[Dprglist] An alternative pencil soldering iron

Carl Ott carl.ott.jr at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 05:50:27 PST 2021


I have to say something about the background clutter in YouTube reviewer
"Adrian's Digital Basement" - it's at once amusing, relatable,
some-kind-of-statement, etc...

Can't wait to hear your feedback if one of those $25 irons shows up in your

As background -
Doug was referring to a model TS80 soldering Iron that I purchased from
Bangood late in 2018.

The TS80 has been an awesome iron.
Even with only 18W - the active temperature control means that it's had no
problem heating up 'large' thermal masses that would have immediately
stalled my similarly sized but ancient 'no temp control' pencil iron.
Plus, I really liked the 'accelerometer feature' of the default firmware -
if the iron sits idle for a few minutes, e.g. while you're getting the next
items ready to solder - the iron automatically reduces the temperature -
then as soon as you pick it up - it automatically heats up to the setpoint
And - the audio jack connector makes swapping between different tips
super-easy. I was concerned at first about that style of connector handling
the power - but I've noticed no issues after 3 years of intermittent use.
So I'm sold on it.

The only issue I've had with the TS80 is that a couple weeks ago - the OLED
display was dim.  The iron still works fine, but the dim display makes it
difficult to e.g. change the temperature setpoint or observe the current

A little hunting around shows that the TS80 and it's larger / older sibling
the TS100 both have an issue with the OLED display getting dim after some
time.  At least one theory is circulating that the heat inside the iron
degrades the OLED.


I liked the TS80 iron so much that I've taken 2 actions

   1. I've ordered replacement OLED display from the manufacturer - $5.00
   plus $5.00 shipping
   2. I bought a TS80P - the model upgrade to the TS80.

Big Differences:

   - TS80      18W, and uniform barrel diameter at finger grip area
   - TS80P    30W, flanged barrel at finger grip area helps keep your
   fingers away from the heat shield, and doubles as a quick-release tip

*First impressions of the TS80P*
=> I'm totally sold.

For example -
I had to repair a builder defect on my pool equipment last weekend.
Despite the relatively cool and heavy outdoor breeze directly on the wires
I was joining, the USB-C powered TS80P maintained a constant temperature.
My old similarly sized 110V no-temp-control iron would not have worked in
that condition.

Anyhow -

*here's a purchase link to the TS80P*

*These review differences between TS80 and TS80P*

*and these talk about the dim OLED problem and repair *- hopefully that
same issue doesn't afflict similar irons like the $25 one you're looking at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPsBWquULeM  (the repair looks like a pain)

- Carl

On Sun, Nov 21, 2021 at 1:44 PM rsneveau via DPRGlist <
dprglist at lists.dprg.org> wrote:

> you can get the tips on walmart web site with other tip styles so looks
> like others use this tip ‘system’
> tips are the razor blades of a soldering iron
> but a 30 day warranty and the prominence of the RISC word on web site
> makes me very concerned  <g>
> but (not a joke) wonder if any of the others have a better iron body as it
> looks like others may use this same tip in the same form factor
> i did not trace the tips i saw online back to the various products using
> them so this might be the best implementation - so of course you must waste
> 6 hours doing research...
> but thanks for the link
> i can’t find tips for the weller iron i had for this function , and it is
> small but AC powered
> > On Nov 21, 2021, at 12:15 PM, Doug Emes via DPRGlist <
> dprglist at lists.dprg.org> wrote:
> >
> > I've been slightly jealous of Carl's TS100 soldering iron ever since I
> > saw it at an RBNO several years ago.
> > While watching youtube today, I came across a competitor that utilizes
> > a RISC-V instead of STM32 micro.
> >
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpine64.com%2Fproduct%2Fpinecil-smart-mini-portable-soldering-iron%2F&data=04%7C01%7C%7C760213e94f68492ccc6208d9ad1aec2a%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637731153406902705%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=l8SVWeqjEMr69kQIs8IpEngCi2gaEOko%2FWNOBcTtBgs%3D&reserved=0
> >
> > $25 bucks and basically does all the same things?  I know what I want
> > in my stocking this Christmas.
> >
> > Youtube video (highly favorable review, no comment about if it was for
> > compensation or not)
> >
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dk-wo_al9QJU&data=04%7C01%7C%7C760213e94f68492ccc6208d9ad1aec2a%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637731153406902705%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=vGXCjAkna8K%2FxOjxGIQNotKOoDlJliCyqxYj92MDcKo%3D&reserved=0
> >
> >
> > Anyone have a strong reason why I shouldn't ask my sweet wife to get it
> for me?
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