Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Reflow experimentation

In Hardware on Jun 15, 2009 at 00:01

Got this little skillet/grill thing recently:

Heating plate

Quite a convenient size (and it can be stored upright) – the usable area is around 25 cm diagonal. It’s also relatively weak at 700 Watt, but since it’s so small it still easily reaches the solder melting point within a few minutes (with the lid closed).

I’ll be experimenting with this thing for SMD reflow soldering. Will need to measure and control the temperature (an NTC resistor rated for 300° no doubt, but I don’t know which type yet).

If the heat collection in these plates makes the thing too slow to control properly, I could take the plates out and use some sort of grid instead:

Heating plate

Note the heat sensor in the middle, triggering a thermostatic switch.

Ideally – of course – I’d want to control this thing with a JeeNode, but I’m not willing to spend very much time on that right now. We’ll see. First thing will be to measure the temperature ramp-up/-down behavior of this thing, with the lid open and closed.

If this works, it’s a pretty good deal for €19.95 !