Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 1372661 times)

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Offline Ero-Shan

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8175 on: March 04, 2018, 07:35:16 pm »
After someone posted a link to http://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/(deeu)-group-sale-of-5-anritsu-mg3633a-signalgenerators-(10-khz-to-2700-mhz)/ I gave it a try. So I'm finally the owner of an Anritsu MG3633A signal generator. I got lucky: Mine seems to work well, at least up to 1.2 GHz.

So I hooked up my 'new' Kontron counter and gave it a try:



Above 1.123 GHz the counter gave in. So, despite the shabby appearance of Kontron's craftmanship, it functions well (and restores some faith in their engineering competence).

This is TEA at its best (or worst?): I bought a counter to check the signal generator, and the signal generator to check counters. Complete self satisfaction.

Thanks go to capt bullshot and DC1MC for their time, devotion and work.
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8176 on: March 04, 2018, 07:54:14 pm »
And now for some 39 year old porn, plastic is a bit delicate as expected but amazingly it is still in calibration, ok, its ex RAF so it has had a few calibration checks in its life but I have no idea when the last one was done, Ni-Cd battery charging board requires attention, someone had a go before and disconnected a couple of diodes and tants, not sure if they spotted the burnt out resistor or not? I'll be working on that soon  and then the 7045 will be joining the 3466A in my bench stack.

I have 3 of them, and the plastics of all are just terrible. The top and bottom half barely hold together. The tilt up front looks IMHO ugly, but improves readability quite a bit. I've only done a quick test on one of them, which looked spot on.
And then there were a bunch of them that went to the dumpster where I wasn't able to rescue them, as I learned it only when it was too late. :--
I agree with your comments but the actual electronics would seem to be rock solid judging by my one and your one that you tested. I might not install the Ni-Cds after all as to so would cost more then the meter cost me, just for the four cells. I have battery installed in the 3466A and IDM203 bench meters and also plenty of battery powered hand held so its not adding anything to the bench by doing so.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline frozenfrogz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8177 on: March 04, 2018, 08:33:07 pm »
This is TEA at its best (or worst?): I bought a counter to check the signal generator, and the signal generator to check counters. Complete self satisfaction.

Congrats on that pretty Anritsu command module! Looks like there is a lot of gravity enclosed in that massive form factor :P

That reminds me, I have a serious question to the boat anchor lovers out there:
Did any of you have to get in contact with a structural engineer yet to let him/her crunch the numbers on the surface load of your playroom to see if you are allowed to stack another piece of gear? If so: Did you opt to not buy the device or did you reinforce the floor with additional girders?
He’s like a trained ape. Without the training.
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8178 on: March 04, 2018, 08:44:28 pm »
Hah, a trap for beginners!  :box: HiHi
Floor = concrete slab
Shelving = pallet racking each 800kg load capacity - covers both the gear and the owner climbing on the rack!
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8179 on: March 04, 2018, 10:05:08 pm »
While these measurements are useful, what I was thinking is more current measurements of the circuit it limits; max inrush current and final operating current. This would give folks a baseline of what a healthy, properly operating circuit draws to select an appropriate PPTC. Sorry... since you spoke about repairing a D83 with this part, I thought you had one on hand and could easily do the testing.

Alternately, similar testing with a power supply at similar operating voltage and a variety of resistive loads could help plot a useful response curve for this as a current-limiting device.
Actually the absolute response curve for that thermistor is not really critical in its application providing it drops to a reasonably low value. As mentioned it's paralleled with 220R to feed the EHT inverter which in itself is nothing special just a class C oscillator but fed from the unreg 30V supply and FB 1A fused should the primary switching bipolar go AWOL. This particular EHT provides 2750V which is pretty high for CRO's.
The old carbon divider resistors on the EHT side get a hammering and those in mine had all drifted high and put the CRT all out of wack.
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8180 on: March 04, 2018, 11:50:31 pm »
Regarding the T12 soldering stations, of which there are many on offer, has anyone got one of the "Hakko blue OLED control modules" fitted to theirs? below are 2 photos of the one I'm referring. As you will know these don't come with any calibration or setup information at all and I was attempting to check the actual temperature of mine with my iron temperature checker and the display on the T12 was reading 310C but the checker was reading 445C.

So I went into the setup menu, which on this controller is option 1 Temp adjust, entering this option it displayed a reading 480 and it can adjusted between 0 and 500 but is this a measurement of? Adjusting this setting by 100 steps at a time did not seem to make any appreciable difference to the tip temperature.

I discovered that the control does not have a logical start and stop, you can continue to rotate the knob so the number jumps from 500 to 0 as I discovered when I accidentally set it to 0. I was just going to put the tip onto the tip checker and was alarmed to see the entire tip glowing bright red and I mean bright red. I switched the iron off and allowed it to cool down and then tried again but this time with the controller set 490 in the temp adjust mode so it seems that this setting (what ever it adjusts) works with reverse logic, the higher number gives the lower tip temperature but even with the setting at near the maximum, the tip is still way hotter then it should be.

