Author Topic: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review  (Read 37648 times)

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Offline hacklordsniper

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HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« on: July 13, 2011, 07:50:30 am »
PART 1

As the Weller WX2 proved to be unfinished crap and after getting back my money from Weller i decided to try something little bit cheaper. 

After searching for a 220 V unit everywhere i could not find any. There was some on eBay from unknown Chinese sellers with price about 140 $ bigger than at reliable USA sellers. Add VAT and tax to this and its a nice amount. Plus the unit shipped from china will travel 1 month and come beaten up like usually when packed by Chinese sellers while the one from USA will arrive in few days with USPS express mail international.

So i ordered 110 V variant in hope of exchanging the transformer and saving 140 $. Then unit arrived today after 4 days, triple boxed with huge amount of Styrofoam chunks. The retail box looks like it came from Hakko few minutes ago, not around the world. I really love USA based eBay power sellers  and their care :)

As soon i come home i will open it up and see what can be done in the 110 V - > 220 V conversion.
Oh, the joy of sending various electronics to silicon heaven
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 04:09:39 pm »
There are taps for the 220V conversion!  ;D Good luck!
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 04:25:47 pm »
I hear that 220V ones are made in China, see the label on the bottom, and the 110V are made in Malaysia.  I'm curious if there are any build differences.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline shadowless

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 09:47:21 pm »
hope to hear the good news soon. Might need to convert mine too if i move.
 

Offline Ronnie

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 12:06:01 am »
I hear that 220V ones are made in China, see the label on the bottom, and the 110V are made in Malaysia.

My unit is 230 V 50/60 Hz made in Malaysia. I bought it from Hakko Philippines last Jan 2011.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 03:26:19 am »
I hear that 220V ones are made in China, see the label on the bottom, and the 110V are made in Malaysia.

My unit is 230 V 50/60 Hz made in Malaysia. I bought it from Hakko Philippines last Jan 2011.

Mine is 110V, made in Malaysia
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 04:25:41 am »
PART II

I opened the unit and the transformer does not have higher voltage taps. There is only one more transformer tap which gives about 1 Ohm bigger resistance and is probably used for 120 V. I measured the original transformer and its 28 VOC and fells to 26 V when loaded. After digging trough boxes with unmarked transformers using my meter and power cable i found a transformer i remowed from a Vivax subwoofer amplifier just few days ago. Its original in specs for hakko  :D

I glued it with thermal epoxy and the unit even does need any calibration. I saved 140 $, weeeeee  :)

The only bad comment about the soldering iron would be that the main on/off switch does not have insulated leads, it just relies it will not be pushed in but however it can fall out and mains voltage sits insulated 0.5 cm from bottom case. Fixed that !
Oh, the joy of sending various electronics to silicon heaven
 

Offline Armin_Balija

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 06:07:20 am »
phew! Look at all that epoxy!!! hahaha. Anyway, great teardown and pictures! I love it!

How's it performing? What do you think overall?? I was thinking to buy this!!
 

Offline elCap

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 06:46:12 am »
Thanks for some good teardown pictures. And good timing as I also was thinking of buying one from US, although I'm in Japan. Less than half price in US compared to here!
The problem is that US have 110V while Japan have 100V. I hope there are taps on the trafo for 100V. Should be as it seems that Hakko only has two type of trafos (seen in this pdf http://www.hakkousa.com/AHPDirect/download/UM/FX888e20100831.pdf). Or I'll just leave it.. I have measured mains to 105V at home so it should work ok I guess.
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 07:32:44 am »
phew! Look at all that epoxy!!! hahaha. Anyway, great teardown and pictures! I love it!

How's it performing? What do you think overall?? I was thinking to buy this!!

That transformer is verry heavy and possibly when moving the base it would smash all inside, so epoxy is exactly what needed :P

I soldered about an hour yesterday i need to get some tips. The delivered one is small chiesel good only for trough hole. But in conclusion that is a AMAAZINGLY GOOD iron for money i spent on it. It beats expensive Weller crap i was buying. To be honest i think i found my supplier of soldering stuff   :D

For elCap: the unit had 110/120 V taps, running it on 100 V wont matter.
Oh, the joy of sending various electronics to silicon heaven
 

Offline shadowless

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 01:01:09 pm »
how many amp is the replacement transformer?
 

Offline hacklordsniper

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 02:12:51 pm »
 :'(
how many amp is the replacement transformer?

2.5 A, which is exactly 65 W as the iron is.
Oh, the joy of sending various electronics to silicon heaven
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 03:59:24 pm »
Thanks for some good teardown pictures. And good timing as I also was thinking of buying one from US, although I'm in Japan. Less than half price in US compared to here!
The problem is that US have 110V while Japan have 100V. I hope there are taps on the trafo for 100V. Should be as it seems that Hakko only has two type of trafos (seen in this pdf http://www.hakkousa.com/AHPDirect/download/UM/FX888e20100831.pdf). Or I'll just leave it.. I have measured mains to 105V at home so it should work ok I guess.

I don't think 10V is much of a difference. In some rural areas in 110V countries, voltage goes down to 100V. I have heard cases here where it goes as low as 76V! I get 117V consistently. 94V between Live and Earth. Some installations just connect Neutral to the Earth in both points of a circuit so save a cable.

The result is unstable voltage that changes with the conditions of the (physical) ground. Now I have confirmed my home has a proper mains connection. This is something not all houses have, unfortunately. Thanks to incompetent engineers looking to save money on a ground cable, people wonder why their fridge shocks them and they have to get the computer repaired for the same problem every 6 months.
Warning: the following paragraph is a rant on Earthing and safety.
A month ago I discovered one of the rooms at home has a terrible installation. So bad I could do my own being an electronics hobbyist with no previous experience in wiring houses. The room was built after the house, so it was kind of an expansion. The idiots took a neutral wire from the next room and they had the live wire directly from the energy meter. They installed a breaker box outside the house, on a *second* floor, outdoors, no protection at all (I seriously doubt that box is waterproof) and wired the thing to the inside. No Earth wire at all, not even shared between the outlets but ungrounded, there was nothing. They didn't even cared about wiring the thing for somebody to ground it. The result is a very nasty voltage on the computer's power strip. They actually wired a second Live line from another breaker in the breaker box and leaved it like that. If they used the money in that wire, why did they used it on something that didn't have any use at the moment? They did it so they can say "oh, now you have a separate circuit, so you can plug more things". Those things will shock you, of course.

Ivan
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 04:50:39 pm »
@hacklordsniper: awesome job!  The 888 is a great iron, I think overall Hakko beats Weller mainly because its consistency in its product quality.  Your review scoops eevblog who hasn't had the time to put a thorough one up, although he has had this iron for some time.

The PCB and layout is very similar to the 936 except its more cramped into a smaller box.  While i love the smaller footprint, and overall you get more items for the 888 than the 936 package [ when it was still sold ] the 936 case is easily stacked for storing items on top of it or among other test gear, which can't be done with the smooth curves of the 888.

I noticed Hakko has a version with decals, do Hakko owners receive it in their box?  There seems to be no price difference.

http://www.hakkorc.com/

Plain jane:





« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 05:57:14 pm by saturation »
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 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 05:36:45 pm »
Thanks Ronnie and others.  As I was confirming other discussions and I kept running into URLs which claim to be the 'point of origin'.

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/357321078/Hakko_soldering_station_FX888.html

This is probably mislabeled, as they companies listed as 'manufacturers' also do import/export, which I presume they act as agents.


I hear that 220V ones are made in China, see the label on the bottom, and the 110V are made in Malaysia.

My unit is 230 V 50/60 Hz made in Malaysia. I bought it from Hakko Philippines last Jan 2011.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2011, 05:51:32 pm »
In the US, power quality is defined as 120 +/- 10%.  Most voltage regulators will drop to as low as 90VAC and 140 AC rms before shutting themselves down.  IIRC many power supplies are designed to swing to those maximum tolerances.

On grounds, or wiring in general, yes, electricians, not engineers, can and do wire homes not to NEC rules.  That also means the room addition did not get certification by a proper inspector. It maybe also the homeowner did the addition themselves, and thus wiring it pell mell, but if it was a contractor, then the original homeowner can hold that contactor liable while the current homeowner can go after the original homeowner.





I don't think 10V is much of a difference.
<snip>

...No Earth wire at all, ..Those things will shock you, of course.

Ivan

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Semantics

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 07:50:16 pm »


Whoa, must be the new trendy thing to do.

I had just pulled the trigger on an Agilent U1252B meter early this month (my first meter of that class) and it came with 4 stickers to apply over the front!

(I did a google search to find pictures of it while I'm at work and would up at another thread on this board.  :P https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=1955.0.

It would be much more nerdy (cooler) if they let you download the templates and do your own stuff. I'd probably transliterate the text on it into the Klingon alphabet. 8)

As the Weller WX2 proved to be unfinished crap and after getting back my money from Weller i decided to try something little bit cheaper.

What was wrong with it, if you don't mind me asking? Years ago I picked up a Weller WES51. I don't think the 888 was out at the time, but it's pretty close in it's specs size-wise (actually a smidge smaller if WxHxD specs are to be believed) and, except for a little ramp on the front, it's mostly flat on top. Granted it's much cheaper and seems much different from the WX2 so the issues you experienced probably don't even apply.

If I was in the market for a soldering station today, I'd probably pick the 888 over the WES51, personally.
 

Offline Ronnie

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 12:26:45 am »
Most likely units sold in the Philippines are the same units sold in Australia, Europe, & New Zealand. The Philippines is a 220 V 60 Hz country   ???. This is a rare combination of voltage and frequency since 220 - 240 V countries use 50 Hz while 110 - 120 V countries like Canada and the U.S. of A. are 60 Hz.
 

Offline shadowless

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2011, 01:24:11 am »
The sticker is quite nice :) The US version that i got recently doesn't have it.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2011, 03:21:24 am »
That also means the room addition did not get certification by a proper inspector. It maybe also the homeowner did the addition themselves, but if it was a contractor, then the original homeowner can hold that contactor liable while the current homeowner can go after the original homeowner.

We have always been the homeowners. The person who did the wiring was probably a subcontractor, and I have never heard of anybody inspecting an electrician job here. It was wired 7 years ago, so tracking him is nearly impossible. Dealing with him would be a hassle anyway, if he was so negligent and incompetent not to wire the earthing cable, I don't think he will do it 7 years after even with legal pressure. After all, a lawsuit will cost more to us than installing the earth wire. Big companies probably have their electric installations inspected, but normal people don't give a toss, they just want to see the lights turning on.  :-\
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 03:24:27 am by ivan747 »
 

Offline img

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2011, 07:17:16 am »
How unsurprising that Weller screwed up yet again. I never buy Weller anymore, overpriced, annoying and disappointing as they've become.  >:(
Mind you, they were always overpriced and annoying, but at least the quality was there, and there weren't that many alternatives.
Come to mama, my little weird-coloured FX888....  :-*
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2011, 02:35:18 pm »
Sorry to hear.  That's probably how this sub-contractor can continue to work and spread his skills to other unsuspecting people.  In the US and many places in the world, electrical work has to receive local, town, province, city, or state permits and includes an inspection to insure the work was done to electrical standards.  The rules determine what needs inspection; changing a socket to a stylish one won't need inspection, but adding a new branch circuit will, for example.  The bigger problem is causing a fire, that threatens the safety of the neighborhood.  You can always do your own contract work, but if a problem happens from poor workmanship that can be traced to code violations, the homeowner will be held liable civilly to all the injured people [ say your house guests or employees like maids or gardeners or the adjoining houses that were damaged by fire or even just water] and criminally to the city.  It will be a big headache in the US.

We have always been the homeowners. The person who did the wiring was probably a subcontractor, and I have never heard of anybody inspecting an electrician job here. It was wired 7 years ago, so tracking him is nearly impossible.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 02:43:12 pm by saturation »
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 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2011, 02:41:11 pm »
I did a thermograph of the Hakko 936 iron and I was very surprised; this is why you pay extra.  The hot shaft of the iron can be hundreds of degrees lower than the tip; likewise even the main body of the tip is not as hot; nearly all the heat is concentrated at the tip where if properly calibrated, it will be what is dialed into the solder station.  This means a minimum of uneeded heat is transmitted to the ambient, and likewise as you solder the radiating heat from the tip is minimized to the other components the tip is near, as you are soldering.

Compared to a cheap plug in iron, where the entire lenght of the heated segment of the iron is nearly the same temperature as the tip!

How unsurprising that Weller screwed up yet again. I never buy Weller anymore, overpriced, annoying and disappointing as they've become.  >:(
Mind you, they were always overpriced and annoying, but at least the quality was there, and there weren't that many alternatives.
Come to mama, my little weird-coloured FX888....  :-*
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline shadewind

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2011, 01:00:22 am »


Whoa, must be the new trendy thing to do.

I had just pulled the trigger on an Agilent U1252B meter early this month (my first meter of that class) and it came with 4 stickers to apply over the front!

(I did a google search to find pictures of it while I'm at work and would up at another thread on this board.  :P https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=1955.0.

It would be much more nerdy (cooler) if they let you download the templates and do your own stuff. I'd probably transliterate the text on it into the Klingon alphabet. 8)

As the Weller WX2 proved to be unfinished crap and after getting back my money from Weller i decided to try something little bit cheaper.

What was wrong with it, if you don't mind me asking? Years ago I picked up a Weller WES51. I don't think the 888 was out at the time, but it's pretty close in it's specs size-wise (actually a smidge smaller if WxHxD specs are to be believed) and, except for a little ramp on the front, it's mostly flat on top. Granted it's much cheaper and seems much different from the WX2 so the issues you experienced probably don't even apply.

If I was in the market for a soldering station today, I'd probably pick the 888 over the WES51, personally.
My experience with Weller quality is also very good. I have a WD1002 station which I am very satisfied with.
 

Offline nukie

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Re: HAKKO FX-888 teardown + review
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2011, 03:28:59 am »
Thanks Ronnie and others.  As I was confirming other discussions and I kept running into URLs which claim to be the 'point of origin'.

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/357321078/Hakko_soldering_station_FX888.html

This is probably mislabeled, as they companies listed as 'manufacturers' also do import/export, which I presume they act as agents.


I hear that 220V ones are made in China, see the label on the bottom, and the 110V are made in Malaysia.

My unit is 230 V 50/60 Hz made in Malaysia. I bought it from Hakko Philippines last Jan 2011.

I have never heard of a Hakko China factory. Their most recent factory is in Malaysia. Even the cheapest nastiest Hakko Red is made in Japan.

The clones are alarmingly identical until you look at the circuit board.
 


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