Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 46141 times)

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Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #525 on: January 02, 2019, 07:54:41 am »
Weller executives do want new Mercedes after all.

A thermal fuse is in the 240VAC European transformer but not the North American 120VAC version.
So the cost savings are $0.03 plus some manual labour done in Mexico, per unit. Get a robot to install the fuse.
Hakko FX afforded a die-cast metal base and a primary fuse...

To lower cost of this soldering station:
1. Ditch the redundant secondary fusing.
2. Shorten the power cord one foot. Would save $0.35 from copper savings! :-DD
3. Shrink the size of the station. It has a big footprint, it should be narrow and tall like Asian stations to not waste workbench room. Rotate the tranny 90 degrees.

An old WTCPT I have:
It has an illuminated on/off switch, primary fuse too. Ahh the glory days of Weller.
I add a bolt on the top to hold a roll of solder. I add an ESD ground banana jack.

P.S. WTCPT price is now silly $210, WES51 obsolete.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #526 on: January 02, 2019, 08:03:12 am »
I have a WTCPS sitting here in front of me and the military WTCPK (shown at the link below) in my tool bag.  My favorites are the WTCP-L and WTCPN.

But I wonder how much longer spare parts will be available for them.

https://stevenjohnson.com/soldering/weller.htm
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #527 on: January 02, 2019, 08:12:23 am »
Let's do the math:

Minimum Order of 10,000 at .029 cents U.S., plus shipping, let's make it tidy and call it all up $300

$300 well spent to reduce the likely-hood of 10,000 properties catching fire

less resource wastage and stress on Fire Brigade/Departments

and keeps things sweet with Weller's reputation on those 10,000 units sold.


A backyard battling tech would flex their credit card and pay that for peace of mind,

mod the gear with those temperature fuses to make stuff  'safer' with less comebacks :phew:

keep some spares on hand (100, 1000?)

and sell off the rest (to Weller perhaps?  ::) ) to recuperate costs


Then again, maybe that's too complicated for most manufacturing companies nowadays to digest  ???  :-\ 

plus the fact that $300 saved can score a bean counter a few snorts of coke, and or a couple of roulette wheel spins... :popcorn:
We keep seeing these posts which suggest recklessness on the part of Weller, but that still only seems based on conjecture and the perception of some people how things should be done. The fact that Weller has decided not to fuse the US version, as opposed to the EU version, suggests that actual proper engineering may have gone into it. It's very possible they identified risks in the EU unit which weren't so much of a hazard in the US version, so they eliminated a part which wasn't required.

Can you substantiate any of your claims? Perhaps you can show us how the choice Weller made has made any meaningful impact on the stress of fire brigades? Or that the decision to leave out the fuse in some units has actually increased the rate in which properties catch fire?
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #528 on: January 02, 2019, 09:03:20 am »
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #529 on: January 02, 2019, 09:57:29 am »
Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence
 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #530 on: January 02, 2019, 10:12:30 am »
Let's do the math:

Minimum Order of 10,000 at .029 cents U.S., plus shipping, let's make it tidy and call it all up $300

$300 well spent to reduce the likely-hood of 10,000 properties catching fire

less resource wastage and stress on Fire Brigade/Departments

and keeps things sweet with Weller's reputation on those 10,000 units sold.


A backyard battling tech would flex their credit card and pay that for peace of mind,

mod the gear with those temperature fuses to make stuff  'safer' with less comebacks :phew:

keep some spares on hand (100, 1000?)

and sell off the rest (to Weller perhaps?  ::) ) to recuperate costs


Then again, maybe that's too complicated for most manufacturing companies nowadays to digest  ???  :-\ 

plus the fact that $300 saved can score a bean counter a few snorts of coke, and or a couple of roulette wheel spins... :popcorn:



We keep seeing these posts which suggest recklessness on the part of Weller, but that still only seems based on conjecture and the perception of some people how things should be done.
The fact that Weller has decided not to fuse the US version, as opposed to the EU version, suggests that actual proper engineering may have gone into it.
It's very possible they identified risks in the EU unit which weren't so much of a hazard in the US version, so they eliminated a part which wasn't required.

Can you substantiate any of your claims?
Perhaps you can show us how the choice Weller made has made any meaningful impact on the stress of fire brigades?
Or that the decision to leave out the fuse in some units has actually increased the rate in which properties catch fire?




AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:16:43 am by Electro Detective »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #531 on: January 02, 2019, 10:35:04 am »
Those are all sensible improvements.
But there are just as many examples that show you have some level of personal responsibility. For example, you can still stick your finger in an edison socket.
Exactly, but the improvements were considered sensible enough to warrant the improvements to be put into norm, and not the umbrella statement that here the state leaves everyone to "fend for themselves".

