(Topic ID: 281109)

Is this desoldering station any good?


By bkaelin

77 days ago



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  • 40 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 68 days ago by La4s
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 77 days ago

    amazon.com link »

    I would love to have the Hakko, but for less than $100, will this suffice for periodic/light use?

    #2 77 days ago

    I looked at that and wondered the same thing. But when the reviews start talking about how it wouldn't suck up all the solder or keep mentioning that it seems under powered, it seems like dropping the coin for the Hakko might be the best bet. However, I would like to hear someone with first hand experience with it.

    #3 77 days ago
    Quoted from Apex:I looked at that and wondered the same thing. But when the reviews start talking about how it wouldn't suck up all the solder or keep mentioning that it seems under powered, it seems like dropping the coin for the Hakko might be the best bet. However, I would like to hear someone with first hand experience with it.

    I noticed those reviews as well. One question I have is.....for working under a playfield, is it better to have a desoldering gun, a desoldering station, or just a basic manual solder sucker?
    I really struggle with the manual devices.

    #4 77 days ago

    I thought mine was cheaper but I guess not I have this one
    ebay.com link » S 993a Electric Vacuum Desoldering Pump 100w Solder Sucker Gun 350 450 110v

    the station you have there looks similar to the gun ..
    Pros for mine

    easy to clean and remove any jams
    easy to replace filters
    works good for thru hole and surface mount components

    Cons
    when you have a big chip or a daughter board for a system 80B when the holes are small and the board is soldered on both sides it can not pull all the solder out of the holes

    you have to use chip quick solder and then clean up with the gun

    #5 77 days ago

    This Ayoue knock off has been around forever and does an excellent job.
    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/Compact_Desoldering_System.html

    I have been using it for about 15 years now. I have suggested it to friends for years, and they too have had really positive experiences with it.

    That being said, I wouldn't suggest it for under the playfield. It is geared more towards benchtop work. You *could* use it under the playfield, and it would work great, but there are two cords you have to take into account, as well as the large base station.

    #6 77 days ago

    I bought one of these several years ago, works great.

    They usually go on sale for under $100.

    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/blackjack-solderwerks-bk3090-suction-gun-soldering-iron-combo.html

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    #7 77 days ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    I bought one of these several years ago, works great.
    They usually go on sale for under $100.
    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/blackjack-solderwerks-bk3090-suction-gun-soldering-iron-combo.html
    [quoted image]

    That's the same one I have. Works awesome. Got it on ebay with a discount code for around $80 IIRC. Just checked their site though and it seems that it's been discontinued.

    #8 77 days ago

    Knocked my fr300 off the bench. At least now I do not have to rebuild the pump...

    I don't desolder nearly as much much as I used to (thank god) but I still need a new good working desolder tool. If I pick something else would be nice if it used the hakko tips as I have some new ones on hand still.

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    #9 77 days ago
    Quoted from bkaelin:

    but for less than $100, will this suffice for periodic/light use?

    I'm using the YiHua 948 desoldering station for board work. It also comes with a soldering iron but the station can only have the desoldering gun or the soldering iron connected at one time. Suffice to say I've never used the soldering iron.

    The desoldering gun works fine for the work I do.

    Here's a suction measurement I did on my unit at the input:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sucking-contest-vacuum#post-5890218

    The internal pumps exhaust is directed at and close (about 3mm) to the side panel. I wasn't happy with this design, so I drilled a hole in the side cover so the exhaust air is no longer hindered and flows freely:

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    #10 77 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    Knocked my fr300 off the bench. At least now I do not have to rebuild the pump...
    I don't desolder nearly as much much as I used to (thank god) but I still need a new good working desolder tool. If I pick something else would be nice if it used the hakko tips as I have some new ones on hand still.
    [quoted image]

    Hakko sells the housing. I did the exact same thing to mine, so I just transplanted everything into the new shell.

    https://hakkousa.com/b5021-housing-for-fr-300.html

    #11 77 days ago

    I have tried several "off-brand" desoldering guns, and honestly my experience is that the money saved (versus a "gold-standard" Hakko FR-300/FR-301) isn't worth the tradeoff in performance; the Hakko units really do seem to work THAT much better.

