Finding a good soldering iron

Posted on Aug 9, 2021

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to tinker. A lot.

My general workbench has a nice Hakko FX888D soldering pencil with a Hakko FR301 gun that is used for when I need to desolder something. I do like the pencil, but, as my need are changing (Yes, my PiDP-11 has something to do with this), I’m looking for a soldering pencil that I can use that meets my needs a bit better. I purchased a TS-100 last year, but, it’s basically stayed in my toolbag for the most part of a year.

Since being laid up with the Delta variant, I decided that I’d work on some of my projects that have been sitting on the shelf for a while, mainly:

  • Building my PiDP 11 and getting that fixed.
  • Tuning my MMDVM Hotspot – my previous hotspot failed and I got a new MMDVM Hat sent as a replacement. Figured that was as good as time as any to fix my local MMDVM setup and set up different frequencies for my Wires-X and my DMR components.
  • Fixing and re-calbirating my test equipment.

After spending an afternoon fighting with the temperature control of my FX888D, I opted to pull my TS-100 out of my toolbag, figuring It couldn’t be any worse…and to my surprise, the controls were a little lackluster. Googling around led me to the IronOS as an alternative firmware: simply put, this is a much better experience than the default firmware in the TS-100. Now, I’m looking for accessories that I can use to make it feel like my FX888D: a longer power cable, a better holder, and some better tips.

More to come, Including videos, In the next few days.