How COLD HEAT Works?
This "Hi-tech" soldering tool looks like a miracle. Does it Really Work? (7/13/2005)
It looks like a miracle, a hi-tech tool, but is not. You may wonder: "It works as advertised?"
Well... I had to have it and get the answer. So I went to the store and I purchased one ($19.99 USD with one tip with carry case and no batteries). I put four "AA" batteries, but I had to remove 2 screws, turn on the power switch and the white led went on. The tip DOESN'T get hot while it touches something conductive. I started to follow the instructions (Some steps are not easy to understand). Three minutes after, I was welding some wires.
So... the answer is...
YES, IT WORKS BUT:
1. You HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO USE IT.
2. This thing DOESN'T DO MIRACLES, is only for small jobs.
3. The tip erodes or melts while is used, so you have to purchase another tip after certain uses. (Another $9.99 USD to expend)
This tool works fine on some applications. (For example, welding 2 small wires together, doing an "emergency" repair or just as flashlight) I'm really dissapointed with this thing.
Please be aware: The tip have enough voltaje (more than 4 volts) and enough current to damage some parts, so do not use it to fix circuit boards that contains integrated circuits, specially CMOS and microcontrollers or microprocessors.
HOW IT WORKS.
After the "COLDHEAT" soldering tool is turned on, the tip doesn't get hot until A METAL object touches it. Then, it gets hot because the metal object creates a short circuit (Some sparks are generated because the current) and finally, it melts.
The tip, is a material called "Athalite", but I think that is just two-pieces of carbon and it is called "Athalite" just to make lots of money.
Here is the circuit of the famous "ColdHeat" and the amazing technology:
The "circuit detector" turn on the Red led when the current is going thru the tip. Someday, I will make a "Homemade Cold Heat" tool and I will post the steps to build your own one. Meanwhile, if you want to waste $19.99 USD plus $9.99 USD for each tip that breaks easily, is up to you.
If you want to buy it because you don't want to get burns when building your projects, then consider to use a banana. Why a banana? Because a banana doesn't do anything and doesn't solder any component or circuits. "Cold Heat" was made to solder some wires, not circuits.
Here are some pictures showing what is Inside "ColdHeat":
To change the batteries, you need to remove two screws. Once the batteries are removed, there is a screw that need to be removed to open the ColdHeat.
Once the "hidden screw" is removed, you can see more screws. Why so many screws? They think someone may try to open it? Anyway, Once all screws are removed, you can see the circuit detector and the tip.
The IC is labeled as: HK324. I have no idea about the pinout of this circuit, but I think is just a dual Op-Amp/comparator. The tip is connected to the batteries in series with the switch. The tip is not connected to the circuit board.
A picture showing the back of the board. I really think this circuit board is not necessary. Note that the screws are not the same size. I did a mistake when assembling the coldheat and I damaged the plastic cover. Ouch!
August 18, 2006 - Sebastian from Germany wrote:
Just because you wrote about the ColdHeat tool: "The IC is labeled as: HK324. I have no idea about the pinout of this circuit, but I think is just a dual Op-Amp/comparator."
Well, that's almost right. Actually, it's a quad Op-Amp, same as a LM324. One of the cheapest integrated circuits ever, I think - the SMD version costs only a few cents if bought in bulk quantities. - Thanks Sebastian!