Solder Sucker Meets Industrial Vacuum Pump

[borgartank] is starting a hackerspace with a few guys, and being the resident electronics guru, the task of setting up a half-decent electronics lab fell on his shoulders. They already have a few soldering stations, but [borgar] is addicted to the awesome vacuum desolderers he has at his job. Luckily, [bogar]’s employer is keen to donate one of these vacuum desolderers, a very old model that has been sitting in a junk pile since before he arrived. The pump was shot, but no matter; it’s nothing a few modifications can’t fix.

The vacuum pump in the old desoldering station was completely broken, and word around the workplace is the old unit didn’t work quite well when it was new. After finding a 350 Watt vacuum pump – again, in the company junk pile – [bogar] hooked it up to the old soldering station. Everything worked like a charm.

After bolting the new and outrageously large pump to the back of the desoldering station, [bogar] wired up a relay to turn on the pump with the station’s 24V line. Everything worked as planned, netting the new hackerspace a 18 kg soldering station.

19 thoughts on “Solder Sucker Meets Industrial Vacuum Pump

  1. What kind of vacuuum pump do you suppose that is? I’d like to do something similar with my desoldering station. The unit I have uses compressed air and a venturi tube to create suction. I’ve often wondered if a unit like this (or a unit for bleeding brake lines?) would do the job?

  2. If it pulls air too quickly does it cool the tip to the point it can’t reflow large joints?

    A modified aquarium pump might be a good substitute, I’d go with a 40+ gallon version of the “Tetra Whisper” series, they are stupidly easy to modify, you open it, spin a piece of plastic then done. Also an in-line filter would be smart so nothing makes it into the pump.

    1. The trigger on the soldering iron is there for a reason. You press it and the vacuum sucks, the harder the better. As long as you don’t press the trigger, there’s no air flow through the iron and therefore no air convection cooling.

  3. I understand the “not a hack” criticism. closer to kludge than hack one could say.
    however, i’m still glad i got put on here.
    this was done out of 1 par necessity and 4 parts for-the-hell-of-it-icy.

    also name is Borgar, not bogar^^

    1. Oh sorry, wasn’t a criticism at all. I was trying to make a joke about vacuums and sucking and all that. I’ve been considering upgrading my vacuum desoldering tool in a similar manner for a while, but the heating coil finally died so it’s gonna have to wait

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