Author Topic: Hakko FX-888D Review  (Read 6312 times)

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Offline 8163jb

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Hakko FX-888D Review
« on: August 23, 2013, 04:01:29 AM »
Hey everyone,
I've done a review of the Hakko Fx-888D and I just wondered if you guys could tell me what you think? I'm a young (16) aspiring Electronics blogger and I'd like some feedback on my work? :) http://doayee.co.uk/hakko-fx-888d-review/ is the Hakko review and my overall blog is http://doayee.co.uk I'm fairly new to the forum so if there is a better place I should be posting this kind of thing (or if this kind of post is not supposed to be on here) please let me know! And I will move/remove it! Thanks!
Tom Cousins
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Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 09:53:54 PM »
Good for 16 but if your target audience is all ages you should structure your reviews.

Something like this is a good place to start:
Brief Fluff (intro)
Specs
What comes in the box
Operation
Testing or performance
Teardown or gutshots (if you have the skill or can be bothered)
Things you noticed, problems encountered or things people should know
Conclusion or summary including value for money
Where to obtain it and price

Keep the paragraphs on topic and don't go into too much detail unless it's something your competent in.
The reason for this is readers will tend to look for the exact information they need.  If it's not laid out easy readers will skip it.

Be careful with criticisms as they can come to bite you in the article. If you wrote:
"The cable was the totally wrong type"
If the cable is the proper supplied cable and there is nothing wrong with it.  Then it's pure opinion and many readers will let out a groan.
Instead if it really sticks out as odd write something like:
"The supplied cable is...  which may not be the preferred type if you needs are..." This is a better way to get opinion across.

As for your article it may have written better if you did not go near for a shootout in the beginning (unless it is in fact a proper shootout article).
You can leave readers confused over what they are reading.  Instead if you need to, leave that for a conclusion. Shootouts should also be for similar products.

Read plenty of reviews and take note of the what makes the good ones best.
Hope that helps you to hone your journalism skills.
 


Offline 8163jb

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 12:44:27 AM »
Thankyou very much for your reply!

I will take note of what you say and try and implement it in future. With what you were saying about structure (which is a very good point) do you think it would improve it were I to put headers into the review. E.g:

Operation:
Aesthetics:
Issues:
Conclusion:

Or just keep to that structure but not make it obvious that's what I'm doing?

Thanks very much :)
Tom Cousins
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http://doayee.co.uk
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 03:00:39 AM »
Thankyou very much for your reply!

I will take note of what you say and try and implement it in future. With what you were saying about structure (which is a very good point) do you think it would improve it were I to put headers into the review. E.g:

Operation:
Aesthetics:
Issues:
Conclusion:

Or just keep to that structure but not make it obvious that's what I'm doing?

Thanks very much :)

I always think headings help to add structure to a review. It can be hard to read a "wall of text", so using headings and inserting pictures or diagrams in suitable places is a way to break it up into more digestible pieces.

Also try to avoid fancy words like aesthetics. Choose simpler everyday words like "Looks" instead.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 11:19:51 AM »
While you don't have to use headers if you are doing many reviews using headers will help keep them in a consistent format. If you chose not to use them don't write more than a few short paragraphs.
Don't automatically jump to negatives with sections titled "issues".
Here is a dummy review example.

------------------------------

Last week I got to try out my first Hakko soldering station the Hakko Fx-888D.  Have been looking forward to testing this product for some time.  I needed a station more suited to an all-around workhorse than my current station.

Specs:
The Fx-888D is the entry level station from Hakko which features presets, password function and tip temp adjustment/calibration.
The Fx-888D iron is 64W 26V and is adjustable between 200-480ºC.  The whole unit comes in blue or silver.

What comes in the box:
Station with attached power cord, iron and includes a fine (spec here) tip, user manual.

Operation:
To get up and running it's as simple as plug iron in, plug into wall turn on and set a temperature.
(write as much here as you want to tell your readers)

Testing or performance:
It took 20 seconds to heat up to 250ºC from cold at a room temperature of 21ºC
When the iron reached the set temperature there was/wasn't an indicator light.
I immediately noticed how solidly constructed the Fx-888D was, adjustment was smooth and iron easy to hold.
(leave opinion out just have facts)

Teardown or gutshots (if you have the skill or can be bothered):
And if you went this far you could go right into design or serviceability.

Conclusion:
The user manual was brief and could have included more examples but adequate to get the station operational.
The included tip wasn't to my preference as I do little smd work.  However larger interchangeable tips can be picked up for around $10 extra.

Overall I was very happy with this purchase. I believe the Fx-888D represents excellent value for money at does everything it claims. They are available through Hakko distributors worldwide around $300-400 or on eBay currently for $200.



Offline 8163jb

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 12:40:17 AM »
Thankyou very much for the feedback :)

I have written another review taking into account what you have said: http://doayee.co.uk/hakko-fx-888d-review-take-2/

Again please tell me if this is better (or worse) than the first!

Thanks very much!
Tom Cousins
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http://doayee.co.uk
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 03:25:48 PM »
Yep way better, had I visited that page I would have read it that time.

I would have personally not used exclamation marks or mentioned the price again in the "in the box" paragraph.
For an advanced journalistic "trick" if there were issues while doing your review.  Then you can resolve the mystery in the conclusion.  For example:

In the box:
The soldering iron tip was missing in my box.
Conclusion:
I contacted Hakko regarding the missing tip and they apologized and sent one out on the afternoon courier.

or

Testing:
The tip snapped of on it's first use.
Conclusion:
I researched a little and found the tip issue was a defect in an early batch and is now resolved.

I like this technique as it keeps flow going in the review but makes sure the conclusion have everything you need to know.
It also begs the reader to read on.  As long as you remember it's facts not opinion till the conclusion and you can't go wrong.


Online PedroDaGr8

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 04:54:37 PM »
I have to agree your layout and organization is MUCH better. Honestly it looks much closer to a professional article this time around. Its easily to follow and well broken up.

Now for my critiques. First and foremost, a thing that stuck out at me the most is that you are woefully short on facts in the specifications area. You say " For it’s price, the Hakko boasts some impressive specs!" but fail to explain to me WHY they are impressive. In fact, you leave out several important specs such as wattage, soldering temperature range, temperature resolution, etc. You instead give me some features in the specs area (they are similar but not the same). Secondly, for reviews of technology equipment, an unboxing style review is often the best. It allows you to REALLY get into the nitty gritty of the device. It can often be a bit difficult to get your head around but here is a great example of what I mean. It's a review of a computer power supply written by Oklahoma Wolf over at JonnyGuru. I chose this because like soldering irons, computer power supplies are not the most flashy devices. They are much more utilitarian devices. That being said, he is able to write a multipage in-depth details and enjoyable review. If you notice he delves deeply into all aspects of the device from marketing, to craftsmanship, to included accessories, to performance.  You don't need to go THAT deep (ie the intricate teardown) but it would behove you to go into more detail than you do now. Lastly, your conclusion section is actually not one. You should never introduce new info. For example, the info about tip choice should have been included in the paragraph about what was in the box. The conclusion section should be all about summarizing the good the bad and the ugly. Once again, see the Okie Wolf review for what I mean.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline 8163jb

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Re: Hakko FX-888D Review
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 12:26:42 AM »
Again thank you for the comments :)

I will try to steer clear of exclamation marks in future. And will continue to use that layout. I have to say I don't know quite how I managed to miss out those important specifications! I will add them in for sure, and make sure I get all the relevant detail into future reviews. Kicking myself about that. I originally thought of doing an unboxing review for it but I decided against because I didn't know fully how they were meant to be done and what conventions to follow, having looked at that review from JonnyGuru I would feel a lot more confident doing that style of review. I will try it in future! I understand what you mean about the going into detail in that review, I will definitely try to put a lot more technical detail into my reviews. Although I doubt I'll go into the tear-down aspects simply because I don't (as of yet) feel confident enough to be able to tear down an expensive piece of kit. I might start doing smaller tear-downs of not quite so expensive consumer goods. After looking at the example review I understand more about the conclusion aspect also (thanks for pointing me to it, it helped a bunch!!) .

Thanks again for all your feedback :) it's really invaluable.
Tom Cousins
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