Author Topic: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review  (Read 19334 times)

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Offline AlphZeta

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X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« on: December 09, 2011, 12:31:42 am »
Hi Guys,

I did a review of X-TRONIC 4040 hot air rework station on my blog a couple of days ago. It's quite lengthy so I am not going to duplicate everything here. Anyway, it seems like that it is made by Gordak and just rebranded. I included some internal pictures below but for more details you can find my two-part reviews here:

http://www.kerrywong.com/2011/12/05/x-tronic-4040-hot-air-reworksoldering-station/
http://www.kerrywong.com/2011/12/07/x-tronic-4040-hot-air-reworksoldering-station-ii/

Workmanship wise not that great, but it's quite cheap and does what it supposed to. It comes with spare heating elements for both the hot air and soldering iron and also comes with 10 assorted soldering tips. I have been using it quite intensively during the past week or so, no issues.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 12:25:52 pm »
Seems like it does the job, and great review on your blog.   The build quality isn't too bad.  I presume you didn't find any safety issues as we did with the Atten 858D.

I see it priced at $135 or so, you can certainly get a lot of basic needs up to speed cheaply.  It would be good to follow up your review in 3-12 months from now to see if the unit holds up to your use.

http://www.amazon.com/X-TRONIC-MODEL-4040-Soldering-MAGNIFYING/product-reviews/B003TC8EQS/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Just 2 questions:

Is the output temp of the hot air nozzle accurate?  That is what you dial is what you get.  Your wattage reading is just an estimate of the heating element, but the actual output of the nozzle should match the dialed in temp with a thermocouple placed at half the nozzle diameter away from, and pointing to the center of the nozzle, for details see the archives for a test of the Atten 858D using Hakko's methods.

Is the output temp of the soldering iron tip accurate?  You can quickly estimate it if you have eutectic solder lying around, it should melt at the temp you dial in.  See archives too for calibrating irons.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 07:46:11 pm »
Thanks @saturation. To answer your questions:

1.Yes, the grounding is done properly, the soldering tip and the hot air tip are both grounded (passed continuity test with the ground pin on the plug). And visually, the ground wires are screwed onto the case base with pressure washers, seems pretty good to me.

2. It is a bit difficult to measure the temp from the nozzle as the temperature changes quite a bit depending on where the measurement was made. But after playing around with the suggested measuring method using an Extech 430 (type K thermocouple) it seems that the temperature readings are about right (I only measured using the two nozzles with the larger diameters since with the smaller diameter ones it was pretty difficult to place the thermocouple at the correct distance accurately), it's around 10 degrees off (for my measurements it was around 10 F highter, but pretty consistently.)

3. The soldering iron tip temperature seems to be pretty accurate though, since the temperature adjustment only goes down to roughly 401F (205 Celcius), I couldn't test it with the 63/37 solder method. But the thermocouple reading across the range seem to be within 2 degrees of range give or take. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the numbers here though since I am not sure my measuring method is accurate enough.

One thing I did find out while measuring the iron tip temperature is that there is a bit of a lag (maybe 10 to 15 seconds) between the time when the displayed temperature on the 7-seg display versus the time the soldering tip actually reached the temperature measured by the thermocouple. But I think this is pretty typical.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 09:04:22 pm »
Thanks a ton for that data, it reads like this is a pretty decent unit.

One last question, when you turn on the soldering iron from room temperature, how long does it take to reach 350oC, in seconds?  There are some comparative numbers with the Hakko 936, ~ 40 seconds, and the Metcal 5000, ~6 seconds, when looking at how fast the iron is at thermal recovery.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 12:07:01 am »
I just tried it, from room temperature (around 18 C) it took approximately 20 seconds for the display to read 350 C. But due to where the temperature is being measured, it takes an extra 10 seconds or so for the soldering tip to reach that temperature. So I'd say 30 seconds.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 11:17:54 am »
Great, sounds like it does a good job reaching the right temps.  We're down to only one last check, its durability over time.  I'd bet you'd post in the future if it broke prematurely.  Enjoy and thanks for sharing, it looks like your station has good value for $.

