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Aoyue 2702A+ - Cheap Rework Station

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Noggin, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Noggin

    Noggin Member

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    The A+ in the title is not my rating, its part of the model number :) However, If I were to give this unit a rating, I'd give it a B.

    Amazon.com: Aoyue 2702A+ SMD Profesional Repair & Rework Station: Home Improvement

    I just purchased an Aoyue 2702A+ rework station for performing minor rework at my job. Short review: Great $250 unit for home stuff or if you work for a small company and need it for minor rework. If you work for a large company with deep pockets or if you want something for an assembly line, get something else.

    First, this is what the box had in it (from memory):
    1. Soldering station
    2. Desoldering gun
    3. Soldering iron with a smoke absorber YouTube - Aoyue 2702 Smoke absorber function (thats not my video)
    4. Hot air gun
    5. Stand for soldering iron
    6. Springy holster to mount on the side of the unit to hold the desoldering gun
    7. Holster to hold hot air gun already mounted upside down on the other side of the unit (easy to fix though)
    8. Additional heating element for hot air gun
    9. IC popper with a few different popper legs to swap out
    10. About half a dozen hot air nozzles including a small 3ish mm circle, 5ish mm circle, and various sized square nozzles
    11. Additional tips, filters, and cleaning apparatus for desoldering gun.

    The first thing I did after setting it up (there is a red screw on the bottom of the unit that must be removed prior to using! might be easy to miss) was try out the hot air gun as thats all that I really wanted out of the unit. I chose the smaller circular nozzle for the gun and tried to attach it. The nozzle slips over the end of the unit and you turn a screw to tighten it down. This is very difficult to do alone as you must hold the gun, turn the screw with a screwdriver, and hold the nut with wrench so it doesn't slip. I imagine that the more expensive units would capture the nut so that all you'd need is a screwdriver. I have no idea how I would do this if the nozzle was hot. I might be able to let the holster hold the gun while I use the screwdriver and hold the nut....

    Anyway, once the nozzle was on there, I turned on the unit, set the air flow to about 30%, temp to 370 deg C, and popped off an 0805 cap lickety split! It does what I need it to do, and it heats up pretty quickly. I hit the off button and the pump went to 100% in a cooldown mode and continued displaying the temperature until it reached 100 deg C and shut off.

    I then tried the soldering iron. It heats up like a bat out of hell, 5 seconds or so from room temp to 370 deg C. I think this is faster than my MetCal iron heats up. The smoke absorber does make it a bit cumbersome to hold, and out of habit I hold my breath while I solder. If I can remove it without damaging it, I probably will take it off. As it is, the tip is pretty large compared to the tip on my MetCal so I'll probably use the Aoyue iron to desolder those pesky ground pins and the MetCal for just about everything else.

    I haven't tried the desoldering gun yet. I never found them to be that useful, but my boss told me to spend the extra $100 to get the unit with the desoldering tool.

    Gripes:
    1. Soldering iron temperature is measured in C. I'm used to F, but hell all I have to do is remember to set it to 370 instead of 700. While the iron is heating up, it says "h <current temp>" and when it reaches temp it says "H <current temp>". What is the h and H? When the hot air gun is heating up it uses c and C

    2. Hot air gun is HUGE. I've seen a few hot air units and most of them have a gun this size. I don't like it. The one I used at my previous job was the size of a soldering iron (it was a Weller, don't remember model number). It didn't have nozzles to swap out so you only had a 3mm hole, but thats all you really need for most stuff I've found. However, I'll get used to it.

    3. Desoldering gun and soldering iron use the same connector. Cant have them both connected. Doesn't bother me much though because I don't really need/want the desoldering gun. If I do start to like the desoldering gun, I still have a MetCal iron that I can do everything but desolder ground pins on through hole parts.

    Overall impression: I stated above that this is a good unit for $250, but if you are a line worker and have to use one of these things all day long, get something more comfortable. If this is something you'll use for an hour or two a day a couple times a week, then this unit is fine. (I reserve the right to change my mind if things start to break! ;)) If I ever need a hot air station for home projects, then I will very much consider this one.
     
  2. ArtemisGoldfish

    ArtemisGoldfish New Member

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    I've got one of the Aoyue 852 digital rework stations and it's pretty nice, not quite as feature-rich as your unit, but it's just a rework station, no soldering iron, etc. Goes up to around 480 degrees, removes large pincount ICs really easily. A hot air rework station is a must-have for doing any electronics repair work.
     
  3. wilbertyl

    wilbertyl New Member

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    "I imagine that the more expensive units would capture the nut so that all you'd need is a screwdriver. " -- Noggin

    You are right there, Better nozzles has the nut welded to the nozzle sort of like this:
    [​IMG]

    "The smoke absorber does make it a bit cumbersome to hold, and out of habit I hold my breath while I solder. If I can remove it without damaging it, I probably will take it off. " -- Noggin

    The smoke absorber can be taken off easily, the hardest thing to remove would be plastic holder(with screw) at the end of the pen. You'd have to desolder the connector in order to slip it out.

    here's a link of the desoldering gun in action:
    YouTube - Desoldering gun
     
  4. Noggin

    Noggin Member

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    A few weeks ago, I thought the hot air attachment had failed so we shipped it back for repair. It was NDF and they shipped it back. Then it "failed" again a couple of weeks later. I powered it down for half an hour and turned it back on to find that it was working again.

    The "failure" I experienced was that the hot air attachement wouldn't warm up (or if it was warm it would cool off). After letting the unit sit for a while powered down it would start working again. It may be a thermal problem inside or it may be a bug in their firmware. It seems to happen every few weeks, but seems to fix itself when powered down.
     
