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Hot air soldering
#1
I read on another thread "over there" where this guy says he prefers hot air to the conventional metal tip soldering when assembling do-it-yourself trackers and altimeters. Due to my poor eyesight and shaky hands it's hard with the conventional method. I know when I was assembling my Eggfinders, the instructions say to let your components cool a bit before moving to the next solder point. I take it the advantage to the hot air is you can solder several of solder points at once. Wont the hot air ruin some components?
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#2
You can ruin components with a regular iron too. Hot air seems to be the thing to do with SMDs. I too have shaky hands and wouldn't want to solder them with a regular iron. I thought about it once but, luckily, had a buddy who did that stuff for a living.
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Level-2 certified but mostly fly G and under;
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#3
I know when I was assembling Heathkit electronic kits back in the 1970s, they made big deal out of "protecting" delicate items like transistors, IC chips, etc with a "heat sink"...basically, just a needle nose pliers that would allow heat traveling up the lead to the component to wick away through the dense needle nose. Yes, you would let the part cool between applications of heat.

(I never had a problem from heat build up that I know of, but I only recall using the heat sink technique a few times over dozens of kits.)
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#4
Don't know about how the "other guy" was doing hot air soldering but here is my experience.   You need to use a special solder bearing flux and it usually has a limited shelf life.  A small drop of the flux is placed on each pad where the component will be soldered.   Then the component is placed on the pads and hot air is applied until the solder melts.   You can usually tell when the solder melts because the part will move slightly and align itself on the pads.   The heat is then removed and the part is allowed to cool. 

 Heat is not an issue if you use a proper temperature controlled hot air gun to do the soldering.  Most parts are designed for either hot air or infrared soldering these days.   If you use the wife's hair dryer all bets are off.   It should be possible to place all the components on the board and then hot air solder them all at once but I have never tried that.

I used a small infrared oven designed for soldering the entire board at one time.   Expensive but works well.   Just put the board in the oven and set the correct soldering profile and push go.   Five minutes later the board is done.  Mine is about the size of a toaster oven.   I've seen guys solder in a metal pan on the stove but it's much harder to control the heat.

Bottom line is use decent, temperature controlled, equipment to solder.   You'll save money in the long run and it will be more enjoyable too.
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