This week as I was about to start soldering my boards my old trusted Weller WTCP-S started to fail, first ocasionally it wouldn't heat up until shaken, lattely not at all.
Wanting to fix it (if possible) I opened it to check the famous "Magnastat", these Soldering Irons operate on the principle of the Curie Temperature, where a magnet loses its magnetic properties at a certain temperature point.
Inside the casing there's a ferromagnetic piston and the tip is also magnet with a predetermined Curie point (the number on the bottom of the tip), when the temperature is reached the magnet losses its properties, the piston is no longer pulled and the contact at the bottom opens, opening the heating circuit.
I had to open the contact casing and clean the contacts, put it back together and test....
While cleaning the contacts the wiring came loose, so now I was facing a chicken'n'egg problem, how to solder a soldering iron?, the local hackerspace was the answer, I meet some really nice people in really nice location and they had a spare soldering iron I could use in their "electronics shack".
Anyway got home, tested it and it works for now... but I expect it to fail again soon... I'm ordering a replacement today...
2 weeks ago