Say Goodbye to Cables: Meet the Miniware TS1C Cordless Soldering Iron

    • by Günter Spanner
    • Reading time: 7 min

    The Miniware TS1C realizes every soldering enthusiast's dream: a cordless soldering iron that liberates you from the inconvenience of power cables. Yet, there's more to this revolutionary tool than just being wireless—it boasts an array of impressive technological features. In this review, we'll explore what makes the TS1C a standout in the world of soldering.

    For those who work frequently with electronics, a soldering iron is an essential tool. Whether crafting personal projects or making repairs, soldering becomes a necessary skill. However, traditional soldering irons often come with a cumbersome cable connecting the iron to the base station. This cable can disrupt your workspace, get burned, or simply be too short, always causing inconvenience.

    Introducing the Miniware TS1C: The Cordless Revolution in Soldering

    The Miniware TS1C is a game-changer for soldering enthusiasts: a cordless soldering iron that eliminates the hassle of a power cable. In this review, we'll delve into the TS1C's impressive features and technological advancements.

    A closer look at the Miniware TS1C:

    Miniware TS1C close up
    It looks like a microphone, but it's actually a cutting-edge cordless soldering iron!

    Technical Specifications

    Let's delve into the technical details of the Miniware TS1C:

    • Power Supply: USB Type-C
    • Max. Power via USB-C: 20 V × 2.25 A
    • Cordless Power Source: 750 F Super Capacitor
    • Maximum Heating Power: 36 W
    • Adjustable Temperature Range: 100–400 °C in 1 °C steps
    • Temperature Stability: ±3%
    • Soldering Tip: 3.5 mm audio interface soldering tips
    • Wireless Connection: Bluetooth version 4.2
    • Weight (Handle tip): 75 g
    • Size (Control Station): 45 mm × 122 mm × 73 mm
    • Display Size: Two Color 128 × 64 pixel OLED
    • Size (Iron): 23 × 133 mm

    The compact size of this soldering station is especially appealing. Unlike bulkier models, the Miniware station fits neatly on any workbench. Included with the device are:

    • TS1C soldering pen
    • TS1C control station soldering tip (TS-B02)
    • Silicone USB-C cable
    • Sponge holder including sponge
    • Manual

    The conical tip is interchangeable with other Miniware tips, connected via a 3.5 mm audio interface, with additional tips available online.

    Unmatched Convenience and Versatility

    The Miniware TS1C's standout feature is its cordless design, providing complete freedom of movement. The built-in power source makes it easy to maneuver in tight or hard-to-reach spots, essential for precision soldering. Without a power cord, the risk of cable entanglement is eliminated, enhancing workplace safety.

    soldering iron
    Figure 2: This soldering iron features a Boost button for instant maximum temperature and a green charging status LED.

    The soldering iron features a Boost button for instant maximum temperature and a green charging status indicator LED. The USB-C port under its removable magnetic end cap is for firmware upgrades and direct charging or powering the device. A standard USB-C charger provides up to 45 W at 20 V with overcurrent safety protection.

    USB-C port
    Figure 3: USB-C port located at the rear end of the iron.

    The ergonomic design ensures comfort during extended use. Weighing just 75 grams, the soldering iron is lightweight and easy to handle, even for larger projects.

    Wireless Control and Communication

    The TS1C operates wirelessly via its base station using Bluetooth, enabling true remote control and adjustment. The Bluetooth range is impressive, maintaining a reliable connection up to about ten meters. If the connection is lost, the soldering iron stops working until it reconnects.

    The base station features a dual-color OLED display (128 × 64 pixels), two push buttons, and a rotary knob for easy setting adjustments. The display shows the status of the soldering pen, battery level, and temperature, as well as access to menu settings, device information, and overall status.

    Miniware TS1C base station
    Figure 4. A close-up of the base station.

    The station's underside includes three mounting points for the sponge holder—left, right, and back—allowing the holder to be positioned optimally for the user.

    Charging Contact Points

    The soldering iron charges via two contact pads when placed in the station. One minor downside is that the front part of the soldering iron holder is plastic, which can melt if it touches the heated soldering tip. To avoid this, drop the soldering iron vertically into the station before sliding it into place.

    Innovative SuperCap Energy Storage

    The TS1C utilizes a high-efficiency super capacitor (“SuperCap”) energy storage technology, allowing for up to 10,000 charge and discharge cycles. With a maximum soldering power of 36 W, the tip heats to 400 °C in less than 20 seconds and can continuously solder over 150 typical joints on a single charge. Transitioning from the sleep temperature (e.g., 100 °C) to 400 °C takes about 10 seconds, ensuring efficient operation.

    Preheating Feature

    Another key feature is the preheating function in the control station. Adjustable temperature profiles help reduce power consumption. While in standby mode, the tip temperature drops to 250 °C. After a few minutes (adjustable), it further lowers to a user-defined "sleep temperature," such as 100 °C, enhancing heating efficiency and minimizing power usage, thereby extending the tip's lifespan.

    Powering the TS1C: SuperCap Advantages

    The TS1C is powered by an internal 750 F high-efficiency energy storage super capacitor. It charges when the pen is placed in its holder or via the pen's USB port. Each charge offers about ten minutes of typical runtime. The SuperCap provides a longer lifespan, with up to 100,000 charging cycles, and charges faster than traditional lithium batteries.

    When not in use, the iron rests in its stand, where it recharges automatically. From empty, it takes about five minutes to fully charge. During normal use, occasional placement in the station keeps it charged, allowing for smooth, uninterrupted work.

    Efficient Operation and Extended Autonomy

    After about eight minutes of continuous soldering, a low power warning appears on the screen. The total runtime exceeds ten minutes before the "No Power" warning activates, stopping the heating. It takes roughly five minutes to fully recharge the SuperCap. However, it's rare to fully deplete the charge, as most tasks require less than ten minutes of uninterrupted soldering.

    Notably, soldering large gauge wire or big copper ground pads drains the SuperCap more quickly. Despite its compact size, the iron is impressively powerful and handles these tasks efficiently. The power boost button is particularly helpful in such cases, offering additional power and heat on demand.

    USB-C power supply
    Figure 5: The TS1C's base station is powered by a USB-C adapter, contributing to its compact design. During testing, this power supply performed flawlessly, delivering the required power without any issues. Consequently, it is safe to assume that any similarly specified USB-C power supplies can be used effectively.

    Pros & Cons of the Miniware TS1C

    • Great overall soldering experience
    • Compact station with highly responsive controls
    • Adequate power and battery life for most projects
    • Solidly built construction for both the station and soldering iron
    • The station's plastic components can be damaged if they come into contact with the hot soldering iron
    • The price is relatively high

    Final Thoughts

    Although the Miniware TS1C is not inexpensive, its standout feature—cordless soldering—makes it well worth the investment. It's incredibly convenient not to have to worry about a trailing cable on the workbench.

    For those in need of a compact soldering station powered by USB-C, the TS1C is an excellent choice. The pen fits comfortably in your hand, and the station fits easily on any lab bench. The device handles most tasks quickly and efficiently. The relatively high price is justified by the super capacitor, promising a long lifespan that ensures the station will pay for itself over time.



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