Author Topic: What Metcal?  (Read 97565 times)

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Offline mamalala

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2014, 09:38:51 am »
You guys in the US really have it good when it comes to such things. I always see lots of Metcal stuff for small money on eBay US. But shipping to Germany usually kills it for me, especially when they use that crappy "serice" with Pitney Bowes, that handles import charges and stuff. For example a refurbished SMTC-061 blade tip. 28,99 US$ the tip. 15,37 US$ shipping, plus 12,94 US$ for that "service". Thing is that this "service" is not really needed. Normally one would get a notification from the customs office about the shipment, sends them a copy of the payment confirmation, then gets a notification about how much tax/import-duties to pay, pays them and then get's the goods. Using that "service" costs quite more than that ;(

I'm also wondering about the shipping rates from the US in general. They vary wildly for basically the same stuff, depending on the seller. After all, these tips are really light-weight and small. Sometimes i see shipping rates in excess of 30 US$ for a single tip that costs 20 US$. Basically the other extreme end when it comes to shipping charges, compared to China stuff, where you buy things for a buck and have it shipped for free...

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline zapta

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2014, 07:17:31 am »
Just stumbled upon this soldering video. The guy is using a large 3mm beveled Hakko tip T15-CF3 (see 20 seconds mark) and solders the SMD ics very elegantly.  I looked for an equivalent one for the MX500 but could not find any.  What would be the closest MX500 tip? I would like to give it a try.

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Offline quarros

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« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 01:39:41 pm by quarros »
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #78 on: February 06, 2014, 10:36:54 am »
Just stumbled upon this soldering video. The guy is using a large 3mm beveled Hakko tip T15-CF3 (see 20 seconds mark) and solders the SMD ics very elegantly.  I looked for an equivalent one for the MX500 but could not find any.  What would be the closest MX500 tip? I would like to give it a try.

The SMTC-1147 looks like a good tip for drag soldering.

A video of the MX-5200 here:

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Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #79 on: February 06, 2014, 12:26:43 pm »
I bought a fistfull of second hand tips from this guy the other day, I'm waiting for them to arrive. I got  7 2nd hand large chisel tips for $20~, i intend to hit them up with a lathe and mill and see if i can work the large tips into smaller tips. I was under the impression that the tip of the tip is near pure copper at the end, so it should work just fine.
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #80 on: February 06, 2014, 01:20:57 pm »
I bought a fistfull of second hand tips from this guy the other day, I'm waiting for them to arrive. I got  7 2nd hand large chisel tips for $20~, i intend to hit them up with a lathe and mill and see if i can work the large tips into smaller tips. I was under the impression that the tip of the tip is near pure copper at the end, so it should work just fine.

That's not going to work too well as you don't want exposed copper on the tip of the soldering bit as it'll just oxidise quickly. They're normally plated which is what keeps them working well at high temperatures.
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Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #81 on: February 06, 2014, 02:01:59 pm »
I bought a fistfull of second hand tips from this guy the other day, I'm waiting for them to arrive. I got  7 2nd hand large chisel tips for $20~, i intend to hit them up with a lathe and mill and see if i can work the large tips into smaller tips. I was under the impression that the tip of the tip is near pure copper at the end, so it should work just fine.

That's not going to work too well as you don't want exposed copper on the tip of the soldering bit as it'll just oxidise quickly. They're normally plated which is what keeps them working well at high temperatures.
At a rate of $3~ per tip, i don't mind. That said, it's pretty easy to electroplate with Iron so I might give that a whirl.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #82 on: February 06, 2014, 03:13:39 pm »
The SMTC-1147 looks like a good tip for drag soldering.

Does it fit this hand piece? So far I have used only STTC tips.

http://amzn.com/B001BY4848
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Offline zapta

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #83 on: February 06, 2014, 03:22:45 pm »
The SMTC-1147 looks like a good tip for drag soldering.

Does it fit this hand piece? So far I have used only STTC tips.

http://amzn.com/B001BY4848


Edit: just checked it's price, $45. Wow!  what makes it so expensive?
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #84 on: February 06, 2014, 08:57:06 pm »
I think probably just because they can charge that much. Should last ages though.

Might be worth a look on the Thermaltronics website for a cheaper version
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #85 on: February 07, 2014, 10:00:10 am »
The SMTC-1147 looks like a good tip for drag soldering.

Does it fit this hand piece? So far I have used only STTC tips.

http://amzn.com/B001BY4848

I'm going to buy the SMTC-1147 next week to see if it's any good or not. I'll try to upload a video or something showing what it's like.

Edit: just checked it's price, $45. Wow!  what makes it so expensive?
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Offline AndersAnd

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #86 on: February 12, 2014, 11:41:16 am »
I just noticed Metcal will be releasing an all new Metcal MX500 later in December.



40 W, dual port (switchable like the old MX-500 + MX-5000) and now with an universal mains input (most likely SMPS), a power display like the MX5000/MX5200 series and adjustable power save timer.

Confusing to be reusing the name of the old MX500.

New MX500: http://www.metcal.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/products/hand-soldering-systems/systems/dual-port-switchable/mx-500-series



Same case design as the more powerful 80 Watt MX-5200 Dual Port Simultaneous power supply, but lighter and smaller.

New MX-500
Power Supply Dimensions w x d x h 12.1cm (4.8”) x 12.1cm (4.8”) x 22.2cm (8.8”)
Weight of the power supply: 2.65 Kg (5.85 lbs)

MX-5200
Power Supply Dimensions w x d x h 12.1cm (4.8”) x 13.0cm  (5.1”) x 23.5cm (9.3” )
Weight of the power supply: 3.35 kg (7.4 lbs)

Dimensions for New MX-500 are only slightly smaller than for MX-5200, so it seems strange to not just reuse the casing.

MX-5200 system:


It's the MX-RM3E handpiece, pretty much the standard. The newer version would be the MX-H1-AV, which is basically the same handpiece, just made of metal and with a replaceable grip at the front. There is an ultra-fine version of that as well, IIRC, but that goes more into speciality stuff. The one you selected will be perfectly fine for electronics work.
The new MX500 systems will also come with the original plastic MX-RM3E used by the old MX500 series, instead of the newer alloy MX-H1-AV / MX-H2-UF from the MX5000/MX5200 series.
But the kits with talon or desoldering gun with come with the new versions from the MX5000/MX5200 series).



Metcal are also releasing a new HCT2-120 Digital Hot Air Pencil

http://www.metcal.com/Convection_Rework_System/id-HCT2-120/NEW_HCT2-120_Digital_Hot_Air_Pencil


The new MX-500 is now for sale in Metcal's own US Web Store:
https://www.okinternational.com/us-web-store/english/globalnavigation/oki-metcal/shop-by-category/hand-soldering-systems/systems/dual-port-switchable/mx-500-series

 

Offline Fsck

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #87 on: February 12, 2014, 04:20:50 pm »
for large chisel tips: I'd raise you a Thermaltronics MxCH250H
for big ass knife: I'd raise you a Therm... MxDS526H
and to whack ginormous components with a blade: Therm... MxLB128
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #88 on: February 13, 2014, 01:06:12 pm »
Just stumbled upon this soldering video. The guy is using a large 3mm beveled Hakko tip T15-CF3 (see 20 seconds mark) and solders the SMD ics very elegantly.  I looked for an equivalent one for the MX500 but could not find any.  What would be the closest MX500 tip? I would like to give it a try.

The SMTC-1147 looks like a good tip for drag soldering.

A video of the MX-5200 here:



I've just received my SMTC-1147, so I'll try to put up a video of my first attempt with it  :-//

« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 01:12:34 pm by SteveyG »
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Offline Frost

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #89 on: February 13, 2014, 01:26:34 pm »
Is this a tip with a concave fillet at the front for QFP "wave soldering" by hand?
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #90 on: February 13, 2014, 01:30:35 pm »
Is this a tip with a concave fillet at the front for QFP "wave soldering" by hand?

