Author Topic: Soldering iron that won't melt?  (Read 1452 times)

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Online Jwillis

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2019, 11:26:14 am »
Did you check the thermistor in the handle.

There is no thermistor in this iron. It is just a 'dimmer' circuit and there is no feedback to regulate temperature.

Oh Ok thanks ArthurDent.So that black blob is just more melted plastic.
 
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Offline Jookia

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2019, 11:30:06 am »
I've been researching irons and it looks like I'm either going with a Hakko FX-888D or a generic 937D from eBay.
What are the biggest differences between a generic soldering station like that and a genuine Hakko station?
I'm still learning soldering, would I even notice the differences at this stage?

Also yes, melted plastic.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2019, 11:35:54 am »
Both will get you far, the 888's parts will last a fair bit longer in general, however my reference point is 20-100 connections soldered a day,

For reference the 888 is still in pristine state after 3 years with this kind of workload, the clone needed a new tip every 4 or so months, and a new heater about once every year.
 

Online KL27x

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2019, 09:09:30 pm »
Jookia: ^+1 to that. I'll add some points from my own experience.

Real 888 has a true 26VAC transformer, no sag at all under load, no matter the duty cycle, 24/7. This was a bump from 24VAC of the 936. Many of the clones might even be a bit less than 24VAC under load once the transformer heats up.

Plastics are also not the same. China can clone the electronics very easily. If they want to make a handpiece that is as good as a Hakko, they have to buy the materials from Japan. They don't do that.

Heater is another point. The generic clone heaters are not made the same way. The genuine Hakko uses a foil heater. The clones are wound wire under the ceramic shell. The genuine Hakko heater is made to tighter tolerance for a better fit and is made to last a lifetime, designed to remain completely sealed from outside atmosphere, indefintely.

The genuine Hakko will probably last a lifetime with zero maintenance. The generic clones, you can expect 2-4 years of hard use before parts start failing. Heater will go. The entire handpiece can eventually just snap in half from heat cycling of the plastic. You can also expect the handpiece of most clones to become significantly hotter than the genuine during use.

There are high quality chinese stations that are hakko compatible. Xytronics comes to mind.

I have 3 888's and have been using them since 2008 or 9? I have had 1 X-tronics clone (not even close to the same as Xytronics!!), one eBay generic 936 clone, and a couple T12 clones. The genuine 888 outperforms them all. Even with just limited use, the X-tronics handpiece broke in half. The generic handpiece got really hot during use and I only used it once or twice before giving it away. The T12 clones are not half bad, but the 888 outperforms them in most ways in actual use, and in just everything except warm up speed from cold and maybe speed/ease of hotswapping tips. There is one main advantage of the cartridge tips, though. When doing a lot of high thermal joints in succession, the T12 cartridge clones can truck along without the handle warming up in the least.

The cheapo clones serve a purpose. They are way better than an unregulated mains stick. You get a huge variety of useful tip shapes, either cheap clone or genuine Hakko T18/900M. And for a hobbyist, they can last longer than one's duration of interest, anyway. If the price is right and you don't solder a lot, then you can sacrifice some performance and comfort. But if you live in the USA, the genuine Hakko 888 is dirty cheap and is a really good deal, IMO. Having used cheap irons for many many years, one of the first things I used to look at when buying a station is the cost of replacement parts. Hakko replacement parts are expensive as hell, which was a bit of a pill to swallow. But under normal use, you will probably never have to buy a replacement part! The relatively inexpensive upfront cost (to US consumers, anyhow) is not an "inkjet printer marketing scheme" to get you to buy expensive parts. The 888 is actually built to last a lifetime.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 09:36:34 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2019, 08:45:28 am »
I turns out to have the same internal "guts" as the one I bought from Jaycar some years back to use while I was fixing my Weller WTCP.

That one had a base a bit like the older Wellers.
I lied!------I found the thing "tucked away" yesteday, & it is exactly like the OP's one!
 

Offline Jookia

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2019, 12:35:12 pm »
Well getting a refund for the now taken apart and possibly broken more soldering iron without a receipt wasn't going to work. So I got the 937D+ from eBay for $46 AUD. I took it apart to make sure it wasn't going to melt, and it didn't look too bad.

The joint between the ring connector that connects to the transformer, the primary side earth and secondary side earth cables looked a bit too sketchy for my tastes since the secondary side seemed to have only half of its strands soldered in (aside from not being crimped). So I bought a Hakko RED 20W soldering pencil for $32 and figured having some kind of branded iron that won't break is a good idea anyway. I used that to re-do the secondary side and joint with the primary side and ring connector.

The Hakko RED has been working really well and not melting. It takes a few minutes to get hot, but that's not too big of a deal.
I've left it in a stand and it hasn't melted which is great.
I haven't used the 937D+ much, but it heats up fast which is nice. It has a big transformer and an input fuse too. Lots of tips too.
I'm not too sure how accurate or well the temperature sensor or control on it is yet.
Both have burnable cables, but it takes some effort and at this point I think I'm aware enough now to just not burn them.

I don't think the 937D+ is going to melt being left in a stand. But I also have no way to check the actual temperature and compare it to what it says. Ideas on how to do this would be welcome.
 

Online KL27x

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Re: Soldering iron that won't melt?
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2019, 09:03:45 pm »
Hakko makes a tip temperature tester. I believe it's called Hakko FG-100. It costs more than all your soldering irons combined.

But there are many clones of this device that cost 10-20 dollars, and you will find them if you search "FG-100."
 


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