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February 4, 2010
about 11 years ago
An update after several months of moderate use (hundreds of hours) at home, by a very experienced (>30 years) user:
The replaceable tips are a good idea, but I have already worn out one -- and they are a lot more expensive than other types. The tips themselves contain the heater and temperature sensor, which is good for response time and accuracy, but really bad when the contacts in the iron get or corroded. I need to clean mine every month or so or the tip just goes cold and the base beeps at me. It's annoying and frustrating. I just bought a Weller WES50 for work, and I'm much happier with it. Even at double the price, I'm buying a Weller when this one dies.
(and re: the brass sponge: personal preference I guess. I have a brass wool sponge right next to the wet one. I find I use the wet one much more, except on really grungy, grody tips.)
about 11 years ago
This is an example of one way to use this kind of board:
about 12 years ago
Overall, a good iron, but it's not a Weller. Temperature control and over tip performance is very good. The base is weighty and won't drift around the bench. The stand is too light and does drift around unless you put a solder spool on it (which doesn't work very well to dispense solder though). The iron doesn't like to seat in the stand well, which is frustrating because it drops in your lap sometimes. The sponge sucks - buy Digikey part TC205-ND and trim to size, $1.09.
No public wish lists :(