Replacing the Heating Element in Soldering Stations

Soldering stations typically utilize a ceramic heating element to generate the heat required for soldering. As with any resistive heating element, the element will eventually burn out. Circuit Specialists offers replacement heating elements for all of their soldering stations. The procedure for replacing this heating element will be described for Circuit Specialists’ 1A/2A,  BK2000, and CSI-950 soldering stations.

Make sure that the unit is powered off and disconnected from the AC power mains and then unplug the hand piece from the main unit. Remove the metal retaining nut that holds the soldering tip and sleeve to the handle. Pull off the handle’s metal sleeve, soldering tip, and metal spacer and remove the plastic nut that holds the handle together. Push the heating element and circuit board out through the front of the handle to expose the wire connections. Unsolder the heating element wires (both are red wires) and the sensor wires (one blue and one white).

Be sure to keep track of the wires that were removed from the circuit board as it is important to connect the wires from the new heating element in the same locations.

Remove and discard the old heating element and install the new one in the same location. Pass the new heating element wires through the holes in the PCB and solder the wires in the same locations as the old element. One red wire from the heating element to the red wire on the PCB, the other red wire from the heating element to the blue wire on the PCB, the blue sensor wire from the heating element to the green wire on the PCB, and the white sensor wire from the heating element to the white wire on the PCB.

The PCB with the new heating element can now be re-inserted in the handle. Make sure that the two tabs on the PCB are secured in the notch at the mouth of the handle. The plastic nut can now be reinstalled and the tip, tip sleeve, and spacer can be replaced on the heating element. Be sure to secure the assembly with the metal retaining nut that was removed at the beginning of the procedure.
Perform a resistance measurement on the hand piece to ensure that the new heating element is functional. The readings between pins one and two on the connector should be between 19 and 23 ohms and the readings between pins four and five should be between one and two ohms. As a final check, verify that the resistance from pin two on the connector to the soldering tip is less than two ohms.

The above procedure illustrates the steps required to replace the heating element in Circuit Specialists’ 1A/2A, BK2000 and CSI-950 soldering stations, but can be applied to almost any soldering station with a resistive heating element. Circuit Specialists also carries complete replacement handles with new heating elements (B004) for anyone who does not wish to replace the heating element in their soldering station.

George

George Leger has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, worked in private industry pioneering surface-mount technology and in government research labs for twenty years, published several papers on surface-mount technology, co-authored papers published in national symposiums on accelerator technology, was past president of SMTA and an adjunct professor at the community college level, holds a patent, and is a certified microchip design partner, serving as a consultant to many companies developing electronic circuits.

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