• EEVblog #596 – World’s Cheapest Soldering Station – Yihua 936

    Dave takes a look at the world’s cheapest temperature controlled soldering station, the $16 Hakko 936 knockoff Yihua 936 from Hobby King.
    How does it compare to the older genuine Hakko 926?
    Also, thermal capacity comparison testing is done on those two irons plus the high thermal capacity JBC.
    Sagan also gives his verdict.
    Hakko 936 Schematic
    Forum HERE

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      • David Bley

        One thing that is very important to me in an iron is the tip construction. I have used several variable temperature irons and I just don’t find that feature essential. I have come to prefer weller tips as they seem to last the longest and clean the easiest. The iron that I use is a low voltage (24 VAC) with the temperature controlled by the tip construction (alloy which loses magnetic properties at a certain temperature). I find that the work I do is fine with 700F tips and find the thermal capacity more a function of the tip geometry than the wattage or temperature control.

      • dentaku

        I’d buy one of those for that price but unless I get it online I’ll never find one in real life around here.

      • Kirill

        Though i do completely with Dave on that one – i do have to make a remark – these cheapish soldering irons of the many of the chineese names – are reasonable when you need something irregular and|or highly specific for the job. Though i do own and do all my soldering work with Ersa i-con, i do as well have two(!) chineese constructed soldering stations – SMD tweezers, and a hot air rework compressor(not turbine!) based soldering station. The latter one is really excellent, the temperature controller is _really_ accurate, and the airflow is widely adjustable. The tweezers are crap, but i need them rarely, so no hassle to change them at all.


        BTW – for the beginner i would recommend something like Ersa icon Pico http://www.ersa.com/art-i-con-solder-stations-und-heating-plates-347-5060.html
        It does have all the goodies of the i-con family, and is a reasonable price, and well worth the effort of getting one.

      • Jay

        It might be good as a first soldering iron for some people.

        I looked on eBay here (USA) and saw much higher prices of about $45.

        For not much more, it’s possible to get a Weller WP25. It’s not a soldering station, so you don’t get a temperature control dial or a place to put a sponge. Instead, you get good quality. I love mine and have found so far that the temperature they chose for it is good for all of my needs. I like how it takes up less space in my work area. It’s not for everyone, but I think it is an option to consider.

        • Kirill

          I don’t know what is inside the Weller WP25, but almost all cheap soldering irons have no temperature stability at all. Some of them have a knob to set up the power or have electronically fixed power but it is not the same as a proper temperature control system with a feedback.

          The problem with them is that they either get way too hot very soon and this is not so good for their tips or just don’t have enough power to heat up anything bigger than a SO-8 pin. My opinion is that all the directly mains powered irons are made for not precise one-time jobs and should almost be considered as disposable. Even the crappiest thermally controlled stations are better to use and last longer than the pieces of crap.

          This can be a good choice for beginners though. One might need to give it some test to understand what exactly makes a proper solreding iron and why these ones are so bad.

        • Amir

          I’m with Jay on this one

      • Wim Libaers

        The look of some of those components was interesting… Desoldered from scrap electronics over a wood fire perhaps?

        • Agent24

          I would not be surprised at all.

        • Kirill

          Believe it or not that is almost exactly what they do! They just use gas torches instead of woodfires to heat up the whole boardt and just manually strip the components off. The job is not so healthy at all but it is very cheap because no skilled labour is required. The most expensive part is to test the components.

          • Agent24

            They test them? Are you sure?

      • Chris

        Dave, I feel you were holding yourself back after the backlash from your opinion on the camcorder. That circuit board makes the camera look like high end merchandise. Can’t please everyone 🙂 Just keep being yourself, that’s why we keep coming back.

        • No, not holding back, just back to my regular teardown and review style. The camcorder one had extra shits added for entertainment effect. No matter what I say or do, I will always have complainers, so I never hold back deliberately to avoid complaint.

      • Circlotron

        The transformer on the cheap iron didn’t have a segregated bobbin like the Hakko one. Didn’t see a C-tick compliance mark either.

      • Alex

        Maybe use the FLIR camera to see the temperature differences?

      • huh

        The hand piece is 100% identical to those sold by Atten with their solder stations and is plagued by the same low thermal capacity problems. I bought one years ago, apparently much better than this one (digital temp readout, memories, metal hand piece holder, etc) but nonetheless it sits unused on my bench since it became evident it is a pile of crap.

      • Christine

        Could you raise the thermal capacity on this thing by welding an inch or two of rebar to the side of the barrel?

        • huh

          it would make a thermal mass that would help a lot to reduce thermal fluctuations, but it would also require much power to counter its dissipation.

      • Robert123897158

        One thing I’ve learned over my limited time on this earth, never go cheap on tools!

      • I found a website that offer an online database of integrated circuits and transistor replacements: http://www.icreplacements.com

        You can easily find replacements for integrated circuits, diodes and transistors.

        It has been very useful for me.

        Hope you find it useful too.

      • Article writing is also a excitement, if you know then you can write otherwise
        it is complicated to write.

      • Boris

        Did you tried to check it with Geiger counter?

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