Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New toy: ZD-985 desoldering station.... Part2

Hello all, 

So today I finally cleaned my workbench and installed the ZD-985 desoldering station.....
The absolute first impression I got was: "O.M.G. its big!!" and however this sometimes is good, this time I was less amused. It is really bulky compared to my other soldering stations...

It will not fit under my shelve!!!
The unit itself, so not the holder, is 17 cm high, 13 cm wide and 16 cm deep.
For my non metrical friends.... 6.7 inch high, 5,1 inch wide and 6.3inch deep... (if this is wrong, please don't blame me, but blame google for finding me a crappy only converter :) )

So whats in the package.....



Well off course the unit itself..... but it also comes with.....

- Some spare desoldering tips in different sizes.
- Spare filters in different sizes. (3 for the desoldering gun, and 1 for the main unit)




- A Manual in German and English
- A service manual
- 3 different sized cleaning rods.







The cleaning rods actually are labeled A, B and C.... but the tips aren't.... So I guess you need to find out which to use for which tip... Not too hard I think....
They actually look quite nice and the end is processed so you can get the sticky bits out without a problem....



So let's take this baby for a test drive......
The test print to be desoldered.... A standard PCB, nothing fancy... quite old...


So i turned on the unit, had to wait a few seconds till it reached operating temperature, and about 5 minutes later it looked like this.....


The unit is light and the cable and tube are flexible so they do not start to irritate you after 2 seconds because it pulls you away from where you want to go.....
The solder pads and the components are both clean.... I kinda expected the unit to fail a bit here due to low vacuum pressure... but it did not.... it looks perfect..... I took a picture through a magnifying glass to check.... but this just looks perfect to me....


So all good ? no, not all good.... 
The Cable and vacuum tube don't come with a few clips to keep them together. Not necessary, but would have been nice.

One other thing that I don't like (this is totally my opinion), is the desoldering iron itself... It's ergonomics are making you hold it in a position which to me is weird when the PCB is too flat on your workspace.

And this is because it looks like a gun.. (maybe my friends in Texas are more used to this  ;) )
Weller solves this problem better I think , and it is probably not that hard to build it like this....
Maybe it is a copyright thing (But then again, since when does that stop our Asian friends to produce it anyway....)



 So..... Let's add things up.... starting with the cons....

CONS:
- Its a bit bulky....
- Ergonomics could have been better....
- No wraps to keep the vacuum tube and the cable together. 
- Compared to for example a Weller, the whole thing feels a LITTLE bit plasticy and light....
- No ESD connector...

PROS:
- It works like a charm.... results are just as nice as when i worked with a Weller at school and in a repair shop.
- It's light, so no fatigue when you have to work with it a lot
- IT IS CHEAP !!!!!!!
- and did i mention it is CHEAP!!!!

No Kidding , I found a Weller discount store, and they charge 1109 euro's for a basic Weller station, the WR-2002D. A desolder station that does EXACTLY the same as the ZD-985.....
They do give a 10% discount... but that is still 995 euro's 
The ZD-985 was 129 Euro's including shipping.....

CONCLUSION:
So to conclude this review.... I already stated in my previous post that the price/quality factor of this desolder station would be hard to beat. And in have to conclude that I was right... it's not...



There are some cons... but they are sooooo minor...
Add your own clips to keep the cable and vacuum tube together....
Add an ESD point to it yourself, it's not that hard.
Even me saying that the ergonomics are not that good is almost looking for a thing to be negative about, because when you work with this station, you will put it back into the holder a lot anyway to get the components of the PCB.

This desolder station has entered my shack.... and it's not leaving anymore.....

73's
Alex
PA1SBM



1 comment:

  1. Best part of the whole monologue: "(maybe my friends in Texas are more used to this ;) )" That was a good. :> You are right about the handle, though. It seems that a more angular position of the device would allow better inspection of the circuit board area being de-soldered.

    Mark, KK5MR (and yes, I'm in Texas)

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