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Adjustable-temperature soldering station with quick-change replaceable tips. Sold in the iFixit store, also formerly sold under the Maplin brand through Maplin stores in the UK and Ireland, with the model number N78AR.

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How can I replace the wound heating element on this soldering station?

The heating element on this soldering station long ago failed, confirmed by checking that there is an open circuit across the power lines driven by the controller, but that there is low resistance along each wire in the cable to the point at which it connects to the heating element.

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To access those connections, one can pull back the heat-shrink over them, to reveal a crimped joint, which then passes the wire into some kind of rigid insulation (the straight white rods pictured, possibly ceramic) leading into the heating element.

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Am I correct in guessing that this is some kind of wound nichrome wire heating element, and that the messy stuff flaking off around it is fibreglass insulation? There also seems to be a ring (possibly steel) at the end of the insulation to provide support where the soldering bit/tip is mounted, and some other thick stiff wire (again possibly steel) twisted around the insulation to keep it together.

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Can anyone recommend an easy method for replacing/repairing this element, or a spare part that I could use?

Assuming I can even find another small strip of fibreglass cloth like this (as this one seems to be fraying apart), and get the correct diameter of nichrome wire (assuming that’s what’s in there), I doubt that I could get the length correct to match the original (now unknown) value of resistance. Doing all of that correctly and getting it to fit back together again will be difficult to do by hand, so I am left wishing that there was a simple ready-made replaceable part for this heating element that I could swap into place.

Update edit: As pointed out by Andrew S, there are spare parts similar to this for 110V supply in the US, but there seem to be none available for >220V here.

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I found a similar-looking heating element. The model number doesn't match your soldering station exactly, but if the outlet voltage in your country is 110V, it may be worth a try.

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That would be exactly what I need, if it was for 230V and available in the UK/EU.

This is the closest thing that I have found, but these are designed to fit different irons:

The element that I’m replacing has a ring with an internal diameter about 5.3mm to fit 5mm bits, the ring outer diameter is 10mm with no lip and thickness 3.2mm, while the whole element with insulation is about 50mm long, and this soldering station puts out up to 50W.


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Andrew Drummond sarà eternamente grato.
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