Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 1627428 times)

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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12550 on: June 29, 2018, 06:36:21 pm »
Exactly spot on.  I wasn’t expecting MX performance out of this, just a reliable item which is a big step up from normal irons for a price I’m willing to pay. It was this or the FX-951 at this price point.

The tips however are mostly hollow with a metal centre piece which slides into the induction coil when you change tip. The actual coil is about 5mm from the start of the tip which is pretty good. Good compromise for the price.

The dwell time is absolutely minimal which is the winning thing really. I whipped off some LT1097 in SOIC packages from an old HP scope board a few mins ago and they were barely warm to the touch. Took about 3 seconds per IC to get them off.
 

Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12551 on: June 29, 2018, 06:47:05 pm »
I gotta close this thread and go do something else because you guys almost have me convinced that I need a soldering station like that.

No I don't (Yes I do)....No I don't (Yes I do)......No I don't (Yes I do)  |O |O |O :-DD

My Ungar is threatening to stab me with a hot poker if I don't cease this madness.  :scared: :scared: :palm:
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12552 on: June 29, 2018, 06:52:50 pm »
You don’t /need/ one but it’s like upgrading a chair leg to a Samauri sword so far.

Honestly I was a bit worried it was going to be a bit meh but I was pleasantly surprised. This is difficult for me as I’m a 100% cynical glass half empty sort of person.
 

Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12553 on: June 29, 2018, 06:53:21 pm »
Gah that would annoy the shit out of me.

Waiting for my new soldering iron still. PF usually turn up before 10AM here but it’s 16:24 now :(

[Random Repair Corner]

 
 


It did last night... but now that the phone's all together and lit up, and all shiny again thanks to a new back also from the unit that donated the frame... I'm SO over it.  :-DD

The touchscreen is properly responsive like it should be, and the new LCD seems a bit brighter as well. This an "every time" thing for me, as I always run my phone at max brightness with adaptive turned off.

I have a brand new tempered glass screen protector for it... I'm still vacillating over whether to put it on and put up with the decreased touchscreen sensitivity.

[/Random Repair Corner]


mnem
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12554 on: June 29, 2018, 06:55:08 pm »
Shiny factor 9.99 Mr Sulu  :-+

I used screen protectors for years and then I realised they just annoyed me.
 

Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12555 on: June 29, 2018, 07:00:12 pm »
You don’t /need/ one but it’s like upgrading a chair leg to a Samauri sword so far.

A statement like that is supposed to help? In which way? That I remain blissfully ignorant or that I need to whip out my credit card RIGHT NOW  |O :P :P
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Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12556 on: June 29, 2018, 07:01:28 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)
 

Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12557 on: June 29, 2018, 07:03:18 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

You are so correct. OUCH! The Ungar just stabbed me.
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Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12558 on: June 29, 2018, 07:30:48 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

You are so correct. OUCH! The Ungar just stabbed me.
That's correct so if you do succumb to a new Metcal, look at this way, you've finally gotten round to buying a round of drinks in your local  :-DD
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12559 on: June 29, 2018, 07:55:16 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

You are so correct. OUCH! The Ungar just stabbed me.
That's correct so if you do succumb to a new Metcal, look at this way, you've finally gotten round to buying a round of drinks in your local  :-DD

I just checked pricing on Amazon. Holy expensive Batman!  :scared: Is the damn thing made of gold?? :wtf:

My Ungar is safe.   :phew:
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12560 on: June 29, 2018, 08:06:07 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

For no particular reason, beyond the mention of 'pub', that reminds me of a scheme I once dreamt up back in 2002-3 while down the pub with some, now former, workmates: GadgetPubtm plc.

GadgetPub would open pubs at the front corners of the entrances of shopping centres. The sort of shopping centres with lots of shoe shops, dress shops and other sundry entertainments that result in the male of the species being dragged into shop after shop after shop for three hours with nothing better to do than stand around looking out of place. The initial ploy is obvious: "Tell you what love, you don't want me standing around tutting at price tags and getting bored and grumpy - I'll go and wait for you in that pub. You can shop in peace and you'll know where to find me when you're done". Winner, eh?

But the catch is yet to come. 'Er Indoors is going to be missing for at least three hours, that's at least three pints or more for Hubby. At the back of a GadgetPub would be a counter selling shiny, shiny gadgets. Three beers in, Mrs. spending money like water, time to treat yourself I think Sir...

