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
    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.


  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

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

    AAC Fanatic!

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


    Apr 5, 2008
  5. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    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
    @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
    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.