Author Topic: Another begginer asking for help with station :)  (Read 1355 times)

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Offline paqueiros

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Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« on: June 28, 2019, 11:34:32 pm »
Good evening,

Before all I'm from Portugal still a begginer in electronics and apologize if I'm posting in wrong section.
I do have some experience soldering and light repairs in PCBs but all very simple Jobs. At the moment I'm using a temperature controlled analogue iron that uses pencil style tips and has a lot of millage.

I've spent the last few days browsing forum even before registering looking for some info. Since at the moment I don't have a means to calibrate a station iron I'm interested more interested In a self calibrated solution.

Also want to avoid sketchy Chinese products because don't have all that experience to be sure it won't "blow" up in my face and leave me stranded in a tight spot. And I mainly use lead free (kids and pets, besides new boards all come with it so might as well accept it)

From what I've read if I'm not mistaken I can choose between:
Jbc
Metcal / thermoelectrics
Ersa
Pace

I can afford any of the entry level's + couple tips from either of the above but don't want to over expend. For example jbc has allot of great functions but I probably won't use half In a long time.

Also metcal really couldn't understand practical difference between sp-900 and mfr1100 family (besides available tips).

I know this is common grounds for post's but could really use some help.

Thanks In advance 
 

Offline ArthurWozniak

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 11:47:55 pm »
Hello,

I think Weller is a good brand too...

Best regards
 

Offline MosherIV

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 08:58:18 am »
Hi.
Welcome to the forum.
There is nothing wrong with old analogue soldering stations. There is only really 2 things that go wrong: heating element breaks or temperature control circuit breaks.

Soldering is down to personal preference. What you are use to.

As far as I know there are NO self calibrating soldering systems. It is not really needed, practically it either melts solder or it does not. Does it help knowing the exact temperature?
There is a certain amount of inaccuracies and recovery time.
There are cheap Chinese soldering iro  thermometers that work, goes for ones around €10 and above do not get the really cheap ones.

Most of the brands use traditional resistance heating elements. They have controllable temperature.
Metcal use a noval rf curie effect, what their promotional video. Temperature is controlled by changing the tips to one with different temp range.

I think the sp-900 is now  discontinued. Still available used only. Range of tips ia getting limited but still available. Work with the lower 480KHz freq, no real difference to the user.

The mfr1100 works on 12MHz, no real difference to the user. Has wider range of tips.

I have used Metcal and JBC. I prefer Metcal (remember that is a personel preference, you may not like it)
For  me I found the temperature transfer ie soldering speed, of the Metcal to be better.
See the videos on soldering 2 pennies together. Really helps with large thermal mass, ie soldering to large ground plains, heat sink devices, large gauge wire.
I do not find changing the tip temperature to be of much use. It is either soldering or it is not.



 
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Offline paqueiros

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 11:09:31 am »
The reason for me wanting a new station is because my current setup it's really old and long discontinued. The heating element has seen better days and can no longer get new tips besides conically (only left in stock and in very few places).

I wanted one that didn't need periodical temperature recalibration (why excluded Weller and Hakko) since I'm solder a few temperature sensitive components. And best way to avoid premature failure is a good heat transfer setup with reliable temperature and lest amount of time possible for making joint usually takes between 1 and 3 seconds(ground plates and larger gauge connections).
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 12:44:05 pm »
We don't know what is your budget?  Can you afford the premium brands and models?  Do you need a lower-cost option?
We don't know how much soldering you do?  Do you use this several hours per day, or only a few hours a month for hobby projects?

There are a growing number of those small "digital" soldering irons. They are probably good for soldering small SMD components, etc.  But seem rather wimpy for soldering even modestly larger things.

One of the traditional Asian favorites is Hakko FX888. Apparently a popular target for counterfeiting. But IMHO even the counterfeits are probably good enough for casual hobby use.  Of course NEVER leave a soldering iron running unattended.  Some people put their clothes iron or soldering iron on a timer so that they automatically turn off after an hour, etc.

