Author Topic: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review  (Read 7178 times)

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Offline Random Model Maker

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Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« on: April 01, 2017, 11:33:37 pm »
[Edit]: It looks like all the pictures I've included have dissapeared, I don't manage to get them back in. Sorry about that. Does anybody have a tip how to include them? (They're jpegs)
[Edit 2]: I seem to get the pictures in now, but not after it has been read. I had to take the quality quite down, sorry about that. But they're still good

So, as my old soldering station recently released the smoke, I was posed the dilemma of going the cheap route and fixing it, or after 12 years, finally getting an upgrade.
Now, there is obviously the budget constraint and being a broke student, the obvious path was to go: "fuck it, you don't turn 21 twice!" So, as you may have guessed by the title, a new station it is. And of course, go big or go home (rolling quite successfully with this mantra for the past 20 years), I wouldn't do it under two channels. 

I've always been faithful to Ersa, as they are readily available in Luxembourg and I have always been very happy with their products.
My previous station was the Ersa RDS80, (I'll get back to that), and at the University we use almost exclusively Ersa (several models).
The least expensive ("cheap" is not appropriate here) 2 channel Ersa is currently the i-Con2V, available in several packages, I went for the one with two i-Tools, which are the normal irons.
Prices vary depending on your location, but from a german dealer, the fun starts at 450€, for the station and one i-Tool.

I thought I'd write a blog entry about it, as I believe we didn't have the i-Con2 on the blog before, I remember reading about the i-Con1, but I think this one has not been covered.
I will split this up into several posts, so we don't get one massive one, which is hard to read i find. Also, if there should be questions by somebody, I can directly incorporate them into the review. On this first post I'll only unbox the thing and show you what you get.
The pictures you see are shot at my office desk, as my workbench really doesn't have the space for all the stuff and is terribly messy at the moment.

So, on the first picture you can see the box, plain and white, says Ersa on it. Not really fancy, but it goes once around the product, exactly what a box is supposed to do. The little box on the side is not included in the package, I got that one separately. I ordered a tool holder from the previous generation, as the new ones don't hold a sponge and I wanted to habe that option.
On the second picture you see said tool holder. It is still being made, as it comes with the Digital2000.

On the third picture you see what greets you when you open the box. The manual and blurb are presented very nicely at the top, but who reads manuals anyways, that's cheating.
Lift up the cardboard flap and there is the station. It is surprisingly big, larger than you expect it. Without measuring, I'd guess about 13*17cm. It is very low though, and not too heavy. Just the right amount of gravity to feel solid, but not overweight.
On the left are the iron and holder you always get, on the right would be the tool you choose to go along, or no tool.
Compatible irons are the i-Tool, micro-Tool, power-Tool and tech-Tool. There are two solder suckers, the X-Tool and X-Tool vario, and two SMD-Tweezers, the Chip-Tool and Chip-Tool vario.

So, first imressions then. The soldering iron is absolutely tiny, feels almost like a scope probe. I will do a comparision shot when I have some other irons on hand. For now, here is a picture of it in my hand. I must state that I don't have particularly large hands (medium glove size). The iron almost feels like a pen, not like a burning hot metal poking bit.

The holder is very small, it has four posts to put down the tips, which are tiny as well. It is made from rubber and is quite flexible. The insert is ceramic and is replaceable, should you break it.

The station itself has a very simple layout, one knob, one switch, two plugs. I won't go into detail, as it will be taken apart tomorrow. I can't wait to give it a run, but that has to wait a bit.
As the word of our Lord goes: "Thou shalt not turneth it on, before thee hast not taken it apart."
So, of course, I will show you the inside as well, look for german engineering (and maybe dirty secrets?).

So for now, I hope that may have caught your interest, and I will take it apart as soon as I find the time, and of course give it a go afterwards. Sorry to leave you hanging at this point, but as I am typing this, we're approaching 1:00am.

Cheers from Luxembourg
Ivo

« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 12:06:00 am by Random Model Maker »
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Offline Random Model Maker

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 02:36:45 pm »
Before we move on, I must just take a second to say farewell to an old companion.
Twelwe years he has fought on my side, and has never before let me down. But there is a time we all have to go. In his last battle, he fell, but he will always stay in my memory.
Goodbye Ersa RDS80, baptised the zombie iron, you will be missed.

