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JBC HDE vs PACE ADS200 first impression

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I owned the PACE ADS200 for almost a year and while it is an excellent iron I needed more power as it took to much time to solder some higher power connectors (76A rated) to a two layer 2Oz (70um) PCB and since I need to solder thousands of this connectors I decided to look in to more powerful irons so that I can possibly reduce the soldering time to half and save at least a few weeks of hard work.
After checking what was available it cam down to two options the HAKKO FX-801 300W and the JBC HDE 250W.
The HAKKO FX-801 was slightly less expensive but the 70's look of the station did not inspire much confidence and the deal breaker they only have 3 or 4 available tips for this station and the largest one 6mm wide was just not enough for my current needs so the only choice was the 90's looking design JBC HDE.

Both PACE and JBC where purchased from TEquipment and so imported in Canada.

The PACE ADS200 with a few tip's was just over 500CAD as you can see in details below

While the JBC HDE with 2x the power 250W vs 120W cost's about 4x more just over 2000CAD again including a few tip's

Bellow are a few photos and my initial impression/comments.
Already mentioned the 1970's and 1990's retro style of this two stations the JBC is a cheap feeling plastic and PACE is aluminium extrusion

Back of the PACE the AC input and the stand iron detection cable.  There are a bit more options on the JBC like pedal and robot control (not useful to me at this point).

One of the very annoying things is the loud cooling fan on the JBC you may be able to see it bellow (was very unexpected to see a cooling fan on a soldering station).
Also notice the AC plugs on the bottom and I was thinking that is a great idea until I seen the cable for the iron connects on the back so you still waste a lot of space as it can not get close to the wall.

View of the LCD rotation mechanism. There is also an USB to connect a memory stick for firmware update and to save temperature/power graph's for analysis.

The two iron's side by side. PACE is fantastic very short distance to tip and full metal body that will not get hot with prolonged use the JBC just looks lower cost with what seems like a heat shrink type strain relief.
Likely the JBC will be less comfortable but considering the higher power is not bad in therms of size and weight. The green sponge like material on the JBC handle will likely look bad and degrade fairly fast (remain to be seen).
The PACE has the largest tip they have installed 7.95mm wide and what I used to solder two pins at the same time the 10mm wide tip on the JBC is not the largest they have but I think is not ideal for my usage. I ordered a 7.5mm one and will see if that or the 20mm wide blade I already have is the best option for speeding the soldering of those high thermal mass connectors. 

All that comes with the PACE ADS200 and is not a bad package. This is the version with optional standby switch installed in the stand so temperature will automatically be reduced when you place the iron in the stand. I will suggest you get this option

The JBC comes with a stand that of course it has a sensor to detect the iron is in the stand. In fact the iron cable connects to the stand and then there is a another cable connecting the stand to the station.
Then there is the tip cleaner that has a star cut black rubber material over the brass cleaning wool (again not a fan as I do not think it works as intended and is more in the way but it can be removed so no problem).

Currently installed on my desk waiting for some more appropriate tip's to do a test/comparison on thermal performance but is sure a more capable iron and it takes 250W from the AC side while heating the tip same as PACE takes about 120W
There is also the problem of effectively transferring that energy to what you want to solder. I may end up using that wide 20mm tip to heat 4 contacts at the same time.

Not a fair comparison as the JBC costs 5 times more than the Pace.  Did you purchase the biggest tip that Pace sells?


--- Quote from: dkggpeters on December 27, 2019, 12:17:55 am ---Not a fair comparison as the JBC costs 5 times more than the Pace.  Did you purchase the biggest tip that Pace sells?

--- End quote ---

I know is not fair but is what I have available :)
Yes that is the largest tip Pace sells for this model and was what I used for my project.
I think tho is more complicated than just the output power of the two solder irons it is also important how that power is delivered to the tip and JBC tip's are superior but that is also reflected is the much higher price for them.
I got the closest equivalent tip I could find for JBC to match the Pace see the photo bellow the Pace is 7.95mm wide chisel tip and the JBC is 7.5mm wide.  The weight of JBC tip is exactly double so is the max heating power of course.
I checked the tip temperature with an external temperature sensor to make sure the settings on screen match and they where fairly good then used a 10x9cm metal core PCB that I had from an old project to test/compare the two tips. This PCB is a single layer 70um (2Oz) copper then a very thin layer of Teflon as dielectric then 2.5mm thick aluminium so huge challenge for any iron.
I tested the Pace first set at 380C and manage to get the tip melt the SAC305 solder on a large pad on that board but then the tip got stuck and was unable to remove it the tip was not able to push enough power to compensate for the natural air cooling of that PCB (maybe a bit of air flow from the fume extractor but not much). I even try to set at 410C and was not able to get it stuck withing a few minutes so I use the JBC to get that Pace tip released.
Then after the board has cooled down back to room temperature I use the JBC set at 280C first and while it was melting and did not got stuck it was not great at melting all that large blob of solder then set at 320C and it was just melting all the solder on the pad without any problems at all. I tested a few more times with Pace at 380C and will I did not stuck the tip (was careful about that) there where moments when it was melting a bit of the blob and then just freeze the power delivery to the tip was strange and not consistent and I noticed that but in less of an extent when I was working on my project soldering some high power trough hole connectors.
I have to redesign a bit that board as I add some extra functionality but I will then benchmark the two soldering irons and I expect at least a 2x soldering speed improvement that will save me weeks of work and so as expensive as the JBC is it will be worth the cost for my particular case even if I like the Pace more from many aspects and except or that particular application I will use Pace for everything else.

A bottom pre heater can also be a solution.
I've heard about some early pace faulty tips that cause bad performance on soldering (Low melting), don't know if is your case.
Also JBC have more performance at a cost, tips will last shorter.
As HP tools you also have ERSA i-tool HP (0ICV2000HP), 250W with 20mm as biggest tip +/- 1100€ is a dual tool station but the 250W are split if you use 2 tools at same time (Both on contact with thermals).
I have the normal i-tool 120W, So far no job have defeated my 10mm tip.
PS: Your pace tip look like struggled alot

--- Quote --- the 70's look of the station did not inspire much confidence
--- End quote ---
On this kind of equipment i think the overall quality, performance and ui is more important than the looks. Good looking but bad serves nothing

--- Quote ---the deal breaker they only have 3 or 4 available tips for this station
--- End quote ---

That's indeed sad, they have 300W station and not make use of it, larger tips would be expected/usefull but well this is common on some brands, the most famous station get a very large range from 0.15mm to 10mm or 20mm with many shapes and the other stations get a very limited range.
JBC is king on tip range and they make sure you pay for it


--- Quote from: dkggpeters on December 27, 2019, 12:17:55 am ---Not a fair comparison as the JBC costs 5 times more than the Pace.  Did you purchase the biggest tip that Pace sells?

--- End quote ---

I don't really see the price difference as the obstacle.  Its a 120W station vs a 250W station.  Even the 2/4 channel stations from JBC are 150W per channel.  Obviously one doesn't really replace the other though. You cannot use JBC's 210/245 hand pieces with the HDE, which I expect has tips more comparable to the Pace.


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