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isotip solder iron lifepo4 conversion
I had the isotip nicad solder iron for close to 2 years, I rarely used it because it wasn't hot enough to solder xt60 connectors, I kept getting cold welds. I mainly used it to solder the 20 gauge 2 wire jst connectors. It could do larger gauge but at the risk of getting cold welds.

About a year ago I bought new nicad batteries to see if that would improve it's performance but it was the same thing it was a weak soldering iron, I also replaced the tips but that also didn't help. 

I had a bunch of high discharge A123 26650 lifepo4 cells (close to 200 cells), I decided to remove the nicad cells (2p total 2.4 volts) and install 1 of the A123 cells (3.2 volts), the voltage on the lifepo4 was higher but not as high as a li-ion. 

The A123 was thicker then the nicad and wouldn't fit without cutting the isotip case.  I had to make modifications to install the 1s 24a lifepo4 bms (cost 2.25 dollars), I also had to install a 5.5mm x 2.1 connector to charge the battery (it came off an old hair clipper with a 4.5 volt wallwart). This was a quick conversion which I didn't really think it was going to make a big improvement so I didn't take any pictures. I added a 99 cent voltage LED so I can check the voltage during discharge and charging it has a toggle switch. All these mods added to the bulk of the unit.

As far as performance, I been using it for the past 6 months. Its my go to solder gun. Now its rare that I use my plug-in 60 watt solder iron. It easily does xt60 connectors. With the lifepo4 its comparable to a plug-in for the majority of the soldering I do day to day. For xt90 connectors I still use the 60 watt iron but I rarely do large connectors or very thick gauge wire.
I used a 1400 mah A123 in the conversion, I would have used a better mah capacity If I had known it was going to be a major improvement. I get about the same amount of welds as I did with the nicads but rarely get cold welds. It looks large with the modification but I can easily solder with it.

It still takes the 10 seconds that the nicads use to take to heat up, but the temperature is hotter. The higher temperature hasn't affected the solder tips, I'm still using the same tip for the past 6 months and I use it almost every day.  With the more powerful battery the isotip can be quite useful. 

1s lifepo4 24a bms

isotip with A123 lifepo4 cell  

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