Weller WES-51 Soldering Station Heating?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by W2GIW, Jul 30, 2020.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Weller WES-50 (2001/2002) is DIFFERENT from WES-51 (2003 & later).
    Handpieces (PES-50, PES-51) are NOT Interchangable.
    WES-50 was BAD (rushed) Cooper Tools Decision to use an internally crafted Connector.
    Cooper Industries (Houston) made a number of Bad business decisions, at the Millennium.

    Their Tool Business based in Apex, NC was sold to Apex Tool (Maryland), after they moved production to Mexico in 2003.
    Your problem could be corrosion or issues with the PES-50 handpiece connector.

    Deal DIRECTLY with Weller for the WES-50 station / PES-50 handpiece support.
    Weller PES-50 Handpiece Repair, by Weller Service Staff : $25
    Weller introduced the WES-51, after RoHS regulations (2003), as the entry level soldering station for North American hobbyists and bench techs. This replaced the EC-1002S station, using the same ET-series soldering tips.
    You can replace the Soldering handpiece (PES51) OR Contact Weller Service in Apex, NC (send PES51 handpiece for repair OR the entire WES51 station for review).

    PES50 / 51 Handpiece Repair, by Weller Service Staff : $25
    http://www.apextoolgroup.com/WebShareNFS/drupal/files/images/extra_images/WELLER REPAIR_PRICING_POLICY_SOLDERING_DESOLDERING_REWORK PRODUCTS.pdf

    Today, Weller’s repair/service prices are same as purchasing the repair (in other words, virtually free labor for repair).

    Apex Tool Group
    1000 Lufkin Road
    Apex, NC 27539

    North America Customer Service

    Canada: (866) 691-6212
    U.S. Hardware Customers: (800) 548-8883
    Eastern U.S. Industrial Customers: (866) 907-9706
    Western U.S. Industrial Customers: (866) 907-9716
    Weller Technical Service: (866) 498-0484
    Weller Repair Center: (800) 476-3030
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    KB0MNM likes this.
  2. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ken, Here are a few things to think about ( numbered in case someone wants to mention specifics later ):
    ***See Post #11 above- the problem may or may NOT be a bad connector between the pencil and the body of the soldering station ( either end ). 'Fixing that connector' may be insufficient.*
    1. It is very easy for the tips to become 'dirty' at either the solder end or at the heater end. At the solder end, if they come in contact with any R0HS solder- there is an almost imperceptible ( hard to see ) change in color. The 'foreign' solder does change the melting point of your conventional ( eutectic- spelling probably wrong ) solder which has the optimal blend of tin and lead- not 60/40, yet close for most soldering under 800 F. While the heating element in your iron may get that hot, the heat has to be transferred- bringing us to point #2 below.
    2. The heating element connects to the tip of either a WES-50 or WES-51 with a model BA-60 Barrel nut. This looks like a metal tube with an added threaded collar at the end closest the heater, and a very slight narrowing ( wrong word, yet describes becoming more narrow ) at the tip end. While these do not 'go bad', it seems that new ones will conduct the heat better for a very limited amount of time ( around a week is what I observed- temperature dependent ).
    3. If one were to heat the iron, so as to make removal of the BA-60 easier ( but less safe- use ignition size slot-joint pliers- etc. )- it would be possible to then use any number of tools to clean oxides from the 'back-end' of the tips and the narrow end of the Barrel nut. Adding a small amount of 'tin plated' wire around the tips before applying a cold Barrel Nut can help conduct the heat later.
    4. If brand-new tips and brand-new barrel nuts and cleaning and other 'tricks' ( see above #3 ) are insufficient, your next least expensive step would be to purchase the entire pencil assembly or have it rebuilt. The company previously known as MCM Electronics www.mcmelectronics.com was 'absorbed' by either Allied Electronics www alliedelec com ( I think- the elec part ) or Farnell. You might choose to go straight to the Apex website, See post #11 above! . That said, you may also want to consider a station that also has a desoldering vaccum system. I will make that a separate post.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  3. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ken, if you are looking for a new system- here are some ideas ( prices have increased in 8 years, MCM was absorbed )- for desoldering as in #4, post 12:
    ( Quote from a letter to my employer back in 2012 ):

    Upon hearing a proposed budget of $500.00, I was initially optimistic about finding a mainstream soldering equipment product that would be suitable to task and also one which might be economical in terms of parts deemed ‘consumable’ due to wear or filling with metal. A search of products made from the Weller site ( Weller / Cooper Tools are now under Apex ) finds resellers which have similar products within the suggested price range. Unfortunately, there are no ‘budget’ desoldering options from Weller except an iron similar to the manual vacuum bulb model that I have already been providing, and at a cost of near five times that of my iron sold by Tandy Corporation.

