Author Topic: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use  (Read 2085 times)

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Offline murakume

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TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« on: May 13, 2018, 06:28:51 pm »
Hi all, new member with questions! Have tried searching around for it, but the more specific you get with Google the more garbage it spits back out at you.

I'm an automotive technician, so while replacing hard parts is definitely more common, I do a good amount of wire repair and installation of everyone's favorite used car dealer technology: the starter interrupt. I've been using Snap-On butane irons for a few years, which are rebranded Weller P2KC irons. They aren't bad irons, but I'm tired of buying butane and always looking for alternatives to tool truck products. The igniter also doesn't hold up very long after daily use.

My main question has to do with the grounding issues I've read about for these TS100 irons. I'd like to pick one up and use it with a power bank that has DC output (like an Omnicharge 20, I don't have one but am looking at buying it) as a mobile solution. Using one in this configuration, do I need to be concerned with sending voltage through the tip to the various circuits I mess with every day? Most of these circuits are fused, but sometimes in wire repair you're dealing with a data line, 5v supply, ground supply, or what have you directly off of the control unit. Letting the smoke out of an expensive PCM or other control unit would pretty much negate any benefit of not needing butane and fighting to get and stay lit.

Edit: The easy answer would be disconnect anything from end to end, however sometimes that isn't practical given time constraints or location of some of these units. That being said, these repairs don't happen often. This question is more in reference to the start interrupts, which require an ignition (hot with key on) source to switch. In these cases there typically isn't time to disconnect everything after identifying, or to actually identify what the circuit itself is beyond an ignition power source.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 06:34:37 pm by murakume »

Offline Gregg

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Re: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 09:16:38 pm »
If you don’t use the vehicle battery but instead use something like a 18V lithium or even Ni-Cad drill battery that never has either pole connected to the vehicle; then even if there is a small single connection through the TS100, there won’t be a complete circuit, no sparks, no problem.  Just keep your TS100 power source isolated from the vehicle chassis or wiring and you won’t have a problem at the soldering tip.

Online Gyro

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Re: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 09:26:12 pm »
Welcome to the forum.

Well if does seem to be TS100 day today.  ;D

This is clearly a different sort of application to the mains adapter powered usage in most of the other threads. That said, the TS100 seems ideally suited to portable use, I understand that it has a strong following among the Drone crowd.

Thoughts that come to mind...

- I don't know anything about the power banks you are using, however if they are 12V you won't get much heating power out of the TS100, it's right at the bottom of its voltage range. The Drone folks use the same 4S/5S/6S LiPo battery packs that they use for their Drones. That might be an option for you too, maybe check out some of the Drone related reviews.

- There's the question of how it will handle large automotive type connections - Butane irons can put out a huge amount of heat. You'd probably want the biggest tip for those connections... and that might still not be enough. On the other hand, a nice temperature controlled iron will be a lot more gentle on finer wires and delicate connections. Maybe you need to retain both.

- Using the iron on a completely isolated supply wouldn't be significantly different to using your existing Butane iron. Both are potentially susceptible to introducing static onto sensitive signals unless you earth them and yourself (probably just touching it in this case) to the chassis. [Edit: I'm not talking about a 'hard wired' earth connection here, just discharging any static that you might be carrying from shuffling around.]

- The only difference you could potentially see is if your power source isn't isolated from the car. If your tip becomes grounded to the chassis then you're obviously going to run into issues if you accidentally try to solder a live connection.

I hope this helps.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 09:34:42 pm by Gyro »

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Offline murakume

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Re: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 12:53:28 am »
The power bank I mentioned is rated up to 24v output and 75 watt max.  I know of one person using the combination in a sort of product review of the power bank and TS100. Heated up to 350 pretty fast at 20v.

Otherwise, awesome! Sounds like I can use it for the average jobs. I’m not doing huge 0 gauge wire soldering that you might find in aftermarket audio. More like 10-8 max.

 I thought about this some more after I posted and realized the only system I’ve heard of being that sensitive to errant electricity are air bags. Even probing igniter circuits with multimeters can set those off, so those are always disconnected and vehicle powered down while working on them or the circuits involved with their deployment.

Thanks for your answers. I couldn’t find a real answer as to how much current people were experiencing or if it was a nonissue while using portable power. I’ll update here when I get a setup going, hopefully with good news!


Offline beanflying

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Re: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 05:16:44 am »

bit late to the party  :)

Just finished a portable solution for my TS100 for either the tool bag or travelling with R/C stuff. Powerbanks 'rated' to 75W are almost certainly being pushed way to hard on a TS100. When flying R/C I tend to use 3 or 4S or 6S packs, 6S will likely blow the stuffing out of the Iron at full charge and the others are slow to heat up and lack punch for large wire/connectors.


eBay auction: # While it states 250W consider it 'Chinese' smoke out at this point W  :horse:

and this Case

eBay auction: #

The case is tight for size but I had it in the stash and as I have traveled on planes with tools before compact is important. Note the Kapton tape on the roof as yes it is very close!

At 3A and 24V in the shown case the hottest spot on the board was a comfortable 65 degrees so while it would handle some more I am calling it 3A max. In the case of the O/P aligator clips or cigarette lighter plug and 5.5x2.5 jack on some lead. Deans in and out works for me  :)

The case at the rear contains stand 2 tips, iron, micro deans adapter and room for a little solder.

Time we started a TS100 users thread!

Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order :)

Offline MacMeter

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Re: TS100 with battery power supply in automotive use
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 04:38:19 pm »
Dewalt 20v. DCB203 (18.5v) small drill battery. (5) - 3.7v lithiums in series. Rated- 2Ah, 40Wh.

Can remote solder for approximately 1 hour. I have 2 of these batteries with charger (40 min. charge). Dewalt sells the larger packs (10 cells in a serial/parallel config) for twice the amp hour run time.

There is NO low voltage cutoff using “bare battery” as full BM (battery management) is done from connected drill. You can monitor the 3 LED’s on the battery, 1 LED, approximately 17 volts or below. Recharge as soon as last LED is off. Better to use the open source firmware and set iron to battery “5S” low voltage cutoff. Currently firmware is set for a 3.3 per cell low voltage X 5 cells = 16.5 volts.

NOTE: The TS100 at below 24 volts runs at 40 watts (heat up time: 15 seconds), versus full power of 65 watts (from 24v. wall power supply).

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