But in all seriousness, I must write a bit about the ever so popular RDS80, because it is just an incredibe piece of kit.
I baptised it my zombie iron, because it just would not die. I got it as a birthday present 12 years ago and little ADHD me has pretty much abused this thing beyond imagination. It was used to melt plastic, it was occasionally hurled around on the mains cable, left on overnight and dropped off the bench several times. The Transformer is rattling around since about 2009, but it never failed.
Then, later, I left it more often than not in a "soldering pool" at the university, which are just rooms with soldering stations that the students can use. As we were always short of stations and I was more often at the institute than in my workshop, I left it there for public use. Naturally, it was used as well by butchers and newbies, who all seem to think pressing on the iron will greatly improve the solder joint (?), and sometimes the station got used for ten hours in a row. Still, no problems whatsoever.
What lead to the final silver bullet for the zombie: somebody left it on over the weekend, without a tip on the iron, and I came in on monday and found it displaying error messages.

Still, not the end of the world, as I found out today. The iron measures 15ohms, so it looks like the only damage done seems to be a burnt out heating element. A replacement iron is available, as the station is still in production.
The stand-out characteristic of the RDS80 is probably the insanely stiff cable on the solderin iron. To give you an impression on just how bad it is, the bend you see on the picture is still the factory bend. But on the upside, the cable will never take damage. I bet you could tow a truck with it.

I will take the i-Con apart today and probably write the post about that this evening.

Cheers from Luxembourg
Ivo
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Offline Random Model Maker

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 11:20:55 pm »
So now, the teardown of this station. It has an i before its name, so it has to be good.

I will start with the business end, as far as that can be torn down. I may bore you here, but I think this is about the cleverest soldering iron I have seen as yet.
As I told you before, it is absolutely tiny, especially the tips. Refer to the side to side shot with the RDS80 tips, which are massive. I wonder how you get any thermal capacity out of these, that will be interesting.
But the iron itself is effectively not much bigger than a scope probe. See for reference the side-to-side shot I did with other irons and some pens I had on the desk.
From left to right: Pilot Metropolitan; Pelikano 2003 Model; Mechanical Pencil (this one is an Ohto Super Promecha if you care); generic x10 Probe (Rigol Brand); Ersa RDS80 iron; Ersa i-Tool; ruler; mains frying iron (some Ersa as well); Pelikan Level L5; ubiquitous pencil (metric); Lamy Safari (most ubiquitous fountain pen in the world); highly ubiquitous bic pen with ubiquitous company stamp

Next shot is of the plug. It is one of those bayonet snap plugs and has 8 pins, not all of them populated.
The tip is held in place by that shroud, which you are prone to touch when unscrewing, so watch your fingers.
The tip itself can be pushed out of the shroud, but it doesn't want to. Good luck hot-swapping (literally) that. You can buy these shrouds separately, which I will do when I buy some tips, but it adds to the cost, that is just not necessary.
What strikes me on this is that it is not a matter of thermal contact. The tip sits rather lose on the heater, just the shroud has like a ridge that holds the tip in really tight.

The heating element is interchangeable, which is good, as it is the common point of failure on soldering irons. They are not too expensive, especially compared to the i-Tool, which has all the fancy stuff in it and runs for around 150€ to replace.
The heating element plugs in very firmly, you almost have to lever it out, so it will not fall off mid-joint. It has 5 connectors: Two for the actual heater, two for the temperature sensor, which sits at the very tip of the heating unit, and one ground pin for the tip.

That is about all that can be said about the i-Tool, taking it apart further would destroy it, so I will not do that. If you have 150squids burning a hole in your wallet by all means, have fun.
I have it on good authority that the iron contains an ATtiny and talks to the station over ISP, it has an accelerometer to switch to standby when the iron is not moved for a set time. On the little ATtiny are stored calibration data and maybe some settings, I'm not sure about the latter.

The station will follow in just a moment.

Cheers from Luxembourg
Ivo

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Offline Random Model Maker

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 12:23:40 am »

Here we go with the station. It is, as all the higher end Ersas, entirely made in Germany. Now we all know, the best stuff's made in Japan, but the tools that last are made in Germany. And as a side note, rumour has it on the forum that the hobbyist Ersas are made in China rebadges that are way overpriced. Let me tell you that this is not true. Yes, they are made in Taiwan, but they are all designed in Germany by Ersa, and they are all Quality controlled in Germany as well.

Let's take a walk around first, if you have not seen it before.
On the front, we have an LCD, which is backlit for our convenience, and readable from the most ridiculous angles. There is the one-button user interface, I wonder how easy that will be (I will not read the manual. If I need a manual for a soldering iron, it is too complicated). The button feels mildly mushy on the push, rotation is good though. We have the pokin'bit recepticles and a 4mm banana plug that goes directly to mains earth. We get a mains switch as well, which helps greatly for turning it on.

Under the screen is a little slot for an SD card. This is to take your presets to another station and to update the firmware. I didn't realise my soldering station had a firmware. The RDS80 probably didn't, as it is powered by steam.
On the back, there is not much to see. There is the mains input with built-in fuseholder, which I find the best style of input. Especially this one, because it holds a spare fuse. We also see a D-type connector, that has been present on the previous version. Why they leave the outline, I don't know. I don't like it, why show me what feature I don't have.

Opening it up is, as opposed to the other i-Brand really easy. Pull of the knob, 4 screws (Torx20), and we're in like sin.
We are greeted by very neat wiring, everything is nicely crimped and secured. The linear transformer makes up the most heft of this device, it is probably around 3kg. The board is held in by small clips, which is not tragic, as the upper half of the housing covers the LCD anyways. But it explains the soft feel to the switch.

Interestingly, the connector on the left is connected with 8 leads, the right one with 6. I assume the right connecror is thus not compatible with all the tools.
As far as I'm concerned, the physical structure is quite reasonable. I think it's not one to drop foo the bench, but if you leave it in peace, it will probably serve you a long time.

Moving on to the PCB. The main brainbox here is the AVR 32bit RISC microcontroller, which seems to be the go-to chip for this sort of application. I'm not sure what the red connector does, I assume it is a programming header. I have not found a dedicated JTAG or ISP.
The irons are controlled by two Triacs, that are mounted either side of a shared heatsink. On the other side of the board, we find a voltage regulator for the logic. Sorry for not getting a proper shot, I could not get the phone in there. It is a TI low dropout 5V regulator, wonder why they need a low dropout one.

And as we were short of happily closing this one up and giving it the seal of approval, I found the dirty secret the vultures have been waiting for!
The main filter cap is a Samwha brand! That's gonna trigger the cap snobs (you kno who you are). But in all honesty, although I would agree that if I pay over half a kilobuck for a soldering station, it would have been nice to see Nippon or Panasonic, but I have not heard much bad about Samwha. I guess some brand is better than no brand, and I bet if the station should crap out, it's probably not the cap. It's 25V/105°, and even if it releases the smoke, it's an easy fix I assume.

So, in the end, I am hapy with my purchase, I have nothing to really comlpain about. It will be interesting to see how it feels in use. But as you probably know, you need a bit to get used to a new station and get to know its character, get the "vibe" for it if you will. I found out today that I have nothing really to solder. I think poking around at random boards is not getting me much. But rest assured I will get back to this once I got the feel on this thing, and I hope I didn't bore you to death with all my tangents here.

Cheers from Luxembourg
Ivo
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 02:59:09 pm »
Here we go with the station. It is, as all the higher end Ersas, entirely made in Germany. Now we all know, the best stuff's made in Japan, but the tools that last are made in Germany. And as a side note, rumour has it on the forum that the hobbyist Ersas are made in China rebadges that are way overpriced. Let me tell you that this is not true. Yes, they are made in Taiwan, but they are all designed in Germany by Ersa, and they are all Quality controlled in Germany as well.
The RDS80 and i-Con pico are made in China, but the i-Con nano and all the "big" i-Con models are made in Germany.


