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Solder Station

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mikebits, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    I been wanting to get a fairly decent solder station for some time now, but always thought a good one was out of my price range. The other day, I needed some tips for the solder station I have now ( Solomon DL20). The tips were a few dollars, so I proceeded to checkout and the shipping was like $15 USD, so order total was around 30 bucks. Geesh I could almost replace my DL20 for that price ~$80 bucks. So I started looking at reviews and such, and decided on the
    X-TRONIC XTR-4040-XTS Digital Hot Air Rework & Soldering Iron Station Bundle
    [​IMG]


    My decision was based on a few factors, good selection of tips for one:)
    Well I found this review site:
    http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=ClJ7ycCoKV4blLpSF-gOF7rewBuLU368H2tfd1-oB4v-T7-wCCAMQAygDYMne-IbIo-gZoAGWg7vSA8gBAaoEKk_QdVh9dPetogzBWHgWcoEDDNDK3CE_ZTf5cLm3_VfzEwUTSBQauooFc4gGAYAHgvSCO4gHAZAHAqgHpr4b2AcB&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAESIuD2MmLXnoLhW2YKHsfR-j9a5ZVzMXepIT2ULmkkSt_iSb4&sig=AOD64_1dNNEui0MAF50iqWPg2OoZMfv9Gw&clui=8&q=&ved=0ahUKEwiD09nw7YPMAhVE0GMKHRHaDmEQ0QwIfg&adurl=http://www.bestreviews.guide/soldering-stations?origin=google&bs=1567671002&targeting=16547752266&google_params[loc]=9031336&google_params[interest]=&google_params[matchtype]=b&google_params[network]=g&google_params[device]=c&google_params[creative]=62926611666&google_params[keyword]=soldering%20station%20review&google_params[placement]=&google_params[adposition]=1o3&account_id=170

    And after thinking it over for a week, I decided on the X-tronic XTR-4040 station listed above. Have any of you used this station or are currently using it? Do you have any comments on it, good or bad. The point is really moot since I already ordered it, but still interested on any feedback. I should get my station sometime next week, and I will post a mini-review.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  2. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    related, but not what you asked. I got this http://www.circuitspecialists.eu/bk-6000-blackjack-solderwerks-deluxe-rework-soldering-station/

    in the US from Circuit Specialists. It seems like a re branded Aoyue. i didn't 100% realize that the iron and desoldering system use the same port.

    It's replacement has a better pump supposedly. Your supposed to clean the desoldering system every time you use it.

    I found it really tough to troubleshoot, so it makes sense to obtain the pinout of the cables either by reverse engineering or somehow. They do give you the resistances of the elements, but not the cable pin numbers.

    I used it like once or twice and packed it away. I had issues with the desoldering gun. The system showed a high temperature but the desolder tip was nearly cold. That turned out to be poor thermal contact. You need something like C-100 paste to fix that. I eventually sanded the parts and applied C-100. It seems like I'd like to have a spare desolder wand.

    My unit uses the vacuum to pull the vapors from the iron which is a nice touch.
    The heating element likes to pull out easily. I haven't looked into that, but I won't push it in with my fingers.

    I had one more annoying issue and that was the springy thing that the desolder gizmo sits in had clearance issues. Every time I picked up the gun, it would snag. That got annoying really really fast. I bought a reamer, something like 31/64" or something like that and ran it through the holder. Not a cheap tool.

    So, you need some info to do basic troubleshooting and it's not there. resistance of the element as seen from the connector, voltages. K thermocouple etc. The soldering pen basically makes the pump run continuously for the fume extraction at the tip.
    So you at least have power element (2), thermocouple (2), Vacuum switch (2) and shield

    I have not looked inside. Apparently that's a wise thing to do. Look for loose parts and the right voltage.

    So basic advice:
    Use C-100 or similar
    Figure out how to troubleshoot the thing while it's new.
    Cable pin outs,

    This http://hackaday.com/2009/02/20/tool...g-and-rework-station/comment-page-2/#comments is what i obscurely found. I have not verified the info to see if it matches the Blackjack.
     
  3. G0WZB

    G0WZB New Member

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    Can anyone tell me what the black rod with the u shaped wire in it is for? Racking my brains trying to figure that bit out lol
    Thanks
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I believe that it is for inserting under IC packages to assist in lifting them up off the board when unsoldering using the hot air tool.

    JimB
    GM3ZMA
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. G0WZB

    G0WZB New Member

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    Never thought of that lol
    I got one with my solder station but there was no instructions and I spent ages trying to workout where that bit was supposed to go, I finally threw it in the draw and continued to use it without said part......feel a bit thick now lol
    Thanks
     
  7. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hello there Mike,

    A friend has that same soldering station but with red LED's not the blue ones. I almost got that one, but then found a similar one for about 50 dollars (USD) cheaper.

