soldering stations-irons

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forsh
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soldering stations-irons

ok guys , whats your soldering stations like

i know the person is allways better then the tool

anyway ive got the generic hakko 900 series temp controlled soldering station

at first i couldnt find the sweet spot on the iron, but after cutting 1mm from the tip and sanding and cleaning it up , ive found the hot spot. ive ordered 10 more tips in various sizes also

iev also got the 220v plugin type for backups

the version ive got is actually german/polish stamos . its good, it does the job, its a 60watt max controller and the iron thats in is 45watts . ive bought a few more hakko generic heating elements and a few handles and this week ill make a few more irons up with different tips

what i forgot to order is the aviation connector(5pin female) ill try find a few at work if we have them somewhere

overall im very happy with the iron

ive been used to weller irons and they are rock solid .but this hakko clone is getting there

one thing i had to do was take the tip off and put a bit of artic silver heat transfer paste in the tip hoping to make a good connection with the heating element… tip is now stuck to the heating element and wont come off. but ive a spare iron and also i will make some more irons up in the coming week

i just dont have the money to buy a weller otherwise i would

https://www.expondo.co.uk/stamos-soldering-soldering-station-with-solder...

whats your gotos soldering irons guys

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Andrew_Debbie
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I use Weller WTCP51 (240V) and WTCPT (120V) magnestat soldering stations. I have an assortment of tips. The WTCPT is 11 years old. I don’t remember when I bought the WTCPT but it is at least 20 years old.

I’m not sure what I will do when Weller stop selling magnestat tips.

I used to have a genuine Hakko 936 but I left it behind when we moved from Atlanta to North Wales. I still think the Weller is slightly better.

I use both handles with the 240V base. I changed the connector on the older 42W handle so it would work on the 50W base.

forsh
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looks like you have a good setup there andrew. what made you move from atlanta to wales ?

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Andrew_Debbie
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forsh wrote:
looks like you have a good setup there andrew. what made you move from atlanta to wales ?

Neither of us liked Atlanta that much. Atlanta has a lot to offer, but it also had many downsides. There is a lot of crime in Atlanta, the traffic is horrible and summers are unpleasant.

Looking at today’s newspaper —
https://www.ajc.com/news/crime/

Quote:
1 dead after shooting in Gwinnett neighborhood. Man shot in leg during road-rage incident on I-20 in Atlanta. 2 Gwinnett men get life plus combined 345 years in prison for gang-related shooting. Police: Marietta man tried to throw woman to her death off 5th-story hotel balcony. DA to seek death penalty against man charged with murdering deputy in Augusta. Man shot in the chest, arm while trying to sell shoes in Cherokee County. Police: Man shot in Lenox Square parking lot after food court ‘meeting’ with suspect.

That is just today’s newspaper!

And the police are corrupt.

Quote:

Madison County deputy fired, arrested after meth found in his car, cops say

Debbie got a good job offer here. There is little crime. A stolen bicycle makes the news. We can afford a modest house that is a short walk from the ocean. North Wales is beautiful.

I drive over this bridge every day:

forsh
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Like you I also emigrated, from north England to southern Finland . Best choice of my life

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Andrew_Debbie
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forsh wrote:
Like you I also emigrated, from north England to southern Finland . Best choice of my life

mmm

Living in a foreign county changed us and broadened our outlook. We aren’t the same people who moved here 11 years ago.

For that matter so did living in Atlanta for 8 years. I grew up in Southern California.

leftdisconnected
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Weller just doesn’t seem as good these days. Their irons remain as expensive as ever, yet numerous people have checked their stations over the past few years and found that there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that there’s even a fuse installed on the input, even for identical models bought around the same time; Weller QC may not be what it once was.


JBC stations are very nice, but expensive. Pace is making a wonderful iron (in the U.S.A.) as well and the tips were much cheaper than JBC’s when I last checked. Either of these brands are super-expensive for hobbyists, though.

Hakko T12 clones, such as KSGER, are my current favorite for budget stations, but it seems nearly impossible to choose a seller shipping units with good quality control.

Many of the Quicko/Quecoo/Laecho units seem to be manufactured better than those from KSGER, but it’s suspicious that Quicko keeps changing their brand name and it’s likely that they stole their firmware from KSGER. Even “real” KSGER stations seem to have poor quality control and a confusing array of models, however, and the T12 handles are mostly junk, even the over-priced “stainless steel” models.