The original video brought light to a regulation that is considered by many to have an unsensible gap. How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?

Also, 120V is more than enough to cause a cardiac arrest, not a tingle.
Maybe with sweaty hands and a weak heart.

Better wear a helmet when you leave the house too. "Just in case"
We do have GFCIs for every circuit. Of course, we have 220v. Anyways, the GFCIs won't only protect people, but as they trip with only 30 mA of current, instead of the several amps of a circuit breaker, they also provide improved fire protection.

That's great. We don't and I don't know of any electrocutions or electrical fires around here.
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence
Well, around here I haven't heard about any electrocutions, but a bit far west of me a girl was electrocuted by a frayed cord.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/07/18/health/teen-bathtub-electrocuted-text-trnd/index.html

It is hard to say what was the girl's heart condition, but I know that 120Vac can kill someone, healthy or not, depending on the conditions of the event.

Before you use this as an example of how personal responsibility is at play (and I agree), I also point out that the now mandatory GFCI norm was created to address these scenarios.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #532 on: January 02, 2019, 10:39:01 am »
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Thanks for the highlighting as it shows how I'm expressing myself carefully. I don't like to present matters as facts when I don't have solid evidence to back that claim up. As opposed to the endless and fairly malicious conjecture of some people here, assuming all kinds of things based on their perception of how things should be done but without any actual testing or knowledge of the decisions involved in the design process. If you go around calling a company out, it pays to have something more than "I feel it's a risk" to back that up. Otherwise they're just fairly hysterical imaginary scenarios made up to rationalize angry fist shaking.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #533 on: January 02, 2019, 10:41:01 am »
How about using one of the special "power-cords" (actually an arc fault protection) for the Xbox that MS send out instead of a recall. Dave has one - but to Weller anymore  :-DD
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #534 on: January 02, 2019, 10:51:34 am »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #535 on: January 02, 2019, 10:54:12 am »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Real data beats conjecture every time, even if it's anecdotal. What was the end result?
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #536 on: January 02, 2019, 01:28:47 pm »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.
 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #537 on: January 02, 2019, 01:39:17 pm »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.

Aren't they the same mob running Fluke too ? That would explain the penny pinching biz goings on  ::)

------------------------

@ Mr. Scram,  there's no fist shaking or agro here mate, just a concerned heads up regarding Weller and others to fit fuses and or thermal cutouts to their gear,

otherwise people may steer their credit cards toward other players in the soldering station game when it's time to purchase

Previous math of $300 (and some programming code so the assembly robots fit the 10,000 parts for almost FREE :clap: )

would have saved OP DJ (and any random number of the 9,999 users in that production run) some drama and magic smoke

and 22 pages thus far of EEVblog server space

I fail to understand the un-apologetic WHY Weller did not fit protection in 120 volts units

Do the punters in the U.S. get better laminations  :D  and with little to no chance to plug into a 240 volt outlet?

AFAIK the U.S. has both 120 and 240 volts available via their center tap fitted street transformers

A lot of gear sold in the U.S. has options to run off either voltage, welders especially

I'm betting those units have some burn or BANG! protection fitted no matter what clever power auto selection options are on board,
or when using proper adapter leads/plugs, or DIY widow makers.

FUSE IT OR LOSE IT !    :-BROKE
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 07:52:44 pm by Electro Detective »
 

Online Wolfgang

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #538 on: January 02, 2019, 01:55:20 pm »
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Thanks for the highlighting as it shows how I'm expressing myself carefully. I don't like to present matters as facts when I don't have solid evidence to back that claim up. As opposed to the endless and fairly malicious conjecture of some people here, assuming all kinds of things based on their perception of how things should be done but without any actual testing or knowledge of the decisions involved in the design process. If you go around calling a company out, it pays to have something more than "I feel it's a risk" to back that up. Otherwise they're just fairly hysterical imaginary scenarios made up to rationalize angry fist shaking.

The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
 
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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #539 on: January 02, 2019, 02:01:35 pm »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Real data beats conjecture every time, even if it's anecdotal. What was the end result?

The end result was a lot of smoke like in my case, but they cut to power before anything else could happen.
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #540 on: January 02, 2019, 02:27:56 pm »
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
Who said I'm trying to convince anybody? I didn't realize this was an essay writing contest.

