DIY surface mount

Recently the need to use some surface mount components was forced on me, the component I needed comes in the S08 package.

For some time I used a tiny temperature controlled soldering iron for soldering SO8 devices. It works and is easy to do. However there are problems when soldering other surface mount components, capacitors being the biggest problem.

Many types of surface mount capacitors will delaminate when soldered with a regular soldering iron, the main problem being the thermal shock and uneven distribution of heat across the component.

Using a Hot Air Pencil solves this problem, by carefully raising the temperature of a component these thermal shocks can be avoided.

So, I needed at least a simple Hot Air Pencil. Checking my favorite catalogs I found several, but the cheapest being $600 !

Need being the mother of inventions, and refusing to pay the price, I started looking for a way to make my own Hot Air Pencil

I have used a Hot Air Pencil, I had some idea of what was needed, although I have never seen inside of one.

1) a heater.

2) a heat exchanger.

3) air flow.

4) nozzle to focus the hot air.

I used a 40W soldering iron and an aquarium air pump plus a few inches of brass and silicon rubber tubing.

Total cost $45  !

The heat exchanger is filled with stainless steel wool. The SS wool made a fantastic improvement in heat transfer. Perhaps some better material could be used, if anyone has any suggestions I welcome an email about it.

hotairpencil.gif (7581 bytes)Simple sketch of the construction.

hotairpencil_and_pump.jpg (15811 bytes)Hot Air Pencil and Pump.

hotairpencilcloseup.jpg (12751 bytes)Hot Air Nozzle.

Planned improvements, temperature control.

Now I need to get some liquid flux and solder paste.!

Next item will be a vacuum pickup and a pre-heating system.

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Copyrightę 2005 Hans Wedemeyer, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved.