DIY soldering station

I saw this post up on hackaday the other day and thought it looked interesting.
There are two blog posts here and here with details, with the second one having more detail.
The soldering tip used is on digikey here. But any of the RTx series should do the trick.
The github repo can be found here with the board schematic and arduino micro code.
The boards can be ordered from DirtyPCB’s here.

Seeing as the station that these are meant to go with runs around $400 and the tips are only $60, it looks like a steal of a deal. If I was to get 10ish of these boards made, Would anyone be interested in building one as well?


I’d be keen. Also, found this link in the comments for the article.

Keen as beans.

I would contribute to a DirtyPCB/SeeeD or similar run, but as a prospective member would understand if that wasn’t appropriate without prepayment.

As an aside, anyone seen a home brew RF/Curie point iron, similar to the thermaltronix/OKI (or more recently Hakko ) irons?

Basically the tip has a copper core with a ferritic (magnetisable) stainless steel shell, heated with an induction coil at modest RF frequencies.

Because of skin effect, most of the induced current is in the stainless steel shell - the relatively high resistance causes lots of heating

The curie point is set at about 410 deg c, so as the steel transitions through this point it becomes paramagnetic (instead if ferromagnetic) and the RF penetrance increases / skin effect decreases and the RF is inducted throughout copper bore of the tip; lower resistance, less heat, stable temperature profile.

As a result, excellent heating and stability, simple tip, expensive station. I can’t find a standard steel grade with a cutie point that low, but there are some interesting non-ferrous magnetisable alloys with useful temperatures.

The induction type irons you where talking about

Opps wrong link

It also has what other brand irons also work (hakko for example have a cheap 13mhz tip

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I salute your google-fu; mine is weak and inferior.

Latest RF generator schematic looks to be post 209. Awful lot of chaff going on in that topic.
Fairly poor documentation, but board looks prototypable for a double-sided etch; lots of through-holes to turn into vias, though.

I’d throw it in the “Things to practice etching” folder before I’d send of a parts order though.

Thanks for finding the link!

Yes - there was a lot of reading through dribble to get to the good bits.

Tell us if you need a hand etching things. That is something I don’t do terribly badly.

Is it possible to share the design files? I want to sent the design to Seeed for manufacutring because their pcb prototype service is much cheaper than DirtyPCB. :grin:

The github repo linked in the first post is what you’re looking for, specifically the eagle folder ( )