Introduction: USB Soldering Iron

 This instructable will show you how to take an inexpensive battery powered Soldering Iron and turn it into a slick USB powered Unbelievable Soldering Beast.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Battery powered Soldering Iron, USB cable, Drill bit, Jewelers Screwdriver kit, Wire srippers, Soldering Iron and Solder

Step 2: Gutting the Iron

 First, remove the battery cover, and any installed batteries.  Next, look for at least two or three screws along the side that need to be removed.  The model I have had two hidden screws underneath a sticker.  After the screws are removed, carefully take apart the case being careful not to damage the wires connected to the Soldering tip.

Step 3: Preparing the Cord and Battery Cover

First, take the batter cover and remove the original metal plate.  Using the screw hole as your guide, drill a hole into the cover just big enough to snugly slide your cable through.  I won't suggest a size because usb cables vary in size.

Next, Cut off the connector at the end of your USB cable leaving the male end of the connector intact.  Slide the cable through the hole in the battery cover and move it low enough to give yourself some room to work.  Now, strip the cable, shielding, etc. and expose the black and red wires and cut off any other wires in the cable.  

Step 4: Soldering and Assembly

Now, using a second (working) soldering iron, solder the black wire to the negative coil, and the red wire to the positive plate below the switch.

At this point, plug the usb cable into a computer or usb wall outlet and ensure you have a good working connection.  If so, carefully re-assemble and enjoy your new USB powered soldering Iron.

Comments

author
Plasmana made it!(author)2010-06-07

Will the USB port handle soldering iron? I heard that battery powered soldering irons consume currents over 1 amp and USB ports can supply max 500mA. Am I wrong here?

author
Jayefuu made it!(author)2010-06-08

I thought max available current from a usb port was 100mA...

author
eight made it!(author)2010-06-10

Nope. 500mA

author
nodoubtman made it!(author)2012-09-12

100 mA i tested it with my multimeter

thanks!
marC:)

author
Plasmana made it!(author)2010-06-09

I said the 'maxmium' of 500mA, normaly it would be lower.

author
The+Skinnerz made it!(author)2010-06-09

sorry about that, must have got it mixed up with something else, but the maximum current does increase when the two data lines are joined- that would probably explain the confusion as to whether the limit is 100 or 500.

author
jrt42 made it!(author)2010-12-30

Just did this to my iron a few days ago, then saw this. I didn't do the drill thing, just cut a small slot in one end of the battery cap. Works great, used it for over an hour with no problems. I have a standard plug in soldering that has two voltages to do any heavy duty soldering. (20amps & 40amps)

author
airsofter1 made it!(author)2010-12-22

What all could you solder with this? It doesn't seem like it would be all that powerful.

author
The+Skinnerz made it!(author)2010-06-07

I have seen on some USB sockets that joining the two data lines together allows more current to be drawn, giving more heat. up to 1.5A, instead of the usual 1A.

author
zipzapper859 made it!(author)2010-06-04

why would you want to take a cordless soldering iron and make it into a corded that you can only use around USB ports?

author
CheeseMcGee made it!(author)2010-06-04

Does there have to be a reason? How about this... I did it just because I could! Typically when I am soldering I am at a table or desk with my laptop nearby or near an outlet that I can use one of my USB wall chargers, not to mention the fact that I never have charged batteries laying around.

author
mycroftxxx made it!(author)2010-06-06

Sounds like the haters shall not be satisfied until you make the device either battery OR usb-powered.

author
zipzapper859 made it!(author)2010-06-05

ok that is you but if i had a battery powered soldering iron i would keep it as is cause i would use it a lot more that a corded one

author
agis68 made it!(author)2010-06-06

hahahah.....exactly, I searched all the world to find this wireless soldering iron (is really the best tool after my dremel) and make it wired??? What reason? Meaningless Instructable or acceptable if I take as a joke! Go wireless dude!!!

author
BIO+Wolf made it!(author)2010-06-05

Nice idea, but won't it be better if the USB port could be used to recharge the batteries? It seems dangerous to me to solder around my computer, imagine molten solder ruining your 200$ monitor. Probability a good idea to cover it with a peace of cloth when your using the iron. Better safe than sorry!

author
S1L3N7+SWAT made it!(author)2010-06-05

Great idea! I have the same iron, it's a piece of junk. I'm going to do try this with mine.

author
Bongmaster made it!(author)2010-06-03

i was thinking of doing this to mine, but am worried about drawing too much juice thru the usb and dammaging it (the mobo) :S

author
Lance+Mt. made it!(author)2010-06-04

Use a USB hub if your that worried but as godofal said, it won't do any harm.

author
godofal made it!(author)2010-06-04

damaging what? the soldering iron or the USB port? you can put in rechargable batteries that have more than 2500MaH current each, wich is ALOT more than USB can provide. as for the USB hub, it cant draw more than 500MaH there, on most (nearly any) PC there's a protection against that...

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