I still use my old Weller soldering irons from 50-60 years ago.  As I live and learn, I more often look for replacement parts and consumables before selecting which product to buy. So I would be sure to see what tips were being offered for sale before selecting a soldering iron.

There are also soldering iron kits that you can DIY. They commonly use Hakko-style connectors, cable, handles, tips, etc.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Offline paqueiros

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 01:36:20 pm »
All electronics projects I do are for the pleasure of it. Hobby so to speak. I usually change leads on chargers and battery,  do simple repairs in PCBs and build small PCBs and PSUs for friends when they need a new one. Don't even charge anything besides components.

Regarding budget I can safely go up to 450 and if I have to 500 however if I can do it for 200s or 300s is better because I save the rest for other things that may come down the line.

As for the YouTube link I'll watch it tomorrow (vacation in an island with barely any network coverage).

However clones I would prefer to avoid for the lack of QC a d I rate of DOAs and serious safety reasons. And ESD is more than tip grounding ;)

Prefer the buy genuine but only once approach.
 

Offline TJ232

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 03:35:50 pm »
A good quality one with a price hard to beat:
ERSA i-CON nano - 0IC1200A

Genuine tips are cheap, available in a big variety and proper used will last forever.
For the extra tips I would suggest you to buy also the assorted fasten ring, for a very simple and quick change:  3IT1040-00


Happy breadboarding,
TJ.
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 04:59:15 pm »
I've spent the last few days browsing forum even before registering looking for some info. Since at the moment I don't have a means to calibrate a station iron I'm interested more interested In a self calibrated solution.

The Pace ADS200 is a 120W calibration free system so no need to mess around with tip thermometers or adjust the station when changing tips. Has the cheapest long life cartridge tips out there so overall lowest cost of ownership.

Pace just does one iron that takes everything from micro smd tips to large mass, spatula and smd removal tips. Has a really short tip working distance. ESD safe iron, handle, cable, station and properly grounded tip and station. Pace doesn't require tip sleeves, so no hidden costs or complicated tip swapping.

It's very fast and accurate heating, the only professional station in it's price range with an all aluminum case/stand/iron, built for durability.  For the above reasons it has many advantages over Ersa, Hakko and JBC. You want to get the instant setback model as it has a cable which links the stand to the station.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 04:36:25 pm »
Hello,

I think Weller is a good brand too...
No. The tips from Weller are utter crap. The same goes for JBC as well. Just like inkjet printers you keep buying tips and pay through the usage.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2019, 12:42:24 am »
The tips from Weller are utter crap. The same goes for JBC as well. Just like inkjet printers you keep buying tips and pay through the usage. 
That has definitely not been my experience. I have several Weller stations, all of them I got second-hand. The newest one is >40y ago.  I am still using the original tips except for one case where I substituted a smaller tip for soldering SMD.
 

Offline sn4k3

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2019, 03:04:08 pm »
I made a article long time ago, but still valid: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/(tip)-best-budgetcheap-soldering-stations-and-tools/msg1324255/#msg1324255

Pace ADS200 or ERSA. Easy to import to Portugal from EU.

I'm a happy user of i-tool, best pencil i ever tried
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 03:08:08 pm by sn4k3 »
 
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Offline paqueiros

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2019, 06:41:01 pm »
Thank you all for your input, ended up buying Pace, after checking almost 10 EU stores either only sold to businesses or Ersa + tips and couple collars was more expensive than Pace + Tips.

So kinda helped the final argument of both brands. In around 3 days I'm sure I'll be a new prowd owner of a pace ADS200.
 
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Offline Shock

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 10:12:57 pm »
Congrats, if you broke it down into pros and cons I think the Pace would come out ahead on most points, so you made a fine choice.

What is not immediately obvious is the Ersa iron uses a tip over heater (indirect heating) rather than a cartridge system (direct heating). The Ersa has 3 heating profiles in software called "Power Level" (see below - high, med, low) it affects the irons overall heating speed. On the "high" profile by switching the heating on longer, it heats faster but regulation is sacrificed (seen by the large overshoot).

