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Keith writes:

In early February, a correspondent pointed me to Jeff Keyzer’s mightyOhm blog. I immediately ran across his homebrew PID-controlled soldering hotplate and improvements, and immediately knew I had to have one.

I contacted Jeff through his blog and he was great about sharing his knowledge. He’d built his hotplate using the last of some surplus parts he’d picked up at a now-closed store in the Valley and was considering ordering a batch of parts to make a few for all the folks inquiring about them, but hadn’t done so yet. I was eager, decided it’d be quicker to make my own (and three months later, that may actually have been correct), and went off to eBay to find myself some parts.

Copycat PID-controlled solder hotplate