Author Topic: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review  (Read 64275 times)

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Offline sacherjj

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2011, 03:19:31 pm »
Converting a 220V version to work with 110V for the electronics is pretty easy.  However, if the heater is mains powered, how would that work?  Seems like it would be possible that the max temps would not be reachable with 1/2 the potential across the heater.

Guess the safest move is to buy the normal 110V for the extra money.
 

Offline UnaClocker

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2011, 04:37:58 pm »
I have a question about the 220v version.. Here in the US, we have 110v and 220v in our houses, the 110v goes to the normal wall outlets, and the 220v goes to things like the electric stove, clothes drier, Mig welder.. heh.. Could this be wired up to that 220v, to work in the US? Or would that not work? (Why wouldn't it work?)
Great review.. Seems like every time you review something, I've gotta have it, right afterwards. :)
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2011, 05:01:37 pm »
I have a question about the 220v version.. Here in the US, we have 110v and 220v in our houses, the 110v goes to the normal wall outlets, and the 220v goes to things like the electric stove, clothes drier, Mig welder.. heh.. Could this be wired up to that 220v, to work in the US? Or would that not work? (Why wouldn't it work?)
Great review.. Seems like every time you review something, I've gotta have it, right afterwards. :)

The only thing that will be powered by unfiltered mains power is the heating element and I doubt that 50 vs 60hz will mean anything to that.  However, the hassle of getting 220V to your work location may not be worth it.

Search on ebay for "hot air 858 110" and you will find quite a few 110V models.  The $20US difference in price makes any 220 -> 110 work not worth it.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2011, 11:22:33 pm »
its safer to buy the appropriate rated equpment rather than risk of wasting time tinkering with it, additional components price for the mod and lastly the risk of damaging the equipment itself.
Regards,
Shafri.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline mzacharias

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2011, 10:43:14 am »
I wonder how this rework station does when a surface-mount IC is also glued to the board, as is often the case in consumer electronics. I use a similar device which directs hot air to the IC leads while I drag a wire from behind. Once the leads are free from the pads, I can "chip" the IC body off the board with a small screwdriver and mallet. My question is, does the rework station also soften any glue which may be under an IC body, so that these chips can also be removed in the manner shown in Dave's video? If so it seems like a better solution for general IC removal than what I have been doing. I don't deal in BGA if that is relevant - only conventional surface mount, with visible leads.
 

Offline Cj1corbystarlet

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2011, 11:43:55 am »
I hope this Atten hot air rework station is a good entry level gear, as I should have one land on my door step tommorrow some time.

"Be warned old PCB's stacked up in a box I'll have a hot air gun and i'm not afraid to use it ......."

Ben




 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2011, 06:56:42 pm »
For those who are interested, I have detailed the internal modules and operating principle of my W.E.P 852D+ hot air station in the following posting:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3237.msg43241#msg43241
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:08:43 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2011, 10:39:53 pm »
I just ordered an Atten 858D+ from China for GBP44 delivered which seemed pretty reasonable. I need a unit that is more portable than my large W.E.P 852D+ and the Atten offering appears to fulfill that requirement. From what I have seen this unit would appear to use a more sophisticated temperature control loop than my 852D+ so that can only be good news. The stated 220V rating has me a little concerned but for GBP40 I am willing to risk it.

Another concern I have about the Atten 858D+ is the amateur modification of the 'snail shell' fan housing. The two holes will cause an air leak on the air output side which doesn't seem a good idea. I wondered if they were a deliberate air bleed to cool components in the rear of the handle but that looks unlikely as I couldn't see any of such components in the video !  If my unit has the holes I will plastic weld some thin model makers plasti-card across them and check to ensure it doesn't upset the units operation.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2011, 11:11:00 pm »
I just stumbled across an interesting advert for the 858D from YIHUA.....

http://gz-yh.en.gongchang.com/product/4680226

YIHUA appear to have made my W.E.P 852D+ and from the advert they also appear to make an 858D that at least looks like the reviewed Atten product. The really interesting part of the advert is at the bottom... they are selling a 220V unit but can supply 110V/230V/240V to special order. That would seem to suggest that the 220V will run a little hot when used on 230V/240V  ;D

I wonder how long mine will last before something goes POP! ?
 

Offline _Sin

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2011, 10:25:05 pm »
Does anyone know anything about the Atten 860D ?

Looking at Atten's own website, they don't seem to list the cheaper models like the one Dave reviewed, but they do have these more expensive units (and they seem to be more readily available locally, rather than shipping from China). I'm interested to know what the difference is (beyond having a pump instead of a fan, and cosmetic stuff).
Programmer with a soldering iron - fear me.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2011, 11:16:55 pm »
I just received my ATTEN 858D+ and in true EEVBlog fashion, took it apart  :D

Dave, I think you need to do some remedial work on your units fan. I took my handpiece apart and it is fitted with the same fan as yours, but in my unit the two lugs have been carefully removed so as to not puncture the fans casing. Those holes that have been hacked into your fans case can't be a good idea and could reduce your nozzle pressure.

