Author Topic: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown  (Read 9906 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bronson

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: us
X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« on: July 24, 2013, 05:48:06 pm »
Just did this review for anyone who's interested.  Overall it's fine and it does the job but two rather questionable design decisions mean it's not great.

http://youtu.be/lRGRqK_LbgE

Happy to answer any questions!

I'll make another video when I get around to fabricating a new preheater clamp.  :)
 

Offline cqljohn

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 02:51:01 pm »
I tried to watch your review, but YouTube says the video is private.  |O
Can you adjust the settings, I'm looking at purchasing this unit and I would like to see your review.

Thanks,
Larry
 

Offline bronson

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: us
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 06:33:45 am »
So, yeah...  after seeing a few more hot air machines in the past few days, I feel I was too harsh on this thing, mostly for its crappy PCB clamp.  Turns out that other cheap IR preheaters use a similar awful design.  WTF!  I didn't feel it was right to grind on the 5040 when its peers don't seem to offer anything better.

Here's a quick text review.  Definitely hit me with any questions!


Overall: it's a fine machine given the price.  If you want a preheater and hot air, it's probably the cheapest workable option.  If you don't care about the preheater, just get separate hot air and soldering iron -- you'll end up with the same hot air gun and a Hakko iron for the same price and the same footprint.

More detail...  I think it has the exact same heat gun as the cheapo hot air machine Dave reviewed in http://www.eevblog.com/2011/04/25/eevblog-167-atten-858d-hot-air-rework-review/ .  No complaints.

The soldering iron works fine.  The digital temp seems poorly calibrated but, if you treat it like an analog readout ("hotter, hotter, just right") rather than "exactly 260degC", you'll be happy.  Heats up quick, holds a consistent temperature, responds quickly to thermal load, tips are easy to swap.

The preheater works.  It's a little hard to dial in, takes a while to warm up, and the clamp is awful, but it turns out that's true of all cheap IR preheaters.  Plus this one is not very big and doesn't have an provision for an external thermocouple.  Still, I'm reasonably happy with it -- it's already come in useful when desoldering a 26 pin header.

Interally, the 5040-XTS is clean.  Good electrical insulation on all the high voltage wires, good thermal insulation between the preheater and the electronics, small, simple mainboard.  I didn't take it completely apart but what I saw looked fine.  (come to think of it, I don't remember seeing a separate power supply board...  At some point I'll have to take out that mainboard out and give it a closer look)


OK, the not so good:

- The clamping thumbscrews on the preheater are dismal!  They clamp by screwing against the paint on the lid.  This bends the sheet metal and screws up the paint every time.  And it doesn't even clamp very well -- the screws move when clamping.  My lid is already all marked up and it's going to look awful in a month.  Terrible, terrible idea.

- The two screws joining the rear of the preheater clamp to the case have plain nuts pinched against the bottom of the lid.  Not captive nuts, not even lock washers.  When they come loose (and with thermal cycling, they will come loose) they just drop into the case.  Then you need to take the lid off (15ish screws?), fish them out, and pinch clamp back on.  Definitely not a quick job.  Why didn't X-Tronic just stamp some threads like they did for the two front screws on the clamp??  I have no idea.

- That big vertical bar in back for the hot air holder is a PITA to take off and put back on, and it gets in the way when storing it on a shelf.  I don't find it very useful anyway so I figure I'll just leave mine off.

- They include ten soldering iron tips, but they're mostly sharp bevels and cones.  No fat chisel tip, my favorite for through-hole and connectors.  It's not a big deal but I won't replace my Xytronic until I can find one.  (hm, I just looked at the pic of the 5040-XTS on Amazon and it definitely seems to show a fat chisel...  maybe I got two of some other tip?  I'll have to look tomorrow)


That's about it.  It's got some warts but it gets the job done and the insides look nice, not dangerous (important for something that can draw 12+ amps when everything's switched on).  I'm happy I bought it but, thanks to the IR preheater clamp sucking and marking up the case, I can't wholeheartedly recommend it.


I'll try to re-edit the video to be a little more fair but that won't happen for a week or two.  Sorry!  Until then, PM me your youtube username and I'll give you access to the overly long and negative review.  That goes for anyone else who's read this far.

    - Scott
 

Offline wabi sabi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 02:43:43 am »
As mentioned previously, the video is private and I am unable to view it.  :(

Please change the settings or provide some information on how to become authorized to view it.

I am considering purchasing this item and would really like to watch your review.

Thanks
 

Offline bronson

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: us
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 12:17:30 am »
PM me your email address and I'll add you to youtube's authorized viewers.  Otherwise I figure I'll try again in a few months, when current projects cool down a bit.

in reply to Marcel...

Quote
I wasn't originally thinking of a preheater; originally was just thinking a hot air/soldering station; but that one isn't much more than many of the hot air/soldering stations, so I thought the addition of the pre-heater might be worth the extra little bit. An all-in-one combined unit could be nice with the very limited amount of space, and limited hobby budget, compared to adding a separate pre-heater at a later time.

You'll probably be using the soldering iron all the time, the hot air less, and the IR preheater hardly at all.  If so, a Hakko on the benchtop and a hot air machine stored in the cupboard would probably be the most efficient use of space.

The 5040 looks small but it really isn't -- the iron hangs off the right side, the hot air gun off the left, and it's got that tall hot air holder going upward.  Cubic volume it occupies is pretty large!  And, alas, the holder and IR clamp makes it cumbersome to stack anything on top of it.  While it's smaller than 3 separate machines, it's not as big a win as it seems.

Also give a look to the X-Tronic 6040 if you don't need preheat -- much smaller package and you can stack stuff on it.

I'm happy with my 5040 so far but I do wish it was easier to break down for storage.

 

Offline JoyMonkey

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 02:04:11 pm »
Thanks for the info.

How strong is the preheater on the 5040?
Think it would get hot enough to melt solder paste on its own?
 

Offline RossGlen

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 08:31:42 pm »
Making the comment that this video documents my critique, and then leaving it as a private video is a little less than credible.
 

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2696
  • Country: us
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 08:45:56 pm »
Video is marked as private, no one can see it.  :palm:
 

Offline bronson

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: us
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 10:47:01 pm »
That's intentional, it's not a good video.  I can delete entirely if you'd prefer.
 

Offline bronson

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: us
Re: X-Tronic 5040-XTS hot air rework -- review and teardown
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 11:24:29 pm »
(in response to a PM...)

Problem solved.  Apparently YouTube's Google+ transition lost that video, along with a few of my other old videos.  I can still see it but I don't own it anymore.

In the end, the 5040 is OK...  No complaints, especially for the price.   But, if you have the money, I'd recommend getting the IR preheater separate.   It has a big footprint and I don't use it very often.

So now I have a Hakko and Aoyue on my bench, and I bring out the X-Tronic when I need some preheat (and I really try to avoid needing preheat).

That said, if you want all 3, and you have the bench space, you probably can't find a better deal than the 5040.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 11:26:16 pm by bronson »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf