USB Soldering Iron

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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.

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    19 Comments

    0
    Plasmana
    Plasmana

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    0
    Jayefuu
    Jayefuu

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    nodoubtman
    nodoubtman

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    100 mA i tested it with my multimeter

    thanks!
    marC:)

    0
    Plasmana
    Plasmana

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    The Skinnerz
    The Skinnerz

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    jrt42
    jrt42

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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)

    0
    airsofter1
    airsofter1

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    The Skinnerz
    The Skinnerz

    10 years ago on Step 4

    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.

    0
    zipzapper859
    zipzapper859

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    CheeseMcGee
    CheeseMcGee

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    mycroftxxx
    mycroftxxx

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    zipzapper859
    zipzapper859

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    0
    agis68
    agis68

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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!!!

    0
    BIO Wolf
    BIO Wolf

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    0
    S1L3N7 SWAT
    S1L3N7 SWAT

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    Bongmaster
    Bongmaster

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    0
    Lance Mt.
    Lance Mt.

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    godofal
    godofal

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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...