Author Topic: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?  (Read 4276 times)

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Offline scatterandfocus

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Years ago I had a Hakko 936 ESD that worked great for my needs.  I soldered many audio cables, jacks, pots, and lots of other miscellaneous joints  with it and only a couple of hakko chisel tips over the years.  I think I paid around $100 back then.  Now I see that the 936 is discontinued, replaced by the FX888, replaced by the FX888D.  I can't say that I am a fan of the casing or digital controls.  The case reminds me of an anti-homeless bench morphed with a toddler's toy.  And what was wrong with the pot?  Why the digital interface?

Anyway, does it work just as well as the old 936 did?  Is it serviceable?  Anything else worth looking at in this price range?  I only have a crappo cheapy pencil at the moment that really needs to be thrown out.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 04:01:16 am by scatterandfocus »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 04:30:57 am »
I really wish they'd bring back the classic 936. I'm not a fan of the digital interface on the 888d either and I agree it's hideously ugly although it's a tool so whatever. I've used one a few times and aside from the annoying interface it does work as well as a 936.

You might also look at Pace and if budget allows Metcal is very good. Another is Edsyn, I have one of their older Loner models I bought used probably 20 years ago and it has served me well. Pretty sure they still make them very similar.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 05:08:19 am »
You can get a 936 clone, some use thermocouple heater/sensor assemblies but others can use the genuine thermistor-based Hakko heater/sensors too. They still have the simple analog controller.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you can buy a genuine Hakko handle and build your own controller. There's no shortage of openly available information out there.
 

Offline jadew

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 05:21:02 am »
No, the Hakko FX-888 is no longer the best option.

The FX-951 is, and if you don't want to spend that much on it, you can get one of the Chinese T12 soldering stations (which work reasonably well - much better than the FX-888).

I paid about $60 on my T12 station and it outperforms the FX-888 in every way.

There's also an older opensource project, called unisolder. There's a chance the Chinese stations are based on that. With the unisolder you have to build your own board/enclosure and buy a commercial iron, like a Hakko or JBC.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 07:34:18 am »
The Pace ADS200 is a US made 120W station that came out last year, it's primarily designed for manufacturing but is a great price so makes it viable option as a prosumer model.

You won't even want to consider any Chinese made Hakko clones after using this station. It's far superior to Hakko FX-951 (where the T12 tips series come from) in power, heating speed, materials, interface, display, features, iron, price, tip price in other words EVERYTHING.

The version of the Pace ADS200 you want is the "instant setback" version. It's about ~$220 (with eevblog discount) from tequipment.net who should do free shipping. You will also need to order some tips.

Don't get fooled by what the ADS200 looks like, it's a powerful high end station and has a very easy to use interface (unlike the Hakko FX-888D and FX-951 digital interfaces) even easier to use than a T12 clone and WAY safer. It uses a special handpiece made of aluminum and the station and stand are all metal construction nothing matches it for a couple of hundred bucks. It would suit you perfectly if you just came from the Hakko 936 which was a great station in itself.



Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Offline MosherIV

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 08:52:31 pm »
Hi

Soldering iron is a personal preference. People have huge debates here about which is best.

If you like the old Hako 936, then as some others suggested look at some of the clones.
Look at bigclive reviews

However, that technology is old, thermal coupling and the temp control loop is not as good as the more modern T12 cartridge tips that Hakko do.

I am beginning to think that Shock is an agent for Pace or has shares in them  ;)

My peronal preference is for Metcal. The old SP200 can be picked up cheap used. If you are lucky you might get a MX5000.

Others say they love the T1000

Another option is the Bakon 950d, a Hakko T12 based iron, which others have recommended.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 08:56:05 pm by MosherIV »
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 09:49:42 pm »
I wouldn't consider a clone, too much variability, you never know what you're getting and a lot of them are junk.
 
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 12:06:55 am »
In the US, I think 888 is one of the best options. It's about $100.00, here. Maybe less.