Now I know why it came to mind, BD139 would probably have been one of our first victims valued customers had we actually opened a chain of GadgetPubs.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12561 on: June 29, 2018, 08:12:07 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

For no particular reason, beyond the mention of 'pub', that reminds me of a scheme I once dreamt up back in 2002-3 while down the pub with some, now former, workmates: GadgetPubtm plc.

GadgetPub would open pubs at the front corners of the entrances of shopping centres. The sort of shopping centres with lots of shoe shops, dress shops and other sundry entertainments that result in the male of the species being dragged into shop after shop after shop for three hours with nothing better to do than stand around looking out of place. The initial ploy is obvious: "Tell you what love, you don't want me standing around tutting at price tags and getting bored and grumpy - I'll go and wait for you in that pub. You can shop in peace and you'll know where to find me when you're done". Winner, eh?

But the catch is yet to come. 'Er Indoors is going to be missing for at least three hours, that's at least three pints or more for Hubby. At the back of a GadgetPub would be a counter selling shiny, shiny gadgets. Three beers in, Mrs. spending money like water, time to treat yourself I think Sir...

Now I know why it came to mind, BD139 would probably have been one of our first victims valued customers had we actually opened a chain of GadgetPubs.
Apart from drink driving aspects, I'd say the concept is fine as long as some of the gadgets were TEA related.

From mobile device so predictive text might have struck again

Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12562 on: June 29, 2018, 08:13:09 pm »
It takes 5 seconds to heat up from cold start as well. Thing just piles out heat when you need it. Just did a couple of SOIC ICs onto carrier boards.  Much nicer than the weller.

Ordering a brush and some kimwipes and I’m sorted :)

Yeah, these use a different thermal regulation process; it's entirely chemical based on the curie point of the metal slug which is heated by induction rather than a resistive element. As a result, the response is instantaneous, as opposed to the traditional "apply tip, tip loses heat, thermal sensor creates call for more heat, heating element heats up, thermal threshiold is reached, sensor calls for cut heat" closed loop system; the thermal regulation is a product of the physics of the metal slug, so all that goes away.

The big MX units like mine incorporate another feature as well; this is what the "SmartHeat" feature is all about:

The inductor is powered by PWM regulated HF AC; as such the entire tip is sensitive to changes in the metal mass at the tip. The control board monitors this loading, and increases the PWM Duty Cycle in response at the instant the tip contacts anything metal, so the entire "Temp at tip drops, sensor calls for more heat, heater heats up" part of the loop is bypassed.

As you correctly noted, it simply applies the heat faster.

Looks good, can see why it's good on ground planes, it's got lots of metal so should have very good thermal clout when you need it.

The type of Metcal BD139 has picked up is a bit of a hybrid and operates slightly differently from the 'classic' Metcals. The principle on all the Metcals is to move the point of thermoregulation as close to the work as possible, they don't rely on thermal mass but speed of response. My SP200 takes tips like this:



which is 108mm long, 6.25mm wide and weighs all of 7.25 g and includes the entire heater, curie point thermostat mechanism, actual soldering tip and a two pin connector. It's 'only' rated at 30W, but the heating and regulation mechanism is concentrated in the last inch so that 30W is delivered to exactly where it is required. It pisses all over the conventional 50W temperature controlled iron I was using beforehand by a factor of two or three in terms of heat delivered into the workpiece.

The type BD139 has got separates out the (induction) heating coil into the hand-piece and uses a separate tip that still uses the curie point regulation mechanism. it isn't quite as fast to respond as the heat has to travel slightly further so it needs a bit more 'meat' to even the response out, but it's still much faster than any conventional temperature controlled iron.

The most comforting thing about the whole way Metcals work is that it's physically impossible for them to overshoot their temperature setpoint more than a tiny amount so there's much less risk of cooking the part you're working on. Since I've had the Metcal I haven't lifted a single pad in situations where my older iron would have destroyed the pad in short order but probably would have still failed to deliver enough useful heat to let me get the part off. I also get much less cooking flux into a brown mess when I have to dwell on a part to get it to flow properly.

Interesting note on how the different tips work; this explains them being able to bring the cost point down to where it's a more reasonable ecosystem for the small shop. I wonder how that design change affects the sensitivity of the inductive load sense part of the SmartHeat feature... from bd139's notes, it's still pretty quick.  :-+

That said... speaking as someone whose primary use is repair rather than assembly work, I still prefer the thinner profile of my T12 & MX tips. Another thing I prefer about the MetCal in particular is that when tinning/soldering wires, there's a lot less of the cheap insulation bubbling/shrinking back where you have to stop, trim the burnt stuff off, then tin again before you solder to not have a blobby mess.

