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View Full Version : [Question(s)] Weller WES51 Soldering Station or WESD51???



rpedro
07-29-2008, 08:56 PM
ok, I have used Weller products in the past, and have always liked them...and being I am not doing a ton of soldering, this should be more than enough iron for me... should I spend the extra $20 and get the digital version??? or just stick with the original...
thanks!!!

LinuxGuy
07-29-2008, 11:12 PM
ok, I have used Weller products in the past, and have always liked them...and being I am not doing a ton of soldering, this should be more than enough iron for me... should I spend the extra $20 and get the digital version??? or just stick with the original...
thanks!!!
I have a WES51, and wish I had gotten the digital version. I would have preferred the display, but the WES51 works just as well.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
07-29-2008, 11:44 PM
If you plan on soldering sensitive components, I'd get the digital.

ScuD
07-30-2008, 04:12 AM
Agreed, go for the digital, you won't regret it.

One day, when my superrich uncle whom I never heard of dies and leaves me his money, I'm getting myself a WD1000M.. from icy-cold to 350C in 3 seconds... toolporn!

Adrenalynn
07-30-2008, 05:22 AM
My 2702 Aoyue rework station is about 7 seconds from 22.5 to 350 - for a BUNCH less money. (Just shot a video of it so I could measure the time accurately) I think four seconds is a reasonable trade-off. And I always though my WS80 was pretty quick... ;)

ScuD
07-30-2008, 05:45 AM
I've heard of those Aoyue stations before, but haven't used them first hand yet.
Apparently they are really good stations and not that expensive at that.

I should have a look at them next time i go shopping for a soldering iron..

Adrenalynn
07-30-2008, 06:04 AM
I've been surprisingly happy with this rework station. The heat gun stays really well regulated, and the pencil compares favorably to the Pace I had at the office, far superior to any Weller I've used. The desoldering gun I'm not so fond of, but two out of three aint bad for <300.

The vacuum on the pencil to evacuate the fumes and smoke is really cool. I've never worried too much about the fumes, but keeping the smoke out of my eyes lets me go a lot longer without eyestrain, and the iron holds up fine as a continuous station, I've had it going for nine+ hour stretches. I haven't used the hot air for more than a couple hours, but it was as stable after that as it was when it first started.

The pump is really noisy, though, and most of that from the silly ball bearing in a tube they use to indicate pressure. Hello? 21st century?

Overall, I give it an 8.5/10.

rpedro
07-30-2008, 11:58 AM
thanks for the heads up with the irons... I will probably go with the digital... the $20 is no big deal... it should be more than what I need...:)

Electricity
07-30-2008, 01:16 PM
Wow! i felt like I paid a lot for a $40 iron from radio shack. Whats the advantage to a huge station like that?

ooops
07-30-2008, 01:36 PM
Whats the advantage to a huge station like that?

Well, it depends on how much you would use it and on what.
I know I have all but stomped on my old radio shack iron when trying to solder simple things like two wires together.
The only reason it is still in one piece is that by the time it cooled of enough to pound, I had cooled off as well.
I have the Aoyue rework station, but haven't had time lately to test it out to review.
We have all Wellers here at work ... six or so that are used a few times a week each ... the guys like 'em.
Just my two cents - I wouldn't go near a $100.00 IC board with a $40.00 iron!

ScuD
07-30-2008, 02:58 PM
Heh, we had a PACE representative last month who came over at work to provide us with solder training...

He ran away crying when he saw at what temperatures we were working :veryhappy:

Then again, he had to admit our boards had far too much uhm... whatchamacallit.. temperature capacity? to solder it at "normal" temperatures.

Adrenalynn
07-30-2008, 03:16 PM
Right on the money, I'd add a few things:

Your rat shack iron isn't temperature regulated. If you get it near components that are sensitive to *exactly* how much heat and for how long, kiss 'em goodbye. You'll find that a lot of ICs and even some LEDs, for example, will specify like "250deg C for 5 seconds" for a temp tolerance whilst soldering or reworking.
That iron also isn't ESD-safe. So even switched off it can destroy a board from electrostatic discharge. Even worse when you're heating the air around what you're working on.
That Aoyue station isn't just an iron. It has a hot air gun for SMD rework - just try to get the tip from your iron on an SMT LED - the entire component with its two leads is smaller than the tip of your iron. The station even comes with a little vacuum pen just for lifting and placing components like that. I also use the hot air gun for shrinking heatshrink tube - very handy not to have to go warm up the big hot air gun that can fry components by itself just shrinking tubing. It also has a desoldering tool with a built in vacuum, and the same pump is used on the pencil iron for sucking up fumes and smoke. The stand for the pencil has a solder dispenser that puts up to two decent sized spools of solder just exactly where you need them, routing them under the stand.

Finally, your iron isn't intended for continuous use. It will burn your hand, the components, and everything else if you leave it on for extended periods of time - and the temp will vary from ice cold to screaming hot at regular intervals. PITA for doing large projects.

The station referenced in this thread addresses about half these points. It's ESD Safe, has temperature regulation (and the digital has decent temp control), and it's fine for continuous use.

Without a LOT of experience and a really fine hand, it's all but worthless for SMT work though... It doesn't have a pump, a smoke absorber, hot air, desoldering, etc. The Aoyue packs a LOT of features into a very reasonable price tag, and I have a few hundred hours on mine - every bit as solid as when I unpacked it. That big Aoyue is probably only a hundred dollars more than the WESD51. My former primary home station was the Weller WS80 - used it for nearly ten years solidly - but I don't even turn it on anymore.

Oh - one other factor that is important to many that do a lot of soldering: From room temp to 350deg C takes ~7 seconds on the Aoyue. The WS80 takes ~20 seconds. That rat shack iron takes how long? ;)

It's nice to be able to spin around in my chair, hit the switch, pick up the board and already have a perfectly hot iron.

Adrenalynn
07-30-2008, 03:22 PM
Heh, we had a PACE representative last month who came over at work to provide us with solder training...

He ran away crying

What do you guys use? Metcal?

------

Oh - on the hobby end, it's also worth looking at the upper-end of Hakko (I hear the 936 is pretty good) and Xytronic (maybe the 137ESD?) I haven't used 'em, but I'm always hearing good things.

ScuD
07-30-2008, 03:40 PM
Mostly Weller WD1000M, we do have one PACE desoldering station (which I do not like at all) and I think it's a PACE BGA machine, but not too sure which model.