Weller WD 1000M Review

Part 1 – First impression, aspect, build

Weller WD 1000M properly introduced

It is very easy to notice what is “Made in Germany” (see some pics below). At least is obvious for those of us that share the opinion that in the perimeter delimited by Rhine, Oder, Neisse, the North and Baltic Sea[s] and the Inn, great things happen and this can be seen and – hopefully – touched. From Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW, Velaro (ICE) trains, Fasching, with or without (better withHeidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, Alexandra Tretter, Amanda Seyfried and Diane Krüger (BTW, have you seen her in “Inglorious Basterds”? – wasn’t she gorgeous looking ?!), to Bayern München, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Leberknodel stuff…

Thus, for most of us, Germany means properly done babies like this:

or this:

Which gets us to the point. I mean the fact that I cannot stress more the importance of having the right quality tool whenever you’re on the brink of doing something. I have never been the advocate of cheap cr@p just because is cheap and one can buy ten more if something wrong happens. Mostly because I know that “something wrong” is not only about fumes and blowing up equipment and replacement parts. It also has to do with your hands and nerves and your health and safety in general. So do yourself a favor: get the best you can even if this means you have to save more. Or get a better job. Or another chick. Or something.

Thus, I had a WHS 40D for a year. Cool soldering station to work with, but kind of toy-ish. A very well made toy, though, but… still. Lately, I got more into SMD projects and quite a hassle to do this without proper tools. Since reflow techniques are out of reach (simply because my project’s corner is limited to a 1.6m x 1.6m IKEA cabinet), I needed something that I was drooling for some time. The Weller WD 1000M soldering station. Voila:

Today I will just share some photos and nothing more because I have just unpacked this little beast. BTW, the packing was impressive: a huge box with sexy wrappings inside, to protect the content:

  1. The WD 1M (power unit and multi-function control module);
  2. The WMRP soldering pencil with RT3 soldering tip (hot swappable !);
  3. The WMRT soldering pencil holder with magnetic sensor;
  4. A cool extensible mini-A to type A USB cable;
  5. A right-angled mini-jack for tip grounding;
  6. CD rom with device software and drivers (unfortunately only for PC → opportunity to make some mac drivers and app !);
  7. Lots of manuals.

Weller WMRP soldering “pencil” for WD 1000 M soldering station.

Next part[s] of the review will be focused on operations, manual, PC control… what else ? So stay tuned.

For now, just to say my new toy is a small panzer: Weller WD 1000M build is awesome, the green parts are made of plastic and the rest is heavy metal. One can see this from behind where the heat sink is placed:

WD 1M, power and control unit, doggy style: the greenish cap is made of sturdy plastic with full metal base and rear enclosure. Built like a tank.

The power cable is unexpectedly flexible which was a big surprise for me as I was expecting the same low-grade PVC-based cables that I am usually accustomed by low-grade products. Not so. Very nice surprise.

Anyway, one can notice – at close inspection – the high manufacturing quality: round the power plug, the cutout is very carefully made and the socket fits snugly. Accordingly, inserting and extracting the power cable is not jerky. This really gives the feeling of solidity.

WD 1M: power plug

Immediately above the power plug, the mini USB (mini-A) provides access to control interface. The software looks extensive, I haven’t installed it yet on my small Toshiba, but I will probably do it in a couple of days and I will get back with more details.

Note: the CD included contains several software and one very interesting file called “WD_Decoding.pdf” whose purpose is unclear for now. It seems that there is a code correspondence for each utility key and a lock code.

WD 1M: USB plug – attach here a cable and control the station from a PC.

WD 1M: front view – WMRP soldering pencil attachment plug. The socket has a bayonet-based coupling that allows tight connection of the tip cable.

WMRP, soldering “pencil” coupling: the outer ring has a bayonet-like mount that allows tight coupling with the WD 1M socket.

WD 1M: grounding indicator and power switch on “Off” position.

Nice mechanical feedback from the power switch makes me think that components are of very good quality. Looks cool to. The grounding sign indicates a jack on the bottom that allows grounding the tip to prevent ESD.

WD 1M: Grounding indicator and power switch on “On” position.

WD 1M: grounding socket on the bottom plate.

The RT3 soldering tip is hot-swappable, which means that can be replaced while station is operated. Careful though, it should be pulled only by the rubbery mid-section.

WMRP “pencil” and RT3 soldering tip: the RT3 soldering tip is hot-swappable

Weller WD 1000M WMRP tip is something like 2mm wide (maybe less, did not measure it) which makes it perfect for precision soldering.

RT3 soldering tip: note the size of the tip.
This requires special care since these tips are quite expensive.

RT3 soldering tip: the “coupling” side, power and control contacts.

WMRP vs WHS 40 D

WMRP soldering “pencil” and WHS 40D soldering pen. Note the difference in size and consider that WHS 40D has a 3 mm tip.

WMRT: magnetic probe

Placing the WMRP soldering pencil in the cradle while operating the station cuts off the power thus the tip will run colder. A very nice feature that should improve tip life.

WMRP solder pencil placed in the WMRT magnetic cradle.

WMRP solder pencil placed in the WMRT cradle and magnetic sensor.

Lastly – but not the least – the device is provided with a brass sponge included in the WMRT base. A nice addition 😉

WMRT: base with brass sponge; a considerate addition.

That’s it for today. More to come and another review on the software part of Weller WD 1000M, especially that I have to plug it, power it and use it. So I will cover operation, menus and software control in another review.

Briefly, very good impression so far. Looks and feels amazing, will be a welcome addition to my DIY panel. And, as a corollary, remember to

Claudia Schiffer

There are good tools and poor tools. Everything else falls in one of these two categories.

 
 

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