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Author Topic: RST FG-100 soldering tip thermometer proudly Made in China - Mini Review  (Read 6847 times)

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Online Kiriakos GR

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I am now also owner of RST FG-100 thermometer / soldering iron tip temperature tester.  :)
Ali-Express Total: 12.20 € (price includes shipping + 24% VAT)
The seller actually receives 7.43 (in EUR)

============================

I do now feel happy and angry for two separate reasons.

I do feel happy, because I am going to receive latest 9/2023 batch of RST FG-100.
Now I do feel also angry about all these morons at YouTube, which pretend the experts about product originality ...

The major supplier of RST FG-100 , he clearly mention at the listing that this is a Made in China tester. 
Additionally he mention that HAKKO logo this removed from their production since 27.4.2016   

========================================================================
Any new product this is covered with 10 years of protection regarding product design copyright.
HAKKO FG-100 of the year 2006 had product design copyright expiration the year 2016.
But HAKKO brand logo this has permanent Copyrights protection.

The long story in sort, since 2016 HAKKO moved forwards developing fresher revisions of the basic FG-100.
FG-100 product design this left back = this were discontinued. 

========================================================================
Since the year 2016, FG-100 exterior design this can be reproduced by anyone.
Its now obvious that industry of China this developed their own IC thermometer chip (all in one) = modernized version.
And as it should be expected this 100% Made in China thermometer this is sold for domestic market and exports.

Today the text RST this translates to a product this coming from the major Chinese factory.
According my brain-cells, I did decide to demonstrate trust at the major product supplier at Ali-Express.
Ali-Express this is engine of the communist China, and there is not much of freedom of whom will be a major distributor of any product.
Therefore and according to social model of China, the front man with company name lefavor Official Store he is truly connected with the production source of these FG-100 in China.

Additionally this person / company / shop, he is not willing to set on risk their hard earned good reputation.
This also translates that this seller, he has significant gravity as customer of the production factory =  Only grade A products in stock.
Finally and regarding shipping, any order from this shop it would be prioritized much differently = Fast shipping.     
 
========================================================================
All now sold RST FG-100 they include:
The thermometer plus one Teflon white disc (washer)
Plus 5 pcs of sensor 191-212 (compatible version).

In the positive side of things, PCB soldering quality this has significantly improve since 2018 and later.
Temperature precision of ±3ºC (300 to 600ºC) just for the tester.
Sensor Temperature range 480ºC Max   
 
Bellow are stock photographs along proofs of my own purchase.
Also I need to confess that I do not have second thoughts of giving my money for a modern made substitute tester of the older HAKKO FG-100.
Because at the end of the day the older real thing, this is made of technology available back in 2006, and this is not any better than the new ...     
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Offline overvolt

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Congratulations mate !! 

With this latest addition your lab this is now more complete regarding test gear.  ;)

I did find as interesting your suggestion about the sensor for this tester.
https://www.ittsb.eu/forum/index.php?topic=1871.0

Online Kiriakos GR

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RST FG-100 soldering tip thermometer & Max Hold function explained
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2024, 08:15:11 AM »
Back in time the function of Max-Hold at FG-100 it did caused some confusion mostly at the youth.  :)

Some people though of it as equivalent function to Auto Hold, this does automatic measurement hold when maximum measuring temperature this stabilize within a few seconds.
At HAKKO FG-100 and also at RST-FG-100, Max-Hold this is a manually activated function, the most appropriate name for it this is Display Hold of currently measured value.

As is also explained due the image bellow, at basic FG-100 fast pressing of Max-Hold this is measured value refresh.
Long pressing of  Max-Hold  =  Function ON / OFF




Never forget that HAKKO FG-100 this is electronics design of 2006, it is an accurate thermometer with Hold function and no other magic tricks.  :) 
(Later on at year 2019, HAKKO added both of these functions at FG-100B )
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Online Kiriakos GR

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Congratulations mate !! 

With this latest addition your lab this is now more complete regarding test gear.  ;)

This is a fact ..  :)
And I am very pleased to say, that regarding temperature I can do both, measurements along calibration inspection of the measuring tool.

Thanks mate.   
   
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Offline overvolt

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What about the older Hakko 191 thermometer, any thoughts / comments ?

Online Kiriakos GR

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Here is a new find of my own, of how its FG-100 serial code this translates.

RST brand and the mother of these FG-100, they do not have constantly active production line.
And therefore, they manufacture a fresh batch when stock availability this gets low, and actually only once annually.
(They might produce even 6000 thousands of units per Year or more.)

The code: Translates to production date plus four digits.
Production date starts from Year / Month / Day  =  8 digits

This is of how to find the batch at most FG-100 thermometer, for as long there is a sticker at the back.   
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Online Kiriakos GR

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What about the older Hakko 191 thermometer, any thoughts / comments ?

At Ali Express this meter has the highest rates at:
a) Dead on arrival
b) Not working properly

And I did decide to avoid it and never look back.

