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Author Topic: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued  (Read 58527 times)

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Offline SLJ

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Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« on: November 15, 2012, 01:04:18 PM »
Per the Hakko web site it looks like the Hakko FX-888 soldering station has been discontinued and is being replaced by one with a digital control, the FX-888D:

http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_fx888d.html 

The minus for some is it's digital.  The plus is it will be available in gray not just the Fisher Price blue and yellow.  Let's hope they keep the price where the FX-888 was.

Online IanB

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 01:37:47 PM »
The plus is it will be available in gray not just the Fisher Price blue and yellow.

That's actually a reduction in choice, so it would seem. The FX-888 was manufactured in several different color schemes, not just two, although only the blue/yellow one was available in the US market.
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Offline benemorius

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 01:53:03 PM »
I don't mind a digital temperature setting, but I definitely mind the lack of a rotary encoder knob to conveniently adjust it. Even worse is when the lack of a knob is combined with a really clumsy way of using the buttons to adjust it. I watched the video and wow that's bad! |O This is clearly intended for production environments, which, if I'm not mistaken, leaves Hakko without a single iron that isn't designed with production assembly in mind. :-//
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 02:29:26 PM »
I don't mind a digital temperature setting, but I definitely mind the lack of a rotary encoder knob to conveniently adjust it. Even worse is when the lack of a knob is combined with a really clumsy way of using the buttons to adjust it. I watched the video and wow that's bad! |O This is clearly intended for production environments, which, if I'm not mistaken, leaves Hakko without a single iron that isn't designed with production assembly in mind. :-//
The presets might make it acceptable for most DIY users however.

For me at least, they make changing between commonly used temps easier than a knob (WD1, which uses dedicated buttons for each preset). Not exactly an inexpensive station by most people's definition though...
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 09:38:29 PM »
That didn't last long... the 936 was around for over 10 years (earliest references to it I can find are 1996, correct me if I'm wrong) but the FX-888 barely made it over 4 (manual is dated 2008, couldn't find anything earlier.)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 09:44:59 PM »
That didn't last long... the 936 was around for over 10 years (earliest references to it I can find are 1996, correct me if I'm wrong)

And the 926 which you can see on my bench, at least another 10 years before that!

Dave.
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 09:56:38 PM »
I much prefer the analogue control on the 926/936/888.
 

Offline r90s

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 10:11:33 PM »
I had ordered an FX-888 late in the afternoon about three weeks ago,  and that same evening I came across the new model on the Hakko Japan site..   I'm happy with the model that I have, even though Ihope to have a JBC tools station one day. 8)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 10:21:59 PM »
That's sad, I think the 888 was just right but I prefer the 936 as its rectangular body made it stack-able with my other gear, so you can use more real estate on a tight bench more wisely.  The digital controls I do find, is not a plus.  You still have to manually calibrate it, aka 'adjust' in their product terms, so this unit becomes more like the Weller WESD51, with the WES51 being the FX888 equivalent.  It also takes longer to press a button many times or wait until it times in for 'fast mode' rather than to simply swipe a rotary dial or knob to get to the marking on the dial.  As for soldering itself, the technology of the heater and tips are the same, so its unchanged, all that's new is the control unit.

The good new is existing 888 stock could be discounted.  Hakko states the 888D will be at an 'analog' price, which suggests it'll be at a similar price as the 888 was, so we hope.  If not, if you were holding back, now's a time to get an 888 before it disappears as the US discounts have it steadily at $80, including S&H.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 10:30:36 PM by saturation »
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Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 10:25:35 PM »
Why all the groaning?

As best I can tell, the iron finally has an ON/OFF indicator (the temp setting) and not just an intermittent LED to indicate that it's heating the tip up. The only complaint I have against the 888 (like Dave) is that you can't be sure at a glance if the unit is on or not...you have to wait for a heat-up cycle. If that's fixed, great.

