Author Topic: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?  (Read 266732 times)

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Offline FransW

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #225 on: October 12, 2021, 02:44:16 pm »
Connectors & connections,
FYI
PE1CCN, Systems Engineering, HP, Philips, TEK, BRYMAN, Fluke, Keithley
 
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Offline pipb

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #226 on: October 14, 2021, 09:38:23 pm »
The latest firmware is now 1.22. Version 1.21 showed increased power-up overshoot compared to 1.20.
Now it increased even more to 40C to 50C both with genuine JBC tips and Chinese knockoffs. There's also a noticeable switching noise when the applied power is between 100% and 0%.
I hope they will not make this an unusable tool.
 
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #227 on: October 15, 2021, 07:26:43 am »
I did check temperature rise from 15C to 300C set point. With 1.20 - no overshoot, temperature raised to ~310C and stayed there. This was done with cheap tip.
Identical tip from 15C to 300C with 1.22 - overshoot to ~340C then stabilized to ~310C and stayed there. Indeed, 1.21 or 1.22 did change heating loop.

Changelog says otherwise thought - there is no entry about general/T245 heating adjustment:
Quote
1.22 (2021-10-14)
1.Optimization of T12 soldering pen heating;
1.优化T12焊笔加热;

1.21 (2021-10-08)
1.Add the function of "sleep display boot screen";
2.Add the function of "custom display boot screen";
1.添加“休眠显示开机画面”的功能;
2.添加“自定义显示开机画面”的功能;
Not sure why they have changelog when they don't say what they actually change... Or did they change it by mistake without knowing?

I did hear noise from beginning (1.17 or 1.18 not sure) but with 1.22 the noise is much more pronounced. Before it was very high frequency noise - now frequency of the noise is lower, and thus more noticeable to more people. This noise is coming from handle not station itself. You will hear this even with extractor fan running since it's close to you.

In result, I can confirm what pipb is saying just my overshoot is not as huge.

Temperature overshoot is not good but also it's not big deal. The extra noise may be distracting or annoying to some people.
So don't update for now. 1.21/1.22 doesn't bring anything desirable. Let's see what they do next.
 

Offline Ungolian

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #228 on: October 15, 2021, 05:50:51 pm »
I'm still curious about the long term effects of the Aixun on the tips vs. a real JBC unit.  As SteveyG pointed out, the tips in the Aixun are being driven by a non-current limited source.  Not sure if the overshoot in the newer firmwares really matters as it is in the normal operating temperatures of the tips. 
 

Offline mastershake

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #229 on: October 15, 2021, 08:55:56 pm »
yup im still on 1.20 and im glad i didnt update them. mine make no noise at all right now that would drive me crazy lol
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #230 on: October 19, 2021, 09:12:32 pm »
I see it's nice station, but why there are no calibration presets for different tips like KSGR?
Do I have to have calibrator beside me when changing tips to use the station?
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #231 on: October 20, 2021, 06:40:01 am »
I didn't use calibration per tip much on KSGER anyway. I didn't see much difference between profiles or between different tips with same profile. It was too much work to remember to switch for the little or no benefit I got from it.
With T3A T245 I see even less difference between different tips. Tiny pointy one or gigantic 6.6 mm. Temperature is similar, yet the difference in tip is large as it could be. There exists tip to tip difference but not because of profile but because of cheapness.

Why not to have calibration per tip? It's not required with decent tips as I see it + it adds complexity to UI.
Do you have to calibrate when changing tip? No way. I often use as large tip as I can to maximize performance so calibrating each time would be terrible since I switch regularly.

I suggest obtaining thermometer for soldering irons and check each new tip you get thought. There can be temperature difference between tips not because they have different size/profile but because they are cheap. Checking temperature is good thing anyway just for sanity check.
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #232 on: October 20, 2021, 09:55:06 am »
Thank you for clarification.

What about SMPS PSU used? Is it double insulated? Or do I need to remove Y caps between GND? The GND wire certainly is danger to Electronics since most countries use TNC-S wiring systems without true ground separate from 240V altogether.

https://jestineyong.com/double-insulated-smps/

I would not want to use 200W 240v to 240V transformer to make it floating.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 09:57:48 am by smile »
 

Offline exe

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #233 on: October 20, 2021, 10:01:52 am »
I didn't use calibration per tip much on KSGER anyway. I didn't see much difference between profiles or between different tips with same profile.