We also see a D-type connector, that has been present on the previous version. Why they leave the outline, I don't know. I don't like it, why show me what feature I don't have.
I assume the cutout is there because all/most the "big" i-Con models exist in "C" versions that have that connector for controlling solder fume extractors. Making two versions of the molds just to hide a connector cutout on the back of a unit would be a ridiculous waste of money.
 

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 04:01:27 pm »
Here we go with the station. It is, as all the higher end Ersas, entirely made in Germany. Now we all know, the best stuff's made in Japan, but the tools that last are made in Germany. And as a side note, rumour has it on the forum that the hobbyist Ersas are made in China rebadges that are way overpriced. Let me tell you that this is not true. Yes, they are made in Taiwan, but they are all designed in Germany by Ersa, and they are all Quality controlled in Germany as well.
The RDS80 and i-Con pico are made in China, but the i-Con nano and all the "big" i-Con models are made in Germany.
I assumed it was Taiwan, as many german manufacturers outsource there, on my RDS80, it doesn't say. I believe Taiwan is viewed as the "good china", but that's politics. Manufacturing wise I don't think that's much of a difference these days. What I care about is that it is designed and tested in Germany, so I get proper product design. But thank you for correcting my error.

We also see a D-type connector, that has been present on the previous version. Why they leave the outline, I don't know. I don't like it, why show me what feature I don't have.
I assume the cutout is there because all/most the "big" i-Con models exist in "C" versions that have that connector for controlling solder fume extractors. Making two versions of the molds just to hide a connector cutout on the back of a unit would be a ridiculous waste of money.
Which is what I thought as well, but the cutout is not very deep, there are maybe 2mm of plastic left. It would require quite a bit of Dremel work to get a connector in there. It seems very un-german to do that. Only way to know would be to ask the designer.
After giving it a minute of thought, I was being nit-picky there, I don't mind that hole anymore, I can't even see it as it's on the back.
Besides, the i-Con2C was the predecessor of the 2V and is not in production anymore. You can still get old stock of these, but they are not featured on the Ersa website and also do not work with the "Vario" type tools.
What I also found interesting, I had a second look, and there seems to be no place on the board where that connector should have gone to, maybe the red header.
The older PCBs actually had a second micro respectively an unpopulated pad on it, which mine doesn't. (My PCB is revision 2014 btw.) But there are many plated holes, which seem a bit large for vias, but again, doesn't strike me as "german" to hand solder that connector on, especially after all the other connectors are done that neatly.
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 04:14:33 pm »
I have repaired several ERSA iCon 1 models before.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/ersa-i-con-1-teardown-and-repair-(success)/

Nice to see that ERSA has changed a few things inside and a completely new PCB in the 2V version, so may be some of the problems that I have encountered before are now solved.

Thanks for the nice tear down.
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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 04:36:29 pm »
I have repaired several ERSA iCon 1 models before.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/ersa-i-con-1-teardown-and-repair-(success)/

Nice to see that ERSA has changed a few things inside and a completely new PCB in the 2V version, so may be some of the problems that I have encountered before are now solved.

Thanks for the nice tear down.

Have read your thread before, but I can't figure out what is wrong with the old board, the Triac is still the same.
Bit of a bummer they switched to a new PCB, we could have reverse-engineered the thing and got a second channel for free.
I'd have liked the rubber grip tho
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Offline m98

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 04:36:52 pm »
It somehow never occurred to me that those brass tubes are tip holders...  :palm:
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 09:21:56 pm »
Which is what I thought as well, but the cutout is not very deep, there are maybe 2mm of plastic left. It would require quite a bit of Dremel work to get a connector in there. It seems very un-german to do that. Only way to know would be to ask the designer.
I assume it's either punched out later when needed, or there's an insert used when molding, such as to allow one mold to make both case variants.

Besides, the i-Con2C was the predecessor of the 2V and is not in production anymore. You can still get old stock of these, but they are not featured on the Ersa website and also do not work with the "Vario" type tools.
No it wasn't. The predecessor to the i-CON 2V was the i-CON 2, and the i-CON 2C was the predecessor to the i-CON 2VC. As I said before, every large i-CON model is available with or without the interface, except for the Vario models, which always include it!

