Solder/Desolder Station?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Hacksaw, Jul 30, 2006.


  1. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, its time for a new soldering station. I was wondering if anyone would have a recommendation on a Solder De-Soldering station? I dont do much SMT stuff. Mostly through hole soldering-desoldering. so I dont think I need tweezers hot air etc.. I have been looking at the Xytronics 988D.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C The Original Racketeer Gold Supporting Member

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    You want cheap or you want high quality? I had the Hakko 936, it lasted about 60 amps. I decided to step up to expensive (without going nuts).

    The Hakko FM202 soldering station and FM2024 desoldering module (sits below it). Heating elements are integrated with the tips! Hot changing (you get a cartridge holder with the base unit the FM202.

    You can get it all online for under $900.00, including a couple of tips (it comes with none - so beware). My understanding is that the substantially cheaper FM-102 works well as well, for up to 75watts. You can use the FM2204 with either.

    Downside is you need shop air to generate the FM2204 suction, but it's worth it to have a compressor in your shop anyway, to blow the junk out of your amps with.

    [​IMG]

    and the desolderer:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input! and thanks for the warning about the no tips included. usually buy a few extra tips just in case. I seen this model but was unsure. too pretty! ;-) edit: ( unsure about the tips barcode system)

    Do the barcoded tip and reader seem to work decent ?? thats interesting.

    I thought maybe the Xytronic would be fairly good at $500.00 for Solder and desolder station.
     
  4. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    I've been using Xytronics here for a little over a year now (maybe two?). The main bench has a 988D, though I've also got a couple 137ESD and other toys. The extra 137s are so I can have several tip sizes available without cooldowns (since this rig doesn't do the nifty tip change mentioned above).

    The Good:
    - Doesn't require shop air (I've got shop air, it just doesn't need it)
    - Relatively inexpensive. I've found solder tips for around $5, desolder for around $8.
    - Seems reliable enough. I do a fair amount of repair work as well as full builds, so far I've only burned up one tip (and that was my fault).

    The Not So Good:
    - Unlike the 988 (no D for digital) it doesn't have the automatic standby. Small issue since the tips seem to last reasonably well anyhow.

    The Bad:
    - The desoldering pencil's barrel that holds the tip in failed early on. Just not a well thought out part for the higher temperatures used in desoldering. The barrel expands and gets loose so the tip won't hold securely. I crimped mine to make it work better.
    - It really doesn't like the large diameter tip, or being asked to slurp big solder blobs. For big blobs the solder can cool too quickly and you get a lump at the inside end of the tip (instead of in the glass collector where it belongs). The solution is to keep a solder bulb or solder-sucker on the bench, use the medium or small tip, and use the desolder pencil primarily for clean up after you've gotten the blob with the manual bulb. Note that on PCBs the extra silliness isn't needed.

    Overall, for the price (a boatload less than what I'd consider equivalents from Pace, Weller, and Hakko) well worth it. I'd buy another. Howard Electronics has a sale going on the older 988 unit.
     
  5. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    I can recommend Weller soldering irons without hesitation. Having worked at a job where I outfitted a production line with solder stations of various descriptions I had the best luck, and lowest costs, using Weller. If you want to spring for the temp controlled stations, great. If not the plug in wands work perfectly fine too. Just make sure you have a regular sized tip for regular soldering work and a large one with lots of thermal inertia for soldering chassis and other things. You'll probably need 2 wands for this.
     
  6. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    Great information! Thank you everyone!

    appreciated!

    This coming Monday I will order one of them. Thanks again!
     
  7. Weener

    Weener Member

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    I've always liked the Pace stations. They aren't very expensive either and they are good.

    Weener out!
     

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