Idk about ksger firmware, but I heard on this forum that in open-source firmware different cartridges have different PID coefficients. I didn't do any measurements to confirm that.
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #234 on: October 20, 2021, 01:44:34 pm »
@smile
No. T3A uses grounded power supply. Negative si grounded to earth. This is IMHO standard with all soldering stations due to ESD. This is not double insulated power supply.

BTW: You can't "fix" double insulated power supply by just removing suppression capacitor between primary and secondary! If you don't like double insulated power supplies - don't use them! If you just remove suppression cap then you convert double insulated SMPS into transmitter! That's bad. The capacitor does have purpose and needs to be there. Insulation transformer will not help you! It will remove elevation but also it will disconnect return path for noise! You need grounded power supply if you care about output elevation.

@exe
Yes you are correct - it's a thing. You can improve performance by "blindly" increasing aggressiveness of PID controller if you know what minimum thermal load is connected. In such case you apply large amounts of energy, and you rely on specific thermal mass of tip in order not to overshoot. That's the theory but in practice you can select safe average values and make compromise. There are other more significant factors to optimize - like coupling between sensor and tip, tip mass and many others. If you want to squeeze maximum possible performance then you will care what tip is present, but you can also get high performance station even without archiving maximum efficiency in everything. That said manual selection is pain and if it doesn't make big significant difference in real world then it's not worth the overhead in my opinion. Ask yourself why all high-end stations don't have auto-detection for tip type.
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #235 on: October 20, 2021, 01:53:21 pm »
Thank you for replies, I think then all these years Weller and other top brands were simply incompetent by using transformers instead if SMPS right.

No. T3A uses grounded power supply. Negative si grounded to earth. This is IMHO standard with all soldering stations due to ESD. This is not double insulated power supply.

Look at TNC-S wiring then you will agree it is not safe to leave the GND connected (with transformer that is), with SMPS it's dangerous.

Regarding ESD I agree, but in post soviet countries there is no proper grounding. Better not to have half time mains connected to your soldering iron tip.
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #236 on: October 20, 2021, 02:14:13 pm »
The original tip prices are outrageous, and chinese fake ones are bad quality. 2 original tips = same prices as AiXun T3A.
This can be way worse purchase then

hot plate + T12, or
heat gun + T12, or
German 100W iron + power adjuster for 4USD from aliexpress + T12
https://www.tme.eu/lt/en/details/rot-35959/soldering-irons-and-guns/rothenberger-industrial/35959/

I remember when there was no T12 main problems was the crooks from ERSA ant WELLER had uber expensive options, but only they provided complex shape tiny tips. Now all this is history with T12.
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #237 on: October 20, 2021, 02:20:09 pm »
Regular iron transformer will work too. Nothing wrong with that. Just 200VA transformer is large and heavy. That's why I expect all manufacturers will use SMPS in this class of soldering station.
What matters is what is soldering tip connected to - and in all cases it should be earth ground. SMPS or transformer doesn't matter.

I'm confused. It's dangerous to have GND connected to what? To earth? That's how it should be. Why it's bad? Can you please explain?

T12 is much better value. But if you want the best performance then T245 is better no matter the cost difference. I use only cheap tips and didn't found deal braking issue so far. One has bad temperature offset, but many others are just fine. The price difference is 2x but imagine you buy more tips, then 2x makes large difference. T245 is joke in value compared to T12 sure. But I care about performance more than value.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 02:25:44 pm by cgf5 »
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #238 on: October 20, 2021, 03:26:10 pm »
Quote
I'm confused. It's dangerous to have GND connected to what? To earth? That's how it should be. Why it's bad? Can you please explain?

No Ground is fine, except ground of power outlets in TNC-S is also connected to neutral line.
https://electrical-engineering-portal.com/erection-procedures-of-earthing-arrangements-tnc-tn-s-tnc-s-and-tt

The High Frequency Soldering Station like A-BF 260D is 90Eur with Free shipping, tips are 5Eur.
True 120W with toroidal tranformer not SMPS crap.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003249210514.html

Seems like a better deal, NO ??? perhaps this is fake

« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 03:35:40 pm by smile »
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #239 on: October 20, 2021, 04:11:39 pm »
Using uncontrolled solder iron is bad idea since you will have terrible temperature control. Strapping external controller will make it the slowest soldering station on planet. This is not alternative. It's bad.
Hot plate will work but will make everything hot, and it's slow. It's alternative but slow one.
Heat gun will work, and it's faster, but it heats surroundings and may melt some connections.
A-BF 260D uses tips where you have heater separated - this will give you much worse performance than T12 or T245. I will never go back to this old technology. It was huge upgrade when I did go from this tip style to T12.
In short if you want better performance there is no way but only to pay for something better than T12 or turning temperature to blazing hot. If you don't deal with ground planes or big connectors then you may not care - stay with T12, and you will be happy. But if you do then T245 makes sense even considering cost because there are no cheap alternatives yet.

