Author Topic: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240  (Read 2684 times)

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Offline thm_w

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Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« on: June 11, 2021, 09:59:13 pm »
Saw this linked on SDGs latest metcal comparison video.
FX-1003 tweezers: https://hakkousa.com/fx-1003-micro-tweezer.html



- $242 with stand
- $155 for just the tweezers
- $73 for tips

Hard to say for sure, but the tweezer design does look better than the FM2023's, which are OK. They've added more adjustability.

It should work with old Metcal stations, at a slightly reduced power (50W vs 40W). Meaning this is the cheapest overall package you could put together.
Only thing is the stand will not sleep automatically, Hakko uses microswitch for this. So you could add in some magnets to drop the temperature a bit.


I posted some price comparison before of hot tweezers, basically there is the junk $50 handles, then the price jumps up:
- JBC AM120 $170 tips $80
- Hakko FM2023 $300 with stand, tips $60
- Pace MT-200 $350, $450 with stand, tips $54

and you can't use some of these on any old station, has to be a mid or high-end version that will run the two heaters.


Tip selection:
- T38-02L1 https://hakkousa.com/t38-02l1-chip-tip-400-c-750-f.html
- T38-02L2 https://hakkousa.com/t38-02l2-chip-tip-400-c-750-f.html
- T38-02K https://hakkousa.com/t38-02k-knife-tip-400-c-750-f.html

According to Hakko, the knife tip is for drag soldering. It won't work so well for picking up components due to the sharp angle.
Based on this, I see 02L1 or 02L2 being the most useful tips for average person (for something like 0603/0805/etc). Then conicals/bents for very small components.

Ordered from handle + 02L2 from tequipment, their prices are even lower if you log in.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 07:17:14 pm by thm_w »
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2021, 05:44:58 pm »
tequipment and hakkousa are the only sellers I could find currently in NA.
tequipment did not actually have them in stock and has given an estimated ship date: 07/22/2021. You only find this out after you order.
hakkousa claims in stock, I should have ordered from them instead, oops.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2021, 11:00:06 pm »
Tweezers arrived, handle and tips are crazy small. These are definitely targeted at 0402/0603/etc smaller size rework.
Cable is very thin and flexible. Handle is much more comfortable than the FM2023 (shown), although it was never annoying to use.



Start up is slightly faster than the FM2023, as the metcal station is dumping ~70W vs ~45W on the hakko base unit. They are both so fast that it does not matter, <3s and <7s to melt lead solder.
Otherwise power doesn't seem to make as much of a difference as I expected. With tips this small, at most the station is putting ~30-35W into the tips under normal use. So the difference in performance between this and the FM2023 is going to be hard to quantify.

The connector is slightly different to metcal, it has a threaded shell only, no push on ability. The center pin is thicker on hakko, 1.23mm vs 1.16mm metcal.
This makes it impossible to fully plug into an older PS2E-01 station. Although, a simple fix should be a cheap F male to female adapter, or replacing the internal connector.
It will plug in OK to a MX5200 station as is.



Major concern though: mechanical slop on the tips. The left tip is fixed, and doesn't really move at all, only a few degrees inwards. The right tip is the rotating one, it also has ~2mm slop in either vertical direction. Compare this to <0.5mm slop on the FM2023 (due to its design and non-adjustability). I would really prefer no vertical adjustment at all and minimal slop, if I had a choice.

Its currently the cheapest option for a quality tweezer setup, if we consider secondhand base stations..:
- PS2E + FX1003 + tips = 75 + 230 + 68 = $375

Closest is probably the Pace at $640. The PS2E should have enough power (40W) given the small tip size.

But I can't recommend it yet due to the slop issue. I've asked Hakko if this is normal or something that can be adjusted.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2021, 11:04:44 pm by thm_w »
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2021, 05:35:08 pm »
So Hakkos response to tip misalignment is "this is normal for precision tweezers", which I just don't buy. I already took a quick look inside and I can see some of the play is due to a screw + nut clamping system on the hinge. But most appears to be due to adjustment wheel slop, I can feel it just move around too easily. If they can't make that solid, there should be a way to lock it in place with a toggle or even insert a shim. Most people would only need to make this adjustment infrequently.

Anyone else own the Pace or JBC micro/mini/nano adjustable tweezers and can say if there is much side to side play when closed?


off-topic: found this idea to hold braid with tweezers and use that for cleaning, youtu.be/HpttySteY-E?t=277
 

Offline Hohn

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2021, 08:20:16 pm »
Looks like Hakko's attempt to account for misalignment is inducing it.

I see a variation of this dynamic all the time in my engineering profession, where efforts to account for some inevitable reality end up exacerbating it.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2021, 11:04:11 pm »
Disassembly procedure:
- pull rubber cover on the cord side of the tweezer
- unscrew self tapping screw, slide plastic cover back
- unscrew self tapping screw holding the leaf spring in place
- unscrew hinge screw, remove hinge cylinder piece
- tilt/twist tweezers so that 'T' shaped metal width adjustment end can reach large hole to exit tweezer shell

If you do this, make sure you have some quality plastic grease on hand. If the grease is lost, plastic on plastic will not move freely as before, and normal grease is not appropriate.






What I've ended up doing to increase the rigidity is adding a 10mm dia PTFE spacer on the screw side of the hinge where the surfaces are flat. This forces a more parallel path when closing the tweezers.
I can still adjust alignment of the tips but the range is ~10x less than before.




Looks like Hakko's attempt to account for misalignment is inducing it.

I see a variation of this dynamic all the time in my engineering profession, where efforts to account for some inevitable reality end up exacerbating it.

Absolutely.
My question would be if they made it "rigid" and had no adjustment, and you put the smallest tips in, would it ever be misaligned significantly or not? I suspect its not really a problem unless you bend the tip by forcing it at some point. Even then, if we need to align the tips is a ~2mm range necessary with quick adjustment? I would be OK with set screws, but thats not as sleek.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 11:09:05 pm by thm_w »
 
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Offline TopQuark

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2022, 03:23:39 pm »
Apologies for digging up an old thread, just documenting my experience with the Fx-1003. Bought a pair with the finest bent tips at 400C from Tequipment, getting them to Hong Kong took a bit of effort and time, but I'd say it is well worth it in the end. It works fine with my second hand Metcal MX-500, as my workhorse MX-5210 is already connected to the standard and ultrafine hand pieces.

Can confirm there's some wobble between the two sides that could cause misalignment, slightly disappointing, not deal breaking,  would attempt to fix it in the future. Thermal performance is excellent, the tips works well from 0201 to 1812 MLCC soldered to copper plane.

I have tried the thermaltronics tweezers (terrible alignment, poor thermal performance, too large for fine work) and Goot fine tweezers (even worse wobble compared to the Hakko, tips died after a couple of weeks) before, I say the Hakko is the best for me so far.

Soldering tweezers are definitely a niche, especially ones that cost this much, but it can be a god send if say you have to swap 0201 passives 20 times when you are tuning an antenna matching network.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 03:29:58 pm by TopQuark »
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2022, 10:19:34 pm »
Yeah, easily tweaking passives without making a mess is a big one.
Surprised that thermaltronics is crap too, its like 90% of hot tweezers have major design or manufacturing flaws.
 

Offline KD0CAC John

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2022, 12:35:57 am »
thm_w , thanks for the info , I have Metcal PS2E-01 and Metcal tweezers , new and old tips , the coax ohms out - but no heat .
I was guessing size issue , I will try the F-connector adapter .
Thanks
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2022, 12:47:31 am »
For anyone else that is too cheap to buy the stand, here is a 3D printable holder for the tweezers. Adapt the base for your existing RF station.








Next step: test what temperature the magnets regulate the tip to. Hopefully its low enough to not melt the PLA..
« Last Edit: June 03, 2022, 12:50:40 am by thm_w »
 

Offline quadtech

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2022, 06:40:54 am »
thm_w - great idea! Where are the magnets?
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2022, 06:52:04 am »
thm_w - great idea! Where are the magnets?

I did make the magnet version, but, it didn't work! Here is what I tested:



The temperature only dropped from 350C to 330C. With the official soldering iron stand, the tip temperature will drop to 200C.
The problem is the magnetic field must be in line with the tips axis, not perpendicular.



In the regular metcal stand, they do this by putting very large hard drive style magnets to the left and right of the tip, surrounding it. I have a photo here.

I would prefer not to use such large magnets, so I'll experiment with either:
- cylindrical style magnets on either side of the tip
- one large magnet right in front of the tip

« Last Edit: June 04, 2022, 06:53:38 am by thm_w »
 

Offline quadtech

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Re: Hakko RF soldering tweezers - FX-1003 - $240
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2022, 09:12:34 am »
Thanks for posting the pics and information - time permitting, I want to build a diy sleep stand using
the magnets salvaged from a dead hard disk.

Check out this video by Alexander Chulkin who built Sergey's diy Metcal.
Around the 25th minute into the video, he has an interesting DIY sleep stand.
You could try an iron ring around each prong, with a magnet, like he has.

https://youtu.be/vi3_2AcDLI0
 
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