So DSE are having a sale on all their electronics stuff. This is in some ways a good thing, as I picked up a DSE T-2200 soldering station for a nice price (along with a couple of tips), which means I can retire my cheapie 25w soldering iron I’ve been using for years.
At the same point, it’s also sad. My understanding is that DSE are well and truly getting out of the hobbyist electronics scene – most of their electronics gear is on sale at the website as the company moves to only sell cheap consumer electronics gear (generic imports from overseas), laptops, PCs, Apple products, home electronics accessories (like RCA cables and powerboards), phones, that kind of thing. My local DSE was recently refurbished, and I was shocked to see all of the electronics were unceremoniously dropped as part of the fitout. No more switches, caps, resistors, soldering irons, LEDs, and so on.
In some ways it probably makes sense – the staff lacked electronics experience so they weren’t much help in that regard, and the margins are probably better with CE gear with faster turn-around compared to hobby electronics.
But anywho – new soldering station. I’ve been using cheap/disposable 25w soldering irons for years now. I picked up my first one from DSE back in… 1999 or 2000 when I started modding consoles, and that one did the job for a number of years until the plastic shrouding started heating up too much and made the thing difficult to handle during long soldering sessions. I replaced that one with a similar entry-level 25w iron from Jaycar and that’s done a good job over the last 3 years, but the iron and the tips aren’t offering the kind of performance I’m after. It also helped that the price on the station was amazing.
I haven’t given it a whirl yet, but I have a few mods on the to-do list (Master System II S-Video mod and A/V mods on an Atari 2600 and a Famicom), so there’s plenty of excuses to give it a whirl. Expect posts in the future showing the above mods – I also have a stack of images from a series of mods to a Mega Drive 2, as well as a mod to disable a late-model SNES security chip (the theory on that one’s not mine, I just followed another tute).
The purchase of this has also inspired me to write up a post noting some of the essentials that should be in every console modder’s toolkit, or at least what things would have been handy if I had them when I first started modding consoles over 10 years ago
Oh, and for the record – that denim shirt on the guy in the above photo is a golden time capsule