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Current hot air/rework station and desoldering gun
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Current hot air/rework station and desoldering gun
southphillysynths
Wanted to get into SMT and not sure if its worth investing in better tools.

I've had a plug in weller for maybe 13 years and it has served me well with no signs of failing!

I want to do a few SMT projects that I might be able to do by hand. Wanted some recommendation on a hot air/ rework station and if the iron on a system like that will be as good as my weller while still allowing me to do SMT.

Also wanted to get some recommendations for a desoldering gun. I've had some repair recently that would have been much faster with one of those!!

I am a poor college kid but hopefully will be able to find a good value for these tools.

all help is greatly appreciated!
macsimski
Ive bought a cheap Yiuah 858 and it works perfectly. This is the one with just two knobs and no buttons or display. I prefer those above the button ones as you can set the temperature very fast. they are cheap as well. brought mine for about 45 euro.

As i do smd work by day (i develop (digital) hardware) I use it a lot.

and the nicest thing is that it has a magnet in the holder so it cools down automatically in idel time and shuts off the fan when cool enough.

only thing i added was a simple powerled as there is no indication its turned on when idle. not necessary with the ones with a display .

search on aliexpress for rework station 858
adam
some of the combo air/solder stations are unreliable, a cheap air gun will probably serve your needs
mutronic
I have a spark fun electronics hot air station that works well.
PWM
I have the Aoyue 968A+ and love it!

Also, a little Antex (30W) iron with a cord that I worked with for years. It's sufficient for through hole work and wiring.
Altitude909
Hakko FR-300 (formerly 808) for desoldering. A desoldering gun is a SUPER high maintenance device, if you cant readily get filters, tips, cleaning bits for whatever device then you might as well throw it in the trash now and save yourself some headaches.

Hot air is for removing parts (ONLY) so really anything will do fine. I like the cheapo 858 which is sold as 2 dozen different brands but they all look the same and you can get one for about $50. You can upgrade them also to greatly improve their performance.

http://www.instructables.com/id/858D-SMD-Hot-Ait-Reflow-Station-Hack/
ninjadru
I use a W.E.P 858D bought it cheap off amazon. Seems to do the trick.
daynehacks
Unless you are desoldering chips then I dont thinkg you need a hot air station. I don't use one.

I currently use a DIY soldering kit from dangerous protoypes webstore: HERE
teleport
Quote:
some of the combo air/solder stations are unreliable, a cheap air gun will probably serve your needs


Yep - don't bother with the bundled combination stations - the iron will let you down and take up space on your bench. You've got a much better tool already with the weller.

I picked up an 850+ (hot air only) on the bay for 50-ish and definitely recommend getting one. Having the digital readout along with the ariflow/temp settings is a big plus because, (regardless if whether its accurate in any way), it gives a visible reference point to work from, so you can dial it in and and move quickly without scorching boards, (which is the key to SMD).

Have also found it to be pretty great for warming up and removing DIP's after vacuuming the through-holes, (a big help when there's that final stubborn film of solder holding onto the leads).
teleport
Quote:
desoldering gun is a SUPER high maintenance device, if you cant readily get filters, tips, cleaning bits for whatever device then you might as well throw it in the trash now and save yourself some headaches.


... seconding this - having used just about every type of solder removal tool at one time or another, and they are all really fiddly and slow and break often, which makes a big difference for repetitive jobs with many de-weld operations. (usually the kinds of jobs one might want them for, right?). The Haako's are possibly the best self-contained types I've seen - but they clog up pretty easily, and can be slow on the re-heat cycle time.

(regarding cycle-time there's a super annoying phenomena I've run into (usually when de-soldering large through hole tabs on heavier jacks with lots of thermal sink), where the cooling effect of the removal of the solder + air-flow causes the tool tip to weld to the remaining pad - when this happens you just have to hold really still until it re-heats, or you risk tearing off the PCB trace).

Am currently using a Metcal with venturi vacuum, and it's great (when it works) - but it's pricey and requires a compressed air source. (also worth nothing that with all the heated-tip type vacuum-irons the size of the entrance hole vs. your the wire gauge of the target is very closely related to the efficacy of the vacuum suction, (solder is a lot heavier than dust and lint, so the narrower the gap you can create the better).

It's kind of a question of best-fit for your specific work-load, work-space, budget and application size - as to whether you might find any of the vacuum tools systems to be helpful or annoying.

Depending on the size and number of parts you're working on - you might find that the hot air tool gives you enough distributed heat flow to remove parts without a vacuum tool using just braid or along with a simple spring-vacuum sucker.
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