Electronic question :)

Hey fellow electronic tinkerer’s

I’m thinking getting a new soldering system,
opnion on

X-Tronic Model #3020-XTSor have better suggestion ?

Also , I’m looking to tinker into variable frequency AC power ranging form 25/50 hz to at least 1500 hz if anyone has any suggested gear for that ?

Thanks for any input :slight_smile:

Budget? Lead or lead-free?

The Xytronic looks ok. I’ve used units very similar to it. I currently own the lead-free combo station (LF-853?) that they sell. They work well enough. Xytronic, Aoyue are really all I know of in the super-cheap category. This looks to be a decent choice in that category from what I can see.

The Metcal (that the hive has for a nice iron) and the Pace (that I have) are MUCH better irons but they also cost several times more than the Xytronic. Do you really need that? no. Does it make things easier in many cases? Sure.


That’s an X-tronic, not a Xytronic.

Reminds me of the time my buddy got on ebay to get a hakko like mine and ended up with a “Quakko”, which broke quickly.

Looks iffy to me. Also, 3rd link I looked at says the plastic is flammable, and they can catch on fire. Might be BS, but I can assure you that a mid-brand iron will really make a difference.

Hakko FX-888 is what I’d recommend, as well as lots of other folks. It’s a bit pricier, but the difference is large. Hakkos and Wellers last forever, too. I’ve had a heavily used hakko for 12 years. The Weller WES51 is another solid choice. We have one at hive. Very sturdy & powerful, but not as many tip geometries and less “precise”.

If your budget tops at $50 mark, Weller WLC is very reliable. Nothing fancy, but they work well and are solidly built. Xytronic (not X-tronic) 389 would be decent as well. I’ve gotten xytronic irons for student lab use before.

I’m really not being a snob. A soldering iron is the most used piece of electronic equipment, and yet too many folks seem to go for knock off soldering irons when they’d never consider a harbor freight cordless drill…

As far as frequency generator goes, what are you using it for? Sending audio, clock, timing, etc signals is very different from powering a motor, making a transmitter, or any high load application.

Well I really looking to get a nicer one than the like 30 year old one I have just some like 20 buck generic or something has no controls etc.
I don’t currently have anything major planned mostly I dabble with re-solder boards or dabbling out with 74ls series stuff or switches.

If you know a nice used one that’s similar features temp control etc, worth getting a better one or where to look I’d be open for nicer one,
still more a tinkerer though than like full time re-worker or something :stuck_out_tongue:

reserving more for like the freq generator supply…

Full time re-worker would be $500. :wink:

I guess if you got a knock-off iron, be aware that the tips are the biggest problem. If you went with AOYUE 936, you could put a hakko tip on it and it’d be improved (the plating and thermal mass is much much better). Or, buy a weller WLC and it’ll last another 30 years.

What is this “freq generator supply”. Are you referring to a variable frequency power supply or a function generator, or are you really just looking for a tesla coil?



Well was looking around 50-100 prolly for soldering iron sure be nice to have a crazy nice one but 5-600 + bucks on something I prolly only use couple times a month if that seems bit silly

the generator mostly light load experimenting with effects of freq vs coil tuning emf

I’d still try to nab a deal on a Hakko 888 in that price range.

A function generator from ebay sounds about right for the latter. HP3312 is a solid choice. Those are usually a better bet than a much newer and more expensive used anything else. Only down side is no built in freq counter on that one, but look around… HP, B&K, Keysight, Agilent, Tektronix. Lots of very nice units at a good price.