TS100 pen-type soldering iron with adjustable temperature and digital LCD
A soldering iron is essential for developing electromechanical systems. The modern and popular TS100 design is both compact enough to toss in your backpack, and powerful enough for extensive use. Its accurate temperature control, clear OLED screen, 2% temperature stability, 2Ω resistance between the soldering tip and ground, and available replacement tips (see, e.g., compatible products link below) lend itself well to both precision work with printed circuit boards and larger-scale electrical projects.
The power supply for the TS100 is not included in this package. The TS100 allows significant flexibility in the choice of the power source, ranging from 12V to 24V input. If you are patient enough to give the TS100 a minute to warm up, the 12V 1amp power supply provided with the Renaissance Robotics eduMIP kit is adequate to drive the TS100. To triple its heating rate, which is recommended, an 18V 2A POWER SUPPLY may be used instead. A 4-cell LiPo with an XT60 plug (purchased elsewhere) could even be connected, with the appropriate adapter, for use in portable applications. The maximum heating rate of the TS100, with a sufficiently strong power supply, is 65W. Typical times to heat from 30C to 300C for common power supplies, which you likely already own, include:
12V * 1.4A = 17W -> 40 seconds
16V * 1.9A = 30W -> 20 seconds
19V * 2.1A = 40W -> 15 seconds
24V * 2.7A = 65W -> 11 seconds
Another possibly useful feature of the TS100 is its MicroUSB interface, which allows you to change the config file to set up your own heating profiles.
The full instruction manual for the TS100, indicating how simple it is to use and including important safety advisories, is available here.
A full review of the TS100 is available here.