Tetris On A Soldering Iron

Our commenteers have all said good things about the open-source TS100 soldering iron pencil: things like “it solders well”. But we’ve all got soldering irons that solder well. What possible extra value does having open-source firmware on a soldering iron bring? [Joric] answered that question for us — it can play Tetris. (Video embedded below.)

While that’s cool and all, it wasn’t until we were reading through the README over at GitHub that the funniest part of this hack hit us. Every time you lose a game, the iron tip temperature increases by 10 degrees. Tetris for masochists? The makings of some horrible bar bets? We’re just glad that it’s open-source, because we’re not that good and it would get too hot to handle fast.

We haven’t tried out a TS100 yet, but this hack is almost pushing us to impulse purchase. There are alternative versions of the firmware if you just don’t like the font, for instance. And now, Tetris. Will this become the hot new gaming platform that you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments.

20 thoughts on “Tetris On A Soldering Iron

      1. IIRC some similar models have Breakout, and others have Arkanoid. My favorite is still the old HP ScanJet scanners that would play Ode To Joy through the stepper if you held down the scan button while powering on.

  1. The opensource firmware can do a few things. It can work as a contact thermometer when you’re not soldering, or a voltmeter. You could use it as a level since it has an accelerometer, or as a timer.

    Overall I love the TS100, it solders well, I can power it with RC lipos out in the field and I’ve also converted some of my other appliances to use XT60 connectors for power, and put an XT60 on my laptop’s power supply, so I can take a single PS with me on travel an account for everything.

    Note there are a few documented hardware mods for the TS100, unfortnately most of them are in chinese and on Chinese forums.

  2. I have one of these irons. At first I thought it would just be something I would toss into my bag for travelling, but its light weight and quick heat times have made it my goto 80% of the time.

  3. I got two of these soldering irons with different tips on each and I use them a lot. I think they are very good soldering irons. Good control and work well. I own to many soldering irons but use these a lot. I rate them. Good to see a fun hack for it lol.

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