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Soldering RT1

Open Source Universal RT Soldering Station with Tweezers support

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Professional Weller series are some of the best tools I had the opportunity to work with. However, for home and hobby levels, their price is a bit steep especially if you need to use the SMD tweezers. I use everyday Weller tools at work, but i could not afford them for hobby/home. Therefore, I decided to design my own station and add some functionalities that I value (e.g. portability). Hence the Soldering RT1 is here!!!!!!!

Soldering station compatible with RT tips (12V 45W+ and more!), custom developed, perfect for SMD work :). Tips supported: RT Micro/Pico/Ultra and SMD tweezers. Portable, compact, performant, plain simple!!!

In the picture you can see a bit the evolution of the project, from a lasercut enclosure to a 3d printed version. The software is updated regularly, trying to remove some bugs and adding features. I hope you find time to build one yourself! It's one of my favorite tools for my hobby!

Project files and updates are published in GitLab.

Universal Soldering station compatible with RT tips and SMD tweezers:

Tips supported:

  • RT Micro
  • RT Pico
  • RT Ultra
  • SMD tweezers

Main features:

  • Two independent channels
  • 1.8" TFT full color LCD
  • Hardware mosfet support more than 10A continuous!! (repetitive peaks of more than 50A)
  • Easy to use and portable
  • Compatible with Weller RT1
  • Open source
  • Fully Programmable (temperatures 150-450C, preset temperatures, power limitation to use various power supplies), also serial interface and source code available.
  • Under Voltage Lock Out (UVLO) functionality
  • Runs on standard external 12V power adapter (voltage range 7-24V), with also duty cycle limitation (allows to use smaller power supplies)
  • Can run also on batteries (7-24V) with Under Voltage Lock Out (perfect for Lipo batteries!

Source code is developed based on Arduino. Full source code and manual are available in GitLab ( Source code and manual )

The case is designed to be 3D printed, two parts in a single print with no support (PLA, PETG, ABS, what you like). For a fast print it is possible to use a 0.3mm layer height (a complete case print can be done in less than 2h at 60mm/s).

Electronics are designed to be one side SMD and with as few through home components as possible.

Underneath the TFT there is the microcontroller (AtMega 32U4) and auxiliary electronics.

SMD Tweezers:

The major challenge in creating the SMD tweezers (really really amazing for SMDs) was to find the mating connector for the original Weller replacement.

After finding the correct rare connector, it was rather easy to identify the resistive elements connections and TC connections.  

The simple version of the SMD tweezers, uses a single channel of the soldering station (by drivign the resistive elements in parallel). In this way a single soldering station can handle a soldering iron and a set of SMD tweezers (in picture the simple ugly white case for the SMD tweezers V1).


And some improvements to the tweezers holder. The design had to be based on three 3d printed parts

- two compose the outer case

- one parts allows mounting the receptacle connector and easy soldering of the wires

and finally the SMD tweezers optimized version with a nice complete view of the station :).


Future updates:
- Currently firmware version is 1.8b with multiple improvements is available from GitLab:  https://gitlab.com/pittinihub/solderingrt1

- Future standby function (it will take a while... it is a bit complex/time demanding)

- Maybe include compatibility with C245 JBC iron-cartridges (secret work in progress...)



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  • 1 × PCB assembled (with buttons, TFT, switch and encoder)
  • 1 × Case TOP (3d print)
  • 1 × Case BOTTOM (3d print)
  • 1 × 4 plastic screws (3.2*8mm)
  • 1 × 2.1*5.5mm 12-24V power supply (min 3A, suggested 12V)

View all 7 components

  • Major updates in Firmware

    Riccardo Pittini09/09/2020 at 21:15 0 comments

    Some of the major updates in the firmware... (more to come)
    
    V1.35:
    - Fixed PID calculator coefficients and sampling (it could have had oscillations)
    - PID tested with 12V in and duty 110-220 with low and high resistance cable, acceptable performance in all cases
    - Missing to correct refresh rate of the screen (it is increased as the main loop is executed more times)
    
    V1.4:
    - Added channel tracking option in menu. Now it is possible to set one channel temperature, and both are set.
    
