Author Topic: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment  (Read 7745 times)

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Offline henasTopic starter

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ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« on: September 19, 2019, 10:56:33 am »
I wish I found some honest review before I bought it. It would save me a hassle returning it.

Thin barrel is a serious design flaw.
What I found thermal mass is insufficient, making it difficult to desolder any medium to large component.
Working with multi-layer PCBs close to impossible.
I learned after a few suctions tip's temperature may drop more then 100 deg Celsius - thermal mass too small.
Interesting ??? the  temperature on the display doesn't drop at all, showing maximum set temperature.
It appears the sensor is not in the right spot or the firmware is ignoring it.

Another problem I found, suction tube inside the barrel gets blocked easily. it is very hard to get it cleared again.
I found the tube just before enters glass collector is exposed, not covered by heater element - another design flaw.
Wild temperature dips probably contributing to the problem too.

As far as my experience ZD8915 is an absolute lemon, so beware.

Later I had a chance to test ZD-895 and end up buying ZD-915. Both thick barrel desoldering station from the same manufacturer.
ZD-915 doesn't block as easily as ZD-8915. I found heating element covers the tube sufficiently now.
Larger thermal mass due to thick barrel makes working with multi layer boards possible.
The ZD-915 is not perfect by any means but for the price I am quite satisfied.





 

 
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Online Gyro

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2019, 11:43:22 am »
Useful information, I hadn't even realized that there was a thin barrel version. It's hard to keep track of the changing model numbers.

P.S. Thick solid copper wire clears blockages better than the supplied steel rods. It transfers heat to the blockage more efficiently. Just don't hold it in your fingers!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 11:45:46 am by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2019, 05:13:37 am »
I used 3mm hard piano wire. Slight bend towards the end, and ground to a sharp bevel. Spun in a drill.  Worked great for cleaning, and no waiting for stuff to melt. But the station didnt last long before I moved on.
 

Offline henasTopic starter

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2019, 06:12:42 am »
Someone on the net suggested to wind some copper wire on the exposed section. The more the better.
I have never tested this fix but it makes perfect sense. Copper wire will increase thermal mass in this section helping sucked solder stay liquid.
 

Online tooki

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2019, 06:50:10 pm »
Useful information, I hadn't even realized that there was a thin barrel version. It's hard to keep track of the changing model numbers.
FYI: http://www.china-zhongdi.com/product/station/desoldering/

Looks like the 8000-series models are the “economical” models.
 

Offline snoopy

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2019, 01:44:58 pm »
I have one similar to the ZD-985 which is a combo with a soldering iron in it. Had it for years and had to replace the gun once because it burned out but it was very cheap to replace. It works really well with the right diameter tip. Bear in mind that a too wider opening and it won't suck the solder out of a hole ;)

cheers
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 09:03:33 pm »
have the same Desoldering Station and find it often clogs at the end of the tube, it's extremely frustrating and a bad design.
I did think about cutting off some of the tube or enlarging it to see if that helped.

One thing I have thought about is trying the gun for the other models such as the ZD-985 or similar, such as the ZD-552B

After using a Weller WR2 station all day long non stop without clogging (Apart from rebuilding the pump) this is extremely annoying and nearly ended up in the bin a few times.
 

Online Gyro

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 09:27:14 pm »
In that case, CPC is probably your friend  ;)  https://cpc.farnell.com/search?st=zd%20552

Their tips and spares are probably cheaper than anywhere else too - including the glass chamber kit for a mere £2.45.
Best Regards, Chris
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 09:49:44 pm »
In that case, CPC is probably your friend  ;)  https://cpc.farnell.com/search?st=zd%20552

Their tips and spares are probably cheaper than anywhere else too - including the glass chamber kit for a mere £2.45.

They only sell the parts for the 6 pin station without sleep, I've got the ZD-8915 with a 7 pin socket, also the tip and gun parts are totally different on the ZD-8915 due to it being more narrow so parts are not as easy to find. They do make a 7 pin ZD-985 hence wondering about compatibility with that gun.
 

