Author Topic: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories  (Read 1196 times)

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Offline bear

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Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« on: January 27, 2019, 09:42:33 am »
I have been browsing through forum for a bit already trying to wrap my mind around more mature soldering gear and chemicals as I decided to invest a bit in the soldering rig. I don't solder daily, mostly I solder some plugs, so cup terminals and wires, but I would like to have something to be able to replace a cap and such (no micro-soldering) and general through-hole replacement (I would to build some DIY audio amplifier in the future). I would like to use this as a chance to deliberate with you on maybe guiding me through my misery as I am just now finally getting in knowing with some good practices, which change the way I solder from doing and hoping for the best to start understanding what is what.

So far I used very cheap irons (two of those directly plugged in the wall and one poor little 30W station, improper tips (conical, where chisel tips would be perfect), no name solder, no extra flux,...) and even though things are doable just find, I found working with these tools feel somehow unreliable, not knowing an actual temperature, unknown temperature accuracy, a long waiting time for them to heat up felt like an eternity and comfort, oh man, those thickkkk handles...and so and so on.

SOLDERING STATION:
I am in EU, my first point of interest was Hakko FX-888D, great feedback, features and quality, albeit a bit wonky UI and controls; after some research I found them at Batterfly or TBK (Germany) at around 110€, which looks reasonable and not that far from US pricing. But then, down the rabbit hole I found myself 5 days later on goshing over JBC CD-2BE (399€, tax+shipping included), so I have obviously hit myself very hard and now I set myself a budget for a station + iron + 1-2 tips (hopefully bundled) anywhere from 100 to 400€ (a bit broad I know). But along the way I developed an appreciation for set-back (accelerometer or switch in the stand), direct-heating so cartridges instead of just tips and that automatically got me to this 300+€ game.

Which leads me to three candidates:
1. Ersa Icon 1 (~340€ for it + 1 extra tip)
2. Pace ADS200 (~350€ for it + 2 tips)
3. JBC CD-2BE (~400€, 2 chisel tips included)

(I feel comfortable paying for any of these)

I have stumbled upon Pace ADS200, mainly thanks to Shock and Dave's review, so I was wondering how much would we have to pay in EU to get it and at the end the best offer I found (so far, I have contacted pretty much all distributors in EU, only 60% of them got back to me) is from Micom in Slovenia and Amtech (local distributor in Czechia and Slovakia), with 2 chisel tips and ISB-stand version for 350€ (tax incl.), which is a lot. This is in fact even more than for Ersa Icon 1 (~330€), but then I thought, Ersa may be nicer and may have a bit nicer handle, but Pace does not require calibration, is very precise and will heat up quicker.
And you know how it goes, when you get to 350€, then one may as well say "Screw it, so where do I find JBC pricing?" and find out you pay a bit more and get just better performer (more compact as well). Lastly and surprisingly this made Dave's (not most favorite) comparison of ADS200 to CD-2BE that much more relevant, for us in EU perfectly relevant.

So here I would like to advise with you on three questions:
- does Ersa Icon 1 have something in its favor compared to ADS200 (anyone having a chance to get their hands on both?)?
- just how inferior the tip lifespan is with JBC (I saw adjective such as abysmal used when describing it) compared to ADS200 or Icon 1 (I guess it is mainly about iron plating, is it not?)? If I am to guess the usage, I am soldering 10-20 cup terminals a week (I do it on weekends), but I reckon in the future there will be always something to do and if anything comes, I will gladly solder it.
- does JBC require tip calibration as opposed to ADS200? I actually could not find an answer for this one, except one paragraph on their website (https://www.jbctools.com/faq-soldering-temperatures-menu-15.html), but I am not 100% positive if they refer to the same thing.


I would like to stick with leaded solder so I am thinking maybe as low 230-250°C set on the station, so I reckon tips should withstand some trial of time (given they will be properly maintained). JBC is even said to come with 220°C as the default and by their statement sufficient for most applications (and seeing some posts and showcases it is can transfer heat really effectively). But on the other hand I am opened to suggestion on it, if JBC shall have considerably shorter tip life while having 2,5x more expensive cartridges than ADS200, then it is definitely something to consider.

SOLDER:
As I mention above, I would like to stick with leaded solder, I am looking at 63/37 specifically, with rosin. Here comes one of the "EU" factors, in US, if nothing changed one of the killer options would be Kester and MG Chemicals I guess, but for EU guys, do you have experience with some "native" brands? Something has always performed well...and did not yet disappeared from the shelves, I have just recently noticed TME as well as Conrad dropped leaded solders, so it seems we may actually get to the point where from this kind of shops we will not be able to get leaded ones anymore and importing might be the only option.

