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PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 14:56 
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Hi.

Soldering iron/gun is a must for any electronic DIYers. Conventionally we use 25W -100W soldering iron/guns. Some go for solder stations with soldering temp control.

Ever come to your mind for a change? My no-name cheapie 40W solder iron is clumsy to handle as it comes with thick & stiff power cord & pretty thick solder tip. No good at all to handle limited space works considering I am one of a knd fond of building small cute stuffs.

So I decide for a change. Today, I just switch to using a 4.5V-AA-battery powered 6W miniature solder iron! Actually it was given to me as a gift by a solder iron manufacturer in an international electronics trade show a few years back.

Being an old schooler, I was sorta skeptical to try out such new toys & have left it sleeping in my part bin till yesterday, I decided to give it a try as my 40W clumsy iron starts to fail me.

My goodness, it works like a charm !!! It beats my old 25W iron which was not hot enough to melt leadfree tin solder due to its higher melting point than standard leaded solder wires. Not to mention it being so light & small to hold, making my 40W iron a huge shame.

How come 6W can be hotter than a 25W iron?? Per the iron manufacturer, it is the speical super high thermal efficiency compounded metal alloy used to make the iron tip & the tip geometric profile that makes the difference.

Well, well, well....we got to keep on leaning new things.

My concern is: keep on replacing batteries is no fun for long run. So my quick wit tells me to replace the batteries with a small SMPS which I happen to have one rated for 12V/250V - 5V1A sleeping in my part bin.

I just tried it out & it powers the 6W iron cool & easy. I am going to modify it so that it can be run either by batteries or the SMPS with simple connections.

c-J

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PostPosted: 21 May 2010, 18:28 
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cheap-Jack wrote:
So I decide for a change. Today, I just switch to using a 4.5V-AA-battery powered 6W miniature solder iron! Actually it was given to me as a gift by a solder iron manufacturer in an international electronics trade show a few years back.

Hi c-J can you post a link to the iron? P=IV so to get 6 Watts from 4.5 Volts you need 1.33 Amperes. How many AA batteries are used?

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PostPosted: 22 May 2010, 19:55 
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Gio wrote:
How many AA batteries are used?

Hi. Gio.

3 AA batteries.

c-J

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PostPosted: 25 May 2010, 09:33 
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Gio wrote:
can you post a link to the iron?

Hi.

I want to post a link. But I don't know how. Can you pleae tell me how?

Anyway, such battery operated mini solder irons are pretty commonly available. You can get one from Active Components for over 10 buck a piece.

c-J

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PostPosted: 26 May 2010, 12:09 
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You can post a link by pasting the URL into the text of your message. More info here: How do I post a link to a website?

Some AA discharge tests: http://www.powerstream.com/AA-tests.htm

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PostPosted: 26 May 2010, 12:14 
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Gio wrote:
P=IV so to get 6 Watts from 4.5 Volts you need 1.33 Amperes

Hi.

A SUPER-STAR mini solder iron is born !

I tried it out with a small 5V1A SMPS instead of 3x1.5V AA batteries. It works fine but it takes about 12 seconds to heat up.

So I replaced it with a small 6.5V2A SMPS which boosts up the iron like magic. It heats up & melt leadfree AG silver solder wire in 2.5 seconds !!!!

Never have I ever used any conventional solder irons that melt down leadfree solder wires so so fast & cools down so quick.

WOW, wow wow. So light & so small to hold. I am wondering why I did not try out this mini iron years earlier. From now on, heavy, clumsy low-efficiency solder irons are history in my DIYs.

c-J

PS: try to time how long yr solder iron actually takes to melt unleaded solder wires & you'll start to realize how 'useless' were conventional irons.

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PostPosted: 26 May 2010, 19:14 
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Some reviews of battery soldering irons:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/7844
http://devslab.blogspot.com/2007/05/cor ... x-901.html
http://www.applefritter.com/node/10572

Check the current draw with batteries versus the power supply. :geek:
But once you attach it to a cord, you're back where you started. ;)

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PostPosted: 27 May 2010, 09:32 
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Gio wrote:
batteries versus the power supply.

Hi.

Cordless mini irons are no new kids on the block. They have been in the marketplace for years for soldering where power points are not handily available, like outdoor jobs.

Gio wrote:
But once you attach it to a cord, you're back where you started.

I don't think so.

Who wants to replace batteries from time to time be it a solder iron or a hand torch?
I've just switched to mini solder iron simply for-

(1) light & small to hold.
(2) tiny tip to handle soldering in congested space much more easily than those conventional solder irons which come with thick tips.
(3) very fast heating up time (less than 2 seconds!) & cool down time - very efficient.
(4) environmentally very friendly - consuming much less power than conventional irons !!!

So to eliminate changing batteries (which indeed add weight to the light iron), I power it with a small
SMPS using its stock lightweight cord, which supplies amble constant current to power the iron.

I never want to power it with whatever batteries. I just want a high efficient iron very handy to use.
I think I have got it - with a little thinking.

c-J

PS: Thanks for yr links with comments on use it cordless, which I am not interested at all.

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PostPosted: 31 May 2010, 13:33 
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cheap-Jack wrote:
to replace the batteries with a small SMPS

Hi.
The only problem to use any SMPS as a power supply to heat tubes or battery solder irons or whatever is the RF noise it generates.

It is cool job to work with my 6W mini iron powered by a small 6.5V2A SMPS. Never before so easy & feeling so good with conventional irons. But when I switch on my boombox AM radio, noise instantly emitted from the SMPS into the AM radio, loud loud enough to mask up the entire broadcast bandwidth from 520KHz to 1710KHz.

The boombox radio is not hooked up the same wall outlet & a RFI noise suppressor ring is already snapped on the power cord from the SMPS to the iron.

So the RFI that screws up the entire AM RF band is airborne from the SMPS !!!

So would you still use it to power yr audio amps? I won't for sure. The wise way is to charge up the
a SLA cell which in turn heat up the tubes as what I've done with my phonostages.

c-J

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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2010, 18:45 
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Will are care battery do as a power source? :o :P Or some nice compact 3.7V 2200mAh LIO batteries? They are all rechargable, plus while they are charging you could use the iron as it is, when the power goes out.... no problem! :D

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