Author Topic: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW  (Read 17729 times)

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Offline lmaokore

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2018, 02:54:34 am »
I own the Hakko FX-888D, FX-951, FX-100, Metcal, and a JBC stations. So I may have a perspective from both the NEW and OLD soldering stations.

Really what you could use all of them for most electronics needs. But what sets apart these stations are its ergonomics, heat up time, , tip prices, and ease of tip changing.

The FX-888D and Metcal have horrible ergonomics while the FX-951 and JBC is the middle of the road. The ergonomics of the FX-100 is the best compared to them all. But thermal performance wise, the FX-888D lags behind a lot (30 second heatup time and slow recovery). The FX-951 is good but takes a while to heat up compared to other stations (10-15 second depending on tip). The FX-100, Metcal, and JBC are similar in performance. Use the JBC if access to temperature is a must or FX-100/Metcal if it isn't too important. The temperature really doesn't matter in the end as long as the solder melts. The most important thing in soldering is dwell time on the components.

For tip pricing, JBC is the worst while the Hakko FX-888D is the cheapest (closely followed by the FX-951). For changing tips, the FX-951 is by far the fastest, easiest, and safest. Nothing else comes close...

I can go on on about other features such as UI, sleep, and build quality if others want me too. But here's just my 2 cents  for now. ^-^
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 02:56:13 am by lmaokore »
 
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Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2018, 03:07:50 am »
The FX-888D ... have horrible ergonomics
I disagree. But ergonomics tend to be a personal thing. I have big hands.
 

Offline lmaokore

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2018, 03:16:43 am »
The FX-888D ... have horrible ergonomics
I disagree. But ergonomics tend to be a personal thing. I have big hands.

Do you own other soldering stations to compare? If not, I'm not sure how you can say...
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2018, 05:48:12 am »
How many people will own 5 different stations?

I can say, because mine doesn't give me any ergonomic problems, and I'm sure many other people won't either.
And, like I said, different people have different preferences. Or do you actually believe that everybody is exactly like you?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 05:51:01 am by timelessbeing »
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2018, 05:58:01 am »
Metcal have horrible ergonomics

Feel free to qualify that.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2018, 08:39:01 am »

No market? If there was money in it, it would be a thriving product.
No market! There would be a good market for a nice 100+ watt station for the bench. The problem is that the Chinese seem to be better at rip-offs than actually designing something new. How about a good rip-off of a JBC 135W iron for $100?  And with $3 cartridge tips?

No reason why there shouldn't be brand name irons with quick heating integrated cartridge tips under $100 by now anyway.
The JBC tips already suck really bad when it comes to durability (own experience) so how is a $3 cartrridge tip going to be better? There is a lot of competition between the A-brands already so I don't expect a new design will be able to undercut the A-brands at a similar quality level.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 08:41:25 am by nctnico »
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Offline Alana

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2018, 09:14:22 am »
Anyone tried to improve old style iron by using heatsink compound between tip and heater?
I have Chinese Zhaxolin 936D and it improved my iron by much. Work that needed it to be set to 400C now is possible with 270-285C setting.
I know its el-cheapo iron and any improvement is big improvement but i wonder if it works the same with Hakkos and stuff. Anyone care to try?
 

Offline Cnoob

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2018, 12:52:43 pm »
Silicone heat sink compound has a working temperature range of -50 to 200c & non silicone is -50 to 130c and could bake hard in your iron's tip.

The Hakko fx888d has a rubbish UI but its a nice compact size, they should have fitted it with a rotary encoder to adjust temp and not those poxy membrain switches.

If thermal capacity is an issue make a warming plate with a piece of alluminium sheet and cheap chinese,  PTC heaters from ebay.

 

Offline knucklefist

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2018, 01:35:22 pm »
I don't have a lot of experience with soldering stations. I have had one the Hakko knockoffs, and have a $400 Weller at work, which only sees occasional use a few times a year. I build a few guitar tube amps from scratch each year. The first few I built with the knockoff Hakko. In that fist year or so I broke 2 heating elements, and went through 3 or 4 crappy tips, always fighting the tips. Then I bought the Hakko FX-888D. Although I didn't see a huge difference in heat up time, the overall dependability and quality has proven it far superior. 2+ years later the Hakko is going strong, on the same tip and heater element. I don't see the need personally for a "better" iron. It doesn't quite have the juice to do the steel chassis ground work on the vintage stuff so I keep an old gun type high watter for that.

I have been fascinated by the TS-100. I am an avid motorcyclist and I take long 1000-3000 mile trips. I usually have some sort of bodged together audio system in my helmet. In inevitably fails at some point in the journey and needs a lead or jack repaired. I stop at a hardware store, get a crappy pen iron and fix it it on the road. The TS-100 has real appeal for me. It's small and can be powered from the 12v motorcycle battery for quick repairs. I am attracted to many of the features and the open source nature of the product.

