Soldering category

MetCal Connection Validation – The Next Generation of Soldering

Making solid connections between electrical components on a board is an important part of many hardware projects. A good solder joint forms an alloy at the surface of the PCB and the component lead. During soldering, a solder connection on a circuit board can quickly turn into a real nightmare if not caught immediately, ending up with a too thin or too thick solder joint.

Connection Validation is MetCal’s latest innovation in hand soldering. It allows you to precisely apply the solder to your components. MetCal Connection Validation is to complement or even replace the standard visual inspection during soldering, where now the soldering iron will do it instead.

MetCal Connection Validation (CV) evaluates the quality of the solder joint by calculating the intermetallic compound formation immediately after the soldering iron’s tip is placed on the joint to solder, and it provides closed loop feedback to the operator visually. Connection Validation provides feedback to the operator via the LED light ring integrated into the hand-piece. The Soldering Iron will light up green when the correct intermetallic thickness has formed, and a red light comes on if an error has occurred.

The following are some of the features and benefits of Connection Validation Soldering Station:

  • SmartHeat Power on Demand Technology
  • Patented Connection Validation IMC Formation Technology
  • 2.8” color touchscreen with bold graphics
  • Communications Port for process traceability data and firmware graphics
  • Precise tip temperature display
  • Integrated Net Power Meter and power graph
  • Patented Chip-in-Cartridge technology
  • Closed loop bi-directional communication
  • Stores and records cartridge attributes
  • Provides traceability information
  • Protects power supply from non-conforming cartridges
  • Backwards compatible with MX series power supplies
  • Password protection

Introduced at IPC APEX 2017, MetCal’s exciting patent technology was met enthusiastically by contract manufacturers and electronics assembly leaders worldwide.

70W soldering iron controller

smdprutser.nl build a soldering iron controller based on PIC16F1823:

In series thermocouple soldering iron have a thermocouple in series with their heating element and thus only have two connections (actually one more which is electrically connected to the tip for ESD purposes). When a voltage is applied to the two terminals the tip heats, when unpowered the thermocouple voltage can be read.

70W soldering iron controller – [Link]

REFLO – Compact, open, and smart PCB reflow oven

REFLO is a stylish, portable reflow oven for creators and makers to easily, quickly, and professionally prototype their IoT device, wearable, small robot, etc.

REFLO’s features:

  • Portable at only 6” x 6” x 2” – it’s the worlds smallest reflow oven
  • Efficient as it requires only 300 W
  • Operable from a mobile device
  • Open source hardware & software
  • Compatible with the Arduino IDE
  • Low cost

REFLO – Compact, open, and smart PCB reflow oven – [Link]

Drag soldering SMD parts with a flux pen

This video shows how to drag solder SMD parts with a high density package (in this video a Xilinx XC9572XL with VQFP 64 pin package is used).

Drag soldering SMD parts with a flux pen [Link]

Soldering pen for Weller RT tips with OLED display

vlk @ hackaday.io build a very nice soldering pen with a OLED display.

I found some projects where is used Weller soldering tips designed for WMRP soldering iron with standard 3.5mm jack and inside the tip is also thermocouple for sensing temperature. These tips are not so cheap but the quality is really great, especially for fine soldering.

Hardware design is based on similar projects but with some modifications and improvements. Also my request was to make the hardware small as possible to fit into handle and capable to supply from hobbyist LiPO battery.

Soldering pen for Weller RT tips with OLED display – [Link]

WPS80 digital soldering station

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James @ seeed.cc show us how to build a DIY digital soldering station using a WPS80 soldering iron.

I always liked soldering tools with good quality. Though I currently have a nice ELV 50 Watts digital soldering station already, I decided to build my own soldering base station using an existing WPS80 soldering iron manufactured by Weller. After looking on the internet to see others DIY projects ,I decided to develop a special one, with several improvements in the design.

WPS80 digital soldering station – [Link]

$15 Arduino-Based Reflow Oven Controller

A reflow oven is one of the most useful tools for hardware developers, a machine used primarily for reflow soldering of surface mount electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCB). ESTechnical, a hardware manufacturer based in UK, works hard to produce open source hardware gadgets and contribute its best to make the hardware tools much better, had made a great product, the $15 Reflow Oven Controller. Having an Arduino based reflow oven controller with a graphic LCD opens up a world of possibilities to solder surface mount devices.

cyclewithoverflowThis reflow oven is built around the Arduino Pro Micro, an Adafruit TFT color LCD, and around two solid state relays, one for the heating elements and one for the convection fan. The board contains a very simple Zero crossing detection circuit, used to align control logic to mains frequency, two MAX31855 thermocouple-to-digital converters and two Sharp S202S01 PCB-mount solid state relays, mounted on Fischer SK409 50,8 heat sinks.

 

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The Arduino-based reflow oven controller comes with:

  • PID loop control
  • Wave Packet and Phase Fired control for AC outputs
  • graphic TFT LC-Display, drawing the temperature curves
  • solely controlled using a cheap rotary encoder and its single button
  • stores up to 30 temperature profiles in EEPROM
  • configurable PID-parameters
  • simple, small hardware to drive loads up to 600V and up to 8A
  • hardware can
    • measure two temperatures independently
    • drive two AC loads, such as heater and fan
  • Note: Requires Arduino IDE 1.5.x or newer

The software uses PID control of the heater and fan output for improved temperature stability. The heater AC load is controlled using Wave Packet control in order to minimize RF interference and load on the relay. For the fan motor, Phase Fired control has been implemented.

In order to fit your ESTechnical Reflow Oven Controller to T962A, SMTHouse reflow oven infrared IC Heater soldering machine, you will need some tools that are not included in the packing list. You can check the Reflow Oven Accessories Package.
Detailed steps of the installation process are listed here.

T962A Reflow Oven
T962A Reflow Oven

To follow the tutorials make sure of each step or get help from an expert because this project operates with possibly lethal mains voltage.

More details and documentation are available at Github and at ESTechnical official website.

CSI Premier 75W and Hakko 936 Solder Station Teardowns

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Todd Harrison @ toddfun.com did the teardown of the CSI 75W solder station as well as the Hakko 936:

The Hakko of course had all analog circuits using operational amplifiers and potentiometers as well as a temperature sensor in the iron tip to signal back to a triac chip controller which would trigger the triac to push 24 V AC through the heater in the iron.

CSI Premier 75W and Hakko 936 Solder Station Teardowns – [Link]

Top-level Weller soldering stations for even better prices

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Now even you can afford the best, what´s available on the field of soldering and service.

A fact, that we also try to transform better purchasing conditions on You – our customers, we´ve already mentioned to you few times in our articles. This time we have this pleasant occasion to make so at soldering equipment from company Weller. The biggest change happened at components, which are usually the most costly – at soldering (and desoldering) stations.

The result is lower price at all Weller stations, which are our standard stock items – in majority of cases in 15-20%, what makes up to 200-300 Eur discount at the most expensive types.

It´s still actual, that within 1-2 weeks we´re able to supply you practically any Weller component (which we don´t keep in stock). In our offer can also be found selected types of original soldering tips and any other types can be supplied to you in a short leadtime and at convenient conditions.

So where to start? Probably best by having a look at the Weller catalogue. Our previous articles may also give you an inspiration.


Top-level Weller soldering stations for even better prices – [Link]

WXR3031 rework station will replace you three devices

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Soldering, deslodering, hot-air works but also a record of your work in a PC – this is the Weller WXR 3031.

Good soldering station is usually a fundament of a workplace. Desoldering station is usually a necessity if you work in development or service. And a hot-air station? – this one is becoming a must at any development or rework of PCBs with SMT components. If we already know, that it´s ideal to have all these three device on a workbench, couldn´t they be integrated into one device?

The answer can be Weller WXR 3031

Right at the beginning it can be said, that in this case a connection into one station brings real benefits, rather than well-known negatives of various „3in1“, „7in1“ and similar products and agents :-).

Perhaps the biggest benefit is saving of space on a workbench and the same control interface for all tools. If you´re familiar with Weller WX2 stations, which we introduced to you in our articles, then you know, that they belong to a very top segment. If we “add” to them a section for a hot air, as well as other additional features and a possibility to connect a vacuum pickup, we receive a top class device which makes every electrician happy.

Briefly:
  • 3 channels
  • 420 (600W) total power
  • temperature 100-450 (550) °C/ 200-850°C (hot-air part)

Available are 4 soldering tools (from micro up to powerful 200W) and 3 tools for desoldering. Concretely WXR 3031 set contains:

  • WXR3 unit
  • hot-air tool WXHAP
  • desoldering tool WXDP 120
  • soldering tool WXP 120

A big benefit for professional workplaces is also a possibility to record your work (traceability – temperature profile) over the USB port to a PC. USB port also serves for a possible firmware update. WXR3031 features intelligent identification of a connected tool and a parameter memory built-in in a given tool, intelligent power save function and a possibility to control several additional devices via the WX port.

WX series meets all requirements for demanding and precise everyday work. High power, user comfort and a wide range of soldering tools and tips will be probably beneficial even for your workplace.

Possibilities of the WXR3031 are very wide and perhaps best illustrated in the attached video. Detailed information will provide you the WXR3031 datasheet , user manual WXR3031 and the “WXR3 Quick start”.
WXR 3031 station was incorporated into our standard stock offer.

WXR3031 rework station will replace you three devices – [Link]