Author Topic: Soldering station recomendations ?  (Read 1466 times)

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Offline lordvader88

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Soldering station recomendations ?
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:29:12 am »
I have a $50 SS that's fine for most things, but I want to upgrade to something more robust and professional, and with easy to find/replace tips.

I'd like a pretty good quality digital station, with swap-able irons, because I also want a SMD tweezer type iron as well as a regular 1.

I have a clone 858 hotair station already, so I don't need hotair as well.

I see something like a Pace mbt 350 is near $2,000 and I think thats crazy expensive. I don't want to go over $200-300, how over priced are these anyways if they can't sell a good 1 for $200-300.

I know Hakko and Weller by name only, not by model or price range, or any other worthy makers or worthy clones of these etc.
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 12:58:27 pm »
Holy crap the prices are insane on all this stuff isn't it.  |O
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 09:13:17 pm »
What does an 888 cost up north?

129 freedom dollars down here. I have incrementally upgraded a few times over the years. I don't find anything lacking in the 888 other than the UI being slightly special. Great tip selection, great ergos, great performance, very low maintenance cost.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 09:24:20 pm »
I see something like a Pace mbt 350 is near $2,000 and I think thats crazy expensive. I don't want to go over $200-300, how over priced are these anyways if they can't sell a good 1 for $200-300.

The Pace MBT350 is a 3 channel rework station. The standard model comes with an iron, either a TD-100a or a PS-90, a desoldering iron SX-100 and tweezers MT-100.

If you were to buy one at current price from tequipment.net after discount you would be looking at roughly $1400. There is a guy selling them on Ebay for $925 (likely at a reduced profit).

So this is significantly more than just a single channel soldering station and comes with tools that are considered by many to be the best.

The Pace ADS200 is the new single channel 120W station that comes with the TD-200 iron. Pace will be releasing a new optional tweezer for this station at this stage planned for early next year. As far as I'm aware they are expanding this new Accudrive series to replace existing models. This is just the first station in the series.

The ADS200 is only $206 after discount at tequipment.net and about $20 more for the instant setback model which is the one I chose. You need to order a tip with the unit and they are $11 and $13 for the high capacity cartridges (tips) which is one of the good things about station, top quality low priced cartridges.

So the benefits of the ADS200, aluminum cool touch iron, cheap consumables, high accuracy, super fast heat up time, super low tip to work distance, has super fine 0.2mm micro tips up to massive 8mm chisels. Easy to use and fast tip swapping with no calibration required.

Here are my two and my MBT350 as a comparison. The MBT has a built in vacuum pump and can be used with a larger set of rework tools.





Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 09:35:03 pm »
This gives you an idea on what the SX-100 desoldering iron does. It cost about $300 or so with stand if brought separately from the MBT350 rework station.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 09:38:28 pm by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 12:49:18 am »
I was a Weller user, not anymore. Metcal has the very attractive MFR-1100 station, I dont think I would need anything more for the iron. Hot air, sure. The tweezer is 220 EUR @ Farnell, not cheap for sure.
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 01:03:42 am »
Why not something that uses Hakko T12 tips?
I have a genuine FX951 and apart from the UI I love it, friends have generic stations that take the same tips and they work well too.

I also have a Weller WSD80/WSP80 combo but I have a tiny tip on that for SMD Stuff, I prefer the T12 system on the Hakko for every day use.
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 03:36:23 am »
Why not something that uses Hakko T12 tips?
I have a genuine FX951 and apart from the UI I love it, friends have generic stations that take the same tips and they work well too.

I also have a Weller WSD80/WSP80 combo but I have a tiny tip on that for SMD Stuff, I prefer the T12 system on the Hakko for every day use.
I learned of the clone types that use a 24V 4-5A SMPS, and a STM32 controller, OLED display, newer T12 type tips.



Thats a lot closer to my budget, so long as the handle doesn't break. Those SMPS are easy to work on, so long as the flyback doesn't fail.

For the amount I solder those should be fine, and a nice step up from my current triac/resistor type model. I just took it apart, and the hot and neutral wires are backwards
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 10:48:05 am »
I know it's sort of a review but I feel sorry for the guy in the video, that is an classic example of throwing good money after bad. For all the effort and expense he has put into chasing the dream he could have just brought a couple of nice name brand stations.

