Metcal RF soldering station base unit playing up

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by 2E0ILY, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. 2E0ILY

    2E0ILY Ham Member QRZ Page

    After singing this RF soldering station's praises here and elsewhere it has decided after many years good service to play up. Whilst tips et hot, probably to full temp, they do not retain heat when touched to joints. I have tried several tips, one brand new and my RF tweezers on their own RF co-ax seem to do the same. I suspect whatever part of the circuitry is supposed to maintain heat when a junction is taking it from the tip is not working properly, but that's merely a guess. It's an earlier version than some I have seen mentioned in here, a
    STSS-P2V-O2 but I would imagine the schematic of the later ones will be similar unless anyone has the correct diagram / service manual?

    Any ideas where to look and has anyone had this issue themselves and fixed it? Thanks
  2. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    We stopped using Metcal at my previous job because we could not keep them working. Other than that, I have no info.
  3. K6BSU

    K6BSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Soldering station regulators are simple circuits. I have repaired my own Weller solder station. The temp control usually consists of a Triac, a couple diodes and resistors, controlled by a pot.
    Some simple troubleshooting should locate the problem, and parts are available from most electronic supply houses.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Metcal / OKI uses Induction heating (RF sourced) and Magnetic switching (Weller’s patent).

    Metcal MX-RM3E handpiece

    You have TWO major areas for Troubleshooting.

    First, the RF oscillator (13 MHz ?) in the Base Unit.
    Metcal used at least a couple of different IMS frequencies (model specific), 13 MHz was one.

    Second, the magnetic switch (thermal regulation and base control circuits) should be looked at.
    This includes the handpiece and tips.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    KD0CAC likes this.
  5. 2E0ILY

    2E0ILY Ham Member QRZ Page

    For completeness it was the mechanical (soldered) connection to the co-ax output socket in the end. re-flowed it and all is well. I eventually found that I could get normal power from the good tips by waggling the connector on the back of the base unit. Thanks for all the replies.
    KD0CAC likes this.

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