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12 Volt DC Soldering Iron...........

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Post  kon61 Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:26 pm



G'day Gents.

Carrying a portable 12 volt or (Butane cartridge) soldering iron when out prospecting can be a life saver.
Ive had to solder broken wires on coil plug end leads as well as wires that have broken on head phones for my self, as well as mates on more than one occasion.Believe me there's nothing worse than not being able to use your favorite coil because of a simple thing such as a wire that's broken off its soldered joint and you just cant repair it by any other means.So i do recommend that all prospectors carry one in there vehicle,together with some solder and heat shrink,for that odd but not rare occasion.

Cheers kon61.
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Post  GoldstalkerGPX Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:52 pm

G'day Kon, good idea!!

After chasing a 12v power supply for the lappy with no real success, (bought one but doesn't fit plug on lappy) I almost gave up on the idea but then came across a cheap inverter which plugs into the cig lighter socket of the car. For around $40 it will supply many things and plug straight in with the 240v plug.
So rather than buying another soldering iron I will see if the one I have will run off the small inverter.

Cheers
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Post  Guest Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:16 pm


Gday Kon


They are a great little item to carry in your kit, as you said you never know when you will need it, could be the difference between staying there or having to head into town or home.

I carry a plastic box and have a few lead end plugs, some various pieces of wire, electrical connectors, multimeter, solder, heat shrink wrap, electrical tape that sort of thing, it would get me out of trouble with both the car and detectors.

Goldstalker there is a laptop power supply unit sold by "projecta" it has various power settings and various plugs, I think I originally got it from Big W or K mart for about $35 or thereabouts, some laptops have a huge plug, but it fits my compaq and acers, also with a bit of hunting on ebay I managed to get one for the acer that plugs straight into the cig lighter and into the laptop for about $12 delivered.

cheers

stayyerAU


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Post  kiwijw Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:27 pm

Good call about the soldering iron. I was in the middle of no where digging a target when the detector went dead. BUGGER!!!!! What a Face What a Face Shocked Shocked affraid affraid Oh my god I thought. Actually I thought a lot more than that but I cant repeat that on here. Oh ok..... F@#%....Bl@#% .... Shi@#% bags. Mother f@#% etc. I swapped over to another coil I had with me & still nothing. DAMN.....off back to my wagon to get another set of head phones incase that was the problem plus I grabbed a spare battery cable while I was there. 2 hours later I was back to my spot. Swapped head phones....still nothing. Oh NO...!!!! F@#%....tried the battery cable & bingo...back to life & back in action. Still didnt recover the target as the water kept beating me but a target I got next to it was gold so I will be back when the river has dropped a bit.
I have just repaired the battery cable the other day when i was home & it was just a broken wire up the cable a bit. Probably snagged & yanked once to often on a briar rose bush out in the field. Lucky I had a spare battery cable with me but I will be getting a 12 volt or butane soldering iron for sure. That was too close a call & could easily have ruined a detecting trip.

Happy hunting & happy new year.

JW Smile


Last edited by kiwijw on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Ayounomad Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:35 pm

An old fashion soldering iron that you stick in a fire or gas flame can be a good backup when all else fails , or you have a job where a small iron is useless ......I've got one but don't ever expect to use it , unless my 2 cheapy 12vdc irons fail , but I don't expect to use either of them ..Fingers crossed...Paul...
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Post  Guest Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:46 pm


Gday

I have learnt from experience that if something was going to fail it would be the least expected item that would do it, you cant cover all possibilities but if you carry a bit of this and a bit of that at least you stand a fair chance of being able to do something constructive, and make an attempt to get it sorted out.

One time while going up on a prospecting trip at about 4am my headlights momentarily went out, at 100 klm per hour on a narrow winding road that can be a bit hairy, lucky for me they came back on and flickered a few times giving me enough light here and there until I managed to slow down and get off the road, it turned out that it was a wire going to the battery with a large eyelet type connector on it, I had replaced the battery about a week or so before hand and the wire must have been loose at the crimp connection in the eyelet and it just popped out and was bumping against the end of it making the lights go on and off.

It only took me about two minutes to locate it, another couple of minutes to fetch out my electrical repair kit, then I whacked on another eyelet, secured it back under the nut, and I was ready to go again, I also keep a small shifting spanner and one of those two ended screwdrivers in a spot under the seat for emergencies, these sorts of things will only ever happen when you are least expecting them so it pays to be prepared.

Lesson learnt, the ideal solution is to solder all of these connections so that it does not happen again.

cheers

stayyerAU

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Post  Guest Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:33 am

GoldstalkerGPX wrote:G'day Kon, good idea!!

After chasing a 12v power supply for the lappy with no real success, (bought one but doesn't fit plug on lappy) I almost gave up on the idea but then came across a cheap inverter which plugs into the cig lighter socket of the car. For around $40 it will supply many things and plug straight in with the 240v plug.
So rather than buying another soldering iron I will see if the one I have will run off the small inverter.

Cheers

I hope for your laptop's sake it's a pure sine wave inverter

Robert

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Post  Guest Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:38 am

Similar situation to you Kon. A wire came adrift on one of my external speakers. Ten minutes and one 12 volt DC soldering iron later, problem solved.
I've used it on several occasions on my vehicles over the years also.
Damned handy tool.

Robert

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Post  Narrawa Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:16 am

Goldnomad wrote:
GoldstalkerGPX wrote:G'day Kon, good idea!!

After chasing a 12v power supply for the lappy with no real success, (bought one but doesn't fit plug on lappy) I almost gave up on the idea but then came across a cheap inverter which plugs into the cig lighter socket of the car. For around $40 it will supply many things and plug straight in with the 240v plug.
So rather than buying another soldering iron I will see if the one I have will run off the small inverter.

