Author Topic: Flux pens  (Read 6235 times)

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Offline Freighternut

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Flux pens
« on: July 13, 2011, 09:17:06 pm »
Hi,

Can anybody suggest a good brand/type of flux pen. I require this for occassional hobby and professional use.

I have been looking at the no-clean type and have found this at Element-14:

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/608312.pdf

It is quite cheap at NZ$11.71 +GST (US $8 - $9) maybe too cheap?

I note that it has a 2 year shelf life, is this normal?

Thanks, Roger...
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 12:25:09 am »
I use the Chemtronics/Circuit Works one - when empty I refill from a bottle a few times until the tip disintegrates.
http://uk.farnell.com/circuitworks/cw8100/dispensing-pen-no-clean-flux/dp/130692?Ntt=cw8100
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 12:33:09 am »
Jaycar have them too,over the counter at around $A11.70.Might be a bit more in $NZ,but you don't have to pay
postage,or wait for delivery.(Obviously,this is only if you have a Jaycar store near your hometown)

VK6ZGO
 

Offline pirulo123

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 05:39:46 am »
what about amtech ? not the cheap clones they sell in dealextreme the real ones

I would like to say that I brought a few of them a year ago because I thought they where cool but you know what ? they aren't...
The tip always dries out and they aren't good to put flux in a pad with a pointy pin sticking out of it... you would have to go around.
I never seem to be able to put the right amount of flux, the pen basically creates a very thin layer which is never enough.

The only good thing about them is that you don't have to deal with the liquid stuff that is sticky and messy...

The best solution for me is a fine and flat paint brush like the ones used for watercolor painting (spend a few buck in a good quality one) and a diluted flux solution, after using the bush let it sit in isopropyl alcohol for a while.
I found that I could control the amount of flux much better with the paint brush, and it is a lot cheaper too...

regards.
 

Offline ErnieEngineer

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 02:22:32 pm »
Whatever you do, dont make the same mistake I did! I got a "Kester 2331-ZX" , an "organic acid water-soluble flux that is pH neutral "  . doesnt sound so bad, i used this on my circuit board then washed it off with some water. The next day my circuit board was corded to hell, actual traces were corroded away. The stuff is also super conductive and shorted out everything. I was actually using one of those diy copper toner transfer boards, but still I wouldnt want to use this stuff on a professionally manufactured board either.

I tried the kester 951 pen and it worked great. The flux was not as effective as i would have liked but it left everything amazingly neat afterwards without any residue!

I also tried the kester 186 Flux Pen and that worked a little better than the 951. The only disadvantage is that it left coating of used flux on everything. The coating had no negative effects whatsoever, it was just kind ugly lookin. This is advertised as a "no clean" flux also so you can be assured the leftover flux is non conductive and non corrosive .


 
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 09:45:53 pm »
The only good thing about them is that you don't have to deal with the liquid stuff that is sticky and messy...

And guaranteed to get knocked over on your bench at least once...

Dave.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 11:46:52 pm »
i bought this recently. http://cgi.ebay.com.my/Liquid-flux-Dispenser-Pen-Brush-BGA-Reballing-Repair-/360379060558?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e844114e its sharp painting brush style. i dont know if its good or what? still not very comfortable with it. think i want to cut the tip flat?

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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 12:49:53 am »
The only good thing about them is that you don't have to deal with the liquid stuff that is sticky and messy...

And guaranteed to get knocked over on your bench at least once...

Dave.
Yeah, I ordered some from RS years ago for work,thinking the bottle pictured was about eyedrops size.
Turned out it was 500ml!

Had it on my bench for years & spilled it quite a few times-Yuk!

VK6ZGO
 

Offline Semantics

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 05:35:18 am »
The tip always dries out and they aren't good to put flux in a pad with a pointy pin sticking out of it... you would have to go around.
I never seem to be able to put the right amount of flux, the pen basically creates a very thin layer which is never enough.

I like them a lot for SMT stuff: no pointy pin issues.

This is advertised as a "no clean" flux also so you can be assured the leftover flux is non conductive and non corrosive .

While I'm going to use what I have left of it, I don't much like no-clean flux. It may be safe to not clean it but boy does it look ugly. It's also pretty tough to clean IMHO... I'm sure if you have the magic solvent matched to your flavor of flux it's super easy, but those are pretty expensive and the expense is hard to justify over isopropanol and distilled water.

Nothing disappoints me more than opening a commercial product and seeing that haze indicative of an incomplete no-clean flux residue cleaning around the hand soldered sections. It may be completely irrational and silly, but it lowers my quality perception of the product.
 

Offline Freighternut

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2011, 06:09:38 pm »

Many thanks for all the helpful information.

There seems to be varied opinions on the No-Clean variety of flux. I guess it comes down to personal preference.

I will give the Jaycar product a try as it appears to be available over the counter at my local Jaycar store.

Many thanks again for the input .

Regards, Roger...
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Offline eliocor

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Re: Flux pens
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 09:20:09 pm »
I have always preferred the "no clean" liquid fluxes like the ALPHA NR215 used with a dispenser like the one shown in photo (source dealextreme)

 


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