist claims. As you say, a fuse not required by law or regulation and many things don't come with fuses. That already nuances the discussion quite a bit. Beyond that point you'll have to forgive me my ignorance. The two videos and 25 pages have repeated numerous times that's it's silly to do this, but I don't seem to have really seen a solid explanation why. The most prevalent reasoning seems to be "industry standard", which sounds a lot like "you must because you must" and preserving the status quo for the sake of it. And sure it's not an expensive part, but that's not a demonstrable benefit in itself. Apparently the US and EU versions are different in that one us fused and the other isn't, which to me suggests there has been a concious decision there. I'd love to know more about that, but I doubt Weller is going to pop in and elaborate.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 03, 2019, 01:42:05 pm
This, together with Dave's clear acceptance of culpability in feeding 240V to the unit says to me we DON'T need to continue with any further references to the 240V user error.  This is not a fair scenario to dump on Weller.

The question of a fuse should be constrained to the usage of the unit at 110V.That is a fair scenario to dump on Weller - nothing else.

I don't really agree with that.

In this case of 240V on a 120V transformer, a primary fuse would blow almost instantly.

For me the question has always been about protecting my device from unnecessary damage. If I do what Dave did and accidentally plug the solder station into the wrong voltage, then without a fuse it will damage the unit beyond repair (I can't trust the transformer after it has started smoking). If there is a fuse and it blows instantly, then the unit may survive my mistake and continue to work.

I would rather not have to replace the soldering station if it can be avoided.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 03, 2019, 02:08:21 pm
DJ's souved and dissected Weller carcass should be retrieved from the ---Bin Of Unfused Shame--- and reassembled with a suitable 120/120 CT to 24 volt isolation transformer

($35 to $60 depending on VA requirements  > any decent cheapie tranny should be better enameled than the honey coatings on the crusty deceased one,
and come stock with a thermal fuse fitted with a  -MUST- recommendation to use a primary fuse and the value. Reference: Altronics and Jaycar catalogues)

kit it out with a cheap glass fuse,

wired/connected for 120 volt operation

then plugged into 240 volts and see what happens   :popcorn:


Then swap out the zapped fuse and connect 120 x 2 for 240v, and see if it still works

All proceeding posted on Youtube of course   :clap:

with optional Grande Finale plugged into 440 volts (2 active legs/single phase) with a very temporary 3 phase plug to GPO socket death adapter   :scared: 

I'm betting a properly rated fuse will pop faster, perhaps crack or shatter, and the unit will survive unscathed and back to work
 

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: bitwelder on January 03, 2019, 06:46:33 pm
Measured a 120VAC transformer to 190VAC with no load.
Thanks for the experiment.

Just for completeness, 190VAC at 50 or 60 Hz ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 03, 2019, 08:59:04 pm
Are you intentionally ignoring the obvious? How often does one plugin appliances into the wrong voltage?

How often do people crash cars? Are all those annoying harnesses and expensive safety devices really necessary?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 03, 2019, 09:08:28 pm
How often do people crash cars? Are all those annoying harnesses and expensive safety devices really necessary?
How often do people crash cars into objects across the ocean? All we've seen here so far are very specific and fairly exceptional scenarios.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 03, 2019, 10:20:47 pm
How often do people crash cars? Are all those annoying harnesses and expensive safety devices really necessary?
How often do people crash cars into objects across the ocean? All we've seen here so far are very specific and fairly exceptional scenarios.

This thread is long enough, there is no need for a car safety tangent please.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Kean on January 03, 2019, 10:54:46 pm
Weller decided to save on safety features

I think something was lost in the translation from Swedish. Let me correct your English for you.

This model doesn't include a particular feature that protects the iron from gross mis-use such as supplying twice the intended voltage.

Please don't intentionally misattribute quotes to people.   :--
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 03, 2019, 11:25:48 pm
All we've seen here so far are very specific and fairly exceptional scenarios.

Scenarios that really happen.

(but this has already been pointed out a zillion times in this thread, you're just refusing to accept it).

Mitigation costs a few cents, there's no excuse on a device that costs over $100 that gets sold to engineers.

(and this has also been pointed out a zillion times, you're just refusing to accept it).

Flipped around: What valid excuse does Weller have for doing this when all common sense and engineering practice says it's a bad idea? How would anybody justify Weller not adding a fuse? Spell it out for us...

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 12:19:12 am
Scenarios that really happen.

(but this has already been pointed out a zillion times in this thread, you're just refusing to accept it).

Mitigation costs a few cents, there's no excuse on a device that costs over $100 that gets sold to engineers.

(and this has also been pointed out a zillion times, you're just refusing to accept it).

Flipped around: What valid excuse does Weller have for doing this when all common sense and engineering practice says it's a bad idea? How would anybody justify Weller not adding a fuse? Spell it out for us...
I don't know why people are liking your post, because nobody here is denying that they have happened. Let's not pretend that anyone here does. I'm just asking how often it does happen and whether that's enough to justify it. As far as I'm aware, nobody has been able to answer that in a meaningful way. How can you say it's necessary or justified if you can't quantify anything? Engineers should be the last people to indulge in measures for the sake of them.

Somehow there seems to be a communications breakdown. It shouldn't be that hard to quantify something which is reportedly glaringly obviously necessary, even though it's not required by law and not found in many devices, yet instead we get "common sense" and "industry standard" and other truisms. Not accepting a mantra is not arguing in favour of removing the fuse or defending Weller. It'd be good if people wouldn't pretend it is. If the size of the problem is demonstrated, it all becomes a lot more substantial.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: glarsson on January 04, 2019, 12:26:00 am
Weller decided to save on safety features

I think something was lost in the translation from Swedish. Let me correct your English for you.

This model doesn't include a particular feature that protects the iron from gross mis-use such as supplying twice the intended voltage.
You surely act like someone working as a Weller spin doctor. Furthermore, you are acting childish and dishonest when you fake quotes. I did not write anything of what you attributed to me.
There are other ways a 120V appliance can see overvoltage.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 01:08:01 am
I'm just asking how often it does happen and whether that's enough to justify it.

There's obviously not enough data for that, but there's been (I believe) three reports of it happening just in this thread.

If it's often enough to happen a widely followed blogger? That's when Weller should have had enough sense to admit they're Doing It Wrong.

They failed.

Completely.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 01:40:02 am
There's obviously not enough data for that, but there's been (I believe) three reports of it happening just in this thread.

If it's often enough to happen a widely followed blogger? That's when Weller should have had enough sense to admit they're Doing It Wrong.

They failed.

Completely.
I think we can agree there's not enough data. Three cases with fairly exceptional circumstances on a forum filled with people doing unusual things with electronics doesn't sound like a very high rate. The fact that Dave is widely followed doesn't make for a more statistically significant incident, just a more publicised one. It's not a lot to go on if a company is going to be vehemently crucified. Again, I'd prefer Weller to make an actual statement about their deliberations but I doubt that's going to happen.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 04, 2019, 02:32:34 am
That's when Weller should have had enough sense to admit they're Doing It Wrong.

(https://i1.wp.com/howsmyenglish.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Thats_just_your_opinion.jpg?fit=300%2C300&ssl=1)

Sorry, couldn't resist...  :)

Quote
They failed.

Completely.

Hyperbole much?   ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 03:07:28 am
I think we can agree there's not enough data. Three cases with fairly exceptional circumstances on a forum filled with people doing unusual things with electronics doesn't sound like a very high rate.

Does it have to be "very high" before you take any action?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 03:21:05 am
Does it have to be "very high" before you take any action?
The counter question would be whether you take action when the impact may very well be marginal or nearly non-existent. Protecting against everything isn't possible, so the sensible approach is to ascertain what failure modes have the biggest impact and to protect against those.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 03:27:34 am
Does it have to be "very high" before you take any action?
The counter question would be whether you take action when the impact may very well be marginal or nearly non-existent. Protecting against everything isn't possible, so the sensible approach is to ascertain what failure modes have the biggest impact and to protect against those.

"Impact" includes damage to your company reputation as well as damage that may be caused by your products.

A reputable company would at least do the things that:
a) Are very cheap to do
b) Their competitors are doing
c) The target demographic is very likely to notice
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 03:53:42 am
"Impact" includes damage to your company reputation as well as damage that may be caused by your products.

A reputable company would at least do the things that:
a) Are very cheap to do
b) Their competitors are doing
c) The target demographic is very likely to notice
It being cheap is obviously no reason in itself. Not to mention it's not actually that cheap in a world where tenths of cents count. We've discussed before how the status quo and truisms are no actual reasons either. The last argument essentially is "because we're making it into an issue". First making a fuss and then pointing at damage supposedly caused by that fuss as a reason to act is inventing an argument. It could even be mistaken for the "I choose to be outraged by something, so you must act" fallacy which seems popular at the moment. It doesn't eliminate the burden of proof. You'll still need to address whether that fuss is valid, which has so far been proven to be rather tricky.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 03:55:25 am
You'll still need to address whether that fuss is valid, which has so far been proven to be rather tricky.

a) Doesn't sound like you're trying to build a company, only count beans.
b) What's your opinion of this:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/)

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 03:57:35 am
a) Doesn't sound like you're trying to build a company, only count beans.
b) What's your opinion of this:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/)
I think it's a forum thread?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 04:09:51 am
a) Doesn't sound like you're trying to build a company, only count beans.
b) What's your opinion of this:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/contests/win-a-weller/)
I think it's a forum thread?