    That being said, I hardly ever use my FR-301 unless extensive PCB work is needed (rare for me). I much prefer using a QUALITY spring-loaded vacuum sucker for most pinball repairs because I find them less cumbersome to use and that they often actually do a better job sucking the solder than the guns. The only disadvantages are that they are slower to use with big jobs, and require a bit of force to push/lock the plunger and a steady hand when "triggered" (might be tough for arthritis or carpal tunnel sufferers).

    I prefer the "Engineer" branded ones available on Amazon; I've used mine extensively for four years and it has proven very durable, smooth, and doesn't seem to have lost any suction.
    amazon.com link »

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    #12 77 days ago

    What is the big flappy black plastic-looking piece used for?

    #13 77 days ago
    Quoted from Thermionic:

    That being said, I hardly ever use my FR-301 unless extensive PCB work is needed (rare for me). I much prefer using a QUALITY spring-loaded vacuum sucker for most pinball repairs because I find them less cumbersome to use and that they often actually do a better job sucking the solder than the guns. The only disadvantages are that they are slower to use with big jobs, and require a bit of force to push/lock the plunger and a steady hand when "triggered" (might be tough for arthritis or carpal tunnel sufferers).

    Personally, I found solder suckers to be cumbersome to use. After switching to a FR-300, I never had a reason to look back.

    #14 77 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    That's the same one I have. Works awesome. Got it on ebay with a discount code for around $80 IIRC. Just checked their site though and it seems that it's been discontinued.

    Don't know if it's discontinued or not, but they do seem to be out of stock often.

    #15 77 days ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    Don't know if it's discontinued or not, but they do seem to be out of stock often.

    I couldn't find it on ebay, which is where I got mine, and it says it's discontinued on the website? I would only assume they don't make it anymore because of that.

    #16 77 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Personally, I found solder suckers to be cumbersome to use. After switching to a FR-300, I never had a reason to look back.

    To each his own, I guess!

    I used manual suckers for years before trying a desoldering station so I became fairly well-coordinated at using my right hand for the soldering iron and switching between solder wire and sucker with my left, and this approach feels more comfortable and efficient when working in situ than managing the extra power cable and heat source of separate soldering/desoldering tools.

    I do prefer using my FR-301 on finer-pitch PCBs at the bench however.

    #17 77 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    Knocked my fr300 off the bench.

    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Hakko sells the housing. I did the exact same thing to mine, so I just transplanted everything into the new shell.

    They sell a lot of different parts even for the discontinued FR-300. I dropped mine and it broke the black plastic flange holding the heating element in place. I thought I was out the gun and would have to cough up for a new unit. Turns out that browsing the Hakko site showed they sell a bunch of parts so I bought a $10 (from memory) part instead of a new $300+ unit.

    Quoted from barakandl:

    If I pick something else would be nice if it used the hakko tips as I have some new ones on hand still.

    When Hakko went to the FR-301 they changed the entire nozzle system. FR-300 nozzles are incompatible with most everything else - I think. Even more reason for me to keep my FR-300 going as long as I can.

    #18 77 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    I couldn't find it on ebay, which is where I got mine, and it says it's discontinued on the website? I would only assume they don't make it anymore because of that.

    Ahh...OK. I just focused on the 'out-of-stock', didn't even notice the 'discontinued' text. That's for pointing that out.

    #19 77 days ago

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    I just got my YiHua 948 yesterday. So far it seems to be a pretty good station. I got it to replace my old CSI Aoyue knock off. I’ve had the CSI unit for 6 years but the vacuum pressure just seemed weak. When I tested the vacuum it was only 7.8 inches Hg. I purchased the Blackjack BK4000 because it advertized 24 in. Hg. When it arrived I tested it and it was only 6 in.Hg.

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    The old CSI and the BlackJack were exactly the same inside. (same pump and same transformer). I sent it back and purchased the YiHua.

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    It was advertized at 15 in. Hg. Other people were getting the same reading.

    Ralphwiggum, do you have a vacuum gauge? I’d be interested to know what vacuum pressure you’re getting.

    I have one of those “Engineer” solder suckers. I use it for one or two components but too much work for anything more. BTW, I tested mine and it pulled 8 in. Hg.

    In your opinion what makes a great de-soldering tool? Heat? Anything that will melt solder should be fine. Air volume? Vacuum pressure? Personally I don’t care for the all in one units as the Hakko 301. They seem big, bulky, and heavy. I prefer light and compact.

