Soldering Station

IMG_0786
At the fpv-community.de Forum I read about a DIY Weller station designed by Martin Kumm. Basically an Arduino shield to drive a Weller soldering tip. As there is not much to it, the board simply contains an precision OpAmp, a power MOSFET, 2 buttons for adjusting the temperature and a display to show the current values. This design looks like a good starting point for my own advanced project. As I have lately discovered a 1,8 inch SPI TFT at banggood.com for an amazing price ( ~ 4.60 $ / 3,70 €), I started using them regularly in my projects. So I surely wanted to use it with this soldering station as well.
The hardware design was rather hobbyish and needed to be tuned to provide the security not to kill your soldering tip while starting up or in case of a software/hardware fail. The bigger changes I made to the original design were the nice color Display, a poti instead of the buttons (I think it’s easier to adjust) and a standby mode.
The standby mode will decrease the temperature to a 170°C value when the soldering tip is in the holder. This works simply by having a pullup resistor connected to the metal holder pipe which is connected to a digital input. The soldering tip itself is connected to ground potential and will put the digital input to ground level as well when placed in holding position. For reheating the station only takes about 3 seconds which is fast enough in most cases.
SolderingStationIMG_0810
The station in the picture above is the result of a long prototyping period together with Albert – a friend of mine from university – who owns a 3d printer and wanted to have a station as well. As we started with the development of the station some friends asked us if they can by a station from us. So we decided to ask around if anyone is interested in buying this station as a DIY kit. After a short time we had 10 stations to build and a lot of money to spend on the parts.
Long story short, we thought we could make some money with this stations but in the end it turned out to be a lot of work and no money to make. But still a nice feeling developing a product and seeing someone buying and even better actually using it. 🙂
Apart from that we didn’t get much out of it, so we stopped selling this stations and closed this chapter. But still we gained a bit of experience in selling stuff and started to get that kind of startup feeling.

You cand find a video of the station in action at Alberts Blog.

If someone is interested in the actual schematics and code. Link below:

Download: GitHub/SolderingStation

By the way the PCBs are ordered at DirtyPCBs.com for just 14 USD worldwide shipping included.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-10 um 15.40.18

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155 Kommentare

  1. Sten · Januar 5

    Hallo, ich habe die Station nachgebaut und alles hat auf Anhieb geklappt. Sketch musste nur an die ST7735 angepasst werden aber mehr nicht. Bei einem Trockentest – Station mit Strom versorgt und das Poti war angeschlossen – lässt sich die Station nur von 0 – ca. 219°C regeln. Woran kann das evtl. liegen oder habe ich doch einen Fehler?

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    • MatthiasW · Januar 5

      Miss dich mal die Spannung an dem Poti. Diese sollte sich zwischen 0 und 5 Volt einstellen lassen

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      • Sten · Januar 16

        Mittlerweile funktioniert die Station, das Poti war defekt.
        Aber ich habe das Problem das die Station ab und zu einfach mit einem weißen Bildschirm startet und erst nach mehrmaligem Starten der Startscreen erscheint. Woran kann das liegen?

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  2. Kilian · Januar 14

    Hi
    Ich krieg immer eine Fehlermeldung wenn ich die .brd oder die .sch datei öffnen will :

    „Loading C:/Users/kilia_000/Downloads/solderstation_v1_6.brd …

    Fehler:

    Zeile 6, Spalte 25: Dies ist keine EAGLE-Datei.“

    Bei der .sch Datei bis auf die andere Dateiendung der selbe Fehler.
    Was mache ich falsch?
    mfg Kilian

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  3. SW · Januar 17

    Hello, I am so interested in this soldering station. Could I order a DIY kit? Thanks, SW

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    • MatthiasW · Januar 17

      Unfortunately I am not selling it anymore. But you can find the full parts list on github so that you can order parts and build it yourself. Have fun

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  4. TinuZ · Januar 29

    Matthias, I have the soldering pencil (original) and tips. Does your code allow for using the built-in reed contact?
    Also is the Adafruit 1.8″tft compatible. Banggood seems to have discontinued them.

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    • MatthiasW · Januar 29

      Hi Tinu, my code only supports the Tip when placed in the holder at the station. You will not really need the expensive original cable. I noticed as well, that banggood is no longer selling the display but any other 1.8 Inch tft with spi should work. Just look on ebay and you will find something from China 🙂

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  5. Alex · Februar 9

    Beim Compilieren bekomme ich viele Fehlermeldungen. Woran könnte das liegen?

    WARNUNG: Kategorie “ in der Bibliothek UIPEthernet ist ungültig und wird auf ‚Uncategorized‘ festgelegt
    error: ‚prog_uint8_t‘ does not name a type

    prog_uint8_t iron[] PROGMEM={

    error: ‚prog_uint8_t‘ does not name a type

    prog_uint8_t stationLOGO1[] PROGMEM={

    error: ‚prog_uint8_t‘ does not name a type

    prog_uint8_t stationLOGO2[] PROGMEM={

    error: ‚prog_uint8_t‘ does not name a type

    prog_uint8_t stationLOGO3[] PROGMEM={

    In function ‚void setup()‘:

    SolderStation:86: error: ’stationLOGO1′ was not declared in this scope

    tft.drawBitmap(2,1,stationLOGO1,124,47,QDTech_GREY);

    SolderStation:89: error: ’stationLOGO2′ was not declared in this scope

    tft.drawBitmap(3,3,stationLOGO2,124,47,Color565(254,147,52));

    SolderStation:90: error: ’stationLOGO3′ was not declared in this scope

    tft.drawBitmap(3,3,stationLOGO3,124,47,Color565(255,78,0));

    SolderStation:101: error: ‚iron‘ was not declared in this scope

    tft.drawBitmap(15,50,iron,100,106,QDTech_GREY);

    exit status 1
    ’stationLOGO1′ was not declared in this scope

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  6. Bruce Hawkins · Februar 13

    I’m just getting started with EE. I thought going over your project to understand it and build a version would be a good learning project and also end up with a nice bench too. I had some questions about why you decided to do some things. If you have time to aid a „young player“ (EEVBLOG quote)..

