Author Topic: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...  (Read 10295 times)

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Online nctnico

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2017, 06:47:46 pm »
At work I'm blessed with ERSA, Weller and Metcal soldering irons/stations. To me, they're all the same, although I like having a dial that I can turn to adjust the temperature as opposed to using one button to perform nine functions.
Leaving the iron on burns away the tips.  I have to start with a new tip after my kids use my iron and they leave it sit on for long periods of time and the coating on the tips burns off.
[/quote]
What do you call a long period? My Ersa stations don't have a power down but tips last over a decade. But then again I set the temperature to 330 deg. C.
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Offline mc172

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2017, 07:47:54 pm »

Leaving the iron on burns away the tips.  I have to start with a new tip after my kids use my iron and they leave it sit on for long periods of time and the coating on the tips burns off.

Think about it for a minute. What good would a soldering iron coating be if it "burned off" in the working temperature range?

Length of time at elevated temperature for soldering iron tips makes no difference. It's worse to keep changing the temperature as you are thermally cycling the iron and causing stresses in the materials it's made from, all of which have different coefficients of thermal expansion. If you leave it at one temperature, this doesn't happen. Those Weller WMRP "pencils" are bloody good, though.

You've either got aggressive flux or kids using soldering irons for things other than soldering, like they do, which results in coating damage. This ends up as something like what you can see in the picture I've attached. That's a 175 W Weller iron with a Ø16 mm tip for a sense of scale. The erosion is caused by plating breach and the copper (used for efficient power transfer between the element and the work) ends up dissolving into the solder when it is molten. The copper is still 6-700 °C away from its melting point when this happens.
 

Offline Hensingler

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2017, 08:10:37 pm »
Think about it for a minute. What good would a soldering iron coating be if it "burned off" in the working temperature range?

Quote
The single most effective way to minimize oxidation and extend soldering iron tip life is simply to turn the system off when not in use. The rate of oxidation at room temperature is negligible compared to what it is at soldering temperatures. Turning the system off during breaks can result in an immediate 10-15% increase in tip life!

From an OKI-metcal document here http://www.newark.com/pdfs/techarticles/oki-metcal/extendingTipLife.pdf
 

Offline mc172

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2017, 08:27:46 pm »
I agree with the statement about corrosion happening faster at elevated temperatures, but the same document also says:

Quote
the way to minimize oxidation is to keep the tip tinned (which covers the iron plating with a protective blanket of solder)

That's quite contradictory. If the tip is coated in and wetted with a layer of solder then the iron (Fe, not the iron) isn't in contact with the air. If what they are saying is true the everyone that doesn't work weekends would return to work on Monday with unusable soldering iron tips.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2017, 08:43:08 pm »
Mine is an old Radio Shack (was the best they sold made by ungar back then) but doesn't have any temp control.  Kids will start soldering something and then put the iron in the stand and leave it set and after a while the coating on the tips just seem to burn away.
One of these days I'll get a better iron but I've been using this one for nearly 30 years.
Weller has a similar doc on tip life with the same cautions to not leave the tip sit idle un-tinned for long periods of time.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2017, 08:43:41 pm »

What do you call a long period? My Ersa stations don't have a power down but tips last over a decade. But then again I set the temperature to 330 deg. C.

It is the temperature mostly.. I keep mine in 310-360°C range and the tips last forever.. And also, solder, wipe on a sponge, solder, wipe, solder, wipe...
You wipe off the flux immediately after you're done with solder joint..

But I made experiments with higher temps and once you get to 370-380°C (where apparently many people keep their soldering irons) tips start erode very quickly...
And water based fluxes are more aggressive, I use no clean rosin type...
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2017, 08:48:58 pm »
Mine is an old Radio Shack (was the best they sold made by ungar back then) but doesn't have any temp control.  Kids will start soldering something and then put the iron in the stand and leave it set and after a while the coating on the tips just seem to burn away.
One of these days I'll get a better iron but I've been using this one for nearly 30 years.
Weller has a similar doc on tip life with the same cautions to not leave the tip sit idle un-tinned for long periods of time.

