Author Topic: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936  (Read 70231 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Dave takes a look at the world's cheapest temperature controlled soldering station, the $16 Hakko 936 knockoff Yihua 936 from Hobby King.
How does it compare to the older genuine Hakko 926?
Also, thermal capacity comparison testing is done on those two irons plus the high thermal capacity JBC.
Sagan also gives his verdict.
http://en.yihuaxin.com/about.html
Hakko 936 Schematic: http://dalincom.ru/datasheet/HAKKO_936_schematic.pdf

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Online dr.diesel

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 12:43:36 am »
Wow, man that is really cheap.  I don't see how you can afford projects/components if that's the best iron your budget allows.

Not to mention it won't last and you'll have to buy another one.

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 12:58:48 am »
I feel sorry for those who have to work with this kind of soldering iron.
In Germany, we only had good quality brand names to select from in the past.
But lately there is a trend to see all these low end irons around.

They probably use one of these Yihua 936 in their own production line of Yihua 936's.

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Offline nihilism

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 01:05:53 am »
looks like the pcb is "washed" after wave soldering, in the river it seems.
 

Offline bxs

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2014, 01:09:18 am »
Not so long ago I also bought a 936 clone, it cost me several times more that this one, but is probably the same or worse quality  ;)

I will have to wait so see the video since my net connection are very slow and unstable, I will have to download the video first and then see it  :(

I only bought a clone because I couldn't find in Europe a OK iron for a OK price, the ones I found were several times more expensive than is US, but I need 220V and from Europe, because of the import duty and taxes  :'(

But, I used the station a bit, the temperature accuracy is quite good and works quite well so far  ;)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 01:11:08 am by bxs »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2014, 01:13:53 am »
Soldered earth is allowed provided the wire is looped back (not just poked through the hole, but bent back 180 degrees.

Now a big worry is the esd stuff . Zero ohms from tip to mains ground ? That should read 1 meg !
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Offline all_repair

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 01:15:58 am »
I used to buy an extra original set for commonly used tool, buy they hardly spoil.  So lately I am buying these Chinese clones as a hot stand in the event the real machine breakdown and before the original is repaired or is replaced by another original.  I don't know is this a right strategy but keeping original as hot stand-in is very costly and wasteful  if you have quite a few types to provide, and also they may go missing along the way.   Good things about these clones, i can use the original tips, heating element, spare parts.   
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 01:17:45 am by all_repair »
 

Offline ablacon64

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 01:31:55 am »
In Brazil a lot of technicians use this kind of station just because good quality soldering stations are quite expensive around here. I have one but it's taken as "top quality" in Brazil, it's made by Hikary. But I guess despite of its cost being much more than this one, it's the same crap.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 01:36:14 am »
Dave, about the photo of genuine Hakko 907 iron used in 936 station, its here at your own forum.  :P

Made a comparison between the fake vs genuine Hakko 907 soldering iron -> Hakko 936 ceramic heater A1321 vs fake comparison , actually the fake iron is good part source for 2nd iron if non critical part from the genuine one is getting rusted or old aged, of course after modded with genuine heater element and the genuine Hakko tip which is the secret sauce. The genuine Hakko element it self cost $17 locally here.  >:D

Also made a comparison on the tip differences -> Genuine vs fake Hakko solder tip comparison

« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 03:16:35 am by BravoV »
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2014, 01:59:44 am »
The pcb assembly does look like crap I'll give you that, but apart from that, I think many a happy hour could be spent by the hobbiest with one and I doubt they would ever think "gee, if only I had a real one".  How often do you really need to attack a big heatsink.

Although I'd replace the handle with one that has a silicone cable.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 02:02:04 am »
You could easily have checked the authenticity of the mains cable printed cross-section using the 4-wire ohms on your Agilent DMM
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Offline bxs

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 02:10:39 am »
Ok, I saw the video, my clone's pcb have a better finish quality, and the heater led have a stable ON/OFF, the Temp Pot feels really good and a proper earth connection, the rest? probably the same.

If we look for the big picture it just switch the heater element ON/OFF based on the set temp and heater temp  :-//



« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 02:12:16 am by bxs »
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 02:21:35 am »
My first thought when I saw the video on my inbox:




 ::)
Nothing like the smell of rosin core solder in the morning.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2014, 02:58:00 am »
Earth fails for more than one reason. Must be connected to case using a shake proof washer so it cannot come loose from vibration. Must be done with a dedicated screw not used for any other purpose like holding down the transformer or closing the case. Must be either a crimped connection or a screw connector, not a soldered connection that can creep with time and come loose with heat. If multiple earth conductors are attached each must have it's own lug and no daisy chaining of earth wires inside allowed. All accessible metal parts must be earth bonded, including cases of potentiometers, unless they are mounted internally so only a plastic shaft protrudes from the case.
 

Offline ohmineer

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 03:12:03 am »
Soldered earth is allowed provided the wire is looped back (not just poked through the hole, but bent back 180 degrees.

Now a big worry is the esd stuff . Zero ohms from tip to mains ground ? That should read 1 meg !

