Products > Other Equipment & Products

How to chose a reflow oven

(1/3) > >>

@xi@g@me:
Hey all :)! This is my first post here, and I hope that will go well ^^ English is not my native language too, so I hope I won't insult its grammar here :P

As a hobbyist who want to work with SMD components, I'm looking for a bench reflow oven (for prototyping and very small scale production). Of course, I know about the infamous T-962, and about what must be done for it to work... let's say... not awfully. I wonder if these fixes make it usable, or if would still need to struggle in order to have not burnt and correctly soldered PCBs (will be of small size first, but may become larger when working on more complex circuits)

On my search for other models, I found the Itech RF-A350 oven (and others), which has the advantage to run with convection in addition to IR heating.
Shop page here. This is one has free shipping to France.
However, I was not able to find any community or test around this model... Perhaps some of you know anything about the series?

In a different place, I found the SMTMax AS-5010 (Product page here). This one does not seem to have air convection technology, but is produced by an American company which provides a support contact form and a 1 year warranty. Which I guess I would not have with the 2 first ovens. But again, no info / test about this one. All is for the T-962...

I know the 2 latest models are way more expensive than the T-962, but I prefer to pay 3 times the price and have an oven I can use with no stress and no bodging.

According to your experience on the topic, which one would you recommend me to buy?

Jackster:
I have had a T-962 for a while now. Use to use it for small batches and now it is just for prototypes if I am not being lazy and end up using the hot plate :p

It is a fine bit of kit for prototypes and one-offs but the controller that comes with it is is reported to be crap.
I managed to get a second hand T-962 off eBay with the "T962 Reflow Oven Controller Upgrade" kit by EStechnical already installed. https://www.estechnical.co.uk/t962-reflow-oven-controller-upgrade
You could also try using the Reflow Master Pro for this oven too. https://unexpectedmaker.com/shop/reflow-master-pro

BE WARNED. If you get this oven, do not turn it on until you open it up and remove the masking tape. Of which will burn/smell and then take forever to get off.
You will want to replace this with aluminium tape or Kapton tape. The latter probably being better.
The newer T-962 models might not have this issue. But I would still open it up and check it. Make sure all the contacts are good and earth is attached.
You might want to pick up one or two extra lamps. Sometimes they arrived cracked or not working https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DFc1Iir

There is also the T962C which is a little bit bigger. Same issues AFAIK.


Those Itech ovens look quite nice but the internals are very similar to the T-962 from the looks of it.
I doubt there is any performance gain to be had. The software might be naff. I have never had any luck with Chinese software for these low-cost machines.
I try to buy these things with the mindset of using community-made software if it is required.


That American one is just a rebadged Itech RF-A350. They even have the same software screenshots.
https://www.smtmax.com/pdf/OcenReflow2.pdf

@xi@g@me:
This is quite an investment, though the T-962 + the card would cost less than the ITech model. Is that such a huge improvement? Would it work with lead free solder paste, and on bigger boards (good portion of the drawer)

Would you suggest me to take the complete kit with a new thermocouple and other stuff? (I do not own kapton tape, but I can buy some separately of course)

Jackster:

--- Quote from: @xi@g@me on September 07, 2022, 01:38:39 pm ---This is quite an investment, though the T-962 + the card would cost less than the ITech model. Is that such a huge improvement? Would it work with lead free solder paste, and on bigger boards (good portion of the drawer)

Would you suggest me to take the complete kit with a new thermocouple and other stuff? (I do not own kapton tape, but I can buy some separately of course)

--- End quote ---

I can't say for sure without using the ITech models.

The limitation of these small drawer style ovens is the heat radiation coverage. Typically there is not that much around the edges while the middle gets a lot.

A 400mm wide draw would only be good up to around 300mm of PCB.

As for which one to get. Hopefully more users can add some input.
The T-962 was fine for me doing single prototypes and small batch runs. Maybe get it and try the stock controller?

@xi@g@me:

--- Quote ---As for which one to get. Hopefully more users can add some input.
--- End quote ---

I hope I will get more feedback here indeed. On another forum, I got no answer at all.

If I get the T-962, I won't use the stock controller, except if I do the necessary modifications on it (cold junction compensation, kapton tape, ground connection). I read many posts of people saying the oven was not usable in its selling state.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

There was an error while thanking
Thanking...
Go to full version