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Solder Paste Brand/Type for hot air.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Solder Paste Brand/Type for hot air.
Synth Con Meo
Sorry for starting a thread about this and is probably redundant but since the Search is fizzled right now I can't search for this info. What brand/type of solder paste people have had good luck with while using hot air. I have seen in the past threads that do talk about whether or not to use solder paste and using an oven or hot air to solder SMD/SMT's. And I know some people prefer to just hand solder them. But I am currently doing some practice on some practice PCB's to see what works for me. I even hand soldered some of them which I can do but still curious about using hot air for some builds.

I have an fairly inexpensive hot air station and bought some cheap solder paste off Amazon that had decent reviews. It seems to work ok but I am just wondering if the more experienced DIYers who do use solder paste a bit have recommendations. I did come across a YT video stating that there are different types of solder paste. It is mentioned that the usual inexpensive solder paste is normally a Type 3 and that there is a Type 4 and Type 5 with the Type 5 having smaller solder granules in the mix which might be best for the smallest SMD packages.

Thanks
thetwlo
Synth Con Meo wrote:
on and bought some cheap solder paste off Amazon that had decent reviews.


well, which one did you try?

I was pretty happy with the MG: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M1RC0YY
Altitude909
youre better off using a frying pan than a hot air gun.
TheMentat
Altitude909 wrote:
youre better off using a frying pan than a hot air gun.


This is probably true... my limited attempts with hot air on paste resulted in components dancing around and a bunch of tombstones. I think you need the heat to be fairly evenly distributed.
infinitemachinery
TheMentat wrote:
Altitude909 wrote:
youre better off using a frying pan than a hot air gun.


This is probably true... my limited attempts with hot air on paste resulted in components dancing around and a bunch of tombstones. I think you need the heat to be fairly evenly distributed.


I'm always amazed at how this fellow is able to use hot air for micro component surgery.

I'm always amazed at how this fellow is able to use hot air for micro component surgery.

https://youtu.be/QF62mMv-epA?t=217
Synth Con Meo
thetwlo wrote:
well, which one did you try?

I was pretty happy with the MG: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M1RC0YY


Thanks for the recommendation. I bought this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017RSGPI8/ref=ppx_yo_b_asin_title_t itle_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am not arguing the fact that hot air is the best route and doing it wrong could result in ruining components and or the PCB. But it appears that there are people who do work that way bad have had success in that.

As mentioned I am also practicing using a soldering iron, and in that I see different techniques to do that. I am just trying to find out from the individuals who have been successful using hot air what solder paste they have used. That way I can at least head down the road towards a solution that I may need to apply at any given time.

Thanks
montemcguire
I've been using Kester EP256 paste and it seems to work well for my uses. It's a 63/37 alloy with type 3 particles. I use it with 5.7mil stencils, a Hakko FR 872 infrared pre-heater, and a Hakko FR 810 hot air wand.

This combination works very reliably and predictably with pads as small as 0.32 x 0.56 mm, which is a little smaller than 0402 pads.

I was using Kester R276 paste, but it was a lot more annoying to use with a stencil. It would slump and spread a lot faster, which is a problem for me with my tedious "shaky hand and a pair of tweezers" placement system, and stencil release was not as good as it is with the EP256. It's designed for use with a syringe or a dispenser, so its viscosity is ideal for that, not stencil printing. I'm not sure how it's different, but for use with a stencil, EP256 is great, and R276 is not! I did not explore the use of a dispenser, since stencils are probably better and faster for precise paste application.

While smaller particle sizes seem attractive, larger particles do not slump as easily, so it seems to me that they may work better for small pads.

Best of luck!
Synth Con Meo
montemcguire wrote:
I've been using Kester EP256 paste and it seems to work well for my uses.


I actually just came across mention of the Kester EP256 in another forum. It was touted as being real good. But I don't know exactly if they were using it with a stencil or a syringe. I am pretty much just doing the syringe thing since I would be soldering SMD/SMT's to kit PCB's that more than likely don't have premade stencils. I might pick some up to try just anyway.

Thanks
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