But in case we don't have some as reputable manufacturers as Kester and MG Chemicals, it might not be that much of an issue, Mouser (maybe Digi-key as well, but I am not 100% sure if they have free shipping as Mouser has for orders over 60€) is definitely an option and, thankfully, they have both aforementioned solders available, so in such case, just to verify, for 63/37:
- Kester 282 (ROL1) or 285 (ROL0)? I guess 44 is RA, which, if I am not wrong, is corrosive(??)..
- MG Chemicals 488X (https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/solder-wire/leaded-cored-solder-wire/sn-63-/-pb-37-solder-wire/sn63-pb37-4880)

do you prefer some others or I am perfectly fine with any of these (even though I reckon, Kester will be at least twice the price of MG Chemicals)

Materials I will be soldering are copper and alloys such as brass + gold plating for now.

Would you suggest to have some lead-free as well, just in case for some reason I need to use it? SAC305, or SAC405?

FLUX:
I have never used flux as an additional and separate agent outside the rosin in the solder to clean stranded conductors or copper terminals and to help the wetting (or have I just watched too many of Louis Rossmann's videos?), but I would like to use it to make an additional step to remove any possible and impossible hardly visible signs of oxidation and such.

Here I will rather, if I may, ask two questions. I would like to have two kinds:
- flux paste (so I can dip twisted strands of the conductor)
- flux in syringe (or pen? I would use it for applying a tiny bit on the cup terminal?

I reckon there will be a lot of brands, so let's say some of those available at Mouser.

OTHER:

Tip Tinner - this is especially when I am done soldering and I am going to turn off the station, I would like before end dip it in something like this from MG (https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/tip-tinner/tip-tinner-4910) so it will evenly cover the tip, but..on the other hand I noticed this one is lead-free, so I am not sure if it is like treating lead-free solder or in case of these mushy, powdery products it is fine.
Or shall I stick with just applying solder from the wire and for the cleaning something like that polishing bar by Weller?

Fume Exhauster - do you use something? I am soldering in my den, just a regular room, on the table a bit distant from the windows - I am trying to not be in the way of the fumes, but it is not the most comfortable way of working. Do you have some recommendations? I have briefly glanced over Hakko fume exhauster FA-400, but that thing is actually quite expensive (as much as 100€) for a fan in the frame and probably some active carbon filter.

Wick - let's say some from MG Chemicals as well? So i.e. from their offer https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/desoldering-braids/ I guess the 400-NS series wick should be the right one? I have to admit I have only now found out about Wicks...god, in the past I was using that spring-loaded sucker junk...


For everyone who got here, thank you for reading and I appreciate everyone stopping by and maybe even leaving a suggestion! :)
 

Offline salavat

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 12:37:16 pm »
'Native' solder for EU could be Felder. 63/37 is probably the best solder I've tried (though have not tried that many), 0.5mm is good for SMD soldering, 0.75mm for general THT ones.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 05:29:06 pm »
Some advantages I see the Pace ADS200 having over the JBC (repeated this elsewhere).

Shorter work distance, shorter iron handle. Aluminum iron that runs cool, no need for the JBC heatsink thing.
One comfy iron for all tips (all smd and huge ones). Some stations address this by using different irons and calibration. Display easy to see, controls easy to use. Tip swapping almost identical speed wise, Pace uses tip tool and JBC uses stand, I prefer the tip tool.  Once you start getting a few tips it really starts to pay in savings. Pace stand can be freely moved. Simple design, the station is easy to repair with almost all off shelf parts (schematic has been reverse engineered). Aluminum Tweezers released sometime this year.

Aaron from Pace said a while back their tips use more iron plating by design to stand up to aggressive fluxes and high temp lead free (of course works fine for leaded as well). Another thing to factor into tests is the overshoot while heating. If the heating profile of the station iron is aggressive, with a smaller tip and less plating it makes the iron look like it's performing great and heating fast. Pace isn't trying to win races even though it's quick (hence Accudrive), they just made a good new iron and station and stuck to everything else that works.

I like Pace as a company as well, they aren't owned by a huge corp, they hand make their products locally in the states rather than China and are great on customer service. Aaron Caplan from Pace also hangs out on our forums to answer questions.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline bear

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 11:28:47 pm »
Shock, thank you for the input, however I have already made the purchase.