Now I have 2 of these T12 soldering stations, the first one I got was a made by Quicko and is a ready built unit, type number T12-952 which I like a lot and has been my got to iron and I can regulate the tip temperature with pretty good accuracy on this controller. It has a range setting of between 70% and 130% and this seems to work logically  so if the tip reads high, you dial in a lower percentage figure to correct it and the whole system works just as you would expect it to.

Now the only difference between my 2 stations is the actual controller it self, the enclosure, the handles, the tips and the power supply are the same so its my belief that the so called "Blue OLED controller" is as good as the Quicko and can actually be highly dangerous so I'm in the process of replacing that one with another Quicko one if I can buy it on its own. I didn't like the Blue one from the start to be honest as it comes with a smoked perspex window which makes it very hard to read the display, the Quicko does not have this problem.

I would be interested to hear other peoples experience of this controller and I offer my experience as a warning of possible fire hazard




And here the displays are side by side, the camera  does not do justice to the brightness of the displays, the Quicko is far brighter and the "Hakko" is way dimmer then it seems here.

Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8181 on: March 05, 2018, 12:12:57 am »
Interesting. Looks like the other one has a nasty bug! Got to be honest the Quicko ones are hassle free so far. I spent the morning making the power supply safe on my new one and it’s perfect. I checked creepage distances on the power supply board and it’s absolutely fine. If they fixed that earth bonding and inlet design it’d be perfect.
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8182 on: March 05, 2018, 12:21:50 am »
Yes, I tend to agree, I much prefer the Quicko controller and I believe mnementh has now got one and is experimenting with it as well, be interesting to see what he makes of it. I only got the Blue controller because of his recommendation as he was saying that we would be trailblazing the Quicko as the new kid on the block, so I thought, I wonder if there is any difference and now I know, a massive difference.

I just could not believe how hot that tip was, it was as if I had just taken it out of a blacksmiths forge, it was so hot it was giving off a red light as if it was a light bulb, the Quicko power supply was extremely cool as always  :-+
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8183 on: March 05, 2018, 12:27:24 am »
Controller probably would be cold. Think it’s a MOSFET switch in there so on resistance is very low. Looks like the software cocks up with 0 as a set point and leaves the switch on.

Usually on embedded systems like that you have a supervisor task that checks all global system parameters like tip temperature and if anything is out of expected range an assertion fires and drops it into a safe state. Looks like that is missing. Not surprise if I’m honest.
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8184 on: March 05, 2018, 12:33:15 am »
Well the Quicko one has a maximum and a minimum setting presumably to prevent from occurring. Did you get you second Quicko ready assembled and if so, did you modify the IEC socket connections?
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Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8185 on: March 05, 2018, 12:59:09 am »
Well you'd think but software engineers tend to only think about the inclusive cases so for example they assume the tip will only report between 0 and 500oC and the set point will be 100-500oC. If any inputs outside those ranges occur, all bets are off. Depending on how they set up their algorithms, its possible that a zero set point might have some weird side effects. Zeros are poorly understood by most engineers.

I bought the second Quicko as a kit with the 9501 handle and bought their power supply module separately as well. That gave me the opportunity to do a proper job without risking breaking it :)

As far as modifications (apologies - no photos - my phone camera is buggered) I did the following:

1. drilled a 3mm hole for an M3 screw near rear.
2. Abraded inside of screw hole until bare aluminium was showing.
3. poked M3 screw from base to inside, put locking washer on then M3 nut, then washer.
4. Connected earth to it (crimped eyelet at one end, blade at other end - no soldering on the earth!).
5. Connected panel/board earth to it
6. locking washer
7. screw lock
8. M3 nut
9. poked mains connector shell in upside down and soldered live/neutral on (some cable slack there)
10. tested it with ohmmeter.
11. Lined inside of base of case with plastikard stuck on with scotch double sided tape.

When my stands arrive, the Weller is going.

Edit: BTW I threw the mains cable it had with it in the bin. Didn't even look at it :D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 01:01:42 am by bd139 »
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8186 on: March 05, 2018, 01:14:02 am »
Well you'd think but software engineers tend to only think about the inclusive cases so for example they assume the tip will only report between 0 and 500oC and the set point will be 100-500oC. If any inputs outside those ranges occur, all bets are off. Depending on how they set up their algorithms, its possible that a zero set point might have some weird side effects. Zeros are poorly understood by most engineers.