Rui Deng, which makes budget items like bench power supplies and USB testers, deals with clones of their products by having its own online stores to distribute genuine, fair-quality units and it’s hard to understand why a company like KSGER can’t learn from them. There are youtube tear-downs of units bought from KSGER “official” stores and the manufacturing quality is so variable that they are obviously hand-building them with little or no oversight.


I’ll also mention that virtually all of the T12 clones with AC inputs have the Chinese design flaw where 110/220VAC tracks are separated from chassis-grounded heat sinks by a mere solder mask layer. There’s simply no excuse for this, IMO, but most brands have settled upon switch-mode supply designs that include this “feature”.

  • If you purchase any switch-mode power supply from China, make certain that it has a proper input fuse and a screwed, not soldered, ground lug from the AC power cord. These boards are good values only if they don’t kill you Wink .


While older soldering technologies where the heater is not built into the tip would seem less expensive to maintain, the reality is that genuine T18 Hakko tips are quite expensive, while China is now producing generic T12 tips at a volume where they are cheaper despite their complexity. However, a look at various user reports suggests that generic T12 tips are much less accurate than genuine tips and cannot heat beyond ~400C even at 100% duty. Generic T12 users must calibrate their individual tips, as they are often 50C out of line with the thermocouple readings.

If you don’t want to deal with any of this, start saving for a Pace Wink .

RobAllen

forsh
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leftdisconnected wrote:
Weller just doesn’t seem as good these days. Their irons remain as expensive as ever, yet numerous people have checked their stations over the past few years and found that there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that there’s even a fuse installed on the input, even for identical models bought around the same time; Weller QC may not be what it once was.


JBC stations are very nice, but expensive. Pace is making a wonderful iron (in the U.S.A.) as well and the tips were much cheaper than JBC’s when I last checked. Either of these brands are super-expensive for hobbyists, though.

Hakko T12 clones, such as KSGER, are my current favorite for budget stations, but it seems nearly impossible to choose a seller shipping units with good quality control.

Many of the Quicko/Quecoo/Laecho units seem to be manufactured better than those from KSGER, but it’s suspicious that Quicko keeps changing their brand name and it’s likely that they stole their firmware from KSGER. Even “real” KSGER stations seem to have poor quality control and a confusing array of models, however, and the T12 handles are mostly junk, even the over-priced “stainless steel” models.

Rui Deng, which makes budget items like bench power supplies and USB testers, deals with clones of their products by having its own online stores to distribute genuine, fair-quality units and it’s hard to understand why a company like KSGER can’t learn from them. There are youtube tear-downs of units bought from KSGER “official” stores and the manufacturing quality is so variable that they are obviously hand-building them with little or no oversight.


I’ll also mention that virtually all of the T12 clones with AC inputs have the Chinese design flaw where 110/220VAC tracks are separated from chassis-grounded heat sinks by a mere solder mask layer. There’s simply no excuse for this, IMO, but most brands have settled upon switch-mode supply designs that include this “feature”.

  • If you purchase any switch-mode power supply from China, make certain that it has a proper input fuse and a screwed, not soldered, ground lug from the AC power cord. These boards are good values only if they don’t kill you Wink .


While older soldering technologies where the heater is not built into the tip would seem less expensive to maintain, the reality is that genuine T18 Hakko tips are quite expensive, while China is now producing generic T12 tips at a volume where they are cheaper despite their complexity. However, a look at various user reports suggests that generic T12 tips are much less accurate than genuine tips and cannot heat beyond ~400C even at 100% duty. Generic T12 users must calibrate their individual tips, as they are often 50C out of line with the thermocouple readings.

If you don’t want to deal with any of this, start saving for a Pace Wink .

i am pretty happy with my hakko clone, its not exactly chinese , its german/polish, but proberly made in china. ill open it one day and check everything is super safe, its not killed me yet and its working ok now with some small mods to the actual iron

im sure it can be modded a bit more for different irons, but i have a few spare irons now and i will make a few more irons up when the postman arrives

i did love the weller i used, but that was over 20 years ago , it was maintained very well and cleaned and kept in a nice safe place. my electronics school professor was a bit of a monkey for keeping the soldering irons clean and safe and maintained well.

any way guys thanks so much for the input , happy modding and winter seems to have come now to finland. had a night of snow , but now it seems to be melting

chris

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Sirstinky
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I really like my Quicko 942 T12 power unit and handpiece, the one with the OLED display. It’s been rock solid so far and I’ve had it for over a year. I agree that the quality is you get what you pay for. Obviously don’t buy a $25 controller and handpiece and expect genuine Haako or JBC or Pace quality. $25 vs. $100 for the Hakko up to $350 for a JBC. I will say that the early Quicko models are quite good. Fit and finish are adequate and I’ve had no issues with the handpiece. Get the one without the built in power supply as the ones with the built in power supply are junk. Cheaply made and dodgy quality. Get ome that’s just the controller and handpiece and get a quality OEM power adapter of at least 90w and good quality tips you’re good to go.

