modifying a soldering iron with a dimmer

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-04-07, 11:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
modifying a soldering iron with a dimmer

I bought a cheap $8 soldering iron from radioshack and a $4 rotary dimmer from a local hardware store. I spliced the top wire of the power cable on the iron and bridged in the dimmer switch. Now, the rotary dimmer will control the iron as an on/off function, but will not actually control the temperature of it. It is either being set to full heat at any level of the dimmmer or completely off. Any suggestions on how to make a cheap adjustable temp soldering iron?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-04-07, 12:27 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
The iron probably has a built-in feedback controller to hold the heat at a preset level by cycling the element on and off. Using the dimmer on the input will only cause the iron's heating element to remain on longer without significantly affecting the temperature.
 
  #3  
Old 10-04-07, 12:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What you're seeing are also the symptoms of a fried dimmer. Try your dimmer on a light bulb to see if it works there.
 
  #4  
Old 10-04-07, 04:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The dimmer does still work for light bulbs. I also tried a stand-alone in line dimmer that you just plug directly into a wall socket then plug the iron into, but that wouldn't get very hot at it's highest setting. Perhaps I need a better iron?
 
  #5  
Old 10-04-07, 06:47 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
adjustable temp soldering iron?

I think they sell these. That may be the best solution.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-07, 08:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
After using several different soldering irons / guns over the last forty years I think my Weller variable temperature unit is the best. I think I paid around $100. for it.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: