Author Topic: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?  (Read 4596 times)

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Offline rfmerrill

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Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« on: June 22, 2019, 07:31:33 am »
I bought a metcal MX500 power supply and I'm wondering which handpiece I should go for. The marketing literature is not very clear on what exactly the differences are between the "standard" RM3E and the "advanced" H1-AV. The only things that are super obvious are that the H1-AV has interchangeable grips and its workstand has an adjustable rest angle. I looked for other topics on this and someone mentioned the H1-AV is also lighter. Anyone know of any other important differences? Surprisingly hard to find.

Edit: My favorite part is that the standard handpiece+stand has "auto-sleep" while the advanced handpiece+stand has "tip saver". The blurbs for what these things are are different but seem to say the same thing and I'm fairly certain there's not actually a difference. Way to go marketing.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 07:33:11 am by rfmerrill »
 

Offline Free_WiFi

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 08:19:06 am »
Take the MX-H1-AV it's a very cool handle,it's durable but more expensive ....
The MX-RM3E is durable too,but less serviceable in various cases of breakage.


P.S I'm selling some metcal's stuff.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 08:25:46 am by Free_WiFi »
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 12:50:10 pm »
The H1-AV and stand seem to go for about $240-290 USD on evilBay.  The RM3E and stand about $190.  The Thermaltronics combo go for about $160.    The Thermaltronics company was founded by ex Metcal people.  I have a couple of the tips and they work just as well as the Metcal tips.  Unless you are in heavy production, durability really shouldn't be an issue.  You can get 2 of the Thermaltronics wands for about the cost of 1 H1-AV.  I take care of my toys and don't let anyone else touch them.  That alone will guarantee durability. ;D

When I bought my RM3E and WS1, they were both NOS and I paid less than just the H1-AV.  Prices are higher now but still cheaper.
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 11:15:53 pm »
Edit: My favorite part is that the standard handpiece+stand has "auto-sleep" while the advanced handpiece+stand has "tip saver". The blurbs for what these things are are different but seem to say the same thing and I'm fairly certain there's not actually a difference. Way to go marketing.

Same thing yeah, magnets inside the stand reduce the tip temperature.
MX-H1-AV is the best soldering iron handle I've used by far, rubber grip and selectable texture is the main improvement over RM3E, weight is not so different. Up to you if the big price is worth it though.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Metcal/MX-H1-AV?qs=tEuKHpL3IwnXk5C4V2iB%2FQ==
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 01:49:08 am »
Edit: My favorite part is that the standard handpiece+stand has "auto-sleep" while the advanced handpiece+stand has "tip saver". The blurbs for what these things are are different but seem to say the same thing and I'm fairly certain there's not actually a difference. Way to go marketing.

Same thing yeah, magnets inside the stand reduce the tip temperature.
MX-H1-AV is the best soldering iron handle I've used by far, rubber grip and selectable texture is the main improvement over RM3E, weight is not so different. Up to you if the big price is worth it though.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Metcal/MX-H1-AV?qs=tEuKHpL3IwnXk5C4V2iB%2FQ==

I also have a Hakko FX-951 which has a rubber grip.  I like the cushioned grip but still prefer the RM3E for overall feel.  I would like to see what the H1-AV feels like but I don't have the extra coin of the realm to sample it and I really don't like to try and then return.  Price is always a concern for me.  That is why I chose the Hakko over a JBC, big difference in price, even with getting extra tips and holders for the Hakko.  Maybe at some point I could find a used one at a price that is palatable.
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Offline Someone

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 08:54:56 am »
More background:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/what-metcal/?all

MX-H1-AV is a little smaller, but not significantly different to the MX-RM3E. If you want to save money the Thermaltronics SHP-1 is possible, again mostly the same. They all do the same thing as the sleep/saver/setback function is just a magnet in the stand interacting with the tip.
 

Offline rfmerrill

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 07:07:18 am »
I ended up buying the MX-H1-AV handpiece as it was going cheap on ebay (got it for just over $100 US), used it a bit at work and definitely prefer it to the RM3E.

Also bought a thermaltronics SHH-1 workstand to go with it after hemming and hawing at the one amazon review that criticized it for not being metal. It was only $60 so I'm not bothered. The only thing I can see as a negative beyond that is that it doesn't have the adjustable rest angle.

I greatly prefer the MX-H1-AV because it is lighter, thinner and shorter than the MX-RM3E. If you like to hold the handpiece as close to the tip as possible (which people generally do), the RM3E has a lot of extra length that seems pointless, even with my fairly large hands. The strain relief is also much bigger and stiffer which means that the cord will pull on the handpiece a lot more.

That being said, the cheap bundles come with the RM3E and the MX-H1-AV only comes with the expensive bundles. I'd absolutely spend the extra for the MX-H1-AV if you're buying the handpiece on its own but I wouldn't buy one if I already had the RM3E necessarily.

Also the MX-H1-AV does go into the regular metcal WS1 workstand.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 07:15:20 am by rfmerrill »
 
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2019, 01:48:54 pm »
The MX-H1-AV makes for a really pleasant experience - light weight, very short distance between grip and the tip and good ergonomics. I've used it extensively in my videos
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Offline rfmerrill

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2021, 05:22:57 am »
Sorry for thread necro, but in case anyone else finds this: One thing a friend found out the hard way is that the SHH-1 workstand will not fit the RM3E handpiece. It does fit the H1-AV handpiece, and that handpiece will work in the WS1 workstand as well.

There are actually two different tip-saving mechanisms, but the difference is in the power supply: The older (MX-500-P-11 and earlier) power supplies have a timed output power reduction that triggers when it senses a lack of change in the impedance of the iron for a certain amount of time. Some of the newer ones have a different regulation mechanism where the power immediately drops to nearly nothing when you put it in the stand. With the very earliest Metcal supplies (RFG-30), the power reduces only to about 8 Watt in the workstand, so it's not completely burning up but it's not as reduced as the ~3 Watt you'll see in the newer ones.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 05:24:31 am by rfmerrill »
 

Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2021, 09:26:11 pm »
I might have to return my new MX-H1-AV handpiece as it does not recognise two of my tips (STTC 136 and STTC 147P) - the MX-RM3E as yet has had no problems?
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2021, 09:00:07 am »
Spotted a pattern with my advanced handpiece quirk - I have 5 STTC tips: 006, 038, 117, 136, 147P.

Since its not recognizing the last two.

Not sure why - and reasonably confident it is only a handpiece problem as the MX-RM3E doesn't replicate the problem. The equipment is all new.
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2021, 10:35:27 am »
Unusual quirk - any damage to the connections on the cartridge? The handpiece is just a connector so not much to go wrong
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2021, 05:19:21 pm »
Steve the connections all look fine and feel secure - all kit from RS and Farnell - don't wan't to return the handpiece unnecessarily (specially after watching the piece on amazon returns) but I'm stumped - will do a final check to confirm.
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Offline rfmerrill

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2021, 04:00:23 pm »
A caveat to "the handpiece is just a connector": The handpiece assembly (F connector + cable + handpiece) does have an LC network in it somewhere that is necessary for correct operation. There's an old thread somewhere where someone tore one down and discovered this, and it's also mentioned in some of Metcal's patents.
 
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2021, 07:10:44 pm »
That's interesting - rechecking the tips it didn't like I can add the STTC 038. And the pattern shifts to the last two numbers.

works for 06, 17
doesn't work for 36, 38, 47P

or it just works for a 0.4mm conical and 5.0 x 7.6mm chisel and nothing in between.
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Offline AleXis6

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2021, 10:47:16 am »
works for 06, 17
doesn't work for 36, 38, 47P
how you solved this issue?
I am also thinking to upgrade MX-RM3e  to MX-H1-AV  and have same tips (138, 136,147)

may be you have  MX-H2-UF instead of MX-H1-AV
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 11:02:51 am by AleXis6 »
 

Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2021, 08:52:02 pm »
it wasn't solved - I returned the handpiece to Farnell - and since then haven't been able to buy from them again!
The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, ... Principles always become a matter of vehement discussion when practice is at ebb.
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2021, 11:20:30 pm »
works for 06, 17
doesn't work for 36, 38, 47P
how you solved this issue?
I am also thinking to upgrade MX-RM3e  to MX-H1-AV  and have same tips (138, 136,147)

may be you have  MX-H2-UF instead of MX-H1-AV

The MX-H2-UF will not physically accept those cartridges. I suspect a fault with the matching components in the handpiece rather than any incompatibilities.
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2021, 08:19:04 am »
Yes - no doubt it was an MX-H1-AV

I guess when a new user has an issue with a product, especially one which is known to be highly reliable, it can be presumed to be a misuse issue.



The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, ... Principles always become a matter of vehement discussion when practice is at ebb.
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2021, 11:03:37 pm »
how you solved this issue?
I am also thinking to upgrade MX-RM3e  to MX-H1-AV  and have same tips (138, 136,147)

may be you have  MX-H2-UF instead of MX-H1-AV

What is your base station? OP had MX500.
I have used PS2E-01 with MX-H1-AV and it was all good. It could either be a faulty handle, or faulty MX500, or something in the MX500 circuitry detecting an issue. I would think we would have heard of more complaints if it were purely a compatibility problem, as metcal sells MX-UK1 "upgrade kit" specifically for MX stations.
 
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Offline armandine2

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2021, 02:29:47 pm »
If that was to me - mine is a MX500 (same as OP)
The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, ... Principles always become a matter of vehement discussion when practice is at ebb.
 

Offline rfmerrill

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Re: Metcal: MX-H1-AV vs MX-RM3E?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2021, 03:46:09 pm »
I'm fairly certain all of the base stations detect if the tip is installed via its DC resistance. The handpiece + cartridge is very low resistance at DC. If it's saying "open error" or similar with a tip installed there must be a break in the circuit. Of course if you have an older power supply there's no display, just an indicator LED. If the symptom is simply that it doesn't get hot, that could be for other reasons (shorted heating coil in the tip, shorted handpiece etc).
 


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