Online Gyro

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2020, 10:11:45 pm »
Ah, ok. I was thinking that you were just looking for the replacement wide thick barrel gun. Sorry, I don't know about the 6 pin - 7 pin differences and compatibility - you would be taking a bit of a punt on whether you could just do it by plug swapping.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 10:14:29 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 09:58:22 am »
Ah, ok. I was thinking that you were just looking for the replacement wide thick barrel gun. Sorry, I don't know about the 6 pin - 7 pin differences and compatibility - you would be taking a bit of a punt on whether you could just do it by plug swapping.

The wake from sleep is just motion activated, might possibly be a mercury reed switch or something in there.
I could pull the 7th wire and see if I can wake it up from sleep by using the trigger on the gun and it "Should" work with the 6 pin gun from CPC and I'd also be able to use the cheaper tips from there as well.
Unless the thermistors are totally different across guns (Which I doubt)
 

Online Gyro

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2020, 10:37:06 am »
That could certainly account for the 7th wire.

The only other thing I can think might have changed is that the ZD915 / 917 run the heater current directly through the trigger microswitch (although the element leads and switch leads go back through the base unit).

I suppose it's possible that the ZD8915 might have implemented some sort of electronic or relay switching in the base unit to take the load off the microswitch (some have experimented with doing this themselves), but it's probably unlikely. In any case, the trigger switch in the replacement gun is able to support the heater current.

EDIT: Sorry, I meant pump current, not heater current of course!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 11:49:14 am by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2020, 10:39:44 am »
That could certainly account for the 7th wire.

The only other thing I can think might have changed is that the ZD915 / 917 run the heater current directly through the trigger microswitch (although the element leads and switch leads go back through the base unit).

I suppose it's possible that the ZD8915 might have implemented some sort of electronic or relay switching in the base unit to take the load off the microswitch (some have experimented with doing this themselves), but it's probably unlikely. In any case, the switch in the replacement gun is able to support the heater current.

I think its like the other units and the current for the pump runs through that silly small wiring to the gun! I was planning on putting a relay inside the base.
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2020, 07:45:06 pm »
Thought I would update this with some further information.

I was going to buy a ZD-985 gun (ZD-552B) and have been looking for one for a while.
 
However during my waiting I thought I'd try and address the issue with the gun that was supplied with my unit, so I wrapped a bit of copper (From some 2.5mm Twin and Earth cable) around the tube that comes from the heating element in to the glass chamber. I thought adding a bit of thermal mass would help.

I gave it a quick test and it does seem to clog a less, pictures attached (I can't seem to insert them in this post)

After doing this I decided to look on eBay for a replacement heater element to modify, to my surprise it seems this part might have been updated as the pictures of the replacement element
I can see on eBay have either thermal mass added to the exit of the tube or the heating element is longer. It also has a thermal sock on the end, the part number is: 78-5531 (eBay item number: 362681624508)

I then found a replacement gun for the ZD-8915 and assumed it would just have the same element that mine came with originally, however looking at the pictures of this item it seems to have the updated heater element installed. I hope it actually comes with this when it arrives and I will update this post further. (eBay item number: 274151702799)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 07:58:00 pm by TheBay »
 
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Offline TheBay

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2020, 07:31:30 pm »
The replacement gun arrived, I've given it a good test over the past few days and I have to say it's a massive improvement  :-+
Definitely a worthwhile purchase if you have the older style gun on the ZD-8915. I haven't had a single hard blockage like I would get with the older gun, when that clogged it was a nightmare to get it clear! With the new gun if suction decreases slightly it is effortlessly cleared with one of the cleaning rods.
 

Offline ace1903

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Re: ZD-8915 Thin Barrel Desoldering Station - Huge Disappointment
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2020, 02:30:03 pm »
I have an old model and I have problems with clogging.
But since I own a lathe I would like to try to make bushing from brass instead of waiting months for replacement part to arrive.
Could you please take a measurement of the new model? I don't want to add much thermal mass unnecessarily?
Or close up pictures of part that goes into the barrel?

 
 


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