Here is basically what I ended up with:
- JBC CD-2BE - I am very satisfied, it is compact, I find UI simple to keep an overview over, easy to navigate, performance is simply impeccable (I turn it on, in just over a second it is at 150°C (sleep temp), I take iron in hand, in under 2 seconds it is at 240°C (it works better for me when soldering plugs)) --  I will see what the lifespan will be alike, I keep always some solder on the working part of the tip and I take a minute after I am finished to take a wipe with IPA and wipe all the signs of leftover flux;
- MG Chemicals 4885-454G 63/37
- MG Chem wicks 424 and 426 (only difference is braid width)
- MG Flux paste 8342-50G (however I prefer not to use it, it seems a bit too aggressive and a bit more difficult to clean - here I would like to find some RMA or maybe even just NC flux and I would use this RA one just for some rework if old and oxidized stuff is present, so here I see the biggest room for improvement, I like conductors being gently dipped in the flux (solder then flows better and flows outside the cup terminal along the wire, so I have a piece in mind and no un-tinned copper exposed)
- in case I will need it, MG's tip tinner 4910-28G, but this will be my last resort of course, a good thing to keep in case one needs it; for something I can imagine to use after couple of months I bought that Weller polishing bar as well.

Looking at the list I hope I don't sound like a sucker for MG products now. :-DD

Ahh, well, I just could not justify the price of the Pace (especially considering a big price difference vs. USA and a very expensive shipping from everyone I quoted) compared to JBC as I was willing to spend the extra for JBC. And even as far as tips go, I can imagine that in case I would be buying new ones I would have to buy it from the source with, once again, so expensive shipping so probably the final price of the tip (shipping incl.) can be similar to what I would pay for a JBC tip.

As far as some other points go:
- even after 30 minutes of station on (mostly in the stand at 150°C in the sleep mode) and soldering and I have not felt any warm-up (over ambient) of the handle;
- I have to strongly disagree with your point about "Display easy to see, controls easy to use", this is not how would I excuse two digit display and up/down + preset (if I am not mistaken that there is a dedicated button to switch between temperature presets) buttons, I think it is minimum to be able to have some control over the station (manual, page 11) - don't take me wrong, it is on every manufacturer's own decision how the controls are implemented, but in my case and at only 50€ price difference one cannot even compare the display and controls (not alone somehow make a point the ADS200 controls are better because some undisclosed reason);
- JBC supposedly handles the calibration within their microprocessor, so no need for a calibration there as well (but I have some suspicion it is just to some extent of use (probably  as they have a temp offset option as well)
- JBC's stand is not even a stand, it is so tiny, it feels like there is no stand at all - I find it useful, once again as far as my personal preference goes, I like it this way, a whole JBC unit is is just 15mm wider than ADS200 (station only).

Don't take me wrong, all of this is I shall mark as "EU-exclusive", in US the story is totally different, there I guess it could be maybe even 150$ difference and that's a bullet which may not be easily bitten.

Oh, Oh, yes, and the fume extractor. I have decided to go with DIY option, merely a simple solution:
- 1x Noctua NF-A20 5V - this is the latest Noctua's 200mm fan, a quality one and silent - 5V version comes with 3pin>USB adapter, so it will be plug&play
- 1x activated charcoal filter (I bought it from ebay, locally I found only various in forms for vacuum cleaners, none in a sheet form)
- (in the future) 1x 3D-printed simple stand with mounting points for the fan and a slot to slide in the sheet.
It is not done yet, however, shipping of filters got stuck because of Chinese new year celebrations.

'Native' solder for EU could be Felder. 63/37 is probably the best solder I've tried (though have not tried that many), 0.5mm is good for SMD soldering, 0.75mm for general THT ones.
Do you have some recommendation for a particular distributor? I have checked their website and saw only huge 2KG spools. When searching, however, I noticed German brand Stannol, have you had some experience with it? Even though, only 63/37 they have is just a 2mm sausage.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 02:57:19 am »
- I have to strongly disagree with your point about "Display easy to see, controls easy to use", this is not how would I excuse two digit display and up/down + preset (if I am not mistaken that there is a dedicated button to switch between temperature presets) buttons, I think it is minimum to be able to have some control over the station

Not really a fan of the blue LCD displays to start with but what I meant was the Pace ADS200 display doesn't suffer the same viewing issues of many of the stations out there. It can be seen at the other end of the workshop and in different lighting conditions. This is an advantage if the station is mounted on or below a shelf, or at the back of a desk. The station itself can be tucked away and even bracket mounted. So you can just have the stand on the table if you wanted to save desk space to get the station out of the way.

