Author Topic: Soldering Station Wanted  (Read 23608 times)

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Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Soldering Station Wanted
« on: April 19, 2012, 05:44:38 pm »
Hello everyone!

I'm a Hobbyist/electronics noob in Portugal looking to buy a soldering station and I would like some input from you "pros".

The first choice I considered was a Hakko FX-888, especially after seeing Dave's review on it. However, I'm in Europe where everything is ridiculously inflated, and I haven't yet found any online stores anywhere in Europe that sell it (let alone local stores in Portugal).

I've been looking into some other options. To name a couple:

- Aoyue 3210
- Blackjack BK 2050+

The budget ceiling I want to stay under is  +-100€. However, I don't want to spend the money and end up with something that is prone to failure.

I'm looking to get input from the community as to opinions on these models, suggestions on other models and good European online retailers from where I can order the station when the time comes.

Thanks in advance!
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 10:44:40 pm »
I am not familiar with Blackjack, but I got 2 cheap ones, a Atten 8586 and a Aoyue int936.
I must say build quality of the Aoyue is better and I am catching myself using Aoyue more than the other stations I got, this is the cheapest model and feels solid, it reminds me the Weller WS-51.

On Ebay these go cheap even from a EU seller, I am not sure if they clone these too. I got mine from a Dutch online store just for 28 Euro’s.

If you really want a cheap station I would recommend the Aoyue 936, no fancy display stuff just plain adjustable station with hard plastic case, metal parts like soldering iron itself are connected to earth, unlike some others
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 11:55:48 pm »
Thanks for your reply!

Well, it doesn't have to be absolutely cheap... I still want to be able to work with lead free solder at some point and apparently the so-called lead-free stations are a bit more expensive.


What do you think about the Aoyue 3210?
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 12:58:11 am »
It has same housing as 936 and 70W so it should be better for heavy soldering, but if you want lead free solder why don’t you check Aoyue 3233? It is +/- 10 euros more expensive than 3210 and made for lead free soldering, you can calibrate the tip temperature and store 2 different temperatures, and if I read the specs correct it should be really fast at temperature.

Most people will advise you to wait and get a good brand Soldering station which is best option, but if you don’t want to wait I think these are good options.
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 01:10:40 am »
Dealextreme.com has recently started to sell the Hakko FX-888 for about 112$, free shipping to Europe.  It looks like it's a genuine Hakko for the Chinese market, with their 220-240v mains plug but you can easily cut the cord and mount your own plug (or get some adapter)

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/hanko-fx-888-70w-soldering-station-ac-220v-126505

I don't know what to say about the Hakko 936 clone listed above...

Other than that what I can suggest is to have a look at Farnell's soldering stations:

http://pt.farnell.com/soldering-stations_soldering-stations

Sort by price after clicking on the "view results"

Tenma is Farnell's own brand, they're rebranded Chinese soldering stations but I forget now exactly who makes them. Same with Duratool..

Oh yeah, here it is...

Tenma are rebranded Atten stations and Duratool stations seem to be  Zhongdi :

1. Atten  :

 http://www.atten.eu/index.php/solder-rework/atten-at938d-soldering-station-60w-150-450-c.html
 http://www.atten.eu/index.php/solder-rework/atten-at980d-soldering-station-80w-150-450-c.html
 http://www.atten.eu/index.php/solder-rework/atten-at80d-soldering-station-80w-150-c-450-c.html

2. Zhongdi
http://www.china-zhongdi.com/tcss01.htm  and
http://www.china-zhongdi.com/zd-931.htm

check the reviews for some of these here... but imho at least with Farnell your warranty may be better compared to buying from ebay.


 

Offline T4P

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 07:43:37 am »
First : Zhongdi is a heap of crap .
Second : If you can find cloned 936's like Atten/Best locally , go for it , at least if they can honor 2 years warranty .
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 08:15:42 pm »
I'll look into all the options listed! In the meantime, I'll remain open to any further input.

I have a question regarding the 3233 though: doesn't that station have a unique type of heating element which makes it harder to find tips for it? After checking the Aoyue website as well as a few others (Wiltec.de, for example) it seems that there aren't many tips for the 3233. Am I wrong?

