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Gear / Technical Help => Cables => Topic started by: voltronic on October 27, 2021, 09:51:19 PM

Title: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: voltronic on October 27, 2021, 09:51:19 PM
I bought one of these a couple weeks ago. It is a bit cheaper than the popular TS100, but comes with the IronOS open-source firmware popular in that community already installed. It also uses the same tips, and can accept a wider variety of power sources.

https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Pinecil (https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Pinecil)
https://pine64.com/product-category/pinecil/?v=0446c16e2e66 (https://pine64.com/product-category/pinecil/?v=0446c16e2e66) - Store with lots of goodies. The sets of tips are cheaper here than most other places.
https://www.amazon.com/PINECIL-Smart-Mini-Portable-Soldering/dp/B096X6SG13 (https://www.amazon.com/PINECIL-Smart-Mini-Portable-Soldering/dp/B096X6SG13) - I bought mine on Amazon; currently unavailable, but might come back.

I absolutely LOVE this thing. So light and easy to handle, but heats up very quickly and has simple controls that tell you what they do when you stay on a setting for a while without pressing a button.

Note that it doesn't come with a power supply; you have to feed it something that puts out at least 30W - either a laptop power supply with a barrel connector or an appropriate USB-C PD source. I am using a little RavPower USB-C supply that meets the PD 3.0 spec, and it works great.

Here's a review. Ignore the part where he says the tip is a bit loose and wobbly. This guy clearly didn't tighten the obvious set screw. Once you do that, there is zero play.
https://deninet.com/blog/2021/05/09/pinecil-25-smart-soldering-iron (https://deninet.com/blog/2021/05/09/pinecil-25-smart-soldering-iron)
Title: Re: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: SMsound on January 21, 2022, 08:10:20 AM
I'm probably in for one. I'm already 90% USB-C powered. (This is not the first product I've found in your posts!)

Which of their accessories do you recommend getting with it?
Title: Re: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: voltronic on January 22, 2022, 07:40:28 AM
I'm probably in for one. I'm already 90% USB-C powered. (This is not the first product I've found in your posts!)

Which of their accessories do you recommend getting with it?

Go for it - you won't be disappointed!

The silicone USB-C cable is nice. Instead of from PINE64, I found it here, a bit cheaper when you factor in shipping:
https://ameridroid.com/products/usb-type-c-to-usb-type-c-silicone-power-charging-cable (https://ameridroid.com/products/usb-type-c-to-usb-type-c-silicone-power-charging-cable)

You might want one of the tip sets if you need a variety of sizes. For me, the included B2 tip works for everything I do.

Otherwise, just make sure you have a power supply that puts out enough wattage. This was the one I was going to buy if my RavPower didn't work:
https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1 (https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1)
Title: Re: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: morst on January 22, 2022, 01:48:13 PM
Otherwise, just make sure you have a power supply that puts out enough wattage. This was the one I was going to buy if my RavPower didn't work:
https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1 (https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1)
^ that particular power adaptor is out of stock at spamazon right now, but a search for "65W PD UCB-C Charger" yields several options, including this one from Anker (relatively trustworthy brand)
https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker-Compact-Adapter-PowerPort/dp/B08F28BH7C (https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker-Compact-Adapter-PowerPort/dp/B08F28BH7C)
Title: Re: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: voltronic on January 23, 2022, 08:05:05 AM
Otherwise, just make sure you have a power supply that puts out enough wattage. This was the one I was going to buy if my RavPower didn't work:
https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1 (https://www.amazon.com/ZMI-zPower-Turbo-Power-Adapter/dp/B07D64QLQ1)
^ that particular power adaptor is out of stock at spamazon right now, but a search for "65W PD UCB-C Charger" yields several options, including this one from Anker (relatively trustworthy brand)
https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker-Compact-Adapter-PowerPort/dp/B08F28BH7C (https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker-Compact-Adapter-PowerPort/dp/B08F28BH7C)

Yes, that one looks good. You don't even need 65W, really. Mine is 30W and it works great, though I wouldn't go any lower.

You also can run the iron from a laptop power supply with the appropriate barrel connector, though the USB-C charger setup is going to be more compact and lightweight.
Title: Re: PINECIL: Inexpensive and outstanding soldering iron with digital control
Post by: SMsound on January 23, 2022, 06:19:05 PM
You also can run the iron from a laptop power supply

I run & charge *almost* all of my A/V gear from a stack of Apple macbook pro USB-C power supplies (87watt, though they now have up to 140watt). I've been slowly making the switch to this, as it's a rare moment in my life that I don't have at least one laptop nearby, and it's been nice to not drag a box of all-different chargers to every gig.  A usb-c native soldering iron will be perfect.