On the ADS200 there is no real reason for multiple profiles, it is accurate and fast heating (in part due to direct heating), so nothing to gain by having a slower profile.

Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Offline Johnny B Good

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2019, 03:40:07 am »
https://youtu.be/cGdHJ3BTh_c

 Watching that video again, I still get the heeby jeebies when the reviewer starts extolling the quality of the smpsu board at around 3 minutes in. In hindsight, it is a salutary lesson in not accepting a reviewer's opinion as the "Gospel Truth", especially when it comes to matters of electrical safety.

 If you have an enquiring mind (checking out these review videos should be an indicator of such curiosity), you should be taking note of the video evidence before your eyes (it's a Hi Def offering) and be asking yourself "What is the circuit trace that the last fin on the large diode heatsink is resting against? It looks like it could be connected to some part of the rectified mains supply such as that BFO 400v smoothing cap right at the end of the heatsink."

 It turns out that these smpsu boards are not unlike a Chinese version of Russian Roulette since the only thing between that end of the heatsink, which straddles the isolation slot, and a circuit trace that could be carrying 170 or 340 volt dc modulated with half mains voltage, is just a thin layer of solder mask. I know I'm responding to a three month old post but I think it's important to put these facts on the record.

 In theory, the silicone heat gasket that electrically isolates the low voltage rectifier diode from the heatsink should stop a contact fault from energising the output with a dangerously high voltage so such a breakdown in the insulating properties of solder mask may not become immediately obvious by blowing up the smpsu and any connected soldering iron leaving the operator exposed to a lethal voltage.

 However, putting your trust in such a secondary insulator to protect against a fault that the isolation slot had been intended to prevent, seems foolish in the extreme. How can you know for sure that the the silicone pad hasn't been damaged during a Chinese process of assembly that is internationally infamous for overlooking such obvious dangers?

 There is a simple solution to eliminating this one serious danger but it requires the use of a 60W soldering iron or a soldering gun (I used a 180W Parkside soldering gun) to release the heatsink from the board so those last 3 fins of the heatsink on the mains voltage side of the isolation slot can be reshaped with a hacksaw and file to give a nice healthy air gap separation from that circuit trace.

 You could, as others have done, lift the heatsink just sufficiently to slip a couple of layers of Kapton tape over the offending trace to improve on the solder mask resist coat by an order or two of magnitude (both in durability and dielectric strength).

 Personally, I chose the air gapping solution to eliminate this particular hazard, complemented by grounding the case to comply with the safety standards that typically apply to such metal cased electrical appliances. As for the poor quality of assembly of the soldering handles supplied with these stations, you'll only need a regular soldering iron (such as a 25W Antex) to rework the Chinese soldered joints to prevent not only problems in their use but also damage to the soldering station itself from short circuits.

 This is likely to be a remedial exercise that requires a full strip down, leaving you to rebuild it from a kit of parts not unlike the DIY kit version of the T12-9501 handle that Banggood sell for £6.71 (only in this case, you've already got a metre's worth of 5 core silicone cable in the BOM created by the full strip down, less the GX12-5F panel socket that's included in a DIY handle kit)

 Once these issues have all been sorted out, you land up with a quite decent soldering station, fit for most hobbyist use cases and at the right price (dead cheap, rather than cheaply dead).

 In view of the requirement for some basic soldering skills and soldering tools, this is not a soldering station I could recommend to soldering virgins, especially when they may well also lack any experience working with mains voltage power supplies.

 For someone with a few years experience with soldering and dealing with mains powered kit looking to upgrade from a well worn plug into the wall soldering iron, this offers a remarkably cheap introduction to the use of soldering station technology which uses low voltage to power the heating elements in the soldering irons themselves whether a direct drive type or not.

