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What do you think of this Rework Station?

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BobW

Active Member
I'm thinking it's time to bite the bullet and get one. What do you think of this one?
www.ebay.com/itm/292309486933/
Price is cheap, and this one appears to be the most commonly offered one on Ebay.
Opinions?
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
At $44 you'll still be ahead if you buy five of them and just one ends up working decently
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I have one of those.
Mine has a few detail differences in the appearance, but basically the same.

Before I bought mine, I found a few comments on-line that some people had problems with the mains input cable being incorrectly wired and dangerous.
I checked mine carefully before I used it and it was fine.

For the little use that it gets at my bench it is OK, but then I don't consider myself to be an expert at SMD soldering.

JimB
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I should also add it might not be the magic wand you think it is depending on what you are doing. I only found it useful if you are removing lots of components or installing BGAs or some other packages like QFNs that have a large pad in the center that you can't get at. It's still much more effective to drag solder with those parts that can be accessed with a tip.
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Different strokes for different folks I guess. I couldn't disagree more.
Why do you find hot air more effective? I find that if I have to poke at component pads then you might as well melt the solder in the process. Also, solder paste storage and expiration.
 
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jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Price is cheap, and this one appears to be the most commonly offered one on Ebay.
Opinions?
It is impossible to judge the quality of unbranded merchandise on eBay. The fact that it is "common" likely means that one seller has more aliases than any other.

Yes, I have bought on eBay stuff like LCD's. It is always a gamble and the picture details often don't match what you get. When I do get a pleasant surprise, I mark that seller's alias and buy again. It is still a gamble, and I do not like to gamble.

As for a rework station, I use a hot air plastic welder to desolder. The problem I have with using solder paste is that it expires long before I even use 10%. It would be nice if one could get stabilized paste good for 5 years or so.

John
 

BobW

Active Member
My reason for buying one is that I'm now running into situations where some IC's that I need to use are only available in packages that have no side access to the leads. For the others I would continue to use the drag soldering method. I agree that the high cost and short life of solder paste would prevent me from using the hot air method any more than I absolutely have to.

JimB, I think my usage will be similar to yours, so I'll take your comments as a recommendation.

Given the low price and free shipping, I'm not taking much of a risk, so I think I'll buy it.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Why do you find hot air more effective? I find that if I have to poke at component pads then you might as well melt the solder in the process. Also, solder paste storage and expiration.
Apply solder paste. Put the part down aligned as well as possible. Apply heat and the part magically pops into perfect alignment because of surface tension. Couldn't be easier.

Resistors and other small parts....heat them with an iron and they stick to the iron.

This works for me. It may not for you but don't make a pronouncement based on your experience that will hold others nack from trying.

Regarding parts and equipment from China: I have several reliable sources I use and have seldom had problems with anything I've purchased. I recently had an ebay order where one type of IC wasn't in the shipment. Informed the seller and received the missing items a week later with no hassle.

The one umsatisfactory ebay purchase was for some 8x8 LED matrix boards. They had the typical version driven by MAX7219 drivers but I ordered the version driven by the HT1632(?) because I wanted to try out that chip. When they arrived, I received the cheaper MAX7219 version. After many email exchances and much documentation was sent, the seller promised to send the right version but never did. One problem in a humdred orders.
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Apply solder paste. Put the part down aligned as well as possible. Apply heat and the part magically pops into perfect alignment because of surface tension. Couldn't be easier.

Resistors and other small parts....heat them with an iron and they stick to the iron.

This works for me. It may not for you but don't make a pronouncement based on your experience that will hold others nack from trying.
There's nothing wrong with warning someone that a new piece of equipment might not solve all their ails. I could argue you're misrepresenting things when you say small components stick to the iron since you're obviously not holding them down with tweezers if that's the case. Very similar to if I claimed that with hot air you risk blowing away components when you could just respond by saying that excess airflow is being used.
 

BobW

Active Member
It arrived today, and I've just had a chance to play with it a bit. Overall, it seems to be a decent unit. The English instructions are written in surprisingly good English. I gave it a quick test with a dab of solder paste on the pads of an SMT breakout board. Set the unit for 185°. It came up to temperature quickly and melted the solder. Didn't have a part to solder onto it, but first impression is good.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Might add one of those to blow my bonus on.
 
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