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Hakko FX-888 : ebay unhappiness

Posted 29th May 2013 at 12:12 PM by rjm
Updated 29th May 2013 at 11:59 PM by rjm

Oh, for Heaven's sake...

Just got the FX-888 soldering station I bought on ebay.

It does not power up.

Do you know why it doesn't power up?

So glad you asked...

It does not power up because - pause for effect - the fuse board that fits on the power transformer is inserted the wrong way round. That's right, the full "rotated 180 degrees" deal.

Fortunately I have another soldering iron. You know, so I can fix my soldering iron...


I would just return it, but the shipping would cost me half again what I paid for it. Perhaps ebay will refund me anyway. We'll see.

I think I know what happened: The people selling these are modding them by changing the voltage and power cord. The soldering stations are officially bound for the Chinese domestic market, 220 VAC. The box, when it came, had "110V" hand-written on it, though the instructions were in Chinese only. This explains some very unprofessional workmanship in specific places internally: the power cord strain relief, fuse board, and ground lug. Unprofessional as in a) they soldered the board backwards b) forgot to put the rubber feet back to cover the access screws and c) didn't check it worked before shipping. As well as just making a general mess of it.

It is possible to convert the voltage 100-110-230-240, its what I was planning to do (to change 110V to domestic 100 V Japanese), and why the transformer connections were the first thing I checked before I even turned it on. I noticed that the AC line was connected to a blank pin and thought to myself "this won't power up" before checking the connectivity with the Fluke DMM.

If you don't have to change the power cord its just a simple matter of desoldering the AC wire from one pad and re-soldering it to a pad adjacent. The circuit board is clearly labelled.
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