Hakko revenge

Building a smarter, smaller and more user friendly soldering station

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If you are a hobby person like me loving electronics, I'm sure you wanted to build yourself a custom soldering station at least once in your lifetime. Maybe now is the time for you, I know I am going for it. I mean, why not build something customized to your own liking?


- The goal would be to have something really miniaturized like a 2'' box. 

- I would like it to have the possibility of using an external power adapter or any kind of energy source that can provide between 9V and 30V. 

- I would like it to have many integrated functions and the possibility of having a fuzzy menu with settings for everything but I would'n like it to have many buttons. A simple rotary encoder would be perfect. 

- I would like it to have a small display. Maybe the 16x2 alphanumeric display is a little too big for this. Possibly a 0802 would work fine. 

- backlight maybe. 

- T12 tips for low thermal inertia and precision tip temperature. I woul also like a fast heating rate. I don't like to wait and this is why I would go for this tip. 

- Stand by temperature settings and movement sensor in the handle. This should allow an even faster heating rate when you pick up the iron from the stand. The stand by is the only way you can achieve low overall power consumption. Otherwise is just a heating element which cannot be optimized. 

- Real and accurate PCB temp reading that can be used for compensation and for shutdown in case of PCB overheating.

- Embedded alarms and sound warnings. 

- Power calculations shown on the screen? Maybe.  

Why build your own?

There are similar products on the market. For instance this one:

I bought one of this, but I just dislike it. The rotary encoder does not have proper SW debounce and the settings are sometimes decrementing when you want them incremented. The mV/*C setting corresponds to a type K thermocouple, but the actual tip has something like a type C one or something around 20 or 21mV/*C. This means that these funny soldering stations are displaying 350*C and they really heat up to 550 damaging the tip. The menus are just P01, P02.. and you never know what they mean when you need to set something. I just want something that I can trust.  

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 64.14 kB - 06/13/2018 at 13:18


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 73.91 kB - 06/13/2018 at 13:18


ms-xpsdocument - 111.97 kB - 06/06/2018 at 05:10


hakko 3_3 backup.txt

V3.3 firmware version with back light control

plain - 43.71 kB - 06/06/2018 at 04:01


Hakko revenge soldering station user manual 6_6_18.docx

Latest version of user manual with updated menu map

application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document - 631.73 kB - 06/06/2018 at 04:00


View all 22 files

  • Solar panel test

    Marius Taciuc06/13/2018 at 13:07 0 comments

    I made a test using a Xunlight 68W flexible solar panel just to see how this device behaves and it seems like it's working good. This is stretching the idea of portability to a new level. Check the new video for more details. 

  • User manual

    Marius Taciuc06/03/2018 at 10:34 0 comments

    I added the first draft of the user manual in the Files section.

    I think this provides new insight about the product itself and explains all the features better. Check the file and stay tuned for updates!

  • Updated firmware and hardware

    Marius Taciuc05/31/2018 at 10:51 0 comments

       I updated the hardware to version c3 and the software to v3.0. The new hardware uses a P channel mosfet and solves the heating problem. It also has the possibility to control the back light intensity from software. Check the files. 

  • Switching time and snubber?

    Marius Taciuc05/11/2018 at 06:29 0 comments

    In the following hardware version I really need to include a snubber for the Mosfet and to make the rising and falling slopes stiffer. I tried different solutions, but it seems like I need to go with a much faster optocoupler. Check the files for the LTspice simulation with bipolar and Mosfet transistor

  • Hakko t12 thermocouple is not Type K!

    Marius Taciuc04/19/2018 at 06:45 0 comments

       I can tell you that I searched a lot on the internet on every corner I could find and I only came across speculations. No argument or statement supported by some measurements regarding the type of the Hakko t12 tip thermocouple. 80% of the posts out there would say it's type K and the rest will say it's not Type K, but they won't say anything about what is it.

