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New Owner of an Old Weller? Or just get a FX888D?

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taste_tester:
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.

Shock:
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.

CJay:
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.

floobydust:
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

Gyro:
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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