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USB Soldering iron(ic) story

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

USB Soldering iron(ic) story

So I bought a new usb soldering iron online. It arrived all nicely packaged up in a display case.

Didn't use it for 3 weeks, and then went to use, plugged in light on - great - wait for 30 sec, tip still cold.

Plugged in a charge doctor (great little toy) and it showed 5.25V and 0A.

So complained and got a refund (in progress they refunded me less than I paid)

 

Anyway I though I would open it up and see if anything was obvious.

YEP a loose wire leading to the element +ve, so got out my 30W soldering iron and reconnect it. Result was fully working usb iron.

 

Irony is I had to use a soldering iron to FIX a soldering iron Wink 

 

 

13 REPLIES 13
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

sounds like a useful bit of kit.... can you supply  the price, and the linky please?

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

This is the replacement I ordered (before repairing this one)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Quality-Hot-Sale-Mini-Portable-USB-5V-8W-Electric-Powered-Solde...
Just under £3.50 delivered.

Or did you mean the charge doctor? https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Smart-Electronics-Digital-USB-Mobile-Power-Charging-Current-Voltage-... Under a £ delivered.

 

McT
Grafter
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Registered: ‎05-06-2017

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

Interesting. Have you considered that a 5v 8W USB device will draw just over 1.5A? Not a problem for recent USB phone chargers, but don't plug it into your laptop - most USB ports are designed to supply only 500mA. Maybe the iron just won't get very hot, but maybe it'll blow the laptop motherboard!

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

The fact it wasn't working was more the issue I had with it than it drawing 1.45A (according to my charge doc). I will only be plugging it into a usb charger (6A or 2A) so no problems.

Most usb ports on motherboards are current limited so no blowing them up by plugging in a high draw.
Community Veteran
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Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

@HairyMcbiker The link to the soldering iron only gave me a blank page... so I looked at Allie express site... and saw it.... then went to ebay.. and they are on there too... one ( which is twice what you paid for but has accessories ) by Silverline...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-Powered-8W-5V-Soldering-Iron-Set-Kit-Gun-Pointed-Tips-Stand-Solder-Wi...

 

  says this about it...

 

*******************************************************************************************************************************************

USB Powered Soldering Kit

Connects to USB ports on most PCs, Macs and 5V USB charging sockets.
Fine soldering tip heats up in less than 15 seconds and cools down in less than 30 seconds.
Long-life tip can be easily replaced by unscrewing the tip holder.
Metal point touch button and LED power indicator.
Suitable for intricate electronic work and on-the-go repairs in the home or office.
Small and compact for easy portability.
Includes 3 x Spare tips, safety cap, soldering stand, USB cable and 1 Metre of solder.
Also supplied with Soldering Guide by respected electronics enthusiast
and editor of Everyday Practical Electronics, Alan Winstanley.
 
*******************************************************************
 
 
Note what is said in the two lines that I have made "bold" print...
 
 
I had something similar that ran off a couple of AA batteries... wasn`t "that" impressed... didn`t seem to get hot enough.. however 2 X AA batts is only 2.4 volts !
so maybe the USB one will work better, given that it is rated at 8W.  ( can`t remember what the battery one was...  dumped it ! )..
 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

Well the 3 tips are worth having, I paid £1.28 for a new one for my other one. So 3 would be about £4 so about the same price and you can get it quickly from the UK.
Community Veteran
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Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

I bought two USB soldering irons a couple years back, and frankly, they're blummin' amazing (well, the 2nd one I pulled apart for something else, so I have a spare tip from that one)! I use mine on a USB power bank, which makes it portable, rather than a USB PSU or socket on a computer, but so far, I haven't much to complain about... Smiley

 

The one thing I do complain about is the auto-shutoff feature, which requires the iron be tapped or the little dome thing touched (which never worked for me anyway!), so I modified mine by crushing the little movement sensor (also known as little can with a weighted spring in it) so it was shorted permanently so the iron stays on rather than shut off halfway through some delicate soldering... Smiley

 

My influence to buy them was of course BigClive's video on them:

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

An interesting video... but I am surprised that he did not use a Laptop to see  how it worked from that.. what was more surprising was that he didn`t use a desktop or a tower system as the USB supply..

Really surprisingRoll eyes

Community Veteran
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Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

If you want to talk amazing usb / battery soldering irons, you can't go wrong with the parkside offerings from lidl.

On sale right now is this usb rechargeable 8W iron for £9.99:

screenshot_805

Its amazing, chargeable via mains adapter (supplied) or via usb and then once charged, totally cordless. It also comes with a nice bright LED offering (typical of many parkside tools) so that you can see what you're doing. They have now vanished from the lidl website but there should still be a few knocking round various stores and failing that you can find them on ebay for a few quid more (worth paying IMO).

The previous one I had from the lidl parkside range is a 6W iron that takes 3 AA batteries:

screenshot_807

Various alternative brands of this one can be found so it's not quite as rare or exclusive to lidl but still a grand piece of kit considering it runs off batteries! Even Maplin had their own branded version of it (though a lot more costly).

The cordless one doesn't seem to appear under other brands so may well be exclusive to lidl hence if you want one, grab one while you can.

The parkside soldering iron i would have liked is the soldering gun with a solder feeder for those annoyingly complex jobs but it was a bit steep and i couldn't justify that one.

You can't go wrong with lidls parkside range of power tools, they seem to be pretty good quality for their rock bottom prices and even if they don't live long, you usually get a 3 year warranty so you can send them away for repair or take back to store for a no quibble refund.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
BilHonan
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-07-2018

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

Hi...i am a new user here. I would like to know did you considered that a 5v 8W USB device will draw just over 1.5A the it is not a problem for recent USB phone chargers, but don't plug it into your laptop most USB ports are designed to supply only 500mA. 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

@HairyMcbiker   I bought one off ebay about 2 years ago.... tried to solder a couple fo resistors ( radio type ) together, but it was useless... seemed to get hot, but just not hot enough, and the solder soon cooled the heated point, sufficient for it to remain solid...

From my point of view... an interesting object... worth trying... ( only cos it was less than a fiver )... but binned it..

Same goes for the AA battery powered jobby too ! ! .. Neither recommended.

jab1
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Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story

@shutter A 15 month old topic recycled by a newbie!Huh

John
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Re: USB Soldering iron(ic) story


@shutter wrote:

Same goes for the AA battery powered jobby too ! ! .. Neither recommended.


Never had a problem with mine. In fact it's got such a fine needle that it's very good for very small soldering joints. In fact so good that it's one of the better irons i've used as it's so precise.

 

The old ones Maplin used to sell back in the 90s were awful though. I remember seeing one in use on the A-Team and wondering how the hell they ever got it to work..

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!