Author Topic: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool  (Read 6961 times)

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Online IanBTopic starter

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Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« on: July 24, 2011, 04:22:24 am »
Just picked up one of these from Michaels, mainly for heat shrink and as a general addition to my tool box. But also with the idea that it might work for the odd soldering duty if I ever need to improvise. It looks like this:

http://www.misterart.com/g4609/Surebonder-ProHeater-Heat-Tool.htm

A quick test shows that it can reflow solder if held about half an inch from the work. I have not tried to measure the temperature but I would guess around 600-650 F. Has anyone else tried it? At ~$20 it is far more economical than a hot air rework station for anyone who doesn't have a real need for one.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 12:48:47 pm »
Interesting item.  An important thing in a heat gun is the nozzle, that way it concentrates heat only where you want it, the more focused the better and the more intense the heat gets for a brief time. 

A plastic body means the output heat can't get hotter than the plastic around the nozzle or it will melt; that means heat is far under 400C, however even if its 200C exposed repeatedly will fatigue the plastic and shorten its life, making it prone to cracking and warping.   A metal heat gun at Harbor Freight with adjustable speed and heat settings go for $10-20 and they come with an array of nozzles.
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 03:44:51 pm »
Surebonder Pro-Heater ... wow new large words   ( More attractive for the male population )  ;D

I got one and I love it, got my from UK.
The listed price on the shop that you had find it, its about right. 

I got it for 17.19 EUR  shipped.

Pictures.




 

Online IanBTopic starter

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 04:58:38 pm »
Interesting item.  An important thing in a heat gun is the nozzle, that way it concentrates heat only where you want it, the more focused the better and the more intense the heat gets for a brief time. 

A plastic body means the output heat can't get hotter than the plastic around the nozzle or it will melt; that means heat is far under 400C, however even if its 200C exposed repeatedly will fatigue the plastic and shorten its life, making it prone to cracking and warping.   A metal heat gun at Harbor Freight with adjustable speed and heat settings go for $10-20 and they come with an array of nozzles.
When disassembled the active parts of this heat tool are all metal, right up to and including the nozzle. The plastic casing wraps around the metal nozzle with an air gap for insulation so that the outside remains cool even while hot air is blowing. The metal nozzle itself has a half inch diameter giving a reasonably focused air stream.

The heat guns in Harbor Freight are typically  bigger with 1500 W heating elements whereas this heat tool is more like a heat pencil and is only 320 W. I'd say both have their uses but if you want something smaller and less brutish then this would fit the bill.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 09:31:41 pm »
I have had a couple of these types of axial heat gun. They are often sold for greeting card making where an embossing ink expands when heated. Cheap as chips at around GBP12. They are great for shrinking heat shrink tubing and some people have had success using them on SMT work in combination with a warming plate for the PCB. It's anything but a precision heating device though and the nozzle is around 8mm diameter. No temperature or fan speed control.

My first one died after only an short period of use on heatshrink duties and I am guessing the thermofuse went open for some reason. I was going to repair it but found a very nice (pink  ???) DoveCraft unit on ebay for GBP 10 delivered, so it wasn't worth the repair time. The DoveCraft has a single heat setting but two fan speeds. That unit is still working well.

I personally would not recommend using one for SMT repair work as the nozzle is too large but I suppose it might work if the user was very careful. Do not be tempted to fit a reducer to the nozzle, it will cook the heater for sure.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 09:36:15 pm by Aurora »
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 09:47:11 pm »
Do not be tempted to fit a reducer to the nozzle, it will cook the heater for sure.

Correct advice, but I do not think that you can fit in it a reducer.
This tool in our hands, it is exclusively for heat-shrink, or to heat up plastics, so to bent them.

My unit has 12.5mm opening, for SMT it is like aiming one mosquito with a shotgun. 
My own professional reflow hot gun pump, it has 1.5mm diameter.

 
 
 

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 09:55:45 pm »
Apart from the two fan speeds and the colour, that pink one looks rather similar to mine.

Not that I have ever soldered any SMT parts, but my idea was that if there were single no-lead part on the board you could do that first and then hand solder the other parts. The big wide nozzle would be a bit like reflowing in an oven. You would warm the whole board up from a distance using a wide spread of air and then get close to the chip for a few seconds to melt the solder. If the one chip were the only part on the board so far then the lack of precision would not be such a problem. Or you could even do a few large parts by moving the nozzle from part to part?

Maybe you guys have tried this and it is not successful, but I until I try it I am free to wonder.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 10:07:06 pm »

Maybe you guys have tried this and it is not successful, but I until I try it I am free to wonder.

IanB there is no reason to wonder.

This tool has very power full air flow, extremely powerful for SMT, so extremely powerful that it can blow the parts away !!
The professional tools have very small air flow, ceramic heating elements so to not burn out and they cost 1000$

The specific tool is one advanced hair dryer, and nothing more. 
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Surebonder ProHeater Heat Tool
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 06:51:57 pm »
There are videos of people using a coffee warmer plate as a pre-heater and then an embossing heat gun to solder SMT but I wouldn't recommend such equipment for anything requiring any degree of reliability as the heat induced into the IC could exceed recommended levels. It does appear to work if you are careful though.

You tube links showing this method:



   (embossing tool ? maybe hot air gun ?)


Desciption of using an embossing gun for SMT work:

http://www.kd5ssj.com/solderpaste/smt-tools-and-process

http://www.qrpradio.org/pub/Ham/SDR/SMT/SMT.html




Comparison of SMT hot air gun and an embossing tool in a real world situation:

http://store.curiousinventor.com/guides/Surface_Mount_Soldering/QFN


Information page on cheap tools for SMT:

http://store.curiousinventor.com/guides/Surface_Mount_Soldering/Tools
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 07:09:28 pm by Aurora »
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