    1) I noticed that the design drives the back light of the display through BSN20. BL needed more current than any MCU output alone could provide …but I don’t understand why that would then be feed into arduino PIN 5. Why is that current fed back in (or is it out also?)?

    2) The 5V 7805 Output has 1) 10uf+ 3) 100nf Caps in parallel. Why not just use one larger cap? Or just use one 10uf and call it good…or none at all. Is there some part of the circuit that is so sensitive? It’s obviously deliberate so looking for insight here.

    3) What is M01PTH (JP4) used for?

    4) Why are Arduino Pins 2,4,8 and A2 Tied to VCC? I found some Internet links talking about Noise etc. but if that is the design issue then why aren’t A0, A1, 12 and others tied to 5V. Wouldn’t a mistake in code (ie setting pin 2 to Output low burn out the Atmel chip?

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  7. Ville Maikola · März 1

    Thanks from great project. But I have one problem there is a place for C8 at pcb but I cant find it on partlist.

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    • MatthiasW · März 1

      Hi, you do not need C8, thats why I did not put it in the partlist 🙂

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      • Ville Maikola · März 20

        Ok and thanks. I have one more question why there is a hole near arduino pro mini pin 6 ?

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  8. Magnus · März 4

    Cool project! This TFT does not sees available anymore with the „SKU“ number you provided. Can you please point to another or maybe which chip required in the TFT to be compatible with the Arduino drivers?

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  9. Ivo · März 19

    When compiling I also get these failure messages like mentioned above:
    iron.h:9: error: ‚prog_uint8_t‘ does not name a type

    Therefore I changed in iron.h
    prog_uint8_t iron[] PROGMEM={
    into
    const uint8_t iron[] PROGMEM={

    and in stationlogo.h (for LOGO1-3)
    prog_uint8_t stationLOGO1[] PROGMEM={
    into
    const uint8_t stationLOGO1[] PROGMEM={

    This gives no warnings anymore, but it does also not work. The display stays white (sometimes colored vertical stripes).
    I’m definitely no crack with Arduino, so probably the above should not be done 😉
    But what would be the solution to get this station to work. Is it needed to connect the poti and iron to get anything on the display?

    Thanks a lot!

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  10. Ivo · März 25

    please forget my previous comment. I made a basic mistake by putting in your code wrong. Now it works!

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    • Tinuz · März 26

      Hi Ivo,

      I have the same, what was incorrect? I have a problem with the rst pin. If I tie it to the rst pin of the arduino it works, but on the pinheader the screen stays white.

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  11. Ivo · März 26

    I’m a little ashamed to say that I pasted the code wrong in the editor.
    Regarding the white display, the screen used is not that easy to buy anymore. The more common 1.8″ TFT on ebay has a 16 pin header and is based on the ST7735 chip (the display is called KMR 1.8SPI). There is also a version with a 8-pin and 16-pin header, which looks the same, but is also based on the ST7735 (this display is called 1.8TFT module and also uses different colors ;)). To get the station to work you have to use a different library. See: http://fpv-community.de/showthread.php?41335-DIY-SMD-L%F6tstation-Ersatz-f%FCr-(WELLER)/page33 (I hope I’m allowed to place a link here).

    Also if you have a display with only the 16-pin header, you have to connect is as follows:
    PCB KMR 1.8SPI
    8 (+5V) 6 (RESET) 1 (RST)
    7 (CD) 10 (CS) 2 (CE)
    6 (DC) 7 (A0) 3 (D/C)
    5 (MOSI) 8 (SDA) 4 (DIN)
    4 (SCK) 9 (SCL) 5 (CLK)
    3 (+5V) 2 (VCC) 6 (VCC)
    2 (BL) 15 (LED+) 7 (BL)
    1 (DGND) 1 (GND) 8 (GND)

    Good luck! It’s a great design, I’m very happy with it.

    By the way can someone explain how I could add my own logo to the display?

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  12. Ivo · März 26

    Small mistake, the three columns with the pinouts are respectively for PCB header, KMR 1.8 SPI and 1.8TFT module (the last display has an 8-pin and 16-pin header, use the 8-pin as in the table)

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  13. Magnus · April 12

    Hi. Should I use MS tips or non-MS tips? F.x. RT8 or RT-8MS. „MS“ seems to be „separate ground“. But I can’t find any details what that means.

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  14. Ace Malik · April 28

    Hello, great project i am interested in speaking with you regarding a similar soldering station project. Willing to work with you as a freelancer, if interested let me know how i can contact you.

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    • MatthiasW · April 28

      Hi Ace, sorry to tell you that I stoped working on that project long time ago. But if you want to continue and improve just go ahead 🙂

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