Author Topic: picking a soldering station  (Read 28568 times)

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Offline rch

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2016, 10:51:14 pm »
I want to use the cartridge style bits as not only are they good in theory but I have already found that a 30W Weller solder station with small bits doesn't supply heat fast enough for some fairly ordinary jobs with a fine bit.  I would also very much like new bits to be very likely to be available in 5 or 6 years time.  And it's really got to be something distributed in Europe.  I suppose I don't mind a clone if it works with available standard tips that don't rely on the clone makers not having lost interest in a year or two, which probably makes the clone makers pirates, which I would prefer to avoid.  So maybe I don't want a clone!

What systems can I reasonably choose from?  Thanks for any comments!
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2016, 12:29:36 am »
If you're dead set on cartridge tips and located in Europe/UK, the take a serious look at JBC. Not cheap, but it's an absolute top performer.  :-+ Another would be the Hakko FX-950 (batterfly.com has the lowest prices in the EU/UK; English option is at the top of the page).

That said, there are stations that use simple plated copper tips that can put the heat into a joint (fast recovery), such as Ersa's I-Con series (the I-Con Nano goes for 177EUR here), or the Weller WS or WD, or WX series (one iron for the WX series uses RT series cartridge tips). In the case of the I-Con Nano, not only is the station less expensive, the tips are as well (102 series tips offer a lot of different profiles, and are well made, so last a long time).

Even the FX-888D would be an improvement over your 30W firestick.

Hope this helps.  :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 01:18:20 am by nanofrog »
 

Offline rich

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2016, 12:56:58 am »
@rch At just 30W it sounds like your Weller is very underpowered, irrespective of heater + sensor topology.
 

Offline rch

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2016, 09:21:26 am »
@rch At just 30W it sounds like your Weller is very underpowered, irrespective of heater + sensor topology.
Yes, sorry, looking at it, it is actually 40W.  But still underpowered.
 

Offline rch

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2016, 09:26:35 am »
If you're dead set on cartridge tips and located in Europe/UK, the take a serious look at JBC. Not cheap, but it's an absolute top performer.  :-+ Another would be the Hakko FX-950 (batterfly.com has the lowest prices in the EU/UK; English option is at the top of the page).

That said, there are stations that use simple plated copper tips that can put the heat into a joint (fast recovery), such as Ersa's I-Con series (the I-Con Nano goes for 177EUR here), or the Weller WS or WD, or WX series (one iron for the WX series uses RT series cartridge tips). In the case of the I-Con Nano, not only is the station less expensive, the tips are as well (102 series tips offer a lot of different profiles, and are well made, so last a long time).

Even the FX-888D would be an improvement over your 30W firestick.

Hope this helps.  :)


That's very helpful, thanks.   I assume all those are types are expected to be around for a few years.   Though I find that anything I buy tends to be declared obsolete the next week!
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2016, 03:44:07 pm »
That's very helpful, thanks.   I assume all those are types are expected to be around for a few years.   Though I find that anything I buy tends to be declared obsolete the next week!
Yes, the manufacturers mentioned have been around awhile, and AFAIK, are financially stable enough they should remain in business for some time yet.  :-+ So consumables and repair parts will be around for more than a week or so.  :-DD

As per obsolescence, soldering stations don't change radically or very quickly IME. For example, the venerable Hakko 936/937 remained in production for ~20 years IIRC (consumables & spare parts are still available), and the FX-888D is it's direct descendant. So the technology may be old, but it's still going strong.  ;)
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2016, 04:06:35 pm »
Dirt cheap soldering station....
When I worked at Loral corp. We had Ungar right angle soldering irons that were plugged into a box with a lamp dimmer and an outlet. These worled surprisingly well, they never overheated and burned up the tip, and cost around $35.00 US, or less to build.

When my 25+ year old Weller station quit and the handpiece had to be replaced. I picked up a cheap iron from Radio Shack and used my variac to get a project finished, worked reasonably well. I will say I was glad when my new handpiece arrived from Mouser, because there is nothing like good tools. :)

This is easy to build, no soldering is required just some wire nuts and a screw driver.
A line cord
cable clamp
electrical box, (metal preferred)
wire nuts
An outlet
A dimmer
An outlet cover...
Finally a cheap but half way decent soldering iron, something that is designed to plug into the wall directly...

Sue AF6LJ
Test Equipment Addict, And Proud Of It.
 

Offline un4tural

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2016, 08:29:37 pm »
https://gyazo.com/955539e932b1f303ec7fa0cfcca77b78

well just to wait for it to arrive now, got some wick, tip cleaner and a finer tip. wasn't sure about their 8£ flux, will pick up alcohol based one with a brush i think, for easy cleanup.

edit: added some flux too after i slept on it, the 8£ tube of mg chemicals, 10ml No Clean Flux Paste 8341-10ML, was going to get a alcohol based one for easy cleaning after, but figured i rather get some reputable company flux rather than http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALCOHOL-BASED-SOLDERING-LIQUID-FLUX-SMD-RMA-REWORK-REFLOW-REBALL-NO-CLEAN-/121054733532?hash=item1c2f6ca4dc:g:jh4AAOSwabhUXRyn

by the way circuit specialists support seems to be great, emailed late evening Angie got back to me 7:30 in the morning and just sent a paypal request, thing shipped later in the afternoon. unless they actually forgot the flux, it's quite amazing how quickly they got back to me.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 07:39:30 pm by un4tural »
 

Online KL27x

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2016, 08:24:52 pm »
Quote
was going to get a alcohol based one for easy cleaning after, but figured i rather get some reputable company flux rather than http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALCOHOL-BASED-SOLDERING-LIQUID-FLUX-SMD-RMA-REWORK-REFLOW-REBALL-NO-CLEAN-/121054733532?hash=item1c2f6ca4dc:g:jh4AAOSwabhUXRyn
You can get RA from the same reputable company (MG) in 1000mL bottles for about 27.00 in the US. 100mL bottles for 10.00. I'm sure you can get it the UK from somewhere like Maplin or Farnell or w/e you guys have over there. MG 835.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2016, 08:49:40 pm »
Quote
was going to get a alcohol based one for easy cleaning after, but figured i rather get some reputable company flux rather than http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALCOHOL-BASED-SOLDERING-LIQUID-FLUX-SMD-RMA-REWORK-REFLOW-REBALL-NO-CLEAN-/121054733532?hash=item1c2f6ca4dc:g:jh4AAOSwabhUXRyn
You can get RA from the same reputable company (MG) in 1000mL bottles for about 27.00 in the US. 100mL bottles for 10.00. I'm sure you can get it the UK from somewhere like Maplin or Farnell or w/e you guys have over there. MG 835.
Circuit Specialists sell MG Chemicals 835 (7.14GBP incl. VAT).  :-+
 

Offline Towger

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #60 on: January 16, 2016, 09:05:40 pm »
These days most of the staff in Maplin would now know what a soldering iron is, let alone flux.
 

Online KL27x

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2016, 09:36:19 pm »
Interesting sidenote.

I was second guessing myself when I wrote that post. I thought I have seen MG in 125mL before, and that was what I initially wrote.

So I looked into this, and MG part numbers are
MG 835-10P           = 10ML pen
MG 835-1000ML     = 1000 mL bottle
MG 835-100ML   = 125 mL bottle

Mouser sells the pen and the 100ML for the same price. Buying liquid can be very economical, even if you never use half of it.

 

Offline un4tural

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2016, 11:15:32 pm »
ah well I'm cool with the gel one, compared to my russian crap this one works like god damn magic.

the station actually arrived today (they dispatch it yesterday + order adjustment) i paid for 3day service, got it pretty much next day as i placed order late in the evening.

in the spirit of EEVblog i did open it up and snap a few pictures, its actually quite tidy and looks a lot better than what  had, which rather horrendous. to my surprise it actually has 3, yes 3 fuses, one in UK plug, one at the plug on the station itself (both easy to replace) and a third glass one inside in those tweezers what you call em. snapped a few photos, ill upload them later.

did some soldering, it did struggle at first, but once it warmed up (burn in?) it did very well, not touch instant melt but it does quite damn good, haven't used a hakko 951 to compare (cartridge tips budget hakko?) but I'm quite satisfied, it keeps temperature up quite well and melts lead free quite easily on whatever (5+) layer phone motherboard.

the stand is fairly good too, with a little tip storage rack and a rather useless solder roll thing, its made of nice thick sturdy steel, quite heavy.

