Review of the TS-100 Solider iron

not shown PSU and stand extra tip also shown.

This is hands down the most useful soldering iron I own. its lightweight construction it’s not wireless but it is versatile as well as runs off 12-24 volts so RC batteries. heat-up time in around 15 seconds or less depending on the power source.

I had an old Dyson dc-31 22v battery kicking around that would not work with the Dyson so brought some tx60 connectors made up a lead with about 30cm of mains cable soldiered it to the male tx 60 connectors and spade crimps in my battery connections I then plugged it in 11 seconds 25c to 300c wow.

my quick and dirty portable battery cable works like a charm.

fully programable has sleep function if left idle and firmware is upgradeable via USB connection mine came with the latest firmware installed so haven’t had to do this

It as has 7 different types tip available. i have just brought a second tip so I have one for different applications.

prefect for working in the workshop.

the reason this iron is so good is down to the digital heating element being in the tip and it using new technology that is found in more high-end equipment.

it was worth the reasonable price tag of £41 for the kit that included 1 tip, power supply, soldering iron stand, RC battery cable for use with tx60 connectors, and some solder.

In conclusion

it outperforms my soldier station and my Dremel portable gas iron and my cheap battery soldier iron am actually thinking of removing them from my tools here in London as don’t need them taking up space. might just replace with a laboratory power station.

PROs:

Light weight

Good construction

Easy to use OLED screen and 2 buttons

Upgradeable throught usb port

12-24v vercilty up to 65w of power.

5.5 x 2.1 power connector

RC battery conectivity

CONs:

tips are expensive £13 UK £11 Chia if time delivery time is not urgent.

Adding mA meter on 50 Watt Chinese Co2 laser and controls

My machine has had one since I got it as I didn’t want to cut my laser metal work i designed a box for it to sit on top of the machine.

time to move in to a more permanent location so bye bye yellow sticker

I am now going to embed it in the metalwork of the machine with some other switches and water temp digital meter.

The Design:

I know the width of the area I am going to install this panel so in light burn I have the assets from the box I made and have imported them to the 200mm wide box. I know the dimmer switch diameter I have cloned the other switches I have coming as don’t know diameter I have a feeling they will be the same. as 16mm switches are common in automotive switches. 12v voltage 5v voltage is being used on these can be any 12v switch.

my template the small holes are for center punch metal
not enough space for the mA guage and temp gauge as want to add some labels for what they are.

I have slightly changed the original design after the first fit the gauge was too close to temperature gauge so spread it out a little more.

Test fit of all the components got to label them as well so i don’t get confused when i thread them though the machine. so time to brake up my box and remove components will test fit to template.

all fits fine.

Installing the hardware:

Time to start hole punching and drilling will do small hole first before enlarging them to appropriate sizes the mA I have a 40mm hole drill I will use. Also have scored the Rectangle for the temp gauge. will cut this out with Dremel.

I figured out when you buy a hole cutter off amazon even though it says metal cutting there not always telling the truth as blunted my 51mm hole cutter in the first 2 mins of cutting had to go to a local DIY shop to get a new one. but al cut and fitted now. just the buttons to wire and then I will then will do some cable management as gong to hardwire the air assist.

The wiring:

Thermomitor Guage:

I will use 5v form the laser power supply to power the the temperature gauge as its not used on my machine.

the ground and the +5v power the temperature gauge

I have extended the wiring as comes with 10cm of cable so have soldered and heat shrunk the connection so won’t short on anything then connect directly to the laser power supply as shown below. have hidden the wiring back in the cable tidy track

5v power output from laser power supply for temperature gauge.

the other 2 cables from the unit I have made extension leads up and extended to the water bucket and output tube.

The Dimmer switch:

in an earlier project, I installed led light tape in my machine with an external power supply and a wireless dimmer switch. it’s ok but don’t always have my phone on me to control it. When I was looking at buttons I found this dimmer switch connects to 5.5 x 2.1 connector male and female is the power in and the male goes to the led chain. As the laser does not have a 12v power supply I had a think and remembered i brought 6 x bucks convertors for a project that never happed so going to look at my parts draw as this is perfect for my needs.

What is a buck converter? well, it’s a small PCB that allows you to put 24v in one end and then adjust the output voltage with a screwdriver.