 For myself, having sorted out all the niggly "Chinese Issues" (poor quality of assembly and a cavalier attitude to electrical safety), the thing I really like about that KSGER model used in that review video, is the elimination of the concerns I used to have over leaving my Antex iron wearing itself out just keeping the soldering iron holder nice and toasty when prepping up the next bunch of solder joints could quite easily take far longer than anticipated or, as often happens, I get distracted by a 'treasure hunt' for some vital component that I just know I have somewhere to hand, if only I could remember where I'd last stowed it (or even whether it hasn't already been used up, or Heaven forfend, thrown out!).

 Even if it were to perform no better than my trusty 25W Antex, just the fact of it automatically dropping the temperature down to 150 deg five minutes after parking it in the holder (or simply just laid down on the bench) and shutting off completely if it's left idle for another ten minutes, makes the whole business of soldering a much more relaxed pastime than it once was. I rather suspect this will also apply in the case of many other hobbyists' soldering activities.

JBG
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 07:58:38 pm by Johnny B Good »
 

Offline BlackICE

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2019, 10:48:58 am »
On my version of the Ksger the diode was a plastic case and not electrically connected to the heatsink. It also didn't have any thermal grease on it either.
 

Offline Johnny B Good

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2019, 09:29:57 pm »
On my version of the Ksger the diode was a plastic case and not electrically connected to the heatsink. It also didn't have any thermal grease on it either.

 Yeah, a different kettle of fish altogether. :)

 Not only does the plastic case conform to the Class II double insulated requirement, eliminating the need for a safety earth connection other than to ground the soldering iron tip for ESD compliance, it also uses a different smpsu board where the heatsinks, afair, don't straddle any isolation slots.

 The plastic coating over the heatsink pad reduces the diode's current rating to allow for the higher thermal gradient. The T220 tabbed Shotky rectifier diodes usually have a rating of 10 to 20 amps each element of the pair, which in a flyback design of smpsu are simply wired in parallel to enable a modest reduction of peak forward volt drop and heat dissipation to be gained (every little helps!).

In this case, I doubt the lack of heatsink grease makes much difference, the diode is unlikely to be dissipating any more than a maximum of three watts which that heatsink should easily handle without excessive temperature rise even in an unvented plastic box.

 The thermal silicone gasket (sil pad?) arrangement doesn't require thermal grease since it's capable of conforming to the smallest of irregularities between the contact surfaces, maximising the effective contact area without the need of such a messy remedy.

 What put me off the plastic cased version, aside from its amateurish appearance and the need to peel the sticker off the front panel in order to open the case up for inspection and to do any remedial work or repairs, was the downright ugliness of a front panel that overhung the height and width of its plastic box.

 Since you never ever immediately start using any mains powered Chinese devices without doing the obligatory safety inspection beforehand (unless of course, you have an unfulfilled death wish), being able to disassemble it without having to peel front panel stickers away from hidden fixing screws is a high priority in my view. ::)

 In any case, this particular soldering station package option only included a butt ugly colleted iron handle rather than the much more desirable T12-9501 handle that came with the aluminium cased version so it was "No Contest" from the start.

 I knew exactly what I wanted and the need to remedy a potentially lethal booby trap issue in my chosen soldering station's smpsu board wasn't going to put me off. That was trivially fixable but the butt ugliness of the plastic cased one wasn't (at least not without the additional expense of buying a suitable metal enclosure and the time required to assemble it all into its new housing).

 As I've already mentioned, I couldn't recommend this KSGER (aluminium cased version) to an outright beginner. Only those with some soldering experience and familiarity with mains voltage smpsu boards need apply for ownership. I'm an old hand with almost 60 years of soldering experience under my belt. This business of polishing Chinese turds till they're golden is what I excel at and revel in. It's a form of monetizing of my skills in that I end up with a golden gadget for the price of a Chinese turd and some small investment of my spare time. >:D

JBG

« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 10:00:10 pm by Johnny B Good »
 