What precautions should you take if you give away a Weller (or even sell one on eBay)? Are you responsible for damages?

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: boffin on January 04, 2019, 04:25:06 am
The bottom line is that Weller can't admit they've done something wrong (for potential liability reasons); I'm actually surprised that a lot of people here think that the response wouldn't have been pretty much exactly what it was.

But, they can certainly do something in the future, which also wouldn't surprise me at all.  Will be interesting to see if the model 18 months from now includes an external fuse, or thermal fuse in the transformer



Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 05:23:38 am
What precautions should you take if you give away a Weller (or even sell one on eBay)? Are you responsible for damages?
You'd have to ask a lawyer who knows about your local law about the degree of responsibility you have when giving away an item.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 05:56:55 am
What precautions should you take if you give away a Weller (or even sell one on eBay)? Are you responsible for damages?
You'd have to ask a lawyer who knows about your local law about the degree of responsibility you have when giving away an item.

OK, question: As a CEO, are you happy owning a company where people feel they ought top consult a lawyer before they can give away one of your products?

Read that contest thread again (the one where you apparently see nothing special): Somebody is trying to give away a Weller soldering iron and the comments are, "delivered with a cardboard box that can be used to contain the smoke" and "Shame it won't arrive at the winners door in time for New Year Eve, so they miss out of their own personal fireworks display."

This is now Weller's reputation.

All for the sake of a few cents in the BOM of a product which is being promoted using $100,000 stands at large trade fairs (alongside competitors who've seen Dave's video and will happily tell their clients about it).

If you think that's money well saved then I wouldn't want you in marketing any of my products.

Goodbye!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 06:24:26 am
OK, question: As a CEO, are you happy owning a company where people feel they ought top consult a lawyer before they can give away one of your products?

Read that contest thread again (the one where you apparently see nothing special): Somebody is trying to give away a Weller soldering iron and the comments are, "delivered with a cardboard box that can be used to contain the smoke" and "Shame it won't arrive at the winners door in time for New Year Eve, so they miss out of their own personal fireworks display."

This is now Weller's reputation.

All for the sake of a few cents in the BOM of a product which is being promoted using $100,000 stands at large trade fairs (alongside competitors who've seen Dave's video and will happily tell their clients about it).

If you think that's money well saved then I wouldn't want you in marketing any of my products.

Goodbye!
Don't mince my words. You specifically asked me about liability when giving away a product, and I said you'd need to consult a lawyer about your local laws about liability when giving away a product. Any product.

The people who responded in that thread are mostly the same handful of people who have expressed their opinion in this thread. They've seem to taken Dave's cue, but haven't contributed any facts which show worrisome qualities. They simply chimed in. If that's an example of the scale of the rather manufactured outrage, Weller has nothing to worry about. More importantly, outrage isn't evidence or proof. Outrage is an opinion. People or whole groups are continually outraged at all kinds of things. Without proper reasons for that outrage it means nothing. It doesn't grant you special rights or treatment and it doesn't eliminate the need for proving there's actually a quantifiable issue. I'll quote Stephen Fry, and substitute : offended" for "outraged" wherever appropriate. "It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

I really don't appreciate being railroaded onto Weller's side. Let's stop fishing, baiting and framing and get back on topic.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on January 04, 2019, 06:28:37 am
Its the combo of bodged in secondary side fusing and no primary side fusing that doesn't inspire confidence.  The secondary side polyfuse positioned where the transformer can heat it is IMHO legitimate to reduce the risk of cooking the transformer as line voltage polyfuses aren't cheap or common, but why in the nine billion names of god is the extra ordinary fuse on the secondary side not the primary side?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 04, 2019, 06:39:31 am
OK, question: As a CEO, are you happy owning a company where people feel they ought top consult a lawyer before they can give away one of your products?

Read that contest thread again (the one where you apparently see nothing special): Somebody is trying to give away a Weller soldering iron and the comments are, "delivered with a cardboard box that can be used to contain the smoke" and "Shame it won't arrive at the winners door in time for New Year Eve, so they miss out of their own personal fireworks display."

This is now Weller's reputation.

All for the sake of a few cents in the BOM of a product which is being promoted using $100,000 stands at large trade fairs (alongside competitors who've seen Dave's video and will happily tell their clients about it).

If you think that's money well saved then I wouldn't want you in marketing any of my products.

Goodbye!
Don't mince my words. You specifically asked me about liability when giving away a product, and I said you'd need to consult a lawyer about your local laws about liability when giving away a product. Any product.

The people who responded in that thread are mostly the same handful of people who have expressed their opinion in this thread. They've seem to taken Dave's cue, but haven't contributed any facts which show worrisome qualities. They simply chimed in. If that's an example of the scale of the rather manufactured outrage, Weller has nothing to worry about. More importantly, outrage isn't evidence or proof. Outrage is an opinion. It doesn't grant you special rights or treatment and it doesn't eliminate the need for proving there's actually a quantifiable issue. I'll quote Stephen Fry, and substitute : offended" for "outraged" wherever appropriate. "It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

I really don't appreciate being railroaded onto Weller's side. Let's stop fishing, baiting and framing and get back on topic.

Pure demagogics. Of course there are *lot* of products that you can give away without even thinking of asking your lawyer first.

As opposed to your cited Stephen Fry the Weller issue *has* a meaning and a purpose. The meaning is that cutting safety corners is a bad thing, and the purpose is to make Weller stop this practice.

I think your are perfectly in line with spin doctoring. But you have an harsh enemy : common sense.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 04, 2019, 06:56:51 am
Pure demagogics. Of course there are *lot* of products that you can give away without even thinking of asking your lawyer first.

As opposed to your cited Stephen Fry the Weller issue *has* a meaning and a purpose. The meaning is that cutting safety corners is a bad thing, and the purpose is to make Weller stop this practice.

I think your are perfectly in line with spin doctoring. But you have an harsh enemy : common sense.
The only sensible answer when people are asking for legal advice on the internet from an unknown place is "go see a local lawyer". Just like the only sensible answer to questions about a medical condition is "go see a doctor". Fungus asked about liability. He should ask a lawyer what trouble he may or may not get himself in when he gives away a product. That all has nothing to do with Weller in particular and attempting to spin it as such is just tiring.

Common sense tells us that something which is apparently so blatantly bad should be easy to prove, but no real quantifiable evidence has been brought forward. Considering this has been going on for many pages now, you have to wonder why this evidence is consistently absent. That there is no real issue seems ever more likely. Angrily disagreeing doesn't change that. Providing something tangible does.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 04, 2019, 07:23:05 am
The only sensible answer when people are asking for legal advice on the internet from an unknown place is "go see a local lawyer". Just like the only sensible answer to questions about a medical condition is "go see a doctor". Fungus asked about liability. He should ask a lawyer what trouble he may or may not get himself in when he gives away a product. That all has nothing to do with Weller in particular and attempting to spin it as such is just tiring.

Nope.

The problem is that post-Dave's-video, the owners of Weller soldering irons now know that there's a safety issue. If they have any sort of a conscience then they have to be a lot more careful about selling/giving them to random strangers.

It's not just a simple case of them not working when they arrive after a mixup, it's about them going up in smoke within seconds of being plugged in.

Would you still sell them on eBay, knowing what happens?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 04, 2019, 09:33:47 am
I would like to suggest that DJ reconsider, and take up Weller marketing on their offer of a complimentary Weller station,
but.. insist it be the same 120 volt model.

Fuse the sucker up appropriately so it runs ok on 120v,
but fuse pops on 240v ...minus billowing mushroom clouds   

Post it on Youtube, title it... "Weller Smoke Machine: Round 2"  :box: or similar, and send Weller the URL.

They might snap out of their backslapping 'we can't do wrong' corporate mind cage,
make some phone calls to wherever/whoever really makes their gear,

and rattle out some coins from the XMAS 2019 piggy bank fund,
for a bulk order of fuse holders, fuses, thermal cutouts, some rolls of solder,

and implement -FUSED- Weller soldering station models (or Hakko if cheaper  >:D )  on the assembly line,
to avoid delays due to possible fires and or smoke 

Penny Pinching TIP:  The marketing department can be commissioned to do the work instead of scripting excuses
and get some actual hands on experience with the products they flog market   :clap:


 (( ;D ))

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thm_w on January 04, 2019, 10:54:21 am
DJ's souved and dissected Weller carcass should be retrieved from the ---Bin Of Unfused Shame--- and reassembled with a suitable 120/120 CT to 24 volt isolation transformer

($35 to $60 depending on VA requirements  > any decent cheapie tranny should be better enameled than the honey coatings on the crusty deceased one,
and come stock with a thermal fuse fitted with a  -MUST- recommendation to use a primary fuse and the value. Reference: Altronics and Jaycar catalogues)
...
I'm betting a properly rated fuse will pop faster, perhaps crack or shatter, and the unit will survive unscathed and back to work

Yeah I agree for sure the unit will survive. What killed it was heat, not overvoltage. The windings would have been tested for well over 240V during manufacture.
But to properly test it, you'd want to use a high voltage isolation test, before and after.

Daves concern was certainly valid though, if it did heat up or smoke at all there is a risk the insulation is damaged.

