Author Topic: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance  (Read 3728 times)

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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2024, 07:22:30 pm »
I've just re-watched SDG Electronic's review of his high thermal demand Metcal equipment - I'm not getting anything comparable to his performance - a possibly interesting inductance test measurement mentioned in the comments section. 


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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2024, 07:46:04 pm »
Love me some Metcal irons, but I still keep an old-school 80-watt Weller next to my MX-5000.  The latter is just not the the right tool for that kind of work IMHO.

Not only that, but it's surprising how often two soldering irons come in handy.  Saves a lot of tip-swapping for one thing, and pretty much eliminates the need for SMD tweezers.
 

Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2024, 09:08:14 pm »
I mostly use the MX500 with the ultrafine hand-piece and toggle to the other output which has the tweezers.

To fully utilize the MX5200 as well the MX500 I would need another work stand - 4 in total  :palm:.

Another possibly useful video - if you want a factory reset:





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Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2024, 09:27:39 pm »
I bought it to help me solder boards I have. They are 6 layer with quite large ground planes, so the FX-951 is struggling a bit to solder some pins on IDC connector sockets and through hole capacitors. Given I have a lot of ground pins, even saving a second or two on each would be a nice improvement.

I won't buy a second Metcal from another source, because I cannot have that kind of money tied in another return process in case it goes wrong again.
The distributor is making the return difficult and I am potentially looking at few weeks before I get my money back if not more.

So options I am considering are:
Hakko FX-971
Hakko FX-100
JBC-CD-2BF with T245 hand piece
JBC-DDE-2C with T245 hand piece

Would they give me what I am looking for? That is a bit more power into the 2mm tip so I can solder these pins quickly?

 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2024, 10:20:46 pm »
I bought it to help me solder boards I have. They are 6 layer with quite large ground planes, so the FX-951 is struggling a bit to solder some pins on IDC connector sockets and through hole capacitors. Given I have a lot of ground pins, even saving a second or two on each would be a nice improvement.

I won't buy a second Metcal from another source, because I cannot have that kind of money tied in another return process in case it goes wrong again.
The distributor is making the return difficult and I am potentially looking at few weeks before I get my money back if not more.

Did you try contacting Metcal at any point to see if they would be able to get you a quick replacement? Most likely a dead end, given their inability to respond to customers, but, might have been worth a shot. Or did you ask the distributor for a replacement instead of a refund?

Quote
So options I am considering are:
Hakko FX-971
Hakko FX-100
JBC-CD-2BF with T245 hand piece
JBC-DDE-2C with T245 hand piece

Would they give me what I am looking for? That is a bit more power into the 2mm tip so I can solder these pins quickly?

With a 2mm tip you won't get much power flowing through it due to limited surface area, use as large and short a tip as is convenient. MX5200 will honestly be one of the better options for that. But you've been burned so, go with one of the JBC's, you'll definitely see huge improvement.

FX971 - 100W - I wouldn't consider yet as this is completely unproven design
FX100 - 50W - Basically the same design but less power than the 80W MX5200, handpiece not as good
JBC-CD-2BF - 130W - T245 will max out around 130W - yes
JBC-DDE-2C - 150W - ok if you wanted two handpieces, or tweezers, etc. - yes
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Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2024, 10:44:46 pm »
Did you try contacting Metcal at any point to see if they would be able to get you a quick replacement? Most likely a dead end, given their inability to respond to customers, but, might have been worth a shot. Or did you ask the distributor for a replacement instead of a refund?

No I didn't try to contact Metcal. I didn't want to add any complexity to it as I have to complete this work soon. I asked distributor for a refund.
The delivery of the station was delayed and they use couriers that have poor performance in my area, so I just don't want to deal with replacements or anything like that, because that will be a huge waste of time. I also don't know which part is a dud, so they would have to resend the entire order and what if there is still a problem. It's a nope area for me.

FX971 - 100W - I wouldn't consider yet as this is completely unproven design
FX100 - 50W - Basically the same design but less power than the 80W MX5200, handpiece not as good
JBC-CD-2BF - 130W - T245 will max out around 130W - yes
JBC-DDE-2C - 150W - ok if you wanted two handpieces, or tweezers, etc. - yes

Thank you! I'll look into JBC then and probably order one tomorrow. With FX-951 I typically switch between two tips, so DDE-2C may be it.
 
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Offline shabaz

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2024, 11:23:04 pm »

Regarding the two JBC models, I use the all-in-one single handle model, and for sure it can get irritating fast swapping between handles (in my case a T245 and a T210 handle).

I have used a dual JBC unit in the past, so the all-in-one was a bit of a downgrade for me, but I couldn't justify the dual unit to myself since I don't do production work.

Since you are considering them both, if it were me and both were in scope, I think I'd go with the dual modular model just for that major ease of use of having the separate stands and not having to unplug handles. Always a difficult decision when spending this much money of course, but I think if you're considering the two JBC models then that modular dual one could be a good option.
 
