The 1st h.a.c.k. kit evah!

kit1.jpg The H.A.C.K. Ironkit is a cheap soldering-iron heat-regulator designed and developed by H.A.C.K.s own Mr T. This device enables you to buy a professional iron, without the expensive soldering station, our kit only costs a fraction and is definitely more fun to put together. Also this is an excellent opportunity to hone your skills and learn how your equipment works.
The kit displayed is the boxed version of the kit. Inside the enclosure there is a package with the parts, a knob and two screws.

(click on any of the images for higher resolution views.)

Packing out

kit2.jpg We have
  • bottom of enclosure,
  • a bag with parts,
  • an enclosure,
  • a sticker,
  • a circuit board.

All the parts

parts.jpg emptying the bag of parts, should reveal the following parts (left to right, top-to-bottom)
  • 1 knob
  • 1 IC
  • 1 power connector (female)
  • 1 soldering iron connector (female)
  • 1 big potmeter
  • 1 small capacitor
  • transistor (three legged flat, with "metal handle")
  • 1 small potmeter
  • 1 axis (black rod)
  • 1 led
  • 3 resistors
  • 1 diode
  • 1 big capacitor
  • 1 led diffuzor
  • 2 screws

In position

closeup.jpg Putting the parts into their position on the board should be done on the blank side of the board, since the copper-side will be used for soldering the parts in place.

Most of the parts are easy to place on the board, as the position of the pins and the holes in the board should be aligned and do not need force to align. You can find a detailed picture below, where all the parts are in position, this should help you to set them in position.

As the diode and the resistors all look the same, please consult the close-up picture below where to put the resistors and the diode. With the diode you must be careful, as in this case the direction is also important. Look out for the ring mark on the diode and align it like in the close-up.

Some other parts also need attention, as it is important to insert them in the proper direction, please be careful how you insert the IC, and the transistor.
All in place, you can now start to solder all the parts onto the board. DO NOT however solder the led in place yet, for this you need to find out the exact height of the enclosure, to make it fit snuggly. The led has to wait until almost the end.

messy soldering

     jjjjjjjjjjjjj I know i'm not the greatest, that's why i was the test-user - having below average skill and still being able to get this to work is a good sign. In the end the best method was to:
  • put the iron to the pin you want to solder
  • heat for 1 sec
  • apply solder briefly
  • heat for 1 more sec and let the solder flow
finished. Here's a nice comic explaining how to do solder properly. If you're more into videos, here's a good 6 minute introduction.

After (also ok before, but that might make things more difficult) soldering everything in place you must clip the pins from the bottom of the board, otherwise the bottom of the enclosure would not fit.

Soldering almost done

finished.jpg Only the LED is missing, for that we need to drill a hole in the enclosure where we can fit the LED in. To find out where to drill check the big hole on the PCB in of its corners, that must be aligned so, that the whole board fits flatly. For drilling a normal size 6.5 drill is perfect. Before drilling apply the sticker to the top of the enclosure, so you can see, where you have to drill. Also do not forget to drill also the hole for the axis of the knob.

For finding the correct size to cut out for the the power and iron plug fit the board inside the enclosure, mark the width to be cut out with a sharp tool where the two plugs are located. Remove the board, and fit the plugs from the outside, where you marked the width, now you'll be able to also mark the height. Use a saw or what ever tools you have available to cut out these two holes in the enclosure.

Finishing up

todo: insert pic of final assembled ironkit
Now that we have all the holes in the enclosure it is time for final assembly. First fix the axis to the big potmeter. At last we can turn our attention to the LED. First place the diffusor of the led in the whole drilled for the led. Push the diffusor into the enclosure for outside, so that it fits from the outside and the rest sticks out from the inside. This is where we need to fit the LED from the inside. When placing the LED it is important that the pins of the LED should be aligned so that the longer pin is towards the edge of the board. Now comes the wiggling act, place the led on the board with the pins correctly aligned, try to fit the board in the final position in the enclosure, and by pushing very gently try to wiggle the head of the LED into the fitting of the diffusor. When you're done, solder the LED to the board while still in the enclosure. This way the height of the LED is perfect.

Using a small screwdriver loosen the grip of the screw in the knob, fit it on the axis, and fasten the screw in the knob.

Now that everything is in place assemble the bottom of the enclosure using the two screws. If anything does not fit well, do not use force, rather try to find out the problem and fix it, it is worth it. Well done, you should know be the proud proprietor of a H.A.C.K. Ironkit.


TODO: This still needs to be worked out. until then mailing us at hack at hsbp.org with 'hack' as the username should help you out. (to be honest, we seem to be better creators than merchants :))


All the code and designs are under MVPL v1.0 license and available on github: https://github.com/mrtee/soldering-station-analog

Contributors to this page: feka and stef .
Page last modified on Tuesday 26 of June, 2012 20:59:46 CEST by feka.

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