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[DPRG] "As Seen On TV' soldering iron

Subject: [DPRG] "As Seen On TV' soldering iron
From: Rick J. Bickle rbickle at swbell.net
Date: Fri Sep 24 14:23:35 CDT 2004

So, basically this thing is some AA batteries that short out to what
you're soldering?
They probably got the idea from building robots: If a battery short can
melt the solder connections open, it should be able to close them too!

Hey - You've got to give them credit for simplifying the product...


-----Original Message-----
From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-bounces at dprg.org] On
Behalf Of Eric Sumner
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 1:40 PM
To: dprglist at dprg.org
Subject: Re: [DPRG] "As Seen On TV' soldering iron

I own one of these.  It works pretty well, but the battery life is
relatively short (in number of connections soldered).  It can't heat up
anything much larger than normal electronic stuff very well.  The way it
works is that the soldering tip is split into two resistive pieces.
When you connect them with something conductive, they get hot quite
fast.  In my experience, it takes a decent length of time to cool off
(30-45 sec), so you do have to wait a little before putting it away.
The two halves of the tip are about .02-.05" apart, and whatever you're
soldering has to be big enough to bridge the gap. 
Also, it can be a bit awkward at first to get used to touching two
points instead of one.  Because it uses current to heat the tip, if you
bridge two pins accidentally, it will try to pump current through the
chip, and there is some danger of damaging electronic parts if you're
not careful.  Through-hole parts seems to have pins far enough apart
that this isn't a large problem, but you might have som trouble with
surface mount stuff.

  -- Eric
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