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Reflow workstation worth it?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Time4116, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. Time4116

    Time4116

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    Jan 12, 2011
    what good would a reflow workstation be to me besides heating up chips?? can't i just use a heatgun with a good temperature control with a mount for virtually the same effects why spend the money on a workstation?
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,391
    2,775
    Jan 21, 2010
    You can also use it for heatshrink tubing.

    Heat gun -- with good temperature control -- Does such a beast exist?

    I suspect you're asking this because you want to reflow your XBox's BGA chips.

    It just happens that a friend of mine returned the equipment he used to (successfully) to do this. It consisted of a rework tool and a device to heat the bottom of the board to around 120C (i.e. no enough to melt solder, but enough to make it easier to reflow things on the other side of the board)

    I don't think a small rework tool would be enough on its own to reflow large BGA devices (I could be wrong)
     
  3. Time4116

    Time4116

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    Jan 12, 2011
    yeah i had an aouye 852+ reflow workstation that i attempted to use on the xbox even with a base heating unit(preheated to 400F) i was unsuccessful so i returned it thinking i really don't have much idea of what im doing and will i really have the time to utilize a reflow workstation and a heatgun is pretty much the same as a reflow workstation from what ive seen both output very high temperatures so all you would need to reflow a chip is to have it hot enough to resoder to the board so why bomb 130 to 300 dollars on a reflow machine ive been unable to repair my xbox 360 using various techniques but i want to learn more about electronics and mess around with them more so im thinking of getting a parralax activity kit for basic stamp microproccessing a little off topic but any tools i can have to better tinker with electronics and learn, im all for!
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,391
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    Jan 21, 2010
    You have 2 issues to contend with; heat and temperature.

    You need to be able to apply sufficient heat without exceeding limits on temperature (which may damage things)

    Rework tools are temperature controlled, but cannot supply a great deal of heat. My colleague who has fixed a number of PS3s and now an X-Box found he needed to apply hot air from the rework tool for far longer than is recommended fro a paint stripper style of hot air gun.

    I'll be seeing him later this afternoon and I will try to remember to ask him for the timings that he used.

    I think this has more to do with "hacking" than "electronics" ;)
     
  5. Time4116

    Time4116

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    Jan 12, 2011
    Thank you for your help! i would appreciate that!!
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,391
    2,775
    Jan 21, 2010
    He says he heated the component for about 2 1/2 minutes.

    This was based on the time it took to melt the solder under a southbridge chip on an old motherboard.

    The simple method is to find a similar chip on a sacrificial board and see how long you need to heat it until you can lift the component from the board. Then repeat this technique with your XBox, but DO NOT lift the chip.

    The other advice is to google for the technique used to determine the error code the RROD represents, and ensure it is related to the CPU or graphics chip. Apparently you can get RROD from various DVD player issues (dead laser, ROM checksum, etc) and for various other things that are not related to the joints under the big chips.
     
  7. Time4116

    Time4116

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    Jan 12, 2011
    i see thank you for your help again!!
     
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