IronOS - open source soldering iron firmware

I just stumbled upon IronOS, a GPL-licensed open source firmware for “smart” soldering irons.

Always glad to see open source firmware, but I am so old that I didn’t know there are smart soldering irons now??? :face_with_spiral_eyes: Honest questions: What’s smart about them and why would I need one? And are there open source hardware designs for soldering irons?

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The main use case is that they can run off DC voltages, 12v, or 20v, for doing soldering in the field, or portable that can run off a powerbank.
Some can be powered by PD-USB-C, and some are controlled over BT.Pinecil is one of the makes, Miniware the other.
Have yet to buy one.


These are great! I got a TS-100 when they came out and am now on a Pinecil v2. So much better than anything I’ve previously used (apart from maybe a Metcal). Ability to run off a USB-PD battery bank is really useful, they heat up in 6 seconds, show current temp and they have an accelerometer that cools them down to a lower temp if you forget to turn them off. They work better than my Weller while not requiring a bulky base. The only downside is that recently when I bought a new one and wanted to solder something I instead ended up arguing with a person who wouldn’t accept my pull request to the firmware updater :S


oh and you asked what’s smart about them. I believe you can play tetris on them and they can link to a chrome-based browser over bluetooth for real-time plotting of temperature and power usage but honestly I think the only smart feature most people use is the auto cool-off after a period of unuse. They do have a little “hold button to give an extra boost” feature that I sometimes use when desoldering bigger stuff as well.


Bahahha this is gold!

Seconding tony open source soldering irons! Been using them in the field for a decade now and they rules for when you need to “hack the wild”

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I agree with other posters that these are pretty great soldering irons. I got a TS-100 compatible iron several years ago and have never looked back.

If that one ever wears out I’ll be investing in a Pinecil (also mentioned by @DrBrian ) . PINECIL – Smart Mini Portable Soldering Iron (Version 2) - PINE STORE


This is also interesting for off-grid soldering to use portable electric drill (in this case Makita) batteries.


I’ve soldered straight FROM THE SUN before with a ts-100

Via connecting straight to a panel like this ALLPOWERS 100W Portable Solar Panel Monocrystalline Solar Charger Foldable 331516355170 | eBay

(Note that passing clouds can mess up your soldering ahhaha)


TIL! Thanks for the education everyone. :rofl:

Somewhat related is the fully open source Pixel Pump vacuum pick-and-place tool I just saw. Looks useful!