I bought the second Quicko as a kit with the 9501 handle and bought their power supply module separately as well. That gave me the opportunity to do a proper job without risking breaking it :)

As far as modifications (apologies - no photos - my phone camera is buggered) I did the following:

1. drilled a 3mm hole for an M3 screw near rear.
2. Abraded inside of screw hole until bare aluminium was showing.
3. poked M3 screw from base to inside, put locking washer on then M3 nut, then washer.
4. Connected earth to it (crimped eyelet at one end, blade at other end - no soldering on the earth!).
5. Connected panel/board earth to it
6. locking washer
7. screw lock
8. M3 nut
9. poked mains connector shell in upside down and soldered live/neutral on (some cable slack there)
10. tested it with ohmmeter.
11. Lined inside of base of case with plastikard stuck on with scotch double sided tape.

When my stands arrive, the Weller is going.

Edit: BTW I threw the mains cable it had with it in the bin. Didn't even look at it :D
I threw mine in the bin, it probably had sleeving on the earth anyway. Just about to order new enclosure (lost the spare front plate) and new 952 controller from Quicko via Aliex then I'll have 2 identical units
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8187 on: March 05, 2018, 01:19:00 am »
If you can wait a couple of weeks for the slow boat to arrive, I'll send you a face plate for nothing. I've got an enclosure on the way to rebuild the low voltage one into so I'll have a spare enclosure going (albeit a small one).
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8188 on: March 05, 2018, 01:23:58 am »
If you can wait a couple of weeks for the slow boat to arrive, I'll send you a face plate for nothing. I've got an enclosure on the way to rebuild the low voltage one into so I'll have a spare enclosure going (albeit a small one).
That's very nice of you, thank you for that. I'll just order up the controller then.

So are you keeping it as low voltage or upgrading to mains?
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8189 on: March 05, 2018, 01:50:44 am »
I'm keeping it as low voltage. I've ordered another enclosure (full size) just for the top and bottom halves and will use the low voltage front and rear panels on the that then put the DC/DC converter I am using inside the extra space. Will end up with lots of voltage flexibility then from around 7-20v input. And left over front and rear panels. Will drop you a PM when I swap them over (which will be the day it arrives :D).

Plan is to have one mains and one DC base unit and two 9501 irons. Enough redundancy if there are any problems basically and gives me off grid soldering if I need it (for field repairs on my transceiver for example). If I blow up the mains base station I can run the DC one off my radio power supply or deep cycle battery as well to fix it :D
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8190 on: March 05, 2018, 02:33:46 am »
Well you'd think but software engineers tend to only think about the inclusive cases so for example they assume the tip will only report between 0 and 500oC and the set point will be 100-500oC. If any inputs outside those ranges occur, all bets are off. Depending on how they set up their algorithms, its possible that a zero set point might have some weird side effects. Zeros are poorly understood by most engineers.

Add to that, that most software "engineers"* have little or no concept of control systems theory or stability criteria and it gets interesting. Ironic, when nowadays the prefix cyber- gets added to all things computerese.

* I've been a programmer for 43 years, and in all that time I've never seen an actual live "software engineer" in the wild. I've seen some good craftsmen, some capable technicians and a lot of bad bodgers, but no actual engineers.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8191 on: March 05, 2018, 02:50:15 am »
True. They are few and far between. Software is the day job unfortunately as well. When anyone asks about it, I usually suggest they buy in a couple of years of tinned goods and some guns. I get looked at like I'm insane but they just don't know how bad it is.

Was going through a folder of unsorted images and I found a picture of my bench before TEA (actually that never happened - I've always had TEA), circa 2012 with a direct conversion receiver on it (I think it was a 40m jobby).

« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 02:52:34 am by bd139 »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8192 on: March 05, 2018, 03:46:15 am »
True. They are few and far between. Software is the day job unfortunately as well. When anyone asks about it, I usually suggest they buy in a couple of years of tinned goods and some guns. I get looked at like I'm insane but they just don't know how bad it is.

It is good if the perpetrators of large software systems have a clue. They won't know the cause of the problem, let alone the answer - but at least they'll know where to start looking.

And then They outsource it to the lowest bidder, and are surprised at the consequences.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8193 on: March 05, 2018, 03:57:47 am »
That is rarely the case though thanks to all the faddism, ideology and personality cults in the industry.  We need a more conservative approach to engineering.  Outsourcing is almost always a symptom of a problem. Usually that the company has poor staff retention, doesn't want to pay for staff or isn't profitable. Staff retention is because they don't want to pay for good people who cost a lot of money. Then when the outsourcing fucks up miserably, it's clearly because they made a bad choice at which outsourcing consultancy to use, so go looking for another golden nugget somewhere else, unaware that the CxO level is the root cause. Then the golden nugget turns into a shit sandwich again. The cycle repeats and the entire knowledge base of the company has been cycled out in that time by disgusted devalued and demotivated staff so by the time the new guys who get dragged into to shovel all the shit spent 95% of the day reverse engineering and documenting stuff.

Not cynical at all me.

Desperately looking to bail out of the industry at the moment. Have made my money, turned it into property and investments and want to downsize, do something obscure and spend it all on glorious TEA goodies.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 03:59:27 am by bd139 »
 

Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8194 on: March 05, 2018, 04:07:31 am »
That is rarely the case though thanks to all the faddism, ideology and personality cults in the industry.  We need a more conservative approach to engineering.  Outsourcing is almost always a symptom of a problem. Usually that the company has poor staff retention, doesn't want to pay for staff or isn't profitable. Staff retention is because they don't want to pay for good people who cost a lot of money. Then when the outsourcing fucks up miserably, it's clearly because they made a bad choice at which outsourcing consultancy to use, so go looking for another golden nugget somewhere else, unaware that the CxO level is the root cause. Then the golden nugget turns into a shit sandwich again. The cycle repeats and the entire knowledge base of the company has been cycled out in that time by disgusted devalued and demotivated staff so by the time the new guys who get dragged into to shovel all the shit spent 95% of the day reverse engineering and documenting stuff.

Not cynical at all me.

Desperately looking to bail out of the industry at the moment. Have made my money, turned it into property and investments and want to downsize, do something obscure and spend it all on glorious TEA goodies.
That's so true and it holds for almost discipline these days as well. Fat cats are to blame and of course bloody accountants who just see skilled staff as a very expensive overhead that could outsourced when needed. Completely overlooking the fact that the outsourced staff know diddly squat of the companies procedures and unique requirements and as you said fuck things right up and they get paid good money to fuck up.
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Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8195 on: March 05, 2018, 06:28:40 am »
Regarding the T12 soldering stations, of which there are many on offer, has anyone got one of the "Hakko blue OLED control modules" fitted to theirs? below are 2 photos of the one I'm referring. As you will know these don't come with any calibration or setup information at all and I was attempting to check the actual temperature of mine with my iron temperature checker and the display on the T12 was reading 310C but the checker was reading 445C.

So I went into the setup menu, which on this controller is option 1 Temp adjust, entering this option it displayed a reading 480 and it can adjusted between 0 and 500 but is this a measurement of? Adjusting this setting by 100 steps at a time did not seem to make any appreciable difference to the tip temperature.

I discovered that the control does not have a logical start and stop, you can continue to rotate the knob so the number jumps from 500 to 0 as I discovered when I accidentally set it to 0. I was just going to put the tip onto the tip checker and was alarmed to see the entire tip glowing bright red and I mean bright red. I switched the iron off and allowed it to cool down and then tried again but this time with the controller set 490 in the temp adjust mode so it seems that this setting (what ever it adjusts) works with reverse logic, the higher number gives the lower tip temperature but even with the setting at near the maximum, the tip is still way hotter then it should be.

Now I have 2 of these T12 soldering stations, the first one I got was a made by Quicko and is a ready built unit, type number T12-952 which I like a lot and has been my got to iron and I can regulate the tip temperature with pretty good accuracy on this controller. It has a range setting of between 70% and 130% and this seems to work logically  so if the tip reads high, you dial in a lower percentage figure to correct it and the whole system works just as you would expect it to.

Now the only difference between my 2 stations is the actual controller it self, the enclosure, the handles, the tips and the power supply are the same so its my belief that the so called "Blue OLED controller" is as good as the Quicko and can actually be highly dangerous so I'm in the process of replacing that one with another Quicko one if I can buy it on its own. I didn't like the Blue one from the start to be honest as it comes with a smoked perspex window which makes it very hard to read the display, the Quicko does not have this problem.

I would be interested to hear other peoples experience of this controller and I offer my experience as a warning of possible fire hazard

 

And here the displays are side by side, the camera  does not do justice to the brightness of the displays, the Quicko is far brighter and the "Hakko" is way dimmer then it seems here.


Aside from the dim display, I've had no issues with the Blue Hakk0 controller that I can blame on the controller itself. Accuracy seemed good testing against 63/37 eutectic alloy melting point, and when new, recovery time was nonexistent.

Mine exhibited a temp control issue AFTER surviving the death of the buck converter it was connected to and while powered from only 19V. It would seem to heat up normally in about 15-18 seconds, but recovery was poor. If I stabbed it into a wet sponge it would drop from 300° set point to ~250° almost instantly, then struggled to recover for a second or two. 



