Author Topic: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations  (Read 11968 times)

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Online GregDunn

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #125 on: August 09, 2018, 09:54:47 pm »
aha! i see the 2pin battery connector.

Lots of things to play with here, if I get bored some day.   ;D
 

Offline CapnBry

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #126 on: August 10, 2018, 11:19:29 pm »
Huh that's strange, it is definitely a different circuit board than I have in mine. I know because I actually took it apart yesterday to see if it is the power supply causing the boot delay or the firmware. The power supply comes on in roughly 2 seconds from flipping the switch, and the bulk of the time (about 4 seconds) is spent waiting for the software to start. I'm wondering if there's some sort of bootloader on the chip that waits for 3 seconds or something for an update before launching into the firmware. It seems a bit daft to have a iron that waits longer before booting than it does to actually heat up.

I've gone through and calibrated my most used tips and the temperature regulation is really not great in the stock firmware. I'm set to 320 with a type K tip (the giant flat one) and I'm seeing about 315 on idle, all well and good. Then I touch it to a piece of 1oz copper clad stock I have here and the temp drops to 200C or lower, all the while the display still bouncing around 320 and the power going up, but not by much.

I've probably got 50 hours on it so far and it works pretty well apart from that. The encoder UI is fine, it is easy enough to switch tips or temps. The standby is nice and the shake sensor is super sensitive so I've never had to give it an explicit shake to wake it. I did back the timer off to 2 minutes though, at one minute it was always just entering standby as I reached for it each time or I'd be rushing to get my next set of joints ready in time to beat the one minute timer and it was causing me an irrational amount of stress.
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #127 on: August 11, 2018, 12:42:51 am »
I've read all the T12-type soldering station threads thoroughly, and there seems to be only a vague consensus about which actual brand/model is a worthwhile purchase.

What I'm looking for mainly is a secondary station to make use of my T12/T15 tips: one I can stick in a box, take to a friend's house and make repairs without worrying about packing up my Hakko FX-951 and accessories.  If it gets dropped or stolen, no big loss.  I'd like a built-in power supply w/IEC socket and fuse, and the ability to plug a FM-2028 compatible handle in.  If I have to fix the internal grounding and stick X- and Y-caps in it, that's fine.  It just needs to be cheap and not complete junk.  Bonus if it has the microcontroller / OLED display as well.  It won't be taking the place of my FX-951 so accuracy is not even a big concern.

It seems like there are several KSGER and Quicko kits which fit my needs, but it's unclear which ones of them (for example) have all the necessary connections to the handle in order for the T-12 tips to operate correctly.  Re-reading the threads didn't provide a clear recommendation in this regard.

Is this one, for example, any good?

https://www.amazon.com/KSGER-Soldering-Electric-Temperature-Controller/dp/B07DKZ6PDT/

Or this one, which looks like a metal case?

https://www.amazon.com/KSGER-Soldering-Electric-Temperature-Controller/dp/B07DSCH4CJ/

I think that you should consider this option, I have 2 of these, very good indeed, but I did carry out additional earthing of the enclosure. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2017-STC-T12-Digital-Soldering-Iron-Station-Temperature-Controller-EU-Plug-Temperature-180-450-Degrees-T12/32803295956.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.1.79cc8d61xzhCln&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1_10152_10151_10065_10344_10130_10068_10324_10342_10547_10325_10343_10340_10548_10341_5012011_10696_10192_10190_10084_10083_10618_10307_10820_10301_10821_10303_10059_100031_5011911_10103_10624_10623_10622_10621_10620,searchweb201603_16,ppcSwitch_2&algo_expid=308363ac-d1af-475d-901b-68386d2f0fb9-0&algo_pvid=308363ac-d1af-475d-901b-68386d2f0fb9&transAbTest=ae803_1&priceBeautifyAB=0 
Who let Murphy in?
 

Online GregDunn

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #128 on: August 11, 2018, 03:07:02 am »
After a lot of head scratching and pondering, I ended up getting this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DKZ6PDT/

At least here in our area, we've had really good luck ordering through Amazon so it was less of a risk.  It seems to be very well constructed, properly grounded and fused, and the internal power supply - happily - uses high quality components.  I haven't done complete measurements on it yet but am interested to see if the temperature tracks any better than the Hakko which is my primary station.
 

Online stj

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #129 on: August 11, 2018, 04:14:21 am »
lol
the case is upside-down!!
 :-DD
 

Online GregDunn

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #130 on: August 11, 2018, 05:10:00 am »
lol
the case is upside-down!!
 :-DD

I thought that too, when I opened the box - but what they've done is put rubber feet on the bottom of the case and little "cups" on the top.  If you stack two or more of them, the feet rest in the little cups and keep the controller from sliding around.  You might just think that they're using the same mold for top and bottom halves of the box and not putting feet in the top part, but no - the top and bottom molds are in fact different on the inside so it was intentional.  That's part of what I meant about attention to detail, along with the brass inserts for the screws and heat shrinking on all the internal wiring.

Also, I tested the accuracy of the K tip with my FG-100 and it's within 10C of the set temp at 350C.  Pretty good for a cheap controller and a clone Hakko-style tip!  Better than my FX-951 in fact.   :o
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #131 on: August 11, 2018, 06:31:49 am »
As I mentioned in an earlier post, these cups must be because they finally realized that people often stack 2 or more these together and with the fascia being oversized they couldn't be stacked correctly.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Online stj

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #132 on: August 11, 2018, 09:10:48 pm »
10' is very good, the guy who made the universal controller project tested dozens of tips inc originals and found they differ by upto 30'

as for it being better than the FX951, that does not surprise me.
the Hakko is pretty old and microcontrollers and coding techniques for stuff like avoiding overshoot have come a long way with so many people now working on there own controllers.
 

Offline zanga

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #133 on: August 20, 2018, 06:07:39 pm »
Can someone please put a picture with the connections on the fx9501 handle?

I found this pic for + - and earth


But not sure how should I connect the thermistor and the ball switch.

The handle will be connected to a KSGER 3.0 5 pin controller kit.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #134 on: August 21, 2018, 07:07:59 am »
Can someone please put a picture with the connections on the fx9501 handle?

I found this pic for + - and earth
http://i.imgur.com/H1pDX2r.jpg

But not sure how should I connect the thermistor and the ball switch.

The handle will be connected to a KSGER 3.0 5 pin controller kit.

It may be better to trace out the connections yourself to confirm what goes where.
 
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Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #135 on: August 21, 2018, 08:41:55 am »
I checked my connections but they would be worthless to you as my T12 are made by Quicko and are 4 pin variations but still use the FX9501 handles.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Online stj

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #136 on: August 21, 2018, 10:15:02 pm »
i wonder why it has an NTC in the handle, it's too slow and inacurate for any kind of offsetting.
maybe it's a safety to detect the handle heating up.
 

Offline ggchab

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #137 on: August 22, 2018, 01:17:37 am »
I have the same handle. I used the ball switch only that I simply connected to the white and blue wires.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #138 on: August 22, 2018, 07:26:27 am »
i wonder why it has an NTC in the handle, it's too slow and inacurate for any kind of offsetting.
maybe it's a safety to detect the handle heating up.

Its for CJC: https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/4026

How is it too slow or inaccurate? Typical glass thermistor is sub 1 degree. We are talking about a soldering iron where if you are off by 5 degrees that would be OK.
https://www.ametherm.com/thermistor/select-an-ntc-thermistor

But the fact that many have the NTC in the base shows there probably isn't a huge difference between handle and base temperature under normal use.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #139 on: August 22, 2018, 09:23:23 am »
Quote
i wonder why it has an NTC in the handle, it's too slow and inacurate for any kind of offsetting.
maybe it's a safety to detect the handle heating up.
It is exactly there to detect the temp of the back end of the handpiece, because this is directly related to the temperature at the back end of the cartridge. This is where the cold junction is. The "power leads" to the heater, inside that long T12 cartridge between the contacts and the tip, are made of two difference metals. This is the thermocouple; the power leads are the thermocouple. And this is the reason T12 tips are as long as they are... to better thermally isolate the cold junction from the tip.

