I have this soldering iron, a Radio Shark cheapy cordless soldering iron. My chief use for this would be for sculpting my new "Monster Clay" and not soldering. Monster Clay is very similar to use like wax, it melts and solidifies quite quickly, it's fun but it's a new challenge for me to use. I'm looking for a nice alternative to using that insanely messy Balsa Foam.
So back to the iron, I love the fact that you push a button and it starts to heat up ridiculously fast, and as you let up on the button, it cools back down.
And I've also hated it from the first time I changed batteries on it, they run out very fast.
In fact, the batteries ran out so fast, it baffled me.
I hate making excess waste, especially chemical waste like batteries.
So, even though it's semi-uncomfortable to hold this thing, I modded it to accept a cord instead.
I cracked it open. The true form of this thing is really dictated by the 4 AA batteries that you need to power it. (it says it's 15W heat equivalent)
I read in an Amazon.com review that a guy did something similar, and he used a 5V/1.5a source to run his.
Looks like my habit of not creating excess waste paid off this time. I happen to have an old power supply that ran at 5V/1a and I thought it would be adequate to do the job.
It was easier than I thought, I have temporarily soldered it right to the old battery springs. The power supply had a plug, but I didn't have it's mate on any of my old equipment that I could find.
Of course to do this, I had to have a second soldering iron. Oh the irony. But luckily I have had an old 23W iron for years that still works like a champ, it just pumps out heat like crazy though.
Now that I know this is going to work, and it does by the way! It works quite well even, at 1 amp with 5 volts. Any higher and the iron would get too hot. I recommend going no higher than 1 amp at this voltage.
In a later installment; I'll make it so it plugs right into the back of it, instead of needing a cord in the end.
I'll also do something about making it more user friendly. I have big hands and this thing is still kind of ungainly and awkward to use in my opinion.
Thanks for looking,