Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 52741 times)

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Offline cdev

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #125 on: December 19, 2018, 04:34:19 am »
Read whats also changed/changing (legally) in my post from the other day on the law and economics movement. (in 'Dodgy Technology') It's quite a significant, global change.

(How scary that this policy also seems to apply to 'reactors' - I see the atomic symbol on the transformer!)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 04:37:25 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #126 on: December 19, 2018, 05:45:27 am »
Someone questioned Weller and got a more detailed reply from a product engineer (specific to Australian supplied units).
Guess he didn't get the "don't say anything" memo:

Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
The only Weller soldering tools fitted with fuses at all are the soldering stations.
The WES51D, WESD51D have an internal fuse on low voltage side of the transformer on the circuit board. The new WE station has a fuse on the low voltage side of the transformer.
The WD series and other German designed stations have a fuse on the high voltage side.
None of the hand held line voltage soldering tools have fuses and all are compliant to the Australian standards and have Australian electrical approval.
There is no requirement in either Australian or international standards to fit a fuse to the primary circuit.
This is no different to any number of other products that also have transformers include literally millions of plugpacks, TV’s, radios, Stereos, battery chargers and other small appliances, very few of which contain primary fuses.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 06:06:40 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #127 on: December 19, 2018, 05:59:00 am »
Using a global-standard IEC 60320 C14 power inlet on a gadget hard-wired for 120V seems like just asking for trouble.
Where is is trivial to plug in your power cord from whatever your local mains voltage is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60320#C13/C14_coupler
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #128 on: December 19, 2018, 06:07:02 am »
how easy are they trying to make it for manufacturers lol?

Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #129 on: December 19, 2018, 06:08:27 am »
Using a global-standard IEC 60320 C14 power inlet on a gadget hard-wired for 120V seems like just asking for trouble.
Where is is trivial to plug in your power cord from whatever your local mains voltage is.

Exactly, especially with the voltage label on the bottom. Why any engineer or large company like this selling professional products to a professional market would go out of their way to avoid a fuse in such a product is beyond me.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 06:10:10 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #130 on: December 19, 2018, 06:09:28 am »
Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.

Very often they have thermal fuses built into the transformer, so it's not immediately obvious.
 

Offline jmaja

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #131 on: December 19, 2018, 08:14:00 am »
Now that I think about it I took apart a old linear power supply wall wart without any fuses in it that had the mains soldered directly into the transformer primary (110V). I thought it was just because it was real old.

Very often they have thermal fuses built into the transformer, so it's not immediately obvious.

What's the difference of having a thermal fuse and not having a fuse at all, BUT making sure there is no fire or electrical hazard? Once the thermal fuse is blown 99+% of users still need to buy a new one, since they are not able to replace the fuse inside the transformer.

Having a fuse that can be easily replaced is another thing. Then you may have gotten away with by just replacing the fuse.

The questions are.
Is it possible to make a transformer safe without a primary fuse?
Is this Weller safe?

It gave some smoke out, but was there a real possibility of a fire or an electrical hazard?
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #132 on: December 19, 2018, 08:37:39 am »
Generally having voluminous turd masses expanding in your chassis should be avoided in a quality product. Of course its not safe it made a shit load of easily preventable toxic smoke.

Can you really engineer something like that right, burning foam expanding crap acting as a safety barrier from shorts to the chassis?? It's alot of weird systems to trust (insulation type, wire type, the brown enclosure box type, can it push the crimps off possibly? Etc). Manufacturing wise your process of making that transformers failure mode act like a safety feature is unreasonably hard compared to using a fuse.

Also, it popped his breaker. Breakers are not supposed to be triggered as a safety feature. They can over heat and you should do your best to not reduce the cycle life of a mains circuit breaker its important for building safety, plus it can cause all sorts of problems like fire alarms and building power problems, having to call a electrical or qualified personnel to reset a breaker (say in a school) leading to downtime and probably a room evacuation.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 08:41:35 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #133 on: December 19, 2018, 08:41:06 am »
Is it possible to make a transformer safe without a primary fuse?

Yes, but probably expensive as you have to double the thickness of the wires and use a larger core that won't saturate.

