Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 52906 times)

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Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2018, 07:51:19 am »

You are saying 'properly rated mains fuse' in the case of a 110V rated appliance like you plugged in and didn't figure out that's what it is then the stock fuse it comes with will be rated about twice the current rating of the 240V one. Ergo the Transformer when powered off 240V when switched of can run at 200%+ load before something gives. A primary side fuse would certainly be the recommended and better option but not guaranteed to make it safe.

Wait...what? A properly rated fuse is there to protect the cabling so that it doesn't, you know, burn to a crisp. In this case the primary cabling burnt to a crisp, ergo the cable had far more current through it than it was capable of handling. A fuse would have prevented this.

In this case the core would have saturated through the well above voltage and the 50 Hz wouldn't have helped.

So you have no problem with a fuse rated at twice the current rating on a transformer wound for 60hz and 110V being put on 240V? That is not Engineering by any stretch. With say 1 sq mm mains cable should take 10A your 110V fuse on a 60W iron is going to be 0.75 or 1A sure the cable is safe but are the windings? In the case of it having a 1A fitted your well over 200% and more like 300% power at the windings before the fuse goes.

I'm sorry, I really don't understand your last.

The primary winding is going to have some basic capability rating, for example 1 amp. You would then use a fuse of say approximately 0.8 amps to protect it from burning out in the situation that Dave found himself in. Nothing to do with the voltage, or the power of the iron etc. Just a basic fuse that will protect the primary winding of the transformer.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 07:53:08 am by sibeen »
 

Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2018, 08:04:55 am »

I'm sorry, I really don't understand your last.

The primary winding is going to have some basic capability rating, for example 1 amp. You would then use a fuse of say approximately 1.5 amps to protect it from burning out in the situation that Dave found himself in. Nothing to do with the voltage, or the power of the iron etc. Just a basic fuse that will protect the primary winding of the transformer.

The Base station Dave fried was a 110V unit and to get the same power out it would have say a 0.75 - 1A fuse. Plug that into Australia's 240V with the 'correct fuse' and you can pull 200%+ of the power before the fuse will let go. So 200%+ (not allowing for saturation frequency etc.) power can go somewhere before the fuse will let go.

Given a worst case of a shorted secondary or another fault the current rating of the fuse hasn't magically changed but the power available at the Primary taps has due to the increased voltage, simply more power more heat. Not saying the fuse won't beat the winding to break but it isn't good engineering as a protection device against incorrect voltage being used. Adding some additional thermal protection would change this for the better but I haven't seen it done on any Wellers?

So I am happy to stand by 'Debatable' as per my older post.
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Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2018, 08:21:05 am »
You don't select a fuse for this type of application on the power rating, just the current carrying capability of the device you are trying to protect, in this case the input transformer.
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2018, 08:22:59 am »
it would have set of the smoke alarm
A shitty time to be sure. At the end of the day, I think the manufacturer is mainly responsible for making sure their product doesn't cause bodily harm. But if user error causes them inconvenience...  :-//

Of course it's not a huge deal in practice, but it's perfectly warranted to rant about it and point it out to people so they can make informed buying decisions.
Sure, inform them of the facts.

And I can rant about whatever I want on channel, you get no say in that, ever.
Of course. You can go overboard about whatever you want.

My point wasn't about fuses, or who is right. I just take issue with you saying it's going to burn your lab down, which is not substantiated.
This video has a very clickbaity, "the sky is falling" vibe to it.  :blah:
 
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Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2018, 08:24:38 am »
So select one then for a 60W 110V iron then? You get around the 0.75-1A mark depending on the headroom you want and what the transformer can handle. Take that same transformer leave the fuse in because you are having a bad day and plug it into 240V and then what happens does the fuse blow or do the windings?
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Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2018, 08:32:14 am »
So select one then for a 60W 110V iron then? You get around the 0.75-1A mark depending on the headroom you want and what the transformer can handle. Take that same transformer leave the fuse in because you are having a bad day and plug it into 240V and then what happens does the fuse blow or do the windings?