EDIT: After looking into the 3233 it doesn't really seem like an option...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 08:42:36 pm by Architect_1077 »
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 08:27:05 pm »
The Aoyue 936 looks just like the Circuit specialist CSI 1A soldering station.  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/7565
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 03:57:04 am »
The Aoyue 936 looks just like the Circuit specialist CSI 1A soldering station.  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/7565

It's just a rebranded 936 clone . Not only Aoyue .
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 02:09:19 pm »
If anyone knows of more retailers in Europe that have the Hakko fx888 please let me know.
I'm having a hard time finding European retailers that sell this station and ordering from outside the EU can be an expensive gamble...
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 02:51:13 pm »
You can find a list of "distributors" on the Hakko website.  You can then give them a call but you'll probably be disappointed.

In my case, I called the company and they said they only deal with companies, not private persons, but as a favor they're willing to sell me one for 180 euro + vat (which is 24% here).

When I told them it's 80$ in US they argued I'm going to pay 60$ to ship it here and pay vat at the customs and replace the transformer with a 230v one or use a converter so they felt it's a good deal.  It's not... 180 euro is still about 230-250$

I think they later sent me an email saying they'll drop the price to 160 euro + vat but I just went on eBay and got a Hakko 936 from a guy in Israel.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 06:15:04 pm »
You can find a list of "distributors" on the Hakko website.  You can then give them a call but you'll probably be disappointed.

In my case, I called the company and they said they only deal with companies, not private persons, but as a favor they're willing to sell me one for 180 euro + vat (which is 24% here).

When I told them it's 80$ in US they argued I'm going to pay 60$ to ship it here and pay vat at the customs and replace the transformer with a 230v one or use a converter so they felt it's a good deal.  It's not... 180 euro is still about 230-250$

I think they later sent me an email saying they'll drop the price to 160 euro + vat but I just went on eBay and got a Hakko 936 from a guy in Israel.
I'm curious.

What was the reason you skipped over the FX-888 Hakko makes for the Chinese market (i.e. what I understand is offered in the link on dealextreme)?
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 06:33:21 pm »
When I did the researchabout 2-3 months ago, there was no Chinese version of the FX-888 anywhere - Dealextreme only started to sell it a week or so ago.

I had a choice between getting it from the local distributor (180 euro + 24% vat), or ordering the 120v version from a company like Sparkfun (it was about $90 + $50-60 shipping through UPS/Fedex then pay 24% vat at customs and about 3% customs fees) or getting something from eBay.

I spotted a Hakko 936 at a guy in Israel and got it for about 60$ + about 10$ in shipping costs, and as it was sent from a private person, the customs officer didn't bother to figure out the customs fees or vat.  A few of the FX-888 tips are backwards compatible with the 936 and spare parts (heater, handles) are still easy to find so I figured it's a good compromise.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 07:22:32 pm »
When I did the researchabout 2-3 months ago, there was no Chinese version of the FX-888 anywhere - Dealextreme only started to sell it a week or so ago.
That's gotta suck.  :(

I wanted the shorter tip-to-grip of newer irons for more control with SMD work, and JBC was going for more than I was willing to pay (couldn't find any complete JBC's on eBay). So I went for the Weller instead. FX-888 wasn't out, and the 936 seemed too far from the PCB (similar to the Weller WES/WESD51 in size IIRC).
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 01:00:17 am »
When I did the researchabout 2-3 months ago, there was no Chinese version of the FX-888 anywhere - Dealextreme only started to sell it a week or so ago.

I had a choice between getting it from the local distributor (180 euro + 24% vat), or ordering the 120v version from a company like Sparkfun (it was about $90 + $50-60 shipping through UPS/Fedex then pay 24% vat at customs and about 3% customs fees) or getting something from eBay.

I spotted a Hakko 936 at a guy in Israel and got it for about 60$ + about 10$ in shipping costs, and as it was sent from a private person, the customs officer didn't bother to figure out the customs fees or vat.  A few of the FX-888 tips are backwards compatible with the 936 and spare parts (heater, handles) are still easy to find so I figured it's a good compromise.
Er ... when i was shenzhen the of FX-888 for the china market was all over .
And the T18 tips are the direct replacements for 900M .
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2012, 01:02:54 am »
When I did the researchabout 2-3 months ago, there was no Chinese version of the FX-888 anywhere - Dealextreme only started to sell it a week or so ago.
That's gotta suck.  :(

I wanted the shorter tip-to-grip of newer irons for more control with SMD work, and JBC was going for more than I was willing to pay (couldn't find any complete JBC's on eBay). So I went for the Weller instead. FX-888 wasn't out, and the 936 seemed too far from the PCB (similar to the Weller WES/WESD51 in size IIRC).

