Author Topic: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question  (Read 915 times)

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Offline Jamieson

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DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« on: October 24, 2017, 01:28:02 am »
I've got a Thermaltronics SHH-4 stand with a microswitch but I'd like to convert this over to the newer style sleep stand with magnets.  Playing around with a rare earth magnet from a hard drive and holding it near the tip doesn't seem to have much effect on tip temperature.  Do the sleep stands use a pair of magnets on either side of the tip?  How strong/close do the magnets need to be to tip to effect the curie-point of the alloy material?
 

Offline MosherIV

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 08:02:09 am »
Quote
Do the sleep stands use a pair of magnets on either side of the tip? 
Yes, that is correct.

Quote
How strong/close do the magnets need to be to tip to effect the curie-point of the alloy material?
Do not know how strong the magnets are.
There is a gap of around 30mm between the magnets.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 08:02:37 am »
See the photo below, taken from the back of the handle rest.

They look to be standard older HDD magnet size and strength (about 3mm thick). The actual tip extends about 2-3cm beyond this plate, so presumably the magnetic field flows through the outer cyclinder of the cartridge.
 

Offline Jamieson

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 08:41:01 am »
Thanks for posting this info!  Those magnets look closer and more powerful than the ones I was experimenting with.  Also the hard drive magnets I was using have a N and S pole on each face -- this probably works well for a moving voice coil actuator, but it not ideal for establishing a uniform magnetic field around the soldering iron tip.

I'm planning on picking up some different magnets and testing a few different configurations, maybe 3D print a bracket that can be dropped into Thermaltronics and Metcal stands.  We've got a bunch of older Metcal stations at work and I'm always finding irons left on, cooking away destroying tips.


 

Offline Jamieson

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 02:02:25 pm »
Here's an update on my sleep stand mod for my Thermaltronics TMT-2000S system.

The stand I've got is the SHH-4 model.  This stand has a microswitch that closes when the handle is placed in the stand. When the CC-1 "connection cable" is installed between the stand and the TMT-2000S/TMT-5000S power units the station will completely power down when the handle is resting in the stand.  (Note that the CC-1 is just a 3.5mm male to male "stereo cable".)  I'd rather not completely power down the system every time the handle is resting. A sleep stand will reduce the tip temperature by about half, according to Metcal: http://blog.okinternational.com/why-use-a-soldering-sleeper-stand

First, the top part of the stand is separated by removing two screws from below. Next, I removed the microswitch assembly and installed a pair of rare earth magnets that were salvaged from a hard drive.  These strong suckers measure 32mm x 20mm x 10mm thick. Unlike most hard drive magnets these are pretty thick and they have only one pole on the largest faces. The magnets were installed in the stand so that they were repelling each other. A bit of RTV helped hold them in place.

I tried smaller less powerful magnets and they weren't very effective on my TMT-2000S station. (These smaller magnets were however effective on the Metcal 13MHz stations though -- maybe the curie-point alloys are different in 13MHz and 470kHz inductive systems?)

I don't have a thermocouple to take a direct temperature reading at the tip, but it's clear that when sleeping the tip temperature drops significantly, just about to the point where 60/40 solder begins to melt, which I'd guess is in the 180C-190C range.  Remove the handle and it's back up to full temp in a couple of seconds. The Kill-a-Watt shows:

Handle idle, off the stand: 10-11W
Handle idle, in the stand: 6W
Soldering big stuff to power planes: 25W

So, anyway, it seems to work fine. It's a cheap way to transform the basic stock Thermaltronics stand into a sleep stand on the TMT-2000S and TMT-5000S systems. (The TMT-9000S comes standard with the sleep stand.)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 02:20:58 pm by Jamieson »
 
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Offline the_mihalich

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 10:13:03 am »
Ps-900 owner question:
I have a station with ws1-ns which means as I believe a “non sleeper”.
I checked the power consumed by station at rest and it’s always ~20watt (i’m from 240V Russia) and resting tip temperature is ~310°C.
I disassembled the wand stand and found that there are two cavities, one on each side of resting iron tip which can hold 22*18*3mm big magnet (around 7/8”*3/4”*1/8”)
I found such magnets (N38 material, and it has 4,54kg of lifting power ~10lbs)
and installed them into stand cavities in all possible ways:
N-S (tip) S-N same pole towards tip
S-N (tip) N-S same pole towards tip
S-N (tip) S-N different poles toward tip
None of these setups reduced idle temperature of iron or made idle power consumption lower.

So I wanted to ask a ps-800 or ps-900 owners with sleeper stands to do the following:
- measure a sleeping and idle power consumption.
- open a stand and check for magnets. How big are they?
- what is their position? Same pole towards the tip or opposite poles towards the tip?

I see the recommendation of 10mm thick magnets and of course I can buy or salvage such beasts somewhere, but there is no room in original stand for them. So I really want to know how original ps-900 or ps-&00 sleeper stand is made and which magnets are there.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 10:35:38 am by the_mihalich »
 

Offline the_mihalich

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Re: DYI Thermaltronics/Metcal sleep stand mod question
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 01:59:19 am »
Anybody?

I sourced evil powerful magnets and burned my fingers during attempts to make it sleep - no luck.
I clearly understand the principle of “how it works” but still can’t make it sleep and go for lower temp in cradle.

Another question then: does anybody have a ws2cb cradle part from metcal ws2 stand? If yes can you show the magnets there? How they are arranged?
 


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