Building an ultrasonic soldering station ? Answered
I have some strage projects coming up that will require me to solder things together that usually don't really like this.
In my past job this was quite easy as we had an ultrasonic soldering bath and several ultrasonic soldering stations.
Well, the access to those is gone :(
At first I thought "How hard can it be to build one?"
Not really too hard for a half decent soldering bath but a lot harder for a soldering iron...
The soldering stations we used operated in the range of 50-60kHz.
Commonly available transducers and their drivers however you find for 28 and 40kHz.
Finding small ones in the range of 10 to 20W is also not easy.
I can deal with a soldering iron that ends up in the size of a 500W wood burning iron as long as the tip is replacable.
But what are the frequencies really required to solder for example on ceramic, titanium or lab grade glass?
Does anyone have experience with doing this on lower frequencies than what the professional stations use?
Last but not least:
Is there any software available (preferably free or as an online tool) to simulate the quite long feed horn that is required with a soldering tip?
Going with 1/4 wavelenghts is logical but how could I get the info on the actual shape required without simulating it first?
I was thinking of using a heater cartridge like used for the hotend on a 3D printer to heat the tip.
However, tests on my ultrasonic actuator showed the entire thing disintegrates within a few minutes, at least the filler and "glue" used to hold it all together.
Would a free standing heating coil around the tip work?
Heat transfer would be a pain and losses high, but should be possible?
In case you wonder why: I just don't ave the thausands of dollars at hand required to buy one of these soldering stations....