Bucks convertor

so will take the 24v from the 24v power supply through the bucks convertor which I will adjust with a multimeter to 12v this will connect with a male 5.5 x 2.1 connector which will go to the power input of the dimmer switch. i will next attach the female connector to the led wiring. lighting will only work when the laser is on.

mA meter wiring:

Wiring up the mA meter. to do this you need to find the wire coming off the low voltage end of the tube will be a thinner wire in my case was a black wire I traced it back to the power supply. I then disconnected it from the power supply and ran it to the first pin of the mA meter or the + side of the meter I then ran a wire from the other pin back to the power supply put the wire back where I had removed it. this is usually connector L on the low voltage side of the power supply. I then powered on the machine and did a test pulse and worked.

if you meter goes backward you have the wires the wrong way around,

Wiring up my illuminated buttons:

these are a 4 pin set up I run 24v in series so will power the LEDs

Now to wire up the switches, I will run a positive and ground wire from the 24v power supply. power will go in on the + then the – will come out and link to the + on the other switch then out of the – back to the power supply. as shown below in the diagram.

Switch 1 Gantry led lights:

one wire in one out wires out of the switch as illustrated below. ground will run separately to the bucks convertor this will be fed from 24v the turned down to 12v output. i might add a dimmer switch internaly if too bright.

Right switch wired now to wire up the led tap 2 solder joints later +&- then to feed the wire through the small bit of cable chain on the laser gantry then the back and forward cable chain back to wiring loom then to run it across the machine to the bucks connector I will then run the ground back to the laser power supply and the positive up to the switch and back to laser power supply 24v output.

So to start as i don’t know how much wire i am going to use i am going to work backwards i am going to solder a jst connector to led tape and to the wiring i will then thread the wire throught the machine. i have used 3m of thin gauge wire for this as have a lot of it. will cut off access cable later.

Now the wires have made it back into the control box area, I will install the bucks convertor here turn it to 12v so set ready for use. going to wire from laser PSU to bucks then feed the positive side up through the switch and back to the led positive wiring.

right all done will now test it works.

Switch2 aim assist marker on/off:

all soldiered and heat shrunk

The same principle as above but with wires taken from the 5v on the 24v supply see diagram above. i have taken the positive feed from the power supply up to switch then back to the laser marker wiring.

Now to tidy up the wiring got a load of these double-sided sticky pad wire holders from Maplin before they when bankrupt so cable ties and snips let the wire tidy commence.

all nice and tidy

Label the buttons as like to keep things tidy. Jobs is done, time to put the wire covers back on then it’s on to the next project as doing 4 projects back to back to make up for the last few months of absence.

Parts:

  • 2 x bucks converters.
  • 5m of wire Red and Black live and negative.
  • 12/24v led switches.
  • Touch dimmer switch.
  • 1 x male 5.5 x 2.1 power connector screw type
  • 1 x female 5.5 x 2.1 power connector screw type.
  • 60cm 12v LED tape

Still got to add the air assist override switch but been having issues with this hence why I added a gantry light instead but this will happen after 3 days of messing I abandoned it as the led switch does not like it was causing the relay and solenoid not to close after was requried. got to dig through my parts draw and see if I can find an on/off switch to try this with will add a post once I have figured it out.

Video of it all in action:

Next Project:

Adding a 50L compressor to the air assist inline so can dual run both electric at night and the compressed air during the day. This will require some airline plumbing and re-jigging to fit it in the workshop.

Installing Cloudray ultimate air assist

There are a few videos about this but i thought i would do my own guide as some of them are a little vague.

I brought the kit off cloudray through their AliExpress store. in the kit, you get everything you need to install the kit. there are no instructions included in the kit but on the cloudray website, there is a circuit diagram. As not everyone understands circit diagrams this guide it to walk you thought how to install the kit.

circuit diagram off the net

What’s in the kit?

the complete kit.

Wiring the mains power relay:

going to start by mounting the Power relay. disconnect all power from the machine as this is the mains voltage. Now on my 50w whole panel is removable with 4 hex screws making this quite easy to do. the air pump is powered on by the bottom plug I will be replacing these in the future but for now, unwire the bottom plug negative and place it top left side of relay wire clamp. I then have taken some 13amp mains cable and cut a length of it will use only negtive wire out it. negative wire from oppersit of negtive to the plug socket as negtive as pictured below. I then drilled 2 holes to mount the relay through the bottom of the machine and bolted it to the machine. now on to the low voltage end of the relay through pin bottome pins with red tap you will need to place a diode between these 2pins a pictured below then place the 2 wires these will go back to the connector block in a bit. I have labeled the 2 wires so I can identify them later.

