Kickstarter DIY Portable Soldering Iron Kit at $45

Kickstarter DIY Portable Soldering Iron Kit at $45

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Portable soldering irons are recently getting popular among hobbyists, especially after the launch of the TS100 portable soldering iron. Although one can simply purchase a portable soldering iron from the many available options, hobbyists and DIY lovers would always enjoy making their own at home. Keeping this in mind, youtuber ElectroNoobs has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for a DIY portable soldering iron kit. This $45 (Basic Kit) kit will contain everything you need to make your portable soldering iron, except the lipo battery which you have to buy yourself.

Crowdfunded DIY portable soldering iron kit

This DIY portable soldering iron has all the essential features that a good quality commercial soldering iron possesses. It features a 128*32 resolution OLED screen to display configuration settings and temperature. Two push buttons are mounted on both sides of the PCB for user interaction. On startup, one button is used to set configuration parameters and another one is for start heating. After heating starts, those buttons are used for increasing and decreasing the temperature. Pressing both of the buttons together puts the soldering iron in sleep mode and saves power.

Temperature can be set from 250ºC up to 480ºC. You can also configure the sleep time from OFF up to 10 minutes and the pre-set temperature which is the temperature that the iron reaches when powered on. The iron automatically enters sleep mode after a certain time of inactivity and it will automatically exit sleep mode when the iron is moved due to the onboard vibration sensor.

The temperature is measured using an OPAMP connected to the thermocouple of the T12 soldering iron tip. Then the microcontroller samples the voltage from the OPAMP using its ADC. To keep the iron tip at the specified temperature, a PID (Proportion Integration Derivation) loop runs on the MCU. PID is a robust and very popular control loop feedback mechanism. This will create a PWM signal and that signal drives the p-MOSFET to control the current through the heating element.

The DIY soldering iron kit comes in 3 different types: Basic Kit, Full Kit, and Premium Kit. Below are the details of each kit.

Basic Kit ($45):

  • 1 x soldering iron PCB
  • 1 x ATMEGA328p-AU chip
  • 1 x T12 soldering iron tip
  • 1 x 3D printed case
  • 1 x all small components: res, cap, mosfet, display, connectors

Full Kit ($55):

  • 1 x soldering iron PCB
  • 1 x ATMEGA328p-AU chip
  • 1 x T12 soldering iron tip
  • 1 x 3D printed case
  • 1 x LiPo power cable to DC plug
  • 1 x FTDI programmer
  • 1 x all small components: res, cap, mosfet, display, connectors

Premium Kit ($60):

  • 2 x soldering iron PCB
  • 2 x ATMEGA328p-AU chip
  • 1 x T12 soldering iron tip
  • 1 x 3D printed case
  • 1 x FTDI programmer
  • 1 x LiPo power cable to DC plug
  • 1 x all small components: res, cap, mosfet, display, connectors

The backers of this campaign will also get a ZIP file with the PCB GERBERS, the full part list with buy links for each component, full guide, and code for the soldering iron. Also, there will be instruction videos coming soon so one can easily make the iron.

This Kickstarter campaign will help you to learn a lot of new things like the schematic and PCB design, manufacture, soldering SMD and through-hole components, burning bootloader, Arduino coding, PID control loop, etc. But, the only downside is its cost. By spending $5 more you could get a, also open source, TS100 which is a way better, and already proven product. So, let’s give time to this campaign, which focuses more on the learning aspect,to see if it becomes successful.

Myself Rik and I am founder of Riktronics. I study Electronics and Communication Engineering in IIE. My hobby is playing with electronics and making various projects, mainly about embedded systems. Love to do coding, and making tutorials about electronics/programming. Contact me in any need at abhra0897@gmail.com My blog : riktronics.wordpress.com

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