Yes, for drag soldering.
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Offline AndersAnd

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #91 on: February 13, 2014, 02:45:01 pm »
As far as I know the STTC-847 or the SMTC-0147 is what you seek. Never used those tough.

Here some links for you:

SMTC HOOF
http://www.metcal.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/products/hand-soldering-systems/tips-and-cartridges/mx-cartridges/smtc-series-hoof

STTC BEVEL
http://www.metcal.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/products/hand-soldering-systems/tips-and-cartridges/mx-cartridges/sttc-series-bevel
I've done a lot of drag soldering with Metcal MX-500 at a previous job, but I can't remember what tip model we used.

According to SteveyG the 'hooof' type SMTC-x147 has a concave fillet, which is good for providing high solder retention capability for drag soldering.

And from what I remember the profile of the drag soldering tips we used looks also looks like SMTC-x147:


They must be called hoof tips because they resemble the shape of a horse hoof.

I guess the difference between 'hoof' and 'bevel' tips is that bevel tips has a flat solder surface while hoof tips has a concave filling, providing high solder retention capability?

Btw. I also find the hoof tips the best for tips tinning stripped wire ends, because they can hold a lot of solder. It works better than a chisel tip for this.


However John Gammell just use a flat bevel tip in this video


Not sure why he doesn't use a hoof tip with concave filling? I would think it would be easier to use as it can hold more solder with the concave filling, so you don't have to feed solder while dragging. Just remeber to add flux to the pads before drag soldering ad the flux in the solder quickly vaporize when you put it on the tip before dragging. Adding flux also makes it much easier to drag the solder from pad to pads without making any unintentional solder bridges between pins.
I see he use a 60 degree angle Hakko T15-CF3 bevel tip for drag soldering: http://www.hakko.com/english/tip_selection/series_t15.html#type_bc_c
But Hakko only make the "Shape BCM/CM" hoof type tips in a 45 degree angle unlike the flat bevel types in 60 degree angle, like the Metcal hoof and bevel tips. I think it's much more comfortable to use a 60 degree angle tip than 45 degree for drag soldering.


Another tip we used a lot for drag soldering is the knife tip, but this was for drag soldering PLCC-chips only.


For most other drag soldering like SO-chips, the hoof tip is better.

I can see John Gammell also use a hoof/bevel tip for drag soldering PLCC. He has just turned it upside down, with the solder facing the chip instead of the pads:



It looks like this also works fine, but I haven't tried this. We always used knife tips for this instead and just tin it on both sides and drag it in a 45 degree andgle between the pins and pads.
I don't think the hoof tip would have worked as well in our case as there was very little rooms around the PLCC, and it's easier to get the knife tip in a proper angle on PLCC tips in tight spaces.
But unless you solder a lot of PLCC chips there's usually no need for this knife tip. I have replaced countless PLCC-chips because the developers didn't bother to use a PLCC-cocket because it only had a simple firmware that never needed upgrading. OF course they later found a bug in this simple firmware which meant we had to replace all of these PLCC chips to upgrade the firmware when these products came in for repair.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 03:18:32 pm by AndersAnd »
 

Offline zapta

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #92 on: February 16, 2014, 06:53:02 am »
I've just received my SMTC-1147, so I'll try to put up a video of my first attempt with it  :-//

Looking forward for it. In the original video it looks simple and effortless but this is often the case when you watch masters.

BTW, I ended up ordering a SMTC-1174 (narrower 1.14mm hoof).  I realized that the 1147 is too wide for some of the boards I am dealing with, not enough clearance with adjacent components. Haven't got it yet.
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Offline AndersAnd

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #93 on: February 16, 2014, 12:22:48 pm »
I've just received my SMTC-1147, so I'll try to put up a video of my first attempt with it  :-//
Looking forward for it. In the original video it looks simple and effortless but this is often the case when you watch masters.
It's actually incredible simple, at least with SMTC-1147. Much easier than I thought when I first tried it. It doesn't take many tries to learn. Just apply plenty of solder to the tip and find the right speed to drag it. And if you create solder bridges between two pins, just drag again.
But remember to always apply flux with a flux pen before dragging; because the flux inside the solder, applied to the tip beforehand will vaporize before you have finished dragging.
And solder the two corner pins on one side before drag soldering the other side of a SMD IC, so it's in a fixed position before dragging.

