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Archive for the ‘Shop Tools’ Category

This post is the second example of how to make a 110 volt temperature controlled soldering station. Please refer to the previous post for information on materials used, their costs and where they can be obtained. The steps for modifying the soldering iron are very similar to the previous post but a few things are different for this version.

110v-temperature-controlled-soldering-station-build-no.-2

The steps for making the controller are virtually the same. As a result, most of the details for the controller have been omitted in this post. The main difference is the addition of a green ground wire to the 4-pin female DIN socket. (more…)

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This post shows how to build a do it yourself 110 volt soldering station. It is a step by step guide that shows how to convert a regular plug-in soldering iron into a temperature controlled unit.

diy-110v-temperature-controlled-soldering-station

It is an easy project that is inexpensive to make and requires only basic skills to build. It is made from off the shelf parts that can be obtained from online suppliers plus a few parts from a local hardware store. It is inexpensive to build plus it makes a shop tool that is on par with some commercially available units. (more…)

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This is a do it yourself project for a digital temperature controlled soldering station. It is an easy project that requires only basic skills to build and it it is constructed entirely from off the shelf components available from online sources.

diy-digital-soldering-station

The unit uses a PID temperature controller, an SSR (Solid State Relay) and a transformer plus a metal enclosure case, a soldering stand and a few other parts. It is relatively inexpensive to build, plus it makes a pretty good shop tool. (more…)

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This is a follow up to a previous post on a way to get temperature control for a plug-in soldering iron without a temperature sensor. Instead of using a sensor to control the temperature, this unit sends power to the soldering iron in precisely timed pulses in a way that mimics the timing of how a temperature controlled soldering station does.

Pulse timer controller for plug-in soldering irons

Pulse timer controller for plug-in soldering irons

Watching the LED of a high quality soldering station blink on and off while the soldering iron was maintaining stable temperature gave me the idea. It looked like it was going on and off with regularity in a rhythm. I thought, why not use a timer circuit to do something similar for a regular plug-in soldering iron? (more…)

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Most modern small appliances that run on low voltage DC power will come with an ac adapter. You see them on phones, TV accessories, personal care products, computer peripherals, etc.

AC adapters

AC adapters

After many years of accumulating and discarding many of these devices some people like myself have managed to save a few of the ac adapters even though the device had worn out or became unusable for one reason or another. (more…)

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This is a follow up post to the previous post on how to convert a computer ATX power supply to a shop DC supply. This article describes how to get more voltage combinations and goes into more detail on how to work with the unit.

DC bench supply made from computer ATX power supply

DC bench supply made from computer ATX power supply

When you convert a computer ATX power supply into a DC bench supply it can include up to 5 voltage outputs plus a ground. An ATX PSU (power supply unit) will always have four voltage rails — one each for +3.3 volts, +5 volts, +12 volts and -12 volts and sometimes there will be a fifth rail for -5 volts. (more…)

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This post is the second in a series on how to convert an inexpensive computer ATX power supply unit (ATX PSU) into a useful tool for electronics projects or powering devices. The PSU case in previous article had vent holes on the back panel which put the binding posts in an odd arrangement. The vent holes on the back panel were a little different on this PSU case which allowed the binding posts to be arranged a little differently.

DC bench supply converted from inexpensive ATX power supply

DC bench supply converted from inexpensive ATX power supply

The project can probably be completed in a day or so and requires only a few basic tools like a power drill and a few other hand tools. It would be helpful to have an assortment of heat shrink tubing and a heat gun, plus a hot glue gun, a soldering gun, electrical tape, some solder and a few other electrical tools like wire cutters and a wire stripper. (more…)

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