Offline BlackICE

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2019, 11:01:12 pm »
I was considering the plastic case version, but the tip to hand distance and thread collar was enough for me to pay $10 more for the alloy case version. I took a chance and turned it on before disassembling it! I did however use a ohm meter to test if the tip was grounded and the case wasn't shorted to mains power. I later connected the IEC ground tab to the rotory encoder to ground the case. When I did the diode heatsink mod I noticed the plastic diode case and lack of grease or pad (not needed). Therefore IMO doing the work to lift the heaksink further away from the HV trace is isn't needed for personal safety with a closed ground case. The heatsink is electrically isolated from other components in my version. I was considering also putting thermo grease on the MOS fet but decided more work and for my low duty cycle use the MOS fet probably isn't going to get too hot.

All this said, I agree not for the novice person, if they get a bad one it can be hazardous to your health. I haven't solder much for 10 years and my old Weller WES50 wasn't up to the task of removing some larger caps from a power supply PCB. I got the Ksger and I think it is an improvement after grounding the case and using genuine Hakko tips and can't be beat for under $60. However you have to know how to inspect them so if you get a real lemon you can repair or return it before you get electrocuted.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 11:05:25 pm by BlackICE »
 

Offline Johnny B Good

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2019, 03:27:19 am »
I was considering the plastic case version, but the tip to hand distance and thread collar was enough for me to pay $10 more for the alloy case version. I took a chance and turned it on before disassembling it! I did however use a ohm meter to test if the tip was grounded and the case wasn't shorted to mains power. I later connected the IEC ground tab to the rotory encoder to ground the case. When I did the diode heatsink mod I noticed the plastic diode case and lack of grease or pad (not needed). Therefore IMO doing the work to lift the heaksink further away from the HV trace is isn't needed for personal safety with a closed ground case. The heatsink is electrically isolated from other components in my version. I was considering also putting thermo grease on the MOS fet but decided more work and for my low duty cycle use the MOS fet probably isn't going to get too hot.

All this said, I agree not for the novice person, if they get a bad one it can be hazardous to your health. I haven't solder much for 10 years and my old Weller WES50 wasn't up to the task of removing some larger caps from a power supply PCB. I got the Ksger and I think it is an improvement after grounding the case and using genuine Hakko tips and can't be beat for under $60. However you have to know how to inspect them so if you get a real lemon you can repair or return it before you get electrocuted.

 I seem to recall that you're on a 120v 60Hz supply which makes any such shorting to ground faults only a quarter as dramatic as they would be in my case on 240v 50Hz mains supply. You'll only see about 170vdc on the smoothing cap versus my 340vdc so there's less strain on the insulation. I have no idea what the dielectric strength of the plastic insulation on an 80 or 100 volt rated Schottky rectifier diode would be offhand (probably a few hundred volts though), so you might not be taking that much of a risk with the heatsink shorting out to the 170 volts on the BFO capacitor.

 Personally, I don't like taunting Murphy with such a tempting target, especially when 340vdc is involved. :) I suppose that if I'd had some kapton tape to hand, I might have been tempted to just sweat the retaining lug at the HT end to prise the heatsink up just enough to slip two layers of tape in the gap and then push it back down to resolder the lug and have done with the job. Since I didn't have any kapton tape, temptation to apply a quick fix was absent so I had no choice but to use the best fix possible which was test out my Parkside 180W soldering gun on something which really did need such brutal heating to lift the whole heatsink off the board to let me reshape those last three fins with hacksaw and file to guarantee a nice large airgap to that circuit trace.

 The lousy 2mm creep distance between the through plated lug hole and the mains voltage trace looked a rather mild transgression of creep distance requirements by comparison so I didn't bother messing with a craft knife increase it.

 Aside from those troubling issues with the smpsu board, that soldering station is excellent value for the money, packed as it is with so many features that a hobbyist user would probably appreciate more than a professional user would. In that regard, it's a lot more end user friendly than a Hakko FX-951 station and likely just as effective, possibly more so, given the use of genuine Hakko T12 and T15 tips.