  5. wilbertyl

    wilbertyl New Member

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    There is a themal fuse located at the handle of the hot air gun. When it has detected that the temperature inside the handle has reached 90 degrees clesius or more it would block current to the heating element. This normally arises from using too high set temperature while the set airpressure is very low,if coupled with the usage of a nozzle with small opening then the build up of temperature inside the handle can cause the thermal fuse to activate. The fuse would deactivate itself after the handle's internal temperature has returned to room temperature. To check if it is indeed the thermal fuse, next time this event happens do not power down the unit. Just switch off the Hot air function.Wait for the entire Handle, Tip, Nozzle to cool to room temperature before switching the hot air function ON again.
     
  6. Noggin

    Noggin Member

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    That may have been the cause. Thanks for the information.
     
  7. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    Cool, this sounds like a fun tool
     
  8. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    I know this is an old thread Funny bumped, but I'll weigh in here. I bought an Aoyue 968 after this thread was initially posted so I've had it for about 8 months now. I use both the soldering iron and the rework gun and so far this has been very useful and I've had no issues. I've generally been using it only for QFN's and removing parts that are soldered on, but lately I've been using it to reflow fully populated small boards. I use the cheap solder paste from DealExtreme.com I initially just spread it on the places I needed it using clipped leads from old through hole components, but I found a syringe used for refilling ink cartridges. I mixed the solder past with some flux to mix it a good consistancy to flow from the needle without having to put all my weight on it.

    The iron uses standard Hakko tips and I order a few different types, but I've gone back to the default tip that's shipped with it.
     
  9. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    I really like the idea of "built-in smoke extractor" on Aoyue 968, but I did see some of the user think that's a con. What's your opinion on this function?
     
  10. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    Do you use any needle? or just the syringe itself.
    I have used a few syringe with needle on solder paste and found the needle I have used is too easy to be jammed. And the ID of syringe is too big to be used without a needle or luer lock tip.
     
  11. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    Those tips can last very long time under heavy duty usage, even for the low cost ones. Anyone know what's the special coating on the tip?
     
  12. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. It's fairly noisy and there's no way to adjust the amount of vacuum, it's always full on. It's odd because it uses the same air pump as the hot air gun and you can adjust the air pressure of the hot air gun.

    I am using the needle, which is only possible by adding the flux to the solder paste to thin it out. Without the needle the solder paste would come out too much for me. The needle in this ink refiller syringe is fairly big. I've also cut it off so it's only about a centimeter long so I'm not pushing paste through a long needle.

    I'm not buying tips because the old ones are used up, I bought other tip shapes that people have recommended, like chisel tips.
     
  13. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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  14. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    This is a bit off topic: Anyone know where can we buy glycerin (for solder flux) in Canada?
     
  15. Noggin

    Noggin Member

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    It worked well, removed the majority of the smoke, but I didn't like it. It makes the handle for the soldering iron non-round which bothered me. I don't use that iron much anyway, i just mostly wanted the the hot air pencil on it. The fact that it has an iron too was just a bonus (especially when my Metcal died on me and I had to wait for a new one).
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  16. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    Metcal normally are super expensive (One Metcal price normally can buy you 2~5 Aoyues depends on which model you like). Do they have a decent warranty?
    How fast can the Metacal iron heat-up compare with Aoyue's ceramic heater? Are they close? I heard the Metacal doesn't consume much power if you didn't heat the solder joints, and it uses RF technology to heat up the heating element. Not sure how the ceramic heating element works in Aoyue models.

    BTW, I just found another low cost on DX (it seems nice, but it is 220V only, any 110V units in this price range (with shipping)?):
    DealExtreme: $44.32 Kada 936D Digital soldering Station with English Manual (60W 24V AC)
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    If I recall right, the Auyue 936 are 35W, and the Kada one above is 60W.
    Are those max power really matter? I believe the ceramic heater maybe the same, it is just the AC/AC transformer power ratings are different (on DX web, some Kada user take it apart and found only a 30W transformer is used, how can they get 60W power from a 30W AC/AC transformer?). It shouldn't be too hard to hack a 35W unit to a 60W. Or am I wrong?
     
  18. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    Remove the smoke is a major concern when using the solder iron.
    Is the smoke absorber tip a challenge to use the iron tip?
    The product does look professional and nice.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  19. Noggin

    Noggin Member

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    In tight quarters, the smoke absorber could get in the way, but for the most part I think it would be OK.

    Are you asking about Metcal warranty or Aoyue? When my Aoyue "failed" I was able to send it back to the seller on Amazon for them to check it out. They found no defect and sent it back. The next time it "failed" I let it sit for a while and tried it again and it worked. As someone else earlier in the thread suggested, it may have been something in the air pencil handle that overheated and it went into an overtemp safety mode.

    If you were asking about Metcal's warranty, I would expect them to have a really good warranty. The problem with my (employing comapny's actually) Metcal was that the tip on it died. I bought a whole new Metcal unit and a replacement tip for the old one. Replaced the tip and it went back to working perfectly. I didn't look into trying to return the unit under warranty as it was relatively old.
     
  20. Funny NYPD

    Funny NYPD New Member

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    I am glad to see both can be supported or covered by the supplier.
    One other possibility could be just a lose solder joint, when the unit is hot, the contact is off, when it is cold, the contact is good. You probably can verify this theory by using another hot-air gun heat the whole unit up, or simply check the circuit boards on the unit see if there is some solder joint malfunction.
     

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