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Team Checkpoint TC-950 Soldering Station

Upgrade your old dark ages soldering iron for this temperature selectable setup!

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Introduction


Dimensions:120mm x 93mm x 70mm
Power:60w
Temperature Range:200° - 480°C (392°- 896°F)
LED Readout:LED indicator – flashes when heating solid when at temp
Power Input:110-120v AC
Weight:1315g (2.9lbs)
US distributor:Team Checkpoint
Price:$79.99

In this hobby – soldering is simply a fact of life. Many of us find ourselves using sub-par, cheap tools to do that mission critical job. I must admit it – I too found myself in the dark ages as far as soldering goes, using cheapo 15w and 40w irons. They can get the job done, but there have been times when the 15w iron was not hot enough while for large jobs the 40w iron was too much or perhaps not enough, and I did not want to buy a third iron to get to 60w. This new soldering station shows all of those concerns the door.

The Team Checkpoint TC-950 Soldering Station reduces your several soldering irons to just one unit that gets the job done properly. The TC-950 is fully temperature adjustable from 200° - 480°C at up to 60w power levels, enabling you to set temps low enough for shrink wrap and hot enough for end to end soldering of battery packs or other large tasks. With the temperature control you can also apply the correct heat levels, which is important for proper soldering.

Contents

Included for review:

  • Soldering iron with stand
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Temperature control unit
  • Chisel point tip
  • Pencil tip
  • Instruction manual
  • Decals

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty 60 watts of power
  • Heats very quickly to selected temperature
  • Adjustable temperature range of 392°-896°F,
  • Holds temp settings within 1.8°F (1°C) while idle
  • Well insulated handle for comfortable grip
  • Chisel point tip and pencil tip
  • Iron stand and cleaning sponge
  • 5-year warranty on the unit
  • 1 year on the iron handle electronics

Setup

The Team Checkpoint TC-950 soldering station was very simple to set up. Applying the decals took the most time. Certainly that is not required for proper function of the unit, but the decals do jazz it up a bit, and the face decal provides the temperature indicators.

The iron has a factory installed connector and twist lock that attach it to the base unit. A quick wetting of the sponge had me ready to solder!

Testing

The Team Checkpoint TC-950 soldering station was a breeze to use. Simply plug the base in and switch it on. I really like the power switch - it allows you to power off without unplugging, ideal for a workbench setup.

Temperature control

A prominent LED is located right by the temperature control. The easy to read decal lets you know about the various adjustable temperature settings. Flashing indicates it is heating, solid means that it is at temperature.

Once powered up, the station heated very quickly. The days of long waits for the iron are over! Equally as impressive, the iron stayed at temp well, even on heavy wire and large connectors.

The base unit has the temperature dial for adjustment. I found it was very easy to quickly adjust. For those who do the same job over and over the temperature dial offers a set screw to dial in and lock in a particular heat setting. But I liked the fact I could drop the or raise the temp quickly for various applications. The dial was easy to adjust but offered good resistance, so accidental temperature changes are unlikely.

It is easy to overheat small connectors and wires. I have regularly used too large an iron before for most jobs. The quick dial temperature setting has made this a thing of the past.

Throughout operation, even with higher temps and long “on” times, the insulated iron handle stayed cool to the touch. My old fashioned iron handles just got hotter and hotter to the point that I would have to unplug and cool them. This was not an issue with the TC-950 - impressive.

Conclusion

The Team Checkpoint TC-950 was a total pleasure to use. It was very simple to setup and operate. I really liked the power switch, making it easy to keep on the bench yet plugged in and turned off.

The TC-950 heats faster than any iron I have used, a welcome change we all hate waiting for irons to get to temperature.

It was easy to keep the tip clean, tinned and up to temperature. It had no issue with large soldering tasks. Large connectors, wires and motor bullets are no task for the TC-950. It heated them all quickly and allowed proper solder flow.

I love not having to switch irons for different tasks. This one will accommodate the smallest soldering tasks, even heat tube shrinking at relatively low temperatures. With a quick adjustment you can be tinning monster wire and connectors. What more could one want?

Find yours today at the local hobby shop or online. Highly Recommended.

Pluses:

  • Well insulated handle
  • Heats ultra fast
  • Holds temperature well
  • Very easy to use
  • Adjustable temperature gets the job done right at correct temperature

Minuses:

  • Longer AC cord for base unit would be welcome
Last edited by Angela H; Apr 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM..
Thread Tools
Apr 17, 2009, 04:54 PM
AMA # L576
vhoward1122's Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/c6grpn

This is the one I use at work all day. Hakko is probably the company that makes them for Team Checkpoint. I wouldn't be surprised. Very good station for the money and will last you for the rest of your life. You can get replacement tips of all shapes and sizes for this iron.

It is worth the money to get a soldering station such as this. It will eliminate much frustration.

One thing I find easier to use to clean the tip than a wet sponge is a coarse steel wool thing for scrubbing pans. Such as a choreboy. Like these:
http://www.kitchensupplydirect.com/PAD-50.html
Last edited by vhoward1122; Apr 19, 2009 at 06:05 PM.
Apr 17, 2009, 07:21 PM
Shocking!
Kevlar's Avatar
Good review: I have one that is very similar in design to this station that I purchased from Harbor Freight - has worked very well in the past year soldering ESCs and Battery connectors, Dean's plug's and general electronic circuits.