Wiring the switch:

Now to wire the switch you will need to wire 2 pins together for ground connector’s on one side of the switch then on the opposite side of the switch you need to solder 2 wires one for controller board status and one for wind connections. you then need to drill and mount the switch. see below.

Wiring and setting up the pneumatic solenoid valve:

the metal block has A R and P initials stamped you will need to place the following connectors in the collaborating letters.

This is what you will end up with when assembled

you will then need to remove the top screw from the solenoid and remove the lid with 2 plastic tabs remove and wire Positive and negative wirings a diode will need to be placed in-between with the line towards the positive terminal. then screw back together.

now put plug back together.

You will then need to split the air assist pipework to go through the solenoid. As I haven’t decided where I am going to place it yet I ordered some extra pipework as I think I will run it into the electronics box. but will decide on that later.

i have temporarily placed it in the void under the laser bed I will be mounting it externally once I add the compressor.

Wiring up 6 pin connector block:

this might differ if using different types of Ruida controllers. mine had some wires in 24v+ and ground wire might move them later to next port on the board might also trace them to see if where they go.

  • pin 1 = ground swich ground
  • pin 2 = out2 not used
  • pin 3 = out1 not used
  • pin 4 = status +switch & A1 from power relay.
  • pin 5 = wind +switch & negtive solinod .
  • pin 6 = 24v+ A2 relay & postive connection solinod.

pin 1 place the ground side of the switch then pin 4 then place one of the wires from the other side of the switch and connection A1 from the low voltage side of the power relay this is the connection further away from the diode line shown below.

pin 5 place the other wire from switch and negative wire from solenoid in this pin

pin 6 place positive side of relay and positive low voltage side of relay A2,

wiring done.

Time to test it works:

Power on all working. first going to test manual override turn switch off air pump comes on. Nothing dam it. checked the wiring still nothing. decided to short the switch out and override came to life, It’s a good job I am replacing it with nice 24v switch.

So over to light burn quickly drew 2 lines and put them on 2 layers did 1 with air assist enabled.

turned off air assist on the black line red line it was enabled.

I then ran the program and works perfectly will do a video at a later date showing it all in action.

Next project:

Adding mA meter to the metalwork of the laser and adding some buttons and temperature gauge and some cable management. as looks like a big mess of wringing in my junction in my control box.

Making standoffs for honeycomb bed.

This is one of them projects i have been meaning to do for some time.

I know that my honeycomb bed is ruffly 8mm in diameter in each hole. So using light burn I made 3 x 8mm circles and 1 x 12mm circle. cut them out of 3mm acrylic i had kicking around from the laser alignment project.

the design.

Looked in box of M3 bolts had a load of 30 x M3 hex bolts in my box and some square nuts.

to assemble

put 2 of the 8mm circles on the bolt, then put the 12 mm circle on the bolt and finally add the last 8mm circle tigten down with square nut.

perfect for projects that need to be stood of the bed and stops micro fractures in acrylic.

Next Project:

Installing the Cloudray ultimate air assist

Better Chinese Co2 Laser Cutter Crosshair.

The problem.

the 50watt Co2 laser cutter is a great machine but does need modifications to make it great. the aiming led diode is as more of a line than a dot and with no focus its not adjustable. I was one of the laser Facebook groups. were a saw a post on modifying laser pointer to form a crosshair. so I asked for a copy of the designs. and started on this journey.

So I have removed the current diode that interestingly was not soldered. so I will be swapping leases I have added a jst female connector to the led wiring. I will also be adding a switch so can turn it on and off. I have soldered the male end to the lasers.

the 2 designs i tried first of all

theses will be placed at 90 degrees to the tube in an acrylic holder then aligned under the nozzle. the reason for the jst connector is I can then swap it over to each tube lens.

wanted line lasers damit.

tested last night and figured out they had sent the wrong pointers so crosshairs. (note to self, test things before soldering them) not worried will use for some other projects i have in my list of things to make or design.

