Hot Plate Soldering

Has anyone had any experience with hot plate soldering. I’ve only found a little information on the topic with people using kitchen appliances and irons, however I was wondering if it was better for some purposes than a toaster oven.

that is something i want to try. Just need time to go through some tutorials on the web. There are a lot of them.

Er, I only found the ones that relate to either having to modify AC mains equipment, typically an Iron.

hum, the toaster oven method uh.

I’ve seen an Arduino temp controlled toaster oven on Instructables. From what I can gather, you configure a temperature profile (how hot for how long) in your uC, use a high temp thermistor with a relay.The same concept could be applied to a hotplate. Temp profile specifics seem to be the the hardest part to find information on.

Chris Seto and I built a reflow oven with a scrounged toaster oven, a few SSRs, a thermocouple (and thermocouple chip) and a Panda II. It works very well.

I have been getting our prototype boards for the university made by Advanced Circuits and having them make up a simple stencil at the same time. Using the stencil and toaster oven we can get 20 simple boards built in an afternoon rather than a few days doing them all by hand.

A relay! For me that’s kind of dangerous but it sounds interesting. I was planning on using the thing in the pic attached with a metal plate on it to produce an even heat.

I’ve done some hot plate SMD’ing and it works fairly well.

All hot plates are not created equal though… on one I toasted my boards to a delicious yellow on 4 and on another I couldn’t get the solder to melt at 6.

If you get the temperature and timing just right it is magic. I love watching those little resistors swim to their stations :slight_smile:

It will probably be a good idea to use a thermocouple and switch the plate on and off in a controlled way.

Why would a relay be dangerous? The SSRs are used to turn the heating elements on/on in a controlled manner to maintain an optimal reflow profile. Just like the ‘real’ reflow overs use.

Using a controlled way sounds good. Not sure if I can play with Mains AC and not get shocked but I suppose I have to try it. One tutorial I saw, involved building a Solid State power supply that was PWM controlled. Would using a relay be as good as using some power transistors?

@ Jeff_Birt

Have you guys documented it anywhere? Curious to check it out.

Ditto on Panda driven reflow oven info.

It is easy to not get shocked. Just make all the electrical connection BEFORE plugging it in. Really it is not that difficult if you use a bit of common sense and pay attention to what you are doing.

My advice would be to use a solid state relay. They are very easy to use.

I’ll try to document the oven and post some pictures.

Solid state relays seem cool.

Few years ago I bought the controller from this site and it works great with my wife’s oven… But for a good smd soldering you need stencils. After lot of fight with my wife I gotI also a small oven for the boards

@ dobova, Ouch they are in the UK. That’s pressure for me to obtain but I’ll see how my freight forwarder can handle it. Thanks for the tip though, I did not know there were people who do that.

I’ve decided that making a reflow oven would be the best (i.e. safest) way to go, since I have a tendency to cause the blue smoke to escape (like that time I plugged in the power supply was wired backwards and tripped my friend’s father’s house’s main breaker). Naturally, I’ll use a Cerb for the task of monitoring the temp.

I’ve been thinking about a Sous Vide cooker (see Sous vide - Wikipedia) and using an SSR and switching a standard cooking pot is my intent. Very similar to what you want with your hotplate or even the toaster reflow oven scenario. In fact, if you look at an electric frying pan or wok or anything like that, they basically do the same with usually a much wider temperature dead band; they turn on full bore, over-shoot the temperature set point by a way (little or long, usually a long way) and then turn off and wait for the temperature to coast back down under the lower end of the setpoint, then back to full on. The PID in the control setups in all these setups is all about controlling the ramp up in temp and the accuracy of holding a setpoint.

@ dobova: Do you recommend this Reflow Controller V2 and Large Beta-Reflow-Kit? Or you know some better and cheaper “kit” to solder smd elements to board(something like Cobra board)? Can this be used to solder BGA chips? I need to solder into board this chip:
Can I do this with previous mentioned combination?
Thanks for answers.