DIY hot air reflow station

Add to you bench tools by building this hot air reflow station. [Tobi] had a difficult time and was getting frustrated with the reflow oven he was building. He ditched that and set out on this project after drawing inspiration from a hot-air pencil project.

Pictured above is the business end of the device. On the right you can see the tubing that delivers air from an aquarium pump. At the center of the probe is a glass tube containing the heating element. A thermocouple is monitored by an ATmega644 to maintain the desired air temperature which can be dialed in on the base unit. This thing can put out air that’s around 500 degrees Celsius which has cause some problems with melted tubing and singed spacers. The final design includes a cover that fits over everything and hopefully provides adequate thermal isolation for the user’s hand.

[Tobi's] base unit include faceplates for the front and back milled out of copper clad board. This really makes the tool look a bit more trustworthy. He assures us that there is a demonstration video on the way.

Comments

  1. DeadlyFoez says:

    No thanks. I’d rather stick with a professionally built hot air station. I can see this thing being a rather big fire and personal injury hazard.

  2. Sariel says:

    although i agree with deadlyfoez, i’m totally digging the pencil mentioned at dansworkshop. totally wanna build one of those now.

  3. DrF says:

    I like the look of the casing, looks serious.

  4. Ekaj says:

    Hot air stations are so incredibly cheap now, there is no point to doing something like this. You’ll just burn yourself, and get frustrated because it doesn’t work worth a crap compared to even the lowest quality commercal unit.

  5. JB says:

    Here’s how a professionally built hot air station is made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma3JHdoSdjA

  6. James says:

    Looks pretty nifty, a bit heath robinson for sure, but hardly a safety hazard. Looks like H&S has gripped even the hacking community :)

  7. Mojoe says:

    The problem I see here is the choice of glass as a manifold. Much of the the heat generated by resistive heaters is radiant (ie. IR, light), which goes right through the glass instead of heating the air inside the glass. Much power is wasted heating things outside of the glass. The manifold should be opaque and nonconductive (ceramic would be ideal), or perhaps put a metal tube over the glass and a layer of fiberglass cloth over the metal tube. Safety and efficiency would be dramatically increased either way. I may have to make one now!

  8. n3rrd says:

    @Mojoe:

    One could recycle an old ceramic-core power resistor if one wanted a ceramic manifold.

  9. Whatnot says:

    You can buy heating elements of real reflowstations as spare parts you know, and they aren’t that expensive either, that way you can still DIY but have that covered.

  10. JMLB says:

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