    V1.5:
    - Added AutoON function in menu: When changing tip, the channel goes on automatically to the set temperature.
    
    V1.6:
    - Buttons very responsive, including encoder switch
    - Some code cleanup 

  • Software V1.3 and future updates

    Riccardo Pittini05/25/2020 at 07:44 0 comments

    Software revision reached V1.3, main features:

    - Programmable temperatures

    - Duty cycle limitation (to use various power supply rating) programmable via menu

    - Under Voltage Lock Out for lipo battery protection programmable via menu


    Future implementations:

    - Small updated on UVLO implementation (mostly graphical)

    - Channel tracking implementation

    - More ideas? :)

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Riccardo Pittini wrote 09/09/2020 at 21:22 point

For the ones that want to do a built it yourself:

- Schematic is complete also with specific part numbers (e.g. mini jack connectors, DC in, tactiles with correct length etc.)

- In the Kicad files, some components have wrong footprints (DC in and mini jacks). I didn't have time to create the correct footprints for them.

- You can make the layout in Kicad, the board is a simply 10x5cm 1oz 2layer

- All components can be hand soldered

- If you need to generate the BOM simply generate it from the Kicad schematics ;)

All documentation is available in GitLab link (the one I try to maintain regularly).

I added also SMD tweezers STLs for 3d printing :)

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Cedric wrote 10/29/2020 at 14:26 point

Cool project! Can you tell what's the purpose of 'Rest connection for heaters' and 'Other conections'? They seem not to be used in the arduino script?

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Riccardo Pittini wrote 12/06/2020 at 13:55 point

The "hidden connector in the back" is if you want connect the GND of the power supply to a fixed potential on the circuit that you are soldering on, or use it as ESD protection. Internal you can select the connection to be via a 1Mohm or direct (you have to place a short-jumper)

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nirh216 wrote 09/06/2020 at 08:25 point

Can you tell how did you wire the SMD Tweezers connector with the 3.5mm headphone jack?

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nirh216 wrote 09/02/2020 at 08:06 point

Can you please share the information about the power supply for use with iron and tweezers (Volt, Amp, connector type, connector size- Diameter)? Thanks

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Riccardo Pittini wrote 09/04/2020 at 08:47 point

Connector for SDM tweezers: binder 09-9792-20-05
Power supply recommended 12V 5A or more amps, the connector of the power supply is 5.5*2.1/2.5mm standard barrel connector for 12V LED strips

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nirh216 wrote 09/04/2020 at 09:46 point

Thanks! 

What is the min/max amp, volt needed? That this system can handle?

BTW, any news on the pcb specs for manufacturing?

Can you also share a full components list (maybe it's knows as BOM)?

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Manu wrote 09/01/2020 at 09:18 point

Hi, nice project! Can you share the references  for the jack extension cable and the smd tweezer connector?

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Manu wrote 09/01/2020 at 12:52 point

found it: binder 09-9792-20-05

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Riccardo Pittini wrote 09/01/2020 at 13:00 point

Correct!!! I will upload STL files for the SMD in the next days!


I try to update more regularly GitLab...

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Manu wrote 09/01/2020 at 13:03 point

I will definitively try the SMD tweezers!

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tom wrote 06/06/2020 at 22:28 point

Where I find PCB files (gerber,nc drill)?

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Riccardo Pittini wrote 06/09/2020 at 06:36 point

Hi unfortunately I don't have access to the PCB software anymore (changed company) as I developed the project about a year ago (HW) and finished the software only recently. In the next months, I am learning Kicad in the free time and I will try to publish the design with Kicad files.

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tom wrote 06/09/2020 at 07:03 point

OK, fine :)

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nirh216 wrote 08/31/2020 at 11:18 point

can you tell me please what you know about the board? 

Number of layers, properties, etc?

Can you share full components list for the board?

Thanks!

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