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Thread: SMD Reflow station

  1. #1

    Default SMD Reflow station

    I am thinking of buying a SMD Reflow station for my hobby workshop. I wanna delve into SMD and I think that DIP/Through hole components (more than 40 pins) should also be easy to solder too using reflow station ?

    I have got two choices - buy a "Made in China" stuff which costs Rs 1100 or a "Made in India" stuff which costs Rs 3400.

    The shopkeeper tells me that the "Made in China" stuff will not be reparable if it conks off but the "Made in India" stuff will be reparable...

    I don't really know why it's so... both of them should be equally reparable, right ? I don't think it contains very complocated circuitry - any one of us can reapir it... or make a new board...

    Anyone of you got experience with such a thing ? (I mean repairing it or seeing someone using these cheap SMD Stations).

    At work, I have a Weller station (costs Rs 75000 with ESD Mat and gloves, from R.S) and it works like a charm. Will I get the same experience using these models ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member T-1000
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    If its for hobby use maybe you can get some fun out of these sites:
    http://clab.mystarband.net/It_Almost_Worked.htm
    http://clab.mystarband.net/coffee_can_reflow.htm

    You can also do SMT with a normal soldering iron. Although, I'm sure, you know that. Weller will give you solder bits for SMD. But bringing that Rs. 75K station from office to home will be a problem. ;-)

    Personally, I try to avoid 'No Name', 'Unbranded' Chinese stuff as far as possible. Primarily, because of quality issues and partly, because of patriotism :-). Go for the Indian thing if you really have to buy one. Rs. 1K and Rs. 3K ain't that much of a difference. Although its 3 times, its not the same as Rs. 10K and Rs. 30K.

    Mohit Mahajan.

  3. #3

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    Excellent going Mohit !

    Actually I have toyed with the idea of coupling a heater with an aqarium pump for a homebrew SMD Reflow station, but guys here are asking Rs 500 for an aqarium pump !

    Can you tell me if Rs 500 for an aqarium pump is justified ?

    If I ever buy a Reflow station for hobby purpose I will start out with a cheap Chinese one... my only query being why will I not be able to repair it ?

    Does anyone have experience with such stuff ?

    And about Weller stuff... they are simply swell !! Yes, the one I use has solder bits with temperature control and ESD Protection.

    Mohit - have you used such Reflow stations before ?

  4. #4
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    > have you used such Reflow stations before ?
    No. But its been on my to do list for well over an year now!

    > cheap Chinese one <snip> why will I not be able to repair it ?
    Yes, why not. There's not much to it so they should be easy.

    > Can you tell me if Rs 500 for an aqarium pump is justified ?
    What do want the pump for? Cooling water circulation? Since you have no qualms about using Chinese stuff :-) , you can get those cheapo submersible type desert cooler water pumps. They are about Rs. 150 where I am.

    Have you a price quote for the reflow fluid?

    Peace,
    Mohit Mahajan.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator T-1000 docel's Avatar
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    Rigt Mohit!
    ..and there are several ways of doing this , too!! To serve another:
    http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Ref...w-hotplate.htm
    http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Ref...w-hotplate.htm
    http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/07/h...oldering-iron/
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...p/t-50879.html
    All these sre my collection from Google!

    I've recommened Vartech stuff to several PC component-level Maintenance/ repair guys , all of them are quite satisfied. These sre not too expensive, not too bad and are pretty good. They are also available localy . If not , do let me know, I can suggest some reliable Vendors.
    docel
    ^Anything is possible..
    after YOU prove it!!

    http://bangalorerobotics.tripod.com

  6. #6

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    How much does it cost ?

    My main query is if it can be repaired by me...

    @docel, please do give me some vendors around Mumbai or Kharagpur/Haldia/Kolkata..

  7. #7
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    main query is if it can be repaired by me..
    c'mon man.. you see to be so sure that you are going to damage it !!!!
    :lol:

    mostly, yes!!! you will be able to service them!!
    .... I didnt do it ! ....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyborg
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    i also like to share same point,

    made in china does not mean it comes with ticking bomb ready to blow , nor does it is made of some alien components which cannot be fixed.Hey we have power of INDIAN JUGAADH (manipulations) technology, :P i think everything can be fixed with this technology

    even if you cannot able to fix the made in china product then also u are on the winning side:-

    made in china cost =1100
    & made in india cost = 3400 right,
    3 made in china (3300) < 1 made in india

    even if your made in china got damage then you can throw that in junk and buy another and it also got damage then also u can buy a another one and sum of all these (3300) even not exceed the one made in india stuff (3400) as u had said u are using weller also then u must be a Pro. so i think u will never ever damage three....

    frankly speaking i don’t know how SMD Reflow works not even how it looks and but I think u should go with the product which give optimum result (for hobby ) ,
    i am just putting up my hypothesis to show u the lighter side of Made in China war going on in our country

  9. #9
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    If you are planning to build your own reflow station...

    Broadly, you need to:
    1. Build something that preheats your boards to 150C. This will melt the rosin and stick your parts to the board.
    2. Heat the reflow fluid to its boiling point.
    3. Then lower your preheated board into the vapours generated in step 2.
    4. Let the solder melt.
    5. Remove the board from the vapours to let the solder set.
    6. Drain off the condensed vapour of the reflow fluid from the board.

    This is a robotics forum, right? So you could go over the top and design a robotic arm that holds the board in the preheater, judges when it is hot enough and moves it stylishly in 3D/4D motion into the reflow oven. Holds it there enough for the solder to melt and set. Removes it from this oven and place the prepared board on your work table.

    Just a thought.

    :-)
    Mohit Mahajan.

  10. #10

    Default

    Mohit,

    I am not really very interested in making my own reflow station... what I want you guys to help me is choose between the chinese and Indian make.

    The first thing I will do after buying the reflow station is OPEN it and see what is inside.

    Most probably I will try to put it together from scratch too .. hence I am worried if I can repair it if I burn any circuit inside it....

    This is the best way to make sure that I can quickly fix it while working on an interesting project without waiting for someone to service it or buying a new one !


    I know there should be a temperature regulator inside it, but have no clue how complex the circuit might be.

    @docel - can you tell em more about the brand you were talking about ?

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