I won the soldering iron from an activity jointly sponsored by MiniDSO and MyDigit ( http://bbs.mydigit.cn/read.php?tid=1228188 ). Huge thanks go to MiniDSO for giving me this trial product. S.F. Express delivered it to me as scheduled. When I got this baby, I was beside myself with joy. Giving it a try rose to my first priority.. I soon unwrapped the package and began to study her. See this baby is clad in black within a white cardboard box.
The business gift box inscribed with asilver-color logo houses two drawers in which the very contrast between blackand white is made in the dark sponge inlaid with the shining soldering iron.
The bottom of the box is labeled with TS100 Mini Soldering Iron, Made in China.
Aview of all parts
There is also a small package containing ahex key and two small screws
Measuring the length of the handle
For an ordinary handle, its length wouldn tbe a surprise. However, this one, despite its common size, is equipped with a temperature-control systemand an OLE display, yet it weighs just over 20g.
Thesoldering iron (including the soldering tip) and the handle together only weigharound 31g.
Now let s take a look at the power supply.It is relatively compact, which perfectly suits the handle. Its rated outputvoltage is 19V and current 2.1A.
The soldering tip looks similar to that of Hakko T12 tip but it is shorter and nearly sharesthe same length of the handle.
Distinct from Hakko T12 tip, this solderingtip is designed with a slim middle part and a large conical stop
Thishead is undoubtedly one of a kind. I assume the designer intends to shorten thelength of it. The slim part serves to increase the thermal resistance and thefat part helps to strengthen radiating and prevent the soldering tip fromswinging. The tail s design is similar to that of Hakko T12 tip. I tried in vain to take a clear photo of the tail. Icouldn t tell whether it is four dots or four dents around the metal ring.
Thelower drawer contains three additional soldering tips capped with different shape.These models are widely used. And guess what? There s a Shape K!
Eachsoldering tip is inscribed with a laser logo and a model number.The model ofthe soldering tip outside the package is TS-BC2 (Shape BC2). The models insidethe package are respectively TS-K (Shape K), TS-B2 (Shape B2), and TS-D24 (ShapeD24).
I ve tested them with a magnet. The resultshows that only the heating elements inside the tip have magnetism.
The handle shell is made of dark plastic andcoated. Its surface feels like fine metal and is inscribed with For Trial Only , which is why thepackage does not include an instruction manual.
Placedin hand, the mini soldering iron is slim like a special pen. It s lengthmeasures almost the length of a palm
Comparedwith my other soldering irons, this one is slightly longer than the Hakko T12 tip.
SinceTS100 soldering iron and Hakko T12 tip share the same tail structure andthermocouple polarity, the handle of TS100 could sheath Hakko T12 tip. It worksthough the proportion does not look nice and the temperature might slightlydeviate from the actual figures
Comparingthe size of the power supply, the handle and the soldering tip between TS100and DIY Hakko 936
By the way, the Hakko T12 tip(Shape K) inthe picture is self-made with a waste tip. It seems to work better than theofficial Shape K. DIY details goes to:
Comparing the size of TS100 with that of MT3927
The weight of MT3927
DIY touch digital control 936 set weight
TS100 set weight
Bycontrast, TS100 is indeed mini. Let s see how a pen-style soldering iron feelsin hand.
Themini soldering iron is compact and portable. It is excellent for outdooroperation. And it just looks fantastic on my power bank for HP laptop.
This power bank houses a 6-cell lithiumbattery and has a port for direct output of battery pack voltage. When thebattery is fully charged, it reaches a voltage of 25V, which is perfectly readyto power the mini soldering iron.
Witha 6-cell lithium battery as its power supply, the mini soldering iron couldreach a power of 70W. It only takes 7 seconds to heat the iron from normaltemperature to 300 degrees Celsius! Small as the iron is, it is excellent inperformance. This is a badass! It could harness enough power from just betweena 4-cell and a 6-cell lithium battery. The configuration files speciallyinclude the option of the lowest voltage for operation, which serves to preventthe battery pack from over discharge.