The unit certainly seems to work OK but on first impressions I think I still prefer my W.E.P 852D+ with it's pump.

Pictures of my 858D+ fan attached.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 11:26:53 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 03:32:29 am »
Well,  I joined the crowd and got a 110V main Atten 858D+ on the way, from eBay for $75.  Seems to run $75-99 for the 110V model.
 

Offline logictom

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2011, 12:21:19 pm »
I too have ordered one of these units from ebay for £45. I'll soon be starting on some smd work and with the cheap price and thumbs up from Dave it was a no brainer.

I reckon a few of the products recommended on here must get a mini boom in sales after they are reviewed ;D
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 10:03:26 pm »
The unit is certainly pretty good value for money but I think, to be fair to potential buyers, I should state the following....

Upon dismantling the handpiece I was singularly unimpressed with the construction. I know it's cheap but there is no excuse for the deficiencies detailed below

1. The fan is a bastardised COTS product butchered to fit the case and in Dave's unit butchered is the operative word.
2. The fan does not rest in moulded supports within the handpiece, it just floats in the rear void directly on top of the small PCB.
3. The fan has a metalised label that is in close proximity to the above mentioned small PCB solder side...not a great idea ! Insulation should have been placed over the PCB.
4. On my unit the neoprene fan output air director was poorly installed semi obscuring the fans exit port and not permitting correct seating of the neoprene air director within it's 'mounts'.
5. The fan air intake ports are located in a small area on one side of the handpiece and so may be obscured whilst in use. A greater number of air intake ports could have been designed into the handle moulding to reduce the chances of obstruction.
6. All heater related cables are pinched between the neoprene air director and the side of the case. No cut-out is provided for them.
7. The handpiece cable strain relief is held in place with a cable tie rather than being a moulded type. Not a biggy but still crap.

For the money it is still not a bad performer but it is also no work of engineering art and has some pretty poor design faults that could have been easily sorted at little or no cost. It's rather like a cheap hair dryer.... bloody awful quality but still dries yer hair  :D

 Caveat Emptor.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:17:49 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline logictom

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2011, 10:45:46 am »
The unit is certainly pretty good value for money but I think, to be fair to potential buyers, I should state the following....

You make some very valid points and I will be cracking mine open when I receive it to check out the quality.
I think it's important to remember that, for me at least, locally the cheapest hot air station I can buy is ~£150 and it's like anything that's cheap and Chinese, you know you get what you pay for but at that price it's better than nothing and it's almost throw away price for a tool.
I'll be looking for any improvements/hacks to improve on the points you raised :)
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2011, 11:54:46 am »
Hi Logictom,

All of the points that I have raised are resolvable I am pleased to say. I see it as a bit like when you used to buy a LADA car....there was a box of bits in the boot that the user was expected to fit in order to keep costs down....like seat belts  ;) China produces cheap products at great prices but some need a little fettling (I love that word ;D) to make them as good as they could have been if more time/money were spent on them during manufacture.

In this case, those with a mind to improve this neat little hot air station can do so cheaply and easily. I will look at modifying / improving the build of my unit shortly.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 12:24:19 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2011, 11:46:27 pm »
You guys strike me as rather odd folk, mind you. But while simultaneously stressing multimeter safety throughout the board to an industrial electrician levels, you praise a widget which most probably wouldn't pass even the basic electrical safety requirements for a consumer grade device. :P
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2011, 10:30:04 am »
gobblegobble,

I believe my messages have indicated obvious deficiencies in the design. It will be for potential purchasers to decide whether they can accept these deficiencies and carry out remedial work.

I agree that the EEVBlog is very safety aware when it comes to multimeters but they are a slightly different animal. Multimeters get connected to all manner of current and voltage sources that cannot be predicted by a reviewer for a particular purchaser. The CAT rating comes into play when high energy sources are likely to be tested. Deficiencies in a multimeters safety when connected to a high energy source can be catastrophic for the user.

Now the Atten hot air rework station is a slightly different beast. It is designed to work from the mains supply but DOES include adequate fusing and a safety earth. The supply is known and the safety IS in place. What is poor is the design of the handpiece and yes this could lead to premature failure of the heater element but it is unlikely to cause a catastrophic failure for the user.

I have highlighted areas of concern and trust that readers will take on board the implications of some of the cost cutting measures that have been employed in the design. I would not state that the Atten product is actually a dangerous appliance and I have seen worse designs in hair dryers purchased from UK high street retail shops !

I hope this makes my position clear but every one is absolutely entitled to their opinion on the unit and it's deficiencies and I respect that. I consider the Atten a cheap (almost disposable) portable hot air rework station that will need some fettling to satisfy my expectations for a decent design that I can rely upon in a hobbyist environment.

I don't think Dave is wrong to recommend such a product on a VFM basis but I do think he was quite kind to the design within the handpiece  ;)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 10:34:22 am by Aurora »
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2011, 06:38:59 pm »
I finally recieved my US$49.99 unit from China (ebay) 26 days after ordering. That is right in the middle of the quoted delivery date range for the US$10.00 shipping.  This is the 220V model but I have 220 in my shop.