Well that is it.. Those uncontrolled ones can reach in excess of 450°C...  Long ago, I had one of those..
It was eating trough the tips like crazy...
I mounted microswitch on a iron holder, so when I would put iron on holder, it would insert diode (1n4007) in series with heater, halving the power.. That way it would stay hot enough, but wouldn't overheat...
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2017, 01:30:36 am »
I guess its about time to upgrade.  Have had this one on my amazon wish list for a while.  http://www.weller-toolsus.com/soldering/systems/weller-wesd51-soldering-station-digital-50w-120v-eta.html

I guess I just need to order it.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2017, 03:39:08 am »
I guess its about time to upgrade.  Have had this one on my amazon wish list for a while.  http://www.weller-toolsus.com/soldering/systems/weller-wesd51-soldering-station-digital-50w-120v-eta.html

I guess I just need to order it.
PM sent (please read before buying).

They sell both the Weller WESD51 (here), and Hakko's stations as well. Personally, I'd recommend stepping up to a Hakko FX-951*. This particular model offers an exceptional value in the US.  :-+ Aside from the tip technology = better performance vs. the WESD51, it offers full set-back features which really helps extend tip life**. They also offer kits for both & other stations which add tips (you'd be surprised by what a basic set of ~5 tips can do, ).  ;)

* Although the tips are cartridge types (tip + heating element + sensor in a single assy.), common profiles aren't expensive. Cheaper than some manufacturer's simple plated tips.   :o :-+

** It's not unheard of for Hakko or a few other tip manufacturers' tips to last 10+ years. Unfortunately, Weller's tips have a spotty record with those that come from both Bosnia and Mexico (coming from a Weller user BTW; I use their LT & NT series tips). And as it happens, the WES/D 51 stuff, including the ET series tips, are usually, if not exclusively, made in Mexico. Those from the US, Germany, or Japan are well made however IME.
 
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Offline elecman14

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2017, 01:36:43 pm »
If you are doing a lot of hot swapping of soldering iron tips you should take a look at getting a pace 1100-0206-P1 tip changing tool.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2017, 10:35:09 pm »
FWIW, this is me old iron


I out a new tip on it and soldered a little bit one day last week and a little bit last night and one side of the tip won't take tin already.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2017, 10:54:56 pm »
I guess its about time to upgrade.  Have had this one on my amazon wish list for a while.  http://www.weller-toolsus.com/soldering/systems/weller-wesd51-soldering-station-digital-50w-120v-eta.html

I guess I just need to order it.
PM sent (please read before buying).

They sell both the Weller WESD51 (here), and Hakko's stations as well. Personally, I'd recommend stepping up to a Hakko FX-951*. This particular model offers an exceptional value in the US.  :-+ Aside from the tip technology = better performance vs. the WESD51, it offers full set-back features which really helps extend tip life**. They also offer kits for both & other stations which add tips (you'd be surprised by what a basic set of ~5 tips can do, ).  ;)

* Although the tips are cartridge types (tip + heating element + sensor in a single assy.), common profiles aren't expensive. Cheaper than some manufacturer's simple plated tips.   :o :-+

** It's not unheard of for Hakko or a few other tip manufacturers' tips to last 10+ years. Unfortunately, Weller's tips have a spotty record with those that come from both Bosnia and Mexico (coming from a Weller user BTW; I use their LT & NT series tips). And as it happens, the WES/D 51 stuff, including the ET series tips, are usually, if not exclusively, made in Mexico. Those from the US, Germany, or Japan are well made however IME.