I think the JBC is more suited for desk usage and directly in front of the user. The tip removal system, display contrast and viewing angles combined with the required overhead clearance of the station limit it's placement somewhat.

While in normal run mode the ADS200 just has up down and preset recall, when it's either in or out of the stand, it's pretty simple in that regard. The  version 1.4 firmware that is shipping at the moment looks better visually than the 1.2 it originally shipped with.

On the JBC the iron needs to be removed to see and adjust the set temp. The JBC does look more intuitive to initially configure but once the stations are both setup it's not something you are going to be constantly revisiting, so overall this made little difference to me.

Now that I have said that I do make exceptions to the blue LCD rule for Pace because of the MT-100 MiniTweez and SX-100 Sodr-X-Tractor ;D. The MBT350 station does have a contrast adjustment which makes it a little easier to see (shown below). It's all personal preferences anyway, I wasn't tempted by JBC before the Pace ADS200 came out. I'm more of a Pace and Metcal than a JBC, Weller type guy.

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

Offline tooki

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 11:42:24 pm »
SOLDERING STATION:
I am in EU, my first point of interest was Hakko FX-888D, great feedback, features and quality, albeit a bit wonky UI and controls; after some research I found them at Batterfly or TBK (Germany) at around 110€, which looks reasonable and not that far from US pricing. But then, down the rabbit hole I found myself 5 days later on goshing over JBC CD-2BE (399€, tax+shipping included), so I have obviously hit myself very hard and now I set myself a budget for a station + iron + 1-2 tips (hopefully bundled) anywhere from 100 to 400€ (a bit broad I know). But along the way I developed an appreciation for set-back (accelerometer or switch in the stand), direct-heating so cartridges instead of just tips and that automatically got me to this 300+€ game.

Which leads me to three candidates:
1. Ersa Icon 1 (~340€ for it + 1 extra tip)
2. Pace ADS200 (~350€ for it + 2 tips)
3. JBC CD-2BE (~400€, 2 chisel tips included)

(I feel comfortable paying for any of these)

I have stumbled upon Pace ADS200, mainly thanks to Shock and Dave's review, so I was wondering how much would we have to pay in EU to get it and at the end the best offer I found (so far, I have contacted pretty much all distributors in EU, only 60% of them got back to me) is from Micom in Slovenia and Amtech (local distributor in Czechia and Slovakia), with 2 chisel tips and ISB-stand version for 350€ (tax incl.), which is a lot. This is in fact even more than for Ersa Icon 1 (~330€), but then I thought, Ersa may be nicer and may have a bit nicer handle, but Pace does not require calibration, is very precise and will heat up quicker.
I haven't used the ADS200, but it looks great. (Alas, we aren't going to see Dave try out any Ersa gear, because Ersa refuses to provide demo equipment with no strings attached, which Dave rightly refuses to agree to.) I have the i-Con nano and the performance is great. But the ADS200 should be even better, since it's got more power. The i-Con 1 also has more power. I don't think either one is a bad choice. Ersa has a ton of tips available and they appear to last forever. But you'd want to factor in the cost of an extra tip collet for each tip (getting them off and on is a pain, so it's easier to just have one for each tip), which is another few euros. At that point, the ADS200 starts to look more attractive.

I would like to stick with leaded solder so I am thinking maybe as low 230-250°C set on the station, so I reckon tips should withstand some trial of time (given they will be properly maintained). JBC is even said to come with 220°C as the default and by their statement sufficient for most applications (and seeing some posts and showcases it is can transfer heat really effectively). But on the other hand I am opened to suggestion on it, if JBC shall have considerably shorter tip life while having 2,5x more expensive cartridges than ADS200, then it is definitely something to consider.
Well, the temp setting depends on the tip and workpiece. On my Ersa, I normally use about 280C for leaded and 315C for lead-free. With really fine tips, you have to go higher.

SOLDER:
As I mention above, I would like to stick with leaded solder, I am looking at 63/37 specifically, with rosin. Here comes one of the "EU" factors, in US, if nothing changed one of the killer options would be Kester and MG Chemicals I guess, but for EU guys, do you have experience with some "native" brands? Something has always performed well...and did not yet disappeared from the shelves, I have just recently noticed TME as well as Conrad dropped leaded solders, so it seems we may actually get to the point where from this kind of shops we will not be able to get leaded ones anymore and importing might be the only option.
Distrelec.cz has a variety of 60/40 and 62/36/2Ag solders. But if you really want 63/37, order from Mouser,  Digi-Key, or Farnell. They all carry Kester, some also carry MG, others Multicore.

