HAkko FX888D......Weller WTCPT it is NOT!!

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A while back My 25+ year old Weller WTCPT Soldering system died a quiet, yet pungent death.  I was not a fan of having to change tips for heat settings, but as 700F usually fit the bill I did not gripe much as I only needed 800F once in a while.  TO replace it with the same exact Iron/Base was almost $200.00 so I had to use an old Radio Crap 20watt iron while I searched for a replacement, or the $$ for the Weller.

 

I saw the Hakko 888D with the Digital temperature adjust and said looks good.  It was $107.00 as opposed to $177.00+ for the Weller and took up a little less space on the bench.  I ordered it and three days later It arrived.

 

I should have sent it back.

 

Yeah it's nice, but the little iron is, well , THIN.  It actually hurts to use during long soldering sessions as my hand cramps up.  At first I thought this might be a sign that I need to take a break, but it turns out there was another reason....TIME.

 

Time?  Huh? What does time have to do with soldering.

 

Simple.  This little iron cannot keep the tip temperature constant.  Even on 800F+ the connections on a DIP package look horrible after three pins as the joints go cold so you have to rework them or go VERY SLOWLY. Which means it takes MORE TIME to do the same job, and in the process the parts get very hot, and ones hand cramps.  I shudder at the thought of building another one of those 900 T-1 LED clocks with this little unit.  The Weller with a 700F conical tip flew through the job.  I wouldn't DARE try to solder heavy pro audio 1/4" or XLR connectors with this thing.  I think it would pass out.

 

   I had to solder 5 M328's in TQFP package two days ago.  King Samperi gave me a really great tip on how to solder them and get machine like results, but it requires an iron with a good tip and the ability to get solder braid hot fast to work.  Well the Hakko with a heavy tip and 800F just could not cut it.  Made a mess out of the job and I went and dug up a Radio Crap 60watt iron to clean things up with the solder wick because the Hakko couldn't get it done.  Very Sad.

 

I inspected the heater/tip assembly and I can see that the ceramic element is right at the end and the tip slides over it.  Which is the correct way to mate them, but I see no temperature sensor anywhere near the tip of the heater.  It appears to be at the back where it always stays hot.  No wonder this thing cannot regulate!

 

A while back I had a thread about hot air soldering stations and I purchased an inexpensive unit that came with a small SMD soldering iron that mated to the base.  It has a better temperature regulating capability than the Hakko and the whole unit was under $60.00usd compared to the $107.00 I paid for the HAkko.

 

 

Now I did read the reviews on Amazon(I did not buy it through Amazon....dumb move) and the overwhelming majority gave it 5 stars, but the ones that gave three or less complained about the temperature regulation issue.  Makes me wonder if the folks that gave three or less are the ones who make a living using a soldering iron and the 4+ raters are "sometimes solderers".  I should have went with the pessimists on this one.

 

So now I am going to have to save up the $200.00+ to replace what I had for many trouble free years.  Why $200+ since the iron/Base is only $177.00?  I threw out all the spare tips I had purchased as I didn't think I would need them as I had this revolutionary new solder station.

 

Thee are times when the old, Analog ways of the Jedi are what makes the Force so powerful.

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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I have a Hakko Fx951 soldering station that I have been using for about 7 years.  It is temperature regulated.  As you might presume, I do a lot of soldering with that thing.  I've had no trouble with temperature regulation.  I run it at 700 degrees and, when I need more power, I simply replace the tip/heater with one that is capable of doing the job.

 

Where I work, we've tried all of the popular soldering station brands and models.  It seems that the Hakko FX951 soldering station is multiplying out on the manufacturing floor, even over the higher end Hakko models..

 

The only thing I would like to see in the Hakko FX951 soldering station is, they be compatible with the higher end models that allow the use of tweezers.

 

Back when I purchased the Hakko FX951, I paid about $135.00 for it.  But the tips do get a bit costly.  The handle and tips are sold separately. I don't know what the price range is today.  They must be cost effective, else my employer would not be replacing the other brands with the Hakko FX951 models.

 

EDIT To ADD:

 

I purchased my Hakko FX951 from TEquipment

 

http://www.tequipment.net/Hakko/...

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

Last Edited: Wed. Apr 5, 2017 - 04:09 AM
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I love my Hakko FX888D and have no problems with it so far. I use a medium sized chisel tip with 60/40 (lead free). I've tried using leaded solder (because I accidentally ordered it instead of lead-free) and it is horrible. Not good wetting action at any temp.

 

I almost always run it at 600 F and I've done some fine pitch SMD stuff and through-hole components. No problems other than my hands shaking. The SMD stuff I've done down to 0.35mm pitch (very few) 0.5mm and some 64 QFP packages. Gel flux and drag soldering, and rarely do I need to touch it up with solder braid/wick.

 

However, I only do a few boards and I probably don't do nearly as many soldering jobs as most of you folks (nothing commercial yet either). The Hakko is only my second iron.

 

[Edit]

The 0.35 pitch being the smallest might be wrong. I thought I had some regulators that were 0.35 but they were 0.65mm.

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

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Last Edited: Wed. Apr 5, 2017 - 05:33 PM
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Jim, I have to agree with you, after using an off shore made iron, I dragged my ol Weller back up stairs and I'm glad I did! 

