Soldering stations are probably one of the most important tools in the hacker’s arsenal. Problem is — good ones are expensive, and sometimes the only difference between being okay at soldering versus being great at it, is the quality of the tool you’re using! Which is why [Albert] and [Matthias] decided to make their very own home-made Weller clone.
Since the most important part of the soldering iron is a good tip, they’re using a needle from Weller — they just need to be able to control it. They designed a 3D printed housing (source files here) for a small 1.8″ LCD screen, an Arduino Pro Mini and a MOSFET shield, and the 12v 8A power supply they chose. There are only two controls — on/off, and a potentiometer for adjusting the temperature.
They spent a while prototyping it and the end result is a pretty slick product. They actually sold a few but realized they weren’t making any money, so they stopped offering it — instead, you can get all the source files yourself from their GitHub. There’s also more information on [Matthias’] blog.
For a cheaper build, you could use a regular iron with a thermocouple strapped to it… but we like this one better.
[Thanks for the tip Luis!]