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Decent Soldering Equipment
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Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:07 pm

Is this a Metcal wannabe? or did they forget to add the temperature control knob?

http://www.paceworldwide.com/products/s ... ering-iron

Anyway I was looking to upgrade from my basic Hakko soldering station 888 to something decent, and temperature controlled.

JBC
PACE
Metcal MX-5000

or Hakko FX-951?
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by franklin97355 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:08 pm

Anyway I was looking to upgrade from my basic Hakko soldering station 888 to something decent,
What is it about the 888 that makes it "not decent"? Also how much will you be using it and how much do you have to spend? All helpful in choosing a soldering station.
http://www.all-spec.com/products/Metcal/Soldering_and_Rework%7CSoldering.Rework_Equipment%7CSOL-10/MX-5210.html

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:52 am

What is it about the 888 that makes it "not decent"?


1) Changing tips not trivial like with Metcal, JBC or PACE.
2) Requires calibration.
3) Heat up and thermal recovery time not as quick as the ones listed above?
4) No sleep/cold on idle
5) Desoldering with braid/wick is a pain especially with bigger joints
6) Not sure if I can use tweezers for desoldering?

Also how much will you be using it and how much do you have to spend?


Until I try something else, I cannot decide if I'm going to keep it or not. $$$ is not an issue as long as I can get something for the price.

I already did some research and read forums about people opinions and experiences comparing these equipment...but it's a very personal preference and subjective sometimes. I was considering Metcal MX-5000 but some experts advised against "fixed temperature" irons, even with Metcal, and I'm worries about things that require less temperatures such as when fluxes present, or if I need to barely melt the joint to adjust the placement of wires/leads, in such cases I need lower temperatures. And I'm not sure if the fixed relatively high temperature will ever damage some sensitive semiconductor devices.

However I would appreciate if the Metcal is temperature adjustable and at the same time utilizes the same technology for the specified temperature, which I think is more feasible and precise than having to change tips for different temperature ranges.
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by modeller on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:57 am

analoger wrote:Anyway I was looking to upgrade from my basic Hakko soldering station 888 to something decent, and temperature controlled.


Huh? You think a Hakko 888 isn't decent or temperature controlled? :roll:


1) Changing tips not trivial like with Metcal, JBC or PACE.


Define "trivial".

2) Requires calibration.


Maybe, maybe not depending on your circumstances and how accurate it really needs to be - but wouldn't any of your other choices ... :?

3) Heat up and thermal recovery time not as quick as the ones listed above?


How fast do you need it to be?

4) No sleep/cold on idle


That's true.

5) Desoldering with braid/wick is a pain especially with bigger joints


Why is it worse than any other iron - a bigger joint - turn up the heat.

6) Not sure if I can use tweezers for desoldering?


Don't even know difficulty what this refers to.

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:27 am

Huh? You think a Hakko 888 isn't decent or temperature controlled? :roll:


Not so decent, not so professional.

Define "trivial".


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWD2UdkZ2KI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsBNH-2HnE4

Maybe, maybe not depending on your circumstances and how accurate it really needs to be - but wouldn't any of your other choices ... :?


Exactly they are "choices" and I pick the one that does not require calibration.

How fast do you need it to be?


Big Bang!

That's true.


I know.

Why is it worse than any other iron - a bigger joint - turn up the heat.


Then your argument is applicable to any soldering station even the cheapest ones.

Don't even know difficulty what this refers to.


http://www.hakkousa.com/detail.asp?PID=4460&Page=1

Why do you think there are several expensive brands out there really?
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by mikeselectricstuff on Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:22 pm

Unless you need to use really exotic stuff like Indium solder, the lack of temp adjust on a Metcal is not a problem.
You need it on cheaper irons to compensate for thermal resistances between the heater and tip, but the Metcal's tight coupling between heater, tip and sensor means it can dump as much heat as is required very quickly into a wide range of joint sizes without overshooting.
The very short handle to tip distance on the Metcal also makes it really good for fine work.
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by modeller on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:47 am

analoger wrote:
Huh? You think a Hakko 888 isn't decent or temperature controlled? :roll:


Not so decent, not so professional.


Because ... ?

You might try explaining yourself in more than a few short terse words. It's a discussion forum. Take the time to formulate a response that clearly says what you want to convey.

