Inexpensive thermostatic soldering station

Some time ago my Aouye decided to completely pack up, the hot air side having died a long time before. The lack of a circuit diagram or manual with at least some service info was going to make trying to repair it too time consuming and I replaced it short term with a Maplin badged thing that works but the stiff cable, lack of any callibration on the temperature pot and slow heat up time made it less than ideal.

Looking  at Hakko irons I found that there are a lot of clones about and also cloned parts. A 50w 907 “handle” with ceramic heater and tip can be bought for £3.49 and a 936 controller panel for £4.99. This just needs a 24 volt ac supply and as I had such a transformer in my shed thought it must be worth a go. The bits arrived very quickly, from China of course, mains cable came from a dead tv leaving me to rummage through a box to find a rocker switch with a neon indicator. The controller panel slots into the case on the 936 and has no fixing screws so I decided to do the same and made my case from offcut plywood that I had left over from lining my shed, just cutting the slots with a hand saw. I had a couple of stands but the iron fitted neither of them so to finish it off I made a stand from a short piece of 22mm copper tube and a wire coat hanger and screwed it to the top of the plywood case.

The finished article heats up in about 10 seconds, has a silicone cable and calibrated dial making it much nicer to use and different tips are available very cheaply too. How long will it last? Well with replacement parts readily available at those prices, I don’t see that as an issue.

hakko_cloneI may get round to painting the plywood but now it’s time to investigate how to replace the hot air as cheaply as I miss that too because if nothing else it was great for using on heat shrink tube.



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