Bitcoin donations to: 1CE9UfWJcHBYkWPns7iqBqZgKhd5xfqEaM thanks!
Buy Bitcoins easily by clicking HERE and get $10 in free bitcoins!

Author Topic: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station  (Read 3288 times)

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« on: October 11, 2013, 10:32:08 PM »
My Weller 40 Watt soldering iron that I built into a makeshift soldering station (switch in a rectifier to cut the voltage in half) has served me well over the years doing many repairs, homebrewing projects and building kits. Even with my 'sort of' temperature control set up I'm constantly fiddling with it chasing that perfect temperature that is hot enough to flow solder into a joint almost instantly yet is cool enough not to destroy the tip while idling. With my upcoming Elecraft K2 project I'll be doing a lot of soldering and I've decided it's finally time to step up to an actual temperature controlled solder station.


Hakko and Weller stations are a little out of the price range I'm willing to spend but I've been eyeing these Aoyue stations for several months now and they look promising. The 936B model gets excellent reviews on Amazon and is priced at $48 but I can get it on E-Bay for only $40. Either place has the usual free shipping typical of most Chinese merchandise.


http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-936-AOYUE-Soldering-Station/dp/B000VINMRO/ref=sr_1_12?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1381542980&sr=1-12&keywords=solder+station


http://www.ebay.com/itm/936B-ESD-Iron-Soldering-Station-SMD-Desolder-Welder-Welding-w-Stand-Sponge-1-Tip-/390635897189?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5af3b6c165


Anyone have any experience with them?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2634
  • SMeter: +69/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 11:37:43 PM »
No, but I am very happy with the Hakko.

Gil.

KC3AOL

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • SMeter: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 07:40:10 AM »
Check this place (I have bought from them before):
http://www.circuitspecialists.com/soldering-stations

They have re-badged copies of the Aoyue, but I'm not sure if the one you're looking at is the $30 one or the $50 one. They also have one with a digital display for $50.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 4

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 10:32:00 AM »
Check this place (I have bought from them before):
http://www.circuitspecialists.com/soldering-stations

They have re-badged copies of the Aoyue, but I'm not sure if the one you're looking at is the $30 one or the $50 one. They also have one with a digital display for $50.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 4


Yep, they're the same thing just rebranded as Circuit Specialist. Unfortunately by the time I add shipping it's $6 more expensive than the same thing on E-Bay. Thanks though.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 04:48:23 PM »
I just ordered one from E-bay for $34.90 with free shipping and it includes one extra fine point tip. I'll post a review when it gets here.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 01:21:16 PM »
UPS delivered it yesterday double boxed and in undamaged condition so I set it up on my bench. The only project I currently have that requires any soldering is the Rework Eliminator Kit for my K2 since I can't order my K2 because of a credit card SNAFU (it's a long story >:( ) so I went about assembling it. The rework kit consists of nothing more than several tiny PCBs that need headers soldered to them, three resistors and two capacitors. The first thing I noticed is how quickly it reaches temperature, I didn't time it but after switching the power on the LED that indicates heat being applied to the iron went out fast, I would estimate no more than 60 seconds. This is both good and bad, obviously the reason it heats so quickly is because there is very little thermal mass to heat in the very fine needle tip. The lack of thermal mass in the minuscule tip quickly became evident when I tried soldering the headers to the board. I was able to compensate for this by cranking the temperature to maximum but I definitely need a tip with more mass.


As with most all dirt cheap Chinese electronics the "instrukshun manuwal" is utterly useless, fortunately with nothing more than a power switch, a temperature control knob and two indicator LEDs it's not exactly rocket surgery to figure out. There is a small pot accessible with a screwdriver through a hole directly below the temperature control knob that I'm assuming is used to calibrate the temperature as the instructions make no mention of it.


After my larger tip and my K2 finally arrives I'll try it out on a larger more challenging project to see how it fares but so far I'm pleased with it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 01:24:40 PM by KK0G »
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2634
  • SMeter: +69/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 01:37:31 PM »
Quote
The lack of thermal mass in the minuscule tip quickly became evident when I tried soldering the headers to the board.

I never noticed much of a problem with my Hakko (see photo attached). It also comes up to temperature very fast and the tip is very thin. Maybe the temperature sensor is more responsive.. I would use the lowest practical temperature for ICs. You shouldn't have much trouble with them though. For headers and such, a little pre-heating works. I built my K1 with a $7 soldering iron from Radio Shack.  It worked fine, but the tip didn't survive the experience.. On my Hakko the tip still looks like new, and that's after building a number of kits, including a K2. A good soldering station definitely makes the work easier.

Gil.

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 02:13:27 PM »
Quote
The lack of thermal mass in the minuscule tip quickly became evident when I tried soldering the headers to the board.

I never noticed much of a problem with my Hakko (see photo attached). It also comes up to temperature very fast and the tip is very thin. Maybe the temperature sensor is more responsive.. I would use the lowest practical temperature for ICs. You shouldn't have much trouble with them though. For headers and such, a little pre-heating works. I built my K1 with a $7 soldering iron from Radio Shack.  It worked fine, but the tip didn't survive the experience.. On my Hakko the tip still looks like new, and that's after building a number of kits, including a K2. A good soldering station definitely makes the work easier.

Gil.


It probably stems from the fact I'm so used to the brute force of my 40 watt Weller iron with it's much larger tip, I got the headers soldered no problem but I did have to apply heat for longer than I'm accustomed to. It's hard to tell from your photo but my tip appears to be even finer than that one.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 01:44:50 PM »
Update:


The soldering station has worked flawlessly during my K2 build, no complaints. Heats up very fast from a cold start and seems to maintain temperature. Very well worth the investment.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2634
  • SMeter: +69/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 01:49:31 PM »
Hello Chris,

Quote
The soldering station has worked flawlessly during my K2 build, no complaints. Heats up very fast from a cold start and seems to maintain temperature. Very well worth the investment.

I did the exact same thing you did, built my K1 with a cheap Radio Shack soldering iron, then bought a Hakko station for my K2. While the el-cheapo model worked fine, the Hakko made the work easier with it's finer and durable tip, quick heat-up time and temperature control. It would be hard to go back to a lesser model.

Now I want to build a KX1!

Gil.

AC0AX

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • SMeter: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Aoyue Temp Controlled Solder Station
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 03:56:24 PM »
I just received my ebay soldering station. I haven't used it yet but it looks good. I did find that the Hakko 900M tips work for replacements. Also the RadioShack ProLine replacement tip will work too (just cost a bit more)