But in case we don't have some as reputable manufacturers as Kester and MG Chemicals, it might not be that much of an issue, Mouser (maybe Digi-key as well, but I am not 100% sure if they have free shipping as Mouser has for orders over 60€)
It took me 30 seconds to look on the Digi-Key site to see that it's free shipping "Free delivery to Czech Republic on orders of 1 300,00 Kč or more" and another two clicks to see that it's also free on orders of €50 or more. 

is definitely an option and, thankfully, they have both aforementioned solders available, so in such case, just to verify, for 63/37:
- Kester 282 (ROL1) or 285 (ROL0)? I guess 44 is RA, which, if I am not wrong, is corrosive(??)..
No, Kester 44 is regular ROM1 rosin flux that does not normally need cleaning, it's not corrosive. The Kester data sheet (which also took only a few seconds of googling to find) says: "44 possesses excellent fluxing ability; the flux residues are non-corrosive, non-conductive and do not require removal for most applications under normal conditions of use." (Kester 44 63/37 0.8mm is my everyday solder.)

- MG Chemicals 488X (https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/solder-wire/leaded-cored-solder-wire/sn-63-/-pb-37-solder-wire/sn63-pb37-4880)[/i]
do you prefer some others or I am perfectly fine with any of these (even though I reckon, Kester will be at least twice the price of MG Chemicals)
Depends on the vendor. On Digi-Key, for example, Kester and Multicore are actually cheaper than MG. (Nothing against MG, I use many of their products and they're great.)

Would you suggest to have some lead-free as well, just in case for some reason I need to use it? SAC305, or SAC405?
Yes, get some SAC305 if you plan on doing any repairs on equipment made with lead-free solder, which you don't want to contaminate with lead. (SAC405 is comparatively hard to find, don't bother.)

FLUX:
I have never used flux as an additional and separate agent outside the rosin in the solder to clean stranded conductors or copper terminals and to help the wetting (or have I just watched too many of Louis Rossmann's videos?), but I would like to use it to make an additional step to remove any possible and impossible hardly visible signs of oxidation and such.

Here I will rather, if I may, ask two questions. I would like to have two kinds:
- flux paste (so I can dip twisted strands of the conductor)
- flux in syringe (or pen? I would use it for applying a tiny bit on the cup terminal?

I reckon there will be a lot of brands, so let's say some of those available at Mouser.
Consider a flux brush, like the Bon-Pen. (Beware that almost all on eBay, etc are fakes.)

I use liquid flux in a Bon-Kote and a pen for things like PCBs, connectors, and wire. I have MG no-clean paste flux in a syringe for more stubborn, oxidized parts, or for when a tacky flux is helpful for holding down a part (like SMD stuff). MG also has rosin paste flux in a little jar.

OTHER:

Tip Tinner - this is especially when I am done soldering and I am going to turn off the station, I would like before end dip it in something like this from MG (https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/tip-tinner/tip-tinner-4910) so it will evenly cover the tip, but..on the other hand I noticed this one is lead-free, so I am not sure if it is like treating lead-free solder or in case of these mushy, powdery products it is fine.
Or shall I stick with just applying solder from the wire and for the cleaning something like that polishing bar by Weller?
I haven't used the MG brand tip tinner, but in general, those are really for rejuvenating tips that have started to become hard to tin, not for everyday tinning. They generally contain more aggressive fluxes that aren't intended to be left on. Here's Weller's how-to video:

Whenever you are about to place the iron back into the stand for longer than a few seconds, just apply a bit of your regular solder so that the tip is generously tinned and won't oxidize. I don't think you need the polishing bar. A brass brush and the brass wool are enough.

Wick - let's say some from MG Chemicals as well? So i.e. from their offer https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/solder-and-accessories/desoldering-braids/ I guess the 400-NS series wick should be the right one? I have to admit I have only now found out about Wicks...god, in the past I was using that spring-loaded sucker junk...
Wick and desoldering pumps (solder suckers) complement each other. Wick is ideal for cleaning up pads, but for initially removing a component, often takes too long and may not totally clear the hole, because the pressure of the wick often pushes the component leg to the edge of the hole, where it stays adhered. A solder sucker often does better, and faster (i.e. less thermal stress to the component).

A good solder sucker is great; crappy ones are awful. People here generally like either the big Soldapullt models or the Engineer SS-02.