The UI is clunky, out of the box. But you can set up to 5 presets. Once I got used to using presets, I prefer it for consistency. I have an analog 888 from years back, which I haven't used in quite a bit, now. But I do some production soldering. I also cheat, having hacked the interface with 5 push buttons, one for each preset.

Other than the digital interface, the main difference of the 888 vs a 936 is a significant boost in power and a better iron stand. Maybe one of the best iron stands ever made.

Been using the 888 for over a decade, and the only part that has needed replacement is the tip. I've replaced one or two in that time, and probably gone through 5 lbs of solderwire... which is quite a lot of solder for SMD parts.

Quote
I paid about $60 on my T12 station and it outperforms the FX-888 in every way.
IMO, Hakko 888 > any T12 clone. I have two T12 clones. Forced myself to use T12, solely, for 2 months just to make sure I got used to it and didn't short change it. (Soldered probably around 1K-2K components in that timeframe). Compared them side to side, extensively. Did actual testing with temp probes. T12 clones do not perform even as well as the 888 in the way that matters... i.e., the T12 clones had to be set to a higher set temp to solder the same things, noticeable after months of use and confirmed with scientific testing with temperature tester. There was more thermal drop in the T12 clones, using the same tips; the T12 stations had to be set higher and had to be turned up higher and/or more frequently when encountering heavy joints, using the equivalent tips. Despite much faster warm up from cold. Marketing hype and placebo effect, IMO; oooh, cartridge! They are pretty good, and better in a couple ways (which don't matter for 99% of people 99% of the time, IMO). In another country, where the price difference is much greater, I might actually recommend a T12 clone for a hobbyist. In the US, there's almost no reason to not get a genuine 888 other than maybe the UI. Cartridge vs T18... not a real improvement for most hobbyists, IMO, or even a pro like me. Not until you get into 100+watt range and/or production soldering (one joint after the other, nonstop) of huge thermal mass stuff.

Real 951? I can't say an 888 is better than a 951. I have never used a 951.

Edit: I did such extensive testing partly cuz of STJ saying multiple times T12 clone >> 888 for 2 months straight. I guarantee he has never used an 888 and probably doesn't solder very much. He posted a pic, and it showed he was still using the fold out tin stand for the clone, lol. One of the clones I bought was the same exact one he raved about, just to see how cool these magic beans were. I'll say for the money, both the T12 clones I bought and used work really well. They can do w/e I need. That said, after my trial period, I haven't used either one in almost a year, now. I prefer the 888 for ergos and better performance. I went a bit overboard, at that time, too. I think I must have bought over a dozen different T12 tips and probably more than half are still unopened. :) When you do production soldering one or two (long and boring) days a week, you might spend a bit just to change things up!

When it comes to the "old, obsolete stations," 888 != 936 and 936 != any generic, sub $40.00 Hakko compatible iron.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 02:36:09 am by KL27x »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 12:32:25 am »
I am beginning to think that Shock is an agent for Pace or has shares in them  ;)

Hah, in that case I should get double shares in Fluke :). I used to be an old Weller (notice the iron in my avatar) and Hakko guy and used Pace among other brands years ago at work. Am partial to robust tools but also a fan of analog and 7 segment displays.

I prefer Metcal over JBC for the same reasons Metcal users do, I just prefer temp adjustable stations and expensive tip prices give me heart palpitations. When the ADS200 came out I did a little fist pump that the soldering gods had listened.

But anyway if noone talks about the virtues of the station it will be years before people find out, think of all the lives I can save from buying a Hakko FX-951 or T12 clones.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 12:46:04 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 12:44:23 am »
I have the analog FX-888 and the only iron I've personally owned that came close was an old Antex and that is probably more fond memories than reality.  I can't compare it to systems I haven't tried, but I have tried 'clone' tips and they just sucked compared to the OE Hakko.  The performance of the tips are definitely the best part of the deal with Hakko, and the feel of the handle and cord are right up there as well.  I haven't tried a clone heating element so no idea there...  There is a raft of counterfeit Hakko stuff out there in addition to the clones and unless you are absolutely sure that a comparison was done against a genuine product, it probably isn't a review worth considering.   

So, for $100 my money would still go to the FX-888.   At $200+ I might start looking at other options like the Pace or FX-951, but keep in mind that the tips on the FX-888 are $6-8 apiece while others may be a lot more.  An FX-888 with 5 good tips is a pretty good setup.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 01:59:20 am »
So, for $100 my money would still go to the FX-888.   At $200+ I might start looking at other options like the Pace or FX-951, but keep in mind that the tips on the FX-888 are $6-8 apiece while others may be a lot more.  An FX-888 with 5 good tips is a pretty good setup.

Yeah there is no doubt the Hakko 936 and 888 are great stations. When the 936 was being discontinued for $50 and the 888D was on sale for around $60 dollars they were absolute bargains.

What is not so obvious is there is only a 5W difference in power between the Hakko FX-888D and the Hakko FX-951 handpieces. The Hakko FX-951's T15 (aka T12) series tips while faster heating have less overall mass. So that means double the price but you do not get double the performance. Then the tips are 4-7 times more expensive, plus extra sleeves etc, you get the idea.

Before you seriously consider the Hakko FX-951 check what I wrote about the Pace station a few posts back. The Pace station is considerably more powerful plus tweezer compatible and only $11 for the standard cartridges and $12.60 for the ultra tips.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 02:02:57 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 02:05:45 am »
^ Shock talks some sense.

But here's a tip. If you do end up getting a 951 or a T12 clone, be sure to check prices for T15 tips. Apparently, they are the exact same thing, but in some of online price comparisons that I have done, the Hakko T15 version is $15.00 vs $30.00+ for same tip listed as T12. (Same tips in Hakko T18, $5-8.00 all day. Other than the spatula tip and TWO lengths of bent conical, T18 has slighty better, slightly more comprehensive variety of tips for general SMD soldering, IMO).

Quote
the 888D was on sale for around $60 dollars they were absolute bargains.
In the US, you can buy the 888 for under $100 for the last 5 years, or so. Two of mine, I bought for $80.00 a piece, new.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 02:37:10 am by KL27x »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2019, 02:35:54 am »
OP, I have a 888D lying around. I'm moving back to China and I can't bring it with me due to the weight and voltage.

PM me if you want to have it. Asking for $30+shipping.

Used for only a few times. With one conical tip.

Ship from North Carolina.
 

Offline scatterandfocus

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 05:40:31 am »
Thanks blueskull.  I sent you a pm.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2019, 06:20:59 am »
That's a good deal!
 

Offline jadew

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2019, 12:49:44 pm »
@KL27x, I don't know who SJT is or which T12 station you've tested, or even if the performance varies that much between them, but mine is so much better than the FX-888, it's unbelievable.

I had the FX-888 about 7 years and after getting the T12 station, I "retired" it to my secondary soldering space.

My findings are the opposite of yours, so I'm inclined to believe you got a dud.

1) The T12 one holds the temperature better, with the same size tip.
2) It also gets to temperature in just a couple of seconds, compared to the FX-888 which takes 30 seconds+.
3) Contrary to your findings, I can solder better at lower temperatures than with the FX-888.

In fact, the T12 is so good, I use it for soldering SMA connectors too, while when I was using the FX-888 as my main station, I had to switch to a soldering gun for that.

That said, I did have a surprise when I bought it: it didn't work.

The MCU was not properly soldered but that was easily fixable (took me a while to find the fault tho).

Anyway, yours is not the only complain I read (I got to read quite a few when trying to figure out why mine wasn't working), so I guess it's a gamble. The lack of QA and the uncertainty on weather you're getting the same product from one order to the next, is clearly a point against these soldering stations.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2019, 02:50:20 pm »
I am with jadew.  I had a 936 for about 7 years myself.  Much done with it.  Went to a 951 and didn't look back.  HUGE difference between them.  I now also have a Metcal MX-500.  I will agree that the Pace is a solid value.  However, I like not worrying about temp settings with the Metcal.  Plug a tip and go and you can solder 2 bumpers together. >:D
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2019, 06:24:23 pm »
I did have an original Japanese 936 for a lot of years, wonderful solder station, nothing to regret at this time. I bought some years ago the 888d, really better than 936, not a huge difference, but definitively better. I bought a used Japanese 951 base station to an user of this forum (Thanks again! ^) and buy in Europe the original handle with original tips. WORKS A LOT BETTER THAN 888d or 936! If you ask me if that justify the money difference? NOT FOR A CASUAL use or one day a week use. And the $30 deal it's imbatible! But if you solder more than 3 or 4 hours a day definitively I go for the option of a 951 or a new Metcal without any doubt. I test in a showroom the Pace solder station and really not found anything that impress me. Perhaps the components to solder selected by the seller not where the best option, but all connectors that I did solder with the Pace at showroom took the same time and effort than with the 951 and most the same  time than the 888D. I can only tested in one power bar and the time perhaps was a bit less (a fraction of second) than something equivalent in the 951, but I not sure.
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2019, 06:36:51 pm »
I did pay for the T15 tips at www.batterfly.com 14 Euros each, but buy some geometry "that are not frequently to use" in ebay (countefeit for sure) for less than 5 dollars and works reasonably ok.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2019, 07:55:20 pm »
Quote
My findings are the opposite of yours, so I'm inclined to believe you got a dud.

1) The T12 one holds the temperature better, with the same size tip.
2) It also gets to temperature in just a couple of seconds, compared to the FX-888 which takes 30 seconds+.
3) Contrary to your findings, I can solder better at lower temperatures than with the FX-888.

I have the idea that your 888 is defective or fake. Or maybe you used a 936 or clone? Or maybe you never actually timed it and are going by feel/memory. It take exactly 17-18 seconds for an 888 to get fully to my typical soldering temp with the some of the heaviest tips that you can buy. Maybe 20 seconds if you solder with leadfree and at a high temp.

I did not "get a dud." My T12 clones all work perfectly fine. Yes, the 24.5V versions warm up in about 9-10 seconds, depending on the tip. But the T12 tips are around half the mass. I gave one away, and the guy loves it. Well, compared to Weller micro pencil, I'm sure this is a major improvement in thermal performance, esp with some of the tips I gave.

I had the opportunity to do a lot of production soldering of the same exact things I do with the 888, over a fairly long time period of 2 full months. T12 clones were slightly worse, although they had a couple advantages. I did not use genuine Hakko T12 tips. And I DID NOT MAX out either iron, so I don't know which iron can solder a larger tire lug when you peg the iron to max temp. If that's how you rate an iron, that's different from what I want in an iron. If you rate an iron by how big a joint is can make, then a blow torch is the best iron and it's only $20.00.

I have never even turned any of my irons all the way to max temp, before. The highest I've ever set my 888 is 380C, and only for a matter of seconds to solder to 18650 cells, or the like. For someone else, max might be your default setting; watching some Louis Rossman videos, I get impression that he leaves his at max all the time; actually seen him looking for the key to demonstrate how to change temp of his 951, and it was set and locked to 480C. And yeah, he has bragged about killing a tip a month, barely soldering anything at all compared to a production solderer. A production solderer solders in a day what a repair guy does in a month; not that I have to solder multilayer mobos with a micro pencil-dick tip; different needs, for sure.

That would be nice if a T12 iron could solder a significantly larger tire lug (I don't believe it*), but I want an iron that solders the 99% of my normal soldering the best. Lowest temp, longest wet time, least cleaning of the tip, and minimal need to make adjustments when encountering more demanding joints. And I'm not going to say that it's not even close. It is. But the 888 comes out on top and is noticeably better. Of all the supposed advantages of putting the sensor and heater "right inside the tip," this is the one that many people heap the most praise upon... and it is worse (in the clone with non-Hakko tips, anyhow).

Temperature probe test from last year, IIRC.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/t12-clone-vs-888-practical-test-results/msg1466474/#msg1466474
*The test demonstrates that when outputting the same amount of wattage through the tip onto a joint, the T12 clones must be set to a higher set temp and suffers greater "thermal drop" in its control circuit and/or firmware. When NOT pressed against this sink and keeping it at the same temp as the 888, the T12 clones will return back up to their higher set temps. Add fact that T18 tip is twice the mass, and they all go roughly to same max temp of more or less 480C with roughly similar wattage rating, if/when push comes to shove, I will not be inclined to think the T12 clones can do much than the 888 cannot. But I don't know. Maybe the tables turn at much higher outputs and/or maybe a T12 wattage is actually much higher than an 888 even though the rating is similar (Maybe the 888 puts a significant amount of its 65-70W into the handle/air vs the 24V T12 clones 85ish(?) watts. (I'm giving T12 clone higher rating than 951's 75W rating, due to half a volt higher voltage and use of FET vs TRIAC).

You can get a great first impression, no doubt swayed by the fast warm up time. So backing up your impression with numbers is good. But you are off to a bad start saying your 888 takes 30 seconds to get to temp (unless you solder at 400C?). It definitely takes about twice as long, but that greater mass in the tip is working FOR you once it reaches temp. I used a station that took an actual 30 seconds to warm up (which I say because I actually timed it) - a cheap 45-50W Velleman re-badge. It still works fine, and the guy I gave it to still uses it to this day, 5 years later. But he works in finance. When I used it, something broke every few years.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:35:37 am by KL27x »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2019, 12:56:25 am »
I go for the option of a 951 or a new Metcal without any doubt. I test in a showroom the Pace solder station and really not found anything that impress me.

What and where was the show room you did this at? I didn't know they have show rooms setup to demonstrate the Pace ADS200. And nothing impressed you? I mean there are some glaring differences in the stations. Like when you switch it on, change the temp, select a preset, swap tips, the mysterious absence of the control card that blocks the user interface, what do you think about entering temp offsets?

The differences in soldering between the two are more noticeable if you are actually soldering. Doing a few odd joints at say 350C will not highlight appreciable differences as clearly as soldering repetitively or doing challenging thermal joints. That is more likely to factor in the Pace ADS200s power and recovery speed, plus the extra mass over the heater on the ultra performance series of tips.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2019, 02:00:33 am »
Honestly, I've had a Hakko 703B rework station I picked up on Ebay for 100 dollars with some chinese clone irons and it works amazingly well. The desoldering tool is literally the best thing I ever found as a hobbyist, although I imagine some of the old guys shake their heads and would tell me to just use braid and an iron

Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

 

Offline Shock

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2019, 05:33:09 am »
There was also the Hakko 701 unfortunately the desoldering iron tips are fairly obsecure these days to find. The 703B has the better desoldering iron from the looks of it. I doubt you are going to get people argue against the benefits of a desoldering iron, if you are doing a large amount of desoldering it's a huge time saver.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 

Offline Tarloth

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2019, 07:13:04 am »
Quote
What and where was the show room you did this at?

Buenos Aires, Argentina, at one importer that begun to sell this stations and have two units to test it for possible customers.

Quote
I didn't know they have show rooms setup to demonstrate the Pace ADS200.

However there are :-)

Quote
And nothing impressed you?

Really not. They provide practice PCB with a lot of dummy components to test with a very different thermal mass and I not notice any advantage over other solder stations.

Quote
I mean there are some glaring differences in the stations.

Not for me, if I did noticed something I honestly I would remark it. I'm not a Hakko seller, and assume that you aren't a Pace seller, I assume that all the reviews are honest and every person has their personal tastes.


Quote
Like when you switch it on, change the temp, select a preset, swap tips, the mysterious absence of the control card that blocks the user interface, what do you think about entering temp offsets?

A solder station it's not an Android tablet with fancy software, it's a tool to solder at any adjust. I still prefer a good dial to set the temperature over any fancy interface. I set the work temperature one's per job, sometimes I work several day's with the same setting. Both stations permit change the temperature,  in my hakkos I set the presets when I use the first time and never touch temp again. Simply change the preset. One button, that's it. In the Pace I can change the temperature easiest than Hakko, but the presets are the same to change or worst and really I use the presets all the time, never I need to change the working temperature in 2 degrees, If one preset it's not ok I take the next one.

I considered that a good solder stations have the sufficient thermal control to set it to any temperature (not too high) an solder anything. In a clone I need to continuously change the temperature to solder different components. In my Hakkos or in the Pace that I test I set one temp and solder almost all of the components without compromise. Both stations seems to me equivalent without nothing to remark between them.

I not use the control card, 888d not have one and in the 951 I put a tape inside, but when I did receive the station use it without problem. A friend use it to not change by error the settings and in his words it's util. Every person with his preferences.

I test my tips against a temp checker (a Hakko clone) when I remember it or I am very bore with the Job (it's an excuse to stop working). Never notice yet any important difference. In the show room have an original Hakko temp checker (irony?) but I not did change any temp offset and not use the interface to do that. I only did need to compensate some tips in the old times when the geometry of the tip was very odd and they was passive tips. I not use any T12/15 tip that need to be compensated yet, but probably I would not compensate it for normal use neither. 

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The differences in soldering between the two are more noticeable if you are actually soldering.
I did solder with the station for an hour or more. I didn't think that with more hours of use I notice any important. I did solder a lot of different tiny SMD and also a lot of high thermal mass components, all perfect, the same in any good solder station, nothing supreme or peculiar.

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Doing a few odd joints at say 350C will not highlight appreciable differences as clearly as soldering repetitively or doing challenging thermal joints. That is more likely to factor in the Pace ADS200s power and recovery speed, plus the extra mass over the heater on the ultra performance series of tips.

I did solder one really defiant power bus, same response in my Hakko for similar jobs. Same recovering and perhaps in Pace worst tip to PCB transfer but nothing to blame to Pace itself, I have in my hakko biggest tip that I did have in the Pace demo and then notice better response in my Hakko than in the PCB but not using the same tip. If really the solder station did transfer more energy than Hakko to the PCB I didn't notice it.

In general terms I prefer my hakko essentially because I have been using them for years (actually in the 951 were months ) but Pace seemed like a good solder station, it honors the brand, but nothing I have tried seemed really better than in Hakko or others brands. A good product indeed but nothing really relevant or impressive to me.
 

Offline jadew

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Re: Hakko still the best option for a good quality hobbyist soldering station?
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2019, 02:05:46 pm »
@KL27x,

My FX-888 station was bought new, from an authorized distributor. It was a bit over $200, since I live in the EU.

I timed it and it takes about 22-23 seconds for heating to stop, which means the heating element has gotten to temp (330 C), not the tip. The T12 clone takes less than 10 seconds, like you also noted, and the element is fused with the tip (like you well know), so the lag is much, much smaller and thermal regulation is unsurprisingly better.

I would like to point out that the T12 clone you used in your tests looks nothing like mine, so like I said earlier, maybe you just got a shitty one. It's not unheard of for chinese clones to be absolute garbage. How are you so sure that your clones are perfect? Considering your test results, I'd say you just proved they're not.

There's a saying in my language: "If two people are telling you you're drunk, better go to sleep.". Considering the majority of people who tried them are absolutely excited about those T12 clones, is there any chance that YOU did something wrong, and not that everyone else is stupid and doesn't know how to set their temperatures properly?
 
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