The fan was not butchered like Daves, the lugs were nicely removed. pics below.

One thing I noticed that needed major help was the air slots that feed the center of the fan. They were on the verge of nonexistent.
I know the backside has nonfunctional slots that are there for asthetics only. The real air slots were almost completely closed because poor injection mold closeoff. I ground the slot area on the inside of the case and cleaned out the slots as shown on the pics.  I know that since the temperature is controled it should not cause a problem but I think the max airflow would have been severely compromised.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:42:45 pm by robrenz »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2011, 07:20:26 pm »
Hi Robrenz,

Thanks for the interesting information.

I am still in two minds with regards to the air intakes on the handpiece. I have an industrial grade electric 'blow-lamp' (read really hot and powerful hot air gun) and that uses an aperture control to change the airflow through the air intake to the fan. Less air = hotter output. Now I know the Atten uses electronic temperature control of the heating element but I am uncertain whether the air intake slots are deliberatley small to restrict the available air flow range and hence effect the temperature range that the heater can produce. The fan has a speed control that takes it down to almost idling so I may be concerned over nothing. Before I carve out the air intakes I would be interested to hear whether your unit still behaves itself with regard to the available temperature range. 
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2011, 08:48:18 pm »
Hi Aurora,

The units temperature calibration did not change after the slots.
Before when set at 125C it read 150C on my fluke k thermocouple. After opening the slots it read the same. I have not tried adjusting the calibration pot to get the temperature to match yet. Also from my tool and die experience I could see that the mold in that section was not closing off like is should allowing large plastic flash to form where there should be none. The flash is what closed off the slots. They intended the slots to have more air flow than what was molded.  The case originaly had ribs on the inside that ran in between the slots to strengthen the slotted section. It was easier to grind the ribs off to remove all the offending plastic and I felt the remaining plastic was plenty strong.

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2011, 09:18:00 pm »
Hi Robrenz,

Thank you for the excellent clarification. I will open up the slots in my handpiece in the same manner as yours.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain about the moulding issue.

Cheers  :)
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2011, 03:11:45 pm »
I tried calibrating the temperature on the unit.  I used a fluke k thermocouple with its bead .2" inside the nozzles and centered. I had it fixtured so there was no position variation during testing. I figured that inside would give the most consistent results by minimizing variations from the coanda effect. I calibrated the unit with the temp at 275C (mid range)and an airflow setting of 4 with the medium nozzle.  CCW on the cal pot increases the temp.  It takes quite a while (up to 2 minutes) for everything to stabilize after a change of temp or airflow.  You can see the temp control over and undershoot a few times before it settles.

The results were interesting :o I think it shows if you need a fairly precise temperature you better set it with the airflow and nozzle you intend to use with a separate temperature measuring device.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 03:29:01 pm by robrenz »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2011, 05:24:42 pm »
So much for this microprocessor managed unit being more accurate than my analogue temperature control loop WEP 852D+  :-[

If the temperature IS actually controlled by the microprocessor there appears to be something very wrong with it's behaviour. I don't expect precision but some of those readings appear way outside acceptable tolerances. The only time I see evidence of any microprocessor monitoring of temperature on the 858D+ is when the unit is placed in to standby and you can see the measured temperature dropping as it cools. In RUN mode the little decimal point just flickers much like on my analogue loop 852D+ and only SET, not ACTUAL, temperature is displayed.n I am now wondering if this cheap little box is in fact an analogue unit with a digital thermometer function in the display electronics..... smoke and mirrors by the manufacturer. To be sure I wouldneed to delve inside my unit but no time for that at the moment.

I shall have to do some tests on my 852D+ to see how that units old fashioned analogue temperature controller performs with regard tp accuracy at differnet flow rates etc.
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: EEVblog #167 - Atten 858D Hot Air Rework Review
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2011, 01:40:04 am »
Since the original post is quite lenghty and thorough, I hope you don't mind me fragment quoting. :)

I agree that the EEVBlog is very safety aware when it comes to multimeters but they are a slightly different animal. Multimeters get connected to all manner of current and voltage sources that cannot be predicted by a reviewer for a particular purchaser. The CAT rating comes into play when high energy sources are likely to be tested.
It is designed to work from the mains supply but DOES include adequate fusing and a safety earth.
I have seen worse designs in hair dryers purchased from UK high street retail shops !
The thing is, those hair dryers shouldn't probably be on the market and hinting the local safety authority could well lead to their removal.

Mains connected equipment should should essentially be "CAT II" rated for around 250 volts in the sense that it should not pose a shock hazard to the user and the insulation levels shown on that thing sure don't lend to that nor should it pose a fire hazard which it as well may as well. The actual requirements for a product required to pass are indeed quite a bit more than just a "fuse and some grounding". ;)


I hope this makes my position clear but every one is absolutely entitled to their opinion on the unit and it's deficiencies and I respect that.
I agree, and while I stand by my original opinion of the product being a hazard to the user, everyone can feel free to try their luck on importing stuff that possibly wouldn't pass local regulations for electrical appliance safety if they so wish. :)

 


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