Posts Tagged ‘Thermocouple’

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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Soldering irons that plug in to an AC outlet are inexpensive and convenient, but one drawback to them is that they don’t have very good temperature control. They often are either too hot or not hot enough.

Soldering iron with PID controller and thermocouple - minimal rig

Soldering iron with PID controller and thermocouple – minimal rig

Some plug-in soldering irons are adjustable. Some models have a temperature adjustment built into them and function like a light dimmer. Although better than units without any kind of temperature control, they are somewhat limited. (more…)

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