I decided to hedge my bets and try 2 laser cut designs first one did not work with the line lasers fingers crossed on the second one. have changed the measurements slightly on the design to make it a tighter fit will test fit this design later don’t line up might be thickness I going to do some more testing and do one more design as well to see if I can get it lined up.

Argh another bust time to look for 3d printed files.

As you can see it’s nowhere near dead center

right thingiverse design attempt number 3 and away it goes.

going down the 3d printed route as well.

Another non-working idea as designed for smaller led diode modules. so that again was for smaller diode laser dot it replicated standard hardware. after had metal and printed version, I inverted the 2 diode holders and lightbulb moment.

where i got my idea black is original hardware violet is a design for 6mm diode

So i made a sketch of the part and then modified it using some 3d modeling.

Right now to test it. out and see if it all fits will publish the files if so. wish me luck. little loose but concept works have changed the inner dimensions from 13mm to 12mm reprinted it now to test fit and tighten it all down if it works might re design the center as well.

perfect now to make it square.

I have published the remix here you will also need 2 x of the centre the tube mounting off this design by billkaroly from Thingiverse available here. You will also need some 3mm bolts and nuts.

Next modification will be moving and permanently mounting mA meter temp gauge upgrade. adding some button for lighting, laser marker and ultimate air assist on / off.

Still waiting on parts for nest project

Hi every one just about to get my mods underway on the 50watt laser

I ordered a lens kit and its some were between USA and UK

have the ultmate air assist ready to install.

just need to pick up a 50L silent compressor some fitments and should be ready for next project.

the good news is I am cancer-free and I am also covid and lung infection-free to just resting up before I get on fully with projects, I am also waiting on dell to rebuild my laptop.

yes i know was a ruff month for me but back time to make stuff and be merry.

looking for a good deal on a compressor and also looking for a dust extractor as well for the cnc machine.

back soon.

Lens orientation on the 50w

Being on Facebook I was helping someone and was told my lens should be the other way up now I have tested this but still not 100% sure I am right.

the principle cuve should be up on laser well mine is down.

so I modified some ones cut test file and ran it in both orations

modified file.

The result I know I shouldn’t be down the cave and suffered afterwards but as you can see the orientation cut better with lens down power was set at 70% which is my laser max point. I then used the power scale function on light burn to run thought different power percentage. however i am yet to see if focal point has moved due to the lens being rotated. that will be my next test but need to get better.

not sure as looks like focal point has moved i might do a ramp test.

so next I am going to design or borrow a ramp test to see if the focal point has moved. with the lens being reversed as this intriguing me. as anyone who knows me knows my mind is always active.

Update 1

I have ordered a lens kit so now 38.1mm 50.8mm and 63.5 lenses with alignment tool from American Photonics should be he in the next week or so will do some testing with that when it comes. will review it properly so far am impressed with customer services it’s on the route from the USA to our small island. see how much import tax I have to pay.

update 2

currently designing a ramp test as want something i can do in 1 pass and replace the ramp after

my little quickly put together design v1

to be continued.

Sorry, no updates I ended up in the hospital.

Has been a tough month for me i was working in the cave doing the Christmas gifts for friends and family when i developed bad back pain, I thought I pulled something,

Called the 111 non emergency number ended up in an ambience trip to the hospital.

They discovered I had a very bad chest infection. During my stay, I contracted Covid-19 that has I am now covid-19 free but awaiting another operation.

So I will resume doing stuff soon and the rebrand but banned from the mancave doctors orders for 2 to 3 weeks.

going to recover and make 2021 a busier and better year.

all the best

josh.

I am alive

sorry for the lack of posts i have been woking on getting some bits done but day jobs

taken president again will hopeful doing some new bits soon. as work sleep repeat is what it’s feeling like ATM but will hopefully get back to my daily blogs soon.

still got printers to fix testing out new air assist for the 50w over the next few days.

will post more soon.

Back in london

Right back in London after a extended working away and a bit of well earned rest.

time to get my printers all calibrated as got some jobs.

i am thinking about rebranding the site still great content but might add more videos and start reviewing stuff and more.

still just an idea but will be fun as always.

going to do some cnc carving with some pine planks i brought before leaving for wales.

first print some head phone holders for the my creative space.

this morning was greeted with spaghetti junction flipped the sheet and printed again came out perfectly

Now printing puzzle box to make sure its fully calibrated.