Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Attiny45 based reflow oven controller

If you want to solder SMT components professionally, you should use reflow oven. OF course, no one suggests using specialized oven which is really pricy and used in PCB houses where tons of boards are soldered. With a little bit of effort you can build pretty good oven that can solder small PCB batches. Zaggo simply purchased a toaster oven for about 40€. He also wanted to keep warranty, so he started building external controller that doesn’t mess with internals. Oven controller is based on Attiny45 microcontroller that comes with 4K of flash. He was able to squeeze in full PID algorithm along with minimal user interface. Temperature is measured by using 100k thermistor and oven is controlled with simple mechanical relay via transistor. Single push button is used to start program. Its performance is indicated with single LED. The circuit turned out to be very compact and easy to build with through hole components. Practically any simple oven can be turned in to reflow station without loosing warranty. Source code and other files can be downloaded from GitHub. Continue reading

Reflow oven controller got even better

If you are looking for professionally made surface mount PCBs, there is no doubt they are soldered in reflow oven. SMT components are too sensitive and small to be soldered by hand. This is why they are baked in ovens with controlled temperature profile. If you are going to build such oven, there is no problem with – you can get away dirty cheap. All you need is regular oven new or used and temperature controller. There is no big difference what type of oven you are going to use, the most important thing is that there were electric heating element. More important part is the controller. You can find many reflow oven controllers that can be successfully used. You can always build one, but why waste time on building tools if there are many options already available. We suggest to take a look at time proven projects like ControlLeo2. This is a second version of successful project which was also in Kickstarter. ControlLeo is really simple device with powerful features like four controllable outputs for heaters and fans, algorithm… Continue reading

Arduino controlled reflow oven

If you are doing many PCB prototyping, probably faced that soldering takes quite some time and effort. And results aren’t always satisfying. Hand soldered joints not always look as great as they should. With a little investment you can make soldering process more robust and clean. All you need is a reflow oven where you can literally cook your PCBs. Sky-Labs have shared their build of reflow oven which have it’s own flavor among other. If you will follow the build instruction, you will see that there is not much about building reflow oven. First of all you need and original oven with electric heating elements. Then you will need to insert temperature probe (K-Type) and controller, which in this case is Arduino Uno. Arduino simply reads temperature and controls oven heating element. Reflow soldering is all about timing and temperature pattern. Control is based on PID algorithm which allow control to be more smooth and determined. Oven controller was integrated in its own custom laser cut enclosure attached to the side. From looks of it, Arduino also could be… Continue reading

Reflow soldering oven controller using ATtmega8U2

Soldering is necessary part of electronics prototyping and production. If you are getting serious in to this you probably noticed that not all parts can be soldered with iron or heat gun. Some electronics parts you may want to use are BGA or QFN that require different soldering techniques. What manufacturers do, they are using reflow ovens to solder all SMT parts at once. Oven soldered boards look professional and save time. There is no problem to build reflow oven for home use. All you need is toaster oven with convection and controller which you will most likely have to build by yourself. Henrik built such controller by using ATmega8U2 microcontroller with USB support. He traced custom board where he put MAX31855 thermocouple to digital converter. Thermocouple is number one choice for sensor where things get really hot. Controller controls oven heater through solid state relay. Controller firmware is based on PID control algorithm that helps to get close to desired temperature curve. It is important to follow temperature profile (temperature vs time) while soldering in order to succeed. Continue reading

Fancy reflow oven with color GLCD

Reflow soldering is common technique of soldering SMT parts to PCB. This is quick process, but requires precise temperature and timing control. If you are about to build/use one, be sure to implement controller that would take care of heating and cooling process. 0xPIT shared his reflow oven controller project where he did really good job on functionality and looks. Controller is based on Arduino Pro Micro which sits on top of custom made motherboard. Motherboard performs load switching by using PSB-mount solid state relays and interfaces thermocouples with MAX31855. Software is based on PID algorithm which gives smooth control of heater and fan. But probably the color LCD is that catches eye at first. It displays information in nice graph. Intuitive menu allows selecting parameters like fan speed, PID constants and more. This is great example of paying attention to details when you are serious about where controller is gonna be used. Continue reading

The SMT Reflow Oven Controller is going to Be Your Great Helper!

You’re tired of reflow soldering with the ordinary way? Then, how about spend some times and build a SMT reflow oven controller to help you off? The reflow oven controller is a device, where it controls a standard toaster oven to perform prototype and small batch surface mount solder reflowing operations. To be more precisely, the reflow can be used to control ovens up to 1800 watts or 15 amps in size. The reflow temperature is being customized through its RS-232 interface. Basically, the SMT reflow oven controller can perform the following three types of cycles: Preheat cycle – It preheat the oven up to temperature Reflow cycle – It runs the oven through the pre-defined temperature. Bake cycle – It uses to drive the moisture from moisture-sensitive components. The H8/3687 microcontroller-based SMT reflow oven controller is a very magical component, where it can transform a conventional infrared toaster oven into an effective reflow oven that can be performing thermal control. Furthermore, the EVB87 evaluation board is helping a lot in this project, as it provides an on-chip analog-to-digital converter,… Continue reading