If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.
 

Offline TheNewLab

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2018, 08:45:42 am »
I am sure this has been said many times, but,

Dave you just have to accept the 240volt one and do the teardown on it. If, two for two, after all this. It would be truly revealing

Also, regarding the UL listing. You can contact UL laboratories by email and they will respond quickly to let you know if the UL rating is valid.

I did this regarding a CLC Tech bag that had a 4 plug surge suppressor and slot to put inside the bag. It didn't look right so I contacted UL, and I received a response within a day or two to learn that they had applied, accepted, then canceled. They did follow tests for some reason, then removed the UL rating.

I thought that was rather interesting.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2018, 08:46:23 am »
It would be useful to ask them exactly which standards were applied for CE marking - this is sometimes included on the declaration of conformity, but I don't think it's a requirement.
It might also be good to take up their offer to see if the 230v version is any different - the 110V would only need the UL listing.
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Online beanflying

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2018, 08:50:42 am »

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2018, 09:01:33 am »
a Chinese one with a seemingly bad reputation does?
 

Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2018, 09:02:59 am »

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?

Nup, just no. This is not powering a resistive load.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #61 on: December 18, 2018, 09:06:20 am »
Dave you just have to accept the 240volt one and do the teardown on it. If, two for two, after all this. It would be truly revealing

No, Weller should have simply said that in their response. It's shouldn't be my job to have to verify anything.
As for a 240V unit:



Quote
Also, regarding the UL listing. You can contact UL laboratories by email and they will respond quickly to let you know if the UL rating is valid.

I have no doubt it is, under the product category they listed it under.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #62 on: December 18, 2018, 09:12:16 am »
how are they not sure if it had certification if they made it?? Do they send a few bad dogs through once in a while for fun?
 

Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #63 on: December 18, 2018, 09:24:25 am »

If the current is higher than the fuse rating then the fuse will eventually blow, and as the fuse is always rated to blow at a lower value than the cable current handling capability of the winding then the winding will never blow. That's the basic idea of the fuse.

And a 200%+ potential overload until that happens? We are not talking about cable or insulation breakdown due to voltage which almost certainly will be fine we are talking about transformer windings and heat generation as the likely cause of failure. More power more heat what fails first? In this day and age tell me of a company who would make a consumer grade product with that sort of margin?

Nup, just no. This is not powering a resistive load.

I'd better expand upon that. We could cut the wire from the secondary to the board to open circuit the secondary and exactly the same thing would have occurred when Dave plugged it in.  The power is going to be in the magnetisation current and the I2R of the primary winding - excluding eddy currents etc. If the current exceeds the rating of the current carry capability of the primary winding then a correctly sized fuse would interrupt the current before damage to the winding could occur.
 

Offline nsd_c

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #64 on: December 18, 2018, 09:25:12 am »
There is no such company called Weller anymore. There is some nebulous "Apex Group" which acquired Weller brand name due to a series of acquisitions of acquisitions of acquisitions. As a result, they keep manufacturing (contracted in China) and selling the legacy Weller products. There are no Weller technical people left with the company to reply to your query. All that is left is marketing, lawyers and a bunch of MBAs. They have no idea about any technical stuff, all they know is that there is a certification mark, so they are OK.
When those legacy products become very obsolete, they hire some noname oem/design company to uplift their product line, and make sure they pass through the certification. Once this is done, the oem design contract is over, and Apex just manufactures and sells boxed products, having no idea how it was designed.

I think your information is kind of way off except for one aspect (which I'll get to).

I'm not sure of the exact history/timeline of the Cooper Group / Apex, but I believe that I read recently that Weller was acquired around the 70s. As evidence of this, I have a Weller soldering gun that is approximately this vintage that says "WELLER APEX" on it. I know it to be this vintage because the housing is bakelite and not the newer ABS type, and because it belonged to my grandfather. The case that I have it in is slightly older, I'd say 60s vintage, and says "Cooper Group" on it. Yet, you can find on the Internet Archive that the Cooper Group name was being used as recently as about 10 years ago, with the name switching back to Apex again in ~2010.

