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  • Solder Reflow Oven (for Less Than $100)

    Key is to use a toaster oven that can achieve at least 1 degree C rise in temperature per second to achieve a correct reflow temperature curve. I discovered the hard way that ovens with the typical solid heating elements are too slow (even convection types) unless they are augmented with additional elements to output a huge wattage. The oven type that eventually worked best for me, has been operating successfully for years and that was cheap and easy to adapt, is a type with quartz glass elements (one top and one bottom) that heat up fast and glow very brightly. The toaster oven will also need to be prepared with additional insulation beneath its outer metal shell (e.g. rock wool). Thermal insulation on the outside also helps. This does mean that to cool down fast enough the door nee...

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    Key is to use a toaster oven that can achieve at least 1 degree C rise in temperature per second to achieve a correct reflow temperature curve. I discovered the hard way that ovens with the typical solid heating elements are too slow (even convection types) unless they are augmented with additional elements to output a huge wattage. The oven type that eventually worked best for me, has been operating successfully for years and that was cheap and easy to adapt, is a type with quartz glass elements (one top and one bottom) that heat up fast and glow very brightly. The toaster oven will also need to be prepared with additional insulation beneath its outer metal shell (e.g. rock wool). Thermal insulation on the outside also helps. This does mean that to cool down fast enough the door needs to be progressively opened after the oven has reached reflow temperature, which can be done manually or automatically using a servo motor.

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