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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 25th Apr 2021, 2:45 am   #41
ortek_service
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Default Re: Weller PU81 / WS81 - opinions?

Yes, the all-ceramic temperature sensor on the smaller EC1301's frequently died and cost > half the price of a new Iron. So I've also got a few of these that got scrapped, hoping one day to find a suitable replacement sensor at lower-cost.
The metal outer-tube EC1201 sensors seemed a bit better, but still found the occasional one that had failed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesinnewcastl View Post
Ah yes!
I had a blue triangular Remploy too!! And the little light that really didn't do anything. I wasn't aware that it was bad - just my dad saying to me 'let it get hot son, it's got to be hot.....'

So far I have had all the irons that have scored 1/10!
Cheers
James
Yes, I remember that blue triangular one with a light bulb was also the first Iron I used, after my Dad bought it from a DIY shop in the 70's.
I'm not sure if it was earthed too well (and didn't have RCD's in those days), as I recall it lighting a neon-tester screwdriver when the tip was touched. So may have got rid of it due to that, or possibly it burnt out.

I think there are worse Irons than these - Those made by Altai.
I'm sure I've got a quite small 12W? dark-blue one, that I got for a few 's new from Greenweld etc. that I later saw a very-similar one was on a safety-recall.
And a friend had a full size Altai one, with the tip seemingly Chrome-plated, as couldn't get solder to stick to it at all. Which I think it's heater also burnt-out after being left on for a while.

The ones I saw in Lidl recently for 10 inc. a PSU base-stand did look rather better - even got a spare differnt style tip. Although I'm not convinced they were truly temperature-controlled and I reckon the variable 'temperature' knob was really a power-control to save expense on a tip temperature sensor.
So more like those soldering-iron power controller projects in 70's / 80's Electronics magazines.

Last edited by ortek_service; 25th Apr 2021 at 3:01 am.
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 2:57 am   #42
ortek_service
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Default Re: Weller PU81 / WS81 - opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0HZU_JMR View Post
I still have most of my old soldering irons stored away in a container. In the image below is my ancient yellow Antex 15W, a very scary Weller 'Pyropen' hot air pencil/iron, an old red portasol butane iron and a skip salvaged Antex 25W iron that is still in the box unused.

None of these get used any more but I think they all work. The boxed Antex iron has never been powered up but I assume it will work.

One day all of my Weller WSD8x irons will probably be stored away with them but for now I'm still quite happy with the performance of the Weller WSD8x series.
I see your used Antex iron looks like the yellow plastic may be going a bit discoloured-brown at hot end of handle.

And the unused one is has had a bit of a design-update, with much larger black 'cone' insulator / support on the heater-barrel and the handle also being a bit more substantial at that end to take this. So maybe they found the same issues others had been finding. Might also have put some extra weight on it, so that it wasn't lighter than the stiff mains cable!

I've also remembered another fault with the old Yellow-perils (I thought they were a bit higher than 12W, even the 24V ones I'd salvaged & repaired). The heater wires were only wire-wrapped onto pins that the cable connected to.
And it seemed the heater wires oxidised a bit when the got hot and didn't make a good connection, so sometimes needed re-doing.

I always thought of those Antex ones as being a relatively-cheap Iron, so surprising if they are still being sold for many times the price of those in Lidl & Aldi offers (which normally come with a 3yr warranty)
Luckily, I don't think I ever bought one, with me just repairing thrown-out ones, but eventually started to run out of good handles / heater barrel as it was only a short time before the plastic melted when I was using one for a while.

Last edited by ortek_service; 25th Apr 2021 at 3:06 am.
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