As a follow up to the Soldering Iron PID temperature controller post, Mike Doughty of PCB Smoke blogged about on how to modify an ordinary plugin soldering iron to work with a PID temperature controller – second version:
This new version has some improvements since the first version back in April, 2015. The soldering iron in this new version gets hotter and heats up faster than the first one. It also uses a different PID controller that is capable of higher temperatures plus it uses an SSR instead of a built in relay.
Like the first version, a K-type thermocouple was mounted internally inside the soldering iron at the back of the heating element. Mounting the thermocouple internally has the advantage that it is out of the way. The video shows the unit being tested with a range of temperatures at 200°C, 250°C, 300°C and 350°C. A tip thermometer was used to compare the temperature of the soldering iron tip with the temperature controller.
More details at PCB Smoke blog.
Follow up video on adjusting the thermocouple.
Check out the video after the break.