Author Topic: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?  (Read 1049 times)

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Offline taste_tester

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New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« on: May 23, 2022, 11:03:56 am »
If I had bought a WTL or WES When I bought my first Hakko 888 Analog about 2008 then maybe I would have saved a lot of money.

In the time I broke three 888 handles (to be fair i was quite rough with them, and not 100% sure both my replacements were genuine Hakko), then upgraded a few more times.... a friend who has been using his old blue Weller since even before I bought my 888 Analog, still working perfect - still the only iron he uses.

I saw you can get the base for an older Weller pretty cheap - under $50 shipped. Is it worth it even for an occasional usage, considering that price is base only -  I can imagine with tips and handle on top it exceeds the cost of a new FX888D. This got me wondering if it's worth it to buy some used old Weller or if I should just plunk down the $100 or so and toss a FX888D on the shelf as a backup unit should I need to replace my main iron again.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the matter.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 11:05:38 am by taste_tester »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2022, 07:30:16 pm »
Depends how you are breaking them. There looks to be Japanese import replacement Hakko FX8801 handles on Amazon for $50. A1560 heaters from tequipment.net are $20. B2022 nipples are $6.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline CJay

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2022, 07:44:39 pm »
Buy a Weller.

I've tried a few other irons but always end up back with the Weller.

I took inspiration from another user here and rewired the *expensive* Magnastat as a sensor rather than power switch and used it to trigger a triac.

 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2022, 08:13:51 pm »
I find a WTCPT beats FX888 for general purpose soldering. The Weller has more thermal mass, more heat and the Hakko is just frustrating.
T12 clones I also find not so great because they are cheaper tips which have more steel in the tip, copper is like gold in china. I have not tried a genuine Hakko cartridge.
Overall, I don't find T12 clones beat the Weller aside from tip variety and smaller ones better suited for SMT.

Have not tried WE1010NA USD $142 Mouser or Digi-Key and maybe that's worth looking at? (aside from the missing primary fuse fiasco).

I think the Magnestats fail due to contact arcing, the 24VAC solenoid-style transformers have tons of leakage inductance and Weller did add a small cap (in the handle) but it's too small a value to do anything. Adding a triac sounds like a very good way to go.

edit: added url
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 09:33:58 pm by floobydust »
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2022, 08:33:19 pm »
I use the Magnastat on mine to drive an SSR (I happened to have a suitable one), rather than a straight triac. Removing the capacitor made it become very intermitent - those silver alloy contacts are designed for current switching. Putting the capacitor back restored completely reliable operation, it provides just enough oif a current spike to keep the contacts clean when closing at 24V, but without wear.
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Online BlackICE

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 02:21:55 am »
I had a WES50 sold it and got as WES 1010NA. After reading this forum got a Ksger T12. Now my 1st choice is to use the Ksger with real Hakko tips. I blows the WES1010 away. Faster heatup times, easier to change the tips, tips to handle distance closer and a sleep function that is useful. I also bought a T12 clone PCB that I mounted to a Milwaukee M18 battery that works great without any mains power.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 04:24:32 am »
Evil Danaher had bought and sold Cooper Tool Apex to Bain Capital for $1.8B so it's really a "brand" in a zombie state like Fluke and Tektronix with Fortive, owned by these profit hungry conglomerates which I despise. Legacy parts and products are basically gutted, they swing the axe and spare parts just go silly expensive and dry up.
So I don't know what the Weller spare parts situation is like. eBay didn't have much at all compared to years prior.
My WTCPT is not the older all cast iron neon-lamp one, it's circa 1997. I had to add a lit on/off switch as Cooper Tool used some cheap on/off switch with a fluorescent orange flag.

You'll have to set a budget and see what you can find.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 07:15:02 am »
Metcal MX5200 is probably the best station on the market at the moment, expensive but upshot is it's dual channel out of the box. Not temp variable unless you buy different tips so has a fairly high overall entry and cost of ownership.

Weller has a strong branding because they have been around a while but (like others) they have several stations that do basically the same thing. It's sort of pointless if you have owned a few different stations already to spend hundreds without ensuring it's going to be a significant upgrade in performance. I do like their micro tool range but modern slim cartridge based handpieces are fine for most (if not all) smd work.

Good chance you brought knockoff Hakko handpieces I don't recall any design issues there, it's mostly about babying the heater changing tips. Anyway with the GT120 don't break the handpiece they are over a hundred to replace, and welcome to $35 a cartridge (fortunately it has a "cheap play" mode).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 07:16:36 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline Shock

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2022, 07:33:06 am »
Pity you aren't local as I would swap my old Weller for the Hakko station, probably equal in value and the Weller is sitting in a box anyway. They used to make Weller stations here in Australia, not sure if anymore though.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline Wallace Gasiewicz

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2022, 09:41:49 pm »
I noticed you are in the USA.
We break lots of brands of soldering irons at the radio repair shop.
The one that seems the most durable is the EDSYN Loner.
I have not broken one yet.
Usually "Made in the USA" means it is an antique. Not so with EDSYN.