Myself, I still prefer the MX overall... if you shop carefully, you can buy a working, guaranteed MX-500P for $50-75 pretty much any time on fleaBay, then add a new MetCal MX-RM3E handle for ~$110, or a new Thermaltronics SHP-1 for ~$80, add a couple tips for ~$20 each, and you're all in for around $200. You have the part you interface with, the handle and tip, brand new... and the MX500 power bricks are built like a effing TANK; they're made to run 24/7 in an industrial environment. If you get one that's working, odds are its going to keep working a good long time.




If you shop carefully for used handle and tips, you can get everything for more like $100-150, and then you only need a stand. if you don't want sleep mode, any stand will do. If you do want it, $40 buys a genuine MetCal or Thermaltronics stand with the magnet built in. Otherwise, you can do like I did and just mod a speaker magnet into your favorite stand.

I'm at ~$89 all-in (plus another $8 for the stand which I use for two different stations) for this setup with used STTS-838 1.5mm chisel tip; but that's after having to wrangle with the seller on the handle for selling "busted, fixed up best I could" as "used, working" and getting 1/2 my money back. I had to do some repair on the F-connector to get a reliable connection; that kind of shenanigans is the obvious reason to go with new instead of used for this most crucial part of the system.


You don’t /need/ one but it’s like upgrading a chair leg to a Samauri sword so far.

Honestly I was a bit worried it was going to be a bit meh but I was pleasantly surprised. This is difficult for me as I’m a 100% cynical glass half empty sort of person.

Yeah, that's MetCal; it doesn't look interesting with bright OLED screen, tell time, or beep at you like my KSGER T12 station in the background; it JUST EFFING WORKS.

My grandfather used to describe certain tools... ones where everything but "quality" and "tool-ness" had been pared away, leaving nothing to distract you from your work... as "a joy in the hand". The MetCal MX is just such a tool.



mnem
*back to the grindstone*


« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 01:32:39 am by mnementh »
 

Offline med6753

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12563 on: June 29, 2018, 08:21:48 pm »
Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

For no particular reason, beyond the mention of 'pub', that reminds me of a scheme I once dreamt up back in 2002-3 while down the pub with some, now former, workmates: GadgetPubtm plc.

GadgetPub would open pubs at the front corners of the entrances of shopping centres. The sort of shopping centres with lots of shoe shops, dress shops and other sundry entertainments that result in the male of the species being dragged into shop after shop after shop for three hours with nothing better to do than stand around looking out of place. The initial ploy is obvious: "Tell you what love, you don't want me standing around tutting at price tags and getting bored and grumpy - I'll go and wait for you in that pub. You can shop in peace and you'll know where to find me when you're done". Winner, eh?

But the catch is yet to come. 'Er Indoors is going to be missing for at least three hours, that's at least three pints or more for Hubby. At the back of a GadgetPub would be a counter selling shiny, shiny gadgets. Three beers in, Mrs. spending money like water, time to treat yourself I think Sir...

Now I know why it came to mind, BD139 would probably have been one of our first victims valued customers had we actually opened a chain of GadgetPubs.
Apart from drink driving aspects, I'd say the concept is fine as long as some of the gadgets were TEA related.

From mobile device so predictive text might have struck again

Nope, would never work given the fickle nature of the female species. They want to drag you along shopping because they consider it "bonding". If you show boredom there will be pouting. They want to ask your opinion on their selections that have no right answers so you'll be in the doghouse. For example: "Does this dress make me look fat?" Answer..."Nope, you're already fat"  :palm:
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Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12564 on: June 29, 2018, 08:26:01 pm »
You don’t /need/ one but it’s like upgrading a chair leg to a Samauri sword so far.

A statement like that is supposed to help? In which way? That I remain blissfully ignorant or that I need to whip out my credit card RIGHT NOW  |O :P :P

It DOES help... it helps you have tools in your stable that are, and I quote, "a joy in the hand".  :-DD

If your wallet refuses to be an accomplice, you CAN always do the "careful shopping" thing I outlined above.  :-+


Don’t forget if this thread was Alcoholics Anonymous we’d be holding our meetings in the pub :)

For no particular reason, beyond the mention of 'pub', that reminds me of a scheme I once dreamt up back in 2002-3 while down the pub with some, now former, workmates: GadgetPubtm plc.

GadgetPub would open pubs at the front corners of the entrances of shopping centres. The sort of shopping centres with lots of shoe shops, dress shops and other sundry entertainments that result in the male of the species being dragged into shop after shop after shop for three hours with nothing better to do than stand around looking out of place. The initial ploy is obvious: "Tell you what love, you don't want me standing around tutting at price tags and getting bored and grumpy - I'll go and wait for you in that pub. You can shop in peace and you'll know where to find me when you're done". Winner, eh?

