Author Topic: Before I buy the Thermaltronics TMT-2000....  (Read 670 times)

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Offline fortunamatadaTopic starter

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Before I buy the Thermaltronics TMT-2000....
« on: June 08, 2023, 09:34:40 pm »
Finally sick of dealing with TS100/Pinecil issues, so been poking around about what to get.  I like the price of the Thermaltronics tmt-2000 station and tip variety.  About ready to buy, but had 2 concerns I was hoping someone may be  able to address:

1. The thing is long in the tooth.  It looks like metcal is now all about the user choosing the temp vs this style (at least that is the impression I get the way the MXs have been pushed to the bottom of the list on their website), is there a scene change underway at the moment that will see the MX and the Thermaltronics clones left obsolete and unsupported?
2.  Other than heating time and cartridge type, I couldn't find any real differences between the Tmt-9000 and tmt-2000.  For my purposes I don't care if it takes another 3-4 seconds to heat up etc..., now, if it means the thing goes cold every other second like the stationless types I've been using, that would make the entire point of upgrading moot, but so far, I haven't seen that as an issue, but would be nice to hear someone with first hand knowledge be able to confirm or deny, etc...

Thanks for any help!

To clarify, if it matters, the TMT-2000s-PM
« Last Edit: June 08, 2023, 09:52:34 pm by fortunamatada »

Offline thm_w

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Re: Before I buy the Thermaltronics TMT-2000....
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2023, 11:13:40 pm »
No one really cares about the new Metcal stuff IMO. Overpriced and temperature adjustment isn't a huge deal. MX series should be around for a while, its their top of the line station still.

Tmt-9000 is 40W 13.56MHz, TMT-2000 is 50W 450kHz.
Performance should be similar to the PS900 450kHz 60W station:
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Offline Someone

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Re: Before I buy the Thermaltronics TMT-2000....
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2023, 11:42:00 pm »
Go with whatever has the most volume/use in your country, as professional tools their accessories (and tips) will remain available for a long time. In general the tips are smaller with the higher frequency stations. Metcal STTC (Thermaltronics M series) are still going on since late 80's? early 90's.

Offline Prizmatic

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Re: Before I buy the Thermaltronics TMT-2000....
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2023, 04:14:04 am »
I own and use the TMT-2000s daily. Here's a bit of info' and my experience of it: Firstly, the time from out of the stand to melting solder on a 2.4mm chisel tip is 10 seconds. Its worth noting that when the iron is placed back into the stand it turns off, there is no reduced temperature period like some other irons such as the KSGER types etc, so its 10 seconds to re-heat if you leave it in the stand to the point where it gets cold. In real usage assembling parts on a PCB this time is less as the tip seldom gets cold in the stand.

As for heat transfer - it is a powerhouse. Even a relatively fine tip will dump plenty of heat quickly into a joint, which leads me to another point. Don't go crazy buying lots of tips with different thermal masses like you would with a regular iron. I use only 4 tips for 99% of my work, a 1.5mm bent chisel, a 2.4mm chisel, 1.2mm chisel and a long reach 0.5mm conical. I have the 5mm chisel but its overkill unless you are soldering onto a metal chassis, TO-220+ tabs to a heavy thermal mass, or de-soldering large heat sinks from PCB's. Tip durability is excellent, and I like the handle ergonomics. The stand is thermoplastic but is solid and durable, I have no issues with it. The microswitch in the stand is accessible so could be replaced in the event of a failure. RF emissions from the unit are so low as to be negligible. The power unit is built like a brick, it might look dated but it is smaller than you might expect and unobtrusive.

If you purchase one pay attention to tip temperature rating options when buying tips (60 Series 325°C - 358°C, 70 Series 350°C - 398°C, 80 Series 420°C - 475°C), tip life will likely be longer for the lower temp' tips. Tips are also cross-compatible with Metcal ones so shop around. Overall I'm very happy with it and not having to bother with settings is great. I have only 2 minor niggles, due to the switch in the stand there is a cable from the stand to the power unit, this restricts stand placement to the reach of the cable. The recess in the stand for brass wool is smaller than I would like. I'm not concerned about obsolescence, there are lots of even older units still in industry scale use. Personally I think Metcal's move to temp' control in their new units is a step backwards. 
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