light dimmer needs minimum load

Thread Starter

Poor old sod

Joined Jul 25, 2017
193
I'm sick of forever buying new soldering irons and tips, so I'm building a soldering station using a 300VA light dimmer to control my 24W soldering iron, but the dimmer requires 75W min load. Incandescent lights no longer sold here, only CFL and LEDs, and some halogens. I have a desk lamp with 1/2in bayonet socket in parallel with the iron, which I planned to use as the extra load, but I can't get enough dissipation [60W] in one globe. Also my desk lamp won't handle more power. Could I use a 20W wire wound ballast and a 40W halogen? Know nothing about fluro's, pls guide me. thx
 

Thread Starter

Poor old sod

Joined Jul 25, 2017
193
Would 4W be more typical? I have mis-read it. Was a Denner/Arlec device in local hardware. a blue labelled packet. If so, then my probs are over. thx.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
10,120
If it is a 24W soldering iron then the dimmer needs to be rated to better than 24 watts.

After the circuitry failed in my cheap soldering station (eventually so did everything else except for the on/off switch and the mechanical parts) I put in a new dimmer circuit using components I keep around. The circuit is very simple and it was a fast, easy project. The circuit is similar to the one shown below. You may want to do the same, then you can avoid the minimum load problem.

upload_2017-8-28_12-52-16.png
As you suspected, using a dimmer greatly extended soldiering life -I am using the high-class $2 soldering irons these days :Dand now they last for years :)

By the way, have you noticed an even simpler power reduction method used on some soldering guns with two positions on the trigger: In the first position, when the trigger is not pulled and the gun is in idle mode there is a 1N4007 in series with the power line. When the trigger is pulled the diode is shorted to higher power.
 

JUNELER

Joined Jul 13, 2015
183
Hi,
To avoid such failure of soldering iron, Here is my simple way im doing.Once you soldered something and done, removed the soldering
iron from the line.

Ok
 

Thread Starter

Poor old sod

Joined Jul 25, 2017
193
Hi,
To avoid such failure of soldering iron, Here is my simple way im doing.Once you soldered something and done, removed the soldering
iron from the line.

Ok
I often solder in episodes, and turning the iron off between times is a PITA. Boost type irons tend to overheat on long jobs, which many of mine are. thx anyway, I have it sorted now.
 
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