Cheers

I hope for your laptop's sake it's a pure sine wave inverter

Robert
There it is again, that inverter verses your laptop thing that i dont understand.
The power pack that your laptop comes with converts AC to DC, how does the inverter cause your laptop to go bung?

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Post  Scrubhen Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:40 am

I am rather interested to know just how long the little laptop power supply will last, being fed with a square wave 240 supply from the cheap inverters????

With the supply of cheap inverters now on the market I think we all would like to know the answer to these questions.
Especially as they never mark the inverter pure sine or square wave.

Ron
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Post  granite2 Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:57 am

You need a pure sine wave (as opposed to modified sine wave) for your laptop. Most modern laptops can't even be charged with a modified sine wave inverter and if you try you can damage them. Better, read: not the dirt cheap variety, pure sine wave inverters are clearly marked as such while the modified (square) inverters are often not marked as such.

Your power supply for your laptop converts 240volts AC to about 19volts DC, what your computer runs on. An inverter converts 12 volts DC to 240 volt AC totally different thing. Plug your laptop into an inverter and the power is then converted from 12volts DC to 240 volts DC then back down to 19volts DC. The best way to run your laptop off 12 volt is to buy one of the 12 volt power supplies that you plug into the cigarette lighter. It simply boost 12 volts DC up to about 19 volts DC. Simple and easy.

I don't get the bit about running a soldering iron through your laptop. If you try it through a USB port you will do some damage for sure. Running any 240 volt heat creating device such as a soldering iron through a small inverter will also blow the fuse - at least. The voltage is the same but it is the Amperage draw that is different - far too high.

A good, cheap, 12volt soldering iron that plugs into your cigarette lighter should be available through pretty much any hardware shop, Dick Smith's, Jaycar or similar shop. Keep it simple in the bush and you won't go wrong.

Cheers, Jim
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Post  Scrubhen Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:25 am

Hi Jim,
All understood, however my query was basically how long will the power supply last, that converts 240 to 19V DC for the laptop.

I hear lots of comments that the laptop was hooked up to the 240 outlets on the cheap inverter and it is still working.

To my mind a square wave 240 into the little laptop supply must really test it.

I certainly agree with the concept of always using the laptop hooked up to 12 volt battery via those little laptop supply units that are fairly cheap and don’t risk the computer in any way.

Ron
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Post  granite2 Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:03 pm

Hi Ron,
a pure sine wave inverter will last many years and will not damage your laptop. A modified sine wave inverter may well run your laptop, especially if it is five years old or more, but it will seriously shorten the life of your laptop. Years ago I used a modified sine wave to charge the batteries of my old Acer (The Acer died an early death) and run the printer but when I bought a new laptop and printer I couldn't even get the inverter to charge the batteries of the Acer or run the printer.

Modern laptops, printers, etc are not made to be used with a modified sine wave inverter.

I have used pure sine wave inverters on my laptop and printer when in the bush for about 3 years now and have never had a problem. My advice is pay the little extra and get a pure sine wave inverter, you can then run and charge everything on it, even your 240volt soldering iron if the inverter is big enough, mine is 1600watts and I got it on-line from Jaycar for half the price the 12 volt shop wanted for exactly the same thing.

Cheers, Jim
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Post  Guest Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:25 pm


Gday

Link for the projecta laptop supply unit.


http://www.projecta.com.au/catalogue/cid/44/asset_id/138


cheers

stayyerAU

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Post  Narrawa Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:26 pm

SO your saying a square wave into a transformer through an AC/DC rectifier through other components verses pure sign wave will stuff the DC appliances on board DC charger?
Could it be possible the laptops that do fail, failed for other reasons?
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Post  granite2 Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:27 pm

I'm saying that later model laptops etc use something called Switch Mode technology. It has been my experience that a switch mode laptop or printer simply will not boot up using a modified sine wave inverter. Try it for your self. All you will get when you switch the power on will be a clicking noise. Whether switching on will damage the laptop of printer I don't now but when I tried it didn't damage mine, they simply didn't work. They work fine using a Pure sine wave inverter.

Cheers, Jim cheers
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Post  Topcat Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:36 pm

One of the best 12 volt soldering iron on the market is the 'Scope' soldering iron.
Very quick to heat up & spare parts are readily available from their Melborne office.
They have been in the business of soldering irons for as long as I can remember.
Have a look here:

SCOPE SOLDERING IRONS

Cheers

Ted
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Post  Narrawa Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Topcat, years ago Telacom use to use those cordless scope soldering irons, they were pretty good. Not sure what they use now days.

I have two 12v irons and a gas powered one in my electrical box that seems to grow in size each time we go out detecting. Laughing The amount of times it has come in handy, not just for my gear but others who's trips could have been cut short if not for something in the box to help them out along with a bit of soldering.
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Post  Guest Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:59 am

At the local auto Electrician's some years ago, they had converted a glow plug into a 12 volt soldering iron as they were sick of the others burning out. They had a button on it which you pushed for a few seconds to heat it up so it took a little getting used to but was much more reliable. I never got around to making one but it sounds like fun.
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Post  GoldstalkerGPX Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:13 pm

Howdy, I tried one of those adaptors that Stayyer posted but no terminals fitted.
So I bought one of the 150w inverters I mentioned, see link CLICK HERE

It is close to pure sine, but as the argument that Narrawa has I can't see any damage being done as I am still running the power supply that would be plugged into the wall, so if damage was going to occur wouldn't it still happen when plugged into the 240v at home?
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