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Recommendations for a Soldering Station

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Chris F., May 16, 2007.

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  1. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    My 20+-year-old Weller WTCP iron was once a great unit but is now falling
    apart, and the replacement heater assemblies seem to be getting
    progressively worse. I just put a new one in a couple of months ago, and
    within 2 weeks it appeared to have shorted and was turning red-hot.... so in
    order to do any work without burning stuff up, I have to cycle it on and off
    by hand every minute or so. I think it's about time this thing was laid to
    I don't want to replace it with another Weller because the quality of
    their products is not what it used to be. I'm leaning either towards Pace or
    Hakko, probably Hakko because they're less expensive and easier to find.
    Which would be the better unit? I want something that will last a long time
    and not require too much maintenance, but I also have to be able to get
    replacement tips and parts without too much trouble.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Morse

    Morse Guest

    It's almost certain the magnastat has seized shut, causing the element to
    stay on all the time. Replace the magnastat and it should sort out the
    problem. If the element was shorting out and overheating, the magnastat
    would just cut out more often to compensate as it would still try and
    maintain temperature.
    I still use Weller TCP stations and feel they are one of the finest ever
    made in their price range. Simple but very effective and reliable. A new
    magnastat would be far cheaper than a whole new station, (about £15 here in
    the UK IIRC) assuming they are still readily available as spares- it's been
    some years since I had to replace one.

  3. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I agree. My main workhorse iron, which is powered for 16 hours a day, is a
    magnastat controlled TCP, and my desolder station is also a Weller. I keep
    both fully maintained, and would not want to change either. I too would be
    looking at the magnastat switch itself, or possibly the suppression cap
    across it. The magnastat assembly is currently just over £16 + VAT at

  4. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    I've said it before....

    I got sick of fixing the Wellers on the assembly line and switched to

    A Weller might be fine in the hands of a gentle professional repair
    tech, but stick it out on the assembly line to get abused day in and day
    out by human assembly robots, and you'll be fixing the damn thing once a
    month. The heaters go out, the thermostats go bad, the socket that the
    handpiece plugs into goes intermittent, the handpiece cords go
    intermittent, the barrel that holds the tip loses its grip at both ends.
    Repair parts are obscenely expensive. And the engineer who designed the
    thing oughta be shot for the way it's put together. What a mess.

    Buy the least expensive Edsyn for roughly the price of a cheap Weller.
    When it breaks, (which it will, but it won't be soon) you can send it
    into the company to be "repaired" for a flat fee of about $40 IIRC. They
    toss it in the trash and send you a brand new one for your money.
  5. I've had a spare element for a recent Pace de-solder handpiece on order
    for over 3 months here in the UK. One did arrive promptly, but was
    smashed. It will be the second replacement on a device only switched on
    when needed. The element in my different make soldering iron has never
    been replaced in many years of use.
  6. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    I have used the Weller WTCP both professionally in industry and
    privately at home since the 1970's, and I find them to be extremely
    reliable. I have also used Hakko soldering stations and they are
    excellent. My current desoldering machine is a Hakko 474.
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