I am asked to review the most widely and commonly used soldering station DSS36 from INDE Enterprises. It is one of the most affordable Soldering Station in India and priced at Rs.8,000/-+. Now let us not waste time and review this so called low cost work horse for service / manufacturing and rework industry in India.
INDE DSS36 Soldering Station is an Indian version of Quick 236 Soldering Station. The DSS36 is Quality Tested and assembled/ manufactured in India by INDE Enterprises under ‘Make in India’ flagship program of Modi Government for the local consumers in India.
The DSS36 Soldering Station is tested on all the parameters set by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC). The STQC has found DSS36 Soldering Station conforming to the claims made by the company and certified it for the Indian Consumers. The tests were conducted at Electronic Test and Development Center in Mohali and passed all the parameters like Temperature Range, Power Consumption, ESD Safety Standards and more.
When I opened the package of DSS36 Soldering Station I found a User Manual on the top. The User Manual from the first glance I found is very poorly written and is well below average. There were many grammatical mistakes, it could have been better written. The User Manual is in English and Chinese.
Anyways, after removing the top thermocol I took out the main unit of DSS36 from the packaging. The plastic quality of DSS36 main unit is excellent and feels very good. It is not slippery in hands; further the weight of the main unit is very proportionate and heavy making it very practical while repairing circuits as it does not move here and there on the workbench when you accidentally pull the soldering iron (pencil).
Just place the main unit of the DSS36 on the table and connect the main power cord on the back side and soldering pencil / iron on the front panel port (push-fit-type) on the bottom right side next to the power button. The feel of both the cords gives me an impression they are made to last for many years. The cords are very securely connected (push-fit type ensures a click sound making you realize that it is securely attached) and appears to cause no electrical lose points. So the cords and connectors of this soldering station are excellent. In my view, they will last for many years.
After having connected to the main unit to the power and to the soldering pencil / iron I switched on the main DSS36 unit and within 5 seconds it reached the preset (default) temperature of 370 degrees. That was quick!!! Nice.
Though there is a thermal grounding cord provided for ESD safe working, I did not used it as I just wanted to review the units’ working as a normal soldering station for a street repair mechanic. I have worked on Hakko, Weller and other type of Soldering Stations however, I have found this DSS36 soldering station much simpler in terms of usage and in terms of understanding various functionalities it offers at such a low price. The lowest FX-888D Hakko Soldering Station is available in India at Rs. 11,500/- but I don’t see it competing with DSS36 in terms of functionalities and even in reliability sense.
Using the two arrow buttons provided on the front panel I was able to set the temperature to a desired heat easily. The maximum temperature that I was able to set is 480 degrees and minimum is 80 degrees. It is as per the manual – but I wanted to check it myself to ensure that it attains it very smoothly. It is simple and easy. But, as per what I was told by the INDE Enterprises the best temperature to work for any type of soldering needs is 350 degrees.
At 80 degrees I see it was not able to melt the common soldering wire instantly. I was actually using Bharti Solder Wire. Now, since I was also given a role of lead free solder wire by the INDE Enterprises from Stannol – it was melting nicely even at 80 degrees. I think DSS36 is very compatible with Stannol Solder wire at low temperatures. Anyways, it worked for me.
I was given 2 types of bits – chisel type and knife type to test. Chisel type worked nicely on the through hole components while knife type bit was actually designed to remove SMD components from the board. I tried removing an SMD LED from a worn out LED bulb and to my surprise it removed it very quickly. So, YES… this DSS36 Soldering Station is very capable of working on SMD components. Then I tried soldering a new SMD LED on the worn out LED bulb and it soldered it very nicely without damaging it. See the picture below.
I was particularly interested to calibrate the temperature according the digital calibration meter – but I was not provided with calibration meter. Anyways, I am sharing here a video where you can see how the calibration of DSS36 soldering station is done.
Replacing the soldering tips is an easy job. Just open the barely assembly (by rotating it anti-clockwise) on the front of soldering iron and remove it. Now just remove the soldering tip and replace it with new one and put the barrel assembly back on by rotating is clockwise. It was one of the simplest tasks that I did while using this soldering station. The quality of barrel assembly and the soldering tip is excellent. I mean it is seriously designed to last for many years. The overall quality is way above Hakko at this price point. The handle of the soldering pencil / iron is rugged and very ergonomically designed to give your hands a tireless working for many hours. I could latterly feel the quality in hands. Further, there was absolutely no heat transfer from the soldering barrel to the handle making it ideal for long working without having to worry about burning your hands. In Hakko, I felt the heat being transferred from the heating barrel to the handle when working for over 20 minutes continuously.
Temperature locking through Password is the best feature that I have seen in this DSS36 Soldering Station. Though it is available with FX-888D Hakko Soldering Station it is way too clumsy on it. You have three 7 segment displays in Hakko and only 2 buttons (UP and ENTER) to control with each button assigned multiple roles. It’s just too much to learn for a service technician! I see that Hakko FX-888D doesn’t stand any chance in front of DSS36 in terms of ease of use.
Another factor that you can see is that FX888D is nearly double the cost of DSS36 in India. In my view point DSS36 scores over FX888D. Further, FX888D works on 120V whereas DSS36 is inbuilt for 220V Indian Standard Power Supply.
Another advantage of DSS36 is that you can get ‘Make in India’ spares and service across India from the various outlets and service centers spanning all across various cities in India.
The DSS36 soldering station comes with optional Auto Solder Wire Feeder that enhances the production rate on the assembly line and also reduces the solder wire wastage. Thus improving the efficiency and reducing the cost. However, the company did not give it to me for the review. I have seen it working in their workshop though. I am sharing a video here in this review to help you understand the use of a Solder Wire Feeder when using DSS36 Soldering Station.
INDE Enterprises also provided me the optional SMD Thermal Tweezer that is used as an add-on for quick reworking of SMD LED Chips & SMD ICs and other SMD components like 0603 Chips, SODs, SOTs, SOICs. The video that I am sharing herewith will also give you an overview of how it is being used.
HOW DOES AN SMD THERMAL TWEEZER WORKS:
- - Switch ON Power and set desired temperature on the main DSS36 Soldering Unit.
- - Grip the chip component using the Thermal Tweezer and hold for few seconds till solder melts.
- - Pick up chip component from the PCB and that is it.
To my surprise, it worked immaculately. I was able to remove SMD components very easily using this Tweezer. It will take little time to get used to it if you are using it for the first time. You just need to plug it into the same point where Soldering Pencil / Soldering Iron is plugged. Actually it is an optional product. It is only required if you are working on SMD circuits too often.
OVERALL REVIEW SUMMARY:
- - Build Quality: Excellent
- - User Manual: Very Poorly Written
- - Ease of Use: Yes
- - Price: Very Competitive
- - Competitor: Hakko FX-888D
- - Overall Experience: Very Good
- - Spares: Easily Available Across India
- - Cash On Delivery: Available
- - Certificate: Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC)
- - Availability: Ready Available
The overall picture that DSS36 paint is that it is one of the best soldering station available at this price. Since it conforms to all the safety standards set by the various Indian Government agencies – making it safe and reliable to use soldering station in India. Further, using it will give you a sense of pride that it conforms of Make In India flagship program.
COMPARISON BETWEEN DSS36 SOLDERING STATION AND HAKKO FX-888D
GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS OF DSS36
- - BRAND: INDE OR QUICK
- - MODEL: INDE DSS36 or QUICK 236
- - Power : 90 Watts
- - Input Supply : 230 VAC, 50 Hz
- - Temperature Range : 80°C ~ 480°C
- - Tip to Ground Potential : < 2mV
- - Tip to Ground Resistance : < 2 Ohm
GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS OF HAKKO FX-888D
- - BRAND: HAKKO
- - MODEL: HAKKO FX-888D
- - Power : 70 Watts
- - Input Supply : 120 VAC, 50 Hz
- - Temperature Range : 50°C ~ 480°C
- - Tip to Ground Potential : < 3mV
- - Tip to Ground Resistance : < 4 Ohm
Service, spare parts and technical support is available for DSS36 from various outlets and service centers of INDE Enterprises across India. I am thinking of purchasing this unit for myself just because it’s too easy to use and breeze to customize. It will give me a peace of mind as I will know that if anything goes wrong I have INDE Enterprises to take care of any un-eventuality.
MY THUMBS UP FOR DSS36 OVER HAKKO FX-888D!
WHERE TO BUY A SOLDERING STATION DSS36 IN INDIA
You can buy INDE SOLDERING STATION DSS36 from INDE Enterprises. For your immediate reference, I am listing the contact address:
Contact: Paras & Romesh