Poll

Help me pick my next soldering station please...

Hakko FX951 - $245
3 (11.1%)
Pace  ADS200 - $388
4 (14.8%)
JBC CD-1BQF - $449
20 (74.1%)

Total Members Voted: 27

Author Topic: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??  (Read 5746 times)

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Offline jsquaredz

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Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« on: February 03, 2022, 09:00:07 pm »
Hello all.  I am looking to get a new soldering station.  Currently I have the Hakko 888D and want to upgrade to the direct heat tip style.   

I am looking at :

Hakko FX951 - $245
Pace  ADS200 - $388
JBC CD-1BQF - $449

I liked the Pace when I watched Dave's review and teardown from 3 years ago, but the price is almost double what it was back then.  I feel that the Pace is close enough to the JBC that I would just spring for the JBC for the extra 100 bucks.

That said, I wonder if the JBC is really worth almost twice the price of the Hakko.  I am a firm believer in "buy once, cry once" , but I also want to make a smart decision.  Let me know what you all think.  With the current prices I would love to hear some feedback.


P.S. Does anyone know if the current version of the Pace has fixed the firmware issues and goofy capacitor placement board layout issue>?
 

Offline Mangozac

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2022, 10:36:35 pm »
I am a firm believer in "buy once, cry once" , but I also want to make a smart decision.
It's not like you can go wrong with any of those 3 options though. I'd say it comes down more to personal preference and specific task requirements.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2022, 11:08:09 pm »
Perhaps the deciding factor might be the consumables. Go look at the selection and cost of (genuine) tips -- there are massive differences in this regard. JBC's selection is incredible, but the prices are... oof. (And JBC tips aren't as long-lasting as the others.)
 

Offline flolic

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2022, 07:46:25 am »
JBC's selection is incredible, but the prices are... oof. (And JBC tips aren't as long-lasting as the others.)

I don't know how long lasts tips from other manufacturers, but my experience with JBC is great. Most used tip in my station is C245-034, and the current one is over 2 years old. I own a repair shop, and that tip is used every single day on all kind of situations.
Also, T12s are no match to JBCs regarding power delivery. I have no experience with Pace.
 
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2022, 07:52:44 am »
It is the price and longevity of tips that are deciding the cost of the system.
JBC have most choice at high prices. Pace is pretty much same performance, much less expensive tips.

Hakko has a bit less power but should be good enough too. If you are soldering something with huge thermal mass you need to preheat it anyways...
 
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Offline knotlogic

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2022, 02:29:30 pm »
P.S. Does anyone know if the current version of the Pace has fixed the firmware issues and goofy capacitor placement board layout issue>?

Goofy capacitor placement issues?

Can't speak for your other options, but I have the Pace and quite like using it.  The handpiece gives a short tip to grip distance which makes it easy for me to work with.  The 120W of the Pace allowed me to do a job that my old 40W Metcal couldn't manage (though the Metcal was also a joy to use).
 
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Offline asmi

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2022, 02:34:11 pm »
I use ADS200 I bought shortly after it was released at ~$220, and it was a no-brainer for that price. But even at today's prices, I would choose it over JBC because of tip costs. The reality is you will need at least 4 tips (one for microsoldering, one general-purpose chisel, one larger chisel for high-heat capacity part soldering like SMA connectors, one "axe"-style for PCB cleaning), and double that if you need to also have ability to use both leaded and lead-free solder (you can't use the same tip for both since it will be contaminated with lead and thus will not be RoHS-compliant). With that, the cost of tips would be significant, and so the cheaper they are, the better, both for initial investment and long-term usage.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 08:31:33 pm by asmi »
 
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Offline m k

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2022, 03:57:41 pm »
Perhaps the deciding factor might be the consumables. Go look at the selection and cost of (genuine) tips -- there are massive differences in this regard. JBC's selection is incredible, but the prices are... oof. (And JBC tips aren't as long-lasting as the others.)

Back in the day Pace had consumable tips, those that had to be tinned during first warm up.
(that was a through hole era and machines were used)
Aneng-Appa-AVO-Fluke-General Radio-Heathkit-Herbert Arnold-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Mastech-Simpson-Tektronix-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 

Offline Brage

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2022, 04:23:05 pm »
Consider the interface of the product as well. Having buttons and switches that are intuitive to you and a display that makes sense plays a part in product selection.

A good example, for me, is the Pace display vs the JBC display. Pace struggle to give you enough information through the display to tell you whats going on, while the JBC display almost displays too much information. Sure, you'll learn how the Pace works after some time, but come on... This is a simple tool that you want to use without having to drag out a manual or search online to find out how its working.
 