Its the combo of bodged in secondary side fusing and no primary side fusing that doesn't inspire confidence.  The secondary side polyfuse positioned where the transformer can heat it is IMHO legitimate to reduce the risk of cooking the transformer as line voltage polyfuses aren't cheap or common, but why in the nine billion names of god is the extra ordinary fuse on the secondary side not the primary side?

I argued against this earlier in the thread, there is no thermal coupling from PTC to the core or windings at all, so I don't think it will do much.
There is a reason when a thermal fuse is used on a transformer it is either buried inside the windings or directly coupled to them then tape over top.

Some estimations:
Fuse is 7A (trip of 14A), and secondary is using approx 3A (peak), so 20% of rating. A PTC (https://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/electronics/product_catalogs/littelfuse_ptc_catalog.pdf.pdf) curve shows we would have to hit over 115C to reduce the fuse rating to 20%, who knows what the winding temp would be at that time, over 200C? I don't think anything could cause the transformer to heat up that much and not already be blowing up/burning something else already.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 04, 2019, 11:08:31 am
The bottom line is that Weller can't admit they've done something wrong (for potential liability reasons); I'm actually surprised that a lot of people here think that the response wouldn't have been pretty much exactly what it was.

It could have been worded a LOT better without giving them liability.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 04, 2019, 11:12:34 am
Common sense tells us that something which is apparently so blatantly bad should be easy to prove, but no real quantifiable evidence has been brought forward. Considering this has been going on for many pages now, you have to wonder why this evidence is consistently absent. That there is no real issue seems ever more likely. Angrily disagreeing doesn't change that. Providing something tangible does.

For the dozenth time now, and I'll keep saying it every time someone brings it up, if there is no potential issue then why does Weller have a primary fuse on almost all of their other (identical function) products?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 04, 2019, 11:14:19 am
Its the combo of bodged in secondary side fusing and no primary side fusing that doesn't inspire confidence.  The secondary side polyfuse positioned where the transformer can heat it is IMHO legitimate to reduce the risk of cooking the transformer as line voltage polyfuses aren't cheap or common, but why in the nine billion names of god is the extra ordinary fuse on the secondary side not the primary side?

The secondary side actually has two fuses, plus the polyswitch. One is on the PCB.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 04, 2019, 11:17:19 am
All for the sake of a few cents in the BOM of a product which is being promoted using $100,000 stands at large trade fairs (alongside competitors who've seen Dave's video and will happily tell their clients about it).

I'm waiting for some smart competitor to realise the marketing potential here and a make video with one of their product designers tearing down their product and showing how they have a primary side fuse and how they select the rating and test it etc, and how they take safety more seriously than their competitor  ;D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Ian.M on January 04, 2019, 11:24:38 am
Its the combo of bodged in secondary side fusing and no primary side fusing that doesn't inspire confidence.  The secondary side polyfuse positioned where the transformer can heat it is IMHO legitimate to reduce the risk of cooking the transformer as line voltage polyfuses aren't cheap or common, but why in the nine billion names of god is the extra ordinary fuse on the secondary side not the primary side?

I argued against this earlier in the thread, there is no thermal coupling from PTC to the core or windings at all, so I don't think it will do much.
There is a reason when a thermal fuse is used on a transformer it is either buried inside the windings or directly coupled to them then tape over top.

Some estimations:
Fuse is 7A (trip of 14A), and secondary is using approx 3A (peak), so 20% of rating. A PTC (https://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/electronics/product_catalogs/littelfuse_ptc_catalog.pdf.pdf) curve shows we would have to hit over 115C to reduce the fuse rating to 20%, who knows what the winding temp would be at that time, over 200C? I don't think anything could cause the transformer to heat up that much and not already be blowing up/burning something else already.
If the transformer is running hot from near continuous operation at full load, which would heat it up fairly slowly, an appropriate polyfuse will probably save the day by tripping on the full load current due to its elevated temperature and enforcing a cooling off period till it resets.  Its presence is probably an indication that Weller undersized the transformer for average duty cycle rather than speccing it for worst case 100% duty cycle operation,e.g. due to setting max bit temperature to make a long sheet metal joint that will be an excessive thermal load on the bit.  However, if it does in fact have a 7A carrying current, and 14A trip current, it sounds like Weller FUBARed  its selection as well.

The polyfuse wont do *anything* for rapid heating due to a short-circuit on the output - its just too poorly thermally coupled to the winding.   It also cant protect against overheating due to saturation or a shorted turn because its downstream of the possible fault!

Of course what they should have done is either add a safe duty cycle limit for the transformer in the controller firmware, removing the need for a polyfuse, or use an adequately rated transformer for 100% duty cycle operation in the first place . . .

The secondary side actually has two fuses, plus thepolyswitch. One is on the PCB.
Yes. hence my description of the black wire ended one as the 'extra ordinary fuse'.  Knowing that there's a fuse on the PCB, its sheer presence hanging off the secondary terminal indicates a design process SNAFU.

Did anyone note the ratings of all the fuses?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 04, 2019, 12:22:57 pm
The secondary side actually has two fuses, plus thepolyswitch. One is on the PCB.
Yes. hence my description of the black wire ended one as the 'extra ordinary fuse'.  Knowing that there's a fuse on the PCB, its sheer presence hanging off the secondary terminal indicates a design process SNAFU.
Did anyone note the ratings of all the fuses?

Both are 4A. Why you'd have two 4A fuses in series is beyond me.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 04, 2019, 01:57:30 pm
All for the sake of a few cents in the BOM of a product which is being promoted using $100,000 stands at large trade fairs (alongside competitors who've seen Dave's video and will happily tell their clients about it).

I'm waiting for some smart competitor to realise the marketing potential here and a make video with one of their product designers tearing down their product

and showing how they have a primary side fuse and how they select the rating and test it etc, and how they take safety more seriously than their competitor
  ;D

plus demonstrating their unit surviving a 120 to 240 volt    'not entirely 100% user error'  IEC style snafu scenario   

...and mentioning (with URL links) a recent Youtuber down on his luck in this regard, with a competitors product,
and the communication that followed  :palm:

I envisage competitor and fused knockoff sales bolting within weeks, 
Ebay servers grinding to an athritic snails pace flooded with 'Make An Offer' auctions on unfused Wellers

Not that the Sellers will mention the lack of fuse protections in the Description, and just roll with the 'Weller quality' thing...  ;)

If they're going for almost landfill prices, I'll buy them (and a bag of fuses and temperature thingies),
stock up the bench, toss one or two in the tool bags, flog a few modded ones on EEVblog...

I have no doubt the quality will be Weller style, and keepers once fused up  :clap:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Warhawk on January 04, 2019, 07:48:15 pm
(http://wunderkis.de/gallery/DSCN0294.orig.jpg)

SCNR  ;)

This is a very sad picture of a typical German Lötplatz. I've been around many labs in Germany since 2010 and all of them suffer from the same phenomenon - all soldering stations set to the highest temperature (typ. to 450°C). Ideally in combination with the smallest tip and flux impossible to find or a dry out flux pen. I mean WTF Deutsche Entwicklern? The WW2 is over, you can reduce heat back to normal. |O
Surprisingly, I am not the only one who recognized this. I always feel like an alien when bringing my own tips, flux and solder with me.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 04, 2019, 08:07:33 pm
The secondary side actually has two fuses, plus thepolyswitch. One is on the PCB.
Yes. hence my description of the black wire ended one as the 'extra ordinary fuse'.  Knowing that there's a fuse on the PCB, its sheer presence hanging off the secondary terminal indicates a design process SNAFU.
Did anyone note the ratings of all the fuses?

Both are 4A. Why you'd have two 4A fuses in series is beyond me.

Its a mistake. They wanted to have them in *parallel*.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 04, 2019, 08:50:58 pm
Please don't intentionally misattribute quotes to people.   :--
I did not. You simply didn't comprehend what I said.  :--
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 04, 2019, 09:12:20 pm
the owners of Weller soldering irons now know that there's a safety issue.
No, they don't know. They are pretending. But feel free to point to actual safety issues, for which the device has been certified against.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 04, 2019, 09:31:36 pm
For the dozenth time now, and I'll keep saying it every time someone brings it up, if there is no potential issue then why does Weller have a primary fuse on almost all of their other (identical function) products?
Say it as many times as you like. It doesn't make it any more true that there's an issue with this stations OR all the other appliances out there without a fuse as you seem to suggest.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 04, 2019, 09:52:06 pm
For the dozenth time now, and I'll keep saying it every time someone brings it up, if there is no potential issue then why does Weller have a primary fuse on almost all of their other (identical function) products?
Say it as many times as you like. It doesn't make it any more true that there's an issue with this stations OR all the other appliances out there without a fuse as you seem to suggest.
Dave, dont worry. Darwinism will take good care of these people.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 02:24:01 am
For the dozenth time now, and I'll keep saying it every time someone brings it up, if there is no potential issue then why does Weller have a primary fuse on almost all of their other (identical function) products?
The answer is the same as the last few times. :) Added to those replies the question can also be reversed. Why would Weller remove the fuse in one specific model and even just a regional variant as I understand it if they obviously have plenty of experience with them? That suggests there's a deliberate design decision and possibly some engineering. You can't just assume it's just penny pinching, even though that's certainly a possibility. It's likely they quantified the problem and may have concluded the actual issue isn't that big.

Like I said the last few times, I'd love to know more about the process involved but I doubt Weller is going to open up about it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 02:33:31 am
Nope.