But the catch is yet to come. 'Er Indoors is going to be missing for at least three hours, that's at least three pints or more for Hubby. At the back of a GadgetPub would be a counter selling shiny, shiny gadgets. Three beers in, Mrs. spending money like water, time to treat yourself I think Sir...

Now I know why it came to mind, BD139 would probably have been one of our first victims valued customers had we actually opened a chain of GadgetPubs.

I am SO there.  :-DD


mnem
Woops; wife just gave me the look... little grrl interrupted her nappy time with a potty call. I'll be back... sometime.  :o
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12565 on: June 29, 2018, 08:27:53 pm »
Definitely. Did some sacrificial rework on my HP 54600 scope board (victim board as I call it) to get a feel for it.

IC off in 10 seconds. Drag soldering/flooding pins. Quick clean up with a dab of Chemtronics soder-wick and wipe over with IPA.



Very clean. No overheating, no tracks lifted, no pads burred. This is a 7 layer board if I remember correctly.

And back on again nice and easy. Excuse the crap clean up, my usual brush for liberal application of IPA disintegrated and I haven't got a new one so resorting to wipes for this. I usually make a little Kapton nest for the part I'm replacing as well



Impressed so far. Much nicer than the Weller for the same tasks.
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12566 on: June 29, 2018, 08:34:19 pm »
Seeing as I switched my T12 on the other day for the first time in 3 weeks, it's safe for the time being from eviction from my bench, especially as I have 2 of them there as well.

From mobile device so predictive text might have struck again
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12567 on: June 29, 2018, 08:38:41 pm »


The funny looking clippies are from the garden section of the local Dollar Store; they're meant to hold vines and such to trellises or stakes without injuring them. You get like a dozen of 'em for a buck, and they're perfect for jobs like this where you need a zillion little fingers to gently pinch all around the edge of something.

Nice clamps. Must remember the dollar store for that.
I TEA.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12568 on: June 29, 2018, 08:41:16 pm »
I gotta close this thread and go do something else because you guys almost have me convinced that I need a soldering station like that.

LOL! I feel your pain, especially after seeing what a nice job it does with SMD.

IC off in 10 seconds. Drag soldering/flooding pins. Quick clean up with a dab of Chemtronics soder-wick and wipe over with IPA.





Impressed so far. Much nicer than the Weller for the same tasks.

I concur. That's some nice TEA bait you've got there.
I TEA.
 

Offline mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12569 on: June 29, 2018, 09:29:06 pm »


The funny looking clippies are from the garden section of the local Dollar Store; they're meant to hold vines and such to trellises or stakes without injuring them. You get like a dozen of 'em for a buck, and they're perfect for jobs like this where you need a zillion little fingers to gently pinch all around the edge of something.

Nice clamps. Must remember the dollar store for that.



Just remember that these little guys are for where you need a soft touch... a few ounces of pressure is all they produce. Not like the $4 plastic Bucket o' Clamps from Horror Fraught that clamp tight enough to break themselves.

These clips are also a good emergency source of 100mm-150mm pieces of spring steel wire when you need to fabri-cobble something together real quick.

mnem
*Clip-ily*
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12570 on: June 29, 2018, 09:49:39 pm »
Nope, would never work given the fickle nature of the female species. They want to drag you along shopping because they consider it "bonding". If you show boredom there will be pouting. They want to ask your opinion on their selections that have no right answers so you'll be in the doghouse. For example: "Does this dress make me look fat?" Answer..."Nope, you're already fat"  :palm:

Meant to reply to this earlier. We have a mutual agreement with shopping. It’s usually the same place every time. This has a nice multi storey. I sit on the top floor with my HT as it’s got some range there and try and get some contacts. She goes shopping with the children. Periodically I go downstairs to meet one of the children who has become unbearably fed up with shopping or their phone has gone flat and take them back to the car so they can lurk with earphones in on WhatsApp and get some power.

Then after about an hour, “dad I need a shit”. This goes on for about 20 minutes. Followed by “I’m touching cloth now” and a comment from one of the fresh children that they should have gone before they came back to the car park. Text the wife, no reply. FFS. By then it’s all three of and I drag them downstairs to the toilet. Literally the moment they enter the toilet I get a text from the other half that says “I’m done now, can you come and pick me up from the other side of Kingston. I’m near some incomprehensible location that I can’t describe and you don’t know”. “Can you just meet me outside sports direct”. “I don’t know where that is”. “You were in it earlier”. Followed by me using find an iPhone to find a wife.