BTW, I ended up ordering a SMTC-1174 (narrower 1.14mm hoof).  I realized that the 1147 is too wide for some of the boards I am dealing with, not enough clearance with adjacent components. Haven't got it yet.
Not sure how well it works with a smaller tip than SMTC-x147 though as I have never tried it.
Don't know if a smaller tip is capable of carrying enough solder to drag solder a whole side of a SOIC.
1.14 mm sounds very small for drag soldering. But there's also other sizes in between SMTC-x174 and SMTC-x147.
But if it can't hold enough solder, there's other meathods too. John Gammell use solder past for drag soldering in one of the videos posted here and apply solder while dragging in another video. I have only tried pre-applying solder to the tip and flux to the pins before dragging.

But the strange thing it that the .89 mm and 1.14 mm dimensions on SMTC-x175 and SMTC-x174 respectively seems to be measured differently from all the other hoof tips. On these two tips it's measured along the tip surface according to the drawing.
On the other straight hoof tips the dimension is measured vertically in a 30 or 60 degree angle to the surface.
This means the surface on SMTC-x174 is even smaller than 1.14 mm vertically.
Not sure if it's some of the drawings there's wrong. It seems strange to measuer the dimensions differently on different sizes, this makes it very hard to comapre sizes.

http://www.okinternational.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/products/hand-soldering-systems/tips-and-cartridges/mx-cartridges/smtc-series-hoof


SMTC-x175


SMTC-x174


SMTC-x167


SMTC-x169


SMTC-x183


SMTC-x170


SMTC-x147
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:30:08 pm by AndersAnd »
 

Offline zapta

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #94 on: March 15, 2014, 11:14:02 pm »
Here is a small 'mod' that works for me. The tip removal pad arrived attached to the handpiece's cable. Which made it awkward to use. I chopped the tab and am now having a nice rectangular pad that sits on the benchtop and is easier to use.

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Offline philpem

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2014, 12:39:20 am »
Small tip for those of you new to the Metcal systems...

The MFR series have two indicator lamps - one for the state of the AC input (off=off, green=OK, red=ground fault) and another for the state of the output (referred to in the manuals as the "channel LED").

If the output light starts out green when the iron is in the workstand, but cuts to red when the iron is required to source heat, your bit is almost certainly worn out.
Seeing as most people don't read the manuals very closely, this is often overlooked - I resurrected a "dead" MX500 by replacing the tip, and fixed my MFR1110 yesterday by doing the same.

In my experience, the heaters usually fail before the tip plating (unless the tip has been abused). I'd be curious to hear if others have had the same experience.
Phil / M0OFX -- Electronics/Software Engineer
"Why do I have a room full of test gear? Why, it saves on the heating bill!"
 

Offline AndersAnd

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2014, 09:12:45 am »
There has been a discussion about drag soldering with hoof tips in this topic. So here's a Metcal Technical Note about this:

Technical Note - Surface Mount Techniques https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3F9Hf1ku1QQdXhKakEzaFdfTTQ

Other Metcal hand-soldering notes: http://www.okinternational.com/metcal/english/globalnavigation/applications/hand-soldering
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #97 on: May 07, 2014, 10:45:14 pm »
In my experience, the heaters usually fail before the tip plating (unless the tip has been abused). I'd be curious to hear if others have had the same experience.
Yes, apart from the very small points - a common failure mode is they go intermittent and need an occasional tap to get going.
There was a time when the heaters had a "lifetime" warranty and you could get free replacements for tips with dead heaters.
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Offline AndersAnd

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #98 on: May 08, 2014, 08:13:08 pm »
In my experience, the heaters usually fail before the tip plating (unless the tip has been abused). I'd be curious to hear if others have had the same experience.
Yes, apart from the very small points - a common failure mode is they go intermittent and need an occasional tap to get going.
There was a time when the heaters had a "lifetime" warranty and you could get free replacements for tips with dead heaters.
Unfortunately now Metcal only offer 200 hours heater/coil assembly warranty as mentioned in the Metcal quote below. They probably figured out the lifetime warranty was too expensive due to too many RMAs for failed heater/coils.