The problem is that post-Dave's-video, the owners of Weller soldering irons now know that there's a safety issue. If they have any sort of a conscience then they have to be a lot more careful about selling/giving them to random strangers.

It's not just a simple case of them not working when they arrive after a mixup, it's about them going up in smoke within seconds of being plugged in.

Would you still sell them on eBay, knowing what happens?
I must be misunderstanding you, because claiming the soldering stations go "up in smoke within seconds of being plugged in" is preposterous and demonstrably untrue. That didn't happen when Dave originally reviewed the unit and isn't what users are reporting.

Claiming there's a safety issues because there's no fuse is strange too. Many devices are sold without fuse and the safety regulations don't require it either. We've also discussed before that as far as we can tell it was a safe failure. A safe failure isn't a safety issue. It didn't run its entire course, but nobody so far has been willing to put his money where his mouth is to contribute to a few of these units to do a full test. We're really going around in circles with the same arguments being rehashed.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: SeanB on January 05, 2019, 03:52:52 am
With regard to the car analogy, look at any of the Russian dashcam channels, where you are witness to all ages of vehicles, from the 1940's inspired Trabant, trolley buses, light commuter rail in the streets, to the latest from all the car manufacturers. They all meet each other in all sorts of accidents, and in general, because of car safety technology, the drivers and passengers walk away generally alive, though the vehicle is a wreck. Contrast to the early cars, where the car would be in an accident and would be fine, just the driver would be dead.

Biggest take away from there is that pretty much every SUV will roll over in an accident. Safety technology costs the manufacturers some money, but is worth it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 03:57:27 am
A safe failure isn't a safety issue.

Smoke pouring out is not a safe failure.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 05, 2019, 04:02:57 am
The secondary side actually has two fuses, plus thepolyswitch. One is on the PCB.
Yes. hence my description of the black wire ended one as the 'extra ordinary fuse'.  Knowing that there's a fuse on the PCB, its sheer presence hanging off the secondary terminal indicates a design process SNAFU.
Did anyone note the ratings of all the fuses?
Both are 4A. Why you'd have two 4A fuses in series is beyond me.

The secondary fuse + PTC combo... I'll give a perspective and hope the thread S/N ratio stays up there.
From an engineering, physics point of view, if the fuse clears first- the PTC can do nothing. If the PTC trips first, the fuse can do nothing. It doesn't make sense.

With only a secondary fuse, a problem is passing the transformer overload heating tests and short-circuit test.
 
Generally, the transformer is long term tortured at the fuse trip point OR the protective element (PTC) can trip and hold.
Without the PTC, 61558-1; 15.3.2 test is constant current 210% times the fuse rating for one hour, then checking temperatures, insulation etc. which is 4A*2.1 or 8.4A very high hence the need for the thermal fuse to pass this.
UL 1585; 27.1.2b  "... {with} positive temperature coefficient device (PTC), the current is to be measured after 5 seconds of operation."

Here, the PTC gives a lower test current, passing is easy but skirts the transformer's lack of protection.

UL 1585; 27.2 "... Protective devices are to be shorted out during this test."
It doesn't say all or both devices and may be why a second fuse is present. Even the transformer short-circuit test, where the secondary is shorted... must have been done after the terminal pins, after the windings.

I'll check if I have access to UL 5085 -  Low Voltage Transformers safety standard which would apply for the US. It's an old standard with some issues:
"During the regular review and maintenance cycle of the harmonized standards, it was noted that there were several areas in the standards where the requirements were either redundant and/or not clear or that additional clarification is needed. Revisions to the standard to correct the above stated deficiencies also included corrections to typographical errors."  CSA Urgent Bulletin re: C22.2 No. 66 and UL 5085 (https://www.csagroup.org/wp-content/uploads/Transformers07.pdf)
Proof these old standards have cracks and loopholes and engineering common sense should be used.   
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 04:11:56 am
Smoke pouring out is not a safe failure.
Didn't we discuss this before? If it were to be massive amounts of smoke it may be a problem, but a failure being absolutely smokeless isn't required. Smoke doesn't preclude a safe failure. Contribute to the test units and we can see how much smoke is produced.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 04:24:11 am
Smoke pouring out is not a safe failure.
Didn't we discuss this before? If it were to be massive amounts of smoke it may be a problem

Dave's words were "big wide billow of smoke" and "...by the amount of smoke that escaped from this thing, it's not going to be pretty".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 04:29:36 am
Dave's words were "big wide billow of smoke" and "...by the amount of smoke that escaped from this thing, it's not going to be pretty".
I think he also reported the smoke detector not going off despite it happening the office building, but maybe hecovered up the sensor. I'm not sure.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 05:17:05 am
Dave's words were "big wide billow of smoke" and "...by the amount of smoke that escaped from this thing, it's not going to be pretty".
I think he also reported the smoke detector not going off despite it happening the office building, but maybe hecovered up the sensor. I'm not sure.

Grab the rubber glove, quick!  :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 05, 2019, 05:41:24 am
How do you guarantee the safety of a transformer that smoked the enamel of it's primary windings? That stuff is isolating every winding. It's no surprise that pretty much everyone else, including weller on more expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.

Unless weller reponds something that makes more sense, i will think that they removed the fuse for strictly economical reasons. If weller had some kind of transformer that didn't needed a fuse, why would they use it only on their cheapest models? Because the more expensive ones do have the fuse, which wouldn't be needed with the "better transformer from the cheapest models". How would a blow-proof transformer cost less than a fuse anyways?

Makes no sense.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 05:59:22 am
How do you guarantee the safety of a transformer that smoked the enamel of it's primary windings? That stuff is isolating every winding. It's no surprise that pretty much everyone else, including weller on more expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.

Unless weller reponds something that makes more sense, i will think that they removed the fuse for strictly economical reasons. If weller had some kind of transformer that didn't needed a fuse, why would they use it only on their cheapest models? Because the more expensive ones do have the fuse, which wouldn't be needed with the "better transformer from the cheapest models". How would a blow-proof transformer cost less than a fuse anyways?

Makes no sense.
I understand that line of reasoning, but it's equally valid when reversed. Why would Weller risk putting out a dangerous product if it's that easily fixed? It makes no sense, so maybe there's more to it.

It's possible the failure modes Weller identified and quantified are found to be increasingly unlikely. I think I read somewhere in this thread the 230V model is fused and the 120V model isn't? That suggests they've identified some kind of difference in regards to the risks there.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 06:01:57 am
I understand that line of reasoning, but it's equally valid when reversed. Why would Weller risk putting out a dangerous product if it's that easily fixed? It makes no sense, so maybe there's more to it.

Such as? There's a bunch of real engineers here and they haven't come up with anything.

It's possible the failure modes Weller identified and quantified are found to be increasingly unlikely. I think I read somewhere in this thread the 230V model is fused and the 120V model isn't? That suggests they've identified some kind of difference in regards to the risks there.

Either that or the incompetence runs so deep they got the schematics backwards and the fuse is supposed to be in the 120V version.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 06:13:02 am
Such as? There's a bunch of real engineers here and they haven't come up with anything.

Either that or the incompetence runs so deep they got the schematics backwards and the fuse is supposed to be in the 120V version.
I could make a snide remark about a bunch of real engineers not coming up with anything, but it's probably better if I don't. ;D The onus is on the claimant seeing a problem to prove there is an actual quantifiable problem. While it's striking they opted for a less usual design, it's not a problem in itself.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 06:17:56 am
While it's striking they opted for a less usual design, it's not a problem in itself.

I'd understand it in a cheap Chinese import but it seems indefensible in a "serious" company like Weller.

Yet here you are.

I could make a snide remark about a bunch of real engineers not coming up with anything, but it's probably better if I don't. ;D

Do you have an explanation other than "bean counting"?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 06:23:13 am
Such as? There's a bunch of real engineers here and they haven't come up with anything.

Either that or the incompetence runs so deep they got the schematics backwards and the fuse is supposed to be in the 120V version.
I could make a snide remark about a bunch of real engineers not coming up with anything, but it's probably better if I don't. ;D The onus is on the claimant seeing a problem to prove there is an actual quantifiable problem. While it's striking they opted for a less usual design, it's not a problem in itself.

All wrong. If you want to sell a product to me and I have a (I think very justified) concern about it, it is *your* turn to make me trust your product. Otherwise I will never buy it.
We are not in a lawsuit, we are in a *market* . You need to be not only *legal*, you need to be *attractive* and *competitive*.

Please dont hold back your snide comments. I have prepared some, too  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 06:32:33 am
All wrong. If you want to sell a product to me and I have a (I think very justified) concern about it, it is *your* turn to make me trust your product. Otherwise I will never buy it.
We are not in a lawsuit, we are in a *market* . You need to be not only *legal*, you need to be *attractive* and *competitive*.

Please dont hold back your snide comments. I have prepared some, too  >:D
Remember to breathe. Relax your shoulders. The station went through an array of tests successfully, as is evidenced by the markings. That should be enough to offset an unqualified concern.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 06:44:48 am
I am so relaxed because I dont have even one Weller. And, IMHO, *very few* people here think that the concern is not qualified or justified.

In the meantime you could do a deep search why:

- Weller has a fuse in almost all other models (and I assume very soon also in this one)
- you are so positive that they always act rationally (I mean, two fuses in series dont make you think)
- your imagination has not brought up *one* good reason for their design (greed excluded).

