A Soldering Iron is a great tool for any shop. It can "glue" together copper wires and can solder components on to circuit boards. You can even do copper pipe! But what if you don't have a power outlet near your favorite soldering spot? That is where the B.O.S.I.-1 comes in. The B.O.S.I.-1 is a soldering iron that operated off of 3 AAA batteries an you can make one yourself with common Radio Shack parts for $25!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
7x5x3" project enclosure
3x2x1 project enclosure
3 AAA battery holder
50A 12VDC toggle switch
E-10 mini lamp base
Cordless soldering iron tip
PVC pipe(1/2 inch)
Drill bits(12mm and smallest one you've got)
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron(oh the irony. BAH DUM CHA!)
Step 2: Drill Holes
Take the large project box and your 12mm drill bit, and drill a hole anywhere in the box.(you can put the components anywhere, you are not restricted to my design) this will be for the switch. Now take the smaller drill bit and drill a hole about an inch from the 12mm hole,but make sure you can run your wires through the hole, so widen it if necessary. Now with the same bit, drill a hole about 1 inch from what will be the bottom of your case. This will be for the in-line solder dispenser. Now, drill a hole in the small project case slightly smaller than 12mm. This is for the light bulb socket. Use your small bit to drill a hole opposite from the large hole just big enough for the wires.
Step 3: Wiring
Start with about 2-3 feet of wire. Split the ends about 6 inches down and cut off the black wire. Strip both end of this wire. Strip the end of the white wire too. Now turn the cable over, separate the wires so the ends are about 3 inches long, and strip both ends. Now connect the red wire coming from the battery pack to the end of the white wire that is next to the shorter end of black wire(confusing!) and solder them together. Now take the little black wire and screw it on to the back terminal on the switch and take the end of the black wire that is shorter and connect it to the other terminal. Now, take the other end of the short black wire and solder it to the black cable on the battery pack. Screw the switch into the 12mm hole and feed the other end through the hole underneath the switch. Now feed the other end of the wire through the small hole in the small project box and pull it through the large hole by about 3 inches. Solder both wires into the light socket and glue the socket in place over the hole on the small project box with the wires tucked inside. Now you can use hot glue to glue the battery pack in the case.(phew)
Step 4: Solder Dispenser
Start by cutting a price of PVC pipe as long as the project box is tall. Tape your wires out of the way and glue the PVC in the center of the box. You will need spacers to keep the solder in the center of the pipe. I just cut the "bobbin" the wire came in in half and put them on the pipe with the wide ends facing the solder. Put one spacer in the pipe, followed by the solder roll, and another spacer. Now, feed the end of the solder through the bottom most hole with a stick out of about 1/3 of an inch.
Step 5: Finishing
To finish this project, just insert 3 AAA's into the battery pack, screw the tip into the socket, and close up the project box! This iron will heat up in about 5 minutes and will cool down in about the same amount of time!
Step 6: (Optional) Carry Handle and Battery Pouch
Now that you've built the B.O.S.I.-1, you can add a few accessories like a battery pouch and a carry handle. To make the carry handle, jus cut a length of rope and tape it to the top of your machine with enough slack to fit 4 fingers underneath it. The battery pouch is made with duct tape alone. Overlap 2 similar sized strips sticky side up and than lay 2 more similar sized strips on top and then trim the sheet. This sheet has to be big enough to hold 3 AAA batteries. Now, tape the sheet on 3 sides and insert your batteries. The difficulty of this task depends on the slack you give this pouch(I taped it very tightly). Now, tape the top o the pouch, and your B.O.S.I.-1 is finished! Use it on whatever soldering projects you have in previously inaccessible areas!
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