Author Topic: Pace ADS200 soldering station  (Read 169652 times)

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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #925 on: February 07, 2019, 12:45:33 pm »
While they look the same as our standard IntelliHeat Tip Cartridges, AccuDrive Tips (ADS200 tips) have an interior heater with a different construction much more difficult to produce than our standard ones. And Helius is correct about the reason we test every tip before it leaves the factory in North Carolina: the last thing we need is another production fiasco like the one that occurred last year! We normally test only 25-40% of IntelliHeat-style cartridges, but 100% of AccuDrive Tips are tested which results in a slight discoloration towards the top of the tip.

Our tips don't have an abnormally high mortality rate, and rarely do our tips stop working due to heater failure. In fact, tip failure is usually caused by normal wear and tear of the plating. In use, the protective iron plating wears through, developing a pit or maybe a crack in the plating. Once there is a pit/crack, the interior copper is exposed and rapidly erodes away, as solder (especially lead-free solder) has a solvent effect on pure copper, dissolving the inner copper until the plating caves in!

Concerning lead times, you can blame your local distributor for that! Our standard lead times to Distributors for all PACE products is 2 weeks after receipt of order. This a hard and fast policy of PACE's. We expect distributors to do the one thing distributors are supposed to do: STOCK OUR PRODUCTS! But many distributors do not. If a distributor takes more than 16 days to ship PACE products or tips, it's very simple: You can bet they are not stocking tips and are only ordering AFTER you have placed your PO! If you order directly from PACE's website, we generally ship within 2-4 days. Yes, we have occasional lead time issues, and if a production problem occurs (like the original defective batch of ADS/AccuDrive tips), then we are at fault for the delay. But we have been pretty steady on lead times since late August, so I'm going to blame the distributors! ;)

....

Finally, we manufacture all soldering products (including tips) and bench top rework stations in Vass, North Carolina, while higher end BGA Rework Equipment and Fume Extractors are manufactured in Elkridge MD (where I am located). PACE is one of the last major manufacturers of soldering irons made in the USA (Weller: made in Mexico & Germany; Hakko: made in China; Metcal: Made in China).

The 25 - 40% of Intelliheat cartridges being tested makes a lot of sense.  I looked at our stock and it appears there were some (for the irons) that had not been heated.   When I look at the discoloration of the cartridges that were tested, it varies a fair amount.   I suspect its a manual operation.   I attached a couple of pictures of one of the worse.  Most will not be this dark.   

I wouldn't have guessed that the AccuDrive cartridges were  much more difficult to produce than the Intelliheat and require 100% testing.  To reduce the cost, are you working on a better cartridge design for the AccuDrive? 

This is good to know about the distributors being the problem.   They typically quote us lead times of a couple of weeks but we rarely see parts within a month.  I wasn't aware that we could purchase parts direct but will get you setup as a supplier to take care of it. 


How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline PACE-Worldwide

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #926 on: February 07, 2019, 01:38:24 pm »
The 25 - 40% of Intelliheat cartridges being tested makes a lot of sense.  I looked at our stock and it appears there were some (for the irons) that had not been heated.   When I look at the discoloration of the cartridges that were tested, it varies a fair amount.   I suspect its a manual operation.   I attached a couple of pictures of one of the worse.  Most will not be this dark.   

I wouldn't have guessed that the AccuDrive cartridges were  much more difficult to produce than the Intelliheat and require 100% testing.  To reduce the cost, are you working on a better cartridge design for the AccuDrive? 

This is good to know about the distributors being the problem.  They typically quote us lead times of a couple of weeks but we rarely see parts within a month.  I wasn't aware that we could purchase parts direct but will get you setup as a supplier to take care of it.

All Tip Heater Cartridge production including testing are manual operations and very labor intensive. I doubt it would make sense to automate the process unless we were selling millions & millions of tips per year. The easiest alternative would be to move production to China or Mexico, but then we lose valuable, long time employees and quality control, so it's not something that will ever be put on the table. Not by current PACE management.

When we experienced the AccuDrive production issues last year, the tip design was modified significantly to make them easier to produce and to improve reliability. While AccuDrive tips go through a similar production process as the IntelliHeat tips, the heater windings are tricky (more wattage requires more winds at more precise intervals) and AccuDrive heaters have 2 sensors rather than 1 sensor that has to fit in the same metal shroud using the same iron plated copper tip end. Like I said, trickier. Our production people seem to be totally in the groove now!