As for wick, I have nothing but praise for the MG wick. IMHO it's superior to any other I've found, including the famous chem-wick ones. I use the regular 400 series (the one with RMA flux) in 1.5, 2, and 2.5mm sizes.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 03:40:42 am »
I haven't used the ADS200, but it looks great. (Alas, we aren't going to see Dave try out any Ersa gear, because Ersa refuses to provide demo equipment with no strings attached, which Dave rightly refuses to agree to.) I have the i-Con nano and the performance is great. But the ADS200 should be even better, since it's got more power. The i-Con 1 also has more power. I don't think either one is a bad choice. Ersa has a ton of tips available and they appear to last forever. But you'd want to factor in the cost of an extra tip collet for each tip (getting them off and on is a pain, so it's easier to just have one for each tip), which is another few euros. At that point, the ADS200 starts to look more attractive.

My guess is they were probably just trying to capitalize on Daves comparison against the JBC, which due to a few factors (heating profile, overshoot, tip plating, length) could have left people with the impression the Pace station doesn't have similar performance. With the new 1.4 firmware you can see even slight dips in temp, so if you introduce a large ground plane and see no dip, the work is either at temp or you have a poor thermal transfer.

As far as some other points go:
- even after 30 minutes of station on (mostly in the stand at 150°C in the sleep mode) and soldering and I have not felt any warm-up (over ambient) of the handle;

I forgot to mention this, but if the iron came with a sponge grip then it's probably for user comfort at high temp or prolonged use. Several manufacturers (including Pace) have done this in the past as a work around. This is why Pace changed to the aluminum iron (other manufacturers such as Metcal have them as well) and their "cool touch" design. Pace also replaced their older TD100 model iron with the sponge grip with the new TD100a (silver anodized). I have one of these on my MBT350.

- just how inferior the tip lifespan is with JBC (I saw adjective such as abysmal used when describing it) compared to ADS200 or Icon 1 (I guess it is mainly about iron plating, is it not?)? If I am to guess the usage, I am soldering 10-20 cup terminals a week (I do it on weekends), but I reckon in the future there will be always something to do and if anything comes, I will gladly solder it.

I dug up this quote Aaron from Pace explained it:

"Iron Plating: Iron plating is the protective layer electroplated over the surface of the tip, and the thicker the iron plating, the longer the life of the tip. But iron it is a terrible heat transfer medium, and if plated too much, the performance of the tip will be affected. Lead-free optimized tips are usually plated with 5-10 mils of iron plating, and any more iron plating will negatively affect heat transfer - tip will take forever to heat up or will not recover quick enough after soldering. All PACE tips are plated with 7-9 mils of iron."

"...we optimize our plating for lead-free solder (highly corrosive to the iron plating) with about twice as much iron plating as the JBC."

But anyway splitting hairs, as I passed over many stations I'm super biased when it comes to different designs and despite what station you choose it's all about getting the job done at the end of the day.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline bsudbrink

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 03:47:36 am »
Here's an example of bracket mounting a Pace.  In this case, an MBT-250.  I used 4 "rack ears" that came with networking equipment.
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 04:53:20 am »
Here's an example of bracket mounting a Pace.  In this case, an MBT-250.  I used 4 "rack ears" that came with networking equipment.

Nice setup, I like your extractor as well. Is that a PS80/PS90 I see on the right hand side?

My soldering gear is on a table trolley at the moment but have been looking around for a something narrow to fit up against my workbench, goal is to dangle the cables in the gap.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 06:02:43 am »
I haven't used the ADS200, but it looks great. (Alas, we aren't going to see Dave try out any Ersa gear, because Ersa refuses to provide demo equipment with no strings attached, which Dave rightly refuses to agree to.) I have the i-Con nano and the performance is great. But the ADS200 should be even better, since it's got more power. The i-Con 1 also has more power. I don't think either one is a bad choice. Ersa has a ton of tips available and they appear to last forever. But you'd want to factor in the cost of an extra tip collet for each tip (getting them off and on is a pain, so it's easier to just have one for each tip), which is another few euros. At that point, the ADS200 starts to look more attractive.

My guess is they were probably just trying to capitalize on Daves comparison against the JBC, which due to a few factors (heating profile, overshoot, tip plating, length) could have left people with the impression the Pace station doesn't have similar performance. With the new 1.4 firmware you can see even slight dips in temp, so if you introduce a large ground plane and see no dip, the work is either at temp or you have a poor thermal transfer.
Huh? Who's trying to capitalize on the comparison? I was talking about Ersa vs Pace.
 

