Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Update on the Hakko FX 888 Soldering Station.

Update on the Hakko FX 888 Soldering Station.

Got this unit about 3 months ago. Needed a better unit than my Weller station to solder 0603 & 0402 SMD's. My initial impression was very positive.

Unit as seen on Amazon where I got mine. About 80-81 dollars and free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

After using the unit to build dozens of turn-outs, solder SMD's and various other work I can say it was an excellent purchase.

- Excellent temperature control - You can watch light heating tip, when first turn on solid, then with 30sec when temp reached, it pulses to keep same temp. Accurate to about 1 degree.
- Ergonomics - small hand unit make soldering easy. Solder holder separate from power supply/transformer, makes desk space easy to manage.
- Heavy duty transformer, the heat of the system, this one is robust.
- Temp range - 400 - 900 Fahrenheit (200-500 C) makes smd's to stripping magnet wire a breeze
- Fast temp change and warm-up, about 30 seconds from cold to full temp even at 900 degrees.
- Easy Temp calibration - Hakko makes adjusting calibration simple and recommends calibrating when tips changed. Calibrator pictured below. When using regular tip it was spot-on. Changes to SMD tip and temperature was close (5-10%). Use recalibration tool and can dial-in in exactly.
- Built in abrasive pad make keeping tip clean easy, this unit does not corrode near as bad as mu Weller.
- Accessories - listed a few below, over 30 tips, Temp gauges, etc. And many parts to maintain unit and widely available.
- Would prefer to have a unit built in the States but major competitor was the Weller and it did not seem as versatile as this one. Have a simple Weller station from Micro-Mark cost about $60 and is not near as good a unit. Now use it in layout room from doing track and power drops.

Two images above is just a sample of the widely available types of tips you can get.

Temp calibration tool. Costs about $100 but if you look on Ebay you can get from Hong Kong for about $20. You use a 3 prong wire on the probes and then place tip covered in solder to measure temperature. Fast readings.

Usual disclaimer, I do not work for or have any financial interest in Amazon or Hakko. Just a good product. Very pleased.

Thanks Cameron

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