Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 40277 times)

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Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #25 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.
 
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #26 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.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #27 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.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 02:50:09 pm by Brumby »
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #28 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.
 

Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #29 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.
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Offline thmjpr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #30 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.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #31 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.
 

Offline santiall

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #32 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.

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Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #33 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.
 
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Offline Xenon

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #34 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.
 
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Offline johnlsenchak

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #35 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
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Online Towger

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #36 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/
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 05:14:23 pm by Towger »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #37 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.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #38 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/

There is a comment on the Youtube video about someone who's unit burned down.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #39 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.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 05:34:46 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #40 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.
 

Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #41 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.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 06:00:16 pm by beanflying »
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Offline capt bullshot

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #42 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.
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Online SparkyFX

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #43 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.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 06:07:59 pm by SparkyFX »
 

Offline tchicago

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #44 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.
 
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Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #45 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.
 

Offline capt bullshot

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #46 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.

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Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #47 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.
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Offline doktor pyta

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #48 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.


Offline capt bullshot

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #49 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.
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