    It has the same 'problem' that many of them have, that the soldering iron is advertised as being a 60 watt iron but it's really a 35 watt iron. Mine was the same even though from a different manufacturer. That's why i started that thread on Deception in Soldering Iron Ratings right here on ETO.

    Dont be too alarmed though, although the iron is only 35 watts and not 60 watts it still solders most PCB stuff, and does well with SMD no problem using the hot air tool. I have soldered many parts with it already and the only thing it has trouble with is the heavier parts like large diodes, where you have to let the iron sit on the joint for a while to get it hot enough. A real 60 watt iron would do it much faster. Might be able to use the hot air tool for that though, which draws about 600 watts when turned on.

    The soldering iron heat elements used in that station and mine are exactly the same, and in fact i borrowed one from a friend with that station to use in mine when my iron burnt out unexpectedly (i have more now though).

    Some good points are the tips seem to be cheap and the elements can be found around the web, and also replacement whole irons are less than 10 dollars (USD) so you could get a spare like i did. I think they send a spare with that station though, a spare element not a spare iron but they are not hard to replace either.

    So overall they and those like that are not bad, just kind of put me off when i tested them because i expected to get a nicer iron really rated for 60 watts. Other than the lower rating on the iron, all is well.

    You should check out this thread:
    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/deception-in-soldering-iron-ratings.143071/
     
  8. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about getting a chinese hakko clone too.
    If you have a look at big clives youtube channel he recently did a review and teardown of a digital soldering station, the solder iron of which is the same as the one you showed us.
     
  9. Inquisitive

    Inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Well don't keep us in suspense where is the link?
     
  10. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member

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    I'dve thought you would have found that without my help, but ok:



    The solder station that I've used for the past 20 years is a xytronic, x-tronic sounds familiar.
     
  11. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Wishing you the best of luck with it. Years ago I had a shot at buying several Weller units and spare parts as scrap, they should last my lifetime. That aside during recent years the influx of quality stuff from China has been really sweet. Really nic setup you got there.

    Ron
     
  12. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi there Ron,

    Was beginning to wonder if you were still here :)

    Yeah we are lucky we can get stuff from China. It's not bad really. The soldering setup i purchased was only around $70 and it works the same as the X Tronic i've tested.
    The only thing it did not come with that the XT did was spare elements for the iron and heat gun. I got a backup soldering iron anyway. And of course the power rating is lower than they state.
     
  13. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Ya MrAl. I am around and try to visit every now and then. Wasn't it you who did quite a review of soldering pencils (stations) a year or two back? Hope NJ is treating you well, should be in NY the weekend of July 30th and then Califon, New Jersey for a few days.

    Ron
     
  14. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi again,

    Wow you really get around :)

    Yeah here is the review thread:
    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/deception-in-soldering-iron-ratings.143071/

    I took notice of the soldering iron ratings mostly because if someone went to buy one and it was advertised as 60 or 70 watts and they REALLY needed that rating for the work they had intended to do with it, that they might not get the rating they were after but rather something rated for only one half as much. That's a big difference. If it was only 10 or 20 percent i would not have cared as much, but sometimes someone needs a certain kind of tool and they can not use a tool rated for something much less. I was lucky that i was able to use the iron anyway because most of the stuff i solder is small stuff, but someone else may really need the higher rating. I would have loved to get a 60 watt iron with it rather than a 35 watt iron, and the sad part is that i can not go out and buy a 60 watt iron and plug it in (irons plug in to the base unit) because the step down transformer inside is not rated for that much power so it could burn up with a true 60 watt iron.
    This kind of thing is very wide spread too. Even many of the soldering iron "handles" are over rated. At least if we know that then we can go look for something better if we really need it.
     
  15. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mr. Al, I should be getting my station today :) and one of the first things I will do is measure my heating element.
     
  16. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    I was expecting the Solder station on Thursday, turns out, that was the day it was being shipped :mad: I went with the cheapest shipping method to save money, lol. So now I think the package will arrive sometime Monday or Tuesday. :(
     
  17. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi again,

    Oh that's ok, im not in any hurry (he he). That's nothing compared to China ship time.

    It actually will be interesting to hear about when you get it and test it.
     
  18. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Jim is nearly right, I have that tool with my soldering station and its function is actually to launch a component into the upper atmosphere for rapid cooling. It works really well but you spend 3/4 of a day looking for the component! Mine has been as handy as a chocolate soldering iron bit
     
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  19. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi,

    Yeah, like a lead soldering iron tip :)

    I never used mine, not once. Looks like it is made for picking berries :)
     
  20. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    I think it is good for PLCC packages. Or so youtube says :woot:
     
  21. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    Mine is coming from Nebraska, I did not think it would take over a week :facepalm:, I am actually chomping at the bit for this station:banghead:
    And I made a special place for it and everything :(

    reworkBench.jpg
     
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