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 06:49:02 am
Remember to breathe. Relax your shoulders. The station went through an array of tests successfully, as is evidenced by the markings. That should be enough to offset an unqualified concern.

So? Even Batteroo had a UL certification.

Complying with the letter of the law and paying for a few stamps isn't enough in a competitive market. You're supposed to generate confidence in your products and attract new customers via. (for example) word of mouth.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 06:49:20 am
I am so relaxed because I dont have even one Weller. And, IMHO, *very few* people here think that the concern is not qualified or justified.

In the meantime you could do a deep search why:

- Weller has a fuse in almost all other models (I and I assume very soon also in this one)
- you are so positive that they always act rationally (I mean, two fuses in series dont make you think)
- your imagination has not brought up *one* good reason for their design (greed excluded).
It seems you're so relaxed you missed this all being discussed before, some repeatedly. No need to repeat it again, just scroll back.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 06:52:46 am
Your only answer so far was that *unfortunately* they did not give a statement on these matters.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 06:54:34 am
So? Even Batteroo had a UL certification.

Complying with the letter of the law and paying for a few stamps isn't enough in a competitive market. You're supposed to generate confidence in your products and attract new customers via. (for example) word of mouth.
The issue with Batteroo wasn't safety related. You don't "pay for stamps", the product actually gets tested. The resulting mark is how confidence is built. I've proposed our own independent testing, but so far the people who see an issue seem content to make their claims without any testing being done on their side.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 06:58:05 am
Your only answer so far was that *unfortunately* they did not give a statement on these matters.
That question was asked multiple times and answered multiple times. But again: you claim a problem, you prove the problem. A concern does not a problem make.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 05, 2019, 07:10:24 am
Mr. Scram,
You want proof a primary fuse is required, then do your own research and learning instead of demanding we prove it to you. Trolls are lazy and I hope you are not.
Formulate your own answer- not based upon the cowboys here, myself included. Then inform us of your findings so a productive discussion can result.

It's $XX,XXX to get the transformer assessed and then the station. About ten sample transformers would be needed. Fair bit of money.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 07:30:57 am
Mr. Scram,
You want proof a primary fuse is required, then do your own research and learning instead of demanding we prove it to you. Trolls are lazy and I hope you are not.
Formulate your own answer- not based upon the cowboys here, myself included. Then inform us of your findings so a productive discussion can result.

It's $XX,XXX to get the transformer assessed and then the station. About ten sample transformers would be needed. Fair bit of money.
People seem to think I'm arguing one way or the other. I'm not. I'm seeing claims being made about the station being dangerous without a fuse. I've asked whether this danger can be quantified, as that's how you know how big the problem actually is. It seems this hasn't happened yet, so it's premature to adamantly claim there's a significant danger. Crucifying a company with so little to go on is silly. That's all I've been saying.

With a few stations you could do at least some testing. A 110V station run at 230V until completely failed would be interesting, to see whether it fails safe. Another would be to add a primary fuse and to see whether that protects the unit completely from 230V. Either would represent user error and isn't representative of what it should reasonsably withstand as it's grossly overloading the device, but it would at least end some of the discussion here. If anyone has other ideas for tests to assess the safety at regular voltages, please post them here. For now I'm putting down $50 to facilitate or aid the purchase of a few units. Let me know what everyone is willing to contribute.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:34:21 am
Dave, dont worry. Darwinism will take good care of these people.  >:D
Don't hold your breath.  ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 07:35:58 am
Smoke pouring out is not a safe failure.

According to you, perhaps, but that is not the standard, engineering wise or regulatory.

Bursting into flames?  That would be considered bad on all fronts....
Shocking the user?  That would be considered bad on all fronts....

I see no evidence that this specific unit, even while in a complete failure mode, did anything other that precisely what was expected in that particular failure mode.

Solely the fact that some failed unit of any type emits smoke is NOT against any regulations or safety standards that I'm aware of that might cover this particular apparatus.  Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what basis you are making this claim?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:39:19 am
With regard to the car analogy ... drivers and passengers walk away generally alive

analogy fail

A) There are probably hundreds of thousands of accidents per day
B) You can't control other bad drivers. You CAN control what you plug your iron into.
C) From what I can tell, Dave walked away alive. In fact his life wasn't in danger.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:45:24 am
expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.
Once again, safety of the iron. Short memory?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:49:17 am
So? Even Batteroo had a UL certification.
So Batteroo is certified not to kill you. And?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 07:51:46 am
Do you have an explanation other than "bean counting"?

Do you have any evidence that there have been any failures that resulted in any property damage due to, for example, one of these units bursting into flames and burning down someone's house, lab, place of business, etc?  Has anyone been zapped into a permanent coma by such device?  These are the things that the standards, regulations, etc. are meant to influence...

The standards are concerned with specifics like this.  Perhaps you could elaborate with additional data that would support your claims that these devices are defective in some way that is significantly different than the potential failure modes of a multitude of other products that are deemed "safe" under the standards and regulations en force in this particular market, for this class (low VA transformer-operated) of devices....

I live in Canada, which shares most common regulations, standards and regular practices regarding construction and operation of apparatus.  Should I start going through my house and office to show how many devices are built in the same style?  Is that really necessary?  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 07:52:02 am
Dave, dont worry. Darwinism will take good care of these people.  >:D
Don't hold your breath.  ;)
Dont worry. Darwinism has worked well over at least a few 100 million years ...  >:D. It wont fail just here, I am sure.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:54:46 am
I've asked whether this danger can be quantified, as that's how you know how big the problem actually is. It seems this hasn't happened yet,

It's long been obvious that they can't quantify it. They can't admit that it's all a circus sideshow, so they will just argue in circles.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 07:57:46 am
So? Even Batteroo had a UL certification.

Citation, please?!   :-//

Nothing Batteroo has ever produced has any kind of UL Certification.

They paid Underwriters' Laboratories to do a specific "performance" test on their device under specific, provided conditions.  This is NOT and has NEVER BEEN any kind of UL certification.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 05, 2019, 08:10:47 am
expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.
Once again, safety of the iron. Short memory?
What do you mean?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 08:11:26 am
Should I start going through my house and office to show how many devices are built in the same style?  Is that really necessary?  :)
Don't bother. We know and they know that you won't find anything, but they'll make you unwind every transformer in your house anyway, and then they'll invent something else.  :blah:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 08:14:48 am
expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.
Once again, safety of the iron. Short memory?
What do you mean?
The fuse is protecting the soldering station. We've been over this.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 08:33:53 am
Dave, dont worry. Darwinism will take good care of these people.  >:D
Don't hold your breath.  ;)
Dont worry. Darwinism has worked well over at least a few 100 million years ...  >:D. It wont fail just here, I am sure.

I am asking myself if all the ardent Weller defenders here are either dealers, stockholders or otherwise affiliated with Weller -

then they did a terrible job on regaining customer confidence in Wellers products and company image - OR -

they are associated with some of Wellers fiercest competitors trying to discredit the company - then they were really brilliant.  :) :) :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 05, 2019, 08:36:35 am
expensive models include a well-known safety device: a fuse.
Once again, safety of the iron. Short memory?
What do you mean?
The fuse is protecting the soldering station. We've been over this.
But it doesn't have a mains fuse. That's what this is all about.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 08:45:49 am
I am asking myself if all the ardent Weller defenders here are either dealers, stockholders or otherwise affiliated with Weller -

then they did a terrible job on regaining customer confidence in Wellers products and company image - OR -

they are associated with some of Wellers fiercest competitors trying to discredit the company - then they were really brilliant.  :) :) :-DD
"These people don't agree with me. They must have financial motives!"

What a shameful suggestion. Maybe it's the lack of relevant evidence?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 08:49:46 am
But it doesn't have a mains fuse. That's what this is all about.
Please refer to the last time you brought this up. It appears you're being wilfully obtuse for the sake of arguing.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2068060/#msg2068060 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2068060/#msg2068060)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 08:55:15 am
I am asking myself if all the ardent Weller defenders here are either dealers, stockholders or otherwise affiliated with Weller -

then they did a terrible job on regaining customer confidence in Wellers products and company image - OR -

they are associated with some of Wellers fiercest competitors trying to discredit the company - then they were really brilliant.  :) :) :-DD
"These people don't agree with me. They must have financial motives!"

What a shameful suggestion. Maybe it's the lack of relevant evidence?

Fully agree. It *is* shameful to cut corners at a penny safety device that would have prevented what happened to Dave. And this for a self-proclaimed premium brand with all the Chinese doing better.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 08:58:31 am
Fully agree. It *is* shameful to cut corners at a penny safety device that would have prevented what happened to Dave. And this for a self-proclaimed premium brand with all the Chinese doing better.
There's a good way of finding out whether that actually would have prevented what happened to Dave. How much are you donating to the testing funds? $50?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 09:03:02 am
Fully agree. It *is* shameful to cut corners at a penny safety device that would have prevented what happened to Dave. And this for a self-proclaimed premium brand with all the Chinese doing better.
There's a good way of finding out whether that actually would have prevented what happened to Dave. How much are you donating to the testing funds? $50?
Why not ? The only thing I dont like about it that we are collecting money to *buy* stuff from Weller. If they supply the soldering stations for free, I would donate to the other costs of the test.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on January 05, 2019, 09:03:50 am
i wanna know how many people defending this shit burn tires in their living room fireplace

also don't buy shit they sell. just seriously bad engineering practice. if you support that then there is probably a laundry list of stuff behind the crap you produce. you can build a good product or you can run a company like a auto balancing bridge that is on the precipice of being legal to sell. if it was something extraordinary close to engineering limits then i can see that regulation is difficult to meet. but this is not. its a little rod that gets hot, its not a fucking cold fusion reactor trying to meet emi compliance and safety regulations. there should be common sense offset.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 09:15:36 am
Why not ? The only thing I dont like about it that we are collecting money to *buy* stuff from Weller. If they supply the soldering stations for free, I would donate to the other costs of the test.
Consider that a well set up and documented test which turns out to be unfavourable for Weller is likely to cost them significantly more than that. If there really are problems, Weller won't profit. If it doesn't turn out to be an issue, it's not really an issue the units are bought. Are you in?

