Many readers will be familiar with the Miniware TS100 soldering iron, a lightweight temperature-controlled iron that is giving significantly more expensive soldering tools a run for their money. There is another model in the range, the TS80, which though it uses different tips than its sibling has the main distinguishing feature of USB-C power rather than a DC barrel jack. A cadre of users still prefer the TS100 for this reason, as an iron that can run from almost any low voltage DC power source. Any except USB-C, that is, an omission that [thinkl33t] has rectified with a USB-C adapter for the older model.
To achieve this, he’s used a readily-available ZYPDS USB-to-DC module and attached it to a barrel jack. For now, it’s simply held on by solder with a bit of heat-shrink over the top. [Thinkl33t] observes that this may not prove to be strong enough and he’ll eventually have to put it on a bit of cable. It’s a simple enough hack, but it serves as a quick introduction to these parts which perform the necessary USB-C magic to deliver a DC supply, as well as to highlight the relative scarcity of higher-power USB supplies.
At the moment there’s an inevitable move to USB-C All The Things, but it’s a trend that it seems many manufacturers of power sources have yet to catch up with. When a typical TS-80 owner finds their shiny new USB-C battery bank is, in reality, an older 5V USB bank with a USB-C connector fitted, it’s no wonder that their friends prefer the TS100. We hope that coming years will see a greater range of USB-C power options, but until then we like the versatility of the barrel jack on the TS100. Especially now that it can so readily be made to take USB-C power.
We reviewed the TS100 back in 2017, and two years of using it since then have not changed our opinion of it.
Thanks to the several tipsters including [thinkl33t] himself who sent us this.
12 thoughts on “The Miniware TS100 As A USB-C Soldering Iron”
Unfortunately the TS-80 doesn’t use USB-PD, so although the connector is USB-C it only works with chargers and power banks that support Qualcomm QC3.0.
I have purchased an XT60 to DC barrel and made this 3d printed enclosure for the ZYPDS adapter.
You can find it here
This was done by Dennis Schneider almost half a year ago:
Scream for strain relief (it hurts), please use a 3cm cable for the DC connector!
Straight from China: 3 bucks, plastic enclosed, right angle USB-C to DC5525
It seems like that module fits inside the TS-100 case in place of the barrel socket.
However, max 20V is limiting power. I used the TS-100 at 20V and 24V, the difference doesn’t seem much at first, but it can be significant at certain tasks.
It probably could, but then you don’t have a DC barrel jack anymore. This is about increasing options, not limiting them. If he’s like me he probably likes to have the option of hooking it straight to a battery for instance
You can pry my DC barrel jack from my cold dead fingers. USB-C is a terrible standard that should not exist in this form, and I will resist using it for anything for as long as I can.
With a barrel connector, I can use 10 feet of wire and compensate it with a much heavier gauge if I need to. Not so with USB-C as you are limited by length, unknown quality of wire gauges they use etc.
cute, but there are people that got this to the next level having the module inside the iron: https://github.com/Ralim/ts100/issues/24#issuecomment-526361539
Also there is a cable with all included https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32996464270.html
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