Friday, February 8, 2013

Weller's WX Series Soldering Stations: Powerful Soldering, Intelligent Design

Our friends at Weller recently paid a visit to the Q Source headquarters. And, boy, did they ever bring us a couple of cool, new items to play with: The WX1 Single-Channel Soldering Station and the WX2 Two-Channel Soldering Station.

These two new ESD-safe soldering stations from Weller feature a variety of options, many of which were inspired by customer feedback. The main difference between the two is that the WX1 accepts one tool (e.g., a soldering iron) at a time, while the WX2 accepts two tools (soldering irons, tweezers, etc.). Each model has identical temperature range (adjustable temperature range varies among tools (100°C – 450° C | 200° F – 850° F)), temperature accuracy (+/- 9° C (+/- 17° F)), and temperature stability (+/- 6° C (+/- 10° F)).

Looking at these units, you immediately notice the solid, German-built craftsmanship and that trademark Weller blue color. Turning these stations on reveals a pleasant, blue LED back-lit touchscreen (made of anti-static, chemical- and temperature-resistant glass) with LCD text, which is viewable from all angles. The units are easily controlled by six touch keys and the radius finger guide that provides turn-and-click navigation. Tool temperatures are quickly and easily selected via these touch buttons and dial-like radius control.

A closer look at the screen reveals a slew of important information including which tool is plugged into the unit, what the current temperature setting is, and what preset temperature options are available. The WX2 unit is similar, except it displays information for both attached tools.

The front of the soldering station features a convenient layout of three ports (four on the WX2). First there is/are the tool receptacle(s) with quick-change connectors for attaching soldering irons, tweezers, etc. Next, we have the RJ45 port (a second one is on the back of the unit) to manage fume extractors, heating plates, etc. And, finally, a new feature is a multi-purpose USB port for quick firmware updates, data logging, and parameter configuration.

Weller's goal with these stations is to keep the cost of ownership down by helping you conserve energy and providing a system that features intelligent power management (such as the WX-Series handpieces that automatically detect movement and wake the base unit from the user-programmable sleep mode). Along with powerful soldering and an extensive degree of tool compatibility, the WX Series Stations boast the following features and benefits:
  • 200/240W Total Power – The WX1 supports operation of one 200W tool; the WX2 supports simultaneous operation of two 120W tools
  • Global Language Support – Display multiple languages via the menu
  • Automatic Energy Saving Mode – On most models, the user can select a stand-by mode through visual process control via blue LED light ring (light on = heater on, light off = heater off)
  • Increased Accuracy –The pencil’s digital sensor is optimized at short range for peak performance
  • Programmable Read and Write Memory – Allows for quick tool exchange and soldering station adjustments are reduced

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