Converting soldering iron to DC?

Thread Starter

bigjoncoop

Joined Feb 1, 2019
108
I have a bunch of cheap AC soldering irons laying around and I want to convert 1 to run off battery power.

On a cheap iron that has no temperature control etc.. is it possible to run the Iron by just connecting it to a battery? And if so how do I determine what voltage to use? I mean I would have to make some type of circuit to limit the temperature so it doesn't burn itself up? Or is that implemented in the heating element already?

I think I have one iron that has no temperature control at all it just plugs into the wall heats up. And I have a couple of those cheap $5 adjustable soldering irons.

What would be the best solution to convert one of these to DC? And what voltage should I use etc... and do I need some type of temperature control to keep it from burning itself up?

I understand I could buy a DC Iron for pretty cheap but what's the fun in that? LOL !!!DIY4LIFE!!!

I'm looking to make this in order to do quick quadcopter repair in the field if need be. Not something I'm going to use for any length of time. I just want to put an xt60 connector on the end so I can plug in a lipo battery. And put a buck Converter in the iron to lower the voltage or whatever needs to be done

If anybody could help me figure this out or point me in the right direction to find the information I would appreciate it. If I Google DIY DC soldering iron or converting AC soldering iron to DC I really just find a non sence and no info.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,758
It depends on the iron. If there's no transformer involved, you could operate with DC, but you're doing to need more like 120VDC. The heating element is going to act like a resistor and the resultant power will be proportional to the applied voltage.

If it has a transformer like my old Weller's, you'd need to bypass the transformer. My heating elements operate from 24VAC, so would operate just as well from 24VDC.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
94
For what it's worth, my (fake Hakko) Quicko/Suhan/Ksger T12 soldering station works just fine at 12 volts from a 3S lithium pack. One caveat with this version (with the STC microcontroller): the temperature calibration is incorrect for the type of thermocouple in the T12 tips, so I just set mine to a number that works (300). It's better than a dumb temperature controller because it will go to low power or off when left idle for a time, which conserves battery power and/or tip life. (For AC power, I use a 19V Dell laptop brick.)
STC-T12 DIY Kits Electric Unit Digital Soldering Iron Station Temperature Controller Kits for HAKKO T12 Soldering Iron Station
https://banggood.app.link/PxivotibG6
There is a simple version with a built-in temperature controller, which looks ideal for field repairs:
T12 DC 12-24V 75W Mini Adjustable Temperature 200-400℃ Electric Soldering Iron Tool with T12-K Tip
https://banggood.app.link/plMb089aG6
I think you can request a different tip; the K tip may be good for surface mount stuff, but I ordered a T12-BC2 as well and that's the one I use the most.
 
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