Offline bsudbrink

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 06:13:22 am »
Nice setup, I like your extractor as well. Is that a PS80/PS90 I see on the right hand side?

Thanks!  Yes, a PS-90.  The tools left to right: SX-100, TJ-70, TT-65 and PS-90.  I don't normally keep them all on the bench at once.  I'm going to do a "Show us your lab/workbench" spread... That pic is from a few test shots I just did.

BTW, I have a whole box full of new PS-90s (Sensatemp) and would be willing to trade a few:
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 07:38:43 am by bsudbrink »
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 07:46:05 am »
Huh? Who's trying to capitalize on the comparison? I was talking about Ersa vs Pace.

From memory, Ersa contacted Dave only after the Pace ADS200 JBC killer video. Ersa probably saw that as the perfect time to plug their brand a little but it backfired (at least it wasn't as bad as the Weller incident). Excuse the pun but I think Ersa was trying to strike while the iron was hot. They might have seen the first version of the video which ended up drawing a negative audience response so was edited and reuploaded.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2019, 07:52:44 am »
Huh? Who's trying to capitalize on the comparison? I was talking about Ersa vs Pace.

From memory, Ersa contacted Dave only after the Pace ADS200 JBC killer video. Ersa probably saw that as the perfect time to plug their brand a little but it backfired (at least it wasn't as bad as the Weller incident). Excuse the pun but I think Ersa was trying to strike while the iron was hot. They might have seen the first version of the video which ended up drawing a negative audience response so was edited and reuploaded.
Gotcha. However, I think Dave may have contacted Ersa, since we Ersa fans had been asking him to do a comparison, too. But apparently Ersa is too dumb to realize the value of unbiased reviews...
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2019, 08:10:28 am »
Thanks!  Yes, a PS-90.  The tools left to right: SX-100, TJ-70, TT-65 and PS-90.  I don't normally keep them all on the bench at once. I'm going to do a "Show us your lab/workbench" spread... That pic is from a few test shots I just did.

BTW, I have a whole box full of new PS-90s (Sensatemp) and would be willing to trade a few:

I'll keep an eye out in the workbench thread.

Thanks for the offer, looks like a lifetime supply. My MBT350 station is Intelliheat, I think I can run Sensatemp handpeices however I would probably need an adapter along with an iron stand. Due to international postage it may not be the cheapest route for me sadly.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Online KL27x

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2019, 10:29:22 am »
Quote
apparently Ersa is too dumb to realize the value of unbiased reviews...
Who's unbiased? Does this sound familiar?

"No fear, no script, ALL OPINION!"

Everyone is biased. And expressing opinions displays your bias. I'm afraid the Ersa station would be a pretty tough pill for the forum, in general. The latest fad is cartridge tips. Gotta give that awhile to come full circle before the Ersa will get a fair review.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2019, 05:55:41 pm »
Everyone is biased. And expressing opinions displays your bias. I'm afraid the Ersa station would be a pretty tough pill for the forum, in general. The latest fad is cartridge tips. Gotta give that awhile to come full circle before the Ersa will get a fair review.

In my opinion it's not so much a fad, more just the next progression in technology when someones looking to spend over $200. You got to admit that tip swapping on your Bakon is less painful than the 936/888 style stations, and the Bakon one piece handle is almost an unintentionally an improvement on the Hakko T12 two piece design. So things like this give a real world advantage when you add them up.

Ersa is going to lose some points for sure in the "prosumer" price bracket, power switch placement, fixed power cable, screw on tips and the extra associated cost, questionable speed and thermal recovery compared to cartridges, cost of replacement heaters (tips aren't super cheap either). But they do have some nice features such as heating profiles and motion detection.

Yeah bias is real, it helps if people explain their perspective as best as possible then at least others can logically weigh up the options with more information. I know my bias is towards simple interfaces, easy operation, robustness, longevity, reasonable price and low cost of ownership. It's been like that forever as I prefer to repair rather than be forced to replace. I've only spent probably about $100 on Chinese products in the last 10 years.

So I don't think full circle is going to happen in the $200/300e and above price bracket.  The Hakko T12 cart isn't comparable to the The Pace and JBC carts as it is, so the screw on tips in comparison look a bit dead in the water at that price. Just the same as if you had $800 for a single channel induction/curie point style station you are going to be moving away from other or older technologies.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 06:00:47 pm by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2019, 07:12:29 pm »
I would recommend a Metcal unit, brand new MFR or used MX/CV.

They should serve well as a one for all station.

The fine tips are moderate, good to solder 0.5mm qfn pins directly in copper polygon if you use a pre heater.