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Offline sam512bb

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2022, 10:45:07 pm »

Best soldering iron hands down for me, has been my Metcal.  I bought mine about 15 years ago and paid a lot for it, but has never let me down... and I can use it in virtually any application include uber fine pitch work.  Tips are not overly expensive and a new tip basically renews the iron, as the tip is in control of the heating.  New tip = new heating.  Tips last a very long time.  I think I buy news tips when I have to wait more than 10 seconds for it to reach temp.  When new the tips reach temp in under 5 seconds.

I cannot speak for the new Metcal products, but I would check them out... as  you will never look back.

Cheers,

Sam
 
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Offline jsquaredz

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2022, 02:57:44 am »
I do appreciate that.  I have the Hakko 888D and the interface is horrible.  I much rather have the 888 with the awesome rotary knob rather than the cryptic controls of the 888D.  I guess from that standpoint the JBC is the only way to go from these three.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2022, 05:54:13 am »
In my opinion the Hakko and JBC CD series have more operational quirks than the Pace ADS200. Pace improved the firmware quite a while back, the capacitor position is not a show stopper. The ADS200 runs tweezers as well as the iron. The others don't and the FX951 is only 75W. The Pace interface is very intuative. Setup isn't as easy as JBC but it's a one time thing. The JBC screen has viewing issues in different positions and lighting conditions. Then theres tip life and that the JBC temp profile tends to run a little hot which boosts it's apparent performance.

Down to the different brands. Pace ADS200 for a cheaper system, Metcal MX5200 for a more expensive one. They both have reasonable tip cost for what they are and are solidly built. Metcals stand is a bit plastic like though.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 06:02:21 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2022, 06:19:36 pm »
Hello all.  I am looking to get a new soldering station.  Currently I have the Hakko 888D and want to upgrade to the direct heat tip style.   

I am looking at :

Hakko FX951 - $245
Pace  ADS200 - $388
JBC CD-1BQF - $449


Metcal MFR-1110 -- $418.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2022, 11:11:10 pm »
Goofy capacitor placement issues?

Can't speak for your other options, but I have the Pace and quite like using it.  The handpiece gives a short tip to grip distance which makes it easy for me to work with.  The 120W of the Pace allowed me to do a job that my old 40W Metcal couldn't manage (though the Metcal was also a joy to use).

A capacitor is right beside the heatsink inside the unit, not a major issue though.

What tip were you using on the Metcal? I actually find this really hard to believe, unless its the low end 400kHz stuff.
The Pace does not put out anywhere near 120W from what we've seen (Dave and SDG's testing), its something closer to 70W.

In most cases I would expect a 40W 13MHz Metcal to match the Pace, due to its induction tech, unless you are using a very large tip where raw power is important.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2022, 11:13:28 pm by thm_w »
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Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2022, 04:37:50 am »
The Pace does not put out anywhere near 120W from what we've seen (Dave and SDG's testing), its something closer to 70W.

Nonsense, the handpiece is directly powered by rectified ac at full voltage. Neither of them put the handpiece on an oscilloscope. But it would likely end up leading to more assumptions being made. Steve seems to think regulating stations work 100% duty all the time. Even his Metcal reduces power when it's near set temp.

The Pace ADS200 has an led light on the front that shows you when it's powering the heater. If it's not on constantly it's regulating. Regulating is not 100% duty.

The most apparent difference in performance is because the ADS200 regulates at a lower temperature. You can't just set 3 different stations to the same temperature and expect the same results. You need to properly profile their performance i.e. log it under some calibrated loads.

Another argument is if the Pace is running at 70W max power how can you explain it heating approximately twice as fast as the Hakko FX951, another 70W station?

Again if you look at JBC charts you wonder is the Metcal tip 357C and running hot or is it the 412C tip running cold? Why does the JBC go up to 430C?

« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 05:08:52 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2022, 12:47:28 am »
Nonsense, the handpiece is directly powered by rectified ac at full voltage. Neither of them put the handpiece on an oscilloscope. But it would likely end up leading to more assumptions being made. Steve seems to think regulating stations work 100% duty all the time. Even his Metcal reduces power when it's near set temp.

The Pace ADS200 has an led light on the front that shows you when it's powering the heater. If it's not on constantly it's regulating. Regulating is not 100% duty.

I would trust the PM300 power analyzer Dave used over the front LED, but oscilloscope is a good idea. The ADS power jumps between 10W and 70-120W, so it is hard to determine a true average power. Its introducing large dead-time for some reason we don't know of. If you have a kill-a-watt, I would recommend testing with that and seeing how much it actually takes under sustained use, you might be surprised.