Is this Weller safe?

Not at the wrong voltage.

It gave some smoke out, but was there a real possibility of a fire or an electrical hazard?

In a few seconds it got hot enough to melt enamel and the mains circuit breaker didn't trip, so... not looking good.

Plus: Smoke is a hazard all by itself and you shouldn't have to pay for a cleanup after something like this. Not for the lack of a 10 cent fuse.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2018, 08:42:07 am »
You consider using the mains breaker as a primary safety feature of your product???  :wtf:

fired bro. I would literally fire you if that was the design you approved.

Could be plugged in through a extension cord etc... that shits supposed to be a back up. Your nuts.

Are you gonna use 20A rated cable to plug in a soldering iron too since your relying on the mains? come on.

this is a total no brainer I can't believe people are contemplating if this is a good idea!!!!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 08:48:06 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #135 on: December 19, 2018, 08:59:12 am »
You consider using the mains breaker as a primary safety feature of your product???  :wtf:

If you're referring to me, then:

No, I'm just reminding somebody of what actually happened in a real event (ie. not an imaginary one).

The thing stopped melting down because Dave pulled the plug. Who knows what would have happened if Dave had panicked and ran away.
 

Offline alxpo

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #136 on: December 19, 2018, 09:10:16 am »
UL 1585 Class 2 transformers can be inherently protected by impedance or not inherently protected. The transformer certified as inherently protected do not catch fire in any circumstances and do not require a primary side fuse.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #137 on: December 19, 2018, 09:18:36 am »
yea and whats gonna break the circuit? A circuit breaker. Or a mains fuse. How is that acceptable?

How do you ensure the transformer will not go full short circuit? The EEVBLOG circuit breaker went off, that means the transformer failed or its a shit spec.
 

Offline Uncle Bob

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #138 on: December 19, 2018, 09:22:44 am »
I have a WES81 230V version and it has a IEC power connector with integrated fuse. So do they only use a primary fuse on the 80 watt model and not on the 50W? Or do they only use a fuse on the 230V model and not on the 110V? Is it only fused for the EU market?  :-//

Someone on Youtube said their EU unit does not have a fuse, but I have yet to see actual visual evidence of this.

I'm new here but I am trying to upload a picture of the inside of my WE1010 bought here in Sweden in October.

Thanks. Any fuse further in the primary wiring?

No, nothing that I can see.
 

Offline alxpo

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #139 on: December 19, 2018, 09:34:56 am »
yea and whats gonna break the circuit? A circuit breaker. Or a mains fuse. How is that acceptable?

How do you ensure the transformer will not go full short circuit? The EEVBLOG circuit breaker went off, that means the transformer failed or its a shit spec.

An inherently protected transformer meets isolation requirements also under overload conditions (sections 31-33 of the UL) so it will not be short-circuited.

But here we have of course the question about the range of potential misuses.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 09:48:37 am by alxpo »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #140 on: December 19, 2018, 09:56:36 am »
An inherently protected transformer meets isolation requirements also under any overload conditions so it will not be short-circuited.

This one might be inherently protected at 110V, which is why they didn't put in a fuse.

The problem is that Weller didn't say that in their response. If they'd said that and promised to put a "110V only" sticker next to the power inlet on future models then this thread wouldn't exists.

They didn't do that though, they fobbed Dave off with a bunch of non-specific twaddle that shows that the person who wrote it didn't even watch the video.

What probably happened is this:

Some manager heard about the original video, asked an engineer about it and was told, "He's a test gear reviewer who accidentally plugged a 110V unit into 240V and the smoke came out".

The manager then writes "Sir" a letter offering to send him a 240V unit to review, imagining he's giving good customer service and promoting the Weller brand, but totally missing the point of the video.

The message was Lost in Translation.
 

Offline psatu

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #141 on: December 19, 2018, 10:06:52 am »
But how come you still have this station on your recommended soldering gear list (https://kit.com/EEVblog/soldering-equipment)!  Even twice on the same list!

And actually I was about to buy myself a one some time ago but was put off largely because of your comparison review with the Hakko FX888D!

