Cheap diy hot air soldering station

By | June 7, 2018

Continuing with my goal of adding new toys to my lab/man cave/junkyard I decided I needed a hot air soldering station for smd soldering. I have been using the one I have at work but always wanted one for myself.

Although ready made chinese stations can be bought for about 100USD that was about 80USD more than what I was wanting to spend. Also due to its price, volume and weight I would have to deal with customs for sure, and on this tiny country by the sea that is a nightmare.

The main part of the station is the handle, I got mine from aliexpress for about 10USD shipped. Also bought a stand which includes a magnet so I can use the reed switch for a sleep mode.

This contains a 220V heating element, a 24v fan, a termocouple and a reed switch.





Since there is no point in reinventing the wheel I used the same kind of hardware as with my soldering station, and reused most of the code. So this also uses an STM32F103 together with a 0,96″ OLED display and two rotary encoders.

The full schematic is very simple:

Since I wasn’t planning on having a PCB made for such a simple circuit I took a few shortcuts. The CPU is used with one of those ready made boards called bluepill, you can get one from aliexpress for something like 1.50USD, just search for something like “stm32 minimum system development board”. It looks like the picture below:

I also cheated on the voltage conditioning circuit and used an of the shelf lm317 dc-dc converter board. This costs about a buck.These and the other components were placed on one of those prototype boards. And that was it.

As always everything is available on gitHub.

On the next post I will describe the firmware features and post a video of this in action.

Stay tuned!

23 thoughts on “Cheap diy hot air soldering station

  1. Philip

    Hey Jose, I’m also working on a the same sort of project, as in I’m also using the same handle and micro controller board.

    Could you please post a picture of how your final board looks like?

    Could you please email me? (since you now have it if I comment here)
    I have some suggestions on small changes you can make to this circuit to improve it’s performance.

    1. jose Post author


      As referred on the post I didn’t bother to have a board made so this is assembled on one of those PCB proto boards. I’ll try and take a picture on the next few days but it wont be pretty to look at.


    could you upload the reverse firmware?
    I totally hopelessly turn to source tul complicated combo and hard !!!

    1. jose Post author

      Hi, sorry for the late reply I was on holidays and your comment was somehow considered spam.
      You can find the bin file here

  3. cyberpex


    I bought a Solder/Rework Hot Air Station from KSGER.

    I am fascinated with you work, so I bought this solder station and a STM32 dev Board to reproduce what you do with the STM32 Solder station.

    The station that I bought works, but it wil be great if somebody can make an open source firmware to enhace the features.

    Thanks for you work and inspiration José.

    Best Regards!

    1. jose Post author

      Hi! Thank you for your kind words!
      Great that you felt inspired to start your own project. Let me know if there is something I can help you with.



  4. jozsef

    Stm32 is already selected but does not set up the configuration menu because stm32 pb8, pb7, pb6 does not respond to the encoder2!:(
    but encoder 1 does not respond to pb5, pb4! 🙁
    Is bug software not active mcu feet?
    Is this a project tested really does it work?

    1. jose Post author

      Hi, it seems there is an error on the schematic. The code does work, I use it almost every day.
      The correct connections as defined on the code are:
      #define ROT1_LEFT_Pin GPIO_PIN_6
      #define ROT1_LEFT_GPIO_Port GPIOB
      #define ROT1_RIGHT_Pin GPIO_PIN_5
      #define ROT1_RIGHT_GPIO_Port GPIOB
      #define ROT1_CLICK_Pin GPIO_PIN_4
      #define ROT1_CLICK_GPIO_Port GPIOB
      #define ROT2_LEFT_Pin GPIO_PIN_9
      #define ROT2_LEFT_GPIO_Port GPIOB
      #define ROT2_RIGHT_Pin GPIO_PIN_8
      #define ROT2_RIGHT_GPIO_Port GPIOB
      #define ROT2_CLICK_Pin GPIO_PIN_7
      #define ROT2_CLICK_GPIO_Port GPIOB

      I will fix the schematic as soon as I can

      1. jozsef

        I’m glad to work! Can you upload a video from a movie?
        you could upload an improved firmware i unfortunately do not get arm mcu!
        Only arduino beginner!

  5. jozsef

    so I encode both encoder and a good menu!
    published a bad drawing to keep others away from it!

  6. jozsef

    Is rx1 ptc controlling its role or just measuring external temperature?
    What is the rx1 ptc value?

  7. jozsef

    I set up a complete control first test
    set 100c set values keep the big problem is when it comes back to sleep mode slepp mode 50c is set but when it goes back set modbol sleep modba 100% pwm works heat loss gets off quickly manual shutdown must be manually distributed with the plug!
    There is a big software bug! 🙁 🙁 🙁

    1. jose Post author

      I have no idea what you are trying to do, you can’t use the controller at those temperatures and expect accurate results. This is an heatgun system used for electronics so it will have a working temperature above 150C, below that neither the hardware or the firmware will provide accurate results.
      Again, I use this on a day to day basis so there are no bugs no software bugs as you state.

  8. jozsef

    Do you have any idea what could be a problem at sleep?
    temperature calibration I’ve done 200..300..400c …. fhinis steps!
    I would like to use your rule but to put a gun on death!

    1. jose Post author

      I don’t understand what you mean, but with all your comments and the way you describe your issues I strongly believe this project is not for you and you should just buy a ready made station.

  9. jozsef

    I just built what you published!
    Pity to make money and time spare! 🙁

  10. Evgeny

    Hello Jose! Do your project, thank you! Flashed the microcontroller, the display works, everything should work. If it is not hard for you, the PTC component rating is DUMMY. Name. Sorry for the translation, I’m from Russia, I do not know foreign languages, microcontrollers began to learn. I am 50 years old. Thanks in advance!

  11. keiser1080

    Hi Jose.

    Do you plan to do a dual station with both an hot airgun & solder?
    It will be nice to have some nice opensource lowcost dual station.
    inside such box =>
    Enclosure : 10 euro
    air gun + support : 14 euro = 10 euro + 4 euro
    stm32 : 1,5 euro
    lm317 : 0,5 euro
    24V power supply : 5 euro
    iron handle + tip : from 5 euro +-
    double oled : 5 euro (2,5 each)
    other stuff (connector & other : 5 euro

    so for 50 euro an opensource opendhardware station.


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