Author Topic: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station  (Read 29269 times)

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Offline Nusa

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #125 on: June 08, 2018, 01:12:00 pm »
I just bought the Weller WE1010, but I think I have a faulty unit, as the backlight shown on all their marketing ads is not working, and I can't find a way to switch it on. I've sent the following message to Weller about the issue... I'll post up any further correspondence from them...

Hi, I just purchased a Weller WE1010, but I can't seem to activate the backlight shown in all your marketing ads. Without the backlight working, it's really hard to see the display from most angles at my bench. I cannot find how to activate the backlight in the manual. Please advise how to switch it on? or have I got a faulty unit?

I don't think there is a backlight, nor have I seen any actual photographs/videos/audio/text that claim there's a backlight. However, most of Wellers ads and box art are clearly rendered graphics, not actual images/videos. I agree that might be a bit misleading.

Offline labjr

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #126 on: June 08, 2018, 02:35:23 pm »
Looks like the price went up too. You can get a Pace for $100 more.

Offline David Hess

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #127 on: June 08, 2018, 08:49:09 pm »
Fluke and others base the temperature rating of those thermocouples on the insulation.  The ones with Teflon insulation work for soldering iron tip measurements but the lower temperature ones work fine also even though their insulation near the tip eventually scorches.

I really like the old Weller Magnastat irons.  They have a good selection of inexpensive tips and old stations can be refurbished inexpensively.

The Weller WES51, WESD51, and WE1010 all use the Weller ET series tips which is nice since they are readily available and inexpensive.  I wish Weller had an ET series vacuum desoldering tool though.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2018, 12:11:59 pm »
The magic smoke escaped!


Offline David Hess

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #129 on: December 05, 2018, 03:22:29 pm »

Many years ago I lent my nice and expensive Weller Magnastat 120 volt AC pencil iron to a friend who did contracting work whose soldering iron had failed.  He returned it a couple of days later saying it did not work either.  It ends up what had happened was that the new 120 volt AC wall plug he was using at the contracting site was wired incorrectly to 240 volts AC which is what burned out his soldering iron also.

Offline ciccio

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #130 on: December 07, 2018, 07:53:19 pm »
Weller does not use primary fuses in none of their station, and I believe they never did. I've never seen one.
I don't understand this design choice, but I must admit that I've never seen a damaged transformer in none ot the tenths of Weller stations I've worked with or that were in the benches near mine.
The mains wiring of Dave's station in not compliant with safety regulations and good workmanship standards: the three female terminals are un-insulated and the three wires are not tied toghether, as is considered a good practice. If one of the them is detached by accident, it can touch one of the others, with safety risks: ground terminal can touch live, resulting in a live soldering tip, or short live and neutral....
The transformer's lamination are welded together to save money and assembly time, and are not intercrossed (I don't know the ecorrect english term)  as in good EI transformers.
This results in a non serviceable transformer.
This soldering station is EXPENSIVE, for what you get.. it should made to a more professional standard.
Best regards

Strenua Nos Exercet Inertia

Offline cdev

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #131 on: December 07, 2018, 08:18:48 pm »
Dave, I just wanted to let you know that my FX-888D came with a nice (approx) 2mm chisel tip.

I don't know if this is standard now but mine did.

I don't remember exactly when I got it, probably around the same time as this video came out.

I bought it from Frys when it went on sale for $90.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."

Offline Emrtech

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Re: EEVblog #1063 - Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
« Reply #132 on: January 08, 2020, 05:56:47 am »
I purchased recently for evaluation purposes an original FX-888D station from the USA which arrived today. I also had ordered intentionally another FX-8801 clone iron and clone tips for evaluation. Well! The results are so far rather interesting. BTW, the FX-888D perorms as expected quite nicely. However, under real world heavier heat sucking FR4 soldering, the WE1010 has clearly the edge in thermal capacity. One aspect, that clearly came to light, comparing some of the results from Daves video is, that the fast apparent warmup time compared to the WE1010 is not terribly meaningful at all. It only indicates, that the heater core warms up very quickly to the setpoint. The tip, actually, requires another 10s to start melting solder after the display has stabilized with the heater LED dp slowly blinking. It is understandable when one considers, the rather large clearances between heater rod and the internal tip diameter. I tried to use a thin copper foil sleeve to experimentally observe the difference in heating power before and after and it indicates that the tip heating is predominantly driven by the infrared radiation to the tip sleeve internal surface. When using a small copper wedge to push the heater against one side off the tip sleeve, actually improves thermal performance. A circular neat sleeve, however makes it worse. Anyways, in this light, the WE1010 exhibits a more realistic and honest warmup response. For example, when I cool down the tip of the Hakko iron with a moist sponge, the heater DP does hardly react, no matter how long it gets cooled down. It recovers very quickly. Anyways, I am not sure the FX-8801 and similar soldering irons are very effective transferring heat to the tip. Sadly, in spite of Daves video, the WE1010 outperforms the Hakko on FR4 ground plane soldering. The WE1010 tip immediately liquifies existing solder and allows driving it along a seam. The Hakko struggles a bit when trying the same. I want to repeat, the Hakko is a good station and is very pleasant to work with and will do many jobs quite well. It is not my intention to take sides, or worse, try to be a fanboy of either.
The above are only my first impressions.