I like the presets because on the occasion that I turn it up (to handle a heavy joint) I'm never sure that I quite remember the original setting. Anyway, I suspect that I shouldn't be changing temps to do that anyway, I should be changing tip mass. The temp should be set according to solder spec, no?

 

Offline SLJ

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 11:52:45 PM »
I would prefer an analog control for the temp setting but those are going to disappear fast.  Watching the video it looks like they have cut out a lot of the time it takes to set it.  The presets are a nice feature but more than a couple you might as well just adjust the temp.  I guess it all depends on how long it takes it to step through the range.

At least having the digital read out you will know when it's on.  That was a big drawback to the FX-888.  Price will be everything.  If it's not still around $80 I think they will loose a lot of the home/hobby/experimenter market as there are other good choices for adjustable temp irons in that price range.

For general soldering I still use my old Weller soldering station I bought used in the early 80s, 30+ years ago.  Nothing today will last that long.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 12:02:01 AM by SLJ »
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 12:16:07 AM »
I prefer a digital display set by an analog knob or encoder.

However preset buttons does make it easy.
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Offline saturation

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 02:47:33 AM »
Alas for one, this is the first product I know of Hakko's where the improvement is more a Rube Goldberg  for the 888's target market [ I'd forgive the stickers its gave away for the 936 before it was discontinued] rather than technology with truly improved solder functionality. 

One could say, this 888D is a recycling the old Hakko 937 controller system.  Which was much more expensive and except for digital locks placed on adjusting set temp, offered no more functionality than the analog version, 936.

If a power-on light was really all that was needed, it simpler to add it than redesign the controller for a digital readout.  Without redesign you can change the off/on switch to a lighted one easily too, a literal drop in replacement without any fuss.

What preset "temps" do users actually get?  The pencil heater-feedback design used in the 936/FX888 isn't really accurate to the 1C resolution the LED display for tip temperature because the temp sensor is at the bottom of the tip assembly, and is subject to some temperature offset.  Further this tip temp changes with use and wear, so this design requires periodic manual re-calibration.  So the LSD will be off after just a few uses, but that usually isn't bad enough to require recalibration, but it won't be accurate.  That's why on the the 936, the original marks were at 50 degree positions, and the FX888 was already overkill at 10 deg marks.

The digital readout is just a fancy representation of what could have just been painted on the faceplate.  If one wanted presets on an FX888 just mark the scale with Sharpie pen or masking tape to where on the scale you want the temp for a task and you can even label it with more text.





Why all the groaning?

As best I can tell, the iron finally has an ON/OFF indicator

I like the presets because on the occasion that I turn it up (to handle a heavy joint) I'm never sure that I quite remember the original setting. Anyway, I suspect that I shouldn't be changing temps to do that anyway, I should be changing tip mass. The temp should be set according to solder spec, no?
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 03:37:10 AM »
My current soldering station (WD1000M) is digital, and I can't say I've missed analog control. On the other hand it's powerful enough that I just set it to 190C and solder everything with that.

Offline T4P

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 05:25:57 AM »
I was interested in the FX-888D only for a second. I wonder what can 2 buttons do  ^-^
And i've had my share of pushing buttons on a hot air station, sure it didn't take alot of time but a knob is a knob, yes i don't quite like knobs for digital systems.
But a knob and a button is good for me, i like both!
Having 2 buttons might seem like a doh but the left button is the preset button so basically you have a few settings but those can be configured too

It's not like you need any other settings right?  ::)
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Offline RCMR

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2012, 08:49:40 AM »
They've destroyed the best feature of the FX888 -- the cool blue/yellow color scheme!

While all those old 9-series clones look much the same, the FX888 was totally distinctive and stood out like a sore thumb on any workbench.  What a great marketing tool for Hakko!   You'd probably never notice any other soldering station on a busy workbench but you can't miss a Hakko 888.

Of course I also agree with the consensus that the digital button setup is just change for the sake of change.

