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Inexpensive Soldering Station
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Old Yesterday, 06:34 AM   #71
H713 is offline H713  United States
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Location: Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratus46 View Post
You're right about expensive for the handpiece but I can tell you I am running the same handpiece ("wand")
for more than 12 years and I bought it used on eBay. Don't tug on it and it will be fine.

Where can I find info on the DIY RF supply?

G

The DIY Metcal supply can be found here:
DIY Metcal 13.56 MHz RF Supply - Page 1


I've never done anything with it (I was impatient and bought an MX-500), but lots of people seem to have had good success with it. Shouldn't be too difficult by any means.




Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseoldtech View Post
Right, I won't pay such a hefty price for something like those metcals.
No need to.

In my professional work through the decades, I've always used the WTCPT station.
We're talking 40 years of doing customer service work, in various shops that I ran and worked in.
And in several factories that I know, the assembly lines all had those Wellers.

All my colleagues at other shops in the repair business also used the WTCPT, and we all had Fluke meters on our benches.
It was "the standard" that we swore by.

Oh sure, at home through the years, I got by with a radio shack pencil iron, doing occasional fixing, but when I set up my basement service area, I went right out and got a new WTCPT.

That said, I'm content with what I use.

The WTCPT was a good station in its day. It's what any serious technician or engineer used for decades. Some might have used a Pace, or something like a Hakko 926, but the WTCPT was the standard for decades.

Most of the "graybeard" engineers I know who previously used Weller have long since moved to the Metcal because it improves both the speed and quality of the work being done. Just because the WTCPT works well and was the standard for 30+ years doesn't mean that it is still the best choice (it's also out of production).

Rock bands used to tour with Phase Linear 700s or Crown DC300s. That doesn't mean they're a good amp by today's standards. By the 1990s amps like the Crest Pro series (4801, etc) and Crown Macro-Techs had set a new standard. Companies like BSS and MC2 pushed that standard even farther. Is the Phase Linear 700 any worse a design now than it was in the early 1970s? Hardly, but our standards have changed. It's the same story with soldering irons.

Before you bash the Metcal too hard, I would suggest trying one. I was a skeptic too, but it's a very, very clever and beautifully simple solution to the biggest deficiency of older irons- temperature regulation.

Does it circumvent skill? Not by a long shot. Part of why it's worth it though is that it makes things that used to be very difficult and unpleasant are now a lot easier. Replacing parts on a heat-damaged PCB is much less risky. Replacing parts that are soldered down to a ground plane isn't quite such a chore.

They are expensive- no question. But as has been mentioned many times in this thread, used Metcals are available for a very reasonable price and there are even DIY power supplies.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 AM   #72
jan.didden is offline jan.didden  Europe
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Westende Resort, BE coast
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodabmx View Post
I just came across this project on EasyEDA...


Anyone feel bored enough to build their own?

ATmega SolderingStation SMD v2 -
EasyEDA
So this is a open source project where lots of people are making money off!

Jan
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Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM   #73
wiseoldtech is offline wiseoldtech  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H713 View Post
The WTCPT was a good station in its day. It's what any serious technician or engineer used for decades. Some might have used a Pace, or something like a Hakko 926, but the WTCPT was the standard for decades.
Just because the WTCPT works well and was the standard for 30+ years doesn't mean that it is still the best choice (it's also out of production).
Before you bash the Metcal too hard, I would suggest trying one.

I'm not "bashing" anything.
I'm just not interested in purchasing another station, expensive or otherwise.


As for the WTCPT, when did it "go out of production"?
Because that's news to me.

The one I purchased brand new from Mouser is only 3 years old.
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