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Old 31st December 2004, 04:31 AM   #1
murat is offline murat  United States
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Default Make your own temp. controlled iron

Easy:

1) Buy a cheap lamp dimmer with rotary knob ($ 3-5 in stores)


2) Put it into simplest small box you can find around.

3) Play with it for a while and make your dial on the knob for different soldering jobs, tips etc. Wait long enough the temperature to stabilize for the first time while making your calibration. Now you have a temperature controlled soldering iron.

4) And the most important: Post your results here because I didn't try it yet.
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Old 31st December 2004, 07:33 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Not quite. You have an adjustable power iron, but not temperature controlled. The point of temperature control is to maintain a certain temperature at the tip, not maintain a certain power level. if you solder the tiny leg of an IC to a pc board, it does not tax the tip very much at all, but if you solder a 16ga wire to a lug on a 35 amp bridge, it taxes the iron heavily.

Temperatrure control senses the heat output in some way and adjusts accordingly.
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Old 31st December 2004, 12:20 PM   #3
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not worth trying.
I tried this in the dim past & it wasn't worth it.
I have several temp controlled irons & have owned a variety in the past.
However I am impressed with the performance of some of the cheap non controlled irons.
Even the ones without electronic controll sort of self controll their tempriture due to the tempriture coeficient of their heater windings.
cheers
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Old 31st December 2004, 12:36 PM   #4
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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A friend of mine used to do this until he worked out it was shortening the life of the element. Normally the element vibrates to a sine wave which while stressful is nothing compared to it vibrating in tune to a half-sine half-square wave!

I did wonder how to measure temperature on the iron but I never thought of measuring it by the heater winding resistance. I may yet try something using one of Antex's 24V irons
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Old 1st January 2005, 12:30 AM   #5
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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I am now using a temperature controlled iron I bought 10 yrs ago. It cost me $120.00 CDN at the time- with a digital temp display. I actually adjusted it until it was within 5 C across the useable range.
I now see these made-in-asia irons for less than $90.00 CDN. No excuse here guys. The non-digital display units are cheaper still.

These irons replaced a stable of constantly breaking temp controlled Wellers that cost me a lot more $$$.

Get an assortment of tips. I am still using the original! I like the wide screwdriver, especially on SMT stuff.

-Chris
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