Now to the clone items. Well, it looks pretty bad. The groundplane soldering of the clone iron is considerably waeker and the tip does not willingly liquify solder. No comparison to either the WE1010 or the Hakkko.
Investigating and inspecting the clone iron reveals many differences which I will describe. The issue here is clearly design and manufacturing issues. Visually it looks very good and even the silk screen is very similar, but different when performing a side by side comparison. The quality feels alright. Without the original side by side it is hard to tell which is which. The cable is of the silicone type and as flexible as the original Hakko iron cable. The DIN connector is a different model, but seems OK. The handle shows some differences as well. The 20mm diameter heater assembly retaining threaded Plastic screw sleeve is slightly larger than the original and will not fit into a Hakko stand without some careful filing in a lathe. No big deal. The Handle moulding has a step rather than the graduated interface, allowing the gray sleeve to fit better on the Hakko. The clone is just heat shrunk and underneath there is no support. No big deal again. Removing the barrel to expose tip and heater is a different story. The original Hakko is perfectly centric in the axial direction whereas the clone points slightly to the side. The ceramic heater is also slightly off axis. Howver, the sleeve design allows for that.
Then, I started to take exact physical measurements of heater and clone tips. There are considerable diferences between the two units. The Hakko has a slightly thicker ceramic heater and smaller diameter tip sleeve internal diameter whereas the clone is opposite. The heater diameter is less and the clone tips are made of lighter material and larger i.d. Hence, there is way more play between heater and tip sleeve in the clone. The Hakko feels somewhat snug in comparison.  Experimented with copper sleeves in the clone. When I use a copper insert only on side to establish physical contact at least on ones side the tip sleeve, the the tip performance improves notably on the Hakko original tip. The clone tips are made of lighter material and looser overall soecs. There is a 0.64mm difference in diameters in the clone and about 0.3 in the Hakko.
Please keep in mind this is only one sample and not necessarily representative of all units out there. My conclusion is, buy only original Hakko tip and the iron if you must replace it. At least install an original Hakko heater element. Thin copper foil definitely helps to improve performance. There is also a notable difference in heater resistance between cold and hot. About 3.3 Ohm when cold and about double that when hot. That suggests serious overloading of the transformer on startup. Only the hot iron consums the rated power. During warmup, thr transformer must limit the current as much as it can.

Anyways, as far as the iron is concerned, in actual heavy soldering the WE1010 station iron performs in my opinion thermally somewhat better. The faster warmup time of the Hakko is unrealistic and does not convey the true picture because of the poor thermal coupling.

To Dave: I could never get my station to show a drop in temperature, even if I exposed the tip to the moist sponge such as you showed in the video. Perhaps the changed the FW to show only the warmup cycle and then indicate the setpoint only. I will have to read the manual carefully if I somehow missef a specific setting to display actual temperature of the sensor. Your station only took a while. I cannot get it to change when I thermally load the iron.

On a side note, the strange Hakko user interface is not as bad as I was led to believe from comments on the net. It might be a good idea to keep the manual close at hand. Settings are not really that horrible to change. The recall feature is definitely nice. In my opinion, the Hakko is definitely worth considering as long as it is not a cheaply designed clone. The short comings of the clone iron are clearly manufacturing quality controlled poor clone design. Even the clone could perform much better if only the makers had paid more attention to fine detail and dimensional tolerances. Perhaps, the heaters are even original, but are Hakko gray market rejects the failed the QA. The handle and cable feels as good as the original.

As to the durability of the tops, only time will tell. The new tips definitely take solder very well. But only real use will reaveal their durability capability. But for many reasons only buy original Hakko tips. As Dave has said many times before, they (clones) are not really worth it.

I hope my first little dive into the Hakko investigation was of interest to some of you.

Until next time. I am planning to create a comparison document with all hard facts and photos. I am also planning to instrument a tip with an internal TC sensor to assess warmup latency of the heater to tip interface on both Hakko and Weller irons.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 11:13:25 pm by Emrtech »
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