How to choose a soldering torch

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#1
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The topic is pretty self explanatory.

I've started soldering surface mount parts recently and had to borrow a soldering torch from a friend.

I want to buy my own and looking for advises of what to look for and what to avoid.

Also, if you know of a good store, let me know.

Thanks!

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It would help if you say something about where, on the surface of the earth, you are.

I assume that you mean "soldering iron" rather than "soldering torch" (the latter being a gas heated device with lots of flame).

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I'm in montreal / canada
I do mean the gas heated device, for melting solder paste and soldering lga packages

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For that kind of work, you'd usually use a hot air rework station, rather than a gas-heated device. Do you need it to be particularly portable?

Michael

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I can live without portability. I know it is possible to use a regular heat gun but I'm not sure of how convenient it is for soldering since it affects a very large area at once

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What you're looking for isn't a regular heat gun. I use an Aoyue 852, similar to one of these:

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10706

It's cheap, and provides temperature and flow control, with various nozzles that direct the air to a small part of your board.

Michael

Edit: I should probably add, if you're looking for something more directed than that, you're probably looking for a soldering iron.

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Handi3 wrote:
... for melting solder paste and soldering lga packages
Soldering a QFN is close; video contains a tool list.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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In order to avoid destroying the PCB or the components you will need a special tool with regulated air temperature and flow velocity. Of course, you realise that this cannot be done safely, or even done at all, using a blow torch or a regular heat gun.

What you will need is a hot air rework station, as suggested above, and some experience in order to use it effectively and safely. Additionally, since this line of tools is powerful enough (~1KW) to cause damages if mistreated, please read this summarising mini-guide before using such a tool. Keep in mind that the component manufacturers publish soldering profiles along with the datasheets for each of their sensitive parts.

-George

I hope for nothing; I fear nothing; I am free. (Nikos Kazantzakis)

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Handi3,

I bought and use this one.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_...

I paid about US$60 including shipping and am very happy with its performance. Visit David Jones's EEVBlog. He has a video review of it.

Cheers,

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Thanks for the feedback!

Ross, that seems like an amazing unit for the price! I think I will go for that. It's seems most of them are designed to work at 220V, I hope I can find a 120V unit

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I use this one : an Aoyue968

Attachment(s): 

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So far I haven't seen any 110V equivalents of the Atten 858D, which makes me sad since at 60$ shipping included it is about half the price of any other model I've seen.

The Sparkfun one from Michael looks nice too but it will end up costing about 120$+ if we add the shipping.

I've found those guys on ebay, which seem to be a clone of the Atten, and the sellers claim they work at 110V but I am a little bit suspicious:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/YIHUA-WEP-Hot-Air-Gun-Rework-Station-BGA-Soldering-Reballing-858D-110V-/320846384359?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab3ef4ce7#ht_1525wt_1304