We're still looking for tests which test the necessity of a primary fuse when normal voltages are applied. Right now we only have two gross overloading tests. Suggestions are welcome.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 09:23:07 am
i wanna know how many people defending this shit burn tires in their living room fireplace

I can't even imagine how much fun some of you guys were having trying to impugn all the old-school manufacturers back-in-the-day when we had current-production things like live chassis TVs and radios that were perfectly cromulent design choices at the time....   :)

I suppose, in here, there will probably now be a lobby for imbedded smoke-detectors on all new transformer-operated devices to cut the current to the supply in the case of a failure, unlike those old-fangled, transformer-based, death-trap wall-warts...  You know, instead we must all now use those ultra-safe, super-reliable chinese SMPS thingies that everything seems to come with.    :palm:

"But they have a fusible resistor in them!"

Fusible resistor, indeed....   :palm:

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 05, 2019, 09:23:49 am
Do you have any evidence that there have been any failures that resulted in any property damage due to, for example, one of these units bursting into flames and burning down someone's house, lab, place of business, etc?  Has anyone been zapped into a permanent coma by such device?  These are the things that the standards, regulations, etc. are meant to influence...

It all relies on people reporting incidents to the manufacturer and consumer product safety authorities. How many of us check our gear for safety advisories or recalls?
https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2011/Stained-Glass-Soldering-Irons-Recalled-By-Cooper-Tools-Due-to-Burn-Hazard/ (https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2011/Stained-Glass-Soldering-Irons-Recalled-By-Cooper-Tools-Due-to-Burn-Hazard/)
"The electrical cord attached to the iron can detach from the flex point at the base of the handle. If the electrical cord fails while the product is in use and the cord is touching the user's skin, it could produce an electrical arc that could cause a burn.

There have been three reported injuries, all of which were superficial burns to the hand, none requiring medical attention. Two of the reported injuries occurred in the United States of America and one in Canada."

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2005/cpsc-cooper-hand-tools-announce-recall-of-weller-heating-element-used-in-soldering (https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2005/cpsc-cooper-hand-tools-announce-recall-of-weller-heating-element-used-in-soldering)
"Hazard: The housing of the heating element can unexpectedly leak hot metal, posing a serious risk of a burn injury to the user.
Incidents/Injuries: Cooper has received four reports of the housing of the heating element leaking hot metal. No injuries have been reported."

If nothing is reported, then the stations must be fine. Right?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 09:32:58 am
Why not ? The only thing I dont like about it that we are collecting money to *buy* stuff from Weller. If they supply the soldering stations for free, I would donate to the other costs of the test.
Consider that a well set up and documented test which turns out to be unfavourable for Weller is likely to cost them significantly more than that. If there really are problems, Weller won't profit. If it doesn't turn out to be an issue, it's not really an issue the units are bought. Are you in?

We're still looking for tests which test the necessity of a primary fuse when normal voltages are applied. Right now we only have two gross overloading tests. Suggestions are welcome.

IMHO, The tests should comprise the following:

- Line voltage transients (some standardized procedure. I dont know what the US rules ask for)
- permanent overvoltage (as happened to Dave)

then, it should be decided what a pass and a fail is and after what time this needs to be determined. Candidates:

- An open fire is a fail (I think that is clear)
- Too much smoke so that smoke detectors go off is a fail too.

The tests should be done in a certified (fireproof) lab.

I think the communication policy of Weller is a desaster anyway, but they dont care so much. They could repair their image by supplying the units.
Daves video has been seen by a few thousand people by now, and it is plausible that not all of them will buy a Weller next time  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 09:47:28 am
IMHO, The tests should comprise the following:

- Line voltage transients (some standardized procedure. I dont know what the US rules ask for)
- permanent overvoltage (as happened to Dave)

then, it should be decided what a pass and a fail is and after what time this needs to be determined. Candidates:

- An open fire is a fail (I think that is clear)
- Too much smoke so that smoke detectors go off is a fail too.

The tests should be done in a certified (fireproof) lab.

I think the communication policy of Weller is a desaster anyway, but they dont care so much. They could repair their image by supplying the units.
Daves video has been seen by a few thousand people by now, and it is plausible that not all of them will buy a Weller next time  :)
Your pass or fail requirements seem reasonable enough. You could argue that a smoke detector going off isn't an actual danger, but it would represent an inconvenience. I'm afraid that requiring certified labs and such will put it beyond the attainable. It should be very doable to come up with a few representative tests which can be set up without too much hassle. It seems most important to properly monitor what's going on. Obviously a regular camera, voltage and current going in would be good to monitor and maybe a thermal camera. I'm not sure how to quantify the smoke production. Maybe build a box with some kind of smoke detector in it? Can those do quantitative measurements or would that call for more specialised kit?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: fsr on January 05, 2019, 10:00:11 am
But it doesn't have a mains fuse. That's what this is all about.
Please refer to the last time you brought this up. It appears you're being wilfully obtuse for the sake of arguing.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2068060/#msg2068060 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1160-weller-responds/msg2068060/#msg2068060)
That didn't proved anything to me.
If the smoking, fuseless transformer looks like it's safe to you, well, you're free to think whatever you like. But don't expect that most people will think the same.

And as i said, you cannot guarantee the safety of a transformer that was smoking it's enamel. A fuse would have blown before that happens.
So, why not to include a fuse, when it's very cheap, everyone else uses it, and would improve the safety of the device? Nobody designs mains connected equipment without a mains fuse, because when shit goes wrong with mains, it goes really wrong. Too much power there. Would you remove the fuse just because your found some certification that won't require one? I wouldn't expect a simple 40 watts soldering iron to be fused, because, well, there's no much space to even put a fuse in there, and it has just a heating element inside, and that's it. Neither would i leave it connected and go away for any significant amount of time. But a soldering station? Is there even another fuseless soldering station out there?

Maybe to weller this falls under the ridiculous reasoning of "this may cost $1 per unit, but in 1,000,000 units, that's $1,000,000 we could save". But then, why not just charge $1 more, and be done with it?

Maybe it's a design issue or manufacturing error? But then, it's crazy if they don't fix it, as they could get sued. At least go the "xbox way", and provide an external safety.

And even more important: if they have a good reason for the fuse to not be there, just share that information with the electronics community!!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 10:09:11 am
That didn't proved anything to me.
If the smoking, fuseless transformer looks like it's safe to you, well, you're free to think whatever you like. But don't expect that most people will think the same.

And as i said, you cannot guarantee the safety of a transformer that was smoking it's enamel. A fuse would have blown before that happens.
So, why not to include a fuse, when it's very cheap, everyone else uses it, and would improve the safety of the device? Nobody designs mains connected equipment without a mains fuse, because when shit goes wrong with mains, it goes really wrong. Too much power there. Would you remove the fuse just because your found some certification that won't require one? I wouldn't expect a simple 40 watts soldering iron to be fused, because, well, there's no much space to even put a fuse in there, and it has just a heating element inside, and that's it. Neither would i leave it connected and go away for any significant amount of time. But a soldering station? Is there even another fuseless soldering station out there?

Maybe to weller this falls under the ridiculous reasoning of "this may cost $1 per unit, but in 1,000,000 units, that's $1,000,000 we could save". But then, why not just charge $1 more, and be done with it?

Maybe it's a design issue or manufacturing error? But then, it's crazy if they don't fix it, as they could get sued. At least go the "xbox way", and provide an external safety.

And even more important: if they have a good reason for the fuse to not be there, just share that information with the electronics community!!
Luckily we can test whether a fuse would have blown before that happens. We just need some funds to do so. What are you willing to contribute to the testing funds? Maybe $50?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 10:10:06 am
I'm curious as to whether people here would be as outraged if it were a standard $6 120-volt wall-wart that was connected to 240 volts instead of a soldering station?

If I stick 240 volts at 50 Hz across pretty much any device intended for 120 volts 60 Hz, I would expect fireworks unless something is specifically designed for a wider voltage range.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 10:15:38 am
The ultimate combination of severe user error, electrical naivety and distressingly cheap design:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H66Fbg9nrk4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H66Fbg9nrk4)

 :palm:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 05, 2019, 10:19:03 am
With regard to the car analogy ... drivers and passengers walk away generally alive

Quote from timelessbeing:

analogy fail

A) There are probably hundreds of thousands of accidents per day

REPLY: There are 'probably' many accidents related to car design issues, either not addressed ($ $ $-RECALL-$ $ $) or swept under the doormat
and or just payed out when necessary, to nagging victims via 'no win-no fee' attorneys   



B) You can't control other bad drivers. You CAN control what you plug your iron into.