Thanks, the 951 looks a little over my budget, I may do the FX888D for now.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2017, 11:04:27 pm »
Thanks, the 951 looks a little over my budget, I may do the FX888D for now.
I'd still recommend saving the extra funds first, then get the FX-951. Particularly because the price difference isn't all that much (under $100 IIRC). Seriously, you'd truly be doing yourself a massive favor.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2017, 11:57:39 pm »
the 888 us under 100 but the 951 is over 250 without tips, is there that much of a difference?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 12:08:34 am by eugenenine »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2017, 12:02:53 pm »
the 888 us under 100 but the 951 is over 250 without tips, is there that much of a difference?
Are you taking the discount code into the mix?  ;)

That said however, the difference you get in performance and comfort for that $150 is a bargain. With other brands, it's $300+ if you check around to get to the next level of station.
 

Offline MacMeter

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2017, 12:47:33 pm »
the 888 us under 100 but the 951 is over 250 without tips, is there that much of a difference?

I'm in the same situation. I don't own a decent iron right now, I've used the Hakko 888, a few times, and dislike all the button presses required to do simple changes, and don't do enough soldering to remember them.

Looking at the Hakko 951 online manual, it appears the interface and button presses are more streamlined, but I've never used one, perhaps someone who has used both could compare. Seems just a quick compare in pricing the difference is about 3x between these two models with some tips. I may wait and save up for the newer model. If Hakko still made the old analog "temp dial" model, it would be something to consider as well for price and simplicity, but I don't see it as it was discontinued. I don't solder every day so my needs are more hobby, occasional use oriented.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2017, 05:45:26 pm »
Yes, even if you discount both by the same %.  The tips for the 951 are only $10 so its $99 vs $260 so not quite 3x the price difference but more than 2x the price difference.

There are a couple comparison threads on this forum (I had to do a google search to find them rather than using the forum's built in search).

Seems the biggest difference is the tips for the 591 contain the heating element so recovery and temperature regulation will be better.  I can't decide if I'll use it enough to justify the extra cost.

There also seem(ed) to be an issue with the 951 handle and the clones were better because they were two piece, don't know if thats still valid or not.

I thought also, what would I use the temperature lockout for but I bet my kids will want to use it so I could lock them out from making changes.  My son already wants my old iron but he'll burn through all the tips in a week and it has sentimental value for me as I won a state competition with it.

To drag myself back on topic, the 951 does appear to power down after excessive idle.  I just hope its not like energy star appliances where they power down while your still trying to use them :)

« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 05:48:29 pm by eugenenine »
 

Offline Back2Volts

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2017, 08:28:33 pm »
If you are doing a lot of hot swapping of soldering iron tips you should take a look at getting a pace 1100-0206-P1 tip changing tool.

Is this PACE tool compatible with the iron of the Hakko 888 ?   What are the two metal terminations for?   They do have very particular shapes

http://www.tequipment.net/Pace/1100-0206-P1/Soldering-Accessories/
 

Offline helius

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2017, 08:35:04 pm »
The Pace PS90 and SX90 have grub screws holding the tip in place. The removal tool has a screwdriver point on it to turn that.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2017, 06:53:18 am »
Yes, even if you discount both by the same %.  The tips for the 951 are only $10 so its $99 vs $260 so not quite 3x the price difference but more than 2x the price difference.

There are a couple comparison threads on this forum (I had to do a google search to find them rather than using the forum's built in search).

Seems the biggest difference is the tips for the 591 contain the heating element so recovery and temperature regulation will be better.  I can't decide if I'll use it enough to justify the extra cost.

There also seem(ed) to be an issue with the 951 handle and the clones were better because they were two piece, don't know if thats still valid or not.

I thought also, what would I use the temperature lockout for but I bet my kids will want to use it so I could lock them out from making changes.  My son already wants my old iron but he'll burn through all the tips in a week and it has sentimental value for me as I won a state competition with it.

