Cordless, cool touch soldering tool

Cold Heat Soldering Iron
$19.99 plus s&H
http://xy7b.com/z/23560/CD2024/&dp=0&l=0&p=0 ************************************
A perfect demonstration of the cordless, quick-heat/quick-cool application of Cold Heat technology, the Cold Heat soldering tool revolutionizes the soldering industry for hobbyists, DIY-ers, technicians, electricians, engineers and the military.
The Cold Heat Soldering tool, winner of the prestigious Red Dot international design competition has a number of benefits over the traditional soldering iron, including:
Cordless / battery operated Heats and cools almost instantly--reaches 800F in about 1 second Uses 4 replaceable alkaline AA batteries Over 700 joints per battery pack Very safe--tip hot only during active soldering Tip heat indicator (red light) Replaceable tip included; other tip shapes available Independent lighting function Convenient carrying case included
Don't delay http://xy7b.com/z/23560/CD2024/&dp=0&l=0&p=0 **************************************
Now only $19.99 plus s&H - Limited time offer with bonus case and stripping tool
http://xy7b.com/z/23560/CD2024/&dp=0&l=0&p=0 **************************************
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caelum snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Radio Shack sells these as well for the same $19.99 (no S&H).
I went out and bought one about a year ago just to see how it works. Here's my review in case anyone was curious about these things as I was.
It's tip is made of a material that seems to be very similar to simple graphite. It might be graphite for all I know. It's split in two so there's a small gap running lengthwise down the tip.
The device has no electronics in it The batteries are just connected to the tip. When you touch something conductive it completes the circuit and that resulting current flow causes the tip to heat up (and causes a small arc as it completes the circuit as well). There is an on off switch, and two LEDs - one to act as an illumination light which is always on when the switch is on, and the other to indicate when current is flowing through the tip. That's all there is to it. As it says in the commercials, it does heat up, and cool down in milliseconds. The material the tip is made out of must be very heat conductive and have a very low thermal mass. There's no harm in touching the tip with you finger or anything else as long as the material isn't a strong conductor.
Solder doesn't stick to the tip so there's no issue with the solder causing the tip to stay active. And the tip doesn't seem to need any regular cleaning. At most you just wipe it off with a cloth.
The main drawback of the device for me is that it's got such low power, you can't solder much of anything with it. It doesn't have enough heat for example to solder two 14 gage house wires twisted together. It does ok with two pieces of 22 gauge hook up wire but that's about its limit. So it's only good for small hobby and craft jobs. And I have to wonder about potential dangers of the voltage across the solder tip when working with delicate electronic devices. There's 6V across the tip before it shorts and starts to conduct.
The other drawback is that the tip seems to be about as fragile as pencil lead. So you have to be careful and not push too hard or allow it to hit something hard or else it could chip or break. I don't know how long it would last in typical use - probably a good time as long as you were careful. The tip however is easy to replace - you just pull it out and push a new one in. The case that comes with the tool has space to hold a spare tip - but it doesn't come with a spare tip.
I can't see that I would have much use for such a device in typical electronics or electrical work. Most electronics work requires more heat than the thing can put out, so even if you could use it for some of the work, you would always have to pull out a real soldering iron at times.
Where it would be ideal, is for small craft projects for kids where you might be uneasy about allowing them to work with a conventional soldering iron. It's very hard to burn yourself with this thing even if you try.
But, if you are like me, and feel you need to own one of every tool made, it's hard not to pick one up just for the fun of it. The price is reasonable for what you get.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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Curt Welch wrote:

Harbor Freight has these for $16.99, so if you have one nearby you'll save a few bucks, plus shipping/handling.
I've heard three complaints about these:
1. Heat is too low for most jobs, as you noted.
2. The graphite tip (yes, it's graphite) breaks after not too many uses. One guy complained he used it twice before the tip broke.
3. They put out a healthy pulse of current, and some folks have said they've blown ICs with it. It's probably safe for resistors and capacitors and basic wiring. I have not been able to verify this complaint, though.
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

I've had one in my hands, it sparks, but I wasn't able make a good soldering. JUST DON't BUY IT
Stef Mientki
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There's a small circuit board in there. Follow the wires. Looks like a charge pump. MAX233 or something - dun'no didn't spend too much time on it and the ID was sanded off. I DON"T suggest use on silicon devices or where a current path can be set up. MO. Doesn't always make good contact -which suggests that hobbiests would tend to push harder than needed on the fragile tip. Also makes a nice shiny cold solder joint. Ditto on the rest tho'.
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Ma Bell spent a lot of money training me to solder. One thing you learn is to heat the material, not the solder. Heating the solder makes those nice shiney cold solder joints someone mentioned.
The unit does not have the power to heat even the smallest wire lug I have tried to solder. You have to do like they show in the commercial, which is to heat the solder, which generally makes a cold solder joint.
This should be considered an emergency tool which MIGHT get you back to a repair station or an emergency repair in the wilderness, but it is likely not going to be a good solder joint.
RedCrow
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