I just tried it, from room temperature (around 18 C) it took approximately 20 seconds for the display to read 350 C. But due to where the temperature is being measured, it takes an extra 10 seconds or so for the soldering tip to reach that temperature. So I'd say 30 seconds.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline midnight

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 06:15:31 pm »
Thanks for the review.  It helped me decide to try the X-Tronic 4040...

I just received an X-Tronic 4040 Hot Air Rework Station and I am very pleased with it.  The temps are very accurate (I have tested it befors and after a few hours of use (using a raytech IR temp meter).

I figured the X-Tronic soldering station on the hot air rework station would be junk. but it is the Hakko 936 iron and stand.  The only difference is the connector on the 4040 station is not the same as on the 936 station.  You can purchase Hakko tips, heating element, and other parts for this!

The pump is very quiet and not distracting at all.

I'm anxious to see how this holds up over the longer run.
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 08:52:29 pm »
Hi Guys,

Just wanted to give an update after a few months' intensive use.  In my original review, I mentioned that the unit would briefly turn on when it was first plugged in (because the power switch does not really cut the power off the unit since the heating element needs to cool off after the power is turned off), and I recommended that the unit should be unplugged or there should be a central power-off switch in the lab to prevent the unit from accidentally turning on.

In the last few months, I had noticed under a couple of occasions that the unit was automatically turned on when I turned on my lab's power, even though the main switch on the unit is at the off position. When this happened, the only way the unit could be shut off was to unplug it or turn off main power switch to the lab.

I am pretty certain the unit was triggered on due to some sort of electrical noise on the line. So it is important to physically turn off the unit (e.g. unplug or cut the main) when it is not in use to reduce fire risks.

Other than this behavior, the X-TRONIC 4040 seemed to be quite solid and remains good choice for hobbyists.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 09:24:29 pm »
Hi Guys,

Just wanted to give an update after a few months' intensive use.  In my original review, I mentioned that the unit would briefly turn on when it was first plugged in (because the power switch does not really cut the power off the unit since the heating element needs to cool off after the power is turned off), and I recommended that the unit should be unplugged or there should be a central power-off switch in the lab to prevent the unit from accidentally turning on.

In the last few months, I had noticed under a couple of occasions that the unit was automatically turned on when I turned on my lab's power, even though the main switch on the unit is at the off position. When this happened, the only way the unit could be shut off was to unplug it or turn off main power switch to the lab.

I am pretty certain the unit was triggered on due to some sort of electrical noise on the line. So it is important to physically turn off the unit (e.g. unplug or cut the main) when it is not in use to reduce fire risks.

Other than this behavior, the X-TRONIC 4040 seemed to be quite solid and remains good choice for hobbyists.
898d+ or 8786 is cheap , smaller footprint , better . Although X-TRONIC gives a free lamp which is good , the amazon people don't ship everywhere .
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 03:29:14 pm »
So just wanted to do a followup on this rework station.

Everything had held up pretty well after intensive use during the past half a year or so. The other day, I broke the soldering iron (totally my fault, I was trying to change the tip and it was a bit tight so I used a plier.... and the handle cracked). The good news is that the seller sells replacement parts as well and they come in rather inexpensive. The replacement iron (includes the cord) costs below $20.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 06:31:19 pm »
Thank alphazeta for the followup, so far it seems to be living up to performance with the expected durability, given its cost.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Dawn

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 07:10:18 pm »
Their 8040 preheater looks like a better investment then the aoyue of the same dimensions. It also has the heavier and more practical board clamp system like aoyue had before they went to that silly x style holder that's very flimsy.

I was thinking about buying the larger T-8280, but from the mixed signals I've read on the net regarding poor QC and relibility, I'd think I'd pass. Besides, I rarely work on boards that large anyways. Anyone have experience with the 8040?
 

Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 07:30:03 pm »
I have the 4040 and have really used it a ton in the past few months - its a really solid unit and although the 'architecture' isn't on par, the performance is right up there with some of the better irons I've used.

@ Dawn, I have the pre-heater you're looking at and (I've used it about 12-15 times so far) I must say that it performs pretty well (temps are off by about +5-7c usually) but I do wish I had a larger heating area. Good for most basic tasks though.
"The reward of a thing well done is to have it done"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

Offline T4P

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Offline Dawn

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2012, 06:40:35 am »
IR station like that would be nice if you were doing a lot of BGA work to justify it. Right now, I'd just be happy if the Chinese companies would get serious about integrating some of their hot air products. Some have the ability to store a profile in the hot air station and a have a few pre-programmed profiles in the pre-heater. Even though I just bought an Aoyue 968A+ and still have my small hot air spot pre-heater, I sure would have rathered having a good IR preheater that would integrate seamlessly with a hot air station with one continuous profile program. If they can do this with the IR stations at a sub $500 price point, there's no reason they can't do it with their hot air units.

Does anyone make a PID controller kit to do that? I've seen toaster oven kits to make a multistage profile for a homebrew reflow oven. Nice if that can be done with a preheater and a hot air station.
 

Offline b1406

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 07:36:07 pm »
Hello
I have received a new X-Tronic 4000 From USA.
I live in  Europe the power line here 220 V.
I thought maybe I can replace the transformer in stead of getting an adapter 220-110.
I did not open the device is new and still in box.
Can this be done and the transformer needed for this device is enough 500 W output
I can get an adapter but is more convenient to me get the transformer replaced, because adapters takes space on my desk
thank you
 
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 06:52:36 pm »
Although I had mentioned in my PM, I thought to post it here so that others can see...

Anyway, from what I had seen the X-TRONIC 4040 is using the main power via TRIAC to directly control the heating element for the hot air (which makes sense as it does not need to be isolated). 

So there isn't really an easy way to switch to 220 without any significant modifications to the unit. Of course, a beefy 110-220 transformer is probably the easiest solution.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2012, 06:55:50 pm »
Change heating elements ... unless the triac is not sufficiently rated for 220V (which i doubt so)
 

Offline b1406

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2012, 07:04:26 pm »
I will use a power converter 220-110
Thanks to everyone
 

Offline Skiburnr

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2016, 08:58:04 pm »
I just wanted to add to this old thread some new information on the X-tronic 4040 Hot Air Rework Station since this post helped me decide to buy one.  My experience with soldering electronics had always been lousy and Dave showed me that it was probably my tools that were the problem so I bought mine 11 months ago, in June of 2015.  I've put 30-40 hours on the soldering iron and 4-6 on the hot air.  It has been fantastic!  You get the pictures below since I have opened it up looking for the failure that has disabled the hot air side.  I had several thirty minute sessions removing components from a board last night and this morning the pump starts intermittently or not at all.  I suspect the relay.  I will probably send it home for repair since The Mercantile has such a stellar rep for customer service and I am yet within the warrantee period.

Anyhoo.  Once I got inside I knew immediately that this was not the same innards that I'd seen during the research period before my purchase.  I also recognized the layout changes and the addition of a rear mounted power switch for mains isolation.  Please enjoy these pics of what I upgraded from and the new interior of the 4040.
 

Offline Skiburnr

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2016, 08:59:44 pm »
2nd post with 4040 circa 2015
 

Offline Skiburnr

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2016, 09:01:04 pm »
Last post with new pics of the circa 2015 Xtronic model 4040
 

Offline Skiburnr

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Re: X-TRONIC 4040 Hot Air Rework Station Review
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2016, 05:22:03 pm »
My 4040 has been returned, as promised, by UPS.  It was clearly a replacement unit so I cracked the case and shot some pics.  It is yet another revision of the innards.  I think the wires and switch are of higher quality and the cable routing a bit cleaner.  The pcb is not all grotty and all the resistors are of a smaller size.

Attached are some pics of the pcb.
 


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