I’m really late to the party, but a few months ago I discovered the TS100 soldering iron from Miniware. It’s a tiny digital iron with temperature control and a way-overpowered microcontroller to drive it all. It’s cheap and light and I got it in the hopes of something a bit more convenient than my big Weller WES51, which takes up a lot of desk space.
Unfortunately the TS100 doesn’t come with a power supply or cable. It accepts DC input from 12V up to 24V, and I realized that my 18V Makita drill batteries would make for a convenient and portable soldering setup. I ordered an off-brand batery adapter to provide a barrel jack connecting to the battery, and soldered up a cable to connect to the iron.
I was hoping for silicone cable so that a stray touch of the iron wouldn’t melt the insulation. It turns out that finding silicone cable is difficult. I saw a tip online that I should look at tattoo machine cables, which often come in silicone, and ordered one from Amazon. It turns out that it isn’t really silicone, so if you know of where to find the real stuff please leave a comment!
In this video I walk through the finished project with the battery adapter and cable. Below, you will also find the prequel to the project, in which I modify the battery adapter to bypass its 12V output to get the full 18V of the battery. I am working on making more concise videos, but this isn’t one of them. If you plan to watch this one, grab a refreshing beverage and get comfy, because it’s long!