I like to think the TS-100 project will evolve over time and eventually someone will make a full open source bench iron version (maybe they already have). I know I have been thinking of uses for rackmount data server power supplies. I work in I.T. and have a readily available supply of them. When we decommission systems we send them off to recyclers. I pull the supplies first. Most of them are rated for 12V 60amps and have more than enough 3.3v and 5v for logic. Should do the business I think.
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Offline lmaokore

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2018, 01:38:36 pm »
Metcal have horrible ergonomics

Feel free to qualify that.

Handpiece is heavy, cord is very thick/ heavy making it hard to work with, handpiece is very long making it hard to work with, and no comfortable rubberized grip. JBC has one of the best grips around I must say...

How many people will own 5 different stations?

I can say, because mine doesn't give me any ergonomic problems, and I'm sure many other people won't either.
And, like I said, different people have different preferences. Or do you actually believe that everybody is exactly like you?

Basically you won't know what you're missing. The step up even to the big brother of the FX-888D, thr FX-951, will blow your mind on much better the ergonomics and grip to tip distance is.
 

Offline labjr

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #60 on: March 17, 2018, 01:44:07 pm »

The JBC tips already suck really bad when it comes to durability (own experience) so how is a $3 cartrridge tip going to be better?

I don't follow your logic. If JBC has a problem with the quality of their tips, it likely isn't because of the cost. They're one of the most expensive.


There is a lot of competition between the A-brands already so I don't expect a new design will be able to undercut the A-brands at a similar quality level.

Umm...undercut them on price?
 

Offline labjr

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2018, 01:54:31 pm »
I don't have a lot of experience with soldering stations. I have had one the Hakko knockoffs, and have a $400 Weller at work, which only sees occasional use a few times a year. I build a few guitar tube amps from scratch each year. The first few I built with the knockoff Hakko. In that fist year or so I broke 2 heating elements, and went through 3 or 4 crappy tips, always fighting the tips. Then I bought the Hakko FX-888D. Although I didn't see a huge difference in heat up time, the overall dependability and quality has proven it far superior. 2+ years later the Hakko is going strong, on the same tip and heater element. I don't see the need personally for a "better" iron. It doesn't quite have the juice to do the steel chassis ground work on the vintage stuff so I keep an old gun type high watter for that.

I have been fascinated by the TS-100. I am an avid motorcyclist and I take long 1000-3000 mile trips. I usually have some sort of bodged together audio system in my helmet. In inevitably fails at some point in the journey and needs a lead or jack repaired. I stop at a hardware store, get a crappy pen iron and fix it it on the road. The TS-100 has real appeal for me. It's small and can be powered from the 12v motorcycle battery for quick repairs. I am attracted to many of the features and the open source nature of the product.

I like to think the TS-100 project will evolve over time and eventually someone will make a full open source bench iron version (maybe they already have). I know I have been thinking of uses for rackmount data server power supplies. I work in I.T. and have a readily available supply of them. When we decommission systems we send them off to recyclers. I pull the supplies first. Most of them are rated for 12V 60amps and have more than enough 3.3v and 5v for logic. Should do the business I think.

I service tube guitar amps. Have used a Weller station for about 25 years. Has worked well. But I want a higher wattage quick heating iron.

BTW, you could probably strap two or more of those 12 volt supplies together in series to use for a higher output station.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 01:56:16 pm by labjr »
 

Offline gearshredder

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2018, 03:02:45 pm »

Handpiece is heavy, cord is very thick/ heavy making it hard to work with, handpiece is very long making it hard to work with, and no comfortable rubberized grip. JBC has one of the best grips around I must say...


What wand are you using? I have the SHP-1 and the MX-H1-AV. Both have rubber grips, and the cord is just under 5mm, flexible soft silicone. The grip is 10.7mm on the SHP-1 and 12mm on the MX-H1-AV. Tip protrusion is 31-34mm. Total length is 140mm, measuring from end of grip to beginning of cable flex.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 03:04:29 pm by gearshredder »
 
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2018, 03:18:44 pm »
Metcal have horrible ergonomics

Feel free to qualify that.

Handpiece is heavy, cord is very thick/ heavy making it hard to work with, handpiece is very long making it hard to work with, and no comfortable rubberized grip.

.. Aaaand here I am quite happy with the lightweight handpiece, flexible cable which stays out of my way, and perfectly comfortable grip which isn't tacky. It could do with being shorter, though.

Subjective opinions: They don't make good facts.
 

Offline madires

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #64 on: March 17, 2018, 04:22:43 pm »
I think I've mentioned this in two other related threads but it has to be said again. :) Everyone is talking about Hakko, JBC, Metcal and Weller, but not about ERSA. The old tech i-Tool (+ i-CON) is as good as any other new tech iron. It heats up fast, the temperature control works great (there are three control profiles to select from!) and the tips are affordable and long lasting. It's modern old tech ;D
 

Offline prof

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2018, 10:57:16 pm »
I think I've mentioned this in two other related threads but it has to be said again. :) Everyone is talking about Hakko, JBC, Metcal and Weller, but not about ERSA. The old tech i-Tool (+ i-CON) is as good as any other new tech iron.