    #20 77 days ago
    Quoted from oldschoolbob:

    Ralphwiggum, do you have a vacuum gauge? I’d be interested to know what vacuum pressure you’re getting.

    I don’t.. I work hot and fast, always hitting with fresh solder first. Never found anything I couldn’t do quickly and cleanly and I do lots of board work.

    That being said, I clean the gun and the inlet at the pump itself religiously. You get a feel for it after awhile when it starts to fill up.

    #21 75 days ago

    Sometimes I need to need to desolder a single hole. Usually happens when assembling a new board and I accidently solder fill a hole that would be blocking a component to be stuffed later. I heat up the hole with the pen wand iron and then smack it on the bench or trash can. Solder comes flying out. Can blow it out with some compressed air or even lung power.... not recommended but works when you need to do one desolder and lazy about grabbing the right tool.

    Eye protection while desoldering.

    #22 74 days ago

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948? I got one recently too and have desoldered 98 holes so far from a -35 board and that thing got caked. I'd figure you could just stretch it out and the lump would fall out. I wonder how essential that filter is.

    Package came with a couple of them so not too worried that I ruined the first one.

    I also wonder what the flappy black plastic thing is. I thought the vacuum was pretty quiet, I was really surprised about that.

    My Hakko 808 was VERY noisy by comparison, and has given up the ghost anyway (probably needs a new pump). I've been using the cheapie solder pullet-s from Amazon 3 for $7 they work pretty well for what they are, but not for doing 40 pin ic sockets.

    #23 74 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948? I got one recently too and have desoldered 98 holes so far from a -35 board and that thing got caked. I'd figure you could just stretch it out and the lump would fall out. I wonder how essential that filter is.
    Package came with a couple of them so not too worried that I ruined the first one.
    I also wonder what the flappy black plastic thing is. I thought the vacuum was pretty quiet, I was really surprised about that.
    My Hakko 808 was VERY noisy by comparison, and has given up the ghost anyway (probably needs a new pump). I've been using the cheapie solder pullet-s from Amazon 3 for $7 they work pretty well for what they are, but not for doing 40 pin ic sockets.

    propane torch and melt it clean?

    There is a little flat flappy thing inside the pump of the FR300 that gets deformed and goes bad before the rest of the pump parts. It has a notch so you can only install it one way but I would cut a 2nd notch in it and turn it over and get more life out of it before replacing it. Seems like the flux and heat degrades the plastic in the flapper over time. The more sticky rosin flux, the more servicing the desolder tool needs.

    #24 74 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    Sometimes I need to need to desolder a single hole. Usually happens when assembling a new board and I accidently solder fill a hole that would be blocking a component to be stuffed later. I heat up the hole with the pen wand iron and then smack it on the bench or trash can. Solder comes flying out. Can blow it out with some compressed air or even lung power.... not recommended but works when you need to do one desolder and lazy about grabbing the right tool.
    Eye protection while desoldering.

    Solderwick works too for the most part. Get's a little tough if ground plane is involved or it's a small diameter via - then I use an iron on both sides (I need three hands!).

    #25 74 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948? I got one recently too and have desoldered 98 holes so far from a -35 board and that thing got caked. I'd figure you could just stretch it out and the lump would fall out. I wonder how essential that filter is.
    Package came with a couple of them so not too worried that I ruined the first one.
    I also wonder what the flappy black plastic thing is. I thought the vacuum was pretty quiet, I was really surprised about that.
    My Hakko 808 was VERY noisy by comparison, and has given up the ghost anyway (probably needs a new pump). I've been using the cheapie solder pullet-s from Amazon 3 for $7 they work pretty well for what they are, but not for doing 40 pin ic sockets.

    My BlackJack's spring looks similar and I just go slow, one winding at a time trying to expand it slightly to loosen the solder. But barack's comment sounds like a good idea too. Or maybe just use an iron and and get rid of the majority of the solder, then work the rest free by hand.

    #26 74 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948? I got one recently too and have desoldered 98 holes so far from a -35 board and that thing got caked. I'd figure you could just stretch it out and the lump would fall out. I wonder how essential that filter is.

    I use a fine tip on my soldering iron and crank it way hot. Push the tip slowly down on the small opening of the spring (set spring fat side down on a surface) and let the heat do the work while applying slight pressure. Usually the old solder will fall straight down, but sometimes, you have to tap it a bit.

    #27 74 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    I heat up the hole with the pen wand iron and then smack it on the bench or trash can.

