Anyone have instructions on building a pyrography unit?

I bought one recently and have had nothing but trouble.. replaced the cable and pen, then sent everything back only to have it returned saying  it was repaired. He said he ran the unit for an hour without any trouble, but he didn't say he used the cable or pen. Soooo... I plugged in the 1/4" jack end cable and it doesn't stay put.. slides right out of the socket. I opened unit and the clip/prong thingy is bent backwards, so there is nothing to hold the jack in place so it can make a connection. I bent the prong up and it held the jack, but now cable gets hot, very hot, but pens don't heat. I'm guessing the cable has a short, but not sure. What I need to know is whether the prong for the jack was supposed to be bent down so it wouldn't touch and if so, how do I keep the jack in place. If it's the cable, should I just buy new one, maybe heavier, and replace the ends? The cable has 1/4" male on one end and rca female on the other.The pens have rca male connectors. I don't want to mess with the man who makes them any more,and would just as soon figure out how to repair it myself rather than try to get my money back.?

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Kiteman7 years ago
Why not just use a cheap soldering iron?
dulciquilt (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
The detailed work requires more control than a cheap soldering iron.
File the tip to a point?
zzoe Kiteman5 years ago
Kiteman, you're quite the maker, so, i'm directing this at you...
The above query hints at my own question.
I'm on a small (cant type it any smaller) budget, and i am a working artist.
What can be done with a PROPER wood burning pen, can't be done with the
cheap ones, for two reasons , principally;

1) In the good ones, the burning element is the nichrome (i think) wire itself, and in the cheap (read 'soldering iron' ) ones, the heat is transferred to the tip from an element. I've tried filing the tips down, by the way,. Poo.
2) In the cheap ones, the heat fluctuates uncontrollably, and good pyrography depends greatly on temperature control - even within the same piece of wood, different areas may burn more or less easily - and then there's shading...

Unfortunately, the good ones are $150-ish for a decent set-up vs. $15-ish for a cheap one. I think i might try to make my own, and i have no idea where to start.
To see the kind of thing i mean, look at for examples.
Will any 'right amperage' rheostat do? Handle material? How safe will it be?
Sorry to pester and thanks, Z.
Kiteman zzoe5 years ago
I'm not so experienced at pyrography. Can I suggest you contact Goodhart, as he is more experienced in this field?
frollard7 years ago
Heat = short circuit, guaranteed in this case.

In bending the prong you've made a short somewhere. Do you perchance have any photographs of the problem area?
dulciquilt (author)  frollard7 years ago
turned out the man who makes them first didn't solder the cable jacks properly so the cable was shorting out. He also didn't insulate between the dial casing and the computer chip, so it was also shorting. We tried to resolder the wires, but think he's using wrong size, so will look for another jack or order cable from another builder.
Thanks for the reply.
Glad to hear you got it figured out :)