Beforewe move on to the power test, let s first check the power voltage. It displays 19.13V,which is within a stable range.
Next,check the resistance of the body.;
Directionchange (switch the position of two pens)
The soldering tip is built in with a thermocouple with both the anode and the cathode. As the temperature rises, the resistance of either direction measures inconsistent. The measurement results indicate that the tail part s electrode is positive, which is consistent with the polarity of Hakko T12 tip. Now the ohmmeter probe s short circuit resistance value is 0.42 ohm. Then the resistance value of the soldering tip, based on the measurement result, should be (8.64+8.26)/2-0.42=8.03 ohm, which is equal to that of Hakko T12 tip. The results might be slightly inaccurate since it came in a difficult situation where I held a camera in my left hand and meanwhile an ohmmeter probe in my right.
Next, let s sheath the soldering tip and power it. As is seen on the display, what comes out first is a white-color MiniDSO logo.
Thenit is followed by the version number of firmware. I have upgraded the versionto V2.09
Thenext thing on the screen is a soldering iron image plus a rolling arrowhead. Itseems it is signaling me to get it started.
WhenI pressed the leftmost button, the screen starts to display temperature whichseems to begin from 25 degrees Celsius. The temperature rose before my fingerleftthe button
Withinseconds, the temperature already hit 300 degrees Celsius. What a surprise! Ishould ve tinned the tip in the first place.
Asthe temperature rises, an arrowhead is rolling upward on the right. 300 degreesCelsius is the default setting value. Tinning is effortless. It feels the tipis extending its warmest welcome to the soldering tin. This tip can rival withthe factory-packed Hakko T12tip
Whenthe tinning is finished, I feel better. Now let s see what else is on thescreen. The two pieces of information are displayed alternately, which signifystarting up
Now press the button as it says
When it starts, press the front button to the left and the temperature will rise. The step length is 25 degrees The top limit is 400 degrees. The figure rolls upwards as the temperature climbs, which is a very thoughtful feature.%
Press the front button to the right, and the temperature will drop. The bottom limit is 100 degrees. The figure rolls downwards as the temperature falls
Longpress the temperature regulation button, and the temperature will be regulatedquickly and continuously. This move is very user-friendly. More exciting, thestep length of the regulation could be set. This will be discussed later. Whenthe temperature rises, the soldering iron on the right will be accompanied byupward moving arrowheads
Whenthe temperature decreases, the soldering iron on the right will be accompaniedby downward moving arrowheads.
Whenthe extent of dropping exceeds 10 degrees, the screen will display both thecurrent temperature and the target temperature in a moving way, which revels thethoughtfulness of the designer.
Whenthe temperature stays constant after it moves up/down to the target, the solderingicon on the right will display the statues of constant temperature
Nowlet s measure the power of the mini soldering iron and that of its powersupply. The AC input power is measured with Nortel Power Monitor VC version.The starting power displays 0.5W. The indoor temperature measures approximately25 degrees Celsius. When the iron is on standby, the power hits close to 0W, orprecisely speaking, less than 0.5W. The following test also experiences similarresults
Whenthe temperature rises nonstop, the power value displays around 48.5W.
The actual figure should be larger since the current result is an instant figure captured by a camera but what the monitor displays is a moving average. Supposed if the output voltage is 19V now, then the output power to the soldering iron should be 19*19/8=45W, which is far beyond the rated power (40W) of the switch-mode power supply. This explains that the power allows a certain degree of overload.
While the temperature is decreasing, the power hits approximately 0W
Whenthe temperature stays constant at 400 degrees, the power hits around 18W
Whilethe temperature is rising, the power consumption gradually falls, which indicatesthat the system control algorithm is working
Whenthe temperature remains constant at 300 degrees, the power displays 4.3 or so
Whenthe temperature stays constant at 200 degrees, the result is about 2.6 W
Itimed the speed at which the temperature rose. The result shows that from thenormal temperature to 300 degrees, the speed was rapid. As is seen in thepicture, it only took 12 seconds for the temperature got into a constantstatus
Itoccurred to me that I might test the power consumption in USB power supplymode. So I tried to connect the 3rd Generation OLED USB Tester inseries circuit. Guess what? It worked!
