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[OT] Soldering station with hot air rework - just $50

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  • [OT] Soldering station with hot air rework - just $50

    The soldering iron on my old M P Jones soldering station burned out, and I had used the last of the spare handles, so I searched on eBay and elsewhere for the best deals. I could still buy replacement handles for my old unit from mpja.com, but they are $8 each plus $6 flat rate shipping, and I figured it was time for a new one. I think I've had this one for 20 years or so. There are many models on eBay and there are some that include a hot air rework gun for only about $20 dollars more than just a soldering station. And some even have a 0-15V 1 amp DC power supply for about $10-$20 more, but I could see no need for that, and they are bulkier. So I decided on this 898D+ model which includes several nozzles and ten spare tips for just $50 and free shipping. Amazingly, I ordered it on Thursday, March 11, and it arrived on Sunday, March 14!

    I just fired it up and it seems to work great! I think the hot air rework gun will make PCB repairs a lot easier and cleaner.

    Click image for larger version

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    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030

  • #2
    That looks interesting. It appears that the iron also plugs into the same control unit as the hot air gun. Does the iron have separate temperature control or is it the same temperature as the hot air or is it not temperature controlled at all? The ad does not seem to include this level of detail.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

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    • #3
      The temperature of the iron and the air are separately controlled by means of the pushbuttons. The knob adjusts the air flow. I was amazed how quickly the iron heats up - about 11 seconds from room temperature 25o C to set 350o C. One thing I don't particularly like is that the displays are still active when the front panel switches are off - although they just flash "- - -" about 3 seconds on and 3 off. But I'm sure it's not "stealing" very much power, and it's a reminder that it's plugged in.

      I also bought a replacement handle for $7 that I hoped would fit on my M P Jones station, but although it also has five pins, they are larger and more widely spaced than the standard DIN connector needed. I suppose I could just cut off the connector and replace it with a DIN version, but I'd rather find a female connector and make an adapter to use in the future. I also have an old Tenma solder station that seems identical to the M P Jones unit. Maybe I'll find more things to order from M P Jones to make it more worthwhile. Actually I could order four of the replacement handles and have two more solder stations with spares. But I don't really need them. I can't find the newer 5 pin connectors, but they seem to be the kind used on CB radio microphones, and may be available from specialty shops.
      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
      USA Maryland 21030

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      • #4
        excuse my ignorance, but what is a "hot air rework gun" for?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dian View Post
          excuse my ignorance, but what is a "hot air rework gun" for?
          They are used for removing components with multiple pins, like IC's.

          Some people use them to reheat an area where there may be cold solder joints. They are ESD safe since no soldering tip touches any of the traces.

          JL...........

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dian View Post
            excuse my ignorance, but what is a "hot air rework gun" for?
            Thank you for asking that question. I had the same. Didn't think about melting several separate spots simultaneously.
            Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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            • #7
              Fan version is definite improvement over the older models with diaphragm pump that vibrates so badly that everything is falling down from same table. 😁

              Word of warning: the no-name chinese clones have often questionable electrical safety. One unit I had the metal parts of the hot air gun were not grounded and the heater was powered with 230v.
              Construction was also so shoddy that one drop to table or floor would have probably made the metal parts connected to live 230v.

              Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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              • #8
                I have one of those air stations. i think it is the same one you show, and the price was similar. it worked great for smd prototyping and rework.

                It did develop some problems after a year or so. The heat got intermittent. I limped along with it until the job was done, and it went on the shelf. If i need it again, i'll have to try to fix it. Or buy another one.

                Ed
                For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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