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forsh wrote:
at first i couldnt find the sweet spot on the iron, but after cutting 1mm from the tip and sanding and cleaning it up , ive found the hot spot. ive ordered 10 more tips in various sizes also

Filing on plated tips gets them destroyed very quickly, you remove the protective iron barrier around the copper core
Now the tin can slowly eat up the copper inside

forsh
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Lexel wrote:
forsh wrote:
at first i couldnt find the sweet spot on the iron, but after cutting 1mm from the tip and sanding and cleaning it up , ive found the hot spot. ive ordered 10 more tips in various sizes also

Filing on plated tips gets them destroyed very quickly, you remove the protective iron barrier around the copper core
Now the tin can slowly eat up the copper inside


i know,but i had to do it to get it working properly, i got more tips coming , some better quality fatter tips,

this tip i have was like a needle point, not good for what i wanted to do. as soon as they come ill change it to more a nicer tip

i live and learn every day i solder more. it has been a while since i was soldering properly

anyway hows the weather in germany pal. we are starting to get a bit windy over in finland

has the storm reached germany yet?

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Andrew_Debbie
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leftdisconnected wrote:
Weller just doesn’t seem as good these days.
p.
JBC stations are very nice, but expensive. Pace is making a wonderful iron (in the U.S.A.) as well and the tips were much cheaper than JBC’s when I last checked. Either of these brands are super-expensive for hobbyists, though.

If you don’t want to deal with any of this, start saving for a Pace Wink .

If Weller stopped making magnestat tips today, I’d get a Pace ADS 200. With the instant setback stand it is £227 + tax. Standard tips are £10 each.

Might be worth shopping around a bit, that is full price from Pace.

leftdisconnected
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Sirstinky wrote:
I really like my Quicko 942 T12 power unit and handpiece, the one with the OLED display. It’s been rock solid so far and I’ve had it for over a year. … Get ome that’s just the controller and handpiece and get a quality OEM power adapter of at least 90w and good quality tips you’re good to go.

Thanks for this info. I’ve been researching stations for the past few years as I’m very disappointed with the cheap Aoyue 469 station (T18 clone) I got from Amazon some years ago. A new/different set of tips helped, but it still won’t heat well enough for even moderate jobs. I mostly use my old, handheld 18W iron from childhood (bought in early 80’s) as it performs better than the supposedly “60W” Aoyue, which actually draws no more than 30W even at turn-on. The 18W iron has its original tip, as I haven’t found replacements, but I did have to reshape the tip with sandpaper.

Yes, grinding and sanding “ruins” tips, but it’s perfectly acceptable when the tip is already de-plated, pitted, or otherwise worn out. I re-shaped this tip a couple years ago and it’s still working just fine. I have no reservations about sanding tips that are already degraded, as there’s nothing left to preserve.


I really appreciate hearing about experiences with particular brands and sellers, as these products aren’t really returnable if bought from eBay or AliExpress. Even if the station is cheap and generic, I’d like to support a manufacturer/brand that’s actually making an effort to sell some degree of quality.

I’m unemployed and my net worth is well below $0, so I can’t justify an expensive, high-quality iron, even one that would last a lifetime. My hated Aoyue proves, however, that it can be more expensive to buy multiple cheap irons than to buy a quality iron in the first place. With that said, I’ve seen a number of people who use their Aoyue 469 on a regular basis for years without apparent issue, so I may have just been unlucky somehow and received a bad unit.


I forgot to mention this in the last post, but the TS100 and TS80 are also good irons. The basic TS100 package is now available for less than US$40 with coupons and the quality is generally quite good. The TS80 is nicer in the hand and coupon prices are now below $50, but replacement tips are expensive ($18+) and selection is minimal. The tips of these irons are pretty long, especially with the TS100, and you need your own power supply unless you get a kit that includes one.

