Simultaneous Soldering Station

Soldering irons are a personal tool. Some folks need them on the cool side, and some like it hot. Getting it right takes some practice and experience, but when you find a tip and temp that works, you stick with it. [Riccardo Pittini] landed somewhere in the middle with his open-source soldering station, Soldering RT1. When you start it up, it asks what temperature you want, and it heats up. Easy-peasy. When you are ready to get fancy, you can plug in a second iron, run off a car battery, record preset temperatures, limit your duty-cycle, and open a serial connection.

The controller has an Arduino bootloader on a 32u4 processor, so it looks like a ProMicro to your computer. The system works with the RT series of Weller tips, which have a comprehensive lineup. [Riccardo] also recreated SMD tweezers, and you can find everything at his Tindie store.

Soldering has a way of bringing out opinions from novices to masters. If we could interview our younger selves, we’d have a few nuggets of wisdom for those know-it-alls. If ergonomics are your priority, check out TS100 3D-printed cases, which is an excellent iron, in our opinion.

5 thoughts on “Simultaneous Soldering Station

  1. Whew, $120 shipping included with no tips. It’s a very nice feature set, but probably overkill for most people like me. If I ever absolutely needed the features, I might be tempted, but it’s not an impulse buy.

    1. Yeah, I love the design and seeing someone out there trying to make a go with their design, but I don’t really understand who is the audience for this. You could get two TS100’s and a handful of tips for roughly the same price and have roughly the same (factory produced) functionality. Don’t get me wrong, I love home brewed PCBs and 3D printed enclosures as much as the next guy, but not really for tools. But I’m an engineer, not a marketing guy, so maybe I’m missing the point.

    2. Yup, $100 (ugh) + $15 for the 12V 3A power supply (reasonable) + $20 shipping to the US from Denmark (meh) for a plastic box that essentially contains a PCB, 4 x jelly bean MOSFETS, 1 x dual-channel Op-Amp, an ATmega32U4, a quadrature rotary encoder, a cheap ($7) 1.8 inch TFT/ST7735S display, and a trivial amount of added hardware and 3.5mm jacks. On top of that you have to add a hugely over-priced Weller “disposable” tip (~$36), and a proper Weller iron handle (~$150). So now we’re up to around $320. Then you need to add $60 for the tweezer “adapter” and around $56 for something like a Weller RTW 2 45° tweezer tip. Yeah, now we’re up to $435+. That’s not gonna happen in my lab. And don’t rant on about “software aint free”. In the end I don’t care, I’ll be using my own code. Look, if you insist on using expensive Weller tips (for some crazy reason), and you have the gray matter up top, just wire up your own PID controller in one or two evenings and save yourself hundreds. For anyone else, the $135 base price (with P.S. & shipping) may seem worth it. Actually $135 is going to be a drop in the bucket over time once Weller hooks a vacuum cleaner up to you wallet for tips.

  2. A word from the designer :):
    I worked with Weller tools for years, I love them and they are pro quality. However, it is hard for hobbyist to enter their professional tools (a dual channel station with SMD tweezers is more than 1000$). So I decided to develop for myself first the soldering station for home use.
    The project is always evolving and to pay some of the components/cost i started making some for few privileged ones. I agree there are many cheap alternatives around, but when you try weller tips and SMD tweezers for miniature work (0402 and smaller components) it’s hard to go back to normal soldering irons.
    The project is open source with full schematic and 3d models for case so, if you are really on a tight budget you can build it in house.

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