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2024, 07:29:14 pm »
... a Metcal loose end - I had forgotten about - it seems my high thermal demand actually worked better on my MX500  :o

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Offline thm_w

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2024, 11:03:05 pm »
... a Metcal loose end - I had forgotten about - it seems my high thermal demand actually worked better on my MX500  :o



Guess they became too smart for their own good.
I know there are a few DIY builds but they are ~40W, and I believe not super robust. Thermaltronics only ever went up to 40W. Hakko ~50W. Would be good if someone else tried to make a bulletproof 80W+ unit.
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Offline narkeleptk

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2024, 12:08:58 am »
Must be the tips your using.
I have a cv5210 and work on automotive stuff so usually the pcb's still attached to the aluminum case. The standard handpiece with a 8CH0050s tip gets it done everytime for me.
I cant even imagine what it would do with the heavy duty handpiece & tips.

 

Offline narkeleptk

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2024, 12:12:14 am »
Did you try contacting Metcal at any point to see if they would be able to get you a quick replacement? Most likely a dead end, given their inability to respond to customers, but, might have been worth a shot.

I have had great support from Metcal. The cable on my desoldering gun went faulty after very light use. Even though it was older then a year, they still sent me a free replacement for it. Its definently worth reaching out to them.
 
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Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2024, 09:25:09 am »
Did you try contacting Metcal at any point to see if they would be able to get you a quick replacement? Most likely a dead end, given their inability to respond to customers, but, might have been worth a shot.

I have had great support from Metcal. The cable on my desoldering gun went faulty after very light use. Even though it was older then a year, they still sent me a free replacement for it. Its definently worth reaching out to them.

So far the distributor only created RMA for one of the tips, rather than the whole thing and they gave me 48hrs window for when the courier comes to collect. Which in my opinion is ridiculous. They seem to refuse to take the whole order back at once and try to hide behind the "process" they have.
They also refused to send me a label so that I could send everything at once (think of environment) through courier's collection point, instead of having to wait for collection, seemingly item at a time.
To be honest, I have never expected for the customer service to be so poor.

I may write to Metcal about my experience with their distributor, as I really wanted to have that station but if support is so bad, that's just a no go for me.






 

Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2024, 09:21:36 pm »
The distributor appears to have ghosted me, so I started a claim with my payment provider.

 :palm:
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2024, 09:31:35 pm »
You are free to mention who it was, if they really are screwing with you, looks like either Mouser, RS, Farnell, Rapid, and a few smaller ones in UK.
They also seem to sell direct but with a long lead time (2 weeks).
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Offline mtwieg

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2024, 01:31:33 pm »
palindrome your observations on the power meter sound roughly normal. If I'm using a conical tip like the STTC-145P then I never see the power meter stay above 20%, even if the tip is wetting directly to a ground plane (on initial contact it might spike to 50% but drops off quickly as the work heats up). Regardless of the ratings of the power supply, the tip itself becomes the bottleneck. Only way to get more power through it would be to use a higher temperature tip (STTC-845P?).

Whenever I work on large boards with lots of copper, I default to using a STTC-136P for most tasks. IIRC it is easy to get near full power through that tip. It's certainly not ideal for 0402 components, but if that 0402 is on a 8 layer board with 2oz copper and no thermal relief, then it's still much easier than struggling with a finer tip.

You could have a part defect, of course. In the past I had a PS-200 whose output power seemed to fade over the span of months, turned out there was some damage to the coaxial contacts in the hand piece, and replacing it fixed the issue. Have you tried switching between the two ports of your unit as well?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2024, 01:37:12 pm by mtwieg »
 
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Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2024, 04:36:06 pm »
palindrome your observations on the power meter sound roughly normal. If I'm using a conical tip like the STTC-145P then I never see the power meter stay above 20%, even if the tip is wetting directly to a ground plane (on initial contact it might spike to 50% but drops off quickly as the work heats up). Regardless of the ratings of the power supply, the tip itself becomes the bottleneck. Only way to get more power through it would be to use a higher temperature tip (STTC-845P?).

Whenever I work on large boards with lots of copper, I default to using a STTC-136P for most tasks. IIRC it is easy to get near full power through that tip. It's certainly not ideal for 0402 components, but if that 0402 is on a 8 layer board with 2oz copper and no thermal relief, then it's still much easier than struggling with a finer tip.

You could have a part defect, of course. In the past I had a PS-200 whose output power seemed to fade over the span of months, turned out there was some damage to the coaxial contacts in the hand piece, and replacing it fixed the issue. Have you tried switching between the two ports of your unit as well?

I was comparing it to T15-BCM2 on Hakko which I tend to use. I don't think it is a heavy duty tip or anything like that. But maybe Metcal cannot transfer heat through comparably sized tip? Maybe indeed my selection of tips was wrong and Metcal would need a larger tip for similar job. Partially this is why I bought a fair selection of tips, but none really was getting the job done.

I just had a look at the datasheet and one of the tips I used was STTC-136, but STTC-136P seems to be shorter for better heat transfer. Maybe I should have tried that one. But Metcal was struggling even with pins that weren't connected to ground plane and on Hakko I was able to whizz through them. Unfortunately I already packed the whole thing and stored away, so that I can send it back.

I received my JBC-DDE-2C and have used it now for some time. I really like it and it does what I was expecting it to do, so I am keeping it.
 

Offline palindromeTopic starter

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Re: Metcal MX-5210 underwhelming performance
« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2024, 04:37:36 pm »
You are free to mention who it was, if they really are screwing with you, looks like either Mouser, RS, Farnell, Rapid, and a few smaller ones in UK.
They also seem to sell direct but with a long lead time (2 weeks).

I'll keep it to myself for now if that's okay.
 


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