Hope I can still get some new PTA7's for it.  Save up and get another Weller. 

 

Jim

 

 

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ki0bk wrote:

Jim, I have to agree with you, after using an off shore made iron, I dragged my ol Weller back up stairs and I'm glad I did! 

Hope I can still get some new PTA7's for it.  Save up and get another Weller. 

 

Jim

 

 

 

Ki0bk,

 

I have eleven (11) PTA7 soldering tips and no longer own a soldering iron to put them in.

 

If you PM me your home address, it would be my pleasure to  get them on their way to you.  I'll try to get them in the mail by Saturday, April 8, 2017.

 

 

 

EDIT TO ADD:

 

@jgmdesign,

 

    If your old Weller is still functional and you just happen to need PTA7 soldering tips, I'm sure that Ki0bk wouldn't mind if a few were diverted your way.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

Last Edited: Wed. Apr 5, 2017 - 08:11 PM
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ki0bk wrote:
Hope I can still get some new PTA7's for it.

It doesn't appear to be an imminent demise...

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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microcarl wrote:
If your old Weller is still functional and you just happen to need PTA7 soldering tips, I'm sure that Ki0bk wouldn't mind if a few were diverted your way.

 

Thanks Carl, but in my OP:

jgmdesign wrote:
My 25+ year old Weller WTCPT Soldering system died a quiet, yet pungent death.

 

Something shorted out in the pencil and both it, and the transformer in the  base unit overheated and melted to the point of my lab smelled of melting epoxy and magic smoke.

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Are they on sale on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/WTCPT-Tem...

 

 

I got a Metcal last year (STSS-02) , and havent looked back since.

 

I bought tips from this seller , he's nice   (look for tips here)

 

MX500P auto-turnoff , dual outout (only one active, at a time) , but w. 13sec to full heat that's not a problem to switch to the other output.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-M...

The METCAL MX-H1-AV "pencil" is the same as i have, and i like it a lot. It's super light , but thin.

You'd get the "Sleep workstand"  (WS1)  ... I'd love to have that one,

 

No sleep stand

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-M...

 

 

The PS2E is as powerfull as the MX500P (some say more) , but doesn't auto turn off. (EDIT  He says it auto turnoff)  , then i might have the STSS-02 , as mine doesn't turn off )

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-P...

 

 

Needs a bit of cleaning , but i'd bet it works fine - but no auto sleep - Could cost tips

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-S...

 

A DIY Set (but you'd need a stand + the tip removal PAD)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/METCAL-R...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metcal-M...

 

 

DON'T fall for the Metcal 200's - You'd want the ones w. the Coax connected handle (13.6MHz RF  w. STCC tips)

 

 

 

I actually think i have 2 used but complete WCTP's in the basement , too bad shipping would kill the deal.

 

 

/Bingo

 

Last Edited: Sun. Apr 9, 2017 - 07:42 PM
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Ohh ...

 

I saw a nice offer for a Talon MX on ebay.fr (80 €), so i grabbed that one , and a MX500P PSU for 100€ on ebay.de

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-Use...

 

Now i have 2 metcals  cheeky

 

 

Used the talon for the first time last week , replaced a 10K 0805 0603 resistor w. a 1k5 , on 10 boards (Arduino BluePill STM32's)  , took less than 3 min per board , incl setup.

 

The wide Talon tips should make it super easy to remove SOP or TSOP's  , i got 5 Talon tips from the .fr guy for €30  , super thin to super wide.

 

/Bingo

Last Edited: Mon. Apr 10, 2017 - 04:58 PM
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Hi Jim,

 

how long do you have to save for enough to buy a new Iron?

I hope more than 1/2 year...

 

Maybe you should check out the TS100

Reviews of this USD50 iron are so excellent that I almost bought one even though I have a Weller PU81.

This review is worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

 

I especially like the part where he demolishes the tip. Pretty thick durable steel with a copper core. Not bad for this price range.

 

If the handle is too thin for you, then drill a hole in a 2x4, get a knife and do some old fashioned wood carving and give it some paint.

Paul van der Hoeven.
Bunch of old projects with AVR's:
http://www.hoevendesign.com

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I can afford....somewhat..... to replace the HAKKO with the Weller anytime I want.....  Work is so slow right now that it is not worth it to me to bother at this time.

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Don't you want Daniel to experience a good iron?

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Let him suffer so he appreciates the finer things when they do come

Ha ha

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Paulvdh wrote:

Hi Jim,

 

how long do you have to save for enough to buy a new Iron?

I hope more than 1/2 year...

 

Maybe you should check out the TS100

Reviews of this USD50 iron are so excellent that I almost bought one even though I have a Weller PU81.

This review is worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

 

I especially like the part where he demolishes the tip. Pretty thick durable steel with a copper core. Not bad for this price range.

 

If the handle is too thin for you, then drill a hole in a 2x4, get a knife and do some old fashioned wood carving and give it some paint.

 

I'm impressed. Good capacitor dog too. Well trained.

274,207,281-1 The largest known Mersenne Prime

Measure twice, cry, go back to the hardware store

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So you decided to get rid of it: http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/sale-hakko-fx888d

 

cheeky