If heat from the tip raises the temp of the back end of the cartridge, the voltage this thermocouple produces will drop. And the set temp will effectively increase itself. So yes, it is compensating for temperature change at the cold junction, and it doesn't need to be super fast to do that.

A station that puts a thermistor in the base station is just attempting to compensate for the range of ambient temperature in typical soldering environments. I suppose it would be useful if you move the station around between vastly different temperature work environments. But this is not particularly necessary for most people.

A CJC thermistor in the back of the handpiece would be more important for iron with shorter cartridges and/or higher wattage output. T12 seems to work fine in most scenarios, without any CJC. It is where you are pushing a lot of watts into a heavy ground plane where you might run into some temp drift. I have so far never needed to push a T12 iron that hard to significantly heat up the back of the handpiece/cartridge. And as long as it was self-limiting, and not exponential, it wouldn't necessarily hurt. If you find yourself pumping a lot of watts, it's probably ok or even nice if the set temp actually invisibly raised itself... as long as it would come back down on its own when you put the iron back in the stand, and not go into thermal runaway.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 09:47:48 am by KL27x »
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #140 on: August 22, 2018, 09:45:23 am »
A CJC thermistor in the back of the handpiece would be more important for iron with shorter cartridges and/or higher wattage output. T12 seems to work fine in most scenarios, without any CJC. It is where you are pushing a lot of watts into a heavy ground plane where you might run into some temp drift. I have so far never needed to push a T12 iron that hard to significantly heat up the back of the handpiece/cartridge.
I can agree with that, as mentioned earlier, I use the Quicko versions as sold by Aliexpress and this is a 4 pin / core system and uses the ball switch and no CJC thermistor in the handle and I have no problems with that system at all.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Online MT

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #141 on: August 26, 2018, 11:38:18 am »
Is there a tip usage table? Like which tip is most suitable for 0604, SO8, DIP etc.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #142 on: August 26, 2018, 05:19:13 pm »
Is there a tip usage table? Like which tip is most suitable for 0604, SO8, DIP etc.
Hakko's Tip Selection page doesn't quite cover it that way, but should still be useful as it shows what the different shapes can be used for. For sizing, you fit it to the pad/hole being soldered.
 
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Online MT

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #143 on: August 26, 2018, 11:43:02 pm »
Hakko's Tip Selection page doesn't quite cover it that way, but should still be useful as it shows what the different shapes can be used for. For sizing, you fit it to the pad/hole being soldered.

Thats a brilliant page, Thanks! :-+
 

Offline bob808

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #144 on: September 10, 2018, 12:37:51 pm »
I gave a Quicko 4 pin version, and I got a ball switch and a mercury switch in the kit. Do I need to use the mercury switch?
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #145 on: September 10, 2018, 05:59:00 pm »
No, you get both ball and mercury options so you can decide which one you want to use.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bob808

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #146 on: September 10, 2018, 08:39:57 pm »
Are there any differences between them?
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #147 on: September 10, 2018, 09:54:22 pm »
I think maybe the only real difference is that the ball might respond more to vibration as well as the angle of the handle and the mercury switch is going to be purely a gravity activated switch, so the angle of the handle may be the only means of operation.

If you really to see which does what and then make up your own mind, connect them to your multimeter on the continuity range and see which is the more sensitive etc to the way you want the system to work, and then once done, install that unit in the handle, simple.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline zanga

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #148 on: September 19, 2018, 12:59:08 am »
Thank you for your answers !

I attached the connections I used for the handle in case anyone needs them.

Any recommendations for a stand that can hold the FX9501 handle ?
 

Online bd139

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Re: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations
« Reply #149 on: September 19, 2018, 03:47:14 am »
I tried I think three stands and none of them worked with the 9501 handle. They ranged from floppy, to broken to completely useless.

See my review of one here: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/cheap-t12-clone-soldering-stations/msg1496530/#msg1496530
 


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