Hakko 936 - ESD safe vs. non-ESD safe - diyAudio
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Old 18th June 2004, 01:27 PM   #1
KT is offline KT  United States
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Default Hakko 936 - ESD safe vs. non-ESD safe

I'm interested in getting a Hakko 936 as I've read only good things about it on this forum and on the Bottlehead forum.

I'm looking at the non-ESD safe model since I found one at a good price.

I'm worried, though, that when I work with with small ICs and transistors that I might fry something at some point.

My question is: how do the ESD safe and non-ESD safe Hakko 936s differ from each other? I'm assuming that the grounding scheme is different in the base itself, in which case nothing can be done. Is it possible that the non-ESD safe can be changed to ESD safe by just changing out the handle?

Also, I've never actually damaged an IC via electro-static discharge using a non-ESD safe iron. Probably just lucky. How often does this happen and how critical is it to use a ESD-safe iron in these applications?

Thanks for your help,
KT
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Old 20th June 2004, 02:56 AM   #2
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The ESD safe unit is the one to get if you can afford it, I have it and LOVE it!

The ESD unit has a grounded iron tip...I am not sure if you can convert a non-ESD unit to ESD safe, but the price difference is only $10, and the stations usually run $80-$90 USD.

I think that you won't do any damage with the standard iron if you just take some precautions, wear a wrist strap, grounded work surface, etc. If you don't have any of the above, touch a grounded metal surface after you sit down to work, and again right before you handle any sensative components. And don't solder your stuff on the top of carpet

I have had chips fail with ESD, they just stopped working one day. I am not sure they failed due to ESD, but that is a probable explanation. A PIC failed on me when I was just getting into those, and my father (an old-timer ) remembers the old MOSFET's failing all the time. I have since purchased an ESD work mat, grounding wrist strap, ESD tools, and finally the ESD Hakko. Better safe than sorry I guess and I have not had problems since (I got this stuff last November/December).

Both are good, but I reccommend the ESD version just to be safe. No harm in having it!





-Matt
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Old 20th June 2004, 03:58 AM   #3
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I certainly would not want to steer you away from a nice piece of equipment such as the Hakko, but I was in the market recently and ended up buying a knock off product for less than half the price.

It is probably no accident that visually, feature wise etc. it is pretty identical to the Hakko. It looked to me the specs were the same as the Hakko model i was looking at. It has similar adjustable temperature, heats fast, grounded tip etc.

It is possible the Hakko has better build quality or some better feature, but I have found nothing to complain about with the MPJA generic. The technology is pretty mature after all and any patents have probably long since expired.

Grounded tip model for $34.95 + shipping

http://www.mpja.com/productview.asp?product=15140+TL
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