If you have shared neutral/earth then it's not ideal but that's what you got. Some earth is way better than no earth at all. If you don't trust your earth then you have way bigger safety issues than power supply in soldering iron. Think about it - when is shared earth dangerous - only if something gets damaged or mis-wired but no earth is dangerous always.

Remember you can always replace SMPS with whatever power supply you like. Just don't expect manufacturers to put large toroidal transformer into everything. It's not really sensible. Also remember shipping from China is very weight sensitive and will go really high if you add extra few kg of transformer. Try to buy 200VA transformer by itself from China you will get what I mean.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 04:51:33 pm by cgf5 »
 
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Offline DavidAlfa

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #240 on: October 20, 2021, 06:56:42 pm »
The tips in the Aixun are being driven by a non-current limited source.

Neither do JBC stations. They turn a triac on/off, there's no fine PWM regulation or anything like that.
Their modulation is to send or not the next half sine wave.
Sure, there's current sensing, but that's a protection mechanism, the station will simply cut off the powerr and show an error if the current is excessive.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 06:59:09 pm by DavidAlfa »
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Offline Ungolian

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #241 on: October 20, 2021, 07:57:17 pm »
Thanks, David.  Didn't know that.  The T3A is a great unit, and I'm personally a little skeptical about the first release of anything.  But Aixun does an excellent job with firmware support (which seems to be the doom of the majority of these Chinesium stations).  And while 200w is over the rating of the JBC tips, it's already been pointed out that there are very few applications that you could use it for sustained 200w draw.  So it does come with a "User Beware" in those cases. 

Going forward, it seems like the only changes to be made are cosmetic, making it more like the T3B with a better stand and power switch on the front.  That will increase the price, but that's to be expected. It's still tremendous value for the money considering what it does.  Perhaps not as much value as the KSGER, where you can start off cheap with the T12 if you're on a budget, then upgrade to 245 handle and custom FW when ready (although you do lose some watts).  And depending on how much the T3A goes up in price, it may encroach on Unisolder price range where you get more handle options and tweezers.  But that's up to the individual.       
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #242 on: October 21, 2021, 07:03:30 pm »
So same station handles both tips? T12 and T245 ?
 

Offline Ungolian

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #243 on: October 21, 2021, 09:02:22 pm »
Yes, the KSGER/Quicko does.  But it won't use the 245 handle straight from the manufacturer.  You need to modify it, I believe it is 2 wires and a resistor. You also need to install the custom firmware, which requires an ST Link, and you most likely have to solder 4 header pins to the board for the ST link to connect to (which is a case of needing a soldering iron to fix your soldering iron...).  Overall, it isn't really difficult.  For no hassles and performance, the Aixun is the clear winner.  But if you are on a budget, the KSGER is great because it's cheap, and you can upgrade it later.  I'm just pointing all of this out because a lot of people use the forums as a resource for purchasing choices. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, the $130 you could spend on an Aixun would get you a Quicko T12, a roll of solder, some flux, some side cutters, a roll of hook up wire, and an Aneng 8008 multimeter.  Depending on your needs, that's not a bad set up.   
 

Offline mastershake

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #244 on: October 21, 2021, 10:02:43 pm »
this station does handle both you just need the aixun brand handle for the 2 different styles which you can order separate. then you can turn off the unit swap handles and use the other one. i have all three style handles and they all work on the same station just one at a time though. you can also prob modify one to work im going to try that soon myself.
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #245 on: October 25, 2021, 08:21:21 pm »
Does anyone knows if handle connector on T3A T12 is same as KSGER T12? Pinouts anyone?
I have an idea to build hybrid station with both controllers.

The T3A T12 handle would be used on KSGER controller.
The T3A 245 handle would be use on T3A.

This is because I allready have barebones controller of KSGER T12 and Transformer for 100W.
I just did not buy KSGER handpiece as they seem to be poor quality, heat transfer to handpiece or soldering tip has play in the handpiece.

