Author Topic: My little rant on JBC, regarding built quality of my new CD-2BD soldering iron  (Read 19805 times)

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Offline ElectronicsNewbie

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Hello members,

After doing a long research and saving some serious money I decided to get the CD-2BD model for my personal, home use.
I think the motto: "you get what you pay for" is mostly true... but in this case, it's a little bit different...

The soldering performance is excellent, the design is fine but the damn thing wobbles like crazy on my desk!  :rant:

Below is a video that describes the problem:
https://youtu.be/YmaAblWp1xg

In short: it's tricky to adjust the temperature when the unit wobbles.

Notice the wider gap on the bottom right:


I don't get it, that my old Chinese 50EUR (incl 23% VAT)soldering station is rock solid on the desk compared to the top class unit that retails for 375EUR + VAT  |O

Of course, I know that I can return the unit to the seller but I'm not happy to pay extra money to have it shipped back and be without a working soldering station.

I have sent the JBC an email regarding the issue one week ago. They replied to me that the issue will be forwarded to the R&D team...



When I have some response from the I will post the follow up  :(
 

Offline GlowingGhoul

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Send it back and get a Weller, Hakko, or Pace.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Very interesting.  I did consider the JBC CD-1BD, but as I was funds limited, I went with the Hakko FX-951.  Have to say mine doesn't wobble.  I hope that JBC resolves this quickly and to your satisfaction.  That is seriously expensive to wobble like a Weeble.
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Offline nanofrog

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It's not common, or there'd be a ton of complaints (as you say, for this kind of money...).

Based on what little is visible in the photo, it appears it should be an easy fix (thinking simple assembly error when the case was screwed together).

For example, have you removed the enclosure screws to open it, inspect for debris, ... that would cause it not to seat properly (i.e. flashing that wasn't fully removed or piece stuck in-between the case halves), clear if necessary, then reseat the two halves and reassemble?  :-//

Simple, and no need to send anything back if it solves the problem.   >:D

Detailed photos of the case halves taken apart might help as well if you don't see the issue (can't hurt).  ;D

BTW, if you do have to return it, I'd request they send/email you a return label (or give you a courier account number & print out one yourself).
 

Offline GlowingGhoul

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The level of disinterest from the manufacturer is what would bother me.
 

Offline VK5RC

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My DI unit with separate tool holder and my CP Unit don't wobble,  bummer,  as they are nice units. 
I suspect a rare manufacturing defect,  persist with it,  I would be surprised if it doesn't get sorted out but this sort of issue can take a while.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Send it back and get a Weller, Hakko, or Pace.

As far as I recall I have never used a Pace, but Weller and Hakko are not even on the same planet as JBC.

CD-2BC owner here.
 

Offline KJDS

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Send it back and get a Weller, Hakko, or Pace.

As far as I recall I have never used a Pace, but Weller and Hakko are not even on the same planet as JBC.

CD-2BC owner here.

I've used them all. Pace make excellent irons, but you need to have large hands for the irons to be comfortable.

Offline neslekkim

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My 2BB is also wobling, but I thought it was my cheapass table.. can't remember to see an gap in in though (Packed away since I use an DI now, and have no room for them both on the table)
 

Offline dom0

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Weller is widely known, but doesn't have the best thermal system, by far.
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Offline DimitriP

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By now, I would have taken the base apart and fixed it. Or used some rubber feet .
It would have taken less time than writing emails, making a video, uploading it and reading the responses all this while the base still wobbles......

But that's me.... :)

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline digsys

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We have several of these, as well as every other model JBC, and none of them wobble.
As another has suggested, once in a while, we did get one slightly assembled wrong, but it was a quick easy fix.
I always love the ... "my wheel nuts are loose" .. "buy another car!!" ... replies :-)
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline nanofrog

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Where is that CD-2BD soldering station made?
Units only say EU from what I've seen, but it seems they're made in Spain (where JBC is based).
 

Offline nanofrog

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Where is that CD-2BD soldering station made?
Units only say EU from what I've seen, but it seems they're made in Spain (where JBC is based).

