I think I see the problem... [Soldering]

My NiMH Battery recharger has been acting up lately. One of the slots often (but not always) fails to charge. I finally took it apart today to check it out. The blue thermistor had somehow broken free from the negative terminal.

Thermistors are resistors that vary in value according to temperature. NiMH fast chargers almost always use some form of temperature sensor to determine the end of the charge cycle. That's what these thermistors are for.

I thought I'd introduce one of my favorite little gadgets. It's a Bernzomatic MicroFlame ST200.

A bona-fide soldering station will probably give you 150 watts or more of soldering power, fully adjustable. On full power, this little butane torch is probably in the 85-100W equivalent range, but is adjustable. It's considerably hotter than my 45W soldering iron, but not nearly as hot as my 150W soldering gun. On its lowest setting, I'd say it's about equivalent to 25 watts.

For little jobs and when I'm outside and away from electricity, this works quite well. It also heats up a lot faster than my 45W electric iron, which is why I chose it for this repair.

I also like the fact that it not only can be used as a torch for heating plumbing joints, loosening stubborn bolts, etc...

But it also features a hot air nozzle if you remove the solder tip. That's great for shrink tubing, de-icing locks, warming solder paste and removing surface-mount components.

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