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Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 cutter
|Sale:||$98.47 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Digital soldering station end safe version with Chp170 cutter
- FX-888D KIT version with CHP170 cutter
- Adjustable temperature control
- Temperature range 120° - 899° f (50° - 480° c)
- Digital display shows °ree; f or °ree; c
Specifications for this item
|Number of Items||1|
|Specification Met||certified frustration-free|
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Reliable digital technology by HAKKO – Introducing the HAKKO FX-888D Excellent thermal recovery Heater output has been increased by 30% compared to that of the conventional models HAKKO 936·937. Also FX-888D delivers excellent thermal recovery by using T18 series tips for their terrific heat conductivity. This allows soldering at a lower set temperature and reducing the thermal impact on components as well as tip oxidation that can shorten tip life. Thermal recovery graph Rise time to 350Degree C is 20 seconds faster and tip temperature drop is reduced during continuous work. HAKKO FX-888D performance comparison graph with conventional stations Able to shorten the time required for the same work and improve work efficiency significantly. Designed to be User-Friendly Small footprint Compact station body requires a space of only 100 (W) x 120 (D) mm. What’s more, points that come into contact with the floor are positioned as close to the outer edge of the body as possible to improve stability and make the station difficult to fall over. Simple and easy operation With only two operation buttons of UP and ENTER in the center, operation is simple and easy. Even if you’re not familiar with operation of machines, you can operate it without difficulty. Iron holder with full of functions An iron holder of the same color of a soldering station comes as a set. The highly functional iron holder not only improves ease of use, but also brings a sense of visual consistency to the work environment. Silver Soldering station Iron holder Blue & yellow Soldering station Iron holder Strict temperature management Digital display The FX-888D’s digital display makes it easy to check the set temperature at a glance.
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Out of the box, the only difference you're likely to notice between the two is that one's digital and one isn't. The actual iron is the same, the weight is the same, the tip is the same, the base is the same... Side by side, it looks like some corners were cut in FX-888D packaging materials, and the DIN plug on the iron felt just the slightest bit cheaper on the 888D.
In terms of actual use, the FX-888D isn't really as intuitive as the analog. You'd think pushing "up" to get the temperature you want is logical, and the base pretends that it does something if you try. To get it to actually change though, you have to hold down "enter" for two seconds, and then choose your temperature. Not a big deal in the slightest, but just one of those "huh... I wouldn't have designed it that way". Presets are more involved, but not unreasonably so.
Moving the temperature up and down, the iron reacts quickly, just like the trusty FX-888. On the 888D, you can see the base counting up or down as appropriate, and wide (~200 degree) adjustments happen in about 20 seconds or so. One gripe here: the display shows you the setting, rather than the actual temperature -- which is to say: if you set it from 325 to 550, when it counts up to 550 it's ready. However, if you touch it to metal to start soldering, the display doesn't follow the temperature back down and up again. It just stays there at what it's set to, with a tiny LED dot that blinks to show it's heating. So, what's on your display isn't necessarily your actual temperature. Not that the analog ever showed you actual temperature, but I'd chalk it up as a "missing feature" if you're thinking of upgrading.
Unlike the Xytronic, the Hakko's iron has a nice thin cord that doesn't try to pull the iron out of its holder or make the iron hard to keep held in certain orientations. It's even got a soft foam grip that makes it stable to hold the iron more by your fingertips if you need to, and the iron is small and lightweight.
The only thing I don't like about the Hakko is the controls. It's only got "Up" and "Enter". In the default mode, you must hold Enter for 2 seconds to set the temperature, then the left digit flashes and you press Up repeatedly (holding Up doesn't do anything) till you get the value you want (at 9 it returns to 0). Press Enter and the second digit flashes and you do the same. Press Enter and third digit flashes. Press Enter and temperature is set. C'mon, that's way too many button presses if you need to switch temperatures frequently.
Even worse, if you accidentally hold Up instead of Enter, it goes into temperature correction mode. It looks just like temperature set mode except they illuminate a dot at the lower right of each number. If your actual temperature was 700, it will still read 700 in temperature correction mode and if you change it to say 750, then when you press Enter for the 3rd time the unit will now believe that its reading of 700 was actually 750 degrees (as measured with some sort of external thermometer - Hakko sells one for about $270). That's a great feature and is useful when you change tips or things start wearing out, but the way they have you set it is dangerous because it looks almost identical to setting the temperature. Even though I read the manual, I accidentally held Up instead of Enter when I first used the iron (because holding Up makes more sense to me to start a temperature adjustment) and I tried to set it from 750 to 400. Whenever I pressed enter for the third time, it would just start blinking the first number again. I thought I might have a defective unit until I read the part in the full manual (not the small manual I'd read initially) that said in temperature adjustment mode you can't adjust it more than 270 degrees off its current setting. That's the only thing that saved me from screwing up the calibration of my iron by -350 degrees.