I went to their site to show you guy's and now they've replaced it with a digital version....so....hmmmm

Complete soldering station with stand, designed to make soldering jobs effortless.

* Variable temperature range of 300°-840° Fahrenheit (150°-450° Celsius) for a wide variety of applications
* LED display
* Large, easy-to-use dial to set temperature
* Three preset buttons to lock in temperatures
* Removable foam pad to keep tips clean
* Professional quality at an exceptional value

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=96531
Apr 17, 2009, 07:23 PM
Registered User
Also...
http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7307

I bought a CSI Station 1 (exact clone of the Hakko 936). They don't have the Station 1 anymore... looks like the Station 1A replaced it which appears very similar

Anyway, they work great. I know several people that have them (Station 1's) and they all love them. I've used mine on SMT stuff too. Also have hot tweezers for it (that I haven't used yet).

Great tool for the price IMO.
Apr 17, 2009, 10:19 PM
Registered User
atckirk's Avatar

Hammerhead tips fit?


Anyone know if the hammerhead tips for the 40w weller irons fit? Just curious, I guess I haven't used it since I've stopped using the niXX cells.

Kirk.
Apr 17, 2009, 10:20 PM
Registered User
That´s mine, very good and nice features:

Aoyue 937+ Digital Soldering Station
Long Life Ceramic heat Element
Digital thermostat control ± 1° C
24 volt output to prevent circuit damage
Temperature lock
45 watt Power consumption
Temperature range 200-480° C (392-897° F)
Comes with controller, iron, stand and sponge
110 V AC

Gustavo
Apr 18, 2009, 12:31 AM
Registered User
Wow, it looks a hell of a lot like my Weller, just a little cheaper.

Cool, I'll have to recommend it to some friends who are still using straight cord irons. Buying a good soldering station is one of the best things you can do. They're wonderful.
Apr 18, 2009, 07:07 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Thanks guys it is a great unit....

Kirk - I am not sure about the Weller hammer heads.

Mike
Apr 18, 2009, 08:43 AM
Registered User
DForbes's Avatar
Nice review but what about replacement tips???

It may not seem like a big deal but have you ever tried to buy replacement tips for older irons? If I am going to pay $80 for an iron than replacement tips better be available.

Dennis
Apr 18, 2009, 02:47 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Dennis I am pretty confident that you will be able to get replacement tips....

I don't see any on the site yet... but can't imagine they won't. This is something you will use for years.

Mike
Apr 20, 2009, 06:32 AM
Use the 4S Luke
feathermerchant's Avatar
FWIW Keeping the temp down makes the tips last a real long time. I've had my Weller Solder station for almost 30 yrs. Same tip. It is fixed temp but temp controlled 60W unit.
Great article Mike.
Apr 20, 2009, 05:39 PM
Love anything RC
merlin703's Avatar
Haggy38, can the soldering iron easy be replaced (not hard wired)??
The Aoyue looks really good so let me know about the soldering iron... hopefully is removable, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggy38
That´s mine, very good and nice features:

Aoyue 937+ Digital Soldering Station
Long Life Ceramic heat Element
Digital thermostat control ± 1° C
24 volt output to prevent circuit damage
Temperature lock
45 watt Power consumption
Temperature range 200-480° C (392-897° F)
Comes with controller, iron, stand and sponge
110 V AC

Gustavo
Apr 20, 2009, 07:19 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Yes the iron is removable.

Mike
Apr 21, 2009, 12:10 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodersen
Also...
http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7307

I bought a CSI Station 1 (exact clone of the Hakko 936). They don't have the Station 1 anymore... looks like the Station 1A replaced it which appears very similar

Anyway, they work great. I know several people that have them (Station 1's) and they all love them. I've used mine on SMT stuff too. Also have hot tweezers for it (that I haven't used yet).

Great tool for the price IMO.
The CSI Station 1A isn't an exact clone since it's only 40W, for some reason. I've been looking for a soldering stations for quite awhile, and have noticed there are many Chinese companies that sell stations that look just like the ones Hakko sells. My quess is many, or all, come from the same place that makes them for Hakko. Some of the other stations that look just like the Hakko 936 are higher wattage. A bit odd that some are only 35W, 40W, and 45W though.
Apr 21, 2009, 12:25 PM
Love anything RC
merlin703's Avatar
I just got off the phone with Hakko and they were able to helped me out with my problem. Last year, I bought the 936 S version, which is for small electronics. That wasn't working to solder bullets and 12 gauge wires. Back then, the sales rep told me the soldering iron would cost me about $80 bucks.... I thought that was crazy since the entires new set of the L version is about $90. I figured I would call one last time and see if they would be willing to do something about it... well, the person that just helped me talked to her boss and they are selling me the new soldering iron for $35 with free shipping instead of $80. Not bad at all so I will end up with a well tested good product and not have to invest on a new soldering station


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