Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 87115 times)

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Offline foubarre

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #425 on: December 25, 2018, 03:49:45 pm »
The problem that Dave saw made me look a bit more inside my own weller unit, and mainly, pushed me to check why my tweezers failed for the third time in less than one year.
I am happy i did, because what i found inside really shocked (almost a pun, could be literally) me. That thing was full of shorts and utterly dangerous.
Weller does not deserve any respect, in my own opinion.

For more details: https://youtu.be/_L4Owsz90No
If you have any of them, please check them out as i believe they are actively dangerous.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #426 on: December 25, 2018, 04:25:49 pm »
At this point it'd be interesting to sacrifice a couple of units for science. Plug a 110V unit into 230V mains and let the fault run its course until it's properly broken or one of the mains safety devices kicks in. Add a fuse to a second unit and do the same. Compare results. I assume most people debating the possible dangers would be willing to chip in.
 

Offline fsr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #427 on: December 25, 2018, 07:09:04 pm »
Interesting, but they have to be designed to do that, and here it clearly isn't the case.

Well, it didn't looked like the smoking transformer in Dave's video was limiting the current, right?
Didn't it? Did you ever poke a shorted wire in the mains and did it fail as safely as this unit at twice its rated voltage?
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell. In fact, a piece of wire thin enough, encapsulated so that there isn't any melt metal flying around, is what a fuse is all about. And they work quite well. And also very cheap!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 07:21:41 pm by fsr »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #428 on: December 25, 2018, 07:14:48 pm »
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.
Why do you suppose it hasn't if it's smoking? One doesn't follow from the other.
 

Offline fsr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #429 on: December 25, 2018, 07:26:47 pm »
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.
Why do you suppose it hasn't if it's smoking? One doesn't follow from the other.
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #430 on: December 25, 2018, 07:28:45 pm »
At this point it'd be interesting to sacrifice a couple of units for science. Plug a 110V unit into 230V mains and let the fault run its course until it's properly broken or one of the mains safety devices kicks in. Add a fuse to a second unit and do the same. Compare results. I assume most people debating the possible dangers would be willing to chip in.

Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #431 on: December 25, 2018, 07:29:49 pm »
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #432 on: December 25, 2018, 07:34:52 pm »
Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
Considering the far-fetched examples discussed here, it'd be good to see the actual difference it makes. Not only whether the device fails safely, but also whether a fuse with the wrong current rating saves the device completely.
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #433 on: December 25, 2018, 10:39:30 pm »
Clearly it didn't, or it won't be smoking like hell.

Go ahead and connect a small piece of .08mm2 or 28awg wire to 240V and see what happens. It will not have time to smoke because it will go POP in less than a second. Of course the current was limited.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #434 on: December 25, 2018, 10:48:09 pm »
In all fairness, the arguments for fusing presented so far seem to be increasingly unlikely scenarios requiring multiple failures or massive fuck ups. Apparently 380V coming from the mains did happen, but I can imagine that being a bit outside of what Weller can be expected to reasonably deal with.

So why do they bother fitting primary fuses to any of their other gear?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #435 on: December 25, 2018, 10:49:45 pm »
What are fuses but thin pieces of wire.

They are thin pieces of specially designed wire that have been carefully designed and qualified to meet their specifications.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #436 on: December 25, 2018, 10:52:29 pm »
Just forget about the 240V thing, that's such an unlikely real world occurrence that it doesn't matter.

The real reason that a primary fuse is needed (I had assumed it was a mandatory safety requirement) is that transformers can and do fail. The turns are insulated by an incredibly thin layer of enamel, all it takes is a thin spot or a nick, or vibration of the wire due to magnetic forces to create a shorted turn or section of turns. No form of protection on the secondary can protect against this, a fuse on the primary whether built into the transformer or wired as an external part is an absolute necessity, there is no reason not to have one, even if there is absolutely no chance of the input voltage being out of range. With a single fuse on the primary you can protect the transformer itself and provide reasonable protection to loads on the secondary.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #437 on: December 25, 2018, 11:08:22 pm »
So why do they bother fitting primary fuses to any of their other gear?
I'd love to know more about the engineering decisions made here, but I doubt Weller is going to open up about them. That's why some testing would be interesting. It might answer whether they properly engineered things or saved a few pennies too much at least in those tested scenarios.

Maybe there's occasionally a benefit to having a fuse fitted and they want to make sure less cost sensitive customers benefit. Maybe there's a difference in the transformers used. Who knows?
 

Online tautech

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #438 on: December 25, 2018, 11:26:31 pm »
Just forget about the 240V thing, that's such an unlikely real world occurrence that it doesn't matter.

The real reason that a primary fuse is needed (I had assumed it was a mandatory safety requirement) is that transformers can and do fail. The turns are insulated by an incredibly thin layer of enamel, all it takes is a thin spot or a nick, or vibration of the wire due to magnetic forces to create a shorted turn or section of turns. No form of protection on the secondary can protect against this, a fuse on the primary whether built into the transformer or wired as an external part is an absolute necessity, there is no reason not to have one, even if there is absolutely no chance of the input voltage being out of range. With a single fuse on the primary you can protect the transformer itself and provide reasonable protection to loads on the secondary.
This ^ and only this !
Why in the case of a mains transformer soldering station would you design/engineer anything different ?
Secondary side fusing ?  :bullshit:

One would also wonder so to reduce BOM for a worldwide sold station why a single design 120/240 configuration with appropriate fusing wasn’t made ?  :-//
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline fsr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #439 on: December 26, 2018, 12:32:19 am »
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

Are you doubting the fuse will make a difference?

Fuses are widely used as safety devices their efficacy isn't usually doubted.
Considering the far-fetched examples discussed here, it'd be good to see the actual difference it makes. Not only whether the device fails safely, but also whether a fuse with the wrong current rating saves the device completely.
What "wrong" current rating? This soldering station would likely have a 0.8A to 1A primary fuse, if they bothered to install one. If it's connected to 240v instead of 110v, that means at least twice the normal current, and in practice likely more.
In any case, if the enamel burns before the fuse blows, that sounds like a badly chosen fuse to me. Of course in this case there was no fuse, so it's not surprising that the thing smoked.

I live in a 220v country, and i seen some 110v equipment connected to 220v. And we are talking about the lowest quality chinese computer AT and ATX PSUs with a 220/110v switch here. Of course, they didn't work again without repairs, because the power transistors failed, but nothing smoked as badly as the transformer on the Weller.

I even have a 110v Epson LX-810 lying around that my brother connected without the 220 to 110v transformer, and back in the day i opened it without much hope, but only had to change an internal fuse and it worked again.

Anyways, it would be interesting to check exactly what fuse do reputable soldering stations normally have. If there is a datasheet for it, that's good data to check.
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #440 on: December 26, 2018, 12:44:28 am »
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

 :palm: Do we have to keep spelling it out to you? YOUR SAFETY. Not the safety of your iron or smoke detector. I don't think the the transformer got much hotter than a soldering iron tip.
 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #441 on: December 26, 2018, 01:32:32 am »

May we safely conclude and advise anyone with any Weller product that has not been inspected and 'upgraded' (aka fuse/s)

should not leave it powered up during:

a tea/coffee making exercise,

visit to the latrine/dunny,

or whilst answering the front door to insult drivelling door knock sales knobs   >:(
 
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Offline Wolfgang

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #442 on: December 26, 2018, 02:57:54 am »
... another piece of free speech:

- no fuse, marketing waffling, dumb excuses ?
- its still legal. Weren't they lucky !

A possible response : JUST DONT BUY THIS CRAP - discussions here make no sense. in the end, its your decision.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #443 on: December 26, 2018, 10:36:24 am »

May we safely conclude and advise anyone with any Weller product that has not been inspected and 'upgraded' (aka fuse/s)

should not leave it powered up during:

a tea/coffee making exercise,

visit to the latrine/dunny,

or whilst answering the front door to insult drivelling door knock sales knobs   >:(
That's what people have been arguing here, but mostly based on a whole lot of assumptions and not much else. Have these been banned by insurance companies yet?
 

Offline fsr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #444 on: December 26, 2018, 11:26:47 am »
Because it doesn't smokes in normal operation, under the designed current, of course.
In any case, a fuse would have done a much better job at failing under higher currents than normal.
That doesn't mean the current wasn't limited or limited to the point of failing safely, instead of violently.
It didn't fail safely. That's a massive amount of smoke, and that means heat, and that means something is burning, and that something is the enamel, which is the only isolation of the windings inside the transformer. That amount of smoke can trigger a smoke detector, and with good reason.

 :palm: Do we have to keep spelling it out to you? YOUR SAFETY. Not the safety of your iron or smoke detector. I don't think the the transformer got much hotter than a soldering iron tip.
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #445 on: December 26, 2018, 11:49:09 am »
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
That's because they're spelling out "safety". ;D What personal safety hazard are you talking about? There were no signs of significant danger or damage on the inside of the device, so there definitely weren't any on the outside. Smoke is to be expected when you grossly overload a device.

Safety standards are meant to keep you safe, not the device. It's no more complicated than that.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #446 on: December 26, 2018, 12:43:10 pm »
I'm talking about personal safety and fire hazards here. That's no so hard to understand, i think.
A transformer burning it's enamel and smoking like hell isn't spelling out "security".
That's because they're spelling out "safety". ;D What personal safety hazard are you talking about? There were no signs of significant danger or damage on the inside of the device, so there definitely weren't any on the outside. Smoke is to be expected when you grossly overload a device.

Safety standards are meant to keep you safe, not the device. It's no more complicated than that.

I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #447 on: December 26, 2018, 12:47:27 pm »
Using a 120 V unit at 240 V is not the typical failure case, and there is no complaint about the unit blowing up.

The problem is that there are other ways a transformer can fail, even if a 120 V unit is used at 115 V, e.g. a unexpected short from repeated hot / cold cycles or a damage to the enamel from grid transients. It is these cases that can pose a safety hazard if there is no fuse at the primary of the transformer.  If one sits next to it the smoke is bad enough, but there could also be a fire hazard form the transformer and case getting too hot.  It does not look there is a reliable way for the current to be interrupted in case of an overheating transformer. One should not let the iron run unattended, but this stall happens sometimes by mistake.

Not sure what would have happened if Dave had not turned off the unit when the smoke came out, but took the camera. It is still possible they have flame retardant plastic so they can safely a few cents on the fuse. 
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #448 on: December 26, 2018, 08:22:05 pm »
I thought everybody knew it's the smoke that kills people, not the fire.

Typically you need the fire to spread a bit before you get enough smoke or carbon monoxide to be fatal. If it did in fact remain contained in the unit and didn't spread to any surrounding materials it's unlikely to result in a fatality. That's still no excuse for not having a fuse.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #449 on: December 26, 2018, 09:18:31 pm »
Weller went down the drain, really.
At my previous company, we bought a WX station, in 2013, so probably of the first batches.

Every time an ESD pulse 1m appart got discharged in some completely unconnected stuff, the WX station beeped, and resetted.
After 1 Year, the iron cable failed !  With moderate use !

We got rid of this POS, and got us some good old WSD station.


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