# Soldering Iron power supplies ... repairs etc.

#### Journey11

May 23, 2018
88
Hi All,
I am wondering if there are any of you out there familiar with the el cheapo Chinese made solderind stations. Particularily , say ones that are temp controlled. I have had a couple stations go down and saw that one of them had a cheap ceramic heating element. So found a guy on uTube who does upgrades to use HAkko style nichrome wound elements to replace a burned out ceramic.
Both of the stations that went down have a vert similar power supply setup. Both have 5 pin plugs ... One for tip ground ... 2 for the heater and 2 for the temp sensor.
My question here is this ... Of the 2 sets of connections for the heater and the temp sense ... which of the 2 are connected through the triac ? I'm gonna guess the heater is run by/off the triac since it requires the most power to get the heat. I am also wondering if this voltage/currnet is AC or DC. As far as I can tell it's AC, about 32 volt-ish. In both units there doesn't seem to be much of a rectifier to supply the DC for the LM324 and the TRIAC controller, UPC1701C (NEC). The voltage running the LM324 is about 32vdc, as far as I can tell. BUt like I say there is not much for rectification or regulation either.
Hope someone has had some experience with these absolutely cheap cheap trashy Chinese clones.
One station for sure is gonna get an A1321 replacement element if it will work ... that uTube vid shows ya how.

#### Cirkit

Oct 28, 2015
150
If you are serious about electronics, why not invest in a good quality soldering station?

#### Harald Kapp

##### Moderator
Moderator
Nov 17, 2011
13,101
why not invest in a good quality soldering station?
Truly worth each penny you spend.
I have a Weller and an Ersa iron, both haven't let me down for many years so far.

Even my cheap old Antex iron from GB has worked for I think 40 years or so. When it finally gave up lately, I ordered one of these cheap Chinese irons, mostly because I will use this one for tasks where I don't want to risk my good ones (e.g. "soldering" plastic). Let's see how long this one is going to last.

#### Journey11

May 23, 2018
88
If you are serious about electronics, why not invest in a good quality soldering station?

I have purchased a new all in one system and is a BGA work station but unfortunately it is a cheap Chinese one. It is currently on a slow boat from China and is all I can afford at the moment, unfortunately. The reason I jumped on this one is because of the BGA rework table. It was cheap and I come across some repairs that come my way that may require a BGA reflow so I had to have it.
The one thing I can say as a drawback to these Chinese made stations is the hot air max temps are too low. I couldn't find one that goes above 480C. Most of the irons max out at this temp as well. This could possibly be rectified by replacing the element and tweaking the power supply a tad.

#### narkeleptk

Oct 3, 2019
69
Sure would be nice if I could afford the better equipment. If I could ramp up my repair business with a flood of clients ... I would invest for sure.
Xtronic USA makes good stations that are not so pricey. They are pretty much the same as many of the Chinese brands you see but the quality control and build process seems a lot better.

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