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Kada 852AD+ Rework/Hot Air/Soldering Station Review

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metalphreak:
Hey guys, long time lurker first time poster.

Picked up one of these soldering stations a month ago for $120 delivered because I wanted to do some SMD soldering (and I was in desperate need of a proper temp controlled soldering iron!).



Got mine from "bluedragonchina" ( http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390188709591 )

I would "tear mine apart" but I'd like to keep it working, and Kada have a video on youtube showing the construction of an 852D+
It's the same thing but its the older style with a diaphragm pump.

Quick Specs:
Hot Air 100-450deg Celsius Temp Controlled
Soldering Iron 200-480deg Celsius Temp Controlled

The hot air gun on this uses some kind of motor and impeller in the actual handle itself to create the airflow, whereas the older ones use an internal pump and an air tube to the handle (which has the heating element inside). The holster also has a magnet in it which activates a switch in the handle when you set it down, causing it to cut power to the heater and it continues to force air until it cools to 100deg. Temperature control seems to work fairly well and the air speed at max speed is quite good. Mine came with 3 different sized round nozzles which is all you really need. I've stuck the smallest one on there and not changed it since. You can get special nozzles depending on the chip package type, but unless you have other nearby heat sensitive components you don't need them.

The soldering iron is your typical hakko clone and takes hakko tips.

After applying some solder paste with a syringe and applicator tip, and then carefully placing components, I did a quick once over with hot air and within a few minutes everything reflowed nicely :)

End result:
--- End quote ---
(my first attempt too!)

(excuse the bits of tissue caught around the caps... was wiping off flux with tissues and alcahol xD bad idea)

Pretty happy with it for $120. It also makes unsoldering any surface mount stuff a piece of cake. Best thing I've bought off ebay all year :D

I might write up a small beginners guide to on-the-cheap SMD DIY. I thought it would be a daunting task but I found it to be quite easy if you've set yourself up with the right tools. Chip in that photo is a TQFP 44pin PIC18F4550 with 0603 resistors, caps, and leds. Oh and a 6035 crystal. Syringes and tips you can get off ebay or locally. I use ~$5 tubs of solder paste from good old dealextreme.

I've got a sub-$300 benchtop powersupply coming (dual 60V 5A + 5V 3A constant) which I shall do a review of too :) I'll also get some of my own photos up once I clean up my desk ;)

About me: I'm a uni student studying Engineering/Commerce (with majors in Electrical and Electronic Engineering / Management). Everything I buy for hobby use is about maximum usability for the price ;)

allanw:
Cool video. Amazing how you can get a machine with that much labor for only $120. Globalization for ya...

Mechatrommer:
i got it months ago from dragonchina group too, cant remember which color, they got red, blue yellow etc dragon there. ;)

metalphreak:
Took the handle apart on mine last night. Its just got a centrifugal/squirrel cage fan that sucks in air from one side and blows it out the end (passing through the heating element).

Mechatrommer:

--- Quote from: metalphreak on November 04, 2010, 07:06:29 pm ---Took the handle apart on mine last night. Its just got a centrifugal/squirrel cage fan that sucks in air from one side and blows it out the end (passing through the heating element).

--- End quote ---
be careful! dont break that! China is a long way to go, and you have to deal with "dragon" people! ;)

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