If I recall right the Weller didn't do very well on the tests. Or maybe the comments were just negative.

And more over the Pace ADS200 review won me over buying that instead. Or maybe more likely the follow up chat of the review.

Actually already received a one but is was some used demo unit and the tips too were used.

So returned it and now waiting for a new unit to arrive, hopefully with a new FW 1.4 inside  :)
 

Online goaty

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #142 on: December 19, 2018, 10:23:11 am »
From what I read, Weller is now just a brand of Apex Tool Group,
so maby the quality isn´t the same as the earlier products...
Just a thought.
 

Offline TheDane

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #143 on: December 19, 2018, 10:27:07 am »
Someone questioned Weller and got a more detailed reply from a product engineer (specific to Australian supplied units).
Guess he didn't get the "don't say anything" memo:

Quote
Thank you for contacting Apex Tool Group.
<cut>
None of the hand held line voltage soldering tools have fuses
<cut>

That explains the bad feelings I've always had when using Weller, and why I have had it for so long  :horse:

I wonder why (not really  :-DD) there is not much info regarding CE/cUL certification in the reply Dave.
Since the products is UL approved/recognized, the product is essentially not allowed to catch on fire. I have done a lot of type test certification work, and performed UL tests for electrical shorts, open, etc. in circuit. Every once in a while a rep from UL would show up and demand testing of whatever the rep deemed a safety concern or of interest. We used gaze to test for ignition, and it could ignite even without the main component shooting out flames.
https://services.ul.com/service/flammability-testing/

Will it catch on fire or 'just' smoke until mains is removed or the short has 'fixed' itself :palm:.
I am thinking a surge test (lightning strike) while powered on would be a great place to start. A bunch of positive/negative repetitive pulses might weaken the enamelled wire, causing a short?
I only have a 110V and a  220V handheld unit (now truly 'grounded' from usage  ;D - was also missing in the first place), so I can't test for myself. Anybody?

It would also be quite interesting to know exactly which norm (CE/EN/UL) it was testet up against, though I am a practical engineer - not a laywer engineer.
If it is only to be used in certain conditions, I would REALLY like to know before I or others use it. I don't care if laywers fight in court, especially if I am in my grave, dead. (Say an utility fault where the mains live neutral suddenly has going missing - and mains voltage is now phase-phase, or 220V instead of 120V)

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 11:37:08 am by TheDane »
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #144 on: December 19, 2018, 10:36:29 am »
Is it actually that much of a problem? I agree it'd be better to have a fuse on there and other Weller products actually do, so even they seem to agree. Considering the widespread use of the products that don't have a mains fuse and the apparent lack of problems so far, is it really enough reason to not buy the product or consider it inherently unsafe?
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #145 on: December 19, 2018, 11:16:33 am »
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition.  Standard (non-switching) wall warts are like this as well.  They tend to be designed to be short circuit proof simply by being impedance limited, they simply can't draw enough power to burn up in normal operation but a fault like shorted turns, connection to completely the wrong voltage or even the nasty square wave that comes out of cheap inverters will blow the winding open.  They are contained within housings that are either metal or plastic that is (supposed to be) flame retardant enough to not burst into flames and burn down completely before the winding blows up and opens the circuit.  Of course, I'm not sure that today's typical chinesium-grade plastic is as flame retardant as it should be but Weller doesn't need to put a fuse in there (though it is obviously a good practice) and I doubt it would actually burst into flames with any input voltage.  It might fill your lab with smoke to remind you of your blunder if you leave it plugged in, of course, though!  :) 

A fuse won't always prevent smoke from a device anyway.  For example, a typical computer power supply will happily pump out 500 watts of 12 volts without going into overload protection.  You can get a whole lot of smoke out of something connected to one of those babies while it is still perfectly within it's input fuse range and output protection.  Should every device, perhaps every chip even, connected to it be required to have a fuse just in case there is a malfunction that might produce smoke?  :)

If I connect something that is rated for 120 volts to 1000 volts, it is going to fry.  Probably more quickly than on 240 volts.  Maybe with more smoke, maybe a quick death and less.  There will be some sweet spot on most devices (often even with a fuse) where it is likely to go into thermal runaway meltdown at some particular input voltage or fault condition.  That's what enclosures are for.  A fuse does not 100% stop components from emitting smoke.  :)

