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SDG Electronics mega soldering system thread - New: JBC Tweezers

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TopQuark:
I think I have hoarded more than a life time supply of high quality leaded solder (the stuff with silver in it :P), but am still looking to transition to lead free. My lab is in the living room shared with the family, while I am very responsible with my soldering hygiene, I do worry contaminating the environment accidentally and expose my family to lead. I think once I have the issue I am seeing resolved, lead free shouldn't be an issue, Kester's K100LD lead free alloy is wonderful to work with (with properly working equipment), it flows well and even leaves a shiny joint.

TopQuark:
Nevermind, just got my metcal tips and I completely reverse my view on the metcal system. It works brilliantly, thermal recovery is second to none. I can tin 12 AWG wire with a 2.5mm chisel tip with ease, soldering parts to copper clad board is smooth as butter, all using lead free solder. I am very surprised how well the metcal tips work compared to the thermaltronics tips, the metcal ones are worth the extra expense. Shame I bought quite a few thermaltronics tips, the MX-5200 really did not seem to like them and behaved weirdly.

labjr:
Good to know. I've been taking my time researching tips for my Metcal setup. Because of the cost, I don't want to buy tips that I won't use. I do mostly repair work with through hole and PTP wiring, terminal strips and tube sockets, eyelet boards etc. on vintage audio equipment I was tempted to try Thermaltronics. I didn't think there was a difference?

Do the Hakko tip cartridges fit in the Metcal handpiece? Is there any consensus on the quality?

thm_w:

--- Quote from: TopQuark on September 23, 2021, 01:09:53 am ---I am noticing some funky behavior with my particular setup. The tip I am using for the copper clad board test is a M7CH250 from thermaltronics. The tip does heat up to ~378C and draws ~70 w peak (front panel power meter) doing so. However, after the initial heating phase, the tip only draws ~20w from the station no matter how high the thermal load is and the tip gets stuck. I observed similar behavior with the M7CH024 tip as well.

The station switched to simultaneous dual output seems not to suffer from the same issue, but is a bit of a pain as power cycling is required for tip change in this mode. In any case, I have some Metcal tips from Mouser coming today which will hopefully solve this issue.

--- End quote ---

That is a good tip geometry so its weird it would have any performance issue, even on single output 40W RF. Confusing. I would consider returning them to thermaltronics or at least letting them know about it.
Personally I have not had a problem with their tips, or have heard any (mikeselectricstuff uses them as well). But have not done a direct 1:1 comparison of the same tip.


--- Quote from: labjr on September 23, 2021, 07:56:33 pm ---Do the Hakko tip cartridges fit in the Metcal handpiece? Is there any consensus on the quality?

--- End quote ---

They are different not compatible, and less selection is available. I'm sure the quality would be fine.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/handle-connector-for-hakko-fx100-tips/

labjr:
I thought Thermaltronics made Hakko compatible tips? So they make separate lines of tips for Hakko and Metcal compatibility?

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