Here's an old catalog with the first lineup: http://www.smans.com/sites/default/files/ersa_soldering_station.pdf
 

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 09:30:16 pm »
Which is what I thought as well, but the cutout is not very deep, there are maybe 2mm of plastic left. It would require quite a bit of Dremel work to get a connector in there. It seems very un-german to do that. Only way to know would be to ask the designer.
I assume it's either punched out later when needed, or there's an insert used when molding, such as to allow one mold to make both case variants.
It may well be, I don't know much about these processes.

Besides, the i-Con2C was the predecessor of the 2V and is not in production anymore. You can still get old stock of these, but they are not featured on the Ersa website and also do not work with the "Vario" type tools.
No it wasn't. The predecessor to the i-CON 2V was the i-CON 2, and the i-CON 2C was the predecessor to the i-CON 2VC. As I said before, every large i-CON model is available with or without the interface, except for the Vario models, which always include it!

Here's an old catalog with the first lineup: http://www.smans.com/sites/default/files/ersa_soldering_station.pdf
[/quote]
Point goes to you Sir ;)  But I wonder why the 2VC is not mentionned on their site.
I don't think I had the need for that anyways, but if it could be reverse enginneered, I'm up for it.
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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 09:32:25 pm »
Just forgot to add right now, I had a go with the station at some trough hole stuff, nothing fancy. I will find some SMD stuff toworrow and write in about how I like it.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 10:10:57 pm »
Besides, the i-Con2C was the predecessor of the 2V and is not in production anymore. You can still get old stock of these, but they are not featured on the Ersa website and also do not work with the "Vario" type tools.
No it wasn't. The predecessor to the i-CON 2V was the i-CON 2, and the i-CON 2C was the predecessor to the i-CON 2VC. As I said before, every large i-CON model is available with or without the interface, except for the Vario models, which always include it!

Here's an old catalog with the first lineup: http://www.smans.com/sites/default/files/ersa_soldering_station.pdf
Point goes to you Sir ;)  But I wonder why the 2VC is not mentionned on their site.
I don't think I had the need for that anyways, but if it could be reverse enginneered, I'm up for it.
But it is mentioned on the site: http://www.kurtzersa.com/electronics-production-equipment/soldering-tools-accessories/soldering-desoldering-stations/produkt-details/i-con-2v.html

Click the "Available Versions" tab, you'll see some versions listed as "with interface" or "and interface". Same on the pages for the 1 and 1V. (Note that their part numbers seem to just add "0C" at the end.)
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 10:12:58 pm »
P.S. I am jealous of your 2V! :)

I love my nano, but of course the bigger ones are lustworthy!


For SMD, pick up one of the drag soldering tips (I think Ersa calls them PowerWell). I have the 2.3mm one and it's awesome!
 

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2017, 10:20:49 pm »
P.S. I am jealous of your 2V! :)

I love my nano, but of course the bigger ones are lustworthy!


For SMD, pick up one of the drag soldering tips (I think Ersa calls them PowerWell). I have the 2.3mm one and it's awesome!

I must say it is quite an impressive tool. Our university has mainly Nanos, they are really good as well, and honestly I don't see a benefit to the i-Con1 if you don't plan on using other tools. I hope damn well this station lasts me for as long as the RDS80 did.

For now I probably will try SMD with the chisel tip and the pencil tip it came with. I don't really want to wait for another tip and I have never used welled tips before. I always got on well enough with SMD with normal tips.
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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2017, 10:31:18 pm »
I don't see a benefit to the i-Con1 if you don't plan on using other tools.
150W peak power and proper sleep with motion sensor in the i-tool.
 

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2017, 10:39:05 pm »
I don't see a benefit to the i-Con1 if you don't plan on using other tools.
150W peak power and proper sleep with motion sensor in the i-tool.
Not sure about the motion sensor, but the power rating on both is 80W, so one would assume that the peak power is similar as well
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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2017, 10:51:01 pm »
I have older i-tools with 150W written on them.
As well: http://www.kurtzersa.com/electronics-production-equipment/soldering-tools-accessories/soldering-desoldering-stations/produkt-details/i-con-1-2.html
Quote
Digital soldering station with ergonomic and powerful 150 W i-TOOL soldering iron
Quote
Power Rating in W   80
Secondary voltage in V   24
I don't have nano, but according to someone I've seen on youtube who owns both, full fledged I-CON station is more powerful at soldering beefier objects.