After replacing the regulator and getting operating voltage back up to my preferred 28V, heatup time dropped to ~11 seconds, and recovery time to 1/4-1/2 second, making it usable for most work. While it was set up I tried several 1.3" OLEDs on it, but the Blue Hakk0 controller firmware is configured for SSD1306 family OLEDs (which it appears most 128x64 OLEDs up to about 0.96" height are) but most 1.3" and larger 128x64 OLEDs are SSH1106 family. These are pin-compatible with the SSD1306 family, but the matrix is addressed differently and you wind up with a slightly messed-up display as you can see here.  |O

IIRC from my testing with the Blue Hakk0 controller, Temp Adj is done by measuring the temperature with a K-type Thermocouple, then setting the displayed Temp to match.  Once you press SET, it stores that setting and Set Temp retracks to match. I intend to replace the FET on my Blue Hakk0 controller and re-purpose it as a portable battery-powered soldering station; when I get back to work on that project, I'll review the Temp Adjustment process and update here with my findings.

My reason for flogging the Blue Hakk0 controller  :horse: was that it has a thermistor monitor at the cold end of the T12 cartridge, which I consider to be a VERY important safety feature. It allows you to monitor for heat creep during extended high-wattage soldering sessions (like hour-after-hour production work) and for heat build-up at the connectors due to poor contact which results from/can result in arcing at the slip rings on the T12 cartridge.   :scared:


The Quicko controller doesn't support this (It may in the firmware, but apparently the controller itself doesn't have wiring for the NTC thermistor needed in the handle) and I can't in good conscience recommend it because of that fundamental omission.

Moving on to my new KSGER T12 OLED Controller:


That said...this new KSGER controller I just received beats the Blue Hakk0 controller all hollow and inside-out.  :-+



On-screen at all times it displays in three lines:

Set Temp / PWM Duty Cycle
Actual Temp in large format / Time in 24-hour format (12-hour does not seem available)
Tip Type or Input Voltage / Handle Ball Switch Active / Temp Monitor ( NTC Thermistor or CPU Temp)

The firmware supports handles with and without the cold-end thermistor, and it has multiple memory profiles with RTC and battery backup. The firmware has pre-defined PID and configuration profiles for 98 different tips/handles including ones with separate thermocouple and Precision Thermistor temperature sensing. It also has support built-in for Hot Air and desoldering heads, plus the candy on top is that the display is about 10-20 dB (I know, get over it ;) ) brighter than the Blue Hakk0, so it is easily visible under the smoked Perspex lens that came with the Blue Hakk0 controller. This was important to me, because my plan from the outset was to mod my station as you see here.


Usage is pretty intuitive; with default settings Quick Boost / Standby enable is done by spinning the knob quickly left or right. Turning knob slowly adjusts SET TEMP. Short press wakes from Standby/Sleep modes, Long press opens SETUP Menu. Sleep Temp is NOT Adjustable; when SLEEP mode trips, tip drops to room temp then enables Screen Saver. By default Ball Switch activity wakes from STANDBY mode; it does not wake from SLEEP mode. Timers are adjustable for Standby, Sleep and Screen Saver enable, so some acceptable combination to suit pretty much everybody should be possible.


Menu structure:

1.   Standby : Mode / Time / Temp Adjustments
2.   Sleep : Time Adjustment
3.   Boost : Temp / Time Adjustments
4.   Cold End Mode : NTC Thermistor / CPU Temp
5.   Tip Enable : 98 Preconfigured Types; Common T12 family tips enabled by default
6.   Temp Step : Number of °C per click; Default 5°
7.   Password : Switch / Lock Time / Password Adjustments
8.   Screen Saver : On-Off / Delay Time Adjustments
9.   Buzzer : On / Off
10. Voltage Display : On / Off; sets input voltage display in lower left corner ON. I believe default display of J0 (0) in this location is Thermocouple type.
11. Low Voltage Protect : On-Off / Alarm V / Shutdown V Adjustments; for use on Li-xx battery power where over-discharging can cause permanent damage.
12. Power On State : Run / Sleep / Standby
13. Desolder Mode : INCHING / Pump
14. Pump set : ON Time Adjustment
15. Language : English / Simplified Chinese; Chinese mode is Default.
16. Date / Time ; Date / Time in 24-hour Format (12-hour Format does not appear available)
17. RTC Adj : Day Error; [+000S] Default
18. RTC INIT : Clears ALL RTC Data (Does Not alter Language Setting)
19. Sys Info : HW 2.1S FW 2.10
20. INIT : Sets English or Simplified Chinese Language & Units; I see no difference between this and "15. Language". Chinese mode is Default.
21. Exit : Exits Setup Menu



The KSGER controller kit I ordered comes with a prewired GX12 5-pin mini-aviation plug that connects to a 5-pin plug-in header; the included wires are pretty thin but it DOES work. Replacing the MAIN POWER and HEATER wires with 20-22ga wires dropped heat-up time by 2-3 seconds; it is now the only iron I've ever owned that beats my 150W temp-controlled Weller GT7 gun.  :box:

As with the Blue Hakk0 controller, temp appears accurate within a couple degrees against the melting point of 63-37 eutectic alloy; I suppose I can test against a thermocouple, but I feel the melting point test is more important than what a meter says anyways. Recovery time is virtually nonexistent; I can stab it in a soaked sponge and it drops a few degrees then just sits there and boils the water away. It'll make a mess of your tip in short order if you do that though; you'll need to scrub it with steel wool to get the body clean, as just dabbing it against the scourer won't get rid of mineral deposits left elsewhere besides the hot-end.

