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TS100 solder iron - anyone tried this one?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author TS100 solder iron - anyone tried this one?
FetidEye
I got a tip from someone at my hackerspace about the TS100 solder iron

Features:
Intelligent temperature control
configurable settings
open source


It is an interesting concept, having open source firmware on such a device.
It has an OLED display and a handy interface.

It runs of a external laptop powersupply which you have to provide for yourself or some LIPO cells, or a powerbank

24v -> 65watt
19v -> 40watt


The going price is about 65,- euro / or 50,- on banggood

Have any of you tried it?
How are your experiences?
fingerfarbensound
It's pretty useful and on par with the majority of midrange soldering stations out there because it's heating element is pretty close to the tip.
The acceleration sensor to detect when picking it up is really useful as it spares you a few second everytime because it will pretty much always be heated up once you're actually soldering.

Definitely worth the money.

Some things to keep in mind:
When buying a power supply for it try to find one that does not have a ferrite bead near the barrel jack (it's annoying)
Since it does not come with a stand for the iron you have to make due with a makeshift solution.
It's not as comfortable as a proper soldering station because there is no rubberized guard to rest your fingers against and the distance between the tip and where you're holding it is pretty long.
cackland
I just recently replaced some of my old ones with a Ts100 and can highly recommend it. Fast heat up time, nice little digital settings, and great tips.

There are plenty of respected reviews on YouTube that I would encourage you to watch.
Flounderguts
I use a T100 for my "field" iron. On the bench I still use a Weller WP800 (for big stuff that need to get really hot) and a cheap Amazon Aoyue 888, which I actually use the most.

The only complaint about the T100 is the long tip that you can't choke up on. I don't have a lot of nerves left in my fingers (old injury) and I keep using a finger to steady the thing too far up...until the smell of burning flesh wakes me up.

Heats up fast at 24v or higher, I use a 36V lithium battery. Reprogramming is a nice aspect, but I don't bother.

Nice piece of kit. Don't bother with the newer generation TS80...it's not as useful, I've found. Gave it to my nephew.

Flounderguts
sutekina bipu-on
I actually swear by the ts100. I recently gave up on my hakko 888 - a pre-digital one, i had broken 4 handles on it because the handle's cable always wears out by the DIN plug. Then i got a cheap chinese iron but i had trouble with maintaining consistent temperature on it. I got a used Hakko 936 cheap off ebay, then saw a bunch of people on different forums recommended it and there were a lot of glowing reviews on youtube. I said what the heck and ordered it off Amazon for the next day. I basically haven't stopped using it since I got it. I use a Lite-On 3.42A 19V power supply i got off ebay for $6. The iron itself actually rules a ton. I haven't tried the custom software on it, but i was recently thinking about getting a second because i'd be so sad if i lost or broke mine.

Temperature consistency is shockingly good on fine or large jobs. I've tinned fairly thick wire with it fine and also do fine with with mine. God damn i love it. I did lose the set screw the very first day I got mine, but it's not been necessary. The tip part never comes loose at all.

Flounderguts has a good point about it not being the easiest thing to hold if you have bigger hands. I'm comfortable with it now but there are times i wish it was a bit easier to hold. That is really my only complaint. Such a good iron! My poor Hakko 936 I got hasn't been used more than once since i got it. The accelerometer feature on the TS100 is very nice too so you can have it cool off if it's been put down for a little while. It heats up nearly immediately, so there's no point to powering it on and off (though you can just pull out the dc plug!)

I have an easier time with it than i ever did with the 888 so thats saying something.

applause applause applause
Altitude909
I hated the ergonomics on it. Seemed to perform OK but plugging a gigantic laptop power supply to with a stiff cable plus the weird size just made it a PITA to use. You can get a FX-901 for $25 that is actually cordless and comfortable to use for the field kit. I wouldnt even consider this for a daily use device, the plastic housing feels cheap and it doesnt have any stand (or one available that fits its weird size).

All this is a good tip with some minimal electronics for regulation and a DC brick. The FX-901 is half the cost and the same thing but runs on batteries
fingerfarbensound
Altitude909 wrote:

All this is a good tip with some minimal electronics for regulation and a DC brick. The FX-901 is half the cost and the same thing but runs on batteries

That's a 5W device which I wouldn't compare to the TS100.
Altitude909
fingerfarbensound wrote:
Altitude909 wrote:

All this is a good tip with some minimal electronics for regulation and a DC brick. The FX-901 is half the cost and the same thing but runs on batteries

That's a 5W device which I wouldn't compare to the TS100.


I've had both. Kept the FX-901, its crude but the fact its actually portable and wireless makes it a much more practical field device than the TS100 which has no stand (the Hakko stands on its own) and requires a large power supply or even bigger external battery
sutekina bipu-on
Yeah but i never actually use it as a field device, and a laptop power supply is so much easier to relocate than your usual soldering iron base station

The ergonomics issue is kind of non arguable though. Even those of us that love it to death wouldn't argue that.
Altitude909
sutekina bipu-on wrote:
Yeah but i never actually use it as a field device, and a laptop power supply is so much easier to relocate than your usual soldering iron base station

The ergonomics issue is kind of non arguable though. Even those of us that love it to death wouldn't argue that.


Fair enough, if you like it you like it. It worked well enough and a "modern" tip is always going to be better than the old 70s style in the 888 where the heater is in the handle instead of the tip.

For a daily use (and I use my soldering iron 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week), its not something I would even consider. These days you can get into a professional level iron for $300-400 so if its something you plan on using more than occasionally, I'd look at other options first.
fingerfarbensound
There also is the TS80, by the same manufacturer which uses USB-C quick charge at 18W.
It definitely looks more ergonomic. (Don't have one)
And according to various tests the TS100 does only utilize it's full power range during warmup and something like 22W if you have to solder a ground plane or something.

https://oscarliang.com/ts80-soldering-iron-ts100/

I am actually considering buying a TS80 now.
Even when I have the TS100 meh

I mean there are actually USB-C silicone cables out there which I imagine would make another world of difference.
Timmy
I love my TS-100. I bought the kit that comes in a little aluminium case, with about 10 tips, a basic but perfectly function stand, and a really nice super-flexible silicone power cord about 50cm long terminating in an XT60 connector, intended for use in the field with a lithium battery pack. I soldered a matching XT60 connector to the laptop power supply cable, and it completely solves the ergonomic issues caused by a stiff power cable.

The other nice thing is that the interchangeable tips only heat up at the working end, so you can easily change the tips on the fly without waiting for it to cool, or power off - it copes with tip swaps while switched on. Plus the auto power off is very handy.
nocone
TS100 Video

This should be enough said about this one smile
tarandfeathers
I like it as a portable/somewhat disposable item. It wouldn't replace my Pace irons by any stretch but I can put it in my toolcase with a universal input 24V brick and have a general purpose iron that will work in any country I happen to be in. I got a brick that has a connection from the earth pin on the IEC to the 0V on the output which means a separate cable to ground the tip is not necessary.
efluon
I like it.

Very true about avoiding laptop power supplies with ferrite bead and stiff cable. There are cables on ebay for connecting to battery packs which are nice and soft..

Also get another tip, i did not like the included one.

The open source firmware improves it a lot

Try not to tighten the tip holding screw too much, else the case will break.

There are addons for it on thingiverse that are nice (cases, stands and „grip guard“) if you have access to a 3d printer..
artieTwelve
It will get the job done, but if you are in this for the long haul, you'll want a better iron.
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