Author Topic: Reflow oven for home use  (Read 15686 times)

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Online SimonTopic starter

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Reflow oven for home use
« on: May 29, 2015, 03:04:01 pm »
I'm intending to build a few surface mount prototypes. Now because my boards have become four layer and 2 ounce thick copper I'm thinking that hot air blowing is not quite going to cut it. I also may end up making a few boards for small productions. So perhaps it's time to think of an oven?

I know people make these from toaster ovens but then I thought I wonder what eBay has to offer. Well on eBay you can buy a small reflow oven at under £200, should I be suspicious? I'd rather just pay my money and get a product which hopefully works than spend hours dicking about with a toaster oven trying to convert it into something else. Has anybody else used any of these cheap ovens and have any experience to share?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 03:41:29 pm by Simon »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 04:39:06 pm »
Buy the reflow oven that was shown on Televisionmagforum, which is UK supplied ( has issues, but is usable as is or you can upgrade it if you need to) and supported in the UK.

Look at the videos on the reflow oven and heater plate in the recent video list. honest comment there.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TelevisionMagForum/videos

 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 04:57:45 pm »
Buy the reflow oven that was shown on Televisionmagforum, which is UK supplied ( has issues, but is usable as is or you can upgrade it if you need to) and supported in the UK.

Look at the videos on the reflow oven and heater plate in the recent video list. honest comment there.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TelevisionMagForum/videos

Would that be the T962 ? that is what I've been looking at and seems to have loads of hacks to improve it.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 05:55:13 pm »
Watch the videos recently uploaded about that, and you will see the pros and cons. You can use as is but there are both aftermarket controllers and firmware upgrades for it that improve operation.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 07:26:00 pm »
Would that be the T962 ? that is what I've been looking at and seems to have loads of hacks to improve it.

I am using one for a year now and am very happy with it. I use leaded paste and the default profile 1.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2015, 07:17:55 am »
Well I have ordered one.
 

Offline IanJ

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2015, 10:42:12 am »
I have a T962A and with the aftermarket controller from estechnical

http://www.estechnical.co.uk/products/reflow-oven-controllers

Very happy....

Ian.
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Offline zapta

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2015, 10:49:23 am »
I am following the recommendation here to place the board on two pieces of scrap pcb

 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2015, 05:52:15 pm »
I have a T962A and with the aftermarket controller from estechnical

http://www.estechnical.co.uk/products/reflow-oven-controllers

Very happy....

Ian.

ouch that oven practically doubled in price....
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2015, 07:55:03 pm »
The stock controller works well for me and has a nice temperature vs time graph. The only problem is with the keys debouching but not a show stopper. My oven also has a small window which is nice to have but not that useful.
 

Offline IanJ

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2015, 08:03:38 pm »
I have a T962A and with the aftermarket controller from estechnical

http://www.estechnical.co.uk/products/reflow-oven-controllers

Very happy....

Ian.

ouch that oven practically doubled in price....

Prices range from £265 on Ebay (new, ex-UK) to nearly £800..........somebody is making a packet!

Ian.
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Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2015, 08:05:52 pm »
I have a T962A and with the aftermarket controller from estechnical

http://www.estechnical.co.uk/products/reflow-oven-controllers

Very happy....

Ian.


ouch that oven practically doubled in price....

Prices range from £265 on Ebay (new, ex-UK) to nearly £800..........somebody is making a packet!

Ian.


I mean the price of the upgrade is as much as the oven so yes someone is making a packet.....
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 07:19:45 am by Simon »
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2015, 08:31:22 pm »
The stock controller works well for me and has a nice temperature vs time graph. The only problem is with the keys debouching but not a show stopper. My oven also has a small window which is nice to have but not that useful.

Where did you order your oven from? 
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2015, 12:38:14 am »
The stock controller works well for me and has a nice temperature vs time graph. The only problem is with the keys debouching but not a show stopper. My oven also has a small window which is nice to have but not that useful.

Where did you order your oven from?

From ebay, this post (seller: http://www.ebay.com/usr/ukdirectseller)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/321310031826?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1120
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2015, 01:24:01 am »
The stock controller works well for me and has a nice temperature vs time graph. The only problem is with the keys debouching but not a show stopper. My oven also has a small window which is nice to have but not that useful.

Where did you order your oven from?

From ebay, this post (seller: http://www.ebay.com/usr/ukdirectseller)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/321310031826?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1120

Thanks!  Does anyone know offhand if the T962A is worth the premium over the T962?  It's supposedly double the wattage.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2015, 06:51:51 am »
There is an upgrade for the oven that retains the stock controller, simply adding another I2C temperature sensor and new firmware for the on board controller. I did post the links in the YT comments on the TVmag channel.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2015, 07:20:32 am »
The stock controller works well for me and has a nice temperature vs time graph. The only problem is with the keys debouching but not a show stopper. My oven also has a small window which is nice to have but not that useful.

