eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: N2MOX on September 01, 2005, 02:17:22 PM

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: N2MOX on September 01, 2005, 02:17:22 PM
 Just a quick ? about that new soldering gun that advertized on television all the time called "Cold Heat"...I think!!
 You know the one where you use it for it's intended purpus(sp?), and right after you can touch it without being burned.
 Well is this a good gun to use for building our radio's? I thought someone here might have some time on this gun to give a good report.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KG6WLS on September 01, 2005, 02:29:57 PM
Yeah, I bought one of these.
1.) Tip can easily break like the tip of a pencil.
2.) Still can be hot to the touch.
3.) Tends to make a spark on contact (wear safety glasses).
4.) Won't do boards cleanly. (tip is too big)
5.) Good for soldering nothing larger than #16 stranded (cold joint though)
6.) Makes a good flashlight
7.) Save your $20


Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KG6WLS on September 01, 2005, 02:34:14 PM
Also, don't bother trying to solder a PL-259 with the "Cold Heat". Not hot enough.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: WA6BFH on September 01, 2005, 02:43:25 PM

Just a thought, if as implied, it heats by making a shorted path -- it might be good for modifying existing Printed Circuit Boards. You could use it to blow apart (or burn) traces, so as to modify the board. This might be easier than the old Exacto knife routine!

For soldering, get a good Soldering Station from Hakko!

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: K5LXP on September 01, 2005, 03:20:36 PM
I'm going to come to the defense of the Cold Heat just to provide an alternative viewpoint.

I found that once I got the hang of it I could solder just about any through hole component on a PCB.  I even put a small kit together with mine, and soldered wires onto small audio and power connectors quite readily.  It will never replace a corded soldering iron or station on your workbench but I find it's handy in the QRP travel box.  It's much easier deal with than the portable butane powered irons, and a lot less expensive.  It's major downsides that I see is that the tips are consumed through use and there is a risk you might blow out a sensitive IC by getting the tip across the wrong two pins.  I rank it as a 'utility' soldering tool, rather than 'electronic'.  For field use doing odd soldering tasks I think it has some value.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KA5N on September 01, 2005, 04:00:50 PM
The TV commerical gives you a clue as to the intelligence level the Cold Heat unit is aimed when it shows someone jerking on a small regular soldering iron and the announcer says "don't be tied to the wall."  Anyone who can't figure out to move the work closer or use an extension needs something to prevent burns.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: WA6BFH on September 01, 2005, 04:17:50 PM

If the thing actually "arcs" to make heat, I would be very carful with it around CMOS, Darlington, or FET devices!

You could start out with a 39 cent problem, that takes out several otherwise good IC's!

Get a good soldering station!

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KE4DRN on September 01, 2005, 05:50:12 PM
Like most things today, this is from the past !

Long time ago, guy had an article in popular mechanics.

He made a soldering iron out of the carbon rod from a dry cell.

Works ok but can't do what a weller sp-120 can !

73 james

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: AA4PB on September 01, 2005, 05:57:28 PM
It passes current thru the contact to heat it. I agree, I would not use it around any static sensitive components. I was given one at work and it went into the trash. I don't want it lying around where someone might actually try to use it. Why go to the troubel and expense of static proof tops on the work benches, static proof soldering irons, and wrist straps only to pass current thru the device on purpose!

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: WA4DOU on September 01, 2005, 07:32:28 PM
I've been an electronics technician for 41 years. This cold heat soldering iron is , for all practical purposes, a fraud.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: N7NBB on September 01, 2005, 08:17:52 PM
Guess I'd have to say for "ELECTRONICS" use it is pretty much junk, however for very light duty ELECTRICAL use, it might do in a pinch...

Fixing a wire on a bicycle headlight, tricycle battery horn, doorbell or thermostat wiring, etc.,  It offers an acceptible alternative to an expensive ("REAL") cordless soldering iron, or going to all the work trying to remove the bicycle light from the bicycle or the thermostat from the wall - so you can take it to the electronics bench to solder it.

However I don't think I'd ever use mine (if I actually owned one) for anything remotely associated with expensive or sensitive electronics.

bottom line ?  Don't buy it thinking it will be the DO ALL and END ALL of your cordless soldering needs... however for the occasional "home handy-man" type repairs... it just might barely do the job to get you by.

P.S. if you've seen the T.V. adds you've seen my work.
(building the commercial you see) check out my BIO on

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: DROLLTROLL on September 01, 2005, 08:47:21 PM
But Wait! There's More!
It slices, it dices.... Plug it into any wall outlet, it turns your whole house wiring into one gigantic tv antenna.... And you can use it as a pocket fisherman.... Just drop it into your gas tank for an unbelievable 48 miles to the gallon....Just attach the Flowbie to your vaccuum and all your haircutting's a breeze.... Just spray it on your head, looks just like real hair.... We'll even include this 62 piece Ginsu knife set absolutely free....Just send 3 easy payments of $19.99 (plus $16.95 shipping and handling)....Send before midnight tonight.... Operators are standing by....

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KB1LTC on September 01, 2005, 09:56:45 PM
My curiosity got the best of me one day while I was in Radio Shack for something when I spotted the Cold Heat soldering iron.

So I bought it, mostly for amusement I think, since I apparently had no other use for that “extra” $20 just burning a hole in my pocket (dry sarcasm here).

I got it home and had a use for it right away. Instead of using my Weller butane powered cordless soldering iron to install a PL-259 in the van, I used my shiny new toy.

It took a little work (more than I’m use to, and I’ve been soldering for 25 years), but to my amazement, I was actually able to get it to work well enough to properly install the connector!

I don’t think I’ve used it again in the four months since I bought it, but it sure looks nice in the toolbox in our camper!

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: N2MOX on September 02, 2005, 03:21:28 AM
WHEW!!! That was a close one guys! I almost went out and bought that little piece of junk. Thank you all for coming to my rescue.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KA5N on September 02, 2005, 10:08:37 AM
McGuyver carries one with his Swiss Army knife.  It comes in handy for modifying caddy tailpipes into rocket launchers.

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: W4XKE on September 03, 2005, 01:46:17 PM
As others have said, it operates by passing current through the component that you are soldering.  (not good)  It reminds me of a friend who wanted to know if I knew of any way to salvage his airplane.  He had performed and electric weld on the frame of his Bellanca and had inadvertently magnetized the frame.  Most of the avionics, compass, etc. then responded to the field of the aircraft frame instead of magnetic north of the earth.  As far as I know, he never did find a solution to the problem.  Cold heat is about as practical as atomic fusion for soldering PCBs.  Johnny, W4XKE

Title: Cold Heat...
Post by: KA5IWO on September 05, 2005, 04:41:29 PM
Find the closest garbage can you can and put the entire iron and plastic box in it. This is the biggest piece of crap I have ever seen.