Searching for a portable soldering station that does will not set you on fire? As we all know, many of the portable stations we have used in the past either require 120v which means local power or some sort of generator and or battery/inverter. The alternative is butane power which requires fuel, and can be a burn or fire hazard.
Many if not most of us have cordless tools these days, with spare batteries laying around. What if you could take one of those batteries and power a decent quality soldering iron?
There are power adapters that fit most of the common tool batteries now. The key is making sure you have one with a high enough voltage to power the soldering station. In my case I have Milwaukee M18 batteries, and they are perfect.
You will need:
- Tool battery of your choice. 18V is ideal. Capacity does not really matter so much. A bigger battery will just give you longer run time.
- Batter adapter that allows you to tap into the battery power. On Amazon.com you can find them by searching for power wheels adapter, or power connector. Some only have leads coming off the adapter. Others may have a built in USB charger or even a flashlight.
- A Quicko T12-942 kit. This is a 12-24v powered soldering kit. You have to pay attention because Quicko sells several versions and most of them are 110V powered. You specifically want the DC powered one.
Once you have the parts, you will now need to do a little fabrication. You will need to get the wires from the power output of the battery adapter into the solder control box. I just drilled a pair of small holes in the back and fed the wires through, and then soldered to the back of the barrel plug internally. You can either mount the box directly to the adapter, or there are also some 3D printable boxes for a more sleek look. For my kit, I ran the wires into the box, and left the barrel plug in the back intact so I can power from the tool battery or even a laptop power supply at 19V when I have access to AC power. The batter adapter doubles as a decently stable base if using with an AC adapter.
The soldering iron works surprisingly well with the tip coming up to temperature to melt regular lead rosin core solder within about 45 seconds. It also senses movement and will shut down automatically after a short bit, and turn back on automatically when you pick it back up, and be ready to go again in about 40 seconds.