Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Reflow temperature

In Hardware, Software on Jul 12, 2009 at 00:01

For my upcoming reflow experiments, I’d like to use a JeeNode to track the temperature and perhaps also control the grill. As the saying goes… when you have a hammer JeeNode, everything looks like a nail sketch.

So I hooked up a 10 KΩ NTC resistor rated up to 300°C as voltage divider with a 1 KΩ resistor pull-up. Bought a cheap and probably not-so-accurate multi-meter with thermocouple-based temperature readout. And then the fun starts – turned my grill on and watched it heat up and then cool down, while jotting down the “readings” from this “experiment”. I felt like a high-school kid in physics class again :)

The results:

Picture 1.png

Not bad. The readout is a bit coarse at the higher end, but I think it’s accurate enough for reflow soldering in the 170° .. 240° range. The grill goes up to 260°C from what I can tell.

But I didn’t want a lookup table, so I went looking for a polynomial least-squares regression fitter on the web and found this one. Great: copy and paste the 18 heat-up readings, then try out a few polynomes – turns out that a 7th degree polynome fits well, matching the measured data within a few tenths of a degree.

And then I found an even better site called ZunZun – it lets you fit polynomes and graph the results and generate the C++ code. No need to copy lots of coefficients!

Here’s what I ended up with, using a “Lowest sum of orthogonal distance (ODR)” fit:

Picture 1.png

Corresponding C++ code:

Picture 4.png

To be able to configure this thing, it would be nice to be able to enter degrees. That’s easy to do by also fitting the inverse function:

Picture 7.png

Corresponding C++ code for the inverse:

Picture 6.png

Great. Onwards!

  1. Nothing comes to mind right now, but thank you for making it available!

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