However, I must confess,  I use old PACE equipment at home.

I recently was at the Dayton Hamfest and there was a soldering specialist there selling "refurbished" EDSYN  at very reasonable prices.
Also other brands. And lots of tips, etc.
I am not affiliated with the company and am only offering this as a suggestion.
I do not see refurbished equip on his website, perhaps email him, if you are interested.

EAE Sales
www.eaesales.com
info@eaesales.com

Edit: I do not see any EDSYN refurbished equip on his website
« Last Edit: June 18, 2022, 10:00:46 pm by Wallace Gasiewicz »
 
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Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2022, 05:46:58 pm »
Metcal MX5200 is probably the best station on the market at the moment, expensive but upshot is it's dual channel out of the box. Not temp variable unless you buy different tips so has a fairly high overall entry and cost of ownership.

Weller has a strong branding because they have been around a while but (like others) they have several stations that do basically the same thing. It's sort of pointless if you have owned a few different stations already to spend hundreds without ensuring it's going to be a significant upgrade in performance. I do like their micro tool range but modern slim cartridge based handpieces are fine for most (if not all) smd work.

Good chance you brought knockoff Hakko handpieces I don't recall any design issues there, it's mostly about babying the heater changing tips. Anyway with the GT120 don't break the handpiece they are over a hundred to replace, and welcome to $35 a cartridge (fortunately it has a "cheap play" mode).

You can find Metcal MX-500 on eBay at decent prices.  You can also find used/NOS RM3E hand pieces and stand or use a Thermaltronics hand piece and stand.  Basically the same thing but without the new car sticker shock.  If you want new, the Thermaltronics TMT-9000S is half the cost of the MX5200 but is only a single port.  I have a Metcal MX-500P with wand and Talon tweezers and also a Hakko FX-951 myself.  I use both but prefer the Metcal.  I scored a jammy git deal on the Metcal but that was after I bought the Hakko so I kept both.

EDIT: wow, prices have gone up on the MX-500.  If you can afford, get the Thermaltronics.  The company was formed by ex Metcal employees.
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Offline taste_tester

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2022, 02:05:38 am »
Metcal MX5200 is probably the best station on the market at the moment, expensive but upshot is it's dual channel out of the box. Not temp variable unless you buy different tips so has a fairly high overall entry and cost of ownership.

Weller has a strong branding because they have been around a while but (like others) they have several stations that do basically the same thing. It's sort of pointless if you have owned a few different stations already to spend hundreds without ensuring it's going to be a significant upgrade in performance. I do like their micro tool range but modern slim cartridge based handpieces are fine for most (if not all) smd work.

Good chance you brought knockoff Hakko handpieces I don't recall any design issues there, it's mostly about babying the heater changing tips. Anyway with the GT120 don't break the handpiece they are over a hundred to replace, and welcome to $35 a cartridge (fortunately it has a "cheap play" mode).

You can find Metcal MX-500 on eBay at decent prices.  You can also find used/NOS RM3E hand pieces and stand or use a Thermaltronics hand piece and stand.  Basically the same thing but without the new car sticker shock.  If you want new, the Thermaltronics TMT-9000S is half the cost of the MX5200 but is only a single port.  I have a Metcal MX-500P with wand and Talon tweezers and also a Hakko FX-951 myself.  I use both but prefer the Metcal.  I scored a jammy git deal on the Metcal but that was after I bought the Hakko so I kept both.

EDIT: wow, prices have gone up on the MX-500.  If you can afford, get the Thermaltronics.  The company was formed by ex Metcal employees.

Thanks for this input.  i will keep an eye for both used MX 500 and Thermaltronics.
I had an absolutely awful time trying to purchase a new iron directly from Metcal / OK. 
No shipment, all emails to any of their support addresses bounced, another month after saying they'll cancel the order and threats of CC chargeback to get it refunded.
All of which make me very hesitant to give them a 2nd chance, even if I'd only be buying tips / cartridges new.

I have been using the FX888D again with a new real Hakko handle and it has not left my bench as I find it is soldering better than my beat up JBC clone was doing, but I can't get used to the thicker handpiece, as it's about the same size  an older Weller handpiece and the JBC style is very thin. The soldering quality of the FX888D i have no complaints with, but if anything gets me to switch stations again soon it will be the handle thickness and lack of setback that makes me switch. (At that point I would be weighing a real JBC against a Pace MBT).

Going to inquire about the EDSYN, never heard of them and i would believe I have a similar workflow to a radio repair shop, just out of curiosity which older Pace do you use at home? Appreciate it Wallace
« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 02:23:50 am by taste_tester »
 

Online thm_w

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Re: New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2022, 10:24:10 pm »
If you have a JBC clone why aren't you using that? Replacement handles are $20-30 if needed.

Metcal are 100% useless when dealing with directly, don't bother, buy from ebay or from a regular distributor who is capable of communicating.
Genuine tips can be bought from amazon for $20 (Thermaltronics)
 


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