       Well, I am ready to support my theory with some facts. First of all, this is how a tip structure looks inside. I took a look inside of one of these tips which paid with it's life for science. Then I draw this as accurate as I could. In what comes the graphs, I made a couple of sets of measurements and compared these measurements with all the known and most common thermocouple types on the market. they look like this:

       I will post a video to show you how I measured these values, but until then, I can tell you that the 1st measurement was made using another soldering station as a heating element and a Fluke 87-V with original thermocouple as a temperature measuring device. The second measurement was made in a bowl of heated oil. I firs heated the oil to about 300*C and then I placed the Fluke's sensor and the tip in the same bowl of oil. I read the voltage values generated by the hakko tip using another Fluke 87-V set to high resolution mode. 

       I have to admit that this method is not very precise and you can see this from the two different measurements I made. They came to be so different, because of the temperature gradient in the hakko tip. The higher the temperature difference between the heat source and the environment, the larger the error. This conducts me to the logical conclusion that I must approach the right measured values at lower temperatures. If I look at the graphs, I can see that at lower temperatures, my measurements are overlapping with the graph of the Type C thermocouple. If I had a thermal chamber I would definitely take some more accurate measurements, but until then, I can tell you one thing for sure: this thing is definitely not Type K. Not even close. 

       I remember reading somewhere on the internet some contradiction related to this. A guy was saying that is Type K and that he measured it and it had around 20uV/*C at some certain temperature. Well that's a misleading statement. Type K thermocouples are having around 41uV/*C at 1000*. 

       I implemented the 21uV/*C value in software and later on, I tested the system with different values such as 19uV/*C, 20uV/*C and others. I was measuring the tip temperature using a Fluke while testing it and I can tell you that the hakko tip seems to be pretty linear. Moreover, I managed to achieve a less than 10*C difference between the temperature displayed on the screen of the soldering station and the externally measured temperature of the tip. And I expect that the Fluke thermocouple would have it's own mass and act like a heat sink on it's length. Therefore it's good to see the heating element and the core of the hakko tip at a temperature greater with 10* than the tip itself. 

       It actually makes sense to have the heating element made out of some tungsten alloy rather than nichrome, because the design is airtight and tungsten is cheap. Type C thermocouples are 95%W/5%Re–74%W/26%Re. The heating element is probably made out of 95%W and the other wire that comes form the socket and joins with the heating element creating the thermocouple is probably 74%W/26%Re. Problem solved.

       This brings me to blaming these failed soldering station kits again:

    I don't know who designed these, but they only have the possibility to set the uV/*C from 41 down to about 30 from the internal menu and this says it all. However, I made a 3D printed case for it. If you are still interested in using it, check the project page and the video:

    Read more »

  • Added PCB pictures

    Marius Taciuc03/26/2018 at 23:07 0 comments

    Now it's the time to keep changing components and to run some tests. As you noticed in the picture, I used a 16*2 LCD until I had the 0802 ones. Check the gallery for all the pictures and stand by for more updates and some software files. 

  • Added layout

    Marius Taciuc03/22/2018 at 23:50 0 comments

    Check the Files area for the layout files I added today

  • Added the first draft schematic

    Marius Taciuc03/20/2018 at 04:34 0 comments

    Check the Files area for more info

    Stand by for updates

View all 8 project logs

Enjoy this project?



AABatteries wrote 3 days ago point

Hey Marius! Great project with excellent execution, well done! One question: do you think you could add a low voltage alert / disable heating on low voltage? That would make it perfect for use in the field with LiPo batteries (as commonly found with drone enthusiasts, mainly with an XT60 connector). I would be glad to make a pull request for you with a modified enclosure with a XT60 connector if you like :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Orlando Hoilett wrote 04/28/2018 at 11:04 point

This is really cool.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marius Taciuc wrote 04/30/2018 at 11:07 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

Rein wrote 04/19/2018 at 19:49 point

Great project! Could you also provide the schematics as pdf? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marius Taciuc wrote 04/27/2018 at 05:16 point

I uploaded an *.xps file with the latest (C2) schematic variant. Does this help? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Rein wrote 04/28/2018 at 16:12 point

Yes, thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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