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HOT AIR Bench top

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HOT AIR Bench top | 11 January, 2011

Hello everyone,

I've decided to go with a hot air bench top station for our prototype PCB.

I would like to know other vendors besides Zephytronics and Weller's.

Please recommend few other vendors that you think I should look into.

Thank you in advance.

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HOT AIR Bench top | 11 January, 2011

There are a number of manufacturers of Benchtop Hot air stations. For what you are describing, look at Hakko as well as A.P.E. (if they are still around, they made a great little machine called a ?Chipmaster?, and if you added preheat, I think you were still well under $6K total.)

In any case, whatever system, make sure you plan on purchasing some supplementary bottomside heating as well.

Although this might not be optimal, you might be surprised at what can be accomplished with some skill, knowledge and some decent machinery. You will of course be limited in some cases, such as fine pitch micro BGA placement, and such... but perhaps your prototypes have more typical SMT parts on them.

Best of luck at your prototyping.


(`hege has no affiliation with any company listed above)

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HOT AIR Bench top | 17 January, 2011

Hi Hege,

Thank you very much for your input. So far I have four hot air from four different companies.

ERSA: IR500 or IR550⊂_id=346&cont_add=467

Weller: WHA3000PS or VS Zephytronics ZT-7

APE The Bandit Series 7500-1500

If anyone uses one of the following equipment, I would greatly appreciate your input.

Zephytronics: I think it lacks on the temperature control. It only has 3 temp. phase segments and it has no profile memorization.

Ersa: It used IR for the pre-heat, but I'm not very familiar with the controls and other features. I like the idea of the CCD camera for perfect alignment.

APE: The bandit hot air station is a great product. I like the idea of having full convection for bottom and top heating.

Weller: I know they make great soldering products, but not very familiar with their hot air stations.

Folks, please feel free to share your input for these equipment.



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HOT AIR Bench top | 17 January, 2011

Of the machines you have mentioned, the APE Bandit is your best bet. I had one of those in a previous employ and it was basically bulletproof, and simple enough to work on if things went wrong. Simple controllers and enough power to do the job at relatively lower temperatures than the other stations listed. I think 1200w topside and 600w bottomside, and 1200w bottomside heating available with the 220v models, as I recall. APE, funnny looks, funny names, odd customer service, but pretty good equipment in my experience.

I would stay away from IR heating for any topside reflow. For Bottom heating is OK, my opinion.

`hege has no affiliation with and receives no benefit from any company mentioned above.

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