The handles aside from perhaps the one that doesn't work, are ridiculous. They have locking nuts for a quick swap cartridge and the same or worse tip to work distance that the 936. Then he is using Weller stands for them because the included ones would have been rubbish (if they even came with them).

Anyway you said your budget was $200-$300 and you wanted tweezers?
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 11:04:22 am »
I know it's sort of a review but I feel sorry for the guy in the video, that is an classic example of throwing good money after bad. For all the effort and expense he has put into chasing the dream he could have just brought a couple of nice name brand stations.

The handles aside from perhaps the one that doesn't work, are ridiculous. They have locking nuts for a quick swap cartridge and the same or worse tip to work distance that the 936. Then he is using Weller stands for them because the included ones would have been rubbish (if they even came with them).

Anyway you said your budget was $200-$300 and you wanted tweezers?

Just watched this video and agree with you.
Even the Aouye 2900/Circuit Specialists 2900 uses T12 tips and is hot swappable/quick swap.

One thing that is annoying with my TS100 is that it uses a hex screw to lock the tip, I 3D printed an adaptor to use my T12 Tips in there and it works
quite well, but still need that hex screw.
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 02:54:56 pm »
My 0.1 cent answer.

I have an original FX-888D. GREAT! I soldered all that I did need with it, never it failed me,  but I need to solder under microscope now and I'm looking for something else. Can I live without upgrade? Yes!

I can solder well under microscope but prefer something more ergonomics. It's impossible do it with 888? NO, I did it for months, but I need to solder soon thousands of really tiny SMD (0201 imperial and some 0402 metric!) components and I looking for something else.
The FX-888D have a crap interface... YES without doubt, BUT, when I solder I NEVER see the station and only change the work temp in extreme situations. This is not a toy to touch and see in HD, it's a tool, a reliable one to solder. Without detracting anyone, I think that much of the people that criticise the interface are programmers or hobbyst that prefer a rainbow in the screen to a proper set tool. Sorry. Hammers don't have UI and works. I set the temperature and not change anything else never more until I need to solder a really big component to a really extense pad. In this case I solder all with normal size and later solder the big components. That's it.

For $100 in USA for an original and tested unit that it's really ESD safe and did works for the industry for years, I think that it's a really convenient acquisition.

Forget the clone one's ! MAY BE are ESD safe, MAY BE works ok, MAY BE last for years as big brands last. Put money in something original.

Exist a "new" technology that uses an improve thermal transference and control. New JBC , Pace and Hakko stations use it. JBC and Pace has more power, Hakko it's ubiquitous and plenty of accessories.

I never did need more power than in my 888, but  more it's preferable sometimes. I don't know if Pace and JBC has tweezers for his new solder stations, Hakko did (even have it for the 888).  I like the micro iron optional to FX-951, but the Pace and JBC are close to it. But all of them cost almost the double that 888.

I'm 47 year old now, all of my best works and designs was soldered with the Fx-888D's grandfather and never the iron was a limitant. In my case, when I did get old I did get fussy and touchy and apparently "need" something better to solder under the microscope  :palm: . If I would have had to do it ten or fifteen years ago I would have been grateful (and amazed) to do it with my (now) old FX-888D.

But the new technology is better than the previous one, I'm not sure I need it, but there are times when it's good to treat yourself.

In other post I did ask for electrical information of these stations. My """clever intention"""" was do a cheap controller for an original handle with original tip and use it until the economics get better in my country and I can buy a original one base.

I never did think that something that I can build in one (or ten) days will be better that something thinked by experts and developed in the big brands and tested in industry for years. They are making perfect units for decades.

If I need to choose between an original 888 and a T12 clone I choose original. But for a month or two I can use a hybrid solution.

Shock convince me (with a lot of careful thinkinks and facts) for the PACE ADS201 but finally I did doubt because this model it's not selled in my country and obligates me to buy all the tips and accesories in USA with a big extra cost. Sends an envelope with a tip to my country from USA it's about half the cost of the complete unit in USA!

At this precise moment Greywoolfe offer a used FX-951 unit and then I did take the Hakko way again.

