Upgrade your soldering skills with the TS80P soldering iron, known for its compatibility with open-source firmware IronOS. Witness how it quickly heats up when paired with different USB power supplies, and its potential to replace traditional soldering stations.
[0:00] I decided to get one of the TS80P soldering irons that everyone seems to have been raving
[0:05] about for the past year or so.
[0:07] We may be a bit slow on this channel - but hopefully, the wait is worthwhile and we do get there in the end.
[0:12] As usual, we’re sponsored by PCBWay - more about them at the end of the video.
[0:16] The main reason I wanted to get this is because you can easily flash it with open-source firmware
[0:22] which I think is a pretty cool thing to do.
[0:25] Let’s try it out with standard firmware and then we’ll have a go at uploading the open-source
[0:29] IronOS software.
[0:31] The first thing to be aware of is that you are going to need a power supply that supports
[0:35] Quick Chard or Power Delivery.
[0:37] If you try and use the iron with a normal USB supply then it won’t work and will display
[0:42] this nice little error message about the voltage being too low
[0:45] I’ve got a couple of USB power supplies that support Power Delivery - the Apple charger
[0:50] for my laptop and I’ve got this nice compact 65W Galium Nitride fast charger.
[0:56] It looks like Gallium nitride is going to become the standard for switching power supplies.
[1:00] It should be a lot more efficient.
[1:02] Unfortunately, I don’t actually have any Quick Charge compatible chargers to test with.
[1:07] Let’s try out the apple one first.
[1:10] I’ve got it connected up through my USB power monitor as soon as I click the heating button
[1:14] we start using almost 9 volts and almost 2amps.
[1:18] Interestingly the power reported from my USB power monitor is slightly more than what is
[1:22] reported by the soldering iron.
[1:28] We get up to temperature in just under 20 seconds.
[1:32] Let’s try the fast charger.
[1:34] When we click the button it takes a couple of seconds for it to start
[1:37] using the full 12 volts, but once it gets going the temperature shoots up.
[1:41] We’re up the temperature in 10 seconds. That’s pretty amazing.
[1:45] It’s twice as fast - which is not that surprising as we were getting twice as much power almost
[1:50] 30 watts vs 15 watts.
[1:53] I believe with the Apple charger the next voltage it supports after 9v is 15v.
[1:59] The maximum voltage the soldering iron can take is 12v so we’re limited to 9v if we use
[2:04] the Apple charger.
[2:06] Flashing with the open-source IronOS firmware is really easy.
[2:10] To get the iron into DFU mode you just hold down the button when you connect it to a USB
[2:15] port on your computer.
[2:17] The device is mounted as a flash drive and we simply drop the new firmware version into it.
[2:23] If it’s successful then we’ll see the file renamed to the new extension “RDY”.
[2:27] If it fails then we’ll see the extension changed to “ERR”.
[2:31] If that happens then just give it another go.
[2:34] There’s also some DFU software that you can also drop in.
[2:37] Which may improve flashing
[2:39] But check out the GitHub repository and check out the issues.
[2:42] If you’re really stuck then open an issue.
[2:44] They are very responsive and they seem like really nice guys.
[2:48] What’s interesting is that with the new firmware we can now power the iron off our USB supply
[2:53] - it does draw around 1 amp though, so you will need a supply that is capable of that.
[2:58] And you’ll also need quite a lot of patience as it does take quite a while.
[3:02] But, in an emergency situation where it’s all you have it will probably be ok
[3:08] but let’s move on from this now as it’s going to take a while…
[3:11] I’ve got hold of a Raspberry Pico W and I’m going to solder on the headers.
[3:15] Let’s have a look at how well it works and I’ll try it out.
[3:43] The results are pretty good - I’ve never been especially good at soldering, which I why
[3:47] I tend to do surface mount nowadays, I’ve got some new boards to solder up from PCBWay
[3:52] for some future projects but there’s always some through hole components and headers needed.
[3:57] So this soldering iron is going to be a great addition to my toolkit.
[4:00] I’ll be replacing my old soldering station with this one.
[4:03] One thing that caught me out with the pico W is that the standard LED blink sketch didn’t
[4:08] work - you have to use the string ‘LED’ instead of the number 25.
[4:13] And you need to flash with a nightly build of MicroPython - if you don’t then the sample
[4:18] code doesn’t work.
[4:19] This is pretty painless, we just hold down the bootsel button and then drop the new firmware
[4:24] into the USB drive.
[4:25] And we’ve got a flashing LED - pretty cool.
[4:28] I’ll be exploring the pi pico W in future projects.
[4:32] Thanks for watching. And here’s some information about PCBWay.
[4:36] PCBWay, they’ve been sponsoring the channel for a while now.
[4:39] I’ve used them for pretty much all my projects.
[4:42] They do all sorts of things CNC, 3D Printing…
[4:45] I’ve got some parts that I’ve actually made with them that I’m going to use in a future project.
[4:49] So stay tuned because it’s going to be pretty exciting!