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AC soldering iron using DC?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by kidthorazine, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. kidthorazine


    Jan 20, 2013
    Stupid question will an AC 110v soldering iron work on DC and if so what DC voltage? Is there a way to make a soldering iron heat up faster?
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Assuming it has just got a resistive heating element, then 110 V DC would be appropriate.

    (That's pretty much the definition of RMS by the way. Your 110V AC is 110V RMS -- and RMS boils down to the fact that it has the same heating effect in a resistive load as 110V DC)
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Oh, make it heat up faster... Not really.

    If you operate it at a higher voltage it will get hotter faster, but it will get hotter and maybe burn out.

    An old trick for plain resistive heated soldering irons was to place a diode in series with the AC power. This would leave them "idling" at half power. A foot switch across the diode would allow you to operate at full power. The iron would heat up much faster to working temperature from "idle" than from cold.

    Note that this would involve mains wiring and that can be deadly if you don't know what you're doing.
  4. Number


    Jun 9, 2013
    If you want a fast heating iron get a butane soldering iron. I have one, it's small & from RadioShack (got it on clearance). It was about $10 I think at the time. Which was only about two, maybe three months ago. The butane lights it up to temp. very quickly compared to any other iron I've used. The down side is that it consumes the butane like an alcoholic consumes liquor. :rolleyes:

    Note: Do NOT, under any circumstance, refill the butane while it (the iron) is on. Fireball will consume all human hair within ~2 feet. (Don't ask...)
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
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