There was a rubber spatula like thing with a hole which looks like its supposed to be hung, which i got no clue what it is for.

all in all it feels nice and solid, handle is comfortable (was fiddling for good 3 hours without fatigue, cable is really nice rubbery and flexible.

also controls are simple it goes up/down by 2c every click, +/- or reset to 350. not as good as a knob but way better than that hakko 4button puzzle.

edit: the free tweezers are really quite good quality too, comfortable with really nice tiny tips to grab small parts with.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 11:17:45 pm by un4tural »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2016, 11:38:06 pm »
There was a rubber spatula like thing with a hole which looks like its supposed to be hung, which i got no clue what it is for.
It's a heat resistant rubber pad meant for grabbing/changing hot tips.

The hole is made for attaching it to the station's iron cord (see image).  ;)

« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 11:40:13 pm by nanofrog »
 

Offline wblock

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2016, 12:27:21 am »
ah well I'm cool with the gel one, compared to my russian crap this one works like god damn magic.

the station actually arrived today (they dispatch it yesterday + order adjustment) i paid for 3day service, got it pretty much next day as i placed order late in the evening.

Just to be sure, it was http://www.circuitspecialists.eu/soldering/soldering-stations/bk-3000lf-70w-blackjack-solderwerks-lf-digital-solder-station/?

That is probably a rebadged Aoyue 2930.

Quote
did some soldering, it did struggle at first, but once it warmed up (burn in?) it did very well, not touch instant melt but it does quite damn good, haven't used a hakko 951 to compare (cartridge tips budget hakko?) but I'm quite satisfied, it keeps temperature up quite well and melts lead free quite easily on whatever (5+) layer phone motherboard.

The spring contacts in the handle on my Aoyue 2900 made poor contact initially.  Unscrewing the handle and bending them to give more pressure against the tip helped.

The accessories look just like what came with mine.  When you have the case off, be sure to check that the ground screw on the transformer is not loose.

It will be interesting to see pictures.
 

Offline un4tural

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2016, 03:22:17 pm »
the ground on transformer is secured with a nut and everything, j.hue capacitors 105c rated, don't inspire confidence but it look good inside, nice tidy everything is modular with connectors and a light dab of latex goo to keep them gently connected in case i shake really really hard i guess. all through hole components by the look of it here too, which is nice.

http://imgur.com/a/Eshla can't see the highly anticipated ground securing spot on transformer in the photos, sorry. Smells like electrons inside too which is good.
 

Offline Deus

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2016, 09:54:19 am »
Hi un4tural,

Curious.
Have you tested it?
First impressions?
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2016, 10:20:47 am »
Iron and stand is the same as my Aoyue one.

The stand solder spool is shit - throw it away. Passing the solder through the middle of the spool and dragging a few inches out is better than that spool!

You'll also find the little sponge tray doesn't stay flat and gets all boingy so whack the tab with a hammer a couple of times to bend it back before you screw it on. Otherwise it's not a terrible stand.

I just replaced mine with a Weller TCP though. Money well spent.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 10:23:19 am by MrSlack »
 

Offline OilsFan

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Re: picking a soldering station
« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2016, 10:41:17 am »
Dirt cheap soldering station....
When I worked at Loral corp. We had Ungar right angle soldering irons that were plugged into a box with a lamp dimmer and an outlet. These worled surprisingly well, they never overheated and burned up the tip, and cost around $35.00 US, or less to build.

I did something like that for years. I used a plug into the wall 60w MIJ Hakko iron which was indestructible (still have it) and had a wide range of tips. I had it plugged into a lamp dimmer for temp control. It was pretty ghetto but worked perfectly for many years. I now have the CS Premiere 75 watt.
 


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