RST FG-100 this is All-in-one Chip with few only passive components at the PCB.
This detail translates to, if the chip gets in production with caution? All production will be according to specification. 
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Offline overvolt

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RST FG-100 this is All-in-one Chip with few only passive components at the PCB.
This detail translates to, if the chip gets in production with caution? All production will be according to specification.


I bet that after arrival of your RST FG-100 unit, we will  read the most analytic review ever made for it.  ;)


Online Kiriakos GR

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I bet that after arrival of your RST FG-100 unit, we will  read the most analytic review ever made for it.  ;)

I have actually today, two unit of RST FG-100 shipped to me.   8)

My first RST FG-100, this comes with fast mail (Cainiao - Ali Express)
My second RST FG-100, this comes with normal speed (Sunyou - Sypost)

The first unit will be most recent manufacturing production ( year 2023 or 2024) 
For the second unit, I have no idea as it comes from eBay drop shipper.

Therefore this is not going to be a regular mini review, but also quality control verification.  ;)   
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Today Monday 15 April 2024 we have first RST FG100 Arrival

This is first impression that most to all Ali-Express buyers have and this is confirmed.
You get:

a) An crushed cardboard box  (this made for local storage and the seller use it for international shipping).
And or the warehouse crushed it, because they have an enormously huge pile of these in storage.

b) One RST FG-100 in good condition production 2024 - 06098822
Serial Number Translation: Year - batch number - number of specific thermometer.
Some one produce all ready 9999 units so to sale within 2024

c) One Sensor pack with out anything printed at the back of carton label = Made with love from an anonymous friend.

d) One white washer this made of soft silicon and not of Teflon.
(This might be heat resistant as is the hoses within home Steam Iron for Clothes)

And here are my first photographs gallery / Ali Express style of presentation.   :) 
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Calibration testing due injected signal from a Voltage calibrator

I need to rewrite RST FG-100 PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS because its a different animal.  8)

Entire measuring range this starts from minus 200 Celsius up to 1370  Celsius.
Verified temperate range: This is -70 up to +1370 Celsius (with minimal error).

It is impressive the fact that specific RST FG-100 this delivering identical measurement by one Celsius or less of difference, in comparison to BM869.

I did also verify that at 100C and over, Auto power OFF function this gets automatically disabled.
Auto power OFF function with  three minutes limit it is active at 99C and below.
 
At 100C = Auto power OFF disabled, I did succeed RST FG-100 this to warmup and stabilize for 45 minutes.
(We know that DMM must warmup for 30 minutes for actual calibration testing.)
As soon both measuring devices warmup and stabilize, most measurements came close to be identical.   

My RST FG-100 this has internal PCB revision of 2019, and this translates that all units from 2019 ~ 2024 all are identical.

Note: Never take apart plastic case of RST FG-100, the spring loaded mechanism ITS VERY DIFFICULT to be installed back in place.
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This thing measuring temperature from freezer up to titanium melting point 1668 °C ... Or close enough  ;D
My Japanese helper also confirms that my new RST FG-100 this is spot-on.

So what I did so far?
I did tested this thermometer electronics, side by side with reputable HH DMM, and this task verified that electronics circuit this is extremely well adjusted from the factory.

I did also tested RST FG-100 with external OMEGA K-type thermocouple ( temporarily placement) and this operates normally as any K-type thermometer.

I did measure thickness of RST FG-100 sensor pin, and this is 2.30mm.

I did operate RST FG-100 continues for three hours, no flames appeared.  :D   

At temperature calibration lab, this test called as temperature verification with out sensor error.
There is not any measuring device with out this including even a small calibration error.
And I just confirmed that RST FG-100 measuring error this is not greater than the other two DMM/ Thermometer.
If we do think this Chinese RST FG-100 as plain soldering tip thermometer, then this is of extreme precision, and the OLD times Hakko FG100 a relic with much worst specifications.   

Sensor Error:
I did a small research and the origin of thermocouple wire this is unimportant as quality factor.
The wire is standardized internationally and known tolerance this is +/- 1.5 Celsius.
As far I am aware of, best thermocouple wire this can be manufactured with special request at  +/- 1.1 Celsius by OMEGA USA.

This pack of information offer to us the understanding, that there is not out there any thermocouple wire with magical properties.
Neither thermocouple wire length this has any importance at lengths as is below two meter long.

So what is the secret for a good working sensor?
Its all about sensor assembly precision,  if a pack of five or ten sensor all have identical assembly and they are not handmade, then you may expect identical measurements too.
We care for trusted measurement repeatability between sensor to another sensor exchange / replacement spare part.

OLD times Hakko FG100 datasheet, it mention to avoid measuring above 500C because the sensor cannot handle it.
In fact all  0.20mm diameter thermocouple wire they have as max the 350C limit (internationally).
Only 0.30mm in diameter wire this can tolerate higher temperature up to 700C Max.
Unbranded HAKCO sensor this measure 0.22mm diameter, and I do consider as max limit the 400C.
 
Long story in sort, if you care for single sensor longevity, then use as your own set limit the 400C.   
Any adjustable soldering station, this with verified good linearity at 200C, 300C and 400C then this is considered as well calibrated.
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