A soldering iron is an indispensable part of ever hacker’s toolkit, and many of you likely have a decent soldering station sitting on your workbench right now. But, those are bulky and difficult to lug around to hackathons and Maker Faires. The obvious solution is to purchase a secondary portable soldering iron, like the maker-favorite TS100. Those are surprisingly affordable at around $60, but Electronoobs’ DIY portable soldering is even more attainable at about $15 in bulk-priced parts.
This is Version 3 of Electronoobs’ portable soldering iron, and we previously covered Version 1 and Version 2. Like those, this new version is essentially a DIY clone of the popular TS100, but at a fraction of the price. It’s controlled by an ATmega328P, like you’d find on an Arduino Uno. That’s soldered onto a custom PCB, along with an OLED display and buttons, that fits entirely within the handle of the soldering iron — making it very portable.
This will likely be the final version of Electronoobs’ design, and may even end up as a DIY kit on Kickstarter. Most of the changes from Version 2 to this one are for making the finished soldering iron more compact. That was accomplished by removing the unnecessary buzzer from Version 2, switching to a smaller buck converter and smaller crystal, and replacing the large DC barrel jack with a smaller USB mini B connector. If you want to build your own, you can order the parts and follow the guide for assembly. Or, you can wait and see if it will become available as a kit on Kickstarter.