Archive for August, 2015

Here’s a quick and easy way to spot weld a thermocouple with a 12 volt car battery, a set of jumper cables, a claw hammer and a set of long nose pliers.


Thermocouple spot weld next to soldering iron

This makeshift method can be used if the thermocouple spot weld breaks off or even if you want to make a new thermocouple from wire. (more…)


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This is a follow up post on the second version for how to modify a regular plug-in soldering iron to work with a digital temperature controller.


The goal is to find the right location for the thermocouple inside the soldering iron. Temperature readings can be affected by the smallest change in position. The location of the thermocouple is very sensitive. (more…)

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This post shows how to add a K-type thermocouple to a 120 volt plug-in soldering iron for use with a PID temperature controller. This is a follow up to a previous post on the Soldering Iron PID Temperature Controller. Please see the previous post for more details on how to add a thermocouple to a plug-in soldering iron with a mica heating element. The method I used here was basically the same.


This second version has a few improvements. It uses a better soldering iron that gets hotter and heats up faster. The PID controller is able to work at higher temperatures than the previous version plus this version uses an SSR to switch the soldering iron on and off. The solid state relay has no mechanical parts to wear out plus it is capable of much more precise switching than a mechanical relay. (more…)

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