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Old 03-24-2018, 01:39 PM   #21
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

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Another aspect is the tips: the T12 seem to use like a rod that slips into the handpiece somehow, as opposed to the ones I'm used to where the tip is a short sleeve that slips over the heating element.
Those are probably the Hakko-style 900M series of tips that you are talking about - I hate those with a passion, particularly the cheapo ones. Only the genuine Hakko ones are worth a damn, and good luck finding those. The knock-off 900M tips are pure garbage in terms of performance. With my KADA 852D+ iron piece cranked all the way up (40W max. power output for the iron), I barely get the same equivalent heat output as my 30W Radio Shack iron... and that's if I can get solder to stick on those cheap nasty tips that came with the KADA iron.

Meanwhile, most T12 tips I've never had problems with. And their thermal response is very quick. Sure they may be more expensive and not as readily available (yet), but they are miles better. Plus, having one or two quality T12 tips is much much better than having a bag of garbage 900M knockoff tips that most aren't worth even for scrap metal. I only have three T12 tips, and rarely need to swap them between jobs, because those 3 tips can accomplish what a box of 900M knockoffs probably still can't.

Last edited by momaka; 03-24-2018 at 01:42 PM..
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:26 PM   #22
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Thumbs up Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

I too have to keep the Bakku all the way up to the max to get any decent melting out of them, so that's a known issue. I've actually had numerous arguments with my colleague over this matter, as I'd tend to follow the numbers written around the dial, whereas he'd keep it all the way up no matter what. I disagreed with this at first thinking he's damaging the tips and the components by heating them up too much, but I started doing it myself overtime since I was having a hard time properly melting stuff either to solder or to de-solder and it was a frustrating experience. Turning up the dial did alleviate some of the annoyance, though without trying out a "professional" soldering iron, I can't really praise it....it's decent I reckon, nothing more, nothing less.

I'm currently using something that many electronics enthusiasts will probably consider "blasphemy" and that is a curved tip


I had it a for a while amongst the others that came in a pack of 10 or something, but it's sat in a drawer on a shelf and I only started using it after I was having trouble getting the regular conical tip down flat onto the board for SMD stuff, since the handle of the iron and my hand would be almost parallel to the board, giving me no more room to decrease the angle even more towards "zero", so to say. The very tip of the....well, tip doesn't get particularly hot (hence why it has to be turned way up), so I feel the need to get the base of the tip closer to the component to get good heat, which was impossible if the handle was already parallel to the board. The bendy tip is doing a surprisingly good job as far as comfort is concerned because now the handle is up in the air while the tip is parallel to the board's surface thanks to the curvature. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but I'd like such a tip to be available if I got a T12
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:31 PM   #23
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

And I believe I found it ?
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:40 PM   #24
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

Either T12-JS02 or T12-J02 Dannyx.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:51 PM   #25
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

JL02, i was going to get one until banggood ran out of stock.
maybe i should check again.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:55 PM   #26
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

http://www.hakko.com/english/tip_sel...eries_t12.html

full list!
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:18 AM   #27
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

T12 Solder Tips overview.jpg T12 Solder Tips description.jpg

I'm keeping an eye out for a T12 iron on AliExpress ATM, and found this overview and description of available T12 tips there.

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Old 03-29-2018, 01:47 AM   #28
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

Buying a genuine Hakko T12 handle (they are available as spare parts), a couple tips and adapting this to a cheapo Chinese soldering station that uses the 900M tips has been on my to-do list for a while...
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:35 AM   #29
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

genuine handle is inferior to the chinese handle you just push the tips in, the clips get weak on them.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:32 AM   #30
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

So 900M is what those are called. Yeah, those are exactly what my Bakkus use
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:56 AM   #31
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

I have original Hakko tips - they are just as bad as the knockoffs, so i buy Gordak branded ones for them, makes no difference.

Pro tip: it'll heat up a lot faster and hold heat better if you cut and apply a single layer (make sure the ends meet but do not overlap) of aluminum tape over the heating element, before putting the tip back on. However, you run the risk of never being able to pull that tip off again - i bought a new iron (handle + heating element, not the whole station) for this reason. But i am happy that i now have two irons, as i don't have to wait for it to cool off before switching tips, i just swap irons entirely.

