SMT Soldering station

Started by Vic Fraenckel November 10, 2004
I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have visited quite
a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would like to
get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the order
of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size capacitors
and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.

Comments on solder would be nice also.

Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

TIA

Vic
________________________________________________________

Victor Fraenckel - The Windman
victorf ATSIGN windreader DOTcom
KC2GUI

Home of the WindReader Electronic Theodolite
Read the WIND

"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long
and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
- Winston [Leonard Spencer] Churchill (1874 - 1965)

"Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"
-Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough
men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-George Orwell




----- Original Message -----
From: "Vic Fraenckel" <>
To: "BasicX Maillist" <>; "PICList"
<>
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 4:10 PM
Subject: [piclist] SMT Soldering station >
> I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
> hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have visited
> quite
> a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would like to
> get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the order
> of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size capacitors
> and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.
>
> Comments on solder would be nice also.

Metcal makes the best soldering equipment. It's expensive, but often
available used on eBay. I use the older STSS power supply which can take the
current handpiece and cartridges, and is often available for about $120
second-hand. New cartridges are also available on eBay

Leon


Just out of interest, how are you going to handle the 0603 parts? I've tried
to do it by hand with tweezers, and it's damn hard - if you have any
particular method please let me know, I currently design for 0805, but would
like to go 0603. As for soldering, I adapted a tip from an oscilloscope
probe to heat up the pads, it sort of works, but I find part placement to be
the real killer.

Best regards,

Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vic Fraenckel" <>
To: "BasicX Maillist" <>; "PICList"
<>
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 5:10 PM
Subject: [piclist] SMT Soldering station >
> I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
> hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have visited
quite
> a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would like to
> get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the order
> of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size capacitors
> and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.
>
> Comments on solder would be nice also.
>
> Any enlightenment will be appreciated.
>
> TIA
>
> Vic
> ________________________________________________________
>
> Victor Fraenckel - The Windman
> victorf ATSIGN windreader DOTcom
> KC2GUI
>
> Home of the WindReader Electronic Theodolite
> Read the WIND
>
> "Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however
long
> and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
> - Winston [Leonard Spencer] Churchill (1874 - 1965)
>
> "Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is
governed?"
> -Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus
>
> "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough
> men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
> -George Orwell >
> to unsubscribe, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com and follow the
instructions
> Yahoo! Groups Links



----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Puchol" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: [piclist] SMT Soldering station >
> Just out of interest, how are you going to handle the 0603 parts? I've
> tried
> to do it by hand with tweezers, and it's damn hard - if you have any
> particular method please let me know, I currently design for 0805, but
> would
> like to go 0603. As for soldering, I adapted a tip from an oscilloscope
> probe to heat up the pads, it sort of works, but I find part placement to
> be
> the real killer.

I don't have any problems with 0603 parts, but I do use a lot of
magnification. I use a very fine tip on my Metcal soldering station.

Leon



--- In , "Vic Fraenckel" <victorf@w...> wrote:
> I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
> hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have
visited quite
> a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would
like to
> get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the
order
> of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size
capacitors
> and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.


I use a Hakko 936 with a fine tip for soldering SMD components. It
lists for about $100 but you can get the clones for less. ebay often
has several of them listed.

I am thinking of moving up to a hot air station which will work a lot
better for LCC devices (not to mention 25 mil pitch stuff). I've seen
several on ebay and at circuit specialists that look like they would
work well. Madell and Atten are the two brands I've seen. They have
some units that look like private lable Hakkos. Anyone used either
of these two brands?





--- In , "Phil" <phil1960us@y...> wrote:
>
> --- In , "Vic Fraenckel" <victorf@w...> wrote:
> > I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would
appreciate
> > hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have
> visited quite
> > a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would
> like to
> > get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the
> order
> > of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size
> capacitors
> > and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300
range.
>
>
> I use a Hakko 936 with a fine tip for soldering SMD components. It
> lists for about $100 but you can get the clones for less. ebay often
> has several of them listed.
>
> I am thinking of moving up to a hot air station which will work a lot
> better for LCC devices (not to mention 25 mil pitch stuff). I've seen
> several on ebay and at circuit specialists that look like they would
> work well. Madell and Atten are the two brands I've seen. They have
> some units that look like private lable Hakkos. Anyone used either
> of these two brands?

I burned up my paint stripper hot air gun, so went looking for a
hot air soldering system. STICKER SHOCK!!!

This is the cheapest thing I found:

http://www.mpja.com/productprint.asp?product159+TL
You find it under various names, but this is the cheapest I've
seen advertised. Anybody tried one of these?