The thick tips are also powerful, good to do solder thick solder cup connectors.

Yes, JBC higher end models are better, but much more expensive. I can easily solder on ground plane connected headers with the same tip I use to solder 0.4mm qfn, but the convenience comes at a $1200 price tag.

Do I regret spending that much on my JBC? No. But if you don't play with tiny parts all the time for a living, I recommend not to blow money that way.

And just FYI, if I'm asked to keep only one station, I will favor my Metcal over JBC.
 

Online GreyWoolfe

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2019, 02:23:47 am »
I am with blueskull on the Metcal.  I have a MX-500 and I also have a Hakko FX-951.   At first, I used them both equally.  Now, I seem to favor the Metcal more.  It is nice to know I can solder smd with one tip and PL-259s with another tip, all from one station.  AND, no UI.  I only use 600 series tips and have not had an issue not being able to solder something so far.
That which doesn't kill you still requires a co-pay.
 

Online KL27x

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2019, 12:39:12 pm »
You got to admit that tip swapping on your Bakon is less painful than the 936/888 style stations
This shows my own bias, but no. I bought over a dozen different T12 tips for the Bakon, and it's so annoying changing tips, I almost universally only use my Bakon for knife tip jobs. The tips are annoyingly long to keep them all on my bench with "first order" accessibility. Whereas I change the tip on my primary 888 quite often. I have a pair of pliers that earns first order accessibility for multiple other reasons, and it is no trouble at all to me to hot swap a tip with them.

Quote
Ersa is going to lose some points for sure in the "prosumer" price bracket, power switch placement, fixed power cable, screw on tips and the extra associated cost, questionable speed and thermal recovery compared to cartridges, cost of replacement heaters (tips aren't super cheap either). But they do have some nice features such as heating profiles and motion detection.
I have never used an Ersa, but I will go ahead and guess that it does this just fine for most people. What these style irons (like my own 888's) have over the cartridge tips like T12 is greater thermal mass. For a given tip size, the 888 might have almost twice the amount of copper. This is a big part of why the cold start time on these T12 irons is so much lower.

Quote
So I don't think full circle is going to happen in the $200/300e and above price bracket.  The Hakko T12 cart isn't comparable to the The Pace and JBC carts as it is, so the screw on tips in comparison look a bit dead in the water at that price.
I think it depends on the consumers. I see the main benefit of the cartridge tips as being better thermal isolation between the tip/heater and the handpiece. This is primariy beneficial to users who have need of high thermal output operations in rapid succession. Most of us don't have that need. I'm personally not going to spend more on tips just in case I ever need this capability. I don't see one sniff of evidence that there's any other improvement (e.g. "thermal recovery" and "thermal drop"). That's my biased opinion after doing objective experimentation and willfully using T12 iron, solely, for a good 2 months to give it a fair shake. (Clones, not 951). After two full months of getting used to the "superior" Bakon handpiece and 951 style handpieces, I was more than happy to put the 888 back on the bench. Handpiece too light for my taste, esp being tip-light... or maybe better called back-heavy. For me, I always put the station at the front of my bench (actually under it), so the cords don't snake all over my bench. The length and balance of the 888 helps when you use the iron with the cord hanging straight down.

Also, after that two month tryout, I found the set temp I eventually settled into (minimum temp where I didn't have to bump it up but for rare/odd jobs) was more than 10C higher than my 888 for the same size/shape tip. This with an iron temp tester. Not w/e the number on the display said.

I think guys like STJ rolled up the marketing pamphlet and smoked it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 01:35:19 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Suggestions for a new soldering rig + chemicals and accessories
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2019, 04:43:37 pm »
For a given tip size, the 888 might have almost twice the amount of copper. This is a big part of why the cold start time on these T12 irons is so much lower.

It's been brought to light that iron plating makes a large difference as well. So if you want an iron to appear to have amazing performance, you just need to make small narrow smd tips with a paper thin iron plating and people will rave about how fast it is. Until they solder a challenging ground plane or their tips wear out that is. Hmm sounds like the Chinese TS100.

That's my biased opinion after doing objective experimentation and willfully using T12 iron, solely, for a good 2 months to give it a fair shake.

The only possibly disputable advantage that I can see over the Pace 1130/1131 cart is that the T12 is keyless. The Chinese clones will stay around a while due to their price, but Pace 1130 1131 tips are superior in specs and cheaper than the geuine T12, so aside from the clones I'd expect the Hakko FX-951 and T12 tip to become less relevant as time goes on.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 


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