I do want to upgrade to T12 tips, there are things that you cannot do with these cheapies with 900M tips without some form of preheat plate, that you can do with the T12s no problem.

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Old 03-29-2018, 11:34 AM   #32
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

funny you mention 2 irons,
after seeing the hakko FX952 i started thinking about adding a second iron socket to my base, with a relay or something to switch irons with a button.

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Old 04-05-2018, 07:54 PM   #33
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

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I have original Hakko tips - they are just as bad as the knockoffs, so i buy Gordak branded ones for them, makes no difference.
Interesting.

I did try a few genuine Hakko tips at a friend's repair shop a long time ago, and I could swear they worked better than the ones with my KADA. I guess mine are really rock-bottom garbage. I can use them to solder 20 AWG wires and maybe do single-layer board work, provided there are no big ground planes anywhere. And that's with the heat cranked to 350C or more. In comparison, I can count on my fingers the number of times I had to crank my T12 iron to more than 350C. Most of the time, 300-330C is okay. At 350C, desoldering caps even from the most stubborn motherboard ground planes is a piece of cake. Only exception is polymers on modern motherboards - those usually have thicker leads that are almost as thick as the via, and hence much harder to take out. Combined with garbage LF solder, I do find myself cranking up the heat sometimes.

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Pro tip: it'll heat up a lot faster and hold heat better if you cut and apply a single layer (make sure the ends meet but do not overlap) of aluminum tape over the heating element, before putting the tip back on.
I like the sound of that idea!
Might try it on my KADA iron. I almost never use it at all as it is, due to being so bad. Really only keeping that unit for the hot air (which I almost never use anymore either... though I might do some RAM chip swaps on an old EVGA 7600 GT again, just for a fun repair ).

I also wonder if aluminum foil will work (I don't see why it shouldn't). Thoughts?

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I do want to upgrade to T12 tips, there are things that you cannot do with these cheapies with 900M tips without some form of preheat plate, that you can do with the T12s no problem.
Yup.
I use my T12 iron (5.2 mm bevel tip) with my 30 Watt Radio Shack iron to remove TO-252 and TO-263 MOSFETs/ICs from junk boards all the time. No pre-heating necessary at all.

I even made this with my T12 iron:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showpo...&postcount=177
^FYI, that's a PS3 copper CPU heatspreader, and on it, I soldered several pieces from a 0.5" dia. copper pipe. It sunk a lot of heat before I got it done. And probably not good for my tip (the station was cranking near 100% duty cycle almost all the time, until everything got up to temperature - which took more than a minute).

Now try that with a 900M tip, lol. Do I hear anyone say, Challenge Accepted?

Last edited by momaka; 04-05-2018 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

I tried the aluminum foil once, tip got stuck on real good. Eventually got it off however, I'm not sure if I'll try the aluminum foil again...

BTW, there seems to be many different kinds of those ceramic heaters. When it comes time for me to get one...





... maybe I should get a T12 handle and a T12 tip...

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Old 11-17-2018, 01:57 PM   #35
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Red face Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

Sorry about reviving such an old thread, but having switched workplaces recently, I also moved over to new equipment. Just for the record, I never actually acquired any other piece of soldering equipment ever since I last posted this thread - still used the Bakku one until the very end. Let me tell you a little story about my current setup

What I've come across at this new shop so far are a Gordak soldering iron, an Aoyue "all in one" thingy and a Quick hot air station.

The Gordak 936 was given to me personally by "Big Boss" himself, brand new in the box, along with an assortment of soldering items like flux paste, a set of snips, solder reel, desoldering wick, basically saying "here. Take these and make me money". Haven't even unpacked it yet but I had a look at it: it's identical to the Bakku in terms of the handpiece and uses the same sleeve-type tips which you guys seem to refer to as 900M tips. It comes standard with the conical ones and no additional ones in the box. I'm planning on using my all-time favourite curved tip on it.

