Desoldering Station

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I've got a cheap desoldering station which isn't very good. I bought it in a hurry for a specific repair but now need to get something better.

 

It's one of the generic Chinese units using this type of tip...

 

 

The problem is that the tips soon 'crater' leaving the heating surface concave and hence the heat doesn't transfer properly risking pad removal.

 

I don't mind spending a bit of money for a decent unit.

 

Any recommendations in the 200-300 range (USD/EURO/GBP - they're all the same) ?

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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I have a JBC station, that also has a vacume port were you can attach a spring loaded suction cup, once the tin melts this suction cup pulls the chip of from the PCB.

Now that is way out of bounds from your budget ( it costed 2500 euros if I recall correctly) but it works like a charm, specially as we use it quiet often for CPU replacement.

Would look for something like this as it is very handy.

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If you can afford and justify it; a Metcal desoldering station, preferably with an external air compressor. With a little help from a soldering iron, I'm able to desolder shielded RJ45 connectors on 6-layer PCBs that's 2.4mm thick with practically no thermal relief.

 

The exact model I have experience with is the Metcal MX5200 station with a desoldering handle. You may be able to get it for a decent price used, but not in the 200-300$/€/£ range.

 

EDIT:

We have a Norwegian supplier that sells a lot of the Beltec SC7000Z desoldering gun. I have never used one, but it is supposed to be good!

 

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 7, 2020 - 11:31 AM
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meslomp wrote:
Now that is way out of bounds from your budget ...
Chip Quik® is inexpensive.

meslomp wrote:
... CPU replacement.
An electronics technician awed me; he reworks BGA with a heat gun.

Similar for semi-automation of; the use case is rework of PCBA in game consoles and smart phones.

 


Chip Quik - ChipQuik Alloy for SMD Removal (4.5ft. In 9-6.5in. Lengths) lead-free

...

Chip Quik Lead-Free Alloy Melting Point: 79-91 Celsius (174-195 F)

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:

An electronics technician awed me; he reworks BGA with a heat gun.

On a previous job I had such a colleague too. Was amazing to see him replace those things with seemingly no effort at all.

 

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gchapman wrote:

An electronics technician awed me; he reworks BGA with a heat gun.

It's easy once you get the hang of it! Hot Air rework stations run about $50 and well worth it. https://www.ebay.com/itm/852D-2-...

I also have one of those solder sucking desolding guns, they work well for TH parts until they clog up, then are a pain to drill out, as that seems the only way to open one up again that I have found, open to other suggestions.

 

Jim

edit: added ebay example

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 7, 2020 - 01:57 PM
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I have one of these handhelds---seems to work decently (best when the lead vs hole has more clearance), never observed any tip cratering.   Occasionally, while heated, I ram a piece of copper bus wire down the throat to pick up any residual solder (which coats the copper wire).  That seems to keep it  "breathing" well.  My only complaint about this unit, is there is no way to turn off the heating, other than unplugging--so I get to wear out my outlet.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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avrcandies wrote:
My only complaint about this unit, is there is no way to turn off the heating, other than unplugging--so I get to wear out my outlet.

I has one of these:

That I picked up at a garage sale and use it for stuff like that along with my hot air station.

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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I'm also looking for desoldering capability, but mostly  just tweezers for resistors, capacitors, LEDs, and such. Am not going to touch anything with more than 6 pins (SOT23-6). What you all have been describing are way over my needs. Have seen a few advertised, but no idea which might be considered "good". Suggestions? I do have an inexpensive Hakko soldering station (FX-888D) that serves me well and there is a "hot tweezer" available; it costs more than  the basic station! Any use experience?

 

Thanks

 

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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avrcandies wrote:
there is no way to turn off the heating, other than unplugging--so I get to wear out my outlet.

have you guys not heard of switched outlets ??

 

Pretty much de rigueur here:

 

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Who can use switched outlets?

They seem to always be behind/under a desk or table.

 

 

And how would you know which switch does what?

 

 

devil

 

David

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That's a great photo!

 

I forgot, I have these hot tweezers:

They CAN be good for smd resistors, caps, etc, where you need to heat 2 "leads" at once....They sorta suck badly, since the two prongs wobble out of the swing axis...so instead of coming straight together when you squeeze them they might miss or wobble by each other by 1/4 inch!!!  So I mostly threw them in a drawer.  You can use them backwards...put them in a vise (no more wobble) & you move the pcb around to touch them instead.    So I mostly use a hot air blower instead & just let things fly, or use a feather touch of air.   I have a light-based heater that does the job pretty well---no air to blow things around--works on TQFP32, 44, etc pretty good. 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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There's a listing on eBay for one pound of Wood's Metal (generic name for ChipQuik) for @$19.

Adding about 1 cubic millimeter of this to a big joint or a large connector will reduce the melting temperature of the solder so that it can be reworked at lower solder iron temperatures.

 

 

1+ lb. ingot of Alloy 158. Melts at 158ºF-70.0º C

Can be used for tube bending, pattern making and holding parts for machining.

Melting Temperature 158ºF or 70.0º C It is a eutectic alloy of 50% bismuth, 26.7% lead, 13.3% tin, and 10% cadmium by weight.

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My experience with tweezers is similar to candies, I found using a gentle hot air and normal tweezers to work best, and it works on multi-leg devices too! 

 

Sorry Brian, I guess this thread got high-jacked, best to just buy a pile of tips and change them as needed!

 

Jim

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 7, 2020 - 07:02 PM
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@Simonetta
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium#Safety

 

in ChipQuik? ... Not from what I can see.

 

https://www.chipquik.com/msds/SMD4.5NL.pdf

 

 

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frog_jr wrote:
And how would you know which switch does what?

coloured tie-wraps are a wonderful thing:

 

Top Tips:

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  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
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I have cooked 44-pin SMT AVRs off of boards with a heat gun, but I'll freely admit it was a bit brutal.  Everything else got carefully wrapped in aluminum foil, to start...  S.

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And how would you know which switch does what?

My sister was on the payphone (remember those?) in a restroom hallway at a fancy restaurant.  While yakking, she started randomly flipping off/on a wall switch controlling a mini spotlight for the phone.  Minutes later the manager angrily demanded to know what she was doing...she said she was talking to her friend & he told her NO! you have been turning off all the lights in the dining room the past 5 minutes!!!

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Anyhow, a bit OT:

 

I got to yell at my father for something like that.

 

To be fair, the house he lived in was wildly weirdly wired, with multiple switches on every circuit - so the position of the switch did not indicate the condition of the circuit.  My house was not like that - the physical position indicates the condition of the circuit - but it did have a lot of wall outlets wired to a separate wall switch.  Many of those wall outlets were, at the time, running desktop computers.

 

So he flips the switch down, hoping to turn a light on.  Instead he gets this horrible descending drone, as fan after fan loses speed, as PC after PC loses power...

 

I have made sure that will never happen again.  S.

 

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Scroungre wrote:

I have cooked 44-pin SMT AVRs off of boards with a heat gun, but I'll freely admit it was a bit brutal.  Everything else got carefully wrapped in aluminum foil, to start...  S.

 

Two-leg parts need either tweezers and air or hot tweezers, but the mechanical play in hot tweezers make them fairly pointless for anything less than 0805. By the time you're down to 0402 or smaller, they're usually so packed and so invisible that you generally can't get only the one you want off a board though sometimes really fine tweezers and a steady hand will work.

 

For ICs it's not the number of legs, but the package type. QFP with up to a hundred pins is easy with gentle hot air, tweezers, and flux; the various SOPs  and SOICs are a doddle. I haven't had to cut the legs of a chip to remove it for years. The ones I hate are the square packages with no legs, where the bulk of the connector is under the package with just a slice up the side - QFN - easy to get off but a devil to replace. Again though, flux is often the answer; it keeps the solder where it should be and seems to help it melt nicely.

 

BGA is right out without an x-ray machine to see where it's going back and whether it did.

 

Neil

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Time to keep an eye on eBay.

 

MCUdude wrote:

We have a Norwegian supplier that sells a lot of the Beltec SC7000Z desoldering gun. I have never used one, but it is supposed to be good!

 

Interesting. I like that spares seem to be available for just about any part.

 

[EDIT]

Not cheap though.

 

gchapman wrote:

Chip Quik® is inexpensive.

 

I think I have some somewhere; I ought to find it and have a proper try out.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

Last Edited: Thu. Oct 8, 2020 - 06:56 AM
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I was sorta idly considering buying hot tweezers at some point, but your remarks upon how mechanically poor they are have changed my mind.  I'll stick with the heat gun and the "cold" tweezies for now.  S.

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I have some Metcal irons that I use to be able to operate chopstick style (somewhat... well, maybe I got burned while trying to do that).

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This should do a pretty good job of removing most smd resistors...they will respect the iron

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Fri. Oct 9, 2020 - 05:55 AM
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note these tweezers have some important alignment-keeping features....maybe no wobbly tips

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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The idle temperature is handy -1010F! Even to my metricated mind that is hot. Should be able to fusion weld aluminiminimum.