We have some really excellent distributors, but I would shop around to see who actually stocks PACE product. Usually the Hakko, Metcal or Weller tips are given stocking priority because of their historical focus on mass market soldering stations, as opposed to PACE's focus on production-oriented rework & repair products. But the trend in distribution seems to be to minimize inventory. Many of our distributors use complicated algorithms built into their ERP systems that minimize excess stock, and sometimes this results in wild swings in their buying patterns. One month they may go without buying any tips, then the next month we get an order for $30K. So one month they have nothing on the shelf, then the next month they have too much. And the cycle repeats. The result is a noticeable lag in delivery to customers during certain periods of time. If a distributor has a particular tip in stock, they typically ship within 2 days. If they are shipping any later than that, then they don't have the product on the shelf.

In defense of distributors, they cannot possibly stock 100% of the product lines they carry. They'd be out of business within months. Most distributors take an 80/20 rule approach to shelf stock, so only the most popular items that sell quickly are stocked. Specialty tips used by a few customers may take longer as they only purchase the tip when you order.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Aaron

« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 01:43:29 pm by PACE-Worldwide »
 
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Offline labjr

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #927 on: February 07, 2019, 02:51:25 pm »
Aaron,

I noticed that TEquipment seems to have a dozen or so ADS200 stations at a time, and several of each tip. And when they run out, it's a few weeks before they get more. Meanwhile, they have over 100 of the similarly priced Hakko station. I was wondering if it's selling slowly because it's fairly new, or so popular that Pace can't keep up with production? Thus have to ration the product between distributors.
 

Offline labjr

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #928 on: February 07, 2019, 02:58:48 pm »
joeqsmith,

I'm curious about that tip. And the type of soldering you do, where you need for a high thermal mass conical tip?

Thx
 

Offline edvb

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #929 on: February 07, 2019, 03:13:08 pm »
I just received my ADS200 with Setback on Tuesday. It took a month from ordering to receiving the unit. It is version 1-4. I got it from TEquipment at a time when it was not in stock, but they had an order in with Pace a week earlier.

I got it at great price so did not mind the wait. The setback stand works perfectly.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #930 on: February 07, 2019, 04:17:58 pm »
I noticed that TEquipment seems to have a dozen or so ADS200 stations at a time, and several of each tip. And when they run out, it's a few weeks before they get more. Meanwhile, they have over 100 of the similarly priced Hakko station. I was wondering if it's selling slowly because it's fairly new, or so popular that Pace can't keep up with production? Thus have to ration the product between distributors.

I spoke to Evan from Tequipment about this the other day. Their stock level has looked terrible for months seemed like they weren't ordering in enough tips and stations. I'm sure they would have sold more overall, not everyone likes to wait for a backorder or buy a station without the tips. Perhaps their ordering system doesn't forecast well when the product is a new listing.

There was a time when people didn't like Hakko all that much, but since then they have had time to gain market penetration with little competition (value wise) in the USA. The FX-951 at ~$200 price point was an okay station, I never thought it was a particularly good design (or value with Australia tax). But the Pace ADS200 at ~$200 is a great station, over time I'm sure the word will get out more.

I noticed people are starting to buy on Amazon as well.

Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM       >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #931 on: February 07, 2019, 04:29:41 pm »
I just received my ADS200 with Setback on Tuesday. It took a month from ordering to receiving the unit. It is version 1-4. I got it from TEquipment at a time when it was not in stock, but they had an order in with Pace a week earlier.

I got it at great price so did not mind the wait. The setback stand works perfectly.

Good to know you finally got yours, congrats. They should be all version 1.4 by now but it's a simple process to change the firmware over anyway.

In case you weren't aware use the tip tool to swap tips, the silicon pad is just there to confuse people. It might make a good place to drop parts on when the tweezers come out.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM       >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #932 on: February 07, 2019, 06:04:23 pm »
....
Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Aaron

Yes sir, it has. Thank you again for taking the time to write.  This has been very helpful. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline grantb5

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #933 on: February 07, 2019, 11:44:47 pm »

Good to know you finally got yours, congrats. They should be all version 1.4 by now but it's a simple process to change the firmware over anyway.

In case you weren't aware use the tip tool to swap tips, the silicon pad is just there to confuse people. It might make a good place to drop parts on when the tweezers come out.

Yeah I was looking at that big square pad with the arrow shape on one side, wondering what it was for. I just use the little "tweezers" and drop the hot one in one of the spare slots on the docking/stand part ... other than your future plan, what could it be for?
 

Offline grantb5

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #934 on: February 07, 2019, 11:48:45 pm »

I spoke to Evan from Tequipment about this the other day. Their stock level has looked terrible for months seemed like they weren't ordering in enough tips and stations. I'm sure they would have sold more overall, not everyone likes to wait for a backorder or buy a station without the tips. Perhaps their ordering system doesn't forecast well when the product is a new listing.

