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Discuss TS100 Soldering Iron in the Electrical Tools and Products area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    Just got my new soldering iron and I'm very impressed with it so I thought I'd do a quick review.

    I've been wanting/needing a new portable and battery operated soldering iron for a while to do PCB small component and SMD work such as minor reflowing and component replacement.

    I have a couple of battery irons already (Weller BP650 and an Antex that I can't remember the model no) but they're not great to say the least. The battery life is terrible, they're slow to heat, can't achieve a high enough temperature for many applications and their temperature stability is also appalling.

    I've actually given up on battery irons years ago and just struggle with a gas powered iron for portable use but it's prone to causing collateral damage with the hot exhaust gasses through the tip and lack of temperature control and being too hot for small board work.
     
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  2. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    The iron is made in China but the build quality is very high. It's small but robust, the two tips that came with it are beautifully made and it's also supplied with an ESD wire that connects between the back of the iron and your ESD bench mat. They also include a small spring-wire stand that clips to the iron to keep the tip elevated when it's not in use.

    Everything about it is great quality, even the box it comes in that has magnetic closing clips.

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  3. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    I should warn you at this stage that there's no batteries or any kind of power supply with this iron, it's just the iron, 2x tips, the ESD strap and the stand.

    It will happily run on any DC supply between 12V and 24V so you can use it on your standard bench power supply or you can use a battery if you need to have it portable or on-site.

    The power consumption varies depending on what voltage supply you use, for example at 12VDC it runs as a 17 Watt iron and draws around 1.5Amps. At 24VDC it runs as at 65Watt and draws around 2.7 Amps.

    The heat-up times obviously vary with the voltage you use and are 40 seconds at 12V and 11 seconds at 24V to reach 300 degrees celsius which is extrordinarily fast by most standards. After using it on 24V from my bench supply for a couple of hours on and off I'd say it's at least as fast to heat up as my Hakko soldering station that I normally use, if not faster.
     
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  4. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    Primarily I wanted this iron to be portable so I also purchased a 4-cell LiPo 1550mAh battery and a small charger. The battery gives around 15 volts and the iron works perfectly at that voltage.

    The battery and charger are nothing to do with the iron as such, I actually purchased them from a separate wholesaler that supplies anything to do with competition drones and hobby helicopters etc.

    This is the job it did, whilst running off the battery, tinning some 1mm trailing cable ends and also a couple of resistors I replaced on a board. One of the wire ends was single thickness, the other was bent double.

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  5. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    The iron has an OLED display that gives indication on the actual temperature and whether it's heating up, cooling down or stabilized and pressing the buttons changes the set temperature up and down.

    When the iron is connected to power it displays its logo followed by its firmware version followed by a little animation showing how to switch it on.

    After a period of inactivity the iron goes to sleep. It must have some kind of built in accelerometer because if you pick it up or move it around it automatically wakes up and re-stabilizes back at the set temperature.

    It has a USB port on the back of it to connect it to a laptop or PC which then allows you to change some of the pre-set perameters such as Celcius or Farenheit temp display, duration of inactivity that triggers sleep mode, sleep mode temperature etc etc etc. There's numerous other things that can be adjusted and the firmware is fully updatable and upgradable, there's even a calibration mode......I'm sure you get the drift.

    It's maximum operating temp is 400°C which is more than high enough for any soldering jobs using leaded or lead free solder.

    This is the range of tips available for it;

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  6. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    I'm usually pretty cynical and quick to find fault but in this case I'm very impressed by the whole package. I like it so much in fact I haven't even taken it to pieces and prodded around at its internals like I normally would with a new tool, I just want to use it.

    Overall it would make a great soldering iron for general sparky use although you might want to invest in one of the larger bevelled or chisel tips that are available. I'd guess you could make solder and heatshrink joints on up to maybe 4 or even 6mm CSA wiring and it would be ideal for soldering LED tapes and other site work.

    Great product and I'll keep you posted how it performs on site over the next few months.

    I think in the UK you're going to pay around 60 quid for the iron. The battery and charger cost me the equivalent of about 22 quid on top. If you're going to use it on a repair bench, any general bench DC power supply is ideal so you wouldn't need to spend the extra for a battery or charger.
     
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  7. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    Here's a copy of the instruction manual for anyone who might be interested.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    Been using a Portasol gas powered soldering iron for years.
    Had a plug in type when I was a kid, and recently bought another from Lidl because it was very cheap and came with a stand to hold components.
    Do a lot of soldering when building motorcycles.
    Very rarely use one for electrical installation.
     
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  9. happyhippydad
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    happyhippydad Member Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    I read your first post Marvo and thought 'well that doesn't tell me much about the product'... then I saw the next 6 posts! :)
     
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  10. ElectroChem
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    ElectroChem Industrial Controls Electrician

    Location:
    Sydney. Australia
    Business Name:
    Automated Control Solutions
    Heard a lot of good things about this soldering iron. Thinking of making up an adapter to run one off my 18V batteries, convenient for field soldering of plugs.
     
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  11. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    All the butane soldering irons I have are a helluva wild with their temperatures, factors like ambient temp, how full of gas it is at the time and whether there's a breeze or a draught cause it to fluctuate between not being hot enought to even melt solder properly and being so hot it lifts the solder pads off the PCB. Also if you're in an awkward access place the hot gasses coming off it usually end up melting something in the close vicinity.

    I realise most sparkys won't do much soldering nowadays so probably not worth the spend although I've never considered that to be a viable defence for not buying a nice tool :D.
     
  12. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    Where I am we often don't get new products for months or even years after they're available in the UK so I only saw this iron about a week ago for the first time. I had to order mine specially and wait for the shipping :(

    I like the way you're thinking, using your existing tool batteries would be a great idea if you could make up an adapter. It would run probably a full day on a 5 or 6Ah 18V Li-Ion, even a 2 or 3Ah battery would be fine for several hours of soldering. If you make something up let me know how it goes, I might even have a go at this myself if I can find the time.
     
  13. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    I also got some new bifocal glasses a month ago which are the mutts, I'll make another thread and do a proper teardown and review of them for you :p
     
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  14. GeorgeCooke
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    GeorgeCooke Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    The power supply you bought was illegally sold as it has a non UK plug on its lead.
     
  15. Jim_e_Jib
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    Jim_e_Jib Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Devon

    Our 13amp plugs are pretty awesome but I don't think we have any legal powers to make the rest of the world adopt them...
     
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