My (first) point being, for a good many decades while Weller was owned by the Cooper Group / Apex group, they were definitely designing new stations.

Second, I don't know that Weller has ever built any of their flagship soldering stations in China. (If so, this has been a recent development.) My understanding was that, at some point in the (late?) 90s (or thereabouts), they moved manufacturing from the US to Mexico. This is consistent with Weller stations that I have found at my place of employ, which I'd date to about the mid 90s (based on what projects they would have been purchased for and by looking at PDFs of old Weller catalogs). I have purchased a number of brand new tips (from suppliers such as Digi-Key and Mouser) as well as parts for some Weller stations (ET and PT series tips and components) in the past year, and these have all been mfg'd in Mexico. I did recently purchase a Weller fume extractor that was made in China, however. (But this seems to be a rebadge of a generic fume extractor; e.g., Tenma sells an identical looking unit.)

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist (:o), my belief is that (and this gets back to your theory) development of new Weller products ceased in the US approximately when manufacturing was moved to Mexico (if not at the same time). If you look at Weller catalogs from the late 90s/early 2000s, then compare their product line-up year after year to that point, you'll notice that, yes, they have been producing the same few "legacy" soldering stations since then: the WES51 and WESD51 (with variable temp control and use ET series tips), and the WTCPT (MagnaStat-based and uses the corresponding older PT series tips with the TC201 handpiece). I will point out that the WTCPT is visually identical to the WTCPS, which you can find images of both with and without "Made in USA" visible on the front (implying that mfg. moved to Mexico during the production of the WTCPS). The WES51 power supply appears to be nearly visually the same as the older EC1002, except that the EC1002 used a larger handpiece, similar in appearance to the TC201 (which I believe shares some parts).

To address this point and continue my theory,

Quote
When those legacy products become very obsolete, they hire some noname oem/design company to uplift their product line, and make sure they pass through the certification.

I believe that the "noname oem/design company" here is actually Weller's German-based offices. I use as evidence the fact that, at some point in the early 2000s, all of the new Weller models started to gain visual styling that diverged from the WTCPT and WES51. In addition, these newer models used vastly different tips, and it seems that they've even started to move to cartridge-based heaters at some point in the past ~ten years.

I also point to catalogs from a couple years back where nearly every soldering station can be seen to indicate "Made in Germany" prominently on the front panel. Note that that particular catalog appears intended for the European market and does not show any of the US legacy models (WES51, WTCP, etc.).

It might be the case that newer Weller units are being made in China, though, as I noticed that photos of the same Weller stations that, in that catalog, all say "Made in Germany" now do not on Weller's current website. (Can anyone confirm/deny this?)

Also, btw, if you go to the US Weller website (e.g., this page) and do a "View Image" (or equivalent) in your browser, images are hosted on a web server with a .de web address, such as:

https://media-weller.de/phpthumb/phpThumb.php?&w=412&h=343&bg=ffffff&far=1&f=jpeg&q=85&src=../weller/data/images/images%202/WX_1_T0053417699.jpg

One last thing, if you search "Weller made in Germany," you can find old marketing gibberish such as this:

Quote
The success story of Weller is built on the success factors of passion, innovative spirit, open-mindedness, German manufacturing and quality.

For over 50 years Weller has been passionately developing, designing, manufacturing and selling its products at its German location in the Swabian town of Besigheim. The Weller team of skilled and dedicated professionals manufactures high-quality soldering products in Germany using highly complex production processes.

A number of employees have been with the company for decades and so are able to pass on their extensive experience and know-how to young and motivated co-workers.

Consistent quality assurance, sustainable production and high development standards have made Weller the world market leader in manual soldering systems.

"Made in Germany" is a seal of approval for the Weller name - a name synonymous with quality, reliability and innovative spirit. It symbolizes the trust people place in products made in Germany and embodies the highest quality standards in the global market.

