DIY Hakko Soldering Station

[Julez] wanted another soldering station, so he decided to build one himself using a Hakko 907 soldering iron (or a clone). Of course, he could have bought a station, but anyone who reads Hackaday doesn’t require an explanation for why you would build something you could buy.

The station has two switchable outputs so you can use two different irons (perhaps with different tips) although you can only use one at a time. [Julez] bought a case with a transparent top from eBay and also got a digital temperature controller from eBay, which is the heart of the project. As for the actual iron, you can find clone versions of the 907 handpiece for well under $10.

Because the station uses a module, the actual wiring isn’t terribly difficult. There’s a pot to control the temperature and the controller directly connects to the iron’s heating element and temperature probe. There’s also a standby switch that reduces the temperature using a fixed resistor in series with the control pot.

[Julez] found a wide variation in 100-ohm pots, and explains how that affects the calibrated temperature scale in the video below. This is a good-looking and easy project and, after all, we all need soldering irons. We’ve covered homebrew stations before from the sophisticated to the very cheap. If you’d rather destroy than create, you might consider a desoldering station instead.

8 thoughts on “DIY Hakko Soldering Station

  1. I have a fake Hakko 936 which is fine for small components. But it seems to have very poor heat retention and really struggles with larger components and anything that acts as a heatsink. Julez has a couple of interesting observations on the fit tolerance of the tips and some ideas on how to improve conductivity. Worth a try!

  2. Why is everyone so giddy about these china soldering stations? They all feel inferior to the Weller units whenever I handle or use one. the local hacker space has several Weller WD1’s and they are an absolute dream to use.

    1. Don’t know why people drink £10 bubbly either: at my billionaire club, we only drink Don Perignon 1965 and it’s a dream to drink.
      Also, a lot of the stuff one pays a premium for are actually made in China too. It blooming annoys me when bigots systematically dismiss stuff not made in : if you are ready to pay more, China has the skills and capability to build some quality stuff. If you don’t want to pay for it, though, then of course… Likewise, I’ve seen some stuff made in the USA/Europe which is garbage!
      For instance, I bought a ERSA ERS80, only to find out that it comes with a blooming PVC cable! Had I known that, I would have happily paid a third for a cheap chinese Hakko knock off that might not have the greatest heat capability, but at least would have a PTFE cable that I wouldn’t have to bend awkwardly around my limbs!

    2. I have WD1’s at my work as well as one at home, and the major downfall of the Weller is the cost to keep it running.
      The iron is great when it is running, but the tips are not all that cheap, and the irons are prone to failing.
      When a 65 watt WMP pencil bites the dust, it runs ~$150 each to replace them at work, and though I can hunt around for my personal one, I’m only seeing ~$110 at the low end. for the iron alone…

      I don’t know how many I’ve seen fail at work, either for the sensor or for the heater.
      Either failure causes a whole iron replacement due to it being an integrated unit, though.

      I love how well they work, but when they break, it hurts to fix them.
      I’ve searched for a way to fit another brands iron onto mine when the time comes, but I’m not finding much information out there as yet.

  3. Yeah… I bought a Chinese hot air reflow station, and I LOVE it. A wonderful investment! I spent and extra $8 for get it with a Hakko clone soldering iron built in… NOT worth the $8. I have three Hakko 936 stations (LEGIT Hakko), with a pair of 907 irons and a 900 fine tipped iron. The ONLY thing I’ll ever use the clone for is for when I wan to abuse an iron doing horrible non soldering tasks, like melting plastic.

    It takes longer to heat, it has NO thermal capacity, it’s WARPED, the tips have a loose fit on the misshapen ceramic heater… Now that being said, the cheap Chinese soldering stations and the Legit Hakko stations use different heat sensors. One uses a thermocouple, and the other a thermistor. The irons are not interchangeable between stations.

    I have never bought a sub $10 “Hakko” iron. The most notable visual difference, besides quality of build, is the gender changed connectors. Maybe the $10 irons made to actually work on Hakko stations are better, I have a hard time believing that, at that price point.

    Building a DIY soldering station is cool, but be aware that there is a VAST CHASM separating the quality of some of the cheap “Hakko-esque” irons on ebay, and an actual Hakko iron. Just know that going into things.

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