About: I like to invent and modify things. When i was 13 i fixed my dad's old Lancia Fulvia motor. I builded my first mod PC in 1991 using a mobo builded in a VCR box. I am first using all my inventions. I love eve...

Well the idea is pretty simple. You work all the day in your lab with your soldering tool pluged at town source all the day. Ok if you have soldering station no problemos! But for the people using soldering tools without station or for those like me I go for work in houses or companies and i cant carry the station the soldering tool is plugged at 220AC for a couple of hours or like yesterday i was in a company fixing various things for 9 hours my soldering tool suffered too much. All these till yesterday. At night i coulden't sleep and i was really tirea cause i was try to think what to do to protect my soldering iron and work good for many years and be at stand by mode with out the need to unplug it.
And the idea came. Is very simple, chip, effective and no skills needed but only 2 materials some soldering and the result make you and your tool happy...


-Any ON/OFF switch for 110 or 220 V AC will be fine. I used one like the desk lamp use
- Any diode above 1N4004 
- Some isolated electric tape and thermal shrink cable tubes
- Any cable cutter and stripper
- some minutes of our valuable time

Step 1: Lets Do It Boys!!!

All we need is to cut one of the two cables at one point. Now with the cable stripper stripe the one end of the cable about 3 cm but all at once, cause we need the cable cover for the job, like in the image. Don't worry if you didn't make it to remove it in one piece you will cover it with the thermic covers.
Now sold the one end of the diode to the one end of the striped cable ( the other end with the short striping). Use thermic covers where needed. And solder this at the one pin of the switch. 
The other end of the diode goes to the long striped cable and try to solder it close to the cable edge like in the image. Now cover the rest enough and leave about 3mm to solder this end to the other pin of the switch. Make sure that all parts are WELL ISOLATED and no short circuits will are presents. Heat the thermic covers and check again. Are you sure all are ok? Well done! fit the circuit inside the box of the switch or if you use any other switch make sure are well tied up and well protected. Use the screws to cover the switch or make a small paper box if you will use any other switch. 

The final result will be like the image

Step 2: How It Works?

Well we do it, its time to see how it works. When the switch is OFF then at the soldering tool applied the current from the plug and ignores the presents of the switch/diode. So you work. But when you need a brake or need some time to find something or going for physical needs then we push the switch at ON. This gives half of the power to the soldering tool (half semiperiod actually) which is enough to keep worm enough the soldering tool and make it ready when you return. When you return just switch off and the soldering tool in seconds be ready for your job. Really very simple and effective and wiil save your soldering tool.

Thanks for watching this instructable, also thank my cat cause keep me company when i work.

I recommend to those who love animals two movies

The kid and the fox (french title is Le renard et l"enfant)
HATCHI the story of a  man and his special dog...
both very good and emotional movies.



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15 Discussions

It's good to know this info...thanks

thanks you like it!....That's why we are see ideas of each other!!!

thanks you like it!....That's why we are see ideas of each other!!!

Why don't you just turn it off and turn it on when you need it or get a battery operated one? I use a cordless iron that has a DC input I added to charge the batteries or run it when it is low. 500 ma 6 volt DC wallwart will do thank you!

PS: A lamp switch will never last without the diode on a soldering iron circuit!

1 reply

With this trick (look above) i save time and the tool is pre-heeted. Pocket tools have no the power to make good soldering in lab for hours. I have one (by Dremel) and can be used to fix my bike for just 3-4 solderings. Be serius you need power in lab

No reason....the diode gives half period of the normal of the AC current. So in that way just keeps the soldering just warming but not hot so when you return from your brake can work again almost place 2 diodes in series doesn't serve you here...

afto akribos pou leei...h diodos paizei to rolo diakopth, molis 8erman8ei akoma kai o diakopths na einai anoiktos stamata to kykloma....leitoyrgei akribos opvws sta flas toy autokinhtou kai opos sta xristougenniatika fvta,molis psix8ei kleinei kykloma kai to kollhtiri douleuei kanonika...

As I can see you checked all my instructables....why u din't follower too? Just kiding....yes i am all you've said and many more!!!...:)

Very cool idea.. I am a little nervous when it comes to dealing with mains current, so I probably wont do this, but i wish i could have something like this on my soldering iron. It would save me a lot of time.

1 reply

thnx....its really easy and no skills required. Just unpluq the soldering iron and do it. Before plug it again check the wires and the joints for short circuit and that's it!!!
Its very effective!!!