Pine64’s PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron launched for $25

We’ve previously mentioned PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron during Pine64’s release of PineCube open-source IP camera development kit, and the good news is the soldering iron is now available for $24.99 on Pine64 store together with optional sets of gross or fine soldering tips compatible with the one used with TS100 model

The soldering iron is powered by GigaDevice GD32VF103TB 32-bit RISC-V general-purpose microcontroller and features a small display and two buttons for user interaction, as well as changeable tips. It can be powered by a USB-C power adapter or a 12 to 24V power brick such as the ones you’d found with laptops.

PINECIL soldering iron key features and specifications:

  • MCU – GigaDevice GD32VF103TB 32-bit RV32IMAC RISC-V “Bumblebee Core” @ 108 MHz with 128KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • Display – 0.69-inch OLED monochrome display with 96×16 resolution
  • Tip – 106mm long, Type B2
  • Temperature range – 100°C to 400°C; reaches operating temperature in 12 seconds.
  • Expansion – GPIO & JTAG breakout board connected through USB-C port
  • Misc – 2x buttons; auto-standby features
  • Power Supply
    • 12V-20V / 3A via USB Type-C port with USB PD and QC 3.0 support
    • 12V-24V / 3A  via 5.5mm/2.5mm power barrel jack
  • Dimensions –  170mm with solder tip / 98mm without solder tip x 12.8mm x 16.2mm (SAE 304 stainless steel core housed inside a polycarbonate shell)
  • Weight – 30 grams with solder tip; 20 grams without solder tip
  • Certifications – FCC, CE RED, ROHS

I really like the option to have it powered from either a power brick or a USB-C power adapter, and it provides opportunities for expansion and/or hacking GD32V microcontroller, since the first batch comes with a free GPIO/JTAG breakout board that connected to the USB-C port on top of the soldering iron and soldering tip.

A gyroscope would have been handy for left/right operation, but maybe it’s selectable with the buttons, and if not, the firmware will be open-source and customizable as it is based on Ralim’s RTOS build that also did an open-source firmware for the popular TS100 soldering iron. More technical details including PINECIL schematics and datasheets can be found on the wiki.

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