Nowthe handle screen displays a power consumption 33mA (0.163W), which iscomparable to the results of the control circuit. The handle, under such powerconsumption, still keeps cool . I particularly try press the button to startwithout the soldering tip. Now the handle will warn me of errors with itsdisplay showing Sen-Err . This is because the soldering tip itself is equallya temperature sensor
WhenI connected the USB to the computer, the screen displayed CONFIG
Nowwe don t need to sheath the body because we don t need the heating. And therewill be no warning. New hardware pops up in the computer. It is a USB flashdisk, shown as [removable disk (K]inside which there is only one file-CONFIG.TXT
Thefile CONFIG.TXT houses the configuration information for the soldering iron
7KBis the smallest capacity I have ever seen in a USB flask disk. The circuitboard does not visibly include a storage chip. But the configuration is setready for the use of the soldering iron. These lines indeed only cover a fewbytes
Ireset the configuration: The time lag needed before the sleeping mode ischanged to 90s, for I think the original span is lengthy. The temperature underthe sleeping mode is set to 150 degrees and the work temperature is set to 295degrees. The step length for the regulation of temperature is set to 1
Save the change, and the configuration parameters become new. The step is simple and easy. The new figures display distinctly. This way of setting opens much room for the expansion of function.
When the temperature regulation step length is set to 1, the temperature becomes automatically changeable. The longer I press the button, the wider the step length grows. What do you say if I name this move for interaction between man and machine Accelerate the Regulation ?
The configuration options include the setting of turn_off_v . This figure determines the minimum limit of voltage for power supply. If the voltage value is lower than the limit, the soldering iron will stop working. This setting serves to prevent the lithium battery pack from over discharge. What a thoughtful design!
After I unplugged the USB, out of curiosity, I pressed and held the front button and inserted the USB cable. I found the screen of the soldering iron showed something new. It displayed DFU 3.42. I assumed the iron entered the upgrade mode
Inthe meantime, the desktop reports new hardware is discovered. It is also a USBflash disk, which is supposed to be responsible for upgrading firmware. Thevolume label of the USB disk looks like a serial number
ThisUSB disk is relatively large. As is reported, it has a capacity of about 2MB.The circuit board does not visibly include a storage chip. For firmwareupgrade, the capacity is more than enough
It is amazing that a USB with such a small capacity serves to store data for the soldering iron. I m really impressed by the designer s competence on handling this STM32 singlechip microcomputer.
The upgrade part is easy and takes only seconds to process. All you need is to pull the firmware into the catalog of this file. When the upgrade is done, there will appear a file extended by .rdy .
Connectingthe mini soldering iron with a smart phone for configuration setting is alsoavailable. You just need an OTG-Micro data wire for the connection. And then youcould access the files of the soldering iron on your cellphone
Editingthe content of CONFIG.TXT is available
Self-made LOGOIN.BMP is the file for start-up screen LOGO
Now we could work with s smart phone instead of a computer.
I managed to access the USB disk on DFU with a cellphone, but I failed to finish the upgrade part. Guess we will need to dig deeper.
Mini soldering iron also features LOGO customization. Under the CONFIG mode, save into the USB disk the customized single-color image entitled LOGOIN.BMP , and the screen will display the LOGO when you power the DC port. See what it shows at the moment of powering
Thecurrent LOGO is my ID. Now this soldering iron is unique. Go have a try, myfriend
Whenwe insert the soldering iron tip, we need to unscrew a bit the tip setscrew atthe soldering tip port of the handle
Eitherside at the soldering tip port has a screw
Unscrewboth screws, and you could remove the lid. Then we could compare the size ofthe handle with that of a 22-function-in-one screwdriver
The screws on the shell are unscrewed by H1.5screwdriver bit. These screws might be made of stainless steal, which do not respond to a magnet. They could be attached to the screwdriver bit because they are elaborately made.