About Nano
http://www.kurtzersa.com/electronics-production-equipment/soldering-tools-accessories/soldering-desoldering-stations/produkt-details/i-con-nano-3.html
Quote
Power Rating in W   68
Secondary voltage in V   16,5
EDIT:
Considering they both use the same heating element, and voltage difference, full fledged I-CON can push 2.1 times more power into the heater.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 11:07:45 pm by wraper »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2017, 11:03:22 pm »
I measured heater resistance, it's 3.5 ohm (likely more when hot). At 24V that means - 164W, at 16.5V - 78W
 

Offline Random Model Maker

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2017, 11:15:04 pm »
Interesting. If you go up one category, says 80W right there. Marketing department?
But the topic with the 150W iron and the 80W stations had come up before. That was always the point of confusion about iron power, station continuous power and station peak power.
The i-Con2 is supposed to have 120W nominal that it can dynamically distribute.
I guess the Nano should have more than enough power for most of us. But you're right, more power is more better, Or to freely quote:
"How can less be more? More is always more" Yngwie Malmsteen
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2017, 09:46:48 am »
Ersa's wattage statements on the i-CON line have been vexingly ambiguous for a while.

What we know:
- the "full" i-Tool iron is rated at 150W at 24V
- the i-Tool nano iron is rated at 80W at 16.5V, despite using the identical heater to the full model
- the i-Tool pico iron is rated at 80W at 16.5 V, using a different heater (with plastic threads instead of metal)

- the i-CON 1 station is rated 80W at 24V on the website, but 150W in the catalog, with no stated peak W
- the i-CON 1V station is rated at 80W, but in the catalog, 80W and 150W stated for the included iron
- the i-CON nano and pico stations are rated at 68W at 16.5V on the spec sheets and on the units themselves, but rated as 80W in marketing materials.

and finally, the warmup time for ALL the i-CON stations and i-Tool irons is stated as 9 seconds (using the included 1.6mm chisel).

Confused? Yeah, me too. Something doesn't add up, but I don't know what!

Edit: and in the full catalog (http://www.kurtzersa.com/fileadmin/medien/members_final/Electronics/9_Medien/9.5_Kataloge/9.5.1_Tools/Ersa_Werkzeugkatalog_eng_web.pdf), they list the nano and pico stations as "Max 80W".
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 09:59:29 am by tooki »
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2017, 09:54:00 am »
I must say it is quite an impressive tool. Our university has mainly Nanos, they are really good as well, and honestly I don't see a benefit to the i-Con1 if you don't plan on using other tools. I hope damn well this station lasts me for as long as the RDS80 did.

For now I probably will try SMD with the chisel tip and the pencil tip it came with. I don't really want to wait for another tip and I have never used welled tips before. I always got on well enough with SMD with normal tips.
Trust me on this one, you will love the welled tip. It's really handy for other things too, as I've found out.

Also, take a look at the catalog link above. It's got a nice compatibility matrix that shows ALL the i-CON stations, with and without the "C" interface.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2017, 10:13:03 am »
I must say it is quite an impressive tool. Our university has mainly Nanos, they are really good as well, and honestly I don't see a benefit to the i-Con1 if you don't plan on using other tools. I hope damn well this station lasts me for as long as the RDS80 did.

For now I probably will try SMD with the chisel tip and the pencil tip it came with. I don't really want to wait for another tip and I have never used welled tips before. I always got on well enough with SMD with normal tips.
Trust me on this one, you will love the welled tip. It's really handy for other things too, as I've found out.
I recently replaced my 2.3 mm solder well tip. After around 100 000 solder joints. 1.6 mm solder well tip is not that useful IMO, does not work even remotely as well.
 
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Offline svef

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2017, 11:44:47 am »
The power ratings on the Ersa stuff is certainly confusing. Also, I have neither station (yet) so I don't have any personal experience but I have been eyeing this video where they compare nano, pico and icon-1, with some interest:
https://youtu.be/aq0pYqQzaPg

You obviously get more oomph with the i-con 1 compared to the nano.
 

