Author Topic: Cheap T12 clone soldering stations  (Read 7161 times)

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Offline 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?
 

Offline 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
 

Offline 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.
 


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