Thanks for the info. I have lived in the EU for many years. Tolerances in production don't surprise me when they come from Spain.
For electronics or hand tools?

I've seen examples for hand tools that would give one that impression. But I'm not aware of anything in the way in electronics made in Spain other than the JBC products. And the teardown photos show they're rather well made.

Makes me think this particular unit simply slipped through the QC inspection (namely the flashing from the injection molding process, as I doubt they put it on a known flat surface and rock/wobble test it  :P), as this sort of thing just doesn't seem to be all that common. Not seeing piles and piles of complaints at any rate.

FWIW, take a look at the Weller WMD-3 repair thread for photos of the internals on a Weller WD1 power unit, and watch the video to see the guts of a JBC CD-2BB.  ;)

 

Offline nanofrog

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I just watched the tear down video, thanks, and compared with the WD-1 station I have. Without going into detail it absolutely confirms my impression. The JBC has too many ribbon cables (bad design), the plastic is very cheap and I can see twisted workmanship (board not aligned evenly too case and such). Or the use of rubber membrane switches… compared to micro switches in the Weller.  :-//
You didn't actually answer my question though (hand tools, ....).  :o

FWIW, I also own a Weller WD1 (+ WMP, WSP80, & WDH10T), and they're not perfect either. The LT series tips made in Bosnia have been of particular issue, but the issues affect their brand overall (Germany, Bosnia, and Mexico for example; precious little Weller made in the US anymore). If you check the WRM3 repair link and scroll down, there's photos of the innards of my WD1 you can compare to Balizoft's and yours (date codes floated between the  38 & 40th weeks of 2006 on mine). Definitely cost cutting going on in mine.

Regarding not going into details as you perceive them on the JBC (or any other device/tool), this is EEVBlog. Which means such detail is expected (unwritten rule).  >:D



On a quick comparison, I see them as follows:
  • As per rubber membrane buttons, they can be capable of a high number of cycles if made well IME (i.e. remote controls). Conversely, micro switches can be made to be as cheap as possible, severely shortening their lifespan. I'd give a slight edge to the Weller on the basis they're easier to replace than repair the membrane (assuming there aren't any spares from JBC, so repair would be more involved).
  • In regard to the ribbon cables, there's only 2 I'd be concerned about (non-display related), which is the same number if you've the USB board installed (WD1M). Only difference is termination (JBC terminates to solder pins, while Weller uses connectors <IDC male & soldered PCB female>), but I don't really see that as an issue. Overall, I'd say a toss up really.
  • I do prefer the cast aluminum base to the Weller vs. a plastic base, but it's not the end of the world. It's not the only JBC design out there (have seen metal base plates in separate power units before), so this may be model dependent. Plastic on the Weller is meh IMHO, but it does it's job I guess (afraid the retention tabs will snap off, but I'd only need cross that bridge when it happens).
  • Regarding the misaligned board, I'm not quite sure of what you're seeing.  :-//
The JBC isn't perfect, but it's by no means an epic fail either. Same goes for the WD1. And either will make decent joints.

But between them, the JBC is a better performer. It also has the edge on tips (more profiles available, and the plating thickness is consistent).

The WX series gets very close to JBC performance wise, but you'll pay handsomely for it (WX1010; best street price I'm aware of before any further discounts). Most street prices are running ~$520 for this particular kit, putting it on par with the separate power unit & tool based models from JBC on price.
 

Offline Muxr

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I got me a Metcal mx-500 for about $300. Used base, hand piece and the auto shut off holder are brand new and authentic Metcal. Amazing soldering system.
 

Offline AmmoJammo

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I've used a Hakko 951, and the JBC.... performance wise, they're pretty much the same...

However, the JBC seemed like it performed better at lower temperature, but that's only because the read out was off by about 20 degrees!

If I was in the market for a new iron, I'd take the Hakko ;)
 

Online fcb

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I've used Weller since I was a kid.  My daughters even refer to that colour as "Weller Blue", and I've got on my bench three irons (a couple of TCP's and a WSL). I've owned and used there gas portables in the past (I don't do any field work now) - I've also owed Metcal and used JBC and others.