 You mentioned that you've been using it with genuine Hakko tips so I'm tempted to ask whether they exhibit this New Tip Syndrome (NTS) effect that just about everyone who's used it with clone/fake tips have observed when using a brand new clone/fake tip for the very first time... There! I've succumbed and asked! :palm:

 Have you noticed this NTS effect with brand new Hakko tips? I've searched for an answer to this question but haven't found any other than a youtube video comparing the performance of clones versus genuine with, rather frustratingly, absolutely no mention of this NTS effect. It seems you may be in a position to enlighten us on this matter.

 I appreciate that you may not have noticed any such effect, if it exists at all with the genuine Hakko tips, perhaps because you may have bought just a small choice selection (possibly even pre-owned tips - they're damned expensive new) whereas those reporting this NTS effect have picked up on it from trying out a cheap pack of ten or more clone tips where it's easier to see a pattern in their behaviour when such virgin tips are used for the very first time (a sample of ten is far more convincing that a sample of just one or two :)).

 If you haven't noticed any such effect with your Hakko tips, you might want to consider using your next brand new Hakko tip to test for this destabilising effect on the KSGER's control algorithm that's been noticed with brand new, straight out of the wrapper, clone tips. Starting with a modest 300 deg setting shows a short lived effect where it seems to stabilise after the first two to five minutes which effect in my own experience returns when the wick is turned up to 350 or higher (it's worse the higher the set temperature), eventually settling down after  a few more minutes of use, disappearing almost entirely at the 480 deg setting after a few hours worth of use spread over the next few days.

 It's a bit of a problem in that you need to get past this high temperature instability phase of the "Burn In" process before you can accurately calibrate each tip since the calibration process includes test temperatures of 450, 350 and 250 deg C (in that order).

 It seems the most likely cause for this NTS effect is down to residual damp in the mineral insulation being driven out due to the clone manufacturers skipping the final baking out phase used in the manufacture of genuine Hakko tips (a process most likely done using an ac voltage to minimise electrolytic corrosion - moisture and DC don't make for very good bed fellows).

 In effect, the clone manufacturers could simply be burdening the end user with completing this task for them and with the DC voltage drive used by these KSGER stations, possibly shortening the heater/TC life through electrolytic erosion. The drying out 'burn in' phase is so relatively short lived, it may not be quite so serious a concern as I think it is. Given the many other ways in which quality issues can shorten the useful life of these tips (plating quality?), any such electrolytic erosion effects may not matter at all.

 Still, it's a curious effect that's seemingly absent with genuine Hakko tips so it would be useful to know whether this is purely a tip quality issue rather than some problem with the soldering station itself. You never know, you could be, to the best of my knowledge, the first of the few to confirm this distinction between clone/fake tips and genuine Hakko tips. ;)

JBG
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 03:31:50 am by Johnny B Good »
 

Offline BlackICE

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2019, 08:59:21 am »
I ordered a clone temp meter, but don't know if I should trust that either, it's also from China, but doesn't have any HV to worry about. When it arrives I will try to calibrate tips. It's not really needed in my case since I mostly stay in the 320 to 370 range in temp.

What would you recommend as a test procedure to validate the differences between the clone and Hakko tips?

I already have heated all my tips up for at least few minutes.

I brought the Hakko tips because of the rumors that the clones are bad. The Hakko cost me $11 each and I only needed 3 for now. Buying clone tips seem to come in sets with a lot of types I wouldn't care for. So to get what I wanted would cost about the same.

As for shorting out HV, yes 120v not as exciting as 240v, but since mine is in a grounded metal case I would hope that one of the 2 fuses blow before anything more than frying the insides happen. Yes a pop, internal lighting bolt, fire and smoke may happen. I have shorted a 20amp wall socket and it had sparked more than 5cm coming out before the breaker blew.



« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 09:01:01 am by BlackICE »
 

Offline Johnny B Good

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2019, 02:44:14 pm »
I ordered a clone temp meter, but don't know if I should trust that either, it's also from China, but doesn't have any HV to worry about. When it arrives I will try to calibrate tips. It's not really needed in my case since I mostly stay in the 320 to 370 range in temp.

What would you recommend as a test procedure to validate the differences between the clone and Hakko tips?

I already have heated all my tips up for at least few minutes.

I brought the Hakko tips because of the rumors that the clones are bad. The Hakko cost me $11 each and I only needed 3 for now. Buying clone tips seem to come in sets with a lot of types I wouldn't care for. So to get what I wanted would cost about the same.

As for shorting out HV, yes 120v not as exciting as 240v, but since mine is in a grounded metal case I would hope that one of the 2 fuses blow before anything more than frying the insides happen. Yes a pop, internal lighting bolt, fire and smoke may happen. I have shorted a 20amp wall socket and it had sparked more than 5cm coming out before the breaker blew.

 The cloned/fake Hakko FG-100 tip thermometers are just as accurate as the way overpriced originals (think "Russ Andrews' Pricing" on the part of Hakko's sales department) since they both rely on a cheap as chips K type disposable thermocouple with cut 'n' dried behaviour, requiring only a well defined response from the electronics (also a commodity item) to display temperature to within +/- 3 deg C of the hot/cold juntion temperature difference in the TC circuit at typical soldering temperatures.

 As you noted, at least in this case you don't have any high voltage concerns. However, the 9v PP3 that's normally pre-installed still poses some risk, even if it has nothing to do with an electric shock hazard. These "Super Heavy Duty" batteries, just like the EverReady heavy duty batteries, are just high current output versions of good old fashioned Carbon Zinc dry cells which, contrary to the adjective "Dry" can become anything but in just a few months time of moderate to heavy use, exactly like the batteries of old.

 The resulting 'wetness' from cell leakage is a rather corrosive alkaline solution which destroys battery contacts (and any other metals it comes into contact with) in short order. Provided you catch a leaking battery pack in time, in this case you do at least have the option to replace the battery snap on connector. The round cell battery holders (AA, AAA, C and D cells) usually end up corroded beyond any such redemption, often being an integral part of the device in question which then ends up in a landfill rubbish dump.

 Whilst in this case you could take a chance, even though it may only involve a simple cost effective battery snap replacement, it's still advisable to remove the supplied PP3 and replace it with a more reputable brand of alkaline PP3.

 Heavy Duty is all fine and dandy when you need several hundred milliamps out of a little PP3 for an hour or two's use where the risk of leakage should never arise because they'll be changed out so frequently they'll never reach the 'leaky' stage (in theory - folk being folk, they tend to confound the battery maker's neat expectations of battery usage).

 In this case, just a milliamp or so current demand, we don't need such 'heavy duty' performance. The longevity of Alkaline is the perfect fit with its low risk of cell leakage. You can use "Heavy Duty Alkaline" but you won't see any benefit with such batteries over the 'normal alkaline' type.

 If the Hakko tips show some small NTS effect, it's probably a lot less pronounced and over much quicker than clone tip users had been reporting. Once the clone tips have been 'burnt in', they behave perfectly fine afterwards so there's no way you can check this with any of the tips you've been using for more than a few minutes or so.

 You might be able to see the effect if you retest at the 480 deg setting on a tip that's only been conditioned for just a few minutes. However, at that temperature setting, it's not a test I'd care to run for more than a minute or two (plenty of time to see any such effect, if it exists) to avoid needless wear and tear on the platings (also, make sure the tip's well tinned beforehand to minimise oxidisation from this high temperature test).