For now, I'm just using the new station; assembly with my existing smoked lens was drop-in easy, and the larger OLED aligned better with the existing hole in the front panel. Pretty much a WIN-WIN  :-+ all around, especially for the price of the bare controller at ~US$15-18.

I got mine from the XIao Wu Tool Store on AliEx because price and coupon; it appears KSGER has an "Official Store" on AliEx as well, but I suspect this may be a spinoff of the XIao Wu Tool Store. If I can't get satisfactory results from my blue Hakk0 controller once I repair it, I'll probably get their DC ONLY "Mini T12 Controller" based on the newest V3.0 HW/FW.


Cheers,


mnem
 :popcorn: Also, pizza.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 06:37:17 am by mnementh »
 
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Offline Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8196 on: March 05, 2018, 07:55:40 am »
Interesting, that Ksger controller looks very similar to the Quicko except I don't have the clock, and can't imagine why you would need one.

Time will tell with your set up, but the first thing that strikes me is that it is overally complicated for the job, are you going to sit and program in the parameters for the various tips, 98 of them, password etc?

Its performance sounds great and then again my Quicko has a very rapid heating time to melting point of the 63/37 and also the 60/40 solder, and has a rapid recovery time and it handles large ground planes with ease and will easily solder onto the iron stand which is all metal

If temperature of the tip is not all that important, why do Hakko produce a tester for that purpose? Some items cannot stand a lot of heat so I think its pretty important to be able to set your temperature to a suitable level so as not to cook the part while soldering it on to the PCB, how can you do that if you don't calibrate it, you surely calibrate your test meters and adjust them against known values so that you know for certain that when it displays 10v, it actually is 10v and not 20v and frying your electronics?

Considering that the Quicko was my first T12 and gets used the most, and the displayed temperature is still pretty much in abeyance with the measured tip temperature on the Hakko 191 and still solders perfectly, while the blue Hakko controller I purchased because you thought it was the best controller at the time and so I said that I would be able to see which controller performed the best and I have to say its the Quicko, as everything else is identical but the blue Hakko was the only one to actually try to melt the tip, it was so red, I could have quenched it and case hardened the tip, and thats not joking.

No doubt some really good instructions provided with the controllers might have explained how to calibrate the temperature correctly, but in any case, it should really not be possible to adjust the compensation to such a degree that you get this thermal runaway, there ought to be built in some safety net beyond which you cannot go, that alone for me is a massive fail right there.

So what is the units it is adjusting with its 0 to 500, is it mV of the thermocouple or what, at least with the Quicko it is intuitive with its % readout, so if the tip is actually some 30% higher then the display, you adjust the compensation downwards in % until you reach the required goal and you have a adjustment range of +/-30% of the normal 100% setting which seems to work really well as I can get my tip to within 6C of the display so that if its set to 310C I know that it pretty close rather being 445C which is what the Blue controller was giving me.

Of course its possible that I may have gotten hold of a duff one, I don't know but given the problems in getting faulty goods replaced by some of these Chinese companies, I'm not bothering with that route, I'm trying another Quicko for the 2nd setup I have.

I'm still trying to get from companies selling on AliEx a replacement Tconn board for my Crossover monitor, the first one one took my money and then the tracking was never updated and everytime I enquired, I was told that it had been dispatched and was in the air on route to me, and that I should be patient, then suddenly it was updated to cancelled by the seller. Refunded payment after I reported it to AliEx (they are really good) and ordered another from another seller and once again 5 weeks later still no show and the tracking information is nonexistent, seller says it was delayed due to bad weather, that was nearly 3 weeks ago and I'll give it another week and then raise it with AliEx again.

I've had no such problems at all with Quicko and they also answer your messages promptly, so well done to them.

I await your report on the new controller from Ksger in due course as no doubt are others following the T12 route, even with my mishap, I'm still convinced that the system is good just not as convinced by that particular controller, maybe it was faulty but I suspect that it was poor software to blame as I think that the 0 meant that there was 0 control over the temperature and it would just get hotter and hotter until something failed catastrophically.
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8197 on: March 05, 2018, 08:57:23 am »
Well you'd think but software engineers tend to only think about the inclusive cases so for example they assume the tip will only report between 0 and 500oC and the set point will be 100-500oC. If any inputs outside those ranges occur, all bets are off. Depending on how they set up their algorithms, its possible that a zero set point might have some weird side effects. Zeros are poorly understood by most engineers.

