soldering station

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soldering station

Postby David B » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:33 pm

Kinda boring but what soldering station do you prefer ? I have been using a cheap Weller WLC100 for ten years now ! Had to replace the element and it works OK but would like something a bit more precise with its temperature regulation...
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Re: soldering station

Postby dai h. » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:55 pm

I usually use cheap ones (30W for transistor, IC stuff, 40W for amps, and a 60W with a big tip when I need more muscle). They work okay if the temp. is adjusted (usually with my Variac). I was checking this one out on and off:

http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_933.html

company has a good rep., it's temp. controlled, ceramic heater, plus wide range of tips avail. I esp. want the wide one since that should allow easy removal of mobo alu electrolytic caps (need to hit both leads at once or the cap itself, power, and ground planes on the board will act as a super heat sink and prevent desoldering) as well as cap removal from other stuff that has through-hole plated PCB holes.

Have a Weller Portasol (butane-powered) also, which I bought trying to figure out how to de-solder mobo caps. Potentially handy for someone on the road or say soldering house wiring with the power off or some like situation. They are sold here under the goot (Taiyo Electric) brand which don't have a good rep.(I have a cheap temp. controlled station which seems to confirm this) but the Portasol (which they don't make--mine is marked (crap, earthquake lol) "made in Ireland"(might have been in Gaelic or something) seems pretty decent.
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Re: soldering station

Postby Hamilton » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:10 pm

I've only owned one station, a Weller EC1002, and it's been working fine for the last 10 years.

Edit > I see the EC1002 is now discontinued. :oops:
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:27 pm

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Re: soldering station

Postby Hamilton » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:00 pm

That WESD51 also comes in analog, model number WES51, which might save you some bucks.
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:08 pm

Delayed response (very) I finally picked up the WES51 & sorry I waited so long :roll: Very nice soldering station, heats up fast and very easy to work with :D

db
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:43 pm

Well maybe not so nice, transformer crapped out already :( & of course out of warranty so maybe time to check out the Hakko
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Re: soldering station

Postby dai h. » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:40 pm

that sucks! FWIW, some of the Chinese Hakko clones (in general less expensive than the genuine) seem to be pretty good (according to what I've read) but can differ in heater construction (IIRC there was one apparently with the same--or at least the same-looking heater). (Personally I'd find it a bit difficult to send any money to the cloners since Hakko seem to be a pretty good company deserving of support though I suppose I might buy a really cheap used or accept a free one, lol.) Also, (I'm not a technician so I can't attest 100% to the veracity of this, but) apparently some of the Chinese extended life tips have more plating which makes for less efficient heat transfer to the tip. Additionally, there are apparently fake Hakkos (sounded like out and out fakes as opposed to different branded--but I didn't see these personally--just read about on the Hakko site). (More trivia... Sry if tiresome! :lol: ) Hakko came out with a new compact station type that looks different from the oft cloned one (the compactness is one of the selling points--i.e. it takes up less space on the bench). (Probably good quality but AFAIK much more expensive than the older unit clones.) I also have a temp. controlled Hakko w/electronics built into the handle (93--something?) which went out of production and according to a japanese site, this was due to the temp. control related IC going out of production (the blue and yellow FX6-- successor apparently uses a different IC). (Anyway I just wondered if the changes were related.)

(As long as I'm blathering... :mrgreen: ) something I would personally like to see on the market is an affordable super-high capacity iron powerful enough to solder/de-solder stuff from multi-layer PCBs (like mobos). I've tried things but mostly ended in sorryepicfailure syndrome. (Things like attaching two irons to a pair of tongs to desolder caps which seemed to work pretty well for one mobo but not on another one.)
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:39 pm

Dai,

I had heard of these fake Hakko's but haven't seen one in person or the new FX888 for that matter.
FX888 does look cool and I've been reading some promising reviews from owners.

I do like the fast warm up & thin profile of the soldering tool on the WES51. The failure surprised my as Weller has a good name, guess I just got the runt of the litter...

FWIW my old Weller WLC100 lasted over ten years and was still going strong but I sold it, that'll teach me to keep a backup!!

I emailed the company, see what happens..BTW we have some pro grade Weller's at work, very well made..

Not sure if affordable and super-high anything can go in the same sentence :lol:
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Re: soldering station

Postby dai h. » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:48 pm

Weller does have a good reputation and I've read about people getting very long service life from units they own, so wonder what is going on there (no idea if there is anything to it, but saw one model here being blown out (sold, not exploding, lol) for real cheap (had a sliding temp. control IIRC). I bought a temp. controlled one previous to my Hakko from "goot" (brand from Taiyo Electric), and that one wasn't satisfactory at all, seeming to have no "muscle" and having very limited usefulness. When I tried the Hakko, it impressed me because 1) (unlike the goot) it actually worked, and 2) all the electronics were in the handle (the goot came w/a small external unit housing the electronics and temp. control). I think there are even higher performing stations (for professional manufacturing and repair) but w/an accordingly higher (some much) price from Hakko, Metcal, and others.
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:41 pm

Maybe it is a temp. controller issue though I measured the transformer voltage, 120 in and nuthin on the secondaries & it's suppose to be 24V so we'll see what Weller says...

I forgot about Metcal, those are nice but expensive...
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:58 pm

Sent it in to Weller and within a week back on my bench good as new, now that customer service :D
Not sure what was wrong with it, could have been operator error :lol:
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Re: soldering station

Postby dai h. » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:07 am

ahh, good news!
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Re: soldering station

Postby David B » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:20 am

Yes indeed,very impressed with the service & turn around time :D BTW I found the ETA tip that comes stock with the WES51 a bit small for amp work so picked up a variety of tips and found I prefer the ETB for most work,the wider ETC is nice for bigger jobs, switches etc.

Reference for anyone interested..
ETA:1/16" (1.57mm)
ETB:3/32" (2.36mm)
ETC:1/8" (3.18mm)

http://www.all-spec.com/products/ETB.html
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Re: soldering station

Postby chip mcdonald » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:07 pm

I keep seeing people reference these "fake but ok" Hakko 888s, but where are they? Are they under a different "Chinese Buffet" name?

There is a Stahl TCSS for <$50 on Amazon... 48 watt temp control.... then this Aoyue: http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-937-Digital ... pd_cp_hi_2

Claims a 1 degree accuracy...?

I only need one to rewire guitars, maybe recap an amp, maybe build a 5E3 kit, convert a Bogen/Harmon Kardon p.a. head to a Bassman... 20+ years of fiddling with single temp Radio Shack irons, would I notice a "major electronics repair lifestyle" change by getting a Hakko for $40+ more than one of the above?
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