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Switched-mode solder station
Switched-mode solder station
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Old 8th November 2014, 08:23 AM   #1
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Switched-mode solder station

My solder station is on its way out and I picked up a cheapie so I could focus on my next amplifier, but I was troubled by its buzzing and figured I'd re-mount the transformer before going any further.

Inside I found nothing but a basic SMPS, direct to the iron (no thermal control) and level controlled by a switched pot shunted as a variable reistor. There was dead weight added to the case for aesthetics.

I can reconcile the lack of thermal feedback, but isolation concerns me as I often solder with circuits that have residual voltages and at least a mains earth connection established.

Anyway, I gave the pot a hard time when removing the board and I'd like to know if I could get away with replacing the lot with a transformer, feeding the iron with 17-24Vac @50Hz and a set and forget resistor for the temperature adjustment?
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Old 10th November 2014, 08:35 AM   #2
gmphadte is offline gmphadte  India
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Dona paula, Goa
Making 17 to 24 volts ac is a bit complicated and is not needed. All you can do is use a transfomer of 24 Vac and make it DC by adding a bridge rectifier and filter cap. Following this, use a LM317 or LM338(if more current is needed) as a variable adjustable constant current source.

Gajanan Phadte

Last edited by gmphadte; 10th November 2014 at 08:38 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 10th November 2014, 09:06 AM   #3
googlyone is offline googlyone  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Switched-mode solder station
Are you sure about the way this works?

The temperature would be all over the place if there were no feedback at all.

Questions are:
- Are you sure there is no clever sensing the resistance of the heater itslef?
- Sure there is no PTC / magnetic switching going on in the tip?

It might be important to understand how it works before dropping in an alternative PSU.
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Old 18th November 2014, 07:54 PM   #4
Kiriakos is offline Kiriakos  Greece
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: In from of my workbench
Originally Posted by googlyone View Post
It might be important to understand how it works before dropping in an alternative PSU.
It would be more cost effective to buy a tool that you can trust.
From the other hand if you are unable to follow the tip that you did receive all ready, then pay a specialist to perform this modifcation for you.

Unfortunatly for you, true tranformers come in size and cost that non of them is easily manageble in the end.
Having the tranformer out of the solder iron base is a stupid idea and I do not recomend it.

Therefore for your next soldering iron, just aim higher and learn from your mistakes.
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