Where did you order your oven from?

From ebay, this post (seller: http://www.ebay.com/usr/ukdirectseller)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/321310031826?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1120

Thanks!  Does anyone know offhand if the T962A is worth the premium over the T962?  It's supposedly double the wattage.

its twice the size too
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2015, 10:16:47 pm »
So the general consensus is that these ovens are the best bet for a low cost but reasonably good solution? Modded with extra temperature sensor and firmware, of course.

I'm looking for something to do low volume prototyping/hobby stuff with, using leaded solder dispensed by hand. From what I've read this is the current best choice unless you want to do more extensive hacking.

If you buy one, I suggest first to try it without mods. It may work for you as is. It does for me.
 

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2015, 09:39:36 am »
Well I have received my oven and have now completed 4 1 in.² boards. It would seem that perhaps they have updated the machine to not use masking tape any more for insulation on hot parts as my machine is making no smells whatsoever as reported by people buying earlier machines. There are 2 K type sensors to measure the temperature of the on them while in operation. The 2 temperatures are displayed during the process and often there is as much as 12° between them but they are equally spaced from the centre and they are on the same line in between the 2 heater elements so I can't really see why they differ so much presumably it's a calibration problem. I have been placing my boards dead centre and of course being just one inch square they won't be that affected by any temperature differences across the. Both one and 2 work fine for me the boards come out well soldered and working. Although I have chosen to use profile to as it does not heat the board up quite so much or it does so for less time. One nuisance is that the machine does not store any of the settings so every time I turn it on I have to manually select the default I wish to use because pressing F1 will take you straight into soldering with the 1st profile.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2015, 11:02:28 am »
I'm intending to build a few surface mount prototypes. Now because my boards have become four layer and 2 ounce thick copper I'm thinking that hot air blowing is not quite going to cut it. I also may end up making a few boards for small productions. So perhaps it's time to think of an oven?

If it is only a few, then you might seriously consider using a saucepan+sand on a gas hob. I have found that to be perfectly satisfactory for boards with components on one side, see https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/assembling-pcbs-with-surface-mount-components/ and linked pages.

As with any new technology, a little practice will improve the results.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline DerekG

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2015, 12:50:07 pm »
you might seriously consider using a saucepan+sand on a gas hob.

I agree there are many methods. I wished I had found this thread a little earlier as I would have recommended a halogen air cooker over the toaster ovens mentioned above. We used one quite regularly in a laboratory I was working in for some months.

They work very well, with the temperature above the PCB being pretty much the same temperature all over due to the hot air being blown around by the fan.

Sit the board in the lower 10cm of the oven on a metal rack covered with alfoil (shiny side up). There is a thermostat that will click in & out over about 10 degrees C.

Here is a uTube video of the oven that we used:



And here is one such unit on sale for AUD$69 (approx US$50):

https://www.goprice.com.au/singer-halogen-convection-oven

If you use leaded solder, make sure you clean the oven out well before using it to cook your next meal.
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Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2015, 12:57:50 pm »
To be honest I'm happy paying a bit more for the peace of mind that I can just push a button and let it run and it's a dedicated compact peice of equipment. When i need it, I just clear a little space on my work area, get it out, put my board in and away i go and if I'm doing a few boards a couple can toast while I prepare the next.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2015, 05:33:23 pm »
To be honest I'm happy paying a bit more for the peace of mind that I can just push a button and let it run and it's a dedicated compact peice of equipment. When i need it, I just clear a little space on my work area, get it out, put my board in and away i go and if I'm doing a few boards a couple can toast while I prepare the next.

Well, I would hope that once you have got used to its foibles it will be that simple.

I do have access to a homebrew oven at the local HackSpace, but haven't felt the need to use it. OTOH, people have used it for boards with components on both sides.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2015, 05:38:03 pm »
I agree there are many methods. I wished I had found this thread a little earlier as I would have recommended a halogen air cooker over the toaster ovens mentioned above. We used one quite regularly in a laboratory I was working in for some months.

They work very well, with the temperature above the PCB being pretty much the same temperature all over due to the hot air being blown around by the fan.

Sit the board in the lower 10cm of the oven on a metal rack covered with alfoil (shiny side up). There is a thermostat that will click in & out over about 10 degrees C.

If you use leaded solder, make sure you clean the oven out well before using it to cook your next meal.

I wondered about buying a cheap one of those, but I wasn't sure whether the airflow would be so fast that it blew the components around. Hence I tried the quick 'n' dirty 'n' cheap saucepan, and haven't found it necessary to try anything else.

Yes I do use lead solder paste, so the saucepan and lid are engraved with "no food"!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Reflow oven for home use
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2015, 05:40:07 pm »
While heating the fan is not used.
 


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