The Aoyue was already there and it sits on my workmate's desk, but it was paid for by the company, so we share it. It's this thing...now that I see the price, it's....unimpressive...to say the least. Its biggest selling point and why I believe it costs so much is that desoldering gun add-on, since I know those can get crazy expensive (by my standards) so by offering a cheaper alternative, they afford to ask a premium for it. It's also got a smoke absorber of sorts, basically a pipe that's strapped to the handpiece, above and parallel to the tip. It uses T12 style "rod" tips which you think would be a step-up from the ones I've used, but I've had more issues than satisfactions with it, at least so far: although I liked the idea the first time I used it, that smoke pipe makes it awkward to handle. The handpiece is heavy with all that bulk on it and you can't lift the "tail" up because the pipe bumps into the board you're working on. Getting past that (I'm sure it can be removed), the flat tip my buddy uses on a day to day basis is also pretty lame, at least to me. It's good for heating up wires or other large components, but just yesterday I found myself wrestling with some caps on a multi-layer board for some reason. Eventually I gave up and handed it over to him basically saying "here, you've got more experience with this thing, maybe you can replace them"...he did, but not professionally by actually cleaning up those holes (the solder just wouldn't melt and he insisted on going by the numbers on the front panel rather than by feel to CRANK THE DAMN THING UP TO MAX!), instead by pushing the caps through the molten solder...so there was that. The hot air is another aspect where it's disappointing: first off this is a pump-driven station which is a red flag right off the bat. Even with the pressure at full blast, it's barely coming out. The hose is too short and stiff and my colleague happens to be left-handed and he has this set up on his left side, meaning the hose ends up bumping against my chin when I'm trying to solder with it...same goes for the iron...wire+hose goes at an awkward angle, but this is digressing, since I'm starting to rant about stuff unrelated to the equipment

Lastly there's the Quick, don't hold your breath though because it's not a Quick 851D like Louis is using but an 850. This thing has seen better days: it was chucked away under a desk somewhere, dusty and forgotten and it was what my buddy had last used until he asked for the Aoyue one. The metal on handpiece is rusty and the plastic is molten in places, one of the pots on the front was spinning freely, the case is pretty beat up, the PCB at the back is burnt and needs a reflow, but amazingly it does turn on and put some hot air out...haven't taken a thermometer to it, and with this being an analog station you don't know what temperature you're at, but my workmate says it overshoots at random and that's why he stopped using it. It's also pump-based so we're suffering from the same issue of poor airflow, so I don't think I'll be bothering with this one.


What I'm planning on doing is unpack the Gordak, have a go with it see how it performs and then order myself a cheap but decent fan-based hot air station, with or without a soldering iron attached depending on how the Gordak performs. You guys suggested going fan-based and I felt it for myself: pumps are weak, at least for larger stuff. Slap a reduction nozzle on it and it's barely putting out anything.


Well....damn, that's enough of my thoughts, you know me, I like to fill walls of text Lonely bastard...common with IT geeks, whatcha gonna do
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:04 PM   #36
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

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The Aoyue was already there... It uses T12 style "rod" tips which you think would be a step-up from the ones I've used, but I've had more issues than satisfactions with it, at least so far... the flat tip my buddy uses on a day to day basis is also pretty lame, at least to me. It's good for heating up wires or other large components, but just yesterday I found myself wrestling with some caps on a multi-layer board for some reason. Eventually I gave up and handed it over to him basically saying "here, you've got more experience with this thing, maybe you can replace them"...he did, but not professionally by actually cleaning up those holes (the solder just wouldn't melt and he insisted on going by the numbers on the front panel rather than by feel to CRANK THE DAMN THING UP TO MAX!), instead by pushing the caps through the molten solder...so there was that.
You should give that T12 flat tip another try. I swear by my T12-D52 tip (5.2 mm bevel type). 330-350C is enough for almost every lead-free project I tackle. It does take a bit of time to get used to it. But you will like it a lot, eventually. No going back to 900M after this, I promise you.

The #1 thing to always do with these T12 tips is add fresh solder to the tip and keep a large blob on there. I do this with flux-less solder so the tip oxidizes less. For good heat flow, I put flux separately on whatever joint I'm trying to heat.

