Now we’re cookin’ – here’s the complete reflow configuration I am setting up for use at Jee Labs:
Yes, it’s a Project On Foam again!
As before, I’m using a 700 Watt low-end toaster/grill. It can heat about the area of a 10×16 cm pcb and it’s really small and practical for me. I removed the teflon-coated hot plates, and placed a thin aluminum sheet in there, to respond more quickly to heat changes. A small oven or a skillet could probably also be used.
The power is controlled by an FS20 remote switch (available from Conrad or ELV, both in Europe). This is very convenient, since JeeNodes can control this thing through the RFM12B without any further hardware. The big advantage: no need to mess around with 220V AC mains – it’s RF-isolated!
The LCD display makes this thing independent of a PC/Mac. And the battery pack makes it a fully stand-alone solution. The JeeNode (and LCD / radio) will shut off once the temperature drops below 50 °C. This whole setup draws about 30 mA, so with a run time of 10-minutes, four AA batteries will last hundreds of runs, i.e. plenty!
The Thermo Plug and Blink Plug have both been extended in the shop as pre-assembled unit and kit, respectively, including a thermouple which can be used up to 350 °C. I’ve also added a 4-cell battery holder.
Here’s how to operate this thing:
- set up everything, place the board inside the grill, and close the lid
- press the GREEN button, the green LED goes on
- wait for the BEEP, then carefully open the lid
- wait until the green LED turns off, i.e. the temperature drops under 150 °C
This is an example of what happens during a run:
Tomorrow, I’ll comment on this graph and the JeeMon app that produced it.