Aren't you a beginning hobbyist? You seem to have a bucketload of money to spend on equipment, for example in the scope thread you were looking at scopes in the multi-thousand dollar range - up to $8k. Now you're looking at soldering stations in the multi-hundred dollar range. I've spent my whole life in the electronics field, and from time to time doing electronics projects. I've still got a 20 MHz analog scope that's 20 years old and until just a few months ago was using a Radio Shack 15W iron. Sure the Hakko is better and I'm glad I got it, but I'm starting to wonder if your more interested in the equipment than the hobby itself. If that's the case go for it, but I think you are concentrating your efforts in the wrong direction. You DO NOT need all that expensive stuff to have this as a hobby.

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:57 pm

Because ... ?

You might try explaining yourself in more than a few short terse words. It's a discussion forum. Take the time to formulate a response that clearly says what you want to convey.


The same reasons that some hobbyists and professionals got Metcal or any other expensive stations. Should I explain more? well it's a very subjective matter I think, it's pretty much like whether to buy the same book used or brand new, or should I buy a Tommy jeans or Versace.

Aren't you a beginning hobbyist?


Not very accurate. And my projects may go far beyond the hobbyist scope.

...but I'm starting to wonder if your more interested in the equipment than the hobby itself. If that's the case go for it, but I think you are concentrating your efforts in the wrong direction. You DO NOT need all that expensive stuff to have this as a hobby.


I would say I'm more into the quality of the equipment. Rule of thumb, if it's heavy and expensive then it's good. I don't see why people should not go for the higher end equipment if they can afford it, whether it's for learning, hobbyist projects, or professional? The equipment lasts you very long, unless you are throwing it in case you decide not to proceed with the learning/hobbyist path, very much like college students buying used books, just for my classes and that's it.
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:35 pm

Let's stick to the topic of soldering equipment. I believe the OP can be the judge of his own needs and budget.

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by neslekkim on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:58 pm

Seriously, comparing an $90 solderstation to an $600+ station is kinda ridiculus.
I can see the point with changing tips on the 888, you need to let it cool of before you can change, that is a hassle, but it's not worth $500 extra.

But, the fx951 on the other hand, that's $250ish, with the same/similar capability of changing tips..

But of course, with $600+ to spend, why not ;)
What is the prices of JBC compared to metcal? (They are spanish, so they should be kinda easy to find for europeans, but I havent found them yet)

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by modeller on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:37 pm

adafruit_support wrote:Let's stick to the topic of soldering equipment. I believe the OP can be the judge of his own needs and budget.


What would you have us discuss then? If he's the best judge of it, then why is he asking questions on a forum?

If we can't give advice or question him, then why are we here at all?

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:39 pm

JBC is the king and I would go for it, but the model I want is around $250 extra for 120V version. :?

With Metcal not recommended for low temperature solder stuff...I'm hesitate to go for it.

Hakko FX-951 has this cool capability of changing tips easily, but not sure how fast its thermal recovery or how long it takes before I can safely touch the tip. :mrgreen:
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by analoger on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:44 pm

What would you have us discuss then? If he's the best judge of it, then why is he asking questions on a forum?

If we can't give advice or question him, then why are we here at all?


Absolutely you are right. To question and advise nicely :wink: regardless of my budget, being professional or not...otherwise I would not list those choices in my original post.
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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by neslekkim on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:47 pm

I have an knockof 951, which ofcourse I don't recomend, but.. The tip is safe to touch as is, you only pull it out (with the foamy handlepiece), and stick the tip in an tipholder (round device with many holes, heavy thing), not sure how long time it takes for the tip to get cool, but it doesnt heat the whole carttridge.
the heating speed is amazing, you need to check it out, it's instantly on, and with cartridge tips, I guess the thermal recovery is very good, compared to say, 888. (the 888, if you use ebay tips is not good at thermal recovery, if you use original tips, different thing, mostly because the fake tips is just steel, no copper in them.)

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Re: Decent Soldering Equipment

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:47 pm

why are we here at all?

We are here to discuss "Decent Soldering Equipment".

Adafruit has a "be excellent to each other" policy. Help us keep the community here positive and helpful. Stick to the topic, be respectful of makers of all ages and skill levels. Be kind, and don't spam - Thank you!

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.