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PCB / SMT solder paste, stencil printing, and reflow oven

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Uploaded on Jul 13, 2011

A video showing my method for solder paste stencil printing and manually placing SMT components on PCB.

This video is for a friend. You will notice that I use the term "Ring PCB" in the video several times. That is the name of his design. He will be using this kind of equipment soon.

I order my stencils from www.QuickStencil.com.

This SMT Max AS-5001 reflow oven is definitely a low quality budget oven. If you are using TSSOP's or larger, or all passive components, the SMT Max oven quality is o.k. for you. If you are using QFN or smaller, I recommend a "real" reflow oven ($3,500 or more) from one of the "name brand" suppliers. Or maybe try a hot plate or even a toaster oven. The SMTMax low-end oven is inconsistent with our QFN's. We have run through about 20 panels and still haven't got the right curve. Since the oven is inconsistent, it's impossible to find the right curve. (This might also have to do with the white soldermask we have chosen. The white soldermask 'burns' easily, so we can't dial in the heat too high, either).

I have a "real" reflow oven on order from MannCorp, and will post a new video with my results after it arrives and I have a chance to test it out!

We are using the Kester 256 no-clean leaded solder paste. We also tried some ex-brand lead-free paste. MannCorp is going to hook us up with a sample of their favorite lead-free paste.

My hot air station is a Hakko FR-802 and I am very pleased with its operation, for what I use it for. I got the unit used off E-bay for $400. I haven't done any heavy-duty repair work, just touch-up on QFN's and passives.

We also got a hand-held (battery powered) vacuum pen from Hakko, model 394. The standard nozzle does NOT work for 0603 components. I have the smaller nozzle for the 394 on order (it's supposed to pick up 0603's) an I will update you on the tool in my next video. It does work well for picking up QFN's, I would definitely recommend it if you occasionally hand place "medium to large" pitch MCU's.

Stay away from the cheap Aoyue brand equipment being sold at sra-solder.com! In fact, avoid that site altogether! We ordered a soldering iron from them - it LITERALLY disintegrated. Very dangerous! And we never received a refund or an exchange (or even a reply to our e-mails). Shame on you, sra-solder.com

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