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Well....damn, that's enough of my thoughts, you know me, I like to fill walls of text Lonely bastard...common with IT geeks, whatcha gonna do
It ain't all bad, though, that lifestyle.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:48 PM   #37
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

My only nod to Hako is a FR802 hot air rework station, until such time as I can obtain a better Pace or Weller systen. I am not in favour of the T12 clones or the original hako sleeved tips for reasons already stated above. I did get the dubious 'pleasure' of trying out some of the hako soldering iron range at someone else's workshop and this confirmed my views well to me anyway.

Nearly all my soldering equipment consists of older but high end Pace with one or two weller units, have several complete listings in previous posts and if anyone is interested I will put the list up on this thread later.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:08 AM   #38
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

This goes to show that everybody has their own style and preferences and there certainly can't be an "universal" piece of equipment out there that anyone likes working with. For instance, in the meantime I actually did give the Gordak iron a go after sourcing some curved tips and it just felt so much more enjoyable to work with. That's not to say T12 stuff is crap or anything - just takes some getting used to, like the biting point of the clutch on a new car - but transitioning between the two can be a frustrating experience if it happens rapidly and with no time to practice.

With Black Friday or whatever happening on Ali, I ordered myself a 858 hot air station. I did some digging beforehand and found very little difference amongst the different "models" and variants of these. It claims 120 l/m and 500C...that's obviously not going to happen, but it's the same as what I was using at my former shop so I'll be right at home until I can graduate to something more professional....provided it actually sees the use required to pay for itself, otherwise it would be a huge waste.

To keep the off-topic-ness going, I'm in the process of moving to a different area in the company which has plenty of space to move around in and also there's only one other guy there so I can hopefully get some peace and quiet...call me an unsociable awkward shut-in but I don't deny that...I don't give a shiiiizzy-sham
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:19 PM   #39
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

Here is a mostly up-to date list of current hand pieces and controllers that I have selected and use daily, if you can budget for them I would say look into pace. I must admit all of these were purchased either through Ebay or workshop clearances and were all second hand equipment.

These consist of,

MBT 250 three channel controller,
ST 115 single channel controller
ST 45 single channel controller
PRC400

PS90 hand-piece
PS80 hand-piece
SX 80 hand-piece (2) one spare
TJ 70 hand-piece (2) one spare
Thermo jet
Thermo tweezers (2) one spare
TD100
Weller WPS80 anf hand-piece
Hakko FR802 for heavier smd work



On my wish list either Pace thermo BGA rework station of which I narrowly missed out on one, or a ST300 / ST325 thermo rework station.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:29 PM   #40
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Default Re: Soldering station thoughts and guidelines

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This goes to show that everybody has their own style and preferences and there certainly can't be an "universal" piece of equipment out there that anyone likes working with.
Well, yes and no.

When it comes to cheap irons, indeed everyone will likely have a preference to a different iron, depending on their working style.

But when it comes to high-end gear, it's a bit different. I've personally had the pleasure to work with a $500 JCB soldering iron, and there's nothing I couldn't tackle with it, right from the first time I grabbed it in my hand. Everyone who I've taught to solder in that repair shop where we had this iron, automatically only wanted to use that and nothing else - it was that good! You might think I'm exaggerating. But seeing someone who's never soldered in their life before clean BGA pads on a board without issue speaks for itself - and that's with a 40 mm -wide tip! Even some of the more beefy T12 irons will struggle with driving that. The JBC iron? -No.

So, anyways... indeed style can matter. But when you have a really good piece of equipment, there won't be any "getting used to" - you'll like it from the first time.

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To keep the off-topic-ness going, I'm in the process of moving to a different area in the company which has plenty of space to move around in and also there's only one other guy there so I can hopefully get some peace and quiet...call me an unsociable awkward shut-in but I don't deny that...I don't give a shiiiizzy-sham
Understandable.
I'm a bit sensitive to sound myself and can't work too well in loud environments (as in, loud from people, not machines). The last place I worked was like that - most of the techs were goofing around half the time. I didn't mind that, and in fact even enjoyed it (and contributed a good deal myself ). Most techs also got along with me really well. But as a result, my productivity suffered a bit... though if I have to be 100% honest, the thing that bugged me the most was the stupid f^&*ing retarded radio over the PA system, playing the same songs over and over and over, until I was literally sick of it and humming them in my head even in my dreams. It was so bad, that I had those same 7-8 songs stuck in my head for two weeks after I quit that place.
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