REPLY: You can't control what others plug their iron or your borrowed iron into,
best to have a properly rated fuse in the sucker = less thinking about who's plugging what into where,
and just get on with the soldering thing..
 

C) From what I can tell, Dave walked away alive. In fact his life wasn't in danger.

REPLY: His lab was in danger of going up in smoke (and not in an Option B: Cheech and Chong fashion) if he left it unattended, as he's not imprisoned there afaik.

and his wallet was in danger too, on a Fire Brigade call out fee, lab mop up, gear replacement, paint job, a carton of Glen 20,
and slab of beer and pizzas for mates rocking up to assist...

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: thm_w on January 05, 2019, 10:21:56 am
I can't even imagine how much fun some of you guys were having trying to impugn all the old-school manufacturers back-in-the-day when we had current-production things like live chassis TVs and radios that were perfectly cromulent design choices at the time....   :)

No one is talking about an old-school manufacture or design, we are talking about a modern product which was recently designed.

Quote
I suppose, in here, there will probably now be a lobby for imbedded smoke-detectors on all new transformer-operated devices to cut the current to the supply in the case of a failure, unlike those old-fangled, transformer-based, death-trap wall-warts... 

We've established that proper transformer based wall-warts have an embedded thermal fuse. Maybe not all.
Most of the smoke detectors that show up on google have a fuse or similar. I did see one CO detector below that appears to have no input fuse, date is 2003.

https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/teardown-tuesday-leeo-wifi-smart-alert-carbon-monoxide-smoke-alarm/ (https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/teardown-tuesday-leeo-wifi-smart-alert-carbon-monoxide-smoke-alarm/)
https://fccid.io/SAK9000165/Internal-Photos/Internal-Photos-509186 (https://fccid.io/SAK9000165/Internal-Photos/Internal-Photos-509186)
https://photos.vec.com/Blog/2011-10/Carbon-Monoxide-Detector/ (https://photos.vec.com/Blog/2011-10/Carbon-Monoxide-Detector/) (no fuse)

Quote
You know, instead we must all now use those ultra-safe, super-reliable chinese SMPS thingies that everything seems to come with.    :palm:

"But they have a fusible resistor in them!"

Fusible resistor, indeed....   :palm:

Yes cheap crap SMPSs are also a hazard and are dangerous, if they are not certified. No one is arguing this.

A fusible resistor may be enough to pass certifications if they are using a proper part: https://www.powerelectronics.com/passive-components/fail-safe-wirewound-resistors-robust-applications (https://www.powerelectronics.com/passive-components/fail-safe-wirewound-resistors-robust-applications)
But to me it doesn't seem as good as a fuse, when they just quote "Fusing time within 60 seconds at 25 times of rated power" without much more info. http://www.yageo.com/NewPortal/yageodocoutput?fileName=/pdf/throughhole/Yageo_LR_FKN_2013.pdf (http://www.yageo.com/NewPortal/yageodocoutput?fileName=/pdf/throughhole/Yageo_LR_FKN_2013.pdf)

And yet, a fusible resistor is still better than nothing, Weller is using nothing.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 10:34:20 am
Quote from timelessbeing:

analogy fail

A) There are probably hundreds of thousands of accidents per day

REPLY: There are 'probably' many accidents related to car design issues, either not addressed ($ $ $-RECALL-$ $ $) or swept under the doormat
and or just payed out when necessary, to nagging victims via 'no win-no fee' attorneys   



B) You can't control other bad drivers. You CAN control what you plug your iron into.

REPLY: You can't control what others plug their iron or your borrowed iron into,
best to have a properly rated fuse in the sucker = less thinking about who's plugging what into where,
and just get on with the soldering thing..
 

C) From what I can tell, Dave walked away alive. In fact his life wasn't in danger.

REPLY: His lab was in danger of going up in smoke (and not in an Option B: Cheech and Chong fashion) if he left it unattended, as he's not imprisoned there afaik.

and his wallet was in danger too, on a Fire Brigade call out fee, lab mop up, gear replacement, paint job, a carton of Glen 20,
and slab of beer and pizzas for mates rocking up to assist...
We'll test whether the lab was in danger and try to assess the amount of smoke produced. We just need some funds for buying a few stations to test. $50?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: drussell on January 05, 2019, 10:39:53 am
Oops...  I forgot to include bigclive's appropriate response to the 120->240V mishap video above:

(https://i.imgur.com/oPLtA7S.png)

Classic Clive...  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 10:40:13 am
REPLY: There are 'probably' many accidents related to car design issues, either not addressed ($ $ $-RECALL-$ $ $) or swept under the doormat
and or just payed out when necessary, to nagging victims via 'no win-no fee' attorneys 
Is there a point here?


best to have a properly rated fuse in the sucker = less thinking about who's plugging what into where ...
 His lab was in danger of going up in smoke ...and his wallet was in danger too
I see. Well If you are person with a habbit of plugging things into random places, then YOU better buy devices with fuses.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 10:43:20 am
IMHO, The tests should comprise the following:

- Line voltage transients (some standardized procedure. I dont know what the US rules ask for)
If it's UL listed, hasn't it already been tested for this?

- permanent overvoltage (as happened to Dave)
Why do we have to do this again? Dave conducted this test. And it failed, exactly as it should have.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 10:45:51 am
you cannot guarantee the safety of a transformer that was smoking it's enamel.
Why not?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 10:53:25 am
If it's UL listed, hasn't it already been tested for this?

Why do we have to do this again? Dave conducted this test. And it failed, exactly as it should have.
I'd like to test gross overvoltage to see how the unit fails when not unplugged. A second test can show whether a fuse would actually save it without harm. Either case would be user error, but it'd put an end to that part of the discussion.

Whether the unit is safe without fuse under normal conditions is a bit harder to assess.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on January 05, 2019, 10:57:37 am
you cannot guarantee the safety of a transformer that was smoking it's enamel.
Why not?

its like making sure the nuts you ate won't come to the surface of a turd i don't know how to explain how this is a engineering stupidity in any other words, its a boiling expanding mass of plastic thats on the threshold of fire held back by nasty chemical fume blanket that prevents a burn.

how don't you see this/
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 11:06:12 am
its like making sure the nuts you ate won't come to the surface of a turd i don't know how to explain how this is a engineering stupidity in any other words, its a boiling expanding mass of plastic thats on the threshold of fire held back by nasty chemical fume blanket that prevents a burn.

how don't you see this/
Without being facetious, I honestly can't tell what you're trying to say here.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 11:07:22 am
how don't you see this/
Precisely because I did not see it.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 11:13:37 am
how the unit fails when not unplugged.
Ah yes that's the $100 question.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: coppercone2 on January 05, 2019, 11:18:21 am
its like making sure the nuts you ate won't come to the surface of a turd i don't know how to explain how this is a engineering stupidity in any other words, its a boiling expanding mass of plastic thats on the threshold of fire held back by nasty chemical fume blanket that prevents a burn.

how don't you see this/
Without being facetious, I honestly can't tell what you're trying to say here.

your fire safety goes from a fool proof piece of copper wire in a glass tube to a complex chemical reaction that will god willing turn into plastic smoke and not fire. you know that stuff is still flammable right, its just more difficult to ignite the idea being it cools down rapidly enough to barely prevent it from igniting.

its like making wood gas instead of burning wood. its real close already.

at best you can call it fire resistant. wheras a fuse is fire proof

also if the formula is a bit off it can go completely haywire and turn into a complete flamethrower, compared to a fuse, you can't really screw up a copper fuse.

improper mixing, failure to add additives, separation during manufacturing, etc.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 11:50:36 am
improper mixing, failure to add additives, separation during manufacturing, etc.
Friday the 13th, 15km/h wind due north, crescent moon, pluto in alignment ...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on January 05, 2019, 12:43:40 pm
If it's UL listed, hasn't it already been tested for this?

Why do we have to do this again? Dave conducted this test. And it failed, exactly as it should have.
I'd like to test gross overvoltage to see how the unit fails when not unplugged.
Fair enough.  Not your typical scenario, but it is a question from our curiosity.

Quote
A second test can show whether a fuse would actually save it without harm.
Absolutely.

Quote
Either case would be user error, but it'd put an end to that part of the discussion.
I would share that same hope - but I fear it would be in vain.  Logic is not followed by everyone and some just like to be ornery.

Quote
Whether the unit is safe without fuse under normal conditions is a bit harder to assess.
Yes, it will be much harder, but despite this difficulty, it is what this discussion should be about (IMHO) - especially in respect to the expectations from Weller.


... but one can only dream.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 01:04:24 pm
Fair enough.  Not your typical scenario, but it is a question from our curiosity.

Absolutely.

I would share that same hope - but I fear it would be in vain.  Logic is not followed by everyone and some just like to be ornery.

Yes, it will be much harder, but despite this difficulty, it is what this discussion should be about (IMHO) - especially in respect to the expectations from Weller.


... but one can only dream.
If you have ideas about testing the latter, they'd be more than welcome.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Brumby on January 05, 2019, 01:21:39 pm
All I can think of is to take any recorded events, recreate the circumstances and subject the target device to those conditions and note what happens.

The sort of events I mean are those that are experienced in a nominal environment.  (A 120V device plugged into a 240V supply is not one of those - for the armchair warriors still champing at that bit.)

