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Here’s something useful for people who do a lot of electronics on the road. This hack shows how to build a USB powered soldering iron from a battery powered iron by connecting a spare cable to the iron. Check out the directions at the link below.

via GetLoFi


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Comments

  1. The Oracle says:

    A USB port’s maximum power is 0.5 amps at 5 volts which is 2.5 watts. That’s not going to get you anywhere for a soldering iron. You’re much better off with one of those butane soldering irons.

    Not to mention the absolute stupidity of drawing that kind of power from your expensive notebook battery just to burn as heat. And if you have an outlet not to use the notebook battery, you have an outlet for a soldering iron.

  2. Tim says:

    I concur; this is stupid.

    You need at least 25W for a soldering iron. I fail to see how USB’s 2.5W would work. It must have been drawing a lot more than 500mA which is pretty risky.

  3. TD says:

    Battery powered irons are not very good. Throwing out the battery in favor of USB power is going from bad to worse. This project would make much more sense if the USB port were used to recharge the battery in the iron.

  4. Andy P says:

    The comments above about the available current through USB are completely on target, but not quite correct. A USB port will provide only 100 mA to an unconfigured port. To get the full 500 mA, the device must request more current during enumeration, and if the host (your computer) determines that it can supply more than 100 mA, it will do so. Otherwise, the device will be disconnected and it won’t draw any current at all!

    Of course, this “USB soldering iron” has no intelligence, so it won’t ever enumerate, which means that the port will source only 100 mA. And 5 V at 100 mA is not a lot of power at all.

    This “hack” is about as useful as those “USB coffee warmers” given away as trade-show tchochkies.