I have a number of old Ersa irons but heard bad things (in terms of reliability) about the i-CON.
Anyway, a lot of the Weller tools are also German design so I don't feel bad about using them. I am somewhat surprised though that Dave dismissed my Weller RT suggestion and instead turned up the TS100 hatred to 11. The RT tips provide a lot of direct heating goodness that will beat the much more expensive non-direct heating competition any time of the day.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2018, 07:40:43 pm »
What wand are you using? I have the SHP-1 and the MX-H1-AV. Both have rubber grips, and the cord is just under 5mm, flexible soft silicone. The grip is 10.7mm on the SHP-1 and 12mm on the MX-H1-AV. Tip protrusion is 31-34mm. Total length is 140mm, measuring from end of grip to beginning of cable flex.

Yeah he's obviously commenting on the OLD metcal handpiece, which is usable but not nearly as good as the MX-H1-AV (its been out for over 4 years). By far the best handpiece I've ever used. You can see Mike is using one in his new videos as well.

The value is reasonable considering the thing is machined aluminum (not plastic), and comes with two grip styles for $120. I think the FM2028 is similarly priced.
 

Offline labjr

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2018, 07:49:55 pm »
I've asked this question in two other threads.  How does the TS100 iron compare to the T12 irons? Thermal performance etc. Most users seem to like the TS100 tip but they cost 3x what the T12 tips cost.  Are the generic T12 tips good quality?
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2018, 08:11:19 pm »
Basically you won't know what you're missing.
If I never drive a lamborghini or buy a garage full of cars, I won't know what I'm missing either. But I can still really like the car I have, and enjoy driving it.
 

Offline Cnoob

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2018, 10:32:52 pm »
I bought my Hakko fx-888d a couple of years ago and paid about £86 now they are over a £100.
A Hakko fx-951 on amazon uk £561.96 plus £2.88 p&p.
I think I'd know what I would be missing if I bought one from amazon. 
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2018, 11:00:52 pm »
I think I'd know what I would be missing if I bought one from amazon.

Me too. You would be missing about £476
 

Offline ilporcupine

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2018, 11:08:09 pm »
Just my 2 pennies...
I would bet that "integrated tip" irons far predate any changeable tip versions, and are in fact the old tech...
You can state that because they are temp controlled and also include the t-couple in the tip that the tech is new, but this is a whole system, and is just different uses of old tech
I know it's a minor quibble, but you focused on the heat transfer ability of the integrated heater, rather than the temp control AND heater being integrated. Seems to me to be just another combination of old technologies.
Unrelated to soldering:
I think Louis R is a bloody whiner...









« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 11:09:54 pm by ilporcupine »
 

Offline Analog

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #72 on: March 20, 2018, 02:54:44 pm »
I have a range of irons from the simple Hakko 936, Weller WD2000, etc, to Metcal. These are old style, new, and RF stations. None of them are the best. I can do weird things to the 936 and not feel bad, however it will kill a tip quickly if I turn it up too far by accident. The WD2000 hand piece (micro model one) is by far the best I've ever held, but the tips are $45+ each, the stand is a fire hazard, and changing settings is rage inducing. The PC interface is too much hassle to use.  The Metcal heats very fast, solders great, and I use it often but sometimes I need the odd temperatures. I can't do without that capability.

I do feel that a "new" style iron is worth the investment for high density multi-layer boards.  (Maybe not the WD2000 model). This is probably even more the case for beginners where a good iron really helps. If you do production then RF is probably worth a look. I can make do with most anything in a pinch but I have 40 years of practice. 
 

Offline Barny

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #73 on: March 22, 2018, 08:32:49 am »
I've a little question.

Why didn't Dave talk about this "Solder-Pistols"?
They're extreme good.

.

.

Fun aside.
They are extreme useful.
Not for soldering, but extreme useful.
I've one of this Solder Pistols and I use it really often.

When you clamp a pice of stainless steel in them, you're able to melt them into broken plastic parts and fix them with it.

And if you clamp a coil of thick wire in them, they're extreme useful to demagnetise tools.
(Drill bits, calliper,....)

 

Offline Cliff Matthews

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Re: EEVblog #1064 - Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW
« Reply #74 on: March 22, 2018, 11:27:09 pm »
Note regarding the newest PACE ADS200 station. Aaron from Pace is answering questions posted on EEVblog from this thread:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/newest-pace-ads200-production-station-(a-jbc-killer-at-$239)/

For now, here's the product brief and current version of the quickstart PDF
https://www.paceworldwide.com/sites/default/files/ADS200_6pg_Brochure_FINAL.pdf
http://www.paceworldwide.com/sites/default/files/ADS200_QuickStart_Manual_3-Mar-2018.pdf
 


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