Author Topic: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?  (Read 2052 times)

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Offline Peabody

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A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« on: February 11, 2018, 04:52:17 am »
I participate in a local OSH meetup group. It has almost 300 members, but there are no dues, and only about 15 ever attend meetings.  I wondered if having a group reflow oven might be a good idea, and a good project to work on.  It looks like this could be built for under $100, and the first test of interest would be if enough people wanted to contribute $10 to pay for it in the first place.

While I think it would be a nice thing to have available, we would have to decide on usage rules, like do you have to go to someone's house to use it, or do you pick it up and bring it back a day later, or what.

Anyway, I would like to know if anyone here has actual experience dealing with something like this in a group setting, and if so, how well it works.  I also wonder about any liability issues that might be involved (anytime something plugs into mains, I worry about that).

 

Offline salfter

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Re: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 03:18:04 pm »
I don't think I even have as much as $100 in my reflow oven.  Way back when, I thought I'd design my own controller for it, but I eventually just bought a Rocketscream controller for about $30.  It's installed in the cheapest toaster oven Walmart had when I went looking (maybe $15-$20), along with a thermocouple sticking in from the right side, an SSR on a heatsink, a power switch, and a little 5V power-supply module I picked up for a few bucks from a random eBay seller.  The "hot box" part has insulation added on to help it get up to temperature more quickly.

As inexpensive as these things are to build, perhaps a better project would be a group build where you can perhaps get discounts on some of the components by buying in larger quantities, and in the end everybody has his own reflow oven.  While mine needed nothing more than a drill, a sheet-metal nibbler, and some screwdrivers to assemble, a larger group might have someone with more esoteric tools (such as rectangular hole punches) that might allow everybody to build something more professional-looking.
 

Offline genghisnico13

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Re: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 01:28:55 am »
You should check out the Controleo: http://www.whizoo.com/ its really good.
 

Offline MrWizerd

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Re: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 08:32:59 pm »
My group got a cheap Chinese reflow and it works, but  I think I may build myself one of those and see how it stacks up.
Little beats big when little is smart, first with the head then with the heart ~P.K. Power of One
 

Offline SaabFAN

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Re: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 02:17:23 am »
If you use leaded solder paste, you can even skip the controller. Just preheat the oven to about 120°C, put the board in, wait for about 5 minutes, then turn it on and wait until the thermo-switch clicks. Open the hatch a bit to let the board cool down a bit faster and after another 5 minutes open it completely.
I've soldered several boards with that method and unless I put too much solder paste on the pads, there were no problems.

Btw. if you don't have stencils, soldering the components by hand takes basically the same amount of time and you don't have the problem of overdosing solder paste on fine fitched footprints.

Offline JohnG

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Re: A toaster/reflow oven for my OSH meetup group?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 12:44:10 am »
You should check out the Controleo: http://www.whizoo.com/ its really good.

I will second this. I have been very happy with mine.

John
 


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