I received it - really fast shipping.
When I changed the tip, I found the ceramic tip was cracked (little slivers fell out of the tip), so it doesn't get hot enough. I bought a new handle (for a Hakko 907/936) but it has a male connector.
Where can I find a handle compatible with this station, or is there a male/female adapter available?
Was it damaged from day 0? Did you tried to use your warranty? Wasn't it cheaper to buy a new unit from hobby king? At least you could keep the broken unit as a source of spare parts for the new one.
However if you are ready to spend time and more money than the price of a new unit or looking for a challenge ( which I guess you do just like most modelists does) well then the easiest option may be to search for a compatible heating element in ebay (thanks to generic Chinese products it shouldn't be difficult to find one). Just keep in mind the following points:
1) if the tips are size compatible the elements are size compatible, too.
2) the new heat element should be voltage and power compatible with yours this means it should be 24 AC volt.
3) Hobby king website says that the heating element is 50w, but when I measured the power delivered by the control unit to the iron it was around 23w, so if you replace yours with a 50w and the power controller semiconductors didn't burn out you have ended up with a unit better than the original, but if it smells funny or you see a little fume coming out of the box, I am so sorry.
4) If you don't want to take a risk to over-clock your iron then forget about the Hobbyking specifications, use a multimeter and make sure your new 24v heating element has cold electric resistance close to your broken one (20-30% tolerance is O.K).
5) the heating element has 4 cables attached to it. Two for the heating resistance and two for the temperature sensor make sure you don't mix them up. The electric resistance between the different heads tells you which is which.
5) you could still keep the cable of your broken iron and use it with your new one just make sure that you have identified and marked each wire and do the wirings correctly.
6) Even though finding a right connector may be possible, it may be not the easiest solution. By the way if it is your choice search your local electronic shops or different web sites.
Shahin, thanks for your comments. Yes, the cost of the station is comparable to just the handle (from other sites), but the cost of shipping for the station is equal to the cost of the station!
I see that I could buy just the ceramic tip (I found some for ~$2.70). It probably has to be soldered - but I won't be able to use the station to do the soldering :-)
And yes, I have been challenged, so I must fix it.
I like your attitude. I live in Australia and Hobbyking charged me AUD 10 for shipping if you live in US my guess is you have paid less.
1) If you can't return your recently bought iron to the seller you may try to pull out its heating element and replace it with your broken one (they are fragile be very gentle).
2) If you have decided to buy the heating element make sure that you choose the right type. Bring both the iron and your multi meter with you* go to your local electronic shop, find the right element and then buy it, or write down the specifications, come out of the shop and order it from ebay.
3) I am not sure the heating element needs to be soldered, in my experience they are always crimped.
Let me know when you get to that stage crimped or soldered, there are easy solutions without need of any tools.
Where do you measure the power output to the soldering iron? Can I measure at the connector on the power supply? If so which contacts should i test? I want to make certain what the output is on my station before I purchase a spare handle on ebay.
There are many different ways to measure the iron power out put. Here are two ways which I tried the day I received my first unit (it was a long time ago) and the results were very the same.
1) put one of those small and cheap electricity power meters which are widely available in most department stores between the power outlet and the soldering station (I bought mine for $5 in Australia. Check them for the accuracy and the minimum power that they can measure. Units that can measure lower powers are better for this job). Attach the iron to the soldering station and turn it on. Wait for a while till the iron gets hot and reaches to your pre selected temperature at this temperature control box cuts off the electricity from the iron and heat indicator LED will go off as well. You will see a sudden drop in power consumption at this point. Read the power consumption at this situation (Solder station on and the iron hot but off) and write it down. Wait for a while till the control unit turns the iron on or you can increase the set point temperature by turning the control nob* in both case you will see a sudden rise in the power consumption. Read the power consumption at this situation (both the soldering station and the iron on) and write it down. To calculate the soldering iron out put power subtract these two quantities.
2) If you need to measure the out put power more accurately than what the commercially available power meters can, (which is not necessary in most cases, because of the large tolerance in manufacturing of the heat elements and the wide variation in the electric resistance of the heat element in different temperatures) you may use an accurate multimeter to measure the current going through the iron and the voltage across the iron at the same time and then multiply these two quantities to each other to calculate the out put power.
I couldn't remember exactly the arrangement of the contacts, but in spite of the fact that it was around 00:30am in here and I was nearly slept* I used a multimeter and figured it out for you. If you keep the iron plug in a way that its holes face you and its notch to the ground from left to right in a clockwise direction Pin 1&2 are the heat element pins. pin 3 is Ground and pin 4&5 belong to the thermocouple.
don't forget that the arrangement of the control box plug is a mirror image of the plug.
Let me know if I was helpful.
If you live in US but ordered a 240v type you are in big trouble, but there is still some solutions.
I live in Australia and it cost me only $10 for shipping .
Let me know about your problem and we will find a way to fix it.
Yes you need a bigger tip a t18-s3 works great. May be a little tight. I have 2 irons & one was & 1 was not. Just do a search for that #
1 thumbs up!
So nice, and a fantastic value! Now I can solder with precision, and not get the iron so hot that the flux burns away, like the standard soldering irons do. I also like the iron holder, much better than the usual wire stand. A must for working on circuit boards and with small components.
I would have gotten it from the US warehouse and saved $15 on shipping, but they were out of stock. Now they're back in stock.
Just get one of these, you won't go wrong. One of HobbyKing's best values.
3 comments. Reply..
Based on other reviews I ordered with a great deal of anticipation... I received a great deal of disappointment!! This Iron is sub-par on every level! Even on its hottest setting it will barely heat solder. My 40 watt Weller brand pen style iron blows this crap away!!!!
3 comments. Reply..
Mine works awesome so far (with a proper tip attached)
The one it comes with is way too thin if you're trying to solder anything other than super fine stuff and I imagine that's why the review below was negative...not using a proper tip.
Mine heats up super hot in under 1 minute. This is a great unit and is comparable to any other...really it's a super buy even with high shipping due to its weight.