I got a free day off today — and it’s too darn cold outside — so time to attack a few jobs that have been neglected.
First was my old Weller WTCPN soldering station that I inherited from several jobs ago when they ditched hardware development – very tacky now in this lead-free era, but used to work great, and I don’t want to invest lots in a new RoHS solder station that overheats things faster that I use twice a year. And Radio Shack still sells loads of 63-37 solder.
But my station developed a problem with the jack where the iron plugs into the base. It was intermittent for the longest time, then just stopped working (of course the last time I tried to use it). So I found a Weller TC369A repair kit on eBay for $10, original mfg. part. Shipped here. Cheap.
Open the base with 4 screws. Clip clip clip the wires, and replace them with the new plug using (another set of ) wire nuts (supplied). Screws back. Done.
The iron half requires a big iron because you gotta tin leads and solder them to a big tubular plug — think a DIN plug. The tinned wire did not fit, so I just got a good joint at the base and it was fine.
So it seems to work. Heats up fast, and the thermo control seems to click louder and more regular, like the connection was bad all along. Yay!