I suspect they've got a new crew in the marketing department who decided "ooh... we can show our market leadership by putting some cool buttons and a digital readout on the front instead of a boring old knob".  These marketing droids have probably never used a soldering iron in the  life -- except perhaps to try and re-heat a stale latte'
 

Offline [email protected]

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2012, 09:37:00 AM »
It is not a big loss. Hakko's pricing for the 240V version, the difficulty to get a 240V version at all, and the strange 240V special version for China made it rather unattractive in the 240V world. They might have dropped it, because it might not have sold well. The Fisher-Price "My first soldering Iron"colour and  look certainly did not help selling it in regions where people prefer their tools looking like tools and not like "cute" toys.
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Offline RCMR

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2012, 11:11:31 AM »
The Fisher-Price "My first soldering Iron"colour and  look certainly did not help selling it in regions where people prefer their tools looking like tools and not like "cute" toys.
Oh... I feel special now  :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Online IanB

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2012, 11:44:29 AM »
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital soldering stations are a pretty neat idea.

--with apologies to Douglas Adams
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Offline SLJ

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2012, 01:09:24 PM »
FYI  - Today from Hakko USA: 

The FX-888D will not be available in North America until early next year. The current FX-888 has the same power and uses the same tips and the FX-888D will use. When the FX-888D is released you will be able to purchase from any authorized distributor.
Best regards,
Andy Mitchell
American Hakko Products

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2012, 01:37:45 PM »
If they wanted to go digital, they should have used an encoder knob. The buttons suck.

And I agree with RCMR, the colour scheme was really distinctive. Yeah, like everyone I gasped on first sight. But once you get a feel for the iron's quality, you instantly respect it and the colour scheme (and creative design) is a breath of fresh air.

Dave.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2012, 05:49:56 PM »
If they wanted to go digital, they should have used an encoder knob. The buttons suck.
I just looked at the instruction manual for the 888D and it is almost ridiculous how much functionality they managed to cram into 2 buttons (3-"letter" password option :o), so that trying to do anything other than move between the presets becomes a process not unlike bit-banging SPI manually. It's obvious they don't want you to do anything other than turn it on and use it, which is great for production environments with "strict temperature management" but not much else. The digital display is nice, but the UI sucks.

Quote from: Hakko
Simple and easy operation
With only two operation buttons of UP and ENTER in the center, operation is simple and easy. Even if you’re not familiar with operation of machines, you can operate it without difficulty.
Any idiot can press buttons. Knowing how to press them is a totally different issue...

At this point I'm thinking Hakko is only riding on reputation and introducing new designs to avoid the Chinese cloners, and I truly hope this is the one Hakko station they don't clone. Adding a temperature display is good, but keep the no-nonsense easy-to-use (seriously) knob.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2012, 02:37:11 AM »
Here's a link to the users manual.  If one wanted to improve the 888, what I think some useful add ons would be:

auto-off
power on light
a method to hot swap tips
lower prices, especially the EU and UK market

Now the simple process of turning the temp adjust is replaced by the instructions listed here.  Readers can judge for themselves what is gained and lost by this move.

https://doc.hakko.com/search.php?_gs=on&l=en&kc=&kp=fx888d&ki=10&ks=&ke=&kh=0&submit=Search

Sorry, couldn't add as attachment because of the forum's file size limits.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 02:47:13 AM by saturation »
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Offline Dagon

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2012, 02:49:39 AM »
Quote
and the strange 240V special version for China

What was different about the chinese version?
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Offline Mr Smiley

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Re: Hakko FX-888 soldering station discontinued
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2012, 03:21:55 AM »
Why don't we all get together and build our own!!!

All you need is

1 iron, under a fiver(uk) from ebay, lots of suppliers and millions of replacement tips.
24v 2A supply
pic or avr
rotary encoder
3 7-seg or lcd display
a couple of op-amps
And lots of pleasant interaction working out the software alone and with others.

Then you can add all the advantages of whatever you'd like into one single unit.

you could have an all singing, all dancing, does all that you want for under £20 in parts.


Mr Smiley  :)
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