Add to that, that most software "engineers"* have little or no concept of control systems theory or stability criteria and it gets interesting. Ironic, when nowadays the prefix cyber- gets added to all things computerese.

* I've been a programmer for 43 years, and in all that time I've never seen an actual live "software engineer" in the wild. I've seen some good craftsmen, some capable technicians and a lot of bad bodgers, but no actual engineers.

I have met a few; both in my time doing Corporate IT and as an independent contractor doing onsite service. None as weird as the protocol people at the MS Development Center I did some work for in San Antonio, though. Talk about treating people like numbers...  :palm:

Got into an argument with one at a datacluster over which server I was working in; he swore it was the wrong one because of the MAC address and the product key on his SQL Server, I explained it had to be the right one because I was standing right in front of it and I could see both the the FQDN and the serial number on labels right on the unit. It wasn't until I got the machine I was working on back up that we discovered that (or rather, that I was able to prove without him dragging his arse down there from the ivory tower) he'd been working in the wrong machine for years; surprise, surprise... somebody transposed the unit name with its mirrored neighbor on a spreadsheet (or applied the stickers bass-ackwards), and neither machine had ever gone down before.  ::)

That is rarely the case though thanks to all the faddism, ideology and personality cults in the industry.  We need a more conservative approach to engineering.  Outsourcing is almost always a symptom of a problem. Usually that the company has poor staff retention, doesn't want to pay for staff or isn't profitable. Staff retention is because they don't want to pay for good people who cost a lot of money. Then when the outsourcing fucks up miserably, it's clearly because they made a bad choice at which outsourcing consultancy to use, so go looking for another golden nugget somewhere else, unaware that the CxO level is the root cause. Then the golden nugget turns into a shit sandwich again. The cycle repeats and the entire knowledge base of the company has been cycled out in that time by disgusted devalued and demotivated staff so by the time the new guys who get dragged into to shovel all the shit spent 95% of the day reverse engineering and documenting stuff.

Not cynical at all me.

Desperately looking to bail out of the industry at the moment. Have made my money, turned it into property and investments and want to downsize, do something obscure and spend it all on glorious TEA goodies.

That is unfortunately the case anywhere we allow the corporate model to take over; their first drive is to reduce constant overhead to increase profit. No matter how well a company is doing objectively, they're not happy unless it's growing so fast they can't count the money. Obviously you can't keep this up indefinitely, so once they've killed off the competition or saturated the market, they seek to maintain profit growth by cutting payroll costs, even when that's a stupid idea.  ::)

Been dere, dunnat, not doing it tomorrow.

The Corporate model is that of a virus; it consumes without any regards to the damage it does, even to itself or its host. There was a time when those running things considered their actions against what is known as "Enlightened self-interest"; this principle is what drove Henry Ford to pay his workers almost 8 times as much as any other manufacturer of anything at the time. This engendered fanatical loyalty from his employees, and it gave them the discretionary money to buy nonessential items... like the cars they were manufacturing. He also said that "If you're employees can't afford what you're selling, you're not paying them enough to keep your secrets."

Those times are past; or at least, won't come around again until after another event like our Great Depression a century ago. Once all the money is gone and there's nothing left to wring out of the poor, the stupid greedy people will move on elsewhere and the rest of us will be able to rebuild again. And then of course, so will start the process again.  |O


mnem
"Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Those who DO learn these lessons are equally doomed; but to stand by powerless as those around them repeat those mistakes."
 

Online beanflying

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8198 on: March 05, 2018, 12:21:00 pm »
New Nixie the world traveller has arrived. Made in Japan for a US company brought from a French evilbay seller shipped from Germany to Oz.  :o
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Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #8199 on: March 05, 2018, 12:39:21 pm »
Interesting, that Ksger controller looks very similar to the Quicko except I don't have the clock, and can't imagine why you would need one.

Time will tell with your set up, but the first thing that strikes me is that it is overally complicated for the job, are you going to sit and program in the parameters for the various tips, 98 of them, password etc?

Its performance sounds great and then again my Quicko has a very rapid heating time to melting point of the 63/37 and also the 60/40 solder, and has a rapid recovery time and it handles large ground planes with ease and will easily solder onto the iron stand which is all metal

If temperature of the tip is not all that important, why do Hakko produce a tester for that purpose? Some items cannot stand a lot of heat so I think its pretty important to be able to set your temperature to a suitable level so as not to cook the part while soldering it on to the PCB, how can you do that if you don't calibrate it, you surely calibrate your test meters and adjust them against known values so that you know for certain that when it displays 10v, it actually is 10v and not 20v and frying your electronics?

