HOBBY TK955 DIGITAL SOLDERING STATION
Trakpower steps up to the plate with a do-it-all soldering station
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.