I noticed people are starting to buy on Amazon as well.

Hey Shock, what's the model of your work pad thingy there? I assume esd safe. Looks very nice.  I just use an IKEA mat now.  :-//
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #935 on: February 08, 2019, 02:19:44 am »
Yeah I was looking at that big square pad with the arrow shape on one side, wondering what it was for. I just use the little "tweezers" and drop the hot one in one of the spare slots on the docking/stand part ... other than your future plan, what could it be for?

It is for swapping tips, or I guess putting tips down if you don't want to put them into into the rack. Some other brands use similar but once you can use the tweezers the pads make things clumsy. Makes a good coffee mat also.

Hey Shock, what's the model of your work pad thingy there? I assume esd safe. Looks very nice.  I just use an IKEA mat now.  :-//

That is not mine, it's an image from Amazon. Those things are sold from various China sellers, not sure if there is any official version. Search for PCB REPAIR PAD or similar on Ebay, or start a new thread in the "Other Equipment & Products" forum, someone might be able to hook you up with a good one that doesn't smell rubbery etc.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM       >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline helius

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #936 on: February 08, 2019, 02:40:05 am »
Those pads are made of silicone rubber for heat resistance. They are not ESD mats: there is only one rubber layer, not a dissipative over conductive sandwich like a real ESD pad. I couldn't tell you if the rubber is static dissipative at all—I do not have the proper tools for that measurement—but it reads as zero conductance when testing with probes.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #937 on: February 08, 2019, 02:45:53 am »
Those pads are made of silicone rubber for heat resistance. They are not ESD mats: there is only one rubber layer, not a dissipative over conductive sandwich like a real ESD pad. I couldn't tell you if the rubber is static dissipative at all—I do not have the proper tools for that measurement—but it reads as zero conductance when testing with probes.

Ok only good for corpses then, thanks for checking.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM       >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #938 on: February 08, 2019, 03:37:37 am »
joeqsmith,

I'm curious about that tip. And the type of soldering you do, where you need for a high thermal mass conical tip?

Thx
I have some 1/64th conical tips at home that make the one shown look like a dull butter knife.  In the attached photo I have scraped away some of the mask to attach my parts to the plain and using AWG 30 to make my connections.  Under those big 0805s is a leadless IC that my am attaching to.   The fine tips like the 357 allow me to get into these tight areas and have enough thermal mass to overcome the  thermal mass of the plain.   

Maybe check out the following article to get a better idea where the various tips are used.
http://blog.okinternational.com/metcal/5-tips-for-solder-tip-selection

Not too long ago, someone asked about making a home made soldering iron.  I ended up jigging something together and used a similar tip.  I bit more flat as I wanted to show some general soldering.   This iron is running off my bench supply, powered by a PC and using  a bench meter to read the tip temps.   :-DD   Most expensive iron ever, works as you would expect.   You can see me strip some parts off an junk UNI-T meter with it....     Oh yea, the heart of the iron and the only thing it has going for it, a PACE tip! 

https://youtu.be/Xa2TQ583OIU
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline grantb5

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #939 on: February 08, 2019, 04:05:46 am »
It is for swapping tips, or I guess putting tips down if you don't want to put them into into the rack. Some other brands use similar but once you can use the tweezers the pads make things clumsy. Makes a good coffee mat also.

Coffee mat I can see, the arrow belt part is a mystery. ???  And I guess the little bag of thumb screws is for hooking stuff together haha.
 

Online Cliff Matthews

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #940 on: February 08, 2019, 04:14:02 am »
Joe, you are one very talented man! If recall correctly, you're up the cold arthritic New England area.
Ever thought of visiting warmer places like Elk Ridge?  :-+ (er.. I mean to check out the Real Estate?)
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #941 on: February 08, 2019, 01:05:55 pm »
Joe, you are one very talented man! If recall correctly, you're up the cold arthritic New England area.
Ever thought of visiting warmer places like Elk Ridge?  :-+ (er.. I mean to check out the Real Estate?)
You like the way I flick those parts off that cheap meter?   Normally, I would do this with my heat gun but for a demo it's fine.   My tweezers are too clumsy to work on small parts like this.  I'm faster with the heat gun.  The small PACE tweezers with the self aligning quick change tips are the best. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online Cliff Matthews

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #942 on: February 08, 2019, 02:18:37 pm »
Never change Joe, your contributions are noteworthy. Seriously, I'd love to see select cuts from a tour of Pace Inc. one day.. and if any of Pace's engineers subscribe to your channel, I'm sure they'd love to "chew the fat" with someone so resourceful.  :-+