Before I took the plunge, I pulled out the ole Weller Portasol butane
heat pencil. I was amazed at how well it worked reworking SMT boards.
It's a catalytic heater. Hot air flow is low and there's some IR
going on too. Doesn't blow the parts off the board. Don't know
if there are any chemical issues from the hot combustion products.

This is the new version with the piezo lighter. I also have the
older version with the flint lighter. It doesn't work nearly as well.
mike





> This is the cheapest thing I found:
>
> http://www.mpja.com/productprint.asp?product159+TL
> You find it under various names, but this is the cheapest I've
> seen advertised. Anybody tried one of these?
>
> Before I took the plunge, I pulled out the ole Weller Portasol
butane
> heat pencil. I was amazed at how well it worked reworking SMT
boards.
> It's a catalytic heater. Hot air flow is low and there's some IR
> going on too. Doesn't blow the parts off the board. Don't know
> if there are any chemical issues from the hot combustion products.
>
> This is the new version with the piezo lighter. I also have the
> older version with the flint lighter. It doesn't work nearly as
well.
> mike

Did you buy one? If so, how well does it work. I'm looking at
smaller components all the time and I certainly don't have a plan
for BGA!



I used to sell Metcal and had one of my own for a while. I loved it but I
think for your price range it way out of the ballpark.. I think it's well
worth it though. I don't do any selling of any sort these days, but if you
can find a used one that was taken care of I think you'll be very happy with
the investment. Ebay? I had a friend with a pace? I think it was.. He liked
it.. But under 300$/new is kind of hard to find?

Chas

-----Original Message-----
From: Vic Fraenckel [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:10 AM
To: BasicX Maillist; PICList
Subject: [piclist] SMT Soldering station I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have visited quite
a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would like to
get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the order
of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size capacitors
and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.

Comments on solder would be nice also.

Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

TIA

Vic
________________________________________________________

Victor Fraenckel - The Windman
victorf ATSIGN windreader DOTcom
KC2GUI

Home of the WindReader Electronic Theodolite
Read the WIND

"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long
and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
- Winston [Leonard Spencer] Churchill (1874 - 1965)

"Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"
-Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand
ready to do violence on their behalf."
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you may be interested in a Hakco look-a-like ITEM# 15143 TL
http://www.mpja.com/category/Solder_Equipment/SMD-THRU-HOLE_REWORK_STATION_15143_TL.asp

it comes with a hot air nozzle with 4 heads. for $169 its worth the price.
It is just the thing to do SMT resistors 0603, 0402 and yes even 0201 chip
resistors. Of course you will need at least a 10X microscope or eye-loop.
I have soldered many 0402 and 0201 on the job and in my garage. The key to
soldering SMT components is having the right equipment. It make the job a
whole lot easier.

just my 2 cents
Daryl

At 10:10 AM 11/10/2004, you wrote:

>I am looking to buy a decent SMT soldering station and would appreciate
>hearing from anyone with experience in such a critter. I have visited quite
>a few web sites, found thru Google, that mention them but I would like to
>get real-world opinions before I buy. I am making small PCBs, on the order
>of 0.5 inch square with one LCC8 device and several SMT603 size capacitors
>and resistors. I would consider any good station in the 0 - $300 range.
>
>Comments on solder would be nice also.
>
>Any enlightenment will be appreciated.
>
>TIA
>
>Vic
>________________________________________________________
>
>Victor Fraenckel - The Windman
>victorf ATSIGN windreader DOTcom
>KC2GUI
>
> Home of the WindReader Electronic Theodolite
> Read the WIND
>
>"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long
>and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
>- Winston [Leonard Spencer] Churchill (1874 - 1965)
>
>"Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"
>-Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus
>
>"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough
>men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
>-George Orwell >
>to unsubscribe, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com and follow the instructions
>Yahoo! Groups Links >
>




thanks for the tip. That looks like a fancy heat gun with a lot more
control. Think I'll pick up one to to solder micro-BGA chips. also looks
like would do good for heat shrinking

>>At 05:22 PM 11/10/2004, <> wrote:

>I burned up my paint stripper hot air gun, so went looking for a
>hot air soldering system. STICKER SHOCK!!!
>
>This is the cheapest thing I found:
>
>http://www.mpja.com/productprint.asp?product159+TL
>You find it under various names, but this is the cheapest I've
>seen advertised. Anybody tried one of these?
>
>Before I took the plunge, I pulled out the ole Weller Portasol butane
>heat pencil. I was amazed at how well it worked reworking SMT boards.
>It's a catalytic heater. Hot air flow is low and there's some IR
>going on too. Doesn't blow the parts off the board. Don't know
>if there are any chemical issues from the hot combustion products.
>
>This is the new version with the piezo lighter. I also have the
>older version with the flint lighter. It doesn't work nearly as well.
>mike