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Hobbyist Station

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by tlmills82, Mar 4, 2018.

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  1. tlmills82

    tlmills82

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    Jul 5, 2017
    I'm sure this question is asked a lot. I'm sorry for asking again if so. I'm a low level hobbyist, looking for a decent soldering station without spending a fortune. I've seen a couple of other people suggest one from circuitspecialists.com. Does anyone have any experience with this, or any of the others they sell?

    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/60_Watt_Soldering_Station.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    1,950
    Sep 5, 2009

    hi ya

    not familiar with that particular brand .... there's so many makes and models
    At that price it wouldn't matter if it only lasted a year or so
     
    SOLARWIND likes this.
  3. SOLARWIND

    SOLARWIND

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    Jul 18, 2014
    Agree! Rather stock up with the reliable makes such as ANTEX, Weller, or Magnum.
     
  4. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    That's a clone of the famous Hakko 936.
     
  5. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    That same station sells under several brands. It's about as good as it gets for $20 but I wouldn't buy from Circuit Specialists because by the time you add shipping it's significantly (by % at least) more expensive than buying off eBay, although eBay currently has a promo running to take 10% of $25+ with code PTAKE10NOW (expires April 6th) if you wanted something more expensive.

    On eBay one of the more popular brands of that is a Yihua 936B which can be had for about $21 delivered. Despite some sellers claiming 60W, they are closer to 50W. The recovery (reheating after each joint) time is a little slow, the temperature a little imprecise, and the wand cord is fragile and a little shorter than I'd like, but that's about all you can expect for a $20 station.

    Besides price one thing in its favor is that it takes the same (900M series) tips as the Hakko 936 so there are both good quality genuine Hakko, and cheap lower quality clone tips readily available. I would get genuine Hakko tips for at least the one or two tip shapes you like most. In other words you'll probably seldom want to use the included thin conical tip.
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    Plato tips are another high quality option.
     
  7. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    For the low price, its "temperature setting" might be just a simple light dimmer circuit that adjusts its idling power so its tip has no temperature control and cools too much when you are soldering then heats back up slowly when you stop soldering.
    My Weller soldering station (is reliable and is about 50 years old and the same one is still made) has true temperature control so its tip is always at the single correct temperature. Why do you need to adjust the temperature?
     
  8. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    ^ There are some around $20 that do that, don't even have a transformer just a triac-on-mains AC based design, but in this case it does have real temperature control, sensing feedback from the ceramic heating element similar to the Hakko 936 including a calibration pot in a little hole, but like the 936 and other similar designs there is a small air gap between the heating element and tip that slows its reaction time since it measures the heating element temperature rather than tip temperature, and the somewhat anemic 50W transformer takes a little longer to recover temperature... not an issue for casual hobbyist use but a little too slow for a production environment.

    There are some youtube reviews of it, but keep in mind that the guys doing the reviews are comparing to much more expensive major brand alternatives.





    For a few dollars more they use the same basic design but put a more sophisticated controller in it, include an LED display, and another jump up in product tier has push buttons and programmable temperature presets as well as higher wattage.



    http://yihua-soldering.com/product-5-lead-free-soldering-station.html/147695/
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  9. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    Just realized, that promo is only through select sellers on this landing page:
    https://www.ebay.com/rpp/6854?rmvSB=true

    On a prior promo that list included merchants with soldering stations but I don't see any there now.
     
  10. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    There's someone on ebay right now selling used 937s for $60 out of Texas.
     
  11. Chemelec

    Chemelec

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    Jul 12, 2016
    Looking at the Plug going to the Iron, It probably is Actually Temperature Controlled.
     
  12. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    50 years ago I tested a few Weller tip temperatures and chose 700 degrees F and have used it ever since. Why mis-adjust the temperature with a knob?
    The cheap soldering station regulates the temperature of the heater, not the tip. My Weller regulates the temperature of the tip.
     
  13. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    ^ True, but these cost ~1/5th as much and will suffice to start out the hobby. A lot of people might get one, use it for 5 years then decide they want to put down $100 on a Weller or Hakko, etc. Some others don't use their iron enough to ever get the value out of a $100 station.
     
  14. Chemelec

    Chemelec

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    Jul 12, 2016
    Considering the $20 Price, I was Curious to order one.
    Until I Saw the Shipping Cost to get it into Canada.
    Just their Shipping cost was $80 to $140.00 USD.
     
  15. bushtech

    bushtech

    1,024
    158
    Sep 13, 2016
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