Author Topic: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)  (Read 20256 times)

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Offline Cliff Matthews

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Re: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)
« Reply #150 on: November 16, 2018, 03:40:29 am »
I guess no one's posting to this thread anymore.. but since it's linked to the YT video, I thought it would be nice to redirect to the main thread. This covers firmware updates, Pace responses to questions, and other little niggles (as Dave calls them..)

Edit - I wonder if Dave upgraded his station firmware to 1.4 yet, I never saw 'hide nor hair' of it in his moving videos..  :-//
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 03:54:03 am by Cliff Matthews »

Offline scopeman

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Re: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)
« Reply #151 on: November 16, 2018, 04:16:23 am »
Hi there! I’d like to clarify several points in this thread, some of which I’ve already mentioned on the other EEVBlog “JBC Killer” thread started by Cliff Matthews. We are taking every comment posted on the EEVBlog very seriously. Our engineers have reviewed the various comments and are looking at ways we can enhance your user experience:

PACE’s Take on Dave’s Review: Some at PACE were irritated by some of Dave’s comments and procedures during the first video, but most agree that the second revision was objective, fair and balanced, despite the fact that it is not complementary in many places. We agree with him on many points, both positive and negative. It’s been a tremendous feedback experience which will ultimately benefit the end-user!

ADS200 vs JBC: Comparing the ADS200 to the JBC is like comparing a Prius to a Lexus …. But, as Dave has explained multiple times, we understand there was a massive thread on the forum asking if this is a "JBC killer" or not. For the record, PACE’s goal was not to create a “JBC-Killer” which is a premium soldering station at a premium price for both station and tips. It was to design a powerful production soldering station with a wide variety of inexpensive tips that could withstand the rigors of multi-shift production, yet be inexpensive enough to sell to technicians and engineers who simply cannot afford a premium Metcal or JBC. I think we have succeeded spectacularly, if customer feedback is any indication.

ADS200 Display: We agree that there is no reason for the wacky screen anomalies and overshoot flashes when the tip initially heats up. Also, I’ve always felt the flashing of the display/LED during SetBack was really intrusive, but no customer ever directly complained about it on our previous stations! But now we’re in the age of social media, this type of feedback flows freely, and we get it! I believe these things can be resolved via firmware update, but give us some time to get it together.

Look of the Aluminium (we spell it "Aluminum"): We have been using these custom (not off the shelf) aluminum chassis extrusions since the 90’s. Yeah, old school. Some people think it’s great, some sexy (Dave does!!!) and others think it is ugly and antiquated (I tend to lean towards the last one). But creating a modern and sexy new case would have added at least 3-4 months for tooling, required us to redesign the pcb and a host of other issues. In the end, time-to-market concerns and the fact that the ulta-sturdy case is practically invulnerable to burns, 3 foot drops onto a cement floor and other customer abuse, led us to stay with the proven and rugged old-school extrusions.

High $542 price in Australia: Distributor mark-ups are very complicated, especially in Australia and other foreign countries. Mektronics sells the standard ADS200 for $542 Australian dollars which is equivalent to about US$397. Mektronics must ship from US to Australia, an extremely expensive endeavor probably costing thousands. Using the cheapest UPS shipping setting on our website will cost you US$250 for one ADS unit! Plus, add on duty, taxes, Customs etc and voila’! After all is said and done, it wouldn't surprise me if Mektronics made only 20-25% margin on that $542 price. I really don't see it as price gouging. Note that JBC products may not be as expensive to ship since JBC manufactures & ships out of Spain. It’s also possible that Mektronics is getting a special deal or much better discount pricing from JBC. By the way, in Brazil the mark-up is almost 3 times the list price in the US because of taxes and duties!

“Crappy” User Interface?: I don’t agree. Yes, the display is old-school and basic, but we’re going for utter simplicity here. Just push the Red “UP” button to raise the temp, or Blue “Down” button to decrease the temp. Or use the pre-sets. Try to change the temperature with an FX-951 like that and you’ll get a cryptic set of codes that require you to consult the manual (Rossmann describes it as an "80's alarm clock interface"). The ADS200 unit has much more capability built in if you wish to delve into the set-up mode. But our goal was for a customer to open the box, plug in all in, and be up and running, without a manual, within 2 minutes. Done!

I short I recently purchased three of these and a SX-115 and can say that they are all top shelf. The three ADS-200's have the auto setback feature and I have that set for 350F so that by the time I take the iron out of the stand and have it in place to solder a joint it is up to 700F. I also have the autosetback set to it's shortest time to setback setting which should increase tip life. So far in two months of fairly heavy use I have no complaints and can say to Pace "Job well done". I purchased ours from so it may be that they might offer a discount to EEVBlog members but since it was a corporate purchase I did not ask.


Offline tooki

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Re: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)
« Reply #152 on: November 24, 2018, 02:16:29 pm »
Aaron, do you know anything about what the Swiss distributor is doing? Their website doesn’t even list the ADS200 yet. (I’m not reeeeeaally in the market for a new station, but man that thing is sexy!)

This is their page for soldering stations (rework stations have a separate page)

Sibalco is a long-time distributor for PACE. I'll ask Neil Manson, European Regional Sales Manager to give Sibalco a call to push them to update their site! Surprises me that Farnell isn't listed, as they're a key PACE distributor in Europe.

Just FYI, Sibalco still hasn't updated their site to reflect the ADS200, and the PACE website still doesn't list Farnell as a distributor for Switzerland. (Farnell isn't listed for several other countries that Farnell definitely ships to, like Germany. Someone probably needs to go through the whole list of Farnell countries and update your list.)

Offline pshersby

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Re: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)
« Reply #153 on: January 25, 2019, 01:04:34 pm »
I use this station,  was looking for a tweezer handpiece because I'm doing repair work,  none available at the moment but PAce had the following to say about it

Good Morning.
Thank you for your recent enquiry via the PACE Worldwide Website.
Currently, there is no Tweezer handpiece available for the ADS 200 but I can tell you that one will be introduced later this year.  In the meantime, the MT-100 and TT-65 handpieces are available and can be used in conjunction with the ST 50 Power Source.
I hope that this information helps, should you require any additional details please do not hesitate to contact me.
Doug Winship

PACE Europe Limited

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: EEVblog #1106 - Pace ADS200 Soldering Station Review (JBC Killer?)
« Reply #154 on: February 01, 2019, 05:05:22 pm »
Cliff's thread is still the main area.   

Yep, no tweezers.  They posted recently with an update.   
How electrically robust is your meter??

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