Friday, August 14, 2020

Decisions, decisions

My Weller WTCPT soldering station is going nigh on about 35 years old or so. I got it as a Christmas present from my parents back in the days when I was Service Manager at Sinar Bron. Each of us in the department had one and we used them every day, of course. They are like Timex watches in that "They take a licking and keep on ticking!"

My tips are getting old and worn and it's getting a bit more difficult to find new ones. And when you find them, "They ain't cheap". So I had to do some soul searching. Do I buy new tips, or is it time, perhaps, for a new soldering station?

I was looking at the 75 Watt station available form Circuit Specialists. 

It's only $33 plus shipping.  It also comes with a hearty recommendation from Bob W3BBO, who has one. As tempting as it was to order one, I decided to go on eBay where I found some WTCPT tips. With shipping, three brand new tips came close in price to  (but still below)  the new soldering station. I may regret my decision, but the Weller has served me for so long and for so well that I'm going to take the gamble and bet that the handle will continue to work for the foreseeable future. A replacement handle is about $99, give or take a few $$$. If it ever kicks the bucket on me, then I'll look for something new.

I was looking at reviews of newer Weller soldering equipment on eHam and was concerned with the comments. It seems that they're not being made like they used to, so I am going to hold on to my relic from the past - for the time being, anyway.

A relic holding on to a relic - works for me!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. Strong recommendation, Larry. Go buy the 33 buck iron now. The Weller will fail, and just when you need it. I faced the same issue 6 years ago with the heater failing. Bought a new one at incredible cost thinking Weller quality would continue to serve me well. It failed within a month or so. Returning it for warranted replacement, I was told that, no, that was not a warranted failure. Say, what?! I replaced it with a $7 AliExpress handpiece, a neat homebrew controller and a PC laptop power supply a few weeks later. It's worked 100% better than the washout Weller ever since. I wish I had made the change years earlier.