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FAQ's

 

  1. Are Antex irons compatable with Weller products?
  2. Are Antex products Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant?
  3. Can Antex products be Portable Appliance Tested (PAT)?
  4. Can I obtain a replacement element for my old iron?
  5. Can I use Antex Desoldering Tips (DSTs) with "Gull-wing" packages?
  6. Can the 102 bit be used on a G18 iron?
  7. Can the 1100 bit be used on an XS25 iron?
  8. Can the 51 bit be used on the SD50 or TC50 irons?
  9. Do I need to use a fume extraction system with my iron?
  10. How can I calibrate a 660TC station?
  11. How can I calibrate a 690SD station?
  12. How can I calibrate a Mark 2, XS or CS iron?
  13. How do I change the soldering bit on an iron?
  14. How do I make the perfect pipe joint using the Pipemaster?
  15. How do I unlock a 690 SD soldering station when the PIN has been lost?
  16. I have completed the soldering of my project, but it doesn't work. What can I do?
  17. I have measured the tip temperature of my temperature controlled iron, why is it much lower than the value set on the station?
  18. My 690SD station will only display 000C and heats the SD50 iron continuously.
  19. My solder melts at 188C, if I set my soldering station to this temperature it will not melt it.
  20. What do the 690SD error messages mean?
  21. What type of thermocouple is used in Antex temperature controlled irons?
  22. Why might a soldering bit fail to tin properly, either from new or in use?
  23. Why might a soldering iron fail to make joints correctly, or consistently?
  24. Why might a Soldip fail to tin conventional wires?
  25. Why might a Soldip fail to tin solderable wire?

Are Antex irons compatable with Weller products?

The Magnastat PS power supply can be replaced by the Antex 650PS.

Please contact your local supplier for details of price and avaliabilty of these items.

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Are Antex products Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant?

All Antex products can be considered free of Year 2000 problems, as defined by the BSI document DISC PD2000-1.

Additionally a thorough programme of testing has been carried out on all the company's systems and equipment. The necessary actions have now all been completed.

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Can Antex products be Portable Appliance Tested (PAT)?

Yes, it is appropriate to routinely test mains powered irons and stations. This is usually done with an automatic tester. To give a true result and to avoid damage to the appliance in question the settings of the tester must be correctly selected.

All Antex mains powered products are class I appliances, with the exception of the 650PS and 660TC stations. Guidance values for the tester settings (supplied by the IEE) are detailed below:

1. General product - Earth Bond Test
test voltage: 12Vdc
test current: 12A
pass result: < 0.1 Ohm *

* A higher reading (i.e. up to 0.5 Ohm) can still be regarded as safe because the earth connection from the plug to the element shaft is welded or soldered throughout, and individually inspected. Also some older products have 7/0.2 earth conductors rather than the 16/0.2 that are now fitted as standard.

Insulation Test
test voltage: 500Vdc
test current: 1mA
pass result: > 2 MOhm

2. 650PS and 660TC - Insulation Test
test voltage: 500Vdc
test current: 1mA
pass result: >7 MOhm

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Can I obtain a replacement element for my old iron?

Possibly, see the elements listed in the Spares section of this site, or contact us with your requirements.

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Can I use Antex Desoldering Tips (DSTs) with "Gull-wing" packages?

DSTs were specifically designed for use with the PLCC package, but some overlap does occur with the QFP and TSOP packages, dependent upon body size:

QFP Dimensions : Antex DST
10 x 5mm . . . . . . . . H
12 x 12mm . . . . . . . W
14 x 14mm . . . . . . . X
15 x 8mm . . . . . . . . Q
18 x 18mm . . . . . . . Y
20 x 8mm . . . . . . . . S

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Can the 102 bit be used on a G18 iron?

No, the bit has a lower mass than those designed for this iron. Using it will cause the tip temperature to be too high and the element life to be reduced.

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Can the 1100 bit be used on an XS25 iron?

No, the bit has a lower mass than those designed for this iron. Using it will cause the tip temperature to be too high and the element life to be reduced.

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Can the 51 bit be used on the SD50 or TC50 irons?

No, the extra mass will degrade the station's ability to control temperature. It will also increase the handle temperature.

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Do I need to use a fume extraction system with my iron?

The flux contained in solder wire usually contains a substance called rosin. When heated it will give off fumes which are a potential hazard to respiratory health. The use of a rosin free solder should be considered, although it is not practical in every application.

A fume extraction system should be used to remove the fume from the users breathing zone and either filter it or vent it to atmosphere.

The sophistication of the system depends upon the amount of soldering that a person does and in what environment. If in doubt a health and safety practitioner should be consulted.

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How can I calibrate a 660TC station?

  1. Connect unit to supply and turn on.
  2. Adjust P1 to null IC2 pin 6 at half rail voltage (4.00V). Before taking measurement short pins 1 and 2 at DIN socket.
  3. Rotate P3 to minimum position.
  4. Remove short from pins 1 and 2; connect a milli-volt generator across them. Connect a 100 Ohm resistor, of at least 5 Watts to pins 3 and 4 at DIN socket.
  5. Apply 1.8mV dc and adjust P2 to give 50% flash rate on LED.
  6. Rotate P3 to maximum position.
  7. Apply 20.4mV dc, LED should flash at 50%, if not adjust P2 accordingly.
  8. Rotate P3 to minimum position and recheck with 1.8mV.
  9. If the unit fails to comply with readings, return to Antex for servicing.
  10. Providing that the unit does comply with readings it is calibrated. Secure the preset resistors against vibration.