A much better mode to use the iron in is called "preset mode" but to get to it, you must hold the Up button while you turn the iron on. At that point, "01" starts flashing on the display. Press Up and you get "03" flashing, Up and you get "11" flashing. Where do they get these values? I had to read the big manual to find out that "11" was the code for toggling the mode between temperature and preset. So press Enter, 0 flashes (meaning temperature mode). Press up to change to 1 (preset mode). Press Enter. P5 flashes. That means you've got 5 presets available. You can change between 2 and 5. Press Enter. 11 flashes again. That means you're done setting it to "preset 5" mode. Hold Enter. "y" appears. That means "Yes, I want to save my changes". Press Enter and you're done. Whew.
In preset mode, pressing Up moves up to the next preset temperature, displaying P1, then P2, P3, P4, P5, and back to P1 each time you press Up. If you wait a couple seconds, it will show the temperature associated with that preset. Press Enter to confirm. So this mode makes it much easier to switch between 2 and 5 different temperatures you need, but you still have to press Up at least once and then Enter. Not too bad, but would be much nicer if they just had a wheel to turn, or if you could skip pressing Enter.
The actual temperature of the tip only displays if it's more than about 50F different than the temperature you've set. I guess that's fine but I'd prefer that it always showed actual temperature except when I was changing the preferred temperature. I don't think the actual temperature is entirely accurate because just after it reaches 600 it actually won't melt my solder for another 10 seconds or so. Of course it's probably measuring temperature in the middle of the iron's handle and it takes extra time for that heat to reach the very tip?
The manual has some nice servicing instructions explaining how to use a volt meter to test various internal parts of the iron to see that they're working properly, what readings mean various problems or that parts are starting to degrade and so on.
One thing that surprised me was the metal iron holder doesn't actually touch the metal of the soldering iron. It only touches the plastic collar. That surprised me because I'm used to the Xytronic and the metal spiral iron holder I bought for it from Radio Shack where the tip of the iron is supposed to touch the metal spiral to keep the tip cooler so it doesn't oxidize as quickly. Despite that, the Xytronic tip would still have some darkening every time I pulled it from the holder so I was always sponging it and periodically adding solder. It might just be because it's newer, but the Hakko tip doesn't seem to darken nearly as fast despite not being cooled by contact with metal.
The iron holder comes with a grey sponge with two slits cut in it and two semicircles you're supposed to break off and shove down lower than the main part of the sponge. The semicircles are held by some thick tabs in the water well of the iron holder and the manual mentions these sponge pieces are meant to draw water up into the main body of the sponge. It's kind of neat but I wonder why they didn't just let the main body of the sponge sit deeper in the water? I'm guessing it's because you're meant to wipe the tip into the slits such that the solder bits you wipe off the tip fall down through the slits and into the water below. There, they have room to accumulate beneath the sponge. But the tabs are close enough together that I'm not sure the bits would be likely to travel below the main body of the sponge, so... who knows. I do know the slits do a better job of wiping off solder than a simple flat sponge, and the sponge stays cleaner than if you're wiping solder directly into its surface.
The iron holder also comes with a brass-looking ball of metal strips similar to a kitchen scouring pad. The manual says this is for cleaning off larger/harder bits the sponge isn't getting off the tip. I haven't had any such bits so far.
Anyway, other than the controls, I'm pleased with the Hakko and actually excited to work on my next soldering project instead of dreading the massive frustration and time waste the Xytronic usually caused me. In the months since I initially wrote this review, the Hakko plus Paladin Tools 1700 Desoldering Tool worked great to remove a bunch of components. The Hakko easily bonded wires to battery terminals so I could run a motion detector off wall current, and worked well for connecting USB cable wires back together after I cut out a segment that had an intermittent wire breaking. At 800 degrees, the solder melted quickly to the tiny USB cable wires and it did so fast enough to prevent the heat from spreading too far and seriously melting the thin plastic shielding around the tiny wires which was often a problem with how long I had to touch the Xytronic to wires to get enough heat.
BTW, Hakko's web site shows this model also comes in silver so you might look for that if you don't like the blue and yellow.
Also, mine did come with the CHP170 cutter and it's quite a nice cutter. Of course all my other cutters are cheap things with thick, dull "blades", so maybe the CHP170 only seems awesome by comparison, but it has small, sharp blades that are perfect for getting in tight spaces to snip off small components and they also worked great for trimming the copper braid as I was desoldering. I could easily see what I was cutting off the braid rather than having to half guess where some thick, larger cutters were going to cut it. I wasn't expecting much from this freebie but now that I've looked it up on Amazon, it gets 5 stars from almost everyone and someone says he's used it to cut 12 AWG wire though it's only advertised to cut up to 16.
-- Use the switch on the right side to turn the unit off. (There are two buttons on the front: the [UP] Button and the [ENTER] button.) Hold the [UP] button down and at the same time press and hold the [ENTER] button. Then turn the unit ON while holding those buttons down. Keep the buttons down (about 1 second) until an "A" flashes on the screen. Then release both buttons and press the [UP] button one time. There should now be a flashing "U" on the screen - Now press the [ENTER] button once and that's it. The memory will be cleared and reset to factory settings and the unit will now count up heating to the default 750°F -- Who want's to be told they unexpectedly have to buy a thermometer that costs twice as much as the soldering station!? Really? Come on Hakko! You can do better than that! Other than this annoyance this unit is a great and excellent value.