Let s see what s in the port. It seems that the tightly screwed screws serve to be fastening screws . It hit me that one of the two small screws inside the little package was relatively short and could serve as a substitute. I gave it a washer. It fit
Theinternal layout sees a compact and well organized circuit board. The left endhas a port for large power DC5525, while the right end a large-interface springpiece for the soldering tip
Thethick and robust DC socket for DC5525 which matches a socket measuring anexternal diameter of 5.5mm, and an internal 2.5mm and which is covered in ametal shell. We don t need to worry that it will crack because of age
Onthe right end of the handle shell there is a dark-grey metal reinforcement ringwhich serves to strengthen the intensity of the device. The copper chip hasgood spring and is riveted by screws
ThePCB could be readily lifted when the two small screws that rivet the copperchip and one screw on the body of the handle shell are all removed
Thesingle-chip microcomputer board and the mainboard are connected by a premium 16-footplug-in unit. The SCM is removable
I wonder whether such structure serves for the expansion of the board size or for the convenience for upgrade or both.
The surface of screen
Thesmall screws that rivet the springy copper chip are assembled or disassembledby T4 screwdriver bit. The port on the right end(the front end) has a groundingcopper chip inside
Theinside of the handle shell sees stop-off strips, embedded screw nuts andbuttons
Theleft end (the rear end) features a power supply port and a Micro USB port
Singlechip small board is the brain of this smart mini soldering iron. U3: 652 XYP isbelieved to be the acceleration sensor. U4: inscribed with STM32 F103T8U6, is areinforcement-mode microcontroller featuring 64KB flash storage and ARM 32-bit.,and is encapsulated by VFQFPN
Ifthe IC inscribed with 652 is MMA8652FC, that will be awesome. With 3-Axis and12-bit Digital Accelerometer, you could sense every slightest move of thesoldering iron
I do not know much about the price of acceleration sensor. But I assume if an 8-bit sensor is enough to replace a 12-bit one for operation, it should help with the cost reduction
U1: inscribed with S06DG, is a sophisticated operational amplifier that works on low voltage and consumes low power. It has an offset voltage of just 12uV. As is seen from its wire connection, the amplifier should serve to amplify the signals of the thermocouple
I ve never seen such rules for naming. The DG following S06 means the production month and year-July, 2013.
In contrast, 12uV is way much stronger than the offset voltage of LM 358 amplifier at 2mV. Can you believe the precision of the temperature control could reach between -5 and +5 degrees? Do you think we could narrow the precision to 2 degrees if we use LM358 or LM324?
Synchronous rectifier switch buck IC, RT7272B, input voltage limit-36V, 3A capacity, responsible for powering the control circuit. High efficiency, zero radiation, absolute strength over LDO. In a word,awesome!
U5:inscribed with R30D, is said to be the LDO with an output of 3.3V from XC6206or its equivalent. As is measured, it s input voltage is 4V. So it is thesecond stagestabilized voltage
U6:temperature sensor, used for measuring ambient temperature, inscribed with T6G,corresponding to model TM36, has a typical precision between 1?under the condition of +25?
Q1:main control tube, inscribed with 4421, probably is a high-speed PMOS tube ofAO4421, -6.2A/60V with a relatively large parameter margin, which ensurescomparatively high reliability
Q2: The SOT23 little tube is possibly NPN s, which serves to drive Q1 after the level switch.
K1 and K2: respectively two tact switches, looking good in quality
OLEDdisplay is designed with a suitable size and nice performance
BeforeI re-installed the board, I soldered two copper chips onto it. Only one side ofeither chip was tinned. So I don t have to worry much about petty partsdropping
Have a good idea for a new product for SFE or Olimex? Let us know!
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