RobAllen

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My soldering station. I love it
Specification:
Model: STM32 V2.1S
Input Voltage: 110-240V
Output Power: 70W
Temperature Range: 150-480℃

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I got a cheap clone soldering station a while back.
Eventually the handpiece melted. Cheap plastic, I guess. Thing fell apart.

Sirstinky
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leftdisconnected wrote:
Sirstinky wrote:
I really like my Quicko 942 T12 power unit and handpiece, the one with the OLED display. It’s been rock solid so far and I’ve had it for over a year. … Get ome that’s just the controller and handpiece and get a quality OEM power adapter of at least 90w and good quality tips you’re good to go.

Thanks for this info. I’ve been researching stations for the past few years as I’m very disappointed with the cheap Aoyue 469 station (T18 clone) I got from Amazon some years ago. A new/different set of tips helped, but it still won’t heat well enough for even moderate jobs. I mostly use my old, handheld 18W iron from childhood (bought in early 80’s) as it performs better than the supposedly “60W” Aoyue, which actually draws no more than 30W even at turn-on. The 18W iron has its original tip, as I haven’t found replacements, but I did have to reshape the tip with sandpaper.

Yes, grinding and sanding “ruins” tips, but it’s perfectly acceptable when the tip is already de-plated, pitted, or otherwise worn out. I re-shaped this tip a couple years ago and it’s still working just fine. I have no reservations about sanding tips that are already degraded, as there’s nothing left to preserve.


I really appreciate hearing about experiences with particular brands and sellers, as these products aren’t really returnable if bought from eBay or AliExpress. Even if the station is cheap and generic, I’d like to support a manufacturer/brand that’s actually making an effort to sell some degree of quality.

I’m unemployed and my net worth is well below $0, so I can’t justify an expensive, high-quality iron, even one that would last a lifetime. My hated Aoyue proves, however, that it can be more expensive to buy multiple cheap irons than to buy a quality iron in the first place. With that said, I’ve seen a number of people who use their Aoyue 469 on a regular basis for years without apparent issue, so I may have just been unlucky somehow and received a bad unit.


I forgot to mention this in the last post, but the TS100 and TS80 are also good irons. The basic TS100 package is now available for less than US$40 with coupons and the quality is generally quite good. The TS80 is nicer in the hand and coupon prices are now below $50, but replacement tips are expensive ($18+) and selection is minimal. The tips of these irons are pretty long, especially with the TS100, and you need your own power supply unless you get a kit that includes one.

I did that with my Radio Shack 15/30w pencil iron tip. When Radio Shack went under I couldn’t get tips for it easily or cheaply. I had to make them last a long time so when they ot oxidized and wouldn’t tin, I ground them down amd re tined them. I got the Quicko because I refused to keep spending $8+shipping for a tip that didn’t last long.

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Sirstinky][quote=leftdisconnected][quote=Sirstinky wrote:
I got the Quicko because I refused to keep spending $8+shipping for a tip that didn’t last long.

Weller PTA7 magnestat tips are $4.00 each from Newark or $3.74 from PartsExpress. It is a shame Weller discontinued the TCP series.

Used stations turn up on eBay, but I’m not sure how long Weller will keep making tips.

Sirstinky
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They don’t make the tips for the non professional Radio Shack pencil irons anymore. Weller does make similar ones that fit, but they were like $8 shipped and only lasted me a few months of continuous use. You can get the T12 tips from China for like $4. The Haako clone tips for the 900 type stations or pencil irons are even cheaper for a set!

GDF
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I was initially disappointed with my Hakko 936 clone. The tip wouldn’t get hot enough to properly solder my RC battery connectors. I almost gave up on it, until I found out that it came with a 30W iron. I picked up a 60W iron and difference was immediate. It heats up quickly and at max temp it can handle just about anything. I can’t complain for the price I paid for it. I’ve tried Weller units and they are superior in quality, but they also cost 5 times as much.

Sirstinky
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I lived with a 30w iron for years. Took 5 minutes to fully heat up. The heat didn’t recover very well. Built a lot of stuff with it, but when I got my modern T12 station, I thought I died and went to heaven. Heats in 9 seconds.

forsh
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i know a electricain once that works at british aerospace

his choice iron was
long pause

a 20 GBP pound plug in 240volt iron. with the wire cut off

put in his gas fire to heat up,,,,with a tip that looked like a spade thats been beaten witha wet cat

at he worked on planes electronics for a living!!!

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