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Hot air station recommendations

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by JW, Dec 29, 2009.

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  1. JW

    JW Guest

  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    It's probably worth at least looking over at Howard Electronics for some
    baseline pricing http://www.howardelectronics.com/index.html. The hot
    air stations are under 'SMD Rework'.

    Several on-line sites have similar items, including MPJA, Web-Tronics,
    Sparkfun, and (of course) Amazon.

    The surface similarity is suggestive but I don't know of a site that's
    published a real tear-down and comparison of one or more name-brand
    stations and 'house'-branded models.

    FWIW, my home bench sports a Xytronic 850D that I've been pretty happy
    with.
     
  3. JW

    JW Guest

    Phew. $350 and up. That's a bit over my budget there.
    Thanks.
     
  4. JW

    JW Guest

    Thanks Arfa, but there's none on Ebay at the moment here in the US. Andy
    got me thinking about temperature control, though. So I took another look
    and came up with this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/SMD-Rework-Sold...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item56385066d6

    It has a digital readout which I assume is for temperature monitoring. Has
    anyone used one of these?
     
  5. JW

    JW Guest

    Found a review.
    http://www.justblair.co.uk/the-kada-852-smt-solderstation.html
    All in all the author appeared satisfied, and you can't beat the price.
     
  6. JW

    JW Guest

  7. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    What are you using now? I don't do a lot of rework but one of my heat
    guns (for shrink tubing) has some small nozzles, and it works well for
    removing chips. I douse the offender liberally in liquid flux first.
    Often there are other small components nearby so I'll make a little
    cardboard heat shield with a window cut out of it.

    I don't see the advantage of a fancy schmancy dedicated rework station.
    As far as digital readouts and temperature control, I'm a bah-humbug
    skeptic. You only have one choice anyway, and that's to get the thing
    hot enough to melt the solder.
     
  8. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Separating the heater from the blower permits a bit more agility, rather
    on the order of using a pencil iron versus a two-pound soldering gun.

    The closed-loop temperature control is useful to allow varying the air
    flow rate without also affecting the air temp.

    I guess it comes down to convenience. For folks who only do onsie-twosie
    surface mount reworks, it may make more sense to skip the hot air
    altogether and use the ChipQuik technique http://www.chipquik.com/. The
    stuff really works, but it gets pricey for large quantity use.
     
  9. Archon

    Archon Guest

    Stan Rubenstein are a very good source for all solder related items,
    fast shipping USA

    http://store.sra-solder.com/product.php/6264/26

    I have the Aoyue station, I wish I had bought the one with temp readout
    but I just wanted to see if they were any good, no problems so far, does
    its job.
    JC
     
  10. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    I've seen that stuff before, but never tried it. I think I'll get some
    though, and have it on hand for the next time I need it. Thanks for the
    reminder.
     
  11. JW

    JW Guest

    Ended up getting this one. Using the one of standard single nozzles it
    came with I was able to remove a 44 pin PLCC with no problems. Tried using
    the same nozzle to remove a 84 pin flat pack, but this didn't work, so I
    borrowed a nozzle specifically for that package from the place I work that
    has a Hakko and it worked perfectly. (Good to know that Hakko nozzles are
    interchangeable with this station.) I checked its output temperature with
    a thermocouple and the readings were within 2c of the set temperature of
    the station. No lifted pads or circuit board damage so far. Overall for
    the $100 price I'm quite happy with the station, and shipping was fast as
    well.
     
  12. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    If salvaging , rather than replacing. Make a mask so you can blast the body
    of the IC, not the pins, before desoldering
     
  13. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    blast with freezer spray that is
     
  14. JW

    JW Guest

    Well, for the 84 pin flat pack, I was transferring one of the A/D
    converters from a scrap Tek TDS540 ACQ board to a TDS544A being repaired.
    Didn't seem to hurt it, but YMMV.
     
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