Solder pot

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Solder pot

Postby drjeseuss » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:18 pm

I've been looking for a solder pot on ebay and found a few very cheap. The catch is that the cheap ones are all listed as 220 and have the China/Australia plug style. Is anyone familiar enough with these to know if I could do a simple cord/plug swap to US style cord for use on 110? Any issues I might encounter? Insufficient voltage causing low/half temp, control circuit damage, something else? I'm hopeful it would work on 110 without modification. What do you think?

Here are the ones I'm considering:
http://r.ebay.com/2gE3fN
http://r.ebay.com/I8l7qC
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Re: Solder pot

Postby royco » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:00 pm

I have a 110v version of your first link. They are a bit more expensive than the 220v. Search some more you'll find one.

Those pots are fine if you are just tinning wires but if you want to use it on through hole parts then either get one with a temp read out or a good thermometer. You will be scraping dross all the time if the temp is too high and will get blobs if its too low.

I have mine in storage after 2 uses.
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Re: Solder pot

Postby drjeseuss » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:39 pm

Any idea if there are any differences in the 110 unit aside from the plug? I appreciate your honest assesment of the product. I'll certainly keep this in mind. As they say, you get what you pay for. :) Still, for such a low cost, I'm sure I could get a few uses out of it.
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Re: Solder pot

Postby bearmos » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:02 am

drjeseuss wrote:Any idea if there are any differences in the 110 unit aside from the plug? I appreciate your honest assesment of the product. I'll certainly keep this in mind. As they say, you get what you pay for. :) Still, for such a low cost, I'm sure I could get a few uses out of it.


The heaters are going to be designed for use with 220, putting 110 across them will result in lower wattage/temps - probably making the thing unusable.

the $13 is definitely tempting. . .looks like there's also a 110V versionfor a little over $40 after shipping. . .if you have a 220 line available for an appliance (e.g. dryer) you could always swap the plug to fit that without issue. short of that - I wouldn't bother with the 220V version.

When you have a heater rated for wattage at a certain voltage and then apply half the voltage - you wind up with a quarter of the wattage. Taking a quick look at the wattage difference you'll be seeing if you decide on the current 150W version for 220V you're looking at:
P = V^2*R.
150 = 220^2 * R.
R = .00309 ohms

P = 110^2 * .00309
P = 37 watts
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Re: Solder pot

Postby ian » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:37 am

Moved to new tools forum :)
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Re: Solder pot

Postby bearmos » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:54 am

nice:)
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Re: Solder pot

Postby drjeseuss » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:26 pm

Thanks Ian. I think this new tools forum will be very helpful.

bearmos: Thanks for the explanation. I guess the numbers have spoken, no go on the 220 version. I'll think things over for the 110 version. I had an idea for a DIY pot I might try out also.
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Re: Solder pot

Postby bearmos » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:55 am

drjeseuss wrote:I'll think things over for the 110 version. I had an idea for a DIY pot I might try out also.


Good luck. Let us know if you need to bounce some ideas around!
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Re: Solder pot

Postby katjap » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:03 pm

Don't Turn it On! Take it Apaaaahrt!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV2QPlposDE
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Re: Solder pot

Postby drjeseuss » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:02 pm

Scary stuff! Thanks for the link. This makes me want to tear into a few of my pieces of gear. I usually take things apart over their life, but usually only once dead, or if modding... seldom when new and working as expected. I may change that habit to 'always before plugging in', at least for those 'I can't believe it's that cheap' buys.
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Re: Solder pot

Postby neslekkim » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:46 am

oh, that's the reason those dealextreme ones are so cheap:
http://dx.com/s/solder+pot
All seems to be 220volt, well, that's my voltage though.
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Re: Solder pot

Postby katjap » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:09 pm

That, and that the're only wattage controlled, there's no actual temperature feedback in them. Here's the site i found that teardown video on. http://blog.elektronicastynus.be/archives/32
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Re: Solder pot

Postby ian » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:40 am

That's kind of what I expected to see in them. I used to melt lead to cast furniture hardware (don't ask) in a bowl with a blow torch, I don't expect they did anything but make the hotplate equivalent of that :)
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Re: Solder pot

Postby drjeseuss » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:29 pm

I can certainly see value in temp control... we're not cavemen. Still, a solder pot is for melting solder. The cheap units do this. I was talking to a friend about these and he suggested saving the money and just using a muffin tin on the stove. Based on the teardown, it's only a few steps past this due to portability. I've decided for now to postpone the purchase. I have a thought that I could build a controller for one of these that includes a K-Type thermocouple to get a nice controlled unit, using the cheap pot for the hardware of the build. Unfortunately, I've given myself way too many projects so this one will likely have to wait until the need becomes more pressing.
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Re: Solder pot, plus Travel Adapters

Postby pbarnrob » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Find what the rated wattage is, and get a step-up transformer of at least that wattage (a bit more if you might run something else of the same sort, so double the watts or triple).

These things are often called 'travel adapters' for those from most of the world (AU, EU, etc. who all use 220-250VAC 50Hz power and various plugs) traveling to the US, where it's 110-125VAC 60Hz. These are available both ways, step-UP or step-DOWN or BOTH ways with plug adapters.

For dialing down simple heating devices like heating pads or soldering irons (not temp controlled), I've built a little 4x4 box with a simple dimmer and outlet in it. DON'T try to use that on sophisticated electronics.
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