I can buy original tips, use it with the used original FX 951 and make (and use) for a while a DIY handle. When the economics get better I will buy a complete unit (if I need, I still have the 888!) complete the used station with an original handle an use it as second iron with different tip, handle or temperature set.

Even, if I need a tip for a specific work I can buy a clone tip and use it for few days without much hassle. Hakko it's the most cloned brand in the world it's plenty of clones in every chinese page and store in the world.  There must be some reason for everyone to copy Hakko and not the others.


To resume:

I think that If you have the money and need it, buy the better that can you pay and sounds better to you.

But, if the money it's not a surplus, buy an original FX-888D or an used PACE/JBC or Hakko with new technology. In any case you can't fail.

All of this brands are good, all are great for the job. For some user some base has strengths that others not but depends heavily in the work to do.

You are the only person that knows if you really need to spend more money than the need to buy one fx-888D or similar from a big brand.


 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 03:19:35 pm »
They will eventually be selling the Pace ADS200 down there but local distributors probably haven't put in or received an order yet. That plus a few months ago there was zero worldwide while they were doing a revision. Congrats with the Hakko FX-951.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2018, 05:12:07 pm »
I never looked up soldering stations before, and I had expected the prices to be somewhat rational. BUT THEY ARE CRAZY !!

Brand name markups as bad a nike sneakers.

Old and reliable does not make up for the extra price. The cheapest used FX951 is +280 for me, and a used FX888 is 150, and they don't bother to say the actual temperature.

I'm going the cheaper route on this 1, the big names will not get my money.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2018, 08:12:57 pm »
I never looked up soldering stations before, and I had expected the prices to be somewhat rational. BUT THEY ARE CRAZY !!

They aren't crazy, the difference is the reliable name brands are manufactured outside China, the component quality, use of linear transformer, enclosure and stand that doesn't slide around the table, iron that doesn't get hot to hold etc. It all brings up the cost.

Many of those clones come in under 700g. The Pace ADS200 for instance is 2.3kg and comes with sponge, brass wool, two tip swapping tools, stand with tip rack built in. There is no comparison, raw material wise it should be quarter the price but the Chinese are selling the clones close to half the price for an inferior cheaper constructed product.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 01:55:50 am »
Lordvader, believe me, big brand costing 2x or 3x of chinese worth every cent!. But if you are a person that solder one or two times at month, yes, buy a chinese one. I seen people did damage several IC by ESD effects and even LED's for thermal mismatches. If you decide buy a clon it's ok, you know your necesity better than anyone, but at least buy a chinese copy of Hakko thermometer to adjust the station or do the calibration against eutectic (or cuasieutectic) point of SnPb.
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 05:53:21 am »
The Hakko FX888D price is about 150 new, not used, so that's not so bad.

For now I don't solder very often, but I don't like buying junky stuff, only to buy good stuff later. My current soldering station is just a TO-92 sized triac, and a few resistors.

ARRRGGGHH.

The electronics inside hakko/pace/weller don't justify the cost tho for me, nor the holder. I can make a perfect stand from scrap metal.

The tips I have to buy separate anyways, I could get real ones.

For me the only real worry about the T12 clones is people saying the handles break easy.


IDK, thanks for the input tho.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2018, 07:19:45 am »
I never looked up soldering stations before, and I had expected the prices to be somewhat rational. BUT THEY ARE CRAZY !!

Regardless of how much you use it, Quality is the better way to go.  It should never just be about the price.  Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) needs to be considered.  How long it lasts.  How well it does the job.  How about the aggravation of using a tool that falls just that little bit short of being able to do what you need it to do.  Is it worth going cheep to get 80-90% of the functionality and possibly half the lifespan of a quality station?  Look at all the people who buy cheep stations and then spend extra money and much extra time modifying the equipment to try to make it better.  Thread after thread on the Blog.  |O |O  The could have bought the better station when they factored in the time wasted and the aggravation accumulated.   My time is worth money.  I don't solder every day, but when I do, I have a Hakko FX-951 and a Metcal MX-500P.  (sounds like a commercial  ;D)  I saved and sold stuff out of the garage to own them and it was worth the sacrifice to have good toys to play with.