I judge things based on my own observations, and this has been my experience. And my own experience is a better test than some make believe threats. If I'm going to start installing GFCIs everywhere because of somebody else's paranoid delusions, then I might as well start believing in the spaghetti monster too.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #541 on: January 02, 2019, 02:39:27 pm »
The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
It really isn't. I don't think people here will make the mistake thinking that slapping on a safety device will automatically make things safer. Note that I'm not defending Weller not using a fuse. I'm simply trying to view the matter from different sides, looking at the actual facts we have. Dave wasn't afraid to admit the problem in the video was user error. That leaves the question how much of a problem not having a fuse really is if you don't grossly overload the device. A decision I don't understand could very well be an opportunity to learn about something I hadn't considered before, but someone else did figure out. I've seen more than one teardown which shows something which seems a terrible idea, but actually turns out to work remarkably well. Are there reasons this design may be reasonable, like transformers inherently limiting the current or different transformer designs being used between the US and EU model? Are there other things we may be overlooking? If there's a negative impact, can we quantify it? Or is this really penny pinching of the kind we all hate? Some people seem really keen on getting out the pitchforks and don't seem to mind fabricating provocative stories to justify their outrage and that's what I object to. I don't feel the fundamentalist approach and piling on is very appealing, and alternatively hope to tap into the considerable knowledge of the population here to maybe learn a thing or two.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:48:31 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #542 on: January 02, 2019, 02:57:12 pm »
the umbrella statement that here the state leaves everyone to "fend for themselves".
You are twisting my words. My point was that the regulations subsume a certain level of competence of citizens.

I believe that if you treat people with the assumption that they will behave a certain way, then that's how they will behave.

How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

When I said electrocutions, I meant death, not "getting burned on the hand". That's not news. That's what happens when you drag an extension cord to the bathtub. If that's not wake up call to all the kids who can't tear themselves away from their phones then I don't know what is. Hopefully she learned from it. Anyway, that's one case, and not the brightest one.

120Vac can kill someone, healthy or not, depending on the conditions of the event.
An asteroid CAN land on my house tonight if the conditions are right.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #543 on: January 02, 2019, 04:36:50 pm »
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous  :box:
There is no guesswork or conjecture other than trolls saying "no" to a fuse and "prove one is necessary" or "how many houses have burned down?".

Limiting the amount of energy going into a product, having a protective element, is common sense and also a requirement of safety standards.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
Executives, sales and marketing, and management have no ethics to follow other than to maximize profit and shareholder return. They often push, rush and micro-manage engineering into rolling out unsafe product and to save money.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner deleting the fuse with a response saying "we meet the standard".
Why the double-standard of having fuses on other Weller US soldering stations?
Why every other manufacturer has primary-side fuses on their soldering stations?
Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?

I can delve into the safety standards and show the particular clauses that have been violated. It's hundreds of pages of documents and more than people here are accustomed to. UL/CSA charge over $350/hr for consults. Walking through a standard is tedious and it would be too much for the forum. It's even too much for everyday technologists and engineers doing product development.

After the holidays, I'm expecting more responses from involved parties.
 
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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #544 on: January 02, 2019, 05:07:24 pm »
How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

No, it's not. Because Weller does precisely this on most of their products, yet they deliberately chose to do this on a few products. It doesn't matter the circumstances under which this lack of a fuse was found, it has simply highlighted that it's not there. THat may be a big deal to some people, and zero deal to other people, ans that's fine, but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products? Why does even a $20 clone iron have one? Why does seemingly every other same class product have one?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 09:43:40 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #545 on: January 02, 2019, 05:27:37 pm »
they deliberately chose to do this on a few products.
ok. My car didn't come with heated seats.

but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
I like discussion. But this thread feels like a witch hunt, fueled by your video.

If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products?
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.
 
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Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #546 on: January 02, 2019, 05:56:44 pm »
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous
Your post is ridiculous.  :o

trolls saying ..."prove one is necessary"
Look who's talking, and it's a perfectly normal question to ask.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
LOL! :wtf:
Where did you find this verbal puffery?  The idea of holding safety up to some kind of unquestionable sacrosanct status is farcical. Safety is engineered to practical level, second to usability. There is a limit, hopefully tempered by common sense and level heads, not overreaction.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner
The fictional world between your ears dictates it, not logic.

Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?
I wasn't aware that they owe you anything. You can buy whatever equipment you like.
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #547 on: January 02, 2019, 06:12:32 pm »
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself.

Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.

But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Weller have yet to provide a decent response.  Hopefully after the holidays they will - else they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
 
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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #548 on: January 02, 2019, 06:46:43 pm »
From old WTCPT manual for the iron that burnt down, no primary fuse

 

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #549 on: January 02, 2019, 06:51:34 pm »
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.
 


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