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SDG Electronics mega soldering system thread - New: Miniware TS101

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Saw this article with a coin test and thermal calculations at the bottom:

--- Quote ---For our coins, we know the mass is 5.2g and that the specific heat capacity of copper is 0.385J/g°C. We also know that the temperature our 60/40 leaded solder flows at is around 250°C.
Therefore, the thermal absorption is: Q = 5.2 x 0.385 x (250°C - 25°C) = 450J

We know the iron is capable of delivering 40W of heating power and the total energy required to heat the coin, thus, the equation to calculate Time becomes:
T = E / P = 450J / 40W = 11.25 seconds

--- End quote ---

2p coin is 7.12g = 620J = 15s for 40W, 8s for 80W, leaded solder, using their numbers.
Lead free should be a couple seconds longer.


--- Quote from: TopQuark on September 27, 2021, 07:07:39 am ---MX-500P-11 arrived, well used but perfectly functional. Thermaltronics tips works perfectly with the mx-500 without the issues I see with the mx-5200. If it wasn't for the 80w of the mx-5200, I'd happily use the mx-500 as my main unit, not a fan of the longer boot and reset time of the mx-5200.

Also I don't see a big difference in thermal performance between the two unless I'm soldering to something like a aluminum PCB.

--- End quote ---

I have the newer MX-500 with the LCD that looks like the MX-5200 and for general soldering you can get by perfectly with the 40W RF power. However, I do notice if you use them both side by side, there is a slight delay before the full wetting stage of the solder joint with the MX-500. I now keep the Ultrafine handpiece on the MX-500 and the Advanced handpiece on the MX-5200. The other port is usually connected to the desolder gun but gets swapped for the tweezers sometimes since they do take a lot longer to heat up on the lower power station.

Recently I've gone back to using the GT120 after all these other stations and I'm actually really impressed with it. I initially didn't think much of it since I'd been using the MX-5200 almost exclusively, but after all these other systems I've realised just how good it is, probably better than every other system except the MX-5200. The downside to the GT120 is the lack of cartridge types and general availability of them.

I guess you're paying for performance with anything Metcal. I don't know if I'd spend that much for a soldering station that uses a power brick. And I don't care for the factory kludge.


--- Quote from: labjr on October 09, 2021, 04:39:28 pm ---I guess you're paying for performance with anything Metcal. I don't know if I'd spend that much for a soldering station that uses a power brick. And I don't care for the factory kludge.

--- End quote ---

Factory kludge has gone. I need to do an update as all of those versions were supposed to be recalled from distributors.

So I have been using my Metcal for a while, and since I don't have the time to do a proper comparison video between the Metcal and other stations I own, I thought I'd leave my thoughts here.

Just get the Metcal, it is well worth it. It just works (provided you use Metcal tips not the thermaltronics ones), it solders anything I throw at it, and it brings a smile to my face everytime I use it. The Metcal tip plating is just as good as the Hakko, which I consider to be the gold standard when it comes to plating durability, but obviously the thermal performance is miles ahead. Compared to the Goot, it has better thermal performance, especially when comparing the ultrafine tips. I can solder wick a 4-layer QFN center GND pad with the Metcal ultrafine tips, but the Goot ultrafine tips can't reflow 0402 pads if the pads has the slightest bit of copper pour on it. My DIY Weller RT station comes close to the Metcal when it comes to thermal performance, but the Weller tip plating is very fragile and blackens fast.

On the subject of tips, I have 10 Metcal tips for my standard handpiece, and I use the STTC-126 90% of the time. The tip to grip distance is second to none, I can comfortably work under the microscope with it. I can do anything from reworking 0402 to soldering SMA connectors to ground planes with that tip, I almost regret buying the other tips. The SMTC-1183 is amazing for drag soldering fine pitch QFP, it makes the job so unbelievably easy. I also like the STTC-117 for soldering solid brass vacuum fittings together, it is the tip I use when sh*t hits the fan.

Overall I can't praise the Metcal enough, and just wish I had gotten it years sooner, without going through the expense of buying the other stations I own.


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