But as you know , weller has been failing with quality as of recently ... 40 years of heritage ? Too soon to say , i say .
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2012, 02:10:35 pm »
But as you know , Weller has been failing with quality as of recently ... 40 years of heritage ? Too soon to say , i say .
They're definitely not what they once were IMO either.

It does seem the WX series was/is really screwed up (not sure if they've fixed the problems on the line yet or not). The WD unit I have was made in 2006 (and purchased new in 2008; I got the discount I did because it sat on the shelf so long).
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2012, 10:42:27 am »
Well, I've found what I believe to be the only store in Portugal that theoretically sells the Hakko FX888... price is 155€ and it won't be available for a few months, if at all... What's up with Hakko being 2-3x more expensive in EU than in US, AND being hard to find??

Still searching for stores in Europe that sell it. If anyone else knows of any other European retailers, please let me know.

Thanks
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2012, 11:41:09 am »
Does anyone know anything about Dancap electronics in the UK? They are listed as an official Hakko dealer, but don't have any online store.

http://www.dancap.co.uk/

I've already emailed them and waiting on a response... price is £88.18 according to their primitive-looking website.
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2012, 12:07:07 pm »
Sent them an email on the 19th of February, when I was looking for EU distributors - no reply received so far.
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2012, 12:13:14 pm »
Does anyone know anything about Dancap electronics in the UK? They are listed as an official Hakko dealer, but don't have any online store.

As you say, they have a rather primitive website, but I had no problems at all buying an fx-888 from them.  Couple of e-mails back and forth to check the price and arrange payment, and they sent it out as soon as the money landed in their account.  (NB: the site does say 'cheque with first order' but they also accept bank transfers.)

They replied to my initial e-mail within twenty minutes and the second within three hours, so either I got lucky or mariush got unlucky!

 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2012, 12:23:23 pm »
Their reply:

Quote
Hi,

We are only allowed to sell the Hakko products here in the UK – it must be to a UK address, as this is part of our agreement with Hakko of Japan.
 
Best regards
Paul West
Dancap Electronics


Well, scratch that one...
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2012, 12:43:12 pm »
Well, scratch that one...

That's unfortunate!  I wonder if the other UK distributor I'm aware of, Grosvenor, have the same restriction; they were slightly more expensive than Dancap when I enquired (note their 'online shop' link leads nowhere and it's a 'contact us for a quote' type operation).

The only distributor Hakko list for Portugal is http://www.niposom.pt/, and their site currently shows the fx-888 as unavailable.  Sometimes I wonder whether Hakko actually want to sell any of these things in Europe!
 

Offline Architect_1077Topic starter

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2012, 01:00:06 pm »
Quote
The only distributor Hakko list for Portugal is http://www.niposom.pt/, and their site currently shows the fx-888 as unavailable.

Yup. They're the ones I called this morning, told me won't have it for another couple months at least, and with a price of 155€... that's ludicrous I think.

The big question for me is: is it worth paying 80€ or so (and saving some 70€) for an Aoyue 3210 or 155€ for a (overpriced) Hakko? Apparently, the 3210 does accept the same Hakko tips as the fx888...

Any takes on this?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 01:05:23 pm by Architect_1077 »
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Soldering Station Wanted
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2012, 03:35:49 pm »
Quote
The only distributor Hakko list for Portugal is http://www.niposom.pt/, and their site currently shows the fx-888 as unavailable.

Yup. They're the ones I called this morning, told me won't have it for another couple months at least, and with a price of 155€... that's ludicrous I think.

The big question for me is: is it worth paying 80€ or so (and saving some 70€) for an Aoyue 3210 or 155€ for a (overpriced) Hakko? Apparently, the 3210 does accept the same Hakko tips as the fx888...

Any takes on this?

You might as well get the Atten AT938D or the "Tenma" 21-10115 EU from Farnell
or http://www.atten.eu/index.php/solder-rework.html
 


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