FX951 is "rated" at 70W, but with an ideal short power tip and workpiece, at best you are getting about 50W. 
Add to that Pace tip and heater design is more optimized over T12. In addition, T12 has a ton of non-optimal tip designs.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ksger-t12-tip-selection/msg3346686/#msg3346686


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Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2022, 08:29:18 am »
It's not even worth my time trying to argue it with you, I tested my stations 4 years ago. Your assumptions are based on Dave and Steve not realizing that the test they performed is very susceptible to how the stations regulate near set temp (or the lack of regulation on some stations) as well as calibration and other factors to a lesser degree. Remember in actual soldering we don't sit on a joint for 10-20 seconds on a coin or a pcb blank.

If it indeed was a lack of power why did it improve with an increased temperature? It's because when creating a molten solder bridge as well as increasing the surface area between the tip and joint it increases thermal transfer efficiency.

The power meters weren't suitable for that test, you need both fast responding equipment and logging the heater directly not the power supply. But that doesn't even matter because you will just further cement your cognitive bias until you approach it scientifically.

Which I don't feel the need to explain, testing them properly is quite involved and won't change the results. It will just show the JBC CD design delvers more short term performance but loses out to Metcal MX5200 on heavier joints and if you adjust for differences in regulation (or lack thereof) the Pace pulls closer to JBC and the Metcal surpasses JBC. So nothing different from what you will discover observing them closely with a tip thermometer.

Another thought experiment, if you think the Pace is 70W then how do you explain the JBCs 135/140W, oh man that must be incredible performance at double the power. What about the FX888 is it 30W of power now. I mean that proposition just gets silly. Most people don't understand on small tips the power availability far exceeds the tips throughput, a large amount of the work is heating the tip from cold.

You must excuse me, I've grown quite weary.

Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2022, 11:49:58 pm »
If it indeed was a lack of power why did it improve with an increased temperature?

I don't think its necessarily a lack of power, its some issue with the control system. Raising temperature would be a way to workaround that control.

Quote
Another thought experiment, if you think the Pace is 70W then how do you explain the JBCs 135/140W, oh man that must be incredible performance at double the power. What about the FX888 is it 30W of power now. I mean that proposition just gets silly.

JBC straight up admits to it being peak power, and average power is much less (they don't even tell you the number).
From what SDG says on his 5mm tip, the power was limited via software to 90W. Maybe the heater coil cannot handle any higher?

So JBC is really 90W, Pace being in the 70-90W range too does not seem so unreasonable right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGPVhv5fZGs
Here consumption with 5mm only peaks at 60W.

Quote
Most people don't understand on small tips the power availability far exceeds the tips throughput, a large amount of the work is heating the tip from cold.

Yeah absolutely agree.
Which is why you'll generally see the highest consumption when powering on the station.
But, that consumption may not be a valid comparison, because: it could never reach that power again under normal use (if the tip measurement design system does not allow it), and the software might have a "turn on" mode to allow it to heat up faster.
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Offline Arts

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2022, 01:37:04 am »
I have been using the JBC CD-1BE with the T245 handpiece for a couple of years now. Very long daily run times, and it has been flawless. I use only genuine JBC C245 tips from an authorized distributor.
Never had a problem with any of my tips.

I also have a Hakko FM-203 with the FM-2030 heavy duty handpiece (140W using T22 cartridges) on my second bench, and would strongly suggest adding this model to your list if high-power soldering is a requirement. Not nearly the same quantity/variety of tips as the T15 lineup, but more than wide ranging enough to satisfy most needs. Mind,as with all Hakko stations, the user interface is abysmal.....
 

Offline Arhigos

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2022, 02:38:00 pm »
Ok. I'm working in production and i used all of them and here is my experience:

Hakko has great quality. Well built and well designed. Ergonomics is ok. Not best not terrible. Performance is ok for most cases. Tips life is ok and also tips is not very expensive. I would say this is great choice for production line.

Pace recently introduced the new ADS2000. They make tips with same design as previous intelliheat generation but with different specs. That means if you try to use older tips in a new station you will get crazy high temperature. And if you put new tips in older station you will get very low temperature. We damaged couple very expensive PCB due to that (over $2000 was scrapped). Also three button menu is absolutely terrible and not user-friendly. You have to download user manual and read it every time you need to change something in settings. Sleeping stand is also stupid and requires proprietary cable. (for example hakko uses 3.5mm jack). I do not recommend pace for any type of production. Only for home or hobby use. I think pace could win gold medal in /r/assholedesign/ subreddit

JBC is amazing. Yes this is the most expensive station, but design, ergonomics and quality is absolutely great. My favorite features is quick-tip change and OLED screen. Another good thing that i love is that higher temperature is locked at 400 C and can only go higher from the secret menu. That means no employees will be setting temperature above recommended and oveheating components for example.  Right now we use JBC everywhere and recycled all other stations.