It's also my experience that the heaters usually fail before the tip plating.
I used to work at a Danish TV manufacturer (there's only one) where we probably bought 10-20 Metcal MX-500 solder stations in the late 90's to replace old Weller WS 51 stations at the service repair department. The heaters often failed and sometimes after just a few months in tips with no visible wear. We got them all replaced under warranty though, so no big deal as we always kept extra tips in stock.
But I really hope Metcal has improved the heater lifetime since then as it wasn't very impressive to say the least and I have just bought two defect MX-500 which I have repaired. After many years without Metcal, I'm back with this awesome solder station. So hopefully the heater lifetime has improved.

Not sure why so many heaters failed so so quick, but Metcal warns about mechanical shock like dropping the tips onto a floor or floor or benchtop, maybe that was part of the reason. So be careful with mechanical shock. I think we often kid of threw the hand-piece into the stand.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3F9Hf1ku1QQbEdIVjhkbUFRQTA
Quote
Technical Note
Extending Soldering Iron Tip Life


... Care of Heater/Coil Assemblies

Due to the simplicity of construction, the heater/coil assembly in an OKi/Metcal tip cartridge is extremely robust. OKi/Metcal warrants its tip cartridge heater/coil assemblies for 200 hours and they are engineered to last well beyond this period. Under proper care, the heater/coil assembly should outlast the plating.
However, the heater/coil assembly can be damaged by abuse. The two most common forms are described below.

Heater Abuse #1: Using Pliers to Change Tip Cartridges

The most common abuse is using pliers to remove the cartridge from the handle. Pressure from the pliers deforms the shaft, damaging the heater/coil assembly (see Figure 6). Never use pliers to change a tip cartridge! Metcal supplies an insulated silicone rubber Cartridge Removal Pad (AC-CP2) with every system. Use only a Cartridge Removal Pad to change the tip cartridge.

Heater Abuse #2: Mechanical Shock

The heater/coil assembly can also be damaged by severe mechanical shock. Dropping the cartridge onto a floor or benchtop can damage it. In the case of SMTC surface mount removal tips, damage can occur from banging the tip cartridge against a workstand or other hard surface to dislodge a surface mount component from the tip. Instead, to dislodge a component from the tip, either wipe it gently on the workstand sponge or use tweezers to separate the component from the tip.

Before deciding on Metcal MX-500 we got several different brands of solder and de-soldering stations to each test out for some days before deciding on which one to get for all. I remember we tested Metcal, Pace, and a more modern Weller than we already had. Can't recall testing Ersa and Hakko or JBC, but I think JBC has changed dramatically since then. Don't think they had the super fast heating ones with a lot of thermal capacity they have today.
After everyone had tested them for a few days our boss asked us all which one to get for all of us. I think everyone without exception said MX-500.[/quote]
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: What Metcal?
« Reply #99 on: May 11, 2014, 03:54:40 pm »
this seems as good a thread as any, for this kind of question.

I have an older power supply unit (the 13mhz style, of course) and it currently uses an rm3e wand.  there is also the older style non-sleeper holder/base that I have.

I am wondering if I can simply buy the new aluminum wand and use it with my existing base (non-sleep style) as well as the new base that they recommend for it.

the new alum wand is in the $100 range and so is the plastic rm3e wand.  I'm not sure why I'd want the older plastic one if the new alum one is so close in price and also comes with 3 different grip styles.

the new alum wand is marketed toward the 5000 series, but as I understand it, its still the 13mhz stuff with the same rf connector, right?  so 500 = 5000 for wands and tips (??)
 


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