Author Topic: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station  (Read 11509 times)

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Offline labarowski

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Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« on: August 16, 2013, 01:23:59 am »
I just got a WEP 858D hot air rework station, the us version of the Atten model Dave reviewed. When I fired it up, I realized that my lights were flickering a bit, I would assume when the heating element is being turned on/off. I haven't had a chance to use it anywhere else yet; the wiring in my house is quite old. These are also CFL type bulbs. I used to have a PC power supply that would make CFLs flicker (I did eventually replace that power supply come to think of it). Has anyone else tried the US version and experienced this? Is it a reason to stop using it? I'm sure those spikes in current draw are not ideal. Also, some users have referred to "safety hacks" for the Atten model. Is there anything of this sort for the WEP model?
 

Offline geostep

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 01:42:26 am »
Labarowski - UNPLUG IT NOW!!  Don't touch any metal on it!! DO NOT USE that WEP 858D until you to read this thread!!

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/deadly-wiring-fault-atten-858d-hot-air-rework-station/

There are many others who have that unit who found deadly mains wiring faults with them!   :-- :--

- George
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 01:58:39 am »
Not disagreeing at all with what geostep said, but as to the original question it's entirely likely for light flickering to happen.

Possibly you are new to the United States and have not lived here long, but flickering lights is part of life. Lights flicker when you plug in an electric clothes iron or pretty much anything that draws more than a tiny amount of current. My lights flicker every time I switch on the laser printer by my desk. Don't worry about it--it's normal.
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Offline David Aurora

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 02:01:13 am »
The CFL lamp next to my 858D flickers when I use it too, so it's either normal or at least a consistent fault  ;D
 

Offline geostep

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 02:07:32 am »
I hope that's it.  I'm seriously concerned that his 858D is doing dangerous things to his house wiring.  Being an old house with old wiring & reading about the serious miswirings the 858D is known to have (see link in first post) it got me downright scared.   :scared:

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Offline labarowski

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 02:33:19 am »
Thanks for the replies guys. George, I will crack this thing open verify the wiring is correct (or at least safe) before using again. Ian, I'm not new to the US, just hadn't seen flicker like this since dealing with that PC switched power supply. The lights dim a bit when I run a vacuum and even dim briefly when I switch on my computer or stereo. It is something you learn to dismiss but I tend to notice the flickering more than dimming. Like I said, I think it is just because the element is being switched and off. The 110V system definitely shows it's age at times like this.
 

Offline perfect_disturbance

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 03:54:57 am »
I don't know where you guys live in the US but that is not typical of everywhere. Any house built in the last 20 years on a relatively well maintained grid should not do that.
 

Offline labarowski

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 05:39:37 am »
My house is pushing 60 years old. We only have ground on a couple outlets. Lines on the street are probably about the same age. All fairly well maintained though.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 07:09:57 am »
I don't know where you guys live in the US but that is not typical of everywhere. Any house built in the last 20 years on a relatively well maintained grid should not do that.

It depends on the load and the circuit.

Many homes string several electrical sockets on one circuit, and in light duty areas it has been common to use 14 gauge cable for the wiring on 15 A breakers.

If you have, for instance, a wiring run of 100 ft from distribution panel to socket in 14 gauge wire and you put a 1500 W load on it (like my laser printer or clothes iron) then the voltage drop will be about 6 V. This is certainly going to cause any lights on the same circuit to dim and flicker visibly.

The distance of 100 ft is not that unlikely depending on the size of the house and considering that the wire has to follow a circuitous path up and down walls and through ceiling spaces.

Even in an optimistic case of a 50 ft run of 12 gauge cable you would see a 2 V drop. That's going to be a 3% drop in brightness of a bulb on a 120 V circuit, which believe will be noticed if it happens as a sudden change while you are watching it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 07:11:28 am by IanB »
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 06:12:50 am »
Nice with 230V, where you are allowed a 5% drop, and barely notice the drop.
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 08:34:24 am »
Lights and sockets on the same circuit?

Offline perfect_disturbance

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 03:12:36 pm »
I guess I didn't think a hot air station would be drawing 1500 watts. I was thinking double a soldering iron so appx 200 if that is drawing 1500 that's a real whopper and maybe could dim lights.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 03:32:27 pm »
Lights and sockets on the same circuit?

Pretty common in the US. It is also typical to reserve one wall socket in a room for lighting and wire it to the wall switch. You can then plug a standard lamp or a table lamp into this socket and control it remotely.
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Offline M. András

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 06:06:44 pm »
US wiring is crazy. I don't know how you guys don't have more accidents.
cos they have safety fences around the sockets
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 07:57:43 am »
If the lights flicker when a small load is applied elsewhere my thoughts would be to look for a loose or bad connection to the incoming power supply if that is not on the consumer side of the meter and company fuses it is time to call the electric company, a loose connection on the incoming supply if at the board on the house could start a fire, I once had the flickering light syndrome after trying to trace the fault in the house I went outside at night and looked up at the pole and could see the arcing going on at the crimp connection.
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2013, 05:11:17 pm »
US wiring is crazy. I don't know how you guys don't have more accidents.

because unlike a certain european island country we dont have circuits with almost 8kw of power available to a fault  ;)
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2013, 05:38:09 pm »
US wiring is crazy. I don't know how you guys don't have more accidents.

because unlike a certain european island country we don't have circuits with almost 8kw of power available to a fault  ;)

From what I can find on the web the percentage of accidental deaths by electrocution in the UK and the US are fairly equal. So it does not look like voltage or frequency has much bearing on the issue. I guess that what one grows up with looks like the best solution to most people. The US does appear to have more electrical fire related issues but this is most likely due to greater use of electrical heating and A/C.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2013, 06:02:37 pm »
Look at the heating element LED on the front of it. It should be flickering too, at the same rate. Mine does, at least. Appears that the heater control loop is very touchy, and it really is turning on an off rapidly, causing the light to flicker as the local line voltage moves up and down with the load.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2013, 06:04:26 pm »
US wiring is crazy. I don't know how you guys don't have more accidents.

because unlike a certain european island country we dont have circuits with almost 8kw of power available to a fault  ;)

Yeah, but their kettles work. It takes so goddamn long to boil water here.... I just want to get a British electric kettle and install a 240V outlet in my kitchen...
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 07:04:28 pm »
Having 8kW of power available means most faults are either self clearing or positive operation of a circuit breaker or fuse. None of this arcing and burning that made AFCI breakers mandatory in the USA.
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2013, 03:26:53 am »
I'm pretty sure the need for AFCI is made up by the breaker manufacturers just to make using miscellaneous appliances around the house more miserable.  :p   
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2013, 04:32:14 am »
Yeah, but their kettles work. It takes so goddamn long to boil water here.... I just want to get a British electric kettle and install a 240V outlet in my kitchen...

Ah. I don't have an electric kettle brought back from England, no sir. And I certainly don't have a 240 V socket installed in my kitchen. No, certainly not. No sirree. No 240 V electric kettles here.

I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2013, 04:44:06 am »
Excellent! :-DD :-+
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Offline poorchava

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2013, 05:34:36 am »
I've got the same thing with 852D station.  Lights flicker when it heats up. I think this is simply the effect of bad input filtering and crude triac switching scheme. Triacs are notorious for causing severe distortions on power lines when not feared properly.
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Offline marshallh

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Re: Lights flicker when using WEP 858D Rwork Station
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2013, 06:24:57 am »
My lights flicker when my old HP 4L laserjet roars on. I think it has a 900W fuser. In any case it's more pronounced with CCFL lights.

Ah. I don't have an electric kettle brought back from England, no sir. And I certainly don't have a 240 V socket installed in my kitchen. No, certainly not. No sirree. No 240 V electric kettles here.

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