Trakpower steps up to the plate with a do-it-all solder­ing sta­tion

RC Car Action - - TEST BENCH -

At some point dur­ing your time in RC, you’re go­ing to have to sol­der some­thing and this is an area where the right tool for the job is ev­ery­thing. You need one that can sol­der fat wires and some­thing del­i­cate enough to take care of the small stuff as well. That’s where Trakpower and their TK955 solder­ing sta­tion comes into the pic­ture. This is a unit that is pop­u­lar with rac­ers and great for those who like to tinker at home. It’s a durable digital unit that lets you change the tem­per­a­ture, comes with two tips, come with some cool stick­ers and more. Let’s take a closer at the TK955 and see what it has to of­fer.


The Trakpower TK955 is a three piece unit; it has the con­trol unit, the solder­ing iron it­self and a stand for the iron. The Con­trol Unit mea­sures 4.6-inches wide x 5.5-inches long which is a good size for any pit space or work bench. The power cord is fixed to the unit and its just over five feet long. On the right side of the unit is the power switch and vent­ing on the top keeps it from over­heat­ing dur­ing use. The face of the base are three but­tons that are used to set the tem­per­a­ture of the iron and tem­per­a­ture unit. The in­for­ma­tion is shown on an easy to read red digital dis­play.

A slot just to the left of the dis­play is used for key in­ser­tion and that al­lows you to make those changes. The face of the power unit also has a plug for the solder­ing iron. The cord for the iron is 3 1/2-feet long and has a twist lock to se­cure it to the Con­trol Unit. Two tips are in­cluded, a chisel tip and a pen­cil style tip and chang­ing them is as easy as re­mov­ing the re­tainer nut, slid­ing off the tip holder and mak­ing the swap. The iron base is a cast metal piece that has a sec­tion for the clean­ing sponge and a small piece of sheet metal is at­tached to it in the area just be­low the tip. The clean­ing sponge has a hole in the cen­ter to di­rect any sol­der that has been cleaned off the tip in to the col­lec­tion area be­low. Trakpower in­cludes a sticker set with the TK955 to give it a cool cus­tom look and that’s some­thing you don’t re­ally see when it comes to solder­ing sta­tions. You can in­stall them or go with the straight out of the fac­tory look.


I like the cus­tom look that you get when you use stick­ers so that was the first thing I did with my TK955. They come die cut specif­i­cally for the solder­ing iron and are very easy to in­stall. I pugged in the very long power cord and had a lot left over thanks to my small work space so I folded up what was left over and used to wire ties to se­cure the ex­cess. The cord for the iron fits snug­gly in it’s spot on the con­trol unit and the Con­trol Unit and the twist lock is nice be­cause it en­sures the plug doesn’t come out and helps you fully seat the plug. Be­fore turn­ing the TK955 on I spent a lit­tle qual­ity time with the best part of the setup, putting wa­ter on the su­per com­pressed sponge for the first time and watch­ing it grow. I re­ally like that you can ad­just the tem­per­a­ture of the iron and that it’s dis­played on the the Con­trol Unit but I can’t for the life of me un­der­stand why a key must be inserted to be able to do so. On top of it the key is thin and small and it’s some­thing that can eas­ily be lost. Once in­stalled you can ad­just the temp by se­lect­ing each part of the num­ber and us­ing the up or down num­ber to change it. Or you can sim­ply scroll all the way through all the num­bers and push the up or down but­ton to change them as a whole unit. I set the tem­per­a­ture to the high end of the range and shut the unit off so it could cool. Af­ter turn­ing it back on, it only took the iron a minute and fif­teen sec­onds to reach that temp. I started with the pen­cil tip and used it to sol­der some small wires and pieces of brass tub­ing. Be­ing able to lower the temp for the smaller stuff was great and the small tip was per­fect for the del­i­cate wire. For the brass I cranked the temp up and was able to make clean sol­der joints. I was able to get the heat to the point where I was able to work on a joint and not over­heat the brass and melt a joint that was close by. I changed over to the chisel tip and used it to sol­der up a speed con­trol and mo­tor. The tip spread the heat very well over the var­i­ous sur­faces and gave me very clean and strong sol­der joints.

Here’s how the TK955 comes out of the box. Ready for sticker in­stall, setup and get­ting wa­ter on that su­per thin sponge for the very first time.

You get a chisel tip and a pen­cil tip with the iron and it comes out of the box with the chisel tip in­stalled.

The set­tings of the iron can be changed us­ing the up, down and star but­tons on the face of the Con­trol Unit. A key how­ever must be in­stalled into the slot to the left to be able to do so.

The solder­ing iron works as ad­ver­tised and it works well with any job that you’ll find in the hobby.

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