Considering that the Quicko was my first T12 and gets used the most, and the displayed temperature is still pretty much in abeyance with the measured tip temperature on the Hakko 191 and still solders perfectly, while the blue Hakko controller I purchased because you thought it was the best controller at the time and so I said that I would be able to see which controller performed the best and I have to say its the Quicko, as everything else is identical but the blue Hakko was the only one to actually try to melt the tip, it was so red, I could have quenched it and case hardened the tip, and thats not joking.

No doubt some really good instructions provided with the controllers might have explained how to calibrate the temperature correctly, but in any case, it should really not be possible to adjust the compensation to such a degree that you get this thermal runaway, there ought to be built in some safety net beyond which you cannot go, that alone for me is a massive fail right there.

So what is the units it is adjusting with its 0 to 500, is it mV of the thermocouple or what, at least with the Quicko it is intuitive with its % readout, so if the tip is actually some 30% higher then the display, you adjust the compensation downwards in % until you reach the required goal and you have a adjustment range of +/-30% of the normal 100% setting which seems to work really well as I can get my tip to within 6C of the display so that if its set to 310C I know that it pretty close rather being 445C which is what the Blue controller was giving me.

Of course its possible that I may have gotten hold of a duff one, I don't know but given the problems in getting faulty goods replaced by some of these Chinese companies, I'm not bothering with that route, I'm trying another Quicko for the 2nd setup I have.

I'm still trying to get from companies selling on AliEx a replacement Tconn board for my Crossover monitor, the first one one took my money and then the tracking was never updated and everytime I enquired, I was told that it had been dispatched and was in the air on route to me, and that I should be patient, then suddenly it was updated to cancelled by the seller. Refunded payment after I reported it to AliEx (they are really good) and ordered another from another seller and once again 5 weeks later still no show and the tracking information is nonexistent, seller says it was delayed due to bad weather, that was nearly 3 weeks ago and I'll give it another week and then raise it with AliEx again.

I've had no such problems at all with Quicko and they also answer your messages promptly, so well done to them.

I await your report on the new controller from Ksger in due course as no doubt are others following the T12 route, even with my mishap, I'm still convinced that the system is good just not as convinced by that particular controller, maybe it was faulty but I suspect that it was poor software to blame as I think that the 0 meant that there was 0 control over the temperature and it would just get hotter and hotter until something failed catastrophically.

Oh like I said, the KSGER Firmware is quite intuitive. The real time clock... well, that's a built-in function on the STM32F104 processor; it costs literally zippo to implement. Like "Hello World!" simple; plus it fills some empty space on the display and is an added "feature".

The 98 profiles are ALREADY preprogrammed; you just enable or disable the ones you want to use. All the common T12 tips are enabled by default; the other types are in there and programmed, but disabled.


It's not that temperature isn't that important; it's that I trust the melting point of 63/37 much more than I do the accuracy of a meter. 63/37 is eutectic; meaning it changes state within a degree or two of 183°C. This is a matter of chemistry and physics.

This makes it much more trustworthy, at least to me, than an uncalibrated meter/K-Type thermocouple, and measuring a soldering iron with a thermocouple is tricky business; even with the Hakko FG-101 we had at work, accurate measurement is as much a matter of technique as it is the device itself.

Honestly; those Hakko temp meters, especially the cheap clone ones, are no more accurate than a $25 DMM with a K-type  aftermarket thermocouple; of which I own two.


I agree that documentation is a sore point with these controllers; however, this is an ongoing thing with all of this type of China-direct widgetry. That is part of why it is available so cheaply; not paying someone to write coherent manuals in two dozen languages is a big part of how you can get a 32-bit processor, display and input device in a widget that comes ready to hook up to power and a load for less money than lunch for two.  ;D

As for your runaway issue... I suspect it is more a matter of an undocumented feature than a bug; perhaps by programming in a ridiculously high extreme value you tripped over a built-in diagnostic mode, meant to turn on the power to 100% Duty Cycle, Open loop. Sortof like IPV4 / 127.0.0.1 being the loopback address.


Sucky news on the T-Con; I've been suffering a similar issue with an iPod that belonged to my mother. The clickwheel has failed; it's a 4th gen Nano and they are known for the clickwheel failing. However, for whatever reason, (possibly a dearth of the custom chip used on them deliberately orchestrated by Apple), replacements are no longer available from anywhere. Ones for 3rd gen and for 5th gen are available everywhere for around $US5; but I've even tried to order from some of the crazy high iFixit-type places at $20-25 and eventually, EVERY order falls through.

I'm sorry if you got a bunk Blue Hakk0 controller on my recommendation; I tried to pass on the best information I had at the time. I still think it's overall a decent controller, just not bright enough display for the smoked lens they sell with it.

I'll let you know what I find when I get back into that project; right now I'm in the middle of major real-life changes and am in the process of shrinking my workbench and storage space a bunch.


Cheers,

mnem
*Back to the grindstone*
 


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