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Old 11-16-2009, 03:24 PM #1
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Default Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

UPDATE !! !
PROJECT WORKS, SEE EDITS AND UPDATES BELOW!


OK folks, my 'delayed' regulator project... brought to finish.
I bought correct values of resistors, and after installing them instead of R3 and R8,
I was, again, frustrated by failure.
The summanabitch indicator light just kept lit no matter what I do.
Then it occured to me.
I quicly grabbed my ohmmeter, and went over the connections.
Guess what. Powerline with 220VAC was severd between the IC's pins it was supossed to connect.

Now, I tried it again. To my suprise, it began as it should: when power is switched on, the indicator light SHOULD NOT light, until the power usage of the soldering iron matched the value set by resistor marked GRUBo on schematic.
So, i turned the resistors around....
Again with no success. Starting to feel pesimistic?
Well, I thought maybe the first pair of resistors was OK, so i switched them again.
Same thing. Indicator light only blinks when power is supplied, and remains off whatever I do.
However this is where I noticed something.
Even though the light is off, the soldering iron is heating.
I grabbed my trusty 10$ meter, and measured the volts running into the iron.
There was standard 220 V AC on the input, however, there was 13 V AC over the iron
Yep, 13! Lucky number eh?
I thought, maybe it was the regulation process (iron was still hot from repairing the PCB) so I switched it off and let it cool off.
Turned it on and guess what. 13 V AC.
Took VERY long time to heat up.

I lost my nerves after many tries that day (yesterday, Sunday).
And I gave it up for that. So today, I managed to find the nerves to go try again. And guess what.
I find another severed line, between the row of resistors left from the PCB.
So, repaired that and let the iron cool off.
Turned it on again and again, 13V ac. HOWEVER, I unplugged my iron from the circuit and measured the voltage across the output.
181V ac.
Weird? That dig this: I plugged the iron back in and THEN it had 214 V ac across it. When it heated up, it was back to 13 V.
Twisting the post has no effect on the voltage again.
It seems the regulation is only halfway complete, when it is hot enough, it passes low voltage, but when it is cold again, it does not return the 220V on it.
I am now officially looking for professionals' help, if you can judge from the pictures what the hell is wrong here, because I cannot belive that after that many repairs, tries and so on, it still won't listen to me.
Is it possible that the potenciometers from the original project had different pinout? Or whatever. All ideas are welcome (except 'buy a soldering station' ones ofc )







So far, that means the iron heats up very quicly, and one it reaches the solder melting temperatire (a little above it acctually) it only remains at 13 Volts AC, just enough to keep it at that. If you ask me, it is somewhat OK, if I didn't put all the effort in it.

Well just in case there is no one that can figure it out, I'm still happy with auto voltage cutoff, and encased it all in a box earlier mentioned


And just to add a finishing touch, replaced my very old soldering tip with brand new one.

old one and new one uncomparable



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Old 11-17-2009, 02:32 PM #2
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

UPDATE!!!
Problem fixed.

People !!!!
At last.

My project finally brought to an end.
I apologise to everyone, however the problem is fixed, there was another severed line in ICs pins.

After repairing it, the light nicely lights up after the left(power) resistor is set properly.
Also responds to right(temp) potenciometer nicely!!

Therefore, I conclude this now, with happy-to-announce end, so schematic really works, reading the resistance of the heater in iron.

Now after little playing with the resistors, I figured a way to operate it.
The pots should be at lowest values of power and temperature.
When it is turned on, the power pot should be slowly turned, and stop when the indicator lights up. it should be right on the limit.

The tempereture pot should be set to get the right temperature. Can be tricky, especially because it is very wide range of soldering irons to be plugged here. Should be able to find the limits, you do not want to turn it all the way, because the temperature will never be reached by the soldering iron.

Well folks, I will now conclude this,
and one again apologise to everybody for confusion, it was my fault for not being thourogh.

LET THAT BE A LESSON for everybody! Wash your PCB before etching THOUROGHLY, not to find yourself soldering same resistors 5 times like a moron (that's me), and losing nerves like me.

So! Open for your opinions!


EDIT: ONE more update.
My trusty multimeter, shows that there is 13 VAC to the iron when the light is off, and 215 when it is on.
That is supposedly, negative wave , and full wave transmision.

Well, all those guys from part 1 that gave me support, glenn, laserbee, Hmike, I hope I did not drive you mad so far!

Finally I can conclude the project with satisfying results.
Only thing left to do now is UPS runtime testing.
However that is not going to be part 4, only added here.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:12 PM #3
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

AND ofc I can now dedicate my free time to making some laser with my new soldering iron regulator.



AND yes...
Anybody has a good parody name for makeshift soldering station?
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:53 AM #4
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

I've been following the various parts of this, and I'm glad to hear that it finally works. Nice looking red laser, by the way. The heatsink looks great.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:25 AM #5
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

Niice!!

Which host is that ?
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:44 AM #6
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

Good job on finally getting it working.
I +1'd you.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:02 AM #7
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Default Re: Poor man's soldering iron regulator PART 3

@ Bill - Thank you man, the heatsink was made on CNC...
@Tabish - I got the flashlight from a friends, he said he needs it no more, because the button is dead. I managed to repair it and install my red laser in it. Warning sticker is right over the text : Gillete Mach 3 Turbo I have no idea where did he get that flashlight.
@ ICE - Thank you man! Yep it finally works...

I really want to point out again, that everyone should do the PCB, soldering, testing thoroughly, not to end up like me streching the project over 3 weeks and buying extra parts and all, when all the problems were caused by three (3) severed powerlines...

Thax everyone for support!
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