The 888D will be a major step up from what you are using.  I had a 936, the predecessor, for a number of years and it replaced a lot of bad caps in Dell and ELO monitors for my company.  The president of my ham radio club asked me for a recommendation on a new soldering station as he was using a firestick and found it inadequate.  I recommended the 888D. After using a couple of times, he said to me, "I wish I bought this sooner."

My dearly departed father said to me as a young lad, "Buy your tool right and buy it once."  You can't say it better than that.  One of my cherished possessions is my dad's tack hammer.  It is probably 70 years old and will probably last another 70, still with the original handle.
Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?
 

Online sstepane

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 07:45:54 am »
Hi,

I would propose irons I use - JBC CD-2be (245 handle) and JBC DI2950 with Hot Tweezers (bought afterwards for hot tweezers, used). If I would go for an iron now - would definitely go for JBC DDE (two channel control unit) with handle/stand and hot tweezers.
I couldn't be happier with these devices. Probably the most anticipated feature (along with quick heat up, sleep mode and lots of power so it solders everything like a butter) is changing cartridges system. I change them quite frequently (as for repairs) with just one hand in a matter of 2-3 seconds.
If there are no other decision making concerns (between Pace, Hakko, Weller?, Ersa) - this could be the one. Watch some videos on how it's working. I had no idea it would be so handy.
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 09:36:22 am »
....
Old and reliable does not make up for the extra price. The cheapest used FX951 is +280 for me, and a used FX888 is 150, ....

I think that FX951 used it's $ 150 or less and FX888D it's 100 new in USA.

Quote
....and they don't bother to say the actual temperature.

This is interesting, I saw a lot of people complains about that. Why yu need in the display the real temperature?

First of all, when the temperature drops you are soldering and at this point you are seeing the pcb, not the screen! The important fact it's if the solder it's wet or not and this it's only dictaminated in the resulted welding wne the component get cold.

Secondly, most of the stations that show the real temperature lies. Good ones (expensive ones), lie only a bit and the difference it's negligible, most of chinese clones lie a lot and a vast majority of DIY stations fall in this category. A good solder station garantize that the station it's always near the temperature setted. Just the mayor improvement between old system like 888 and new system with integral cartridges it's that the difference in temperature it's far better managed.

You see the station only to confirm in which temperature was presetted/setted the station, and in some occasions you need to change it 25 degrees up (or down). Most of people that I know never use a good station beyond 350 centigrade degrees and never below 250. I use it all the time in 300 and is the preset number 3, if I touch the button change to 325 o 350 o 275 or 250. That's it, I have never set the temperature in, for example, 278 degrees and never see the display.
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2018, 09:47:18 am »
For me the only real worry about the T12 clones is people saying the handles break easy.

T12 clones are rather nice if you're on a budget. They do work very well. Arguably better than all of the cheap ass irons and most of the expensive ones.

The only problem is the power supplies are hooky as fuck and need some work on them usually so they don't kill you to death. I skipped around that problem by buying a DC one, shoving a 12 to 24V DC boost converter in it and running it off an SLA battery. I needed a reasonable portable iron for playing around with antennas outside.

My daily driver is a Metcal PS-900 though. That's well worth the money. Much cheaper than the mid range metcals but just as capable. The thing is an insanely good iron.
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2018, 11:33:32 am »
I should start making quality soldering stations and sell them at fairer price, and shift the market. Same with a bunch of other EE equipment that's massively over priced.
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2018, 05:35:32 pm »
I’d buy one!
 

Online Nusa

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2018, 06:18:44 pm »
....
Old and reliable does not make up for the extra price. The cheapest used FX951 is +280 for me, and a used FX888 is 150, ....

I think that FX951 used it's $ 150 or less and FX888D it's 100 new in USA.

He's almost certainly quoting Canadian loonies, which aren't worth as much as US dollars. $150 cad = $115 usd.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2018, 12:39:58 am »
I have an FX888D, gift from DigiKey. I'm willing to sell for any amount of money you'd like to pay, plus shipping. Location: NC, US.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 
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Offline Tarloth

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Re: Soldering station recomendations ?
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2018, 04:20:36 am »
It's a really tempting offer!!! :-)
 


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