You should definitely power the TS100 soldering iron with a 24V power supply if you want to get the most performance out of it. The power you are getting from the TS100 is directly proportional to the voltage you feed it.
When I first got the TS100, I was powering it with a 4S LiPo. The performance was okay, I wasn’t blown away by it. That’s because at 16V, you are only using 45% of the power. To get the most out of it you should really use 24V.
Table of Contents
What Differences Do 16V and 24V Make?
Input voltage significantly affects the power of TS100 soldering iron (review).
|Time to heat up from 25°C to 400°C
Powering the TS100 at 24V is like turning on “God Mode”!
It heats up three times faster compared to 16V. It only takes 11 seconds to reach 400°C from room temperature, even a lot of desktop irons struggle to do this. Soldering PDB and XT60 also becomes effortless as it puts out so much heat.
Even if you don’t use high temperature, you are still going to benefit from powering at higher voltage. The temperature is going to hold more consistently during soldering.
Where to Buy
I could find the same Voltage Regulator from many vendors, but I bought mine from Banggood. It’s called “DC-DC 10-32V To 12-35V 150W Boost Regulator”.
Being a Step-Up, or boost voltage regulator, it takes a lower input voltage and outputs a higher voltage. E.g. it can convert 12V of a 3S Lipo, or 16V of a 4S, to 24V, so you can use your 3S or 4S battery just like a 6S!
The output voltage is adjustable through the potentiometer.
- Input Voltage: 10V – 32V
- Output Voltage: 12V – 35V
- Power: 150W
- Current Limit: Up to 16A, but anything above 10A should upgrade the heatsink (The TS100 only uses around 1.5A to 2A)
If you are looking for a step down voltage regulator, this is what I use.
User Experience and Mods
Apart from the ugly inductor winding, it’s been a solid piece of kit. The heat-sinks are properly installed on the FET’s, and they don’t even get warm after 15 mins of usage, powering the TS100 at 450°C. (You can up the maximum temperature from 400°C to 450°C after flashing custom firmware).
It doesn’t have the best build quality, but bear in mind I bought this for less than $3, can’t really complain! I would probably spend this amount on just the heatsinks in the UK LOL :D
I am not a big fan of the screw terminals, so I soldered two XT60 connectors to the input and output for easy connection.
For safety, I also cut a couple of pieces of plastic sheet and use some nylon standoffs, screws, as the case.
And here is the whole setup! It’s powered by just a 4S LiPo. I don’t really use this tiny battery, it’s just for the photo. I use a 4S 5000mAh for the TS100, and it usually lasts 3 to 5 builds :)
Don’t forget you need something to monitor the voltage of your battery, I just plug in a buzzer to the balance lead.
Even Better Option – P200
If you got the cash, I’d recommend this mini desktop PSU instead. It has replaced the simple step-up PSU I talked about ever since I got the P200. See my review here.
Buy it here:
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-ekwv
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-m72g
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-ue4m
Other Methods to Supply 24V
Alternatively, you can also just grab a 6S LiPo and power your TS100 with it. For example, one of these big ones which you can also use for field charging:
- 6S 10000mAh LiPo battery (Buy: http://bit.ly/3tOE4fL)
However, you probably want to use a half-charged pack, because the TS100 is only rated for up to 24V. A fully charged 6S battery is 25.2V, so it may or may not damage your iron. I tried powering it with fully charged 6S battery a few times in the past and it didn’t get damaged. This is not an encouragement, it’s still safer to follow the spec. :)