    I have done this with about 10 holes I needed to get done when I had loaned my tool out to a friend and didn't want to bother getting it back for those 10 holes. It works great but may need repeated applications to get it really clean.

    Quoted from barakandl:

    There is a little flat flappy thing inside the pump of the FR300 that gets deformed and goes bad before the rest of the pump parts. It has a notch so you can only install it one way but I would cut a 2nd notch in it and turn it over and get more life out of it before replacing it. Seems like the flux and heat degrades the plastic in the flapper over time. The more sticky rosin flux, the more servicing the desolder tool needs.

    Yes. Mine is yellowed and the flap is completely gone. I tried flipping it but there wasn't much suction so I flipped it back to normal orientation. I'm sure it's the hot flux and/or tiny solder balls that hit the flap and melt the plastic.

    The plastic is called a valve plate and can be found @ https://hakkousa.com/b5023-valve-plate.html if anyone needs to order one.

    #28 74 days ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    I tried flipping it but there wasn't much suction so I flipped it back to normal orientation. I'm sure it's the hot flux and/or tiny solder balls that hit the flap and melt the plastic.
    The plastic is called a valve plate and can be found @ https://hakkousa.com/b5023-valve-plate.html if anyone needs to order one.

    yep, that is it. good part to keep on hand because seems to be a common cause of low suction.

    #29 73 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948?

    It helps to coat the inside of the spring with silicone grease before you use it. Keeps the solder from sticking to the spring.

    #30 73 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    How do you clean the spring filter on the Yihua 948?

    Grab the solder blob with long nose pliers and screw it out in reverse thread to how the spring is wound - when you turn the blob one way you tighten (shrink) the spring, turn it the other way and it opens the spring.
    Note, this spring setup is the same as what Hakko used in their 470 series desoldering guns. YiHua and Aoyue copied the design.

    I also put a small pea sized ball of steel wool at the bottom of the spring so solder never reaches the ceramic filter. The old Hakko 700 series desoldering guns require a marble sized ball of steel wool to capture the solder in the chamber - this was before the spring design.

    #31 72 days ago
    Quoted from Thermionic:

    prefer the "Engineer" branded ones available on Amazon; I've used mine extensively for four years and it has proven very durable, smooth, and doesn't seem to have lost any suction.
    amazon.com link »

    OMG! This! So this! My soldering skills are "battlefield emergency" at best, and desoldering board components was always traumatic for me. Hakkos are just too expensive to justify me buying one, considering the above... But now! Thank you so much for this tip! This thing is money! Here's a pic of my FIRST TRY with the thing. Where have you been all my life?

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    #32 70 days ago

    On a gamble, I bought the YIHUA 948.
    It arrived today. I am going to practice with it this weekend. Standby...

    #33 70 days ago

    This desolder seems to be affordable, can it work well?

    #34 70 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    My Hakko 808 was VERY noisy by comparison, and has given up the ghost anyway (probably needs a new pump).

    If you ever want get rid of this I'd buy it for parts... I still love my 808.

    #35 69 days ago

    I purchased the Aoyue 474++ several years ago from amazon when it was on a black friday deal for $99. I have never had a problem with the unit. Just make sure you clean out the spring and replace the filter regularly.
    amazon.com link »

    Don't buy replacement springs by Aoyue. They are $10 a piece. Buy the official Hakko springs. You get 10 in a pack for $15, and are better quality.
    amazon.com link »

    #36 69 days ago
    Quoted from La4s:

    Don't buy replacement springs by Aoyue.

    Just curious, but why would you ever need to replace the capture spring?

    #37 68 days ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Just curious, but why would you ever need to replace the capture spring?

    I have had a spring break on me, or become stretched from trying to clean them.

    #38 68 days ago
    Quoted from La4s:

    I have had a spring break on me, or become stretched from trying to clean them.

    Try a pea sized ball of steel wool at the bottom of the spring - it stops solder embedding in the spring hole making it much easier to remove the solder.

    #39 68 days ago

    I just bought a Pro'sKit SS-331. First impression is good one: it works very well I think, but I must admit I don't know if it's as good as other desoldering stations, for I'd never used one before

    #40 68 days ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Try a pea sized ball of steel wool at the bottom of the spring - it stops solder embedding in the spring hole making it much easier to remove the solder.

    That is a great idea. I will give it a go.

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