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Questions about the BatchPCB service

Moderator: robacarp

By vsergeev
#8402
Hi,

After reading the article/tutorial on the skillet for surface mount reflow, I went out and bought the same one.

Then I reread the article and noticed there were some inconsistencies in the heat distribution on the skillet itself. Should I be considered about this? I can still return it if i need to for a cheaper one...

I'm really new to the whole surface mount soldering stuff, so bear with me... The other question I have is what temp should I be going for here? Turn it on max, wait a few minutes until the solder turns liquid and then simply turn it off?
By wiml
#8403
Most component manufacturers seem to have some information somewhere on their website about their recommended temperature profiles for reflow. They make informative reading, even if you can't follow the recommendations exactly with home equipment. Usually they recommend a 'preheat' stage, where the board is hot but still well below soldering temperature, followed by quickly heating the board up to melt the solder and then letting it cool. The preheat helps bake out any moisture (and probably reduces thermal shock, I guess). Small components will sometimes pop right off the board if the moisture in the paste boils suddenly instead of being given a little time to bake out.

http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/A ... 00233D.pdf
By Philba
#8418
If you've never done SMD stuff before, I'd suggest you NOT use reflow right away but rather build a simple board and solder it by hand. Don't use any fancy or really tiny chips. I'd stick to 1206 Rs and Cs and SOIC chips. You'll learn a lot and get much more confortable with SMDs. Reflow takes some additional skills - especially solder paste. Also, except for stuff like BGAs, most parts can be soldered by hand, including .5mm pitch stuff.

I'm sure others will disagree with me on this but this is a case of walk first, then run.

Phil
By donblake
#8424
Philba wrote:I'd stick to 1206 Rs and Cs and SOIC chips. You'll learn a lot and get much more confortable with SMDs. Reflow takes some additional skills - especially solder paste. Also, except for stuff like BGAs, most parts can be soldered by hand, including .5mm pitch stuff.

I'm sure others will disagree with me on this but this is a case of walk first, then run.
Phil, although I haven't tried reflow yet, I have to agree. I've done some 1206 resistors, capacitors, LEDs as well as SOIC chips by hand. I was pleasantly surprised how really easy it is with the right tools (temperature controlled soldering iron, flux, solder, tweezers, magnifier, etc). I'm working up the courage to try some 0.5 mm chips.

Don
User avatar
By sparky
#8495
Do what you can with a solder iron at first. If you get really crazy with SMD devices and need to do batches of boards, then the hot plate makes sense.

We've had very good results with the hotplate. Do even worry about the cool spots. If you're working with small boards (less than 10 sq inches) you'll be fine.

-Nathan