If they were regularly actually bursting into flames, I would be concerned, but a PEBKAC on Dave's part doesn't instantly make the device itself inherently dangerous.  This is why things like actual UL listing (unlike Batterizer's UL tests) do things like take a blowtorch to your product, to see what would happen when someone puts a 15A fuse in your 1A fuse holder.  Does the enclosure actually stop the flames?  What happens when we put 5000 volts on it?  Does it remain "safe" per the standards, even though the device doesn't survive, etc., etc.
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #146 on: December 19, 2018, 11:19:47 am »
whats going to short out at 450W and current limit itself? :wtf

parts are just gonna fail to a happy impedance like that? its probably gonna trip. What part is going to make plenty of smoke like a giant transformer winding dissipating 500W @ 0.3 ohms on a 12V rail?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 11:22:29 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #147 on: December 19, 2018, 11:22:21 am »
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition.  Standard (non-switching) wall warts are like this as well.  They tend to be designed to be short circuit proof simply by being impedance limited, they simply can't draw enough power to burn up in normal operation but a fault like shorted turns, connection to completely the wrong voltage or even the nasty square wave that comes out of cheap inverters will blow the winding open.  They are contained within housings that are either metal or plastic that is (supposed to be) flame retardant enough to not burst into flames and burn down completely before the winding blows up and opens the circuit.  Of course, I'm not sure that today's typical chinesium-grade plastic is as flame retardant as it should be but Weller doesn't need to put a fuse in there (though it is obviously a good practice) and I doubt it would actually burst into flames with any input voltage.  It might fill your lab with smoke to remind you of your blunder if you leave it plugged in, of course, though!  :) 

A fuse won't always prevent smoke from a device anyway.  For example, a typical computer power supply will happily pump out 500 watts of 12 volts without going into overload protection.  You can get a whole lot of smoke out of something connected to one of those babies while it is still perfectly within it's input fuse range and output protection.  Should every device, perhaps every chip even, connected to it be required to have a fuse just in case there is a malfunction that might produce smoke?  :)

If I connect something that is rated for 120 volts to 1000 volts, it is going to fry.  Probably more quickly than on 240 volts.  Maybe with more smoke, maybe a quick death and less.  There will be some sweet spot on most devices (often even with a fuse) where it is likely to go into thermal runaway meltdown at some particular input voltage or fault condition.  That's what enclosures are for.  A fuse does not 100% stop components from emitting smoke.  :)

If they were regularly actually bursting into flames, I would be concerned, but a PEBKAC on Dave's part doesn't instantly make the device itself inherently dangerous.  This is why things like actual UL listing (unlike Batterizer's UL tests) do things like take a blowtorch to your product, to see what would happen when someone puts a 15A fuse in your 1A fuse holder.  Does the enclosure actually stop the flames?  What happens when we put 5000 volts on it?  Does it remain "safe" per the standards, even though the device doesn't survive, etc., etc.
The housing of the Wellers I know has been made out of proper "tool grade" PA6, but I'm not sure about this cheaper range of products. Maybe Dave could inspect the housing for markings and let us know?
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #148 on: December 19, 2018, 11:28:56 am »
A fuse is not required on small transformers like this.  The primary winding wire is small enough that it is allowed to be the "fuse" in a severe malfunction fault condition. 

why did it blow the breaker if its supposed to fuse??

your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

its unacceptable in a laboratory regardless. trash . What am I gonna do call building maintenance in a high end facility because of a 50 cent part? lose a room to smoke for 3 days? (who would make their employees  or students work in that smell??) NO.

you know what happens when you make a bunch of smoke at work? people think you are a fucking clown
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 11:44:50 am by coppercone2 »
 
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Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #149 on: December 19, 2018, 11:48:53 am »
your  not supposed to blow breakers. your not supposed to shut down an entire work bench and possibly room lights and smoke the joint up because of a 50 cent part. whoever designed this standard is a fucking moron

They were drafting an electrical safety standard. Not a convenience standard.
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