Q - Is there any chance one day you might do a video on how (and with what investment) the novice user can use the free or Academic versions of LabView to handle tasks like the one you posted? https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/homebrew-soldering-iron/msg2135812/#msg2135812
 

Offline labjr

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #943 on: February 08, 2019, 04:32:36 pm »
The wine cork makes a good grip. Always Worked well on fishing rods.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 04:45:19 pm by labjr »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #944 on: February 08, 2019, 06:50:10 pm »
Never change Joe, your contributions are noteworthy. Seriously, I'd love to see select cuts from a tour of Pace Inc. one day.. and if any of Pace's engineers subscribe to your channel, I'm sure they'd love to "chew the fat" with someone so resourceful.  :-+

Q - Is there any chance one day you might do a video on how (and with what investment) the novice user can use the free or Academic versions of LabView to handle tasks like the one you posted? https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/homebrew-soldering-iron/msg2135812/#msg2135812

Thanks.  I'm sure the engineers at Pace would have a laugh at the home made irons.  I thought about going one step further with the project but it seems our friend lost interest in the subject.  The plan would have been to start designing something that could actually be used.  Maybe some homemade tweezers.   :-DD

A few years back when sparkfun was supplying the student version with an arduino for $50, I had a few friends buying it and tossing out the arduino.  We tried several tests on the student version and it appeared to basically be the base package but with a watermark.  Nothing appeared crippled.  At that time I was working on a system that was fairly intensive.  I was using Labview to test the hardware.  We tried running these tests with the student version and also saw no problems.   The base package is very powerful and what I started out with for my hobby.   NI made me an offer on that I couldn't refuse and I upgraded to pro.   By far, this has been one of the biggest time savers for me.  For home I strictly use Labview now to control the PCs.   

There are training videos on YT for labview.  IMO, the best thing is to just read the getting started manual and work the examples.  It will take a day to absorb it but it's a good starting point.    They have a forum as well that appears popular.  This would be a good place to get help. 
 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline bsudbrink

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #945 on: February 10, 2019, 03:35:59 am »
I thought I'd post a picture of my "old" Pace setup, with the observation: I really can't see buying any new Pace equipment, the old stuff lasts too long!   :-DD
 

Offline labjr

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #946 on: February 13, 2019, 04:52:40 am »
A bit off subject. TEquipment doesn't carry the Kester line of solder products. But they have this. Has anyone tried this bargain solder? Has good reviews.

https://www.tequipment.net/Amerway/AM63.37.SPOOL.1LB/Solder-Wire/?b=y&v=124481

 

Online Cliff Matthews

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #947 on: February 13, 2019, 12:46:32 pm »
A bit off subject. TEquipment doesn't carry the Kester line of solder products. But they have this. Has anyone tried this bargain solder? Has good reviews.

https://www.tequipment.net/Amerway/AM63.37.SPOOL.1LB/Solder-Wire/?b=y&v=124481
I wonder why it is that this small family biz has been 'below the radar' since 1988.. maybe it's just getting traction now? Joe is such a resourceful materials guy, it would be nice to get his take. I liked watching all the smelting and drawing processes I saw in the video (but with lead.. there no way I'd ever work in a plant like that..) Factory on G-maps: https://bit.ly/2SOGCJL


edit - I'd say you're not far off the subject - maybe Aaron's heard about these guys? On that map, I see 2 furnaces 'out back' as the say in the video and a stock yard with easy forklift access to rail cars (solder tends to be heavy stuff).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 02:37:53 pm by Cliff Matthews »
 

Offline labjr

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #948 on: February 13, 2019, 02:33:38 pm »
Seems odd that they've only been ISO 9001 certified since 2017. Maybe they recently started making electronic solder? Judging by their distribution, it appears the main focus of the business was the stained glass industry.

They don't actually offer many types of electronic solder compared to the well established brands.

I emailed the sales manager and received what I feel is a pretty basic response.

Who knows?  Maybe it's good stuff.
 

Offline grantb5

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Re: Newest Pace ADS200 station (tempting durability, and just over $200)
« Reply #949 on: February 13, 2019, 02:56:20 pm »
Are people doing the firmware update on their units? Mine shows 1-2 (which I think is Rev B) and it looks like there is a 1-4 (Rev D). There is a photo someplace that shows the update if performed by swapping out a PLCC, probably microcontroller but I guess it could also be a memory chip. Is this for sale or offered via warranty anywhere? And is there a list of the changes/improvements?
 
 


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