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Hakko FR-300 desoldering gun maintenance tips


icemanxp300
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Ok so me being a First Time Desoldering Gun owner I have since found numerous upkeep and maintenance.

 

The simplest being you use the nozzle cleaner to go through the barrel, but this does not need to go all the way through that is what the screwdriver shaped barrel cleaner is for. With that said after getting the nozzle stuck NUMEROUS times and being a complete PITA to get back out. here are tips for that.

 

Take some side cutters and cut the nozzle tip at a pointed angle, you will not cut much off and can likely still go all the way to end of barrel. Take sand paper and sand off the black residue, this makes the nozzle to thick to slide through easily.

 

Moving along I recommend replacing both rubber gaskets on each side of the plastic filter pipe after significant use.

 

Front Holder A1217

Filter Pipe Holder B5020

 

I also replaced the filter pipe canister B5017

 

Then of course you have to replace the ceramic filters often A1033

 

I as well replaced the suction hose that is under the back yellow cover B5018 and be aware this hose can come off if it was not put on securely. I found this out after sending the unit back in for repair after my heater A5000 died after 2 months.

 

Another point about the gasket seals sometimes when you snap the filter pipe back in it is possible it does not seal 100% so it is always a good idea to give it a twist back and forth every time you pop it back in just to make sure you get a good seal.

 

 

Now that was all pretty basic stuff but this is the real reason for this write up.

 

 

I have found that while replacing all of the above, and it did help, it was not the biggest problem. The biggest problem lies deeper inside the mechanics. When you use the gun you hear a nice vibrating suction sound and that suction sound comes from a valve plate and/or diaphragm inside.

 

The valve plate B5023 is located between the fixing plate "part the suction hose is attached to" and pump head. The Diaphragm B5204 is located inside under the pump head.

 

Now while the valve plate is pretty simple to change the diaphragm is a bit harder. I found the only way to remove it "since the screw likes to strip very easy and fast" was to take off the plastic housing and pull the motor assembly out so you can grip the plastic the screw screws into. You need to secure the diaphragm from moving so you can get a good bite and good pressure on the screw.

 

After replacing those I have now got back excellent suction and that nice vibrating suction sound. I know I definitely waited too long to replace them as I did not know about them. I probably should have replaced those every year instead of waiting 2 years of decent use.

 

You can see in the picture how yellowed and orange looking the valve plate is and it actually breaks down and releases an oily residue that prevents it from flapping allowing air to circulate. I actually used goo gone to clean the fixing plate and pump head. Then I washed and dried w/ a hair dryer.

 

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You mentioned ceramic filters? I'm only aware of the cotton like filters that sit at the back of the solder holder itself. I've also found I can somewhat extent the use of these cotton like filters by simply removing the current dirty layer. They come apart similar to Grands biscuits.

 

So my question is this since I own of these and have for just about 2 years now I guess:

 

How often should the filters at the back of the solder holder tank? Mine is not used daily and actually can go for week without any use at all. When i do use it, it is usually for just a few mods or something on consoles. The largest projects that it has seen any real and needed use for was when I did the +5 ram changeout and upgrade to my CV, and it is used for all recap jobs. I've also found it to be quite handy and cleaning up solder pads on surface mount stuff.

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Those cotton like filters are ceramic filters.

 

https://www.hakkousa.com/products/replacement-parts/a1033.html

 

It's tough to say how often to replace and it depends on what you are doing. Once they get really black you can peel them back and I have done that but they still are very yellowed through-out and that resist air flow. I found peeling them and such works fine for pads, but you are going to have a harder time doing through-hole and the thicker the pcb the harder it will be.

 

Like doing genesis is super easy as they are pads usually. Snes and nes are through-hole "usually, some are pads" and require more air flow than genesis. Jaguar has a thicker pcb and is through-hole, I will not even bother doing Jaguar unless I have a new filter.

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My advise if you plan to do a ton of desoldering is to get something in the Hakko FM series (Eg. FM-204). You need to have "shop air" aka an air compressor but that thing is godly. Try it and you will never go back.

I even like the Engineer manual hand pump over the FR300.

The FR300 never has enough suction (for my uses) without using smaller nozzles and the smaller nozzles less than 1.3mm get gummed up too easy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just wanted to also mention replacing the tip is crucial. They do round out. I actually just bought a new tip because the old tip was not working hardly at all. I went with a N50-02 which is not the stock tip. This tip is classified as "extended". The main difference is this tip has a thinner wall. It still has a 1mm hole but the wall thickness is slightly smaller giving it the ability to get in tighter areas and in my opinion a more precise suction.

 

I will not buy the stock N50-04 again. This tip is so much better for what I do. I have had some pins that are tight and while I forced the N50-04 in there I already know this N50-02 will be better.

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