To do this properly, you would need an objectively compiled set of observations - and I do not have such a database.

Hypothetical situations need to be avoided - since there will be an infinite number of them and much debate can be spent on conditions that may occur once in every 10,000 years (I might be tempted to call that "ignorable").  Besides, hypotheticals come from our imagination and the real world has a habit of throwing up situations we didn't think about.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 05, 2019, 01:42:05 pm

'They' may be pumping the two corptrolls with 'fiery' emails to get this fuseless fiasco wrapped up and gone by YESTERDAY,

package the offensive as a one time 'user error' by DJ,

handball him a replacement 240v station and spare tips 

and as a last resort offer a sellers Amazon gig if it gets to real hardball


It's a cheap way out to continue flogging fuseless 120v stations to US/Canada markets,
and assume they don't cop a 240v zap, plugging it in to 240v outlets by mistake via 120/240 converter lead,
or a house wiring or street transformer snafu

and crossed corporate fingers and legs that none make it to Australia again, and land on an electronics jedi bench 

or a rogue boxload float over to Cashies...  :scared:


www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dgYayqlqYM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dgYayqlqYM)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 01:44:00 pm

'They' may be pumping the two corptrolls with 'fiery' emails to get this fuseless fiasco wrapped up and gone by YESTERDAY,

package the offensive as a one time 'user error' by DJ,

handball him a replacement 240v station and spare tips 

and as a last resort offer a sellers Amazon gig if it gets to real hardball


It's a cheap way out to continue flogging fuseless 120v stations to US/Canada markets,
and assume they don't cop a 240v zap, plugging it in to 240v outlets by mistake via 120/240 converter lead,
or a house wiring or street transformer snafu

and crossed corporate fingers and legs that none make it to Australia again, and land on an electronics jedi bench 

or a rogue boxload float over to Cashies...  :scared:


www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dgYayqlqYM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dgYayqlqYM)
How much do you contribute to the testing funds? How about $50 too?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 02:08:40 pm
'They' may be pumping the two corptrolls with 'fiery' emails ... and land on an electronics jedi bench or a rogue boxload float over to Cashies... 

 

... But, little did they know that he's a actually a double-agent, and the whole fuse debacle was a clever ploy to take the heat off of Miniware, makers of the TS1000, following the recent negative review on EEVBLOG. Meanwhile, Ersa CEO apologizes after independent labs discover that they have been falsifying power factor figures...

:popcorn:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 05, 2019, 02:14:13 pm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXhkev8o7U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXhkev8o7U)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 05, 2019, 02:33:00 pm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXhkev8o7U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXhkev8o7U)
Not only is that a terrible saying used to justify all kinds of wild assumptions, Dave's video literally showed smoke and no fire.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 05, 2019, 03:23:19 pm
The ultimate combination of severe user error, electrical naivety and distressingly cheap design:

Actually, I am quite impressed with the design. It successfully worked on 240 V without blowing the indicator lamps, burning out the elements or melting the plastic case. Also, when it caught fire it was only the toast and cheese that was burning after being incinerated. The toaster itself seemed OK.

It honestly did way better than I thought it would.

Quote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H66Fbg9nrk4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H66Fbg9nrk4)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 05, 2019, 04:05:28 pm

DJ might wanna think about pulling out the mini Weller Welder trannie from the    [-Bin Of UnFused Shame- ]

and get some toasted cheese snacks going, in between Youtube vids

The taste may not be quite MKR standard, but at least the lab won't have to be left unattended whilst any Weller stations are running 
and no one goes hungry.

The New Weller Lab Barbie?  ;D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 04:33:04 pm
Yeah and plug in a few more 120V or Chinese appliances, and make a magic smoker box. Mmm mm.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 05, 2019, 04:45:12 pm
Oops...  I forgot to include bigclive's appropriate response to the 120->240V mishap video above:

(https://i.imgur.com/oPLtA7S.png)

Classic Clive...  :)

Actually, BigClive is wrong. The primary saturated and ran well beyond 4 times normal power dissipation, and then likely went into accelerated melt down as the enamel was burnt off and the primary turns shorted.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 05, 2019, 04:50:45 pm
Do you have an explanation other than "bean counting"?

Do you have any evidence that there have been any failures that resulted in any property damage due to, for example, one of these units bursting into flames and burning down someone's house, lab, place of business, etc?  Has anyone been zapped into a permanent coma by such device?  These are the things that the standards, regulations, etc. are meant to influence...

Then why do Weller bother to fit fuses to most of their other products in the same functional category?
If there is any argument here at all, this is it.
Again, Weller are allowed to sell a (certified) product without a mains fuse, that's not an issue, but why do some of them have a fuse and some don't?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 04:53:27 pm
... not if they have a primary fuse. Primary fuses also protect from user errors. Weller - not very forgiving.  >:D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: EEVblog on January 05, 2019, 04:54:31 pm
you cannot guarantee the safety of a transformer that was smoking it's enamel.
Why not?

Because the enamel melts and the turns short out, and this likely happens in a progressive accelerated fashion, effectively feeding on itself in a thermal runaway of sorts.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 04:56:54 pm
Dave, would you be availabe for a test where a Weller unit is *not* removed from mains after it started smoking ?
Some Weller fanboys here say that there is no safety issue because no open flames occurred.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 05:17:01 pm
Actually, BigClive is wrong. The primary saturated.
I've never seen a toaster with a transformer in it. Is that a thing?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 05:21:48 pm
Because the enamel melts and the turns short out, and this likely happens in a progressive accelerated fashion, effectively feeding on itself in a thermal runaway of sorts.
... until it goes open circuit. Right?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 05:23:29 pm
Some Weller fanboys
Who? I think Wellers are ugly.  ;D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Wolfgang on January 05, 2019, 05:26:04 pm
... if you insist, *ugly* fanboys.  :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: IanB on January 05, 2019, 05:51:14 pm
Oops...  I forgot to include bigclive's appropriate response to the 120->240V mishap video above:

(https://i.imgur.com/oPLtA7S.png)

Classic Clive...  :)

Actually, BigClive is wrong. The primary saturated and ran well beyond 4 times normal power dissipation, and then likely went into accelerated melt down as the enamel was burnt off and the primary turns shorted.

The comment is about the toaster, not the soldering station. 120 V --> 240 V on heating elements ==> 4x the power.

Instead of glowing a dull red like normal, the heating elements lit up brightly like a bulb. The toaster was glowing like crazy.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 06:46:40 pm
Another would be to add a primary fuse and to see whether that protects the unit completely from 230V.

Of course it would.  :palm:

People seem to think I'm arguing one way or the other. I'm not. I'm seeing claims being made about the station being dangerous without a fuse.

At least one of them went up in smoke without it.

Wouldn't you at least want to know it won't do that?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:14:58 pm
Wouldn't you at least want to know it won't do that?
It's easy enough to ensure by not taking it to another country.  :horse:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 07:25:02 pm
Wouldn't you at least want to know it won't do that?
It's easy enough to ensure by not taking it to another country.  :horse:

We know of at least one that went up in smoke.  :horse:

And we know about mains surges in your country.  :horse:

And you can avoid having to wear a seat belt by simply driving carefully....  :horse:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: floobydust on January 05, 2019, 07:25:29 pm
Appliances I have seen or repaired that do not have a primary fuse - only light fixtures and 1960's car battery chargers, vintage tube radios.

Possibly a few old wall warts, although I'm not sure as I didn't unwind the transformer looking for a thermal fuse. Even in the 1980's there were thermal fuses in consumer electronics (small tranformers). I used to repair clock radios, ghetto blasters, stereos, TV's etc. in a shop, not casual numbers.

In low <~20VA transformers, fine primary copper wire does end up being a fuse at the bobbin lead-in. I have seen two melt there, say smaller than #28 AWG. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge) Inductance leading to an arc in the bobbin, can't be a good idea with this method. It's odd the UL standard does not allow it but the IEC standard seems to:

IEC 61558-1; 15.3.5 intentional weak part. "may be an... inaccessible weak point in a winding."

UL 1585; 18.2 "Crossed or reduced cross-section conductors shall not be used as a protective device. A nicked conductor is a form of reduced cross-section conductor."
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Electro Detective on January 05, 2019, 07:44:31 pm

...And we know about mains surges in your country.  :horse:



It may have been asked before but just where is 'that' country ?  :-//

seeing as Weller Fellas timelessbeing and Mr. Scram  are from Country: 00 or is it Country: OO ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 07:47:22 pm
And we know about mains surges in your country.  :horse:
Feel free to show us a case where a mains surge caused it to "go up in smoke".


And you can avoid having to wear a seat belt by simply driving carefully....  :horse:
The alternative to not wearing a seatbelt is death. You're not very good at this analogy game are you? The fuse is more like wearing a helmet to walk your dog.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 08:30:23 pm
And we know about mains surges in your country.  :horse:
Feel free to show us a case where a mains surge caused it to "go up in smoke".

LMGTFY (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=power+surge+fire).

Looks like this thread's over. All that's left is trolls and people who refuse to see common sense.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: timelessbeing on January 05, 2019, 08:42:59 pm
 :palm: For this iron.

Looks like this thread's over. All that's left is ... people who refuse to see common sense.
I completely agree.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
Post by: Fungus on January 05, 2019, 09:08:17 pm
:palm: For this iron.