Not really testing question but...

Alex SE

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Oct 10, 2021
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125
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Amateur
#1
... it's about a tools.
Have a Metcal MX-500P-21 soldering station which I just love, but... . When I power it ON, it turns on yellow LED instead of a green one (green means ready, yellow means fault). Couple times turn on-turn off and it works and it happens more and more often. Today I couldn't turn it ON at all. Pulled out a plug to see if I can open it and as I couldn't, I left it as is without a power cord connected. Half time later, plugged a cord in and voila - it works.
Is there anyone have an experience with Metcal or generally have an idea what can be wrong. I'm guessing that it can be some cold joint but... just wondering.
Now its cold again and I tried to start it and it turns on from the first try so something strange is happening. Just want to be prepared in the case...
 

Gepetto

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#2
Does your solder pencil use the pluggable tip cartridges? Sometimes a fault is associate with that connection, unplug and replug several times and it usually clears up.

Other thing to check is the cable connector to the main unit, they use clamping style connectors that look like BNC connectors. Sometimes that clamp loosens up and you get a fault from that as well.
 

Alex SE

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Oct 10, 2021
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#3
I have tried what you're suggesting, even before. Fortunately I have both spare wand and different kind of a tip, and problem seems to be somewhere else. Interesting thing is that, if a unit is unplugged (no matter if I unplug a cord from it or just cut a power on the extension cable switch) and leave it so for a while, it turns on without a problem. Maybe it is just coincidence, but right at the moment that's how it is.
More and more I believe it's some cold joint. Here is what I've found on YouTube. Don't know, but if it works sometimes and sometimes not, it sounds logical that nothing is dead. More likely it loosing a contact somewhere.
Have tested again now, pulled out and pushed back a plug that goes into the unit, couple of times , and it 3-4 times it doesn't works, and than it works and then doesn't works again. Weird.
 
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