It was totally unreasonable to ask Banggood to send me MiniWare TS80P. I already own and love MiniDSO TS80 (review) and there was nothing particularly wrong with it. Why I made the request? I really wanted the USB-C PD support. I’m already adding USB-C ports left, right and centre, why not spoil myself more and up the best portable soldering iron I got my hands on. Plus, I might have a person of interest to take the original TS80 from me for a good price – that’s a win-win!
On the surface, it may look like a total vanity purchase if you already own TS100 or TS80. You are probably right, but there is more to MiniWare TS80P than just USB-C PD support. The soldering iron has a more convenient handle, which braces your hand better and a pull-down ring (instead of a threaded one) to aid the removal of hot tips. The design has changed, but the MiniWare TS80P is still compatible with 3.5 mm soldering tips from its older brother.
Inside the box, you will find a compatible charger, USB-C to USB-C silicone cable, one tip, anti-static band and the MiniWare TS80P itself. Unfortunately, there is no carry case, so once again I will be at mercy of Thingiverse or I will sit down and design something myself. The cable is new, it’s more rigid than the previous one, terminated from both sides with USB-C, but just like the previous one, snag-free and barely noticeable in use.
Apart from the previously mentioned upgrade to USB-C PD MiniWare TS80P is still compatible with a 9V power supply or Quick Charge 3.0. This opens up almost all my portable battery banks and chargers. You will be more likely to find a compatible power source on your field trip (if that’s your thing and you really like to take soldering irons for field trips!).
With greater power, comes a higher power rating of the iron as well. Now MiniWare TS80P is rated 30W a decent bump from 18W available in its predecessor. This translates to marginally quicker heat up times and better temperature control over bigger soldering joints.
|Mini DSO||Time in sec 0-350℃|
MiniDSO TS80P is still capable of heating up to 400℃ and comes with smart functions like automatic sleep time and left and right-hand operation. That part hasn’t changed.
The tool is set for right-handed use by default, so the only tweaking it needs, is my “notenoughtech” logo on it, but if want to take the customisations beyond vanity screens, the soldering iron offers you an easy to edit a text file. Connect the USB port to a computer and you can edit the file to your heart’s content:
StbTemp=200 #(100~400) WkTemp=300 #(100~400) SlpTime=180 #(60~999) Rated_P=18 #(16~24) TempStp=10 #(1~25) OffVolt=130 #(100~140) Temp=0 #(0:C,1:F) Hand=0 #(0:Left,1:Right) ZeroP_Ad=102 #(Do not modify!) LowCur=1 #(0:OFF,1:ON) ShowType=0 #(0:Show voltage,1:Show power)
I enjoyed the NotEnoughTech logo on boot for so long, that I forgot what’s the original looked like. If you want to customise yours, simply drop a 1bit BMP
logoin.bmp image 96×14 into the root directory and your boot logo will flash each time you power this beauty on.
At work, having a portable soldering iron is insanely useful. Even though most of the robots I work on have a power supply nearby and professional soldering stations for my disposal, I end up using MiniDSO TS80P out of sheer convenience. A battery-powered soldering iron is easy to take with you, it’s small so I can access even the most awkward places and thanks to silicone (burn-proof) cable there is no snag.
I found a decent case online on Thingiverse and now the soldering iron can be safely stored inside my backpack with the most useful accessories and a 3D printed stand.
If you already own TS80, there is probably very little reason to upgrade. It’s a perfect toolbox item for anyone looking for a portable soldering iron. If you are tempted with the USB-C PD upgrade and higher power output, perhaps you could consider selling/gifting TS80 to someone you know and treating yourself to an absolute gem of a tool. MiniWare TS80P and ES121 screwdriver(review) are the most asked about tools in my portable toolbox, and I work in a place filled with engineers and toys. Go ahead, you know you want it! If you have any thoughts, let me know in this Reddit thread.