If gadget pub fixed that I’d be there like a shot. Perhaps being too pissed to drive would be a win. 

I exaggerate the above slightly but you get the idea of the terrible nightmares I have about going shopping.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12571 on: June 29, 2018, 10:25:00 pm »
If gadget pub fixed that I’d be there like a shot. Perhaps being too pissed to drive would be a win. 

Did I forget to mention the excellent dungeons hutches cages creche facilities? I'm sorry. It should be obvious that GadgetPubtm's policy is to induce a feeling of carefree spending relaxation in our valued patrons. As husbands and fathers ourselves we know how important it is to get away from the bastards know that our loved ones are safe and cared for before we attend to our own lust for gadgets and booze need for a chance to relax and get legless with our cronies catch up with our gentlemen friends.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online bd139

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12572 on: June 29, 2018, 10:37:01 pm »
Where do I sign?  :-DD
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12573 on: June 29, 2018, 10:43:03 pm »
You can only sign once you gave been given the required permission from SWMBO who must agree to you having time off being her slave and bag carrier.

From mobile device so predictive text might have struck again

Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #12574 on: June 29, 2018, 10:49:20 pm »
The big MX units like mine incorporate another feature as well; this is what the "SmartHeat" feature is all about:

The inductor is powered by PWM regulated HF AC; as such the entire tip is sensitive to changes in the metal mass at the tip. The control board monitors this loading, and increases the PWM Duty Cycle in response at the instant the tip contacts anything metal, so the entire "Temp at tip drops, sensor calls for more heat, heater heats up" part of the loop is bypassed.  As you correctly noted, it simply applies the heat faster.  That said... speaking as someone whose primary use is repair rather than assembly work, I still prefer the thinner profile of my T12 & MX tips. Another thing I prefer about the MetCal in particular is that when tinning/soldering wires, there's a lot less of the cheap insulation bubbling/shrinking back where you have to stop, trim the burnt stuff off, then tin again before you solder to not have a blobby mess.

Myself, I still prefer the MX overall... if you shop carefully, you can buy a working, guaranteed MX-500P for $50-75 pretty much any time on fleaBay, then add a new MetCal MX-RM3E handle for ~$110, or a new Thermaltronics SHP-1 for ~$80, add a couple tips for ~$20 each, and you're all in for around $200. You have the part you interface with, the handle and tip, brand new... and the MX500 power bricks are built like a effing TANK; they're made to run 24/7 in an industrial environment. If you get one that's working, odds are its going to keep working a good long time.  If you shop carefully for used handle and tips, you can get everything for more like $100-150, and then you only need a stand. if you don't want sleep mode, any stand will do. If you do want it, $40 buys a genuine MetCal or Thermaltronics stand with the magnet built in. Otherwise, you can do like I did and just mod a speaker magnet into your favorite stand.

I'm at ~$89 all-in (plus another $8 for the stand which I use for two different stations) for this setup with used STTS-838 1.5mm chisel tip; but that's after having to wrangle with the seller on the handle for selling "busted, fixed up best I could" as "used, working" and getting 1/2 my money back. I had to do some repair on the F-connector to get a reliable connection; that kind of shenanigans is the obvious reason to go with new instead of used for this most crucial part of the system.


You don’t /need/ one but it’s like upgrading a chair leg to a Samauri sword so far.

Honestly I was a bit worried it was going to be a bit meh but I was pleasantly surprised. This is difficult for me as I’m a 100% cynical glass half empty sort of person.

Yeah, that's MetCal; it doesn't look interesting with bright OLED screen, tell time, or beep at you like my KSGER T12 station in the background; it JUST EFFING WORKS.

My grandfather used to describe certain tools... ones where everything but "quality" and "tool-ness" had been pared away, leaving nothing to distract you from your work as "a joy in the hand". The MetCal MX is just such a tool.



mnem
*back to the grindstone*

I am all in at $200 for my MX-500, NOS wand and stand, Talon tweezers and stand plus 5 tips.  It truly is a joy in hand.  I have had firesticks, then I bought a real Hakko 936.  I then upgraded to the FX-951 and then the deal on the Metcal came up.  If the Metcal came up first, I probably would not have bought the 951.  I have quite large hands and the RM-3E and the 2027 wands are so comfortable with the edge going to the Metcal-it feels more substantial.  The MX series is worth every penny, even if it's a lot of pennies.  For my use, it will long outlast me.
That which doesn't kill you still requires a co-pay.
 


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