Quick Review Of A USB Soldering Iron
While visiting Pumping Station: One in Chicago, I noticed that member Tomer had a curious device: a usb soldering iron that plugged into his laptop. I was skeptical about how well this usb soldering iron would work, so I asked if I could give it a try. A few minutes later, I had a potentiometer, wire, and solder in hand, and was ready to give it a go.
Connections For The USB Soldering Iron
The usb soldering iron has connections to use two USB ports to draw lots of power. It heated up quickly on my Thinkpad laptop, though I suspect that results might vary based on how closely the computer manufacturer follows the USB spec. Though quite light, the iron was pretty solid, and maintained a good amount of heat while I soldered some wire leads onto a potentiometer. It apparently doesn’t come with a stand, but Tomer’s solution of using a binder clip worked quite well.
Recommendation On A USB Soldering Iron
My conclusion? I don’t think I would recommend it as a first iron, and it won’t be replacing my trusty bench-top unit any time soon, however I could see picking one up to keep in my backpack when traveling with prototype hardware.
This particular model is from an apparently no-name company, and is branded as ‘mega-power’. Getlofi sells them for about $25. Have you tried this one or a similar device? Do you hate the co-opting of USB ports for powering things they were never meant to power? Let us know in the comments!