 That's why I suggested you take careful note of your next brand new Hakko tip's behaviour on it's very first use out of the packaging. If you've still got any unused clone tips to hand, you can do the same (looking specifically for this destabilising effect on your KSGER's temperature control during this initial 'burn in' period). It's worth doing simply to 'get your eye in' to improve your chances of spotting a most likely short lived version of this NTS effect with a brand new Hakko tip, should you be able to afford yet another one (the ones you've got may well last you so many years, you may have forgotten all about this post by then. :))

 Despite what is said about the quality of clone/fake T12 tips, they're so incredibly cheap, especially when bought in packs of ten or more, it seems worth investing in a pack of ten for less than the price of, in my case (the UK being served by the usual profiteering bastards all too keen to toe the Hakko line on pricing... and then some!) a single Hakko original T15  tip, and play a "Numbers Game".

 I haven't yet had a proper chance at putting my tip collection to productive use due to receiving two too many broken Mustool G600 LCD display microscopes (I don't want to land up with a nose pock marked with soldering iron burns) but when I do finally get such a chance, I'm hoping to gain a better idea of just how bad these clone tips might actually be to help me swallow the "Russ Andrews" pricing on a carefully selected choice of genuine Hakko T15 tips, hence my interest in this NTS effect since it's probably a good indicator of the quality difference between the original and clone tips.

 When it's this cheap to verify the rumours about clone tip quality, I'd prefer to make the modest investment in a pack of my own to decide for myself whether a genuine tip or three is actually worth the expense. I mean, just how bad do these clone tips have to be before you've burnt your way through more than the price of a single Hakko tip's worth of clone tips in a year's worth of hobby level use with a soldering station that can treat the tips even more gently than an FX-951 station? ::) There's every incentive to try out at least one pack's worth of clone tips before making any decision to purchase genuine Hakko tips. :)

 As you pointed out, once the case has been properly grounded to eliminate (reduce) the electrocution hazard (to a vanishingly small risk in practice - there can't be an absolute cast iron guarantee in this being forever true), any electrical faults will be no more dramatic than a muffled crack with perhaps a small wisp of magic smoke seeping out.

 I have exactly the same philosophy. In this case, the only difference is that I feel rather obliged to maximise the benefit of opening it up to check for any such dangers by removing any and every such opportunities of catastrophic failure that the Lord Murphy could take advantage of in punishing Mankind's (the Chinese branch of it at any rate) hubris in it's perceived success at mastering electricity. :)   Earthing the case is simply a backstop measure against the severity of such 'punishment' becoming elevated into the category of 'capital'.  ::)

 That business of shorting out an electrical outlet neatly demonstrate's the effect of inductance and the limitations of circuit breakers. Basically, 'electrical inertia' in action before your very eyes!  :)

JBG
 

Offline BlackICE

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2019, 01:04:55 am »
Don't get me started about GFCI outlets with inductive loads!
 

Offline notfaded1

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2019, 04:58:59 pm »
Personally I prefer the Metcal 5k's with dual handpieces.  The frequency technology to heat and cool the tips in seconds when moving into and out of the magnetic holder base is awesome.  The handpieces are also extremely light weight in the hand even with a tips installed.  After using a Metcal 5000 I'll never go back to old resistive soldering irons again.  We also use exclusively metcal irons at work for even stuff that goes into space.  It's night and day as far as I'm concerned once you use this soldering station technology.

Regards,

Bill
.ılılı..ılılı.
notfaded1
 

Offline notfaded1

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2019, 05:08:57 pm »
Here's how the Metcal works...
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notfaded1
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Another begginer asking for help with station :)
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2019, 12:23:10 am »
Personally I prefer the Metcal 5k's with dual handpieces.  The frequency technology to heat and cool the tips in seconds when moving into and out of the magnetic holder base is awesome.  The handpieces are also extremely light weight in the hand even with a tips installed.  After using a Metcal 5000 I'll never go back to old resistive soldering irons again.  We also use exclusively metcal irons at work for even stuff that goes into space.  It's night and day as far as I'm concerned once you use this soldering station technology.

Regards,

Bill

Metcal MX-500 is my primary soldering station, wand and tweezers.  There really is nothing like it.  Best part is, for my use, it will outlive me and it can probably be sold for more than what I paid ;D.
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 


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