To drag myself back on topic, the 951 does appear to power down after excessive idle.  I just hope its not like energy star appliances where they power down while your still trying to use them :)
1. First off, the FX-951 only costs $236.49 (link), and that's before the 6% discount they offer EEVBlog members (= $222.30 after).  >:D So knock off the $260 crap (never pay MSRP if you can avoid it).  :-DD

2. It's not only the tips (better performance), but the added features over the FX-888D and iron comfort that make it such a better soldering station, and a joy to use.  :-+ As per the iron itself, Hakko's design uses I guess what you'd call a 2-peice design. Meaning, there's a grip/collar that holds the tip by friction, which then snaps into the rest of the iron handle where the end of the tip meets the electrical contacts. The clones simply copied this.

3. As long as you're using it, it won't shut down on you. And as part of the feature set, you get to choose when it does what in terms of reducing temperature and shutting itself off (known as setback features).
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 06:56:41 am by nanofrog »
 

Offline MacMeter

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2017, 09:48:39 am »
Can you recommend 3-4 must have T-15 TIPS, for the Hakko FX-951-66?

I really don't do a lot of soldering, but I hate cheap $20 ones with no control. Over the years in my amateur hands, I came to believe I simply suck at soldering, destroying any confidence. The few times I used the 888 and received some basic how to advice, I did much better. For general hobby work I assume 3-4 different TIPS would be a good start, but there are so many to choose from. The only tip I used with the 888 was the T-18-D16, and it worked well. I'm going to have to study up on the different purposes for all those tip choices. And one of these days, besides online how to videos, I would love to take a hands on class as well. THANKS!
 

Offline helius

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2017, 10:14:44 am »
must-have tip types:
T15-J02 (bent conical, good for drag soldering QFNs and SOICs)
T15-K (knife tip, good for SMD soldering and clearing bridges)
T15-BCF2 (hoof tip, good for SMD)
 
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Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2017, 04:08:07 pm »
Didn't see the sale price when I looked.

http://www.tequipment.net/Hakko/T15-Tip-Kit-1/Tips/ look like a decent assortment?
 

Offline mauroh

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2017, 06:38:35 pm »
I was considering to buy a spare soldering station (I have a Weller) and the FX-951 was my first choice, but lookin around I found this:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Bakon-BK950D-T12-Digital-Soldering-Station-Electric-soldering-iron-BGA-solder-station-5-PCS-T12-solder/32770134311.html?spm=2114.13010208.99999999.6.0K3oU6

And this:

http://www.banggood.com/BAKON-950D-75W-Mini-Portable-Digital-Soldering-Station-with-T12-Tip-p-982824.html?rmmds=search

I'm not expecting the performance of a FX-951, but considering it use the compatible T12 tip do you think it worth a try?
Any one of you have used it?

Mauro


Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Wouldn't it be great if soldering stations...
« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2017, 08:58:57 pm »
Wow, buy 4 tips and get the soldering iron free!  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Mauroh, I doubt that I would personally try it.  I also have the FX-951 and I will say that it is worth every penny.  You don't know how stable the power supply is.  Yes, you can adjust the temp.  Does it have setback features?  I don't see a silicon pad to remove the tips.  That would be an extra cost.  I have a collar for each tip I have.  Easy in and out and I don't even need the tip removal pad.  I won't mention the wand holder. 

For you and eugenine, here is what it boils down to.  How often are you going to use it?  What is the range of uses?  Strictly SMD  or SMD through 10 ga wire and every thing in between.  What is your time worth and, more importantly, what is your frustration level worth?  My dearly departed father would always say, buy the best tool you can and only buy it once.  You buy a cheap tool and it sucks and it isn't worth the trouble of returning it, then you buy a different tool with the same result and further down the rabbit hole you go until you spent the cost of the really good tool trying a bunch of cheap substitutes with the attending frustrations and then spend the money that you should have spent up front.  I don't solder for profit, I solder for fun and it's a lot more funner with my FX-951 and Metcal MX-500 than it was with the firesticks and the Hakko 936 that I have owned.
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