Weller aren't perfect but have proved very reliable for me since the early 80's - I think it's often what you get used to or been brought up with.

If I was an evangelist for one thing - it would be getting rid of sponge pads and solder suckers and using that gold coloured metal afro stuff AND top quality solder wick.
https://electron.plus Power Analysers, VI Signature Testers, Voltage References, Picoammeters, Curve Tracers.
 

Offline Shock

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Timeline of troubleshooting...
1990's Adds a piece of electrical tape problem solved.
2000's Checks on the net see if anyone else is having the problem.
2010's Rants on forum for people to join crusade to take down manufacturer.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 189, 87V, 117, 112   >>> WANTED STUFF <<<
Oszilloskopen: Lecroy 9314, Phillips PM3065, Tektronix 2215a, 314
 

Offline et328

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After doing a long research and saving some serious money I decided to get the CD-2BD model for my personal, home use.
I think the motto: "you get what you pay for" is mostly true... but in this case, it's a little bit different...

The soldering performance is excellent, the design is fine but the damn thing wobbles like crazy on my desk!  :rant:

I also just bought the same unit, it's also "Weidinger edition" like yours. And it has exactly the same wobble problem and right corner wider gap.  Looks like it's not just one time error, it's bad batch.

 

Offline nanofrog

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I also just bought the same unit, it's also "Weidinger edition" like yours. And it has exactly the same wobble problem and right corner wider gap.  Looks like it's not just one time error, it's bad batch.
Maybe (we're only talking a sample of 2). FWIW, Weidinger has had special editions in the past, which were cost reduced models (older tech, ... types of cost cutting used to meet Weidinger's specifications).


As per the issue itself, have you taken it apart to check for things like plastic flashing acting as a spacer between the two case halves?


Based on the photo in the first post, this really looks like a simple assembly issue, and would be an easy fix. The OP hasn't responded to this request (presume it's not with that unit), but it's well worth the little effort it would require. Particularly as it will mean you don't have to send it in for repair/replacement if it's the type of issue I've in mind. Which translates into no cost out of your pocket or loss of use while it's in transit, both of which should be sufficient motivation to open it up.  >:D

 

Offline et328

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As per the issue itself, have you taken it apart to check for things like plastic flashing acting as a spacer between the two case halves?

There are no plastic mould remains between the halves or around the spacers where screws attach the halves. If you loose all 4 screws, the base is stabile, it warps when you tighten the screws.

Problem is "solved" if you leave right rear corner screw loose. I think I'll do just that (and maybe lock the screw with contact glue) instead of removing one rubber feet and putting something under it etc. Surely I will not send it anywhere because of this.
 

Offline nanofrog

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There are no plastic mould remains between the halves or around the spacers where screws attach the halves. If you loose all 4 screws, the base is stabile, it warps when you tighten the screws.

Problem is "solved" if you leave right rear corner screw loose. I think I'll do just that (and maybe lock the screw with contact glue) instead of removing one rubber feet and putting something under it etc. Surely I will not send it anywhere because of this.
Simple fix.  :-+

Photos might help visualize what's going on (what's causing the warp in the bottom half).  ;)
 

Offline et328

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Photos might help visualize what's going on (what's causing the warp in the bottom half).  ;)
Not sure what causes it, there are so many warped areas: upper case's rear part is warped upwards in the right rear corner. So that might cause it.
But is you look how tip cleaner's metal case is fitted, it's not completely flat to the surface and if case's rear corner would go lower, it's fitting would be even worse. Front panel warps also inside in the middle (if you look at it sidewise).

But this all is nitpicking. The wobble is real, but easily fixed. The case feels very sturdy and I even first thought that it's all die cast aluminium.

 

Offline dom0

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When all the parts are slightly warped it sounds like an issue with the injection moulding thermoplastic or the treatment (cooling curve) after the moulding.
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