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Circuit board heater, your favorites?

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  • Circuit board heater, your favorites?

    I have looked around there are two types: Spot heater (from under) using hot air via 1" or 2'" dia "round salt shaker holes" or planar heater (many types) that heats over large area of PCB. Is spot heater I thought would fit the bill?

    Goal for our SMD rework for repairs, using hot air and hand solder irons in order to have heat requirement lower and easier to work with especially the power planes and less stress to the circuit board components. So soldering can be done at less heat setting with soldering irons and hot air around 375-400 instead of much higher and time spent much less during soldering.

    Idea is: Spot heat PCB to 100C or so, and work on PCB easier. My wish is handle typical larger cellphone PCBs and would be nice to handle notebook and computer motherboards, cards board for any repairs.

    We already have iphone sized surface heater and works rather well for iphones but too specialized for anything else.

    Don't forget about the microscope height and chairs height issue too as the heater requires PCB held at much higher height than sitting on the mat.

    Cheers,

  • #2
    Originally posted by Electrontechnician View Post
    I have looked around there are two types: Spot heater (from under) using hot air via 1" or 2'" dia "round salt shaker holes" or planar heater (many types) that heats over large area of PCB. Is spot heater I thought would fit the bill?

    Goal for our SMD rework for repairs, using hot air and hand solder irons in order to have heat requirement lower and easier to work with especially the power planes and less stress to the circuit board components. So soldering can be done at less heat setting with soldering irons and hot air around 375-400 instead of much higher and time spent much less during soldering.

    Idea is: Spot heat PCB to 100C or so, and work on PCB easier. My wish is handle typical larger cellphone PCBs and would be nice to handle notebook and computer motherboards, cards board for any repairs.

    We already have iphone sized surface heater and works rather well for iphones but too specialized for anything else.

    Don't forget about the microscope height and chairs height issue too as the heater requires PCB held at much higher height than sitting on the mat.

    Cheers,
    For board repair I find it's just not needed. OK so some parts of some boards need a little more soak time but since I have a source of hot air in my hand, and I'm able to actualy move my arms, I just use the reowrk station, along with my elbow for distance. Spending money on what you can do for free is probably not the best way to go about kitting out your lab. A good example is those BGA rework stations with split vision positioning systems. An extra £4000 for what you can do with your own eyes!.

    When working on a board, you can see exactly when you have the right tempratures. Messing about with dials on a pre-heater, and dialling it in just right, is far more time consuming than intuitively knowing what to do with the rework station in your hand. I find I simply don't need 2 sources or heat for soldering a QFN or 0201.

    However, given the reviews of some other equipment, I would probably buy a QUICK pre-heater, if I found the need for one:

    https://kaisertech.co.uk/catalogsear.../?q=Pre-heater


    https://www.somersetsolders.com/quic...SABEgJ3OfD_BwE



    As for surface area, IR or forced air, I have no idea.... Just wanted to put in my 2 bob.

    The MOST important thing you said IMO, is working height. I no longer have full feeling in the bottom of my legs due to a trapped sciatic nerve. If you want to spend money on something, spend it on making sure your posture is good, and your heights and possitioning are fully adjustable. Heat the board with the station.
    Last edited by G.Beard; 08-05-2018, 05:31 AM.

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    • #3
      Update, PCB heater is real needed here:

      I just had to do a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6 tablet charging port. No matter how, I cannot do the soldering at all with safe temps, since the PCB has so much copper in it, that it acted like heatsink.
      Even at 400F with hot air, the old port will not budge at all. I had to pull their crappy chinese made IR heater down out of storage, and was able to get old port off and able to melt out the solder in four mounting tab holes must to mount the new connector properly. Also PCB does have solder pads under the connector for extra strength. I was at 600F with a soldering iron and too hot with hot air tool and does not melt properly and burning smell so refused to proceed further and got the PCB heater out for that.

      So I used the PCB heater to warm the board up and was able to perform proper task without burning or destroy anything else. But cursed PCB holder that came with is useless, that thing has no clamps, just PCB sitting there in the grooves by the edges. Need better PCB holder. Looks good on your but I prefer good reliable equipment not the chinese knock off like the PCB heater I used recently.

      The repaired samsung tab E 9.6 is now charging nicely with new port.

      Cheers,

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