    I have found three other options which you may wish to review:

    1. Tenma model 21-10555 at $355.98 ref. www.mcmelectronics.com please note that this station includes both soldering and desoldering, and is Electrostatic Discharge ( ESD ) safe for dry environments. It may also be wise to consider an extra Tenma model 21-10556 desoldering part as funds permit for spares. (NOTE: MCM is no more - Allied Electrical or Farnell absorbed the company ).

    2. Edsyn Desoldering Station model ZD500DX at $689.70 from www.techni-tool.com. Edsyn has manufactured hand-operated vacuum pumps ( separate from irons ) and other soldering parts for years, yet is not known for a large distribution network. The spring-loaded vacuum equipment that they provide is often sold through O.K. tools and requires a fast hand to go from heating a solder joint to placing the pump for solder removal. The pistol grip tools sometimes allow an undue amount of force to be applied as
    printed circuit board solder joints take a variable amount of time to reach molten temperature.

    3. Hakko Model 472D-02 at $525.37 from www.soldermastersupply.com. I have no knowledge of the products from this company other than what is seen through the Internet or a possible brief glance at Fry’s Electronics.
  4. W2GIW

    W2GIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks very much gb, but I don't see the PES50 pencil listed in that big repair/price list?
    It's the WES50 I have. I made an error in the topic!......Ken
  5. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ken, I think ( based upon old experience ) that you will find it better to wait until Monday, and call: Weller Repair Center: (800) 476-3030 rather than send any electronic mail to the folks at Apex ( owners of Weller ). As with other 'highly departmentalized' corporations, it is always best to take the following notes for later: 1. Name of the person who answered the telephone, and time. 2. Name of the second person, if applicable. 3. R.M.A. number- This is the number that applies to "Return to Maintenance Activity" or other reference number if needed to be placed on a shipment from you to them. 4. Price, if they will simply be shipping you equipment. Taxes for your state will probably be added, yet shipping costs may or may not be.
    Further, expect that you conversation may include waiting time- a possible total of 2 hours if transferred , etc. The eastern time zone defines their hours.
    I hope all goes well for you- truly- Jon
  6. W2GIW

    W2GIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the advice Jon. Will use your above information on the phone. Hate to give up the old WES50......been so good since 2002. Like an old friend!
    KA9JLM likes this.
  7. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page


    The PES-50 and PES-51 hand-pieces are virtually IDENTICAL, EXCEPT for the CONNECTOR.
    The PES-50/WES-50 used a Weller mfg. connector ... LIKE the TCP iron connector (1976-present)

    on the Repair Listing (PDF) I previously provided to you.
    http://www.apextoolgroup.com/WebShareNFS/drupal/files/images/extra_images/WELLER REPAIR_PRICING_POLICY_SOLDERING_DESOLDERING_REWORK PRODUCTS.pdf

    24-Volt Soldering Tools / Thermal Tweezers / Thermal Strippers

    PES50 / 51 .... $25
  8. W2GIW

    W2GIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see it now Gregg. Skipped right over it!! Duh!!
  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    MCM brand name (Cincinnati area) was acquired by Newark Electronics (Chicago) / Farnell (UK) ... part of the Element14 group. MCM was selling OEM soldering equipment manufactured by Taiwanese company, Sorny Roong (Solomon trade name).
    Sorry Roong is NOT authorized to sell Repair Parts outside Taiwan/China.

    They offer no repair services (throw away).
    You have to buy an entire soldering iron, for heater failures.
    I have been down that path — repairing a unit for a Radio/TV shop in 2004/2005 (reported that here on QRZ Tech Forum).

    KB0MNM likes this.
  10. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got it, Thanks- Substitute Newark in Chicago for Farnell(U.K.) for a possible source of WES-51/PES-51- Note 2016 file. ( Enclosed file has an error-MCM is no more- purchased by combination group Newark in Chicago, Ill. USA and Farnell, U.K. ). The other error in the enclosed file is that the prices reflect discounts based upon 2016 or 2012 prices. The word Denial ( D-Nile ) refers more than just to a river in Africa. It can also refer to our tendency to be stubborn when we think the operator, rather than the equipment is at fault.

    Attached Files:

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