Author Topic: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)  (Read 22541 times)

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Offline HighVoltage

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ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« on: December 05, 2015, 01:00:03 pm »
This ERSA i-CON 1 was sold broken and I bought it very cheap, knowing it does not work.

Turning it on, gave a general Error message.
The iron handle seemed very old and used up, so first I just tried to install a new handle but that did not solve anything.
Opened up the unit and discovered a bad TRIAC (T25QC6F), 600V, 25A, TO220 on a huge heat-sink.
Installed a new TRIAC and the new handle and it works perfectly.

Here are some pictures:



 
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 01:00:44 pm »
More pictures
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 01:19:39 pm »
Here are some more pictures of the handle, taken apart.
It seems the handle was the culprit for this failure. The heating element resistance is 0.13 Ohm
The handle is filled with epoxy after the assembly and then the heating element is plugged it at last.
The handle is not meant to be taken apart, so I just cut it open.

Interesting that there is such a complicated PCB inside the handle?
Would be nice to see a schematic on this one.


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Offline TopLoser

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 01:23:30 pm »
What was the error message number? I have a unit here with what might be the same fault.

The heating element tests ok with a meter but the error message indicates the element is unplugged.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2015, 01:55:49 pm »
What was the error message number? I have a unit here with what might be the same fault.

The heating element tests ok with a meter but the error message indicates the element is unplugged.
There were two messages
Error 8 "Heater defect"
Error 81, Not explained in the handbook

Interestingly it kept the calibration data alright.
With my temperature calibrator, I am about +/- 3 degree away from what the display shows.

I really like these little i-CON 1 soldering stations and now, that I know of a way to repair them easily, I like them even more.

Here are some Voltage and current measurements:

Voltage is measured at the gate of the TRIAC
Current is measured at the input to the handle with an Agilent current probe 1147B on my MSOX3104A.

 
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Offline wblock

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 02:03:49 pm »
Nice!  The board has pads for a second triac and tool connector.  But what would the missing QFP package be doing?

Some additional board photos found in a quick search: https://xdevs.com/review/ersa_icon/
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2015, 02:14:31 pm »
Nice!  The board has pads for a second triac and tool connector.  But what would the missing QFP package be doing?

Some additional board photos found in a quick search: https://xdevs.com/review/ersa_icon/

I would think they are using the same board for the dual unit with two handles and just populate another TRIAC
Thanks, I did not see the pictures on xdevs.com before

Here is a picture of a calibration check.
It is not so easy to really check the temperature of a solder iron tip.
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Offline TopLoser

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 02:24:00 pm »
Hmm just plugged mine in again. Last time I tried i got a -8 error and a cold iron. this time I get a -71 error and it overheats very quickly. Display shows the temperature rising as it shoots past the set-point.

Element appears to be ok, thermocouple ok, maybe I'll check that triac see if it's gone short.

 

Offline TopLoser

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2015, 02:30:49 pm »
Hmm just plugged mine in again. Last time I tried i got a -8 error and a cold iron. this time I get a -71 error and it overheats very quickly. Display shows the temperature rising as it shoots past the set-point.

Element appears to be ok, thermocouple ok, maybe I'll check that triac see if it's gone short.

Can't be arsed opening it up, I've got enough broken stuff in my life needs mending.

http://uk.farnell.com/ersa/i-con1/soldering-station-80w-230v/dp/1625358

Everything in the picture. Boxed, all looks new, displays error codes -7, -71 and -8 at random.

£70 plus shipping anybody?

SOLD to Mr High Voltage
« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 02:47:01 pm by TopLoser »
 

Offline wblock

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2015, 02:36:15 pm »
Some variations of these stations have USB or a DB9 or both, so I'm going to guess that is what the QFP would be doing.

Quote
Here is a picture of a calibration check.
It is not so easy to really check the temperature of a solder iron tip.

Soldering iron reviews traditionally have the reviewer trying to hold a thermocouple on the tip and failing to get a useful reading.  Nice to see a real soldering iron tip thermometer!  :-+  (And an interesting one at that--constructed, or removed from a case?)
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2015, 02:45:37 pm »
Hmm just plugged mine in again. Last time I tried i got a -8 error and a cold iron. this time I get a -71 error and it overheats very quickly. Display shows the temperature rising as it shoots past the set-point.

Element appears to be ok, thermocouple ok, maybe I'll check that triac see if it's gone short.

Can't be arsed opening it up, I've got enough broken stuff in my life needs mending.

http://uk.farnell.com/ersa/i-con1/soldering-station-80w-230v/dp/1625358

Everything in the picture. Boxed, all looks new, displays error codes -7, -71 and -8 at random.

£70 plus shipping anybody?
Yes!
I take it from you, gives me another opportunity to play with its technology a little more
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2015, 02:51:27 pm »
Soldering iron reviews traditionally have the reviewer trying to hold a thermocouple on the tip and failing to get a useful reading.  Nice to see a real soldering iron tip thermometer!  :-+  (And an interesting one at that--constructed, or removed from a case?)
This one is sold by German distributor called ELV
http://www.elv.de/L%C3%B6tkolbentemperatur-Messger%C3%A4t-LTT-1/x.aspx/cid_726/detail_31395

Here are some more pictures of it.
It works pretty well, you just have to make sure the iron tip is free of hanging solder and clean.


« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 02:53:32 pm by HighVoltage »
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Offline TiN

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2015, 06:46:51 pm »
You have newer version of ICON.
Thanks for opening iron up. Little chip on it's PCB is accelerometer ADXL323, for wake-up function when you pick up tool from standoff.
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2015, 10:54:49 pm »
You have newer version of ICON.
Thanks for opening iron up. Little chip on it's PCB is accelerometer ADXL323, for wake-up function when you pick up tool from standoff.

Ahh, the accelerometer, that make sense.
Thanks for the explanation.
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Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2015, 11:04:04 pm »
You have newer version of ICON.
Thanks for opening iron up. Little chip on it's PCB is accelerometer ADXL323, for wake-up function when you pick up tool from standoff.
What do you mean by newer version? AFAIK they always have been like this from the beginning.
 

Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2015, 11:14:05 pm »
Here are some more pictures of the handle, taken apart.
It seems the handle was the culprit for this failure. The heating element resistance is 0.13 Ohm
The handle is filled with epoxy after the assembly and then the heating element is plugged it at last.
The handle is not meant to be taken apart, so I just cut it open.

Interesting that there is such a complicated PCB inside the handle?
Would be nice to see a schematic on this one.
0.13 ohm is not normal for heating element, it should be 3 ohm. I just don't get why you destroyed the handle if the heating element was faulty (it is removable).
 

Offline dom0

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2015, 12:12:05 am »
Opened up the unit and discovered a bad TRIAC (T25QC6F), 600V, 25A, TO220 on a huge heat-sink.

Fascinating that they still have such an outdated and inefficient design in 2015. OTOH Weller and others probably does it exactly the same way, too.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 12:13:44 am by dom0 »
,
 

Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2015, 12:17:26 am »
Opened up the unit and discovered a bad TRIAC (T25QC6F), 600V, 25A, TO220 on a huge heat-sink.

Fascinating that they still have such an outdated and inefficient design in 2015. OTOH Weller and others probably does it exactly the same way, too.
What so outdated and inefficient in it? This works perfectly fine and does the job. You won't get much better than this anyway.
 

Offline dom0

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2015, 12:21:33 am »
The simple fact that the triac on the low voltage side leads to losses of 5-10 W, depending on iron power.
,
 

Offline continuo

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2015, 08:29:39 am »
KISS at work. This is production line equipment, it's not meant to be fancy or a green world saver, it's meant to be rock solid and reliable. Most of the time, it is  :-DD
 

Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2015, 09:26:21 am »
The simple fact that the triac on the low voltage side leads to losses of 5-10 W, depending on iron power.
Losses peak. In average there well be less than 1 W lost at worst case (continuous use at production line).
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2015, 10:01:51 am »
You have newer version of ICON.
Thanks for opening iron up. Little chip on it's PCB is accelerometer ADXL323, for wake-up function when you pick up tool from standoff.
What do you mean by newer version? AFAIK they always have been like this from the beginning.
TiN did a teardown that was mentioned earlier in this tread and he shows a splash screen with FW v2.16 28.04.08
The one I have taken apart has FW v 2.17 23/03.09

See pictures below as a comparison

Will be interesting to know, what the latest FW is and what was changed.
May be the one I am getting from TopLoser will have a different FW.


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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2015, 10:04:17 am »
0.13 ohm is not normal for heating element, it should be 3 ohm. I just don't get why you destroyed the handle if the heating element was faulty (it is removable).
Yes, you are right, the heating element is removable and I could have saved the handle.
But I bought already a completely new handle and I wanted to see what is inside the old one.
So essentially because "I could"

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Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2015, 10:49:54 am »
TiN did a teardown that was mentioned earlier in this tread and he shows a splash screen with FW v2.16 28.04.08
The one I have taken apart has FW v 2.17 23/03.09

See pictures below as a comparison

Will be interesting to know, what the latest FW is and what was changed.
May be the one I am getting from TopLoser will have a different FW.
You didn't say newer FW version, just newer version. I have two ICON 2 (same PCB but more parts soldered for 2 channels), first one, I think, is bought in 2009 - 2.17 23.03.09 and the newer one is 2.26 28.02.14 (Kurtz ERSA logo at boot).
Hardware is the same in both of them. So his "newer version" seem to be from 2009.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 10:53:21 am by wraper »
 

Online wraper

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Re: ERSA i-CON 1 - Teardown and Repair (Success)
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2015, 10:56:24 am »
0.13 ohm is not normal for heating element, it should be 3 ohm. I just don't get why you destroyed the handle if the heating element was faulty (it is removable).
Yes, you are right, the heating element is removable and I could have saved the handle.
But I bought already a completely new handle and I wanted to see what is inside the old one.
So essentially because "I could"
Yeah, but new handle is pricey, just heating element is more than 2x cheaper.
Prices at farnell without VAT: heating element 69 eur, full I-tool 165 EUR
 


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