I also recommend Metcal. This is really expensive station but heating performance is better than any other soldering station.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 02:41:16 pm by Arhigos »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2022, 03:25:30 pm »
You're an idiot if you can't use Paces preset button and up/down button. The tip series are color coded, how hard is it. As an experienced solderer I don't buy into you not knowing you stuck the wrong tip in, I have both stations as well it's obvious.

I like how you troll about Paces interface and leave out Hakkos the FX888 and FX951 are hard to even set a temp on. Put the JBC CD on a shelf you can't even see the buttons or see the screen.

I admit the Pace setup isn't ultra intuitive but whats there to setup more than once? The stand cable is an overkill, I personally think it should be simpler and detachable. I've not tested Hakkos but the question I'd ask is can you plug something into the Hakko 3.5mm jack and damage the mcu, that is the problem with using common connectors. If you didn't like Paces stand connectors it's trivial to convert it over to something else.

Anyway up, down and a preset recall button. Yeah REAL rocket science, it's like one of the easiest digital stations out there. Hey we should have like a video comparison of you setting the first preset and me setting the first preset and let people decide for themselves who can press a button the best. Then we can do the second and third presets if you want to get super technical. Heheheh.

I can literally do it blindfolded, I'm not joking.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 03:40:32 pm by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
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Offline Arhigos

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2022, 03:53:15 pm »
1. Im not talking about changing temperature. I'm talking about things like disable or enable channel on mbt350, change sleep offset and things like that.

2. Dark blue and black is really different color, yes sure. But even if they had red and black for example people will still try to use incorrect tips because there is no warning or anything like that. This dumb design is not acceptable for production use.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2022, 05:12:39 pm »
The MBT350 is 20 years old. I've told them to make a quick key combo to disable a channel so hopefully they put it in the new multichannel versions, but yeah really their design back then was not focused heavily on channel management.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2022, 07:02:16 pm »
Ok. I'm working in production and i used all of them and here is my experience:

Hakko has great quality. Well built and well designed. Ergonomics is ok. Not best not terrible. Performance is ok for most cases. Tips life is ok and also tips is not very expensive. I would say this is great choice for production line.

Pace recently introduced the new ADS2000. They make tips with same design as previous intelliheat generation but with different specs. That means if you try to use older tips in a new station you will get crazy high temperature. And if you put new tips in older station you will get very low temperature. We damaged couple very expensive PCB due to that (over $2000 was scrapped). Also three button menu is absolutely terrible and not user-friendly. You have to download user manual and read it every time you need to change something in settings. Sleeping stand is also stupid and requires proprietary cable. (for example hakko uses 3.5mm jack). I do not recommend pace for any type of production. Only for home or hobby use. I think pace could win gold medal in /r/assholedesign/ subreddit
If you think Hakko’s interface is better than in the ADS200, then I can only conclude you’re insane!

Regardless, using the wrong tips and ruining $2K worth of product is entirely on user error. How awful a technician must one be to not realize the tip is running way hotter than expected? (I notice tip temperature readily.) And then to not notice it yet continue working in a way that causes catastrophic damage? Not Pace’s fault if you hire staff with IQs lower than their ages.

The instant standby connector is a standard DIN socket. (Amphenol C091B series if you want to get the exact parts, but any bayonet or non-latching DIN plug works.) Nothing proprietary about it. It’s a simple switch contact, no proprietary communication.

Pace is the exact opposite of a hobbyist product. They’re used widely in production and repair, especially in military and aerospace. So if you can’t get good results with it, that’s on you.

Their stations also let you program password-protected maximum temperatures.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Soldering station - Hakko, JBC, or Pace??
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2022, 07:51:57 pm »
With due all respect, but I can roughly tell soldering temperature by how fast flux burns. At 310°C it is vastly different than at 370°C where it burns and oxidizes almost immediately. But even 370-380°C shouldn't damage board immediately, unless you heat it too long and apply mechanical force, i.e. not doing it right.

And also, what do you change all the time on the menu? In production, you sometimes LOCK the station, so operator cannot change even temperature....

And then you talk about how you lock JBC so operator cannot change anything ?????

As they say in that meme "I am confusion, Ameriga egsplain"
 
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