Aaaaand one last thing: the guy in that marketing video that Dave linked to sounds awfully German.

So, TL;DR: Weller US branch moved operations to Mexico, probably laid off all US engineering staff. Weller German offices probably existed prior to this move and continued to exist to be able to sell Weller products to the European market. Their offices there designed new units for the European market, and those were ported to the US market slowly. Eventually someone high up decided to hand the reigns of the US Weller branch more or less fully over to the German branch.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 09:28:35 am by nsd_c »
 
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2018, 09:44:54 am »
My Ersa i-con has a primary side fuse, and a spare fuse. Attached is a mini-slideshow-teardown :)
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2018, 10:02:25 am »
It's no excuse because they are using the brand name and the model number. You can get a recommendation that this thing was good and then you buy the same spec and its missing a fuse or something? If they don't maintain quality over time then its a bullshit brand. It's cutting your own product line with unknown crap. You don't do this.

If they were smart they would randomly pick some of their over seas units and throw a few in to the final inspection phase of their primary line (if they are good enough to have one) to make sure they are not producing crap. Not drop shipping stuff.

I am kinda laughing about von neumann machine behavior of production lines. You setup a alternate line in Germany, then the German manager sets one up in Mexico, then the guy in Mexico decides to set one up in China, then the Chinese decide to set one up in Africa. Then in the end you end up with a portion of your brand being assembled with a wood fueled PCB oven ran out of a cave in ISIL contested territory by American funded freedom fighters........

There is a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode about this about some kinda military mind reading machine that ended up getting over produced by accident and no one can track it down.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 10:15:05 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2018, 10:35:27 am »
I don't know what Dave wrote when he initially contacted Weller and he didn't state that in the video but either way I thought the response from Weller was less than adequate, rather disappointing in fact.   :--

Somebody also mentioned in the Youtube comments that they believed this series of soldering station to have an illuminated LCD display as shown in all the brochures and marketing material and apparently they don't, again Weller's response was a joke. I won't be buying another Weller product.   :--
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2018, 10:49:52 am »
I don't know what Dave wrote when he initially contacted Weller and he didn't state that in the video but either way I thought the response from Weller was less than adequate, rather disappointing in fact.   :--

I wrote:
Quote
Please forward this to the appropriate person if it's not you.
Not sure if you have seen my video, but my WE1010 smoked and could
have started a fire.
Sure I goofed and plugged into 240V instead of 110V, but the unit has
no safety fuse on the primary winding to prevent a fire hazard in case
of transformer failure. This is very bad, and many people are
wondering how it passed UL certification.
(Forum and videos links)
It would be nice if we could get some sort of official response from
Weller on this.
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2018, 10:53:28 am »
Somebody also mentioned in the Youtube comments that they believed this series of soldering station to have an illuminated LCD display as shown in all the brochures and marketing material and apparently they don't, again Weller's response was a joke. I won't be buying another Weller product.   :--

Official photoshopped product promotional image used by them and countless dealers:


What it actually looks like:
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2018, 11:04:52 am »
Out of curiosity, was your 110V unit CE marked?
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Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2018, 11:50:20 am »
Out of curiosity, was your 110V unit CE marked?

No

 

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2018, 11:50:40 am »
What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2018, 12:06:38 pm »
i don't know how a EE, even fresh out of college, would not realize the secondary can short out from many different reasons and that secondary fuses won't help with that, or that the primary can short out either.


Thats why I said its a money maker of some kind.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 12:11:00 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Towger

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #74 on: December 18, 2018, 12:26:46 pm »
What's crazy is they have no less than 2 fuses and a massive polyswitch on the secondary side. Not all of those are needed, and that extra secondary fuse could have paid for the primary fuse. It's wacko.

I firmly believe this is a manufacturing (lost in translation) mistake, but they don't want to admit it.  But, still think there should be a thermal fuse in the transformer.  Everything else which uses a linear power supply seems to have one, certainly in 220~240v land.
 


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