Offline Random Model Maker

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2017, 12:15:51 am »
Just to update y'all,
I now had quite a few days to get in the groove with this soldering station. It did require me longer than expected to adapt, and I assume it will probably (to the better or worse - who knows) alter my style further when I use it now on a regular basis.

So, the first thing I noticed, compared to the RDS80, is a lag of thermal mass. Don't get this wrong, what the station does brilliantly is adapting the power on the iron. Once you're on the joint, it sends power to the iron in about half a second, which is bloody fast, but the old RDS irons just through the sheer whoppness the tips have, just "store" more heat right "in the tip".
This is actually mostly a problem I cause to myself, as it is generally common practise to heat up a joint one or two seconds before applying solder. But because I'm hurrying, I always used to get in with iron and solder at the same time, and left the thermal mass handle it for me.
If you take your time to do a joint properly, the iron does keep up with your workflow very well.

What is a huge benefit is the quick heatup time. Actually, it's not quick, it's ridiculous. I've set the standby temp to 150°C, the lowest it will go, and it heats up to my working temp (340°) in about the pick-up-and-get-to-joint-time, say 4 seconds. The standby temperature and time, as well as the power output towards the tool and the auto power off time are user-selectable by the way.

Staying true to my resolution, I did not look at a manual, but I just went at it and poked at the button and looked what happened. Some things have to be looked for, like getting into the config by holding down the button whilst turning on the iron, but I don't think a manual is vital here, the station is very intuitive. Very happy with that.

I expected the tips to be a pain in the rearside; turns out, they are. I am refering to that shroud situation ste tips sit in. They are pretty hard to get out there, which, when they are cold, is not a problem, just firmly push and it pops out. But there is no way you are going to do that with a hot nib. The solution to that is to have at least one more shroud than iron, so you can switch it cold. If you happen to switch tips often, get more of those shrouds, it will make your life easier.

If you have the same strange mind as me, rest assured, yes, you can use both irons at the same time. I've tried a chopstick move to do SMD work (why wouldn't you) and the station is perfectly capable of heating and monitoring both at the same time. You could get the SMD tool but hey...

All in all I am very happy with this station. It works, it is really fast and I don't have to dick around if I'm soldering with two temperatures. The oly thing is that I will have to lose my hotsnot approach to soldering-
Maybe at some point, if I get other tools, I'll write about them too, but that's still far far away.

Cheers from Luxembourg
Ivo
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Offline eKretz

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2017, 04:28:21 pm »
That's blaming the station/iron for your mistake IMO. If you need more thermal mass to be happy, then use the proper tip! There are plenty of larger tips with much more thermal mass available. Aside from this, if you make sure to add a good blob of solder to the tips before attempting a larger joint, the thermal mass of the tip will be substantially increased.

The screw collars are best used one per tip for hot swapping. They really aren't that expensive, and make things much easier. Tips can be changed with bare hands pretty easily that way, I do it all the time.

As far as the power ratings, I did quite a lot of looking at Ersa publications before I bought my i-Con 1 and I saw a couple that rated the i-Tool used with the i-Con 1 at 80W continuous, 150W for up to 30 seconds at a time. What the cooldown period between was (duty cycle) they didn't specify.
 

Offline Mogli1476

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2021, 12:12:47 am »
Hey Friends,

thanks for the special disassembly of the ersa soldering station. I need a little help for my ersa station i-Con 2, the old one without Sd card support. But inside it looks the same like the i-con2v .
I'm trying to install an sd card upgrade to my station and need exact pics of this sd card holder or installation place and how this sd card holder is connected to the mainboard.
In your pics i cannot see the plug for the sd card. Do you have the possibility to send me further pics of exactly this sd card installation?
It would be a pleasure for me.
Thanks and best regards,
Mike
 

Offline bateau020

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Re: Ersa i-Con2V hands-on teardown and mini-review
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2021, 02:42:46 pm »
The SD card holder is on the main board. I would guess you'd need more than just the card holder. Some extra solder bridges or resistors might be needed to let the processor think it is a V version. And you might even need another board.
The pictures added are from a 1V, but it is the same board as a 2V.
 


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