Pinecil V2 soldering iron gets BL706 Bluetooth LE RISC-V MCU, USB PD EPR support

Pinecil V2 RISC-V soldering iron

PINE64 is about to launch the second generation Pinecil RISC-V soldering iron with the Pinecil V2 featuring a new Bouffalo Lab BL706 RISC-V microcontroller with Bluetooth LE connectivity, optimizations for higher power levels, as well as tentative support for the new USB PD EPR standard (Extended Power Range) working at up to 28V.

I don’t solder every day, but when I do, I use my Pinecil soldering iron, as it’s heating super fast and does the job, and in my case, works quite better than the TS100 soldering iron. So it should come as no surprise that the Pincel is the most popular consumer hardware from the PINE64 community (after SOPine modules), and the new Pinecil V2 is a welcome upgrading building on the same design but with Bluetooth LE connectivity and a lower tip resistance.

Pinecil V2 preliminary specifications:

  • MCU – Bouffalo Lab BL706 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller @ 144 MHz with 132KB SRAM, 192KB ROM, optional embedded flash, Bluetooth 5.0 LE and 802.15.4 (Zigbee) connectivity
  • Display – 0.69-inch OLED monochrome display with 96×16 resolution
  • Tip – 106mm long, Type B2; automatic detection of 6.2 vs 8 Ohm tips
  • 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, teal silcone grip, anti-counterfeiting measures
  • Power Supply
    • 12V-20V / 3A via USB Type-C port with USB PD and QC 3.0 support, tentative support for USB-PD EPR (28V)
    • 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

The new Pinecil V2 soldering iron will work with all existing tips, uses the same DC and USB-C input connectors, and remains compatible with the red and transparent cases.

The BL706 RISC-V microcontroller is similar to the BL602 found in the PineNut module/PineCone board, except it adds extra I/Os and offers BLE or 802.15.4 radios instead of WiFi and BLE. There are two main potential cases to make use of the Bluetooth LE features the first one being OTA firmware upgrade and the second is remote telemetry and control, for example, to automatically turn on and off an air vent while soldering. While BL706 is already supported by the IronOS open-source firmware, BLE support is not currently implemented and features such as OTA and telemetry will take a fair amount of time to implement.

The launch of the Pinecil V2 soldering iron means the original Pinecil is phased out, and there is no stock anymore, so if you find those in third-party shops they are most likely counterfeits. The Pinecil V2 should become available for purchase on the Pine64 store very soon, for the same $25.99 price tag.

As a side note, Pine64 is also working on the Star64 RISC-V SBC based on StarFive JH7110 quad-core RISC-V processor with Imagination IMG BXE-4-32 GPU, and I’d expect the first samples and more details to come out next month.

Via Pine64’s July 2022 update.

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29 Replies to “Pinecil V2 soldering iron gets BL706 Bluetooth LE RISC-V MCU, USB PD EPR support”

        1. I can see it now! That’s quite higher although it includes shipping.
          But I think the European shop is for consumers. So they’ve got a 2-year warranty instead of the usual 30 days, plus customer support.

          So it all adds up:

          1. Shipping included
          2. ~20% VAT
          3. Extended warranty
          4. Customer support
          1. I don’t have enough information to justify almost 3x price jump. 🙂

            btw EU shop is pine64eu.com, not pine64.eu

          2. Pinecil v2 is not available in the european shop, while being available on US shop.

    1. Yes, based on the Pine64 announcement, they should all be pirated clones.
      That must be a problem serious enough since they decided to implement anti-counterfeit measures in the V2.

      1. BS. Business they are in is based on exchanging but also stealing software segments from each other and from community. When they are doing this to make profits, all is fine but when someone is doing to them, when their profits are jeopardized, they are screaming “catch the thief”. Sick.

        1. The problem as far as I understand is that Aliexpress sellers are posing as Pine64 to get the profits from their reputation. If they sold it as just a good soldering iron, without Pine64 or Pinecil branding, then it would be fine IMO. But they don’t.

        2. The clones have our logo, power ratings, certificate markings, informational material, SKU barcode sticker and some even ship with our documentation, which directs the buyer to PINE64 support.

          So the issue isn’t that some company cloned the Pinecil, the issue is that people think they’re buying PINE64 hardware, which they aren’t.

        3. it’s open Schematic, people are welcom to make their own version. But the AliExpress sellers are Putting the Pine64 company name on it and the Pinecone and on all their boxes.

          They are selling a product that was not make or QC by Pine64. It may even have inferior chips.

          If they want to make their own product but put the name Banana Iron on it, that would be fine. But impersonating PINE64 to trick people is the real Sickness.

          Consumers want to know that if they purchase Pine64 it is a real Pine64.
          If they have a Banana Iron that is cheaper , call it Banana Iron and let me know as a consumer.

          Funny thing is they charge more money for fake copy than the real Pine64 made one.

          Other problem is you will not find any of the new Pinecil V2 models on AliExpress because it has not been copied yet. so the fake copies besides being made by a factory that is not supervised by Pine64, is selling fake copies of an old technology Iron that Pine64 no longer makes.

  1. Is the bouffalo uC already properly reversed? I would like to find a BLE uC that allows using the radio also in proprietary modes, seems not many BLE radios allow this…

      1. V2 comes with a new Pine64 designed shorter tip that is only 6.2 ohms.
        using an ohm calculator and entering in 6.2 ohm versus 8ohm, you can see that with a 20V PD charger, you will now get ~64W.

        The old ts100 style 8ohm longer tip which only gets max. potential of 50W.
        however, I use both in my new V2 Pinecil, and it works great.

    1. yes and no.
      you could use TS100 longer 8 ohm Tips. but the ones coming in V2 Pinecil are Shorter 6.2 Ohm tips designed by Pine64. you can only get the Short tip with lower resistance and higher performance from Pine64.

      They announced in July that they will be for sale in the future. for now you only get a short tip with the V2 model.

  2. @Jean-Luc: Was the TS100 compared to the original Pinecil already running iron-OS or still the original firmware?

    1. I did not change the firmware in TS100, so it must have been the original firmware. But my main problem was the poor quality of the screw securing the tips, it got damaged pretty quickly.

      1. I never saw the need to _really_tightly_secure_ a T12-derived tip by screw.

        I treat this screw like a (tip-flattened-style) grub screw on both Pinecil and TS100 and set it to a moderately slight pressure on the tip shaft, and have never seen the tip move even a whole mm, not to gravity, not to anything else. I’m switching tips with that setting, never changing the screw pressure at all.

    1. From website: you should be aware that there are no more genuine Pinecil V1 units available and there won’t be any moving forward.

  3. Nobody asked for this. Literally nobody asked to have radios in a soldering iron.

    I was never critical of the little RISC microprocessor iron with the accelerometer and such, but to have radios in it is absolutely effing abhorrent.

    shame on you Pine64, shame on you.

    1. well yes, we did ask for it. Clearly you do not keep up with things Pine64 community has discussed and brain stormed about over the years.

      The BL706 cost the same as the older GD32 mcu. they had to switch to a new MCU because of huge chip shortages, and it also happened to come with extra features and benefits at no extra cost.

      in the V2, many components were upgraded and more features at no extra cost (got shorter high performance tip, higher watts, EPR support).
      Quality went up, not down, while the price did not go up.

      And now because of the radio zigbee unique ID, the anti-counterfeiting authentication can be done so people can check if they got a real Pine64 pinecil or a fake copy.

      Everything got better and they didn’t increase the price. what’s not to love.

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