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How can I calibrate a 690SD station?

The 690SD continually monitors all the internal conditions to maintain calibration accuracy. Provided that the iron is also satisfactory then it should not be necessary to recalibrate the unit.

If a large custom made bit is to be used then adjustments may be required. In the case of Antex DSTs the instruction manual shows how to carry this out. In other cases please contact us for detailed instructions.

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How can I calibrate a Mark 2, XS or CS iron?

These fixed temperature irons do not require calibration. The only problem that can occur is element failure, which will cause the tip to cool completely. The one exception to this is where blackening of the bit will cause the temperature to fall from 420C to 370C, still well within the soldering range.

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How do I change the soldering bit on an iron?

  1. Switch off iron and allow to cool,
  2. Slide bit retaining spring forward until it is clear of the slot in the bit. This can be achieved with the help of a flat-blade screwdriver,
  3. Remove bit from iron, never grip or bend the iron shaft, this will damage the element,
  4. Fit new bit, and slide retaining spring back into place. If the bit is brand new remember to tin its face thoroughly, as it heats up.
  5. On the new design of bit, an internal shim is used to retain the bit, instead of the outer spring steel retainer. This new design of shim makes changing bits easier, and  can be changed with a gentle pulling action on the old bit, without the need to remove any outer spring.

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How do I make the perfect pipe joint using the Pipemaster?

Make sure copper pipe ends, and the inside of the couplings, are cleaned to a bright finish with wire wool. Liberally apply flux to all joint surfaces. The "Laco" brand has been found to be effective with all head sizes. The "Powerflow" brand, designed for use with lead free solder, has proved unsuitable for use with 22mm copper pipes.

Always support the joint after fully assembling all the pipes and couplings, ensuring that each has a tight fit. This allows faster heat transfer from the pipe to the coupling. By supporting the joint movement is less likely to cause a dry solder joint.

Before attempting to make a joint ensure that the Pipemaster will perform at it's best by making sure that surface of it's heads are clean and shiny. After use, always clean off heads with a nylon pad. Leave the Pipemaster to reach its full temperature (about 5 minutes) before using.

When making a joint, position the Pipemaster heads so that a good contact is made all around the circumference of the pipe. Hold the pipemaster at about 45-degrees and position the heads about 3mm from the joint. When using Yorkshire fittings, apply heat until the solder is just visible at the edge of the coupling.

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How do I unlock a 690 SD soldering station when the PIN has been lost?

Follow procedure in instruction booklet for "if PIN is lost", remember that 1 second is longer than you may think. Make a note of the number that is displayed and then follow procedure in paragraph 6 to unlock station.

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I have completed the soldering of my project, but it doesn't work. What can I do?

  1. Ensure the power supply is working.
  2. Are all of the soldered joints good quality?
  3. Is there too much solder?
  4. Has the solder run smoothly and evenly around the joint?
  5. Have you soldered all of the components?
  6. Have you trimmed all of the component leads to 1 mm?
  7. Is the circuit correct?
  8. Have you accurately followed the circuit diagram?
  9. Is the component polarity correct?
  10. Are there any solder bridges or crossed tracks?

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I have measured the tip temperature of my temperature controlled iron, why is it much lower than the value set on the station?

The only accurate method that can be used is a calibrated infra-red pyrometer. Any method that involves contact with the tip, such as a thermocouple probe, will sink heat away. This will introduce an error measured in tens of C. This is particularly true if the probe is placed on the surface of the bit without a blob of molten solder to assist heat transfer.

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My 690SD station will only display 000C and heats the SD50 iron continuously.

This effect is caused by a short circuit across the temperature monitoring circuit.

The most likely cause is a solder bridge on the PCB inside the handle of the SD50. This usually happens when the user fits a new element to the iron.

Examine the area where the red and orange wires connect to the PCB, remove the solder and remake the joint.

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My solder melts at 188C, if I set my soldering station to this temperature it will not melt it.

The right tip temperature for an application depends upon many factors, just because the solder is specified to melt at 188C it is not correct to assume that this is the right tip temperature.

To find the correct temperature increase the setting on the station until the solder melts instantly on the tip. Now try making a joint at this temperature. If the joint takes too long to make or is of an unacceptable quality increase the temperature by 20C and try again. Continue this until the optimum time and temperature is found and lock the station to it.

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What do the 690SD error messages mean?

Should a fault occur the station display will show the following.

ERR1 - Heating element open circuit.
ERR2 - Iron not connected, or sensor open circuit.

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What type of thermocouple is used in Antex temperature controlled irons?

K type.

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Why might a soldering bit fail to tin properly, either from new or in use?

As a new bit heats up a layer of oxide will form on the surface, this will make tinning very difficult. This can be prevented by tinning as the bit is warming up. The oxide can usually be removed from a COLD bit by GENTLE use of "Scotchbrite".

If the bit will still not tin try using Multicore Tip Tinner & Cleaner. Use only as a last resort at its aggressive nature will shorten bit life.

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Why might a soldering iron fail to make joints correctly, or consistently?

This is usually caused by insufficient heat being transferred from the heater, through the bit into the soldered joint. Heat flow can be maximised by using a bit with the largest tip dimensions convenient for the task and the largest possible mass. Only when this has proved unsuccessful should a higher wattage of iron be considered.

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Why might a Soldip fail to tin conventional wires?

  1. Wires are contaminated, additional flux dip should always be used before soldering.
  2. Supply voltage in UK can be as low as 207V, thus producing a drop in temperature.

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Why might a Soldip fail to tin solderable wire?

Soldip is not designed for this application.

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