Patent Number: 6,310,557

Title: Circuit and device to detect grounding problems in electrical soldering irons

Abstract: A circuit and device to detect grounding problems in electrical soldering irons. The device includes a cleaning sponge in electrical connection with a sensor element. The sensor element is connected to the controlling circuitry which is in turn connected to a safety grounding point, such as a screw of a face plate of an electrical outlet. The circuitry includes LED's which indicate when the grounding mechanism is functional, and when the grounding connection is broken. Additional circuitry tests for a low impedance path to ground via a sensor element contacted by the soldering iron tip or (in the case of an isolated tip) the soldering iron heater barrel. Further circuits indicate when the cleaning sponge has gone dry, and when the operator has an unsafe level of electrostatic charge.

Inventors: Nelsen; Lyle (San Jose, CA), Heymann; Steven B. (San Jose, CA)

Assignee: NOVX Corporation

International Classification: G01R 31/02 (20060101); G08B 021/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018