Is that correct? If so, I was completely wrong.
In the past, I saved this note as reference to test my soldering stations http://www.esda.org/documents/openforumhandtoolsprass08.pdf.
Maybe it is time to trash it.
 

Offline electronics man

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2014, 03:23:17 am »
That pcb is literally crusty, is that just flux residue


 I wonder if this is as crap:
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/48W-Adjustable-Temperature-Analogue-Soldering-Station-525406
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Offline Tuppe

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2014, 03:29:42 am »
I have Aoyue version of this knock-off. It's way different in design. It was about 40$ shipped.
There are crimped connectors, actual metal stand, replaceable fuse, LM324 comparator circuit & optocoupler etc.
Transformer is way smaller though.

But the problem is that it broke after 2 weeks. I'm not even kidding.
But I bought it from reputable seller, Wiltec. They politely just sent me a new piece for warranty without even asking for it.
And it broke too. Not even kidding. I'm not surprised though, the PCB looks like it was recovered from a WW2 submarine. Even the IC leads are totally covered with green corrosion stuff. Although you can't see it in the image, the PCB quality in the other one is OK.

The first one didn't heat up anymore, and the second one blew the fuses IIRC because of the soldering handle element.

I was able to combine 1 working unit out of the 2, and by switching the heating elements(both units came with a spare one) I got the both handles working. Ironically I had to get another 5$ solder iron to fix these damn things.

I have no idea what is wrong with the another one, I can't get my head around analog circuits. The LM314 is only getting 1.8V for some reason in the faulty one. 5V in the working one.
If anyone has some ideas what I could try. I have working unit that I can compare voltages to.

Anyways, I can recommend Wiltec as a store for sure(they sell these multiple variations of Aoyue stations), but you might want to go with older Hakko's if you can get one for 100-150$.?
I looked for the real deal, but I wasn't able to get one in Finland shipped for under 150$.

There are multiple variations of this thing:
936 - 35W analog (30€)
936A - 60W analog (80€)
937 - 50W digital with dial (55€)
937+ - 50W digital with buttons (60€)
950 - 60W SMD tweezer handle (60€)
3210 - 70W, digital (70€)

Here's images of the Aoyue 936, the cheapest of them all:
I wouldn't be too conserned about the quality of the more priced ones. They could've cut way costs in detail with this if they wanted to. They also seem to incorporate some of their own design in it too. For the price it's okay. It has worked well since I repaired it. If you put a price on your time, this iron would've cost me like 150$.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 03:56:00 am by Tuppe »
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2014, 03:29:51 am »
That pcb is literally crusty, is that just flux residue


 I wonder if this is as crap:
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/48W-Adjustable-Temperature-Analogue-Soldering-Station-525406

Worse, those aren't even temperature controlled.
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2014, 04:06:34 am »
The talk of high capacity irons is confusing. The JBC cartridges have very low thermal capacity which is why they heat up quickly. JBC calls their stubby bits with relatively fatter metal between the heater element and tip 'high thermal efficiency'.

The real issues are how much power can be put into the heater element and the thermal resistance between the heater, the sensor, and the tip.

High thermal resistance between the heater and tip means you need to run the heater at a higher temperature to get the same temperature at the tip for a given thermal load.

A good way of testing is to get some aluminium PCB with a large pad and mount it on a big aluminium heatsink with some thermal compound. A large blob of solder on the pad is going to pull about as much heat as is possible out of the tip. At a given set temperature how much power the iron manages to put into the blob is a good measure of overall thermal performance - just measuring mains input power gives you an easy indication (subject to iron electrical efficiency considerations).
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2014, 04:29:48 am »
That pcb is literally crusty, is that just flux residue


 I wonder if this is as crap:
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/48W-Adjustable-Temperature-Analogue-Soldering-Station-525406

Worse, those aren't even temperature controlled.
yes - those are terrible pieces of junk - it's just an input power control, so when set to a good temp for soldering, they overheat when idle and trash the tip.
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Offline linux-works

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2014, 04:48:37 am »
rod elliott has a good write-up on grounding to the chassis:

http://sound.westhost.com/earthing.htm



that seems to make sense even though it looks like a lot of extra 'rules' to follow.
 

Offline synapsis

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2014, 07:22:27 am »
I have a Hakko 937 that works, but looks like the case was hit by a truck. I wonder if the Yihua 936 case would fit...  :-+
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2014, 07:25:54 am »
Probably. Was looking, but the cheapest now is $40 with free postage. The Dave Jones Effect strikes again.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2014, 07:27:27 am »
Probably. Was looking, but the cheapest now is $40 with free postage. The Dave Jones Effect strikes again.

Go to Hobbyking.. They have never been that cheap on eBay.
 

Offline mariush

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Re: EEVblog #596 - World's Cheapest Soldering Station - Yihua 936
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2014, 08:03:18 am »
It's 16-18$ but there's nothing stocked in the European warehouse for example.  Shipping is between 1$5 and $79, depending on choices.. and the cheapest depends if the item is in Europe warehouse which is not the case.

It is a good deal if you buy 5-10 of them, in which case the shipping fees would probably be good.
 


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