Voltage and current needed for resistive soldering station

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by axel_lotta, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. axel_lotta

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 8, 2012
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    Hi everyone, I have an old American Beauty resistive soldering station that was being thrown out at work some many years ago. Stupidly I did not take the transformer (I could not take it on a helicopter due to weight restrictions) and now I wish to rebuild it (the soldering station, not the helicopter) so I can solder some MIL_SPEC connector pins. I have the resistive tweezer hand-piece.

    The model is: https://www.americanbeautytools.com/Resistance-Soldering/117

    Would anyone who has one of these units be willing to give the voltage and current at the output for the hand-piece at the midrange setting? I will then work back to selecting a suitable transformer for 240V (I'm in Australia). I plan to just use an AC chopper circuit from a dimmer switch to control the input waveform, and a simple bridge rectifier to smooth the output to DC. Nothing fancy.

    I contacted American Beauty and they advised me just to purchase a new unit, which is not really feasible at this point due to the price tag and the fact I only need it for a small one-off project.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Tristan.
     
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    If the hand-piece is purely resistive, do you need to rectify the tranny output?
     
  3. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
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    The manual refers to 2.8VAC, so the power-supply must be able to deliver an unusually high current; 90A for 250W.
     
  4. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  5. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    It is resistance heating. The tweezer piece will only carry low voltage. There is no heating element in a resistance soldering tool.
    Get you hands on a large microwave oven transformer. Remove the fine wire secondary and put about 10 turns of 10 or 8 gage copper wire on it.
    That should give you about 5 volts AC with about 100 to 200 amps. Unwind and attach tap points at 6 windings , 8 windings, and you will have low med. and high power taps.
     
    ronv likes this.
  6. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    @Kermit2 has the solution. There are tutorials on the inter web on how to re-wind the transformer.
     
  7. axel_lotta

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 8, 2012
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    0
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Bertus, I did notice and read the manual (and went back and read it again after reading your post) but for the life of me I cannot find any reference to the voltage?!!!

    I'll do exactly as Kermit 2 suggests and rewire a microwave transformer.

    Does anyone have thoughts on whether I should rectify the output or just leave it AC? The manual shows current flowing one way which is why I assumed it was DC but if it's going to be just more hassle than it's worth I'll just keep the output directly wired to the transformer secondary.

    Cheers,

    Tristan.
     
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