It seems T3A T12 handle is way better?
 

Offline cgf5

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #246 on: October 27, 2021, 08:09:05 pm »
Connector is identical gx12-5 but pinout is not! I tried KSGER handle in Aixun T3A just to see what happens and Aixun was very confused. Surprisingly Aixun detected T12, but temperature was funny and heater didn't work. KSGER has extra tilt switch for sleep, Aixun not. Aixun does detect handles by shorted pins or something like that. KSGER doesn't need that, so that's why pinouts are different and need to be. There is no way that they are compatible. You can find KSGER pinout online and confirm by looking at controller PCB around connector. I don't have T12 handle for Aixun so not sure what pinout is there.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:17:46 pm by cgf5 »
 

Offline mastershake

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #247 on: October 27, 2021, 11:47:01 pm »
ill have to take apart the t12 aixun handle again. the one i got didnt work so i had to take it apart when i got it. the blue wire going to the 10k resistor was broken off and the green going to the switch inside was also broken. i had to replace the resistor (it broke right at the resistor so i couldnt use the one it came with) i can say the outside quality of the t12 handle is really nice but the one i got the wiring inside was crap. ill have to re solder it all one day when i have time there was no heat shrink on the resistor leads and they were ALMOST touching the other solder joints it was suuuuper close. i added a piece on the resistor but the rest should get it also imo. it actually worked with a 9.6k i had on hand recognized it just fine. the aixun does show up like its working on the ksger but does not heat up.

i also dont like how hard it to to put the t12 into the heater and pull it back out. with the ksger it goes in nice and smooth. both the aixun t12's ive used you have to really push it in there and to take it out while hot you really need something to grab it with or hold the stand down good. and the tip to grip is a lot closer on the ksger ones then the aixun t12. very comfortable handle to hold though.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 12:05:46 am by mastershake »
 

Offline smile

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #248 on: October 31, 2021, 10:01:58 pm »
Well the KSGER has an official shop on ali and if you read their customer ratings on soldering tips they are all great.
Aixun does not have official shop just random sellers, they do not care about quality of the tips they sell, and reviews confirm they are random quality. Not great.

I can justify the price of Aixun if I get just front panel, chinese sellers do not want to sell it alone :( Then use proper transformer to make grat soldering station. I do not need SMPS crap.

Next is the price of official soldering tips, 120W soldering iron should use high power soldering tips. So these will cost easily 150Eur (for 3 tips). Add transfomer cost and you get to the 138 + 150 + 40 = 325Eur Not cheap.

I understand the T12 is not so great but I do not need 120W on every job. An tips are cheap for T12 and reliable if you buy KSGER brand single tips, not sets of tips.
 

Offline Ungolian

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Re: Any opinions on the AiXun T3A?
« Reply #249 on: November 01, 2021, 04:08:52 am »
You could modify the Aixun too.  The power supply just goes to a 2 pin connector on the front controller board.  You can remove the power supply board entirely, run 2 wires from the control board to barrel jack on the back (probably 2.2mm or 2.5mmm), then use your bench supply to power it. Just make sure the polarity is correct.  But honestly, the power supply seems to be acceptable.  For as long as this thread has been going, no one has reported any failures.  Just one cracked inductor that may have already been damaged before installation (quality control doesn't seem to be Aixun's strong suit).  I've already said my peace on the soldering quality inside these units, it seems to vary quite a bit, but again no failures.  For anything that imitates quality, industry-standard gear, at a fraction of the price, there are always some concerns/issues.  And the majority of them can be corrected.  That's the great thing about the EEVblog forums!  If there's a little solder clean up, I can live with that.   

As for the cost of the Aixun, 130usd/112eur might be a little steep if you don't want to use the power supply.  But you can also just buy the base unit (no stand, handle, or tips) for 85usd/74eur.  It will use the T12 as well, but you will have to change the wiring in the handle, and probably remove the motion sensor.  So you can still use your t12 tips and handle, and get a 245 handle and tips at a later point.  As for the 245 tips, where are you going to buy them from?  50 euro each is really expensive.  On TME, the common 245 tips are 24usd/20eur, while the long life tips are 38usd/33eur.  Not sure what VAT would be, but it shouldn't double the price.  Unless VAT is 100%...     
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 04:15:01 am by Ungolian »
 


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