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Gerry's Electronics & Robotics Laboratory


"Soldering Stations"


-=Disecting Microscope for SMD Soldering=-

This is my 180X MAG dissecting Microscope with a Barlow lense. I bought this busted on eBay for $120 and it turned out to be a simple mechanical problem. I MacGyvered together a video uplink using a Color CCD security camera. Trying my hand at some Surface mount soldering, lots of fun.



-=Weller WES50 Soldering unit=-

This is my Weller WES50 Temperature controlled soldering Iron. It's a handy little unit and it's lasted me 6 years so far without fail. I have various utensils and Chcemicals to aid in my soldering performance, and I am always trying to improve my skills and get feedback and tips from other professionals. There is always something to improve upon. Regardless of the learning curve,

it's Loads of fun!! :)


-=My Professional PCB Flip Rack - Model# XU-4=-

Here is a unit I just got used, It's a Professional PCB soldering Re-work "Flip Rack". These are used for performing soldering repairs on a PCB while it is still interfaced and powered to a system. Having access to both sides of the PCB is an amazing time saver, especially when running diagnostic tests with a Logic Analyzer. This is a real asset when you are working on a board without Schematics.

Like many of the Pieces of equipment I reapair, I'm always running blind as far as schematics go. :)



The Unit has adjustable Tightning bolts for locking the braces Titlt position.

This keeps the PCB locked in place while performing soldering repairs on the PCB.

Flipping the rack 180 Degrees is fast and simple. This allows the Board to remain

isolated, interfaced and powered to a circuit, while performing diagnostics on the board.

Overall, this is a pretty amazing asset to have.



-=AOYUE Hot Air SMD Soldering Rework Station=-

This is my AOYUE 857A++ 500 Watt Hot Air SMD Soldering Rework station. This little beauty is the latest addition to my soldering setup. Now these Hot Air stations use a solder paste as opposed to your standard spooled solder. You simply spread a small amount of the paste across the solder pads on the PCB, where you're soldering your chip, and then you simply apply the Hot Air in a back and forth motion. The solder Paste is the key here.

Solder Paste is usally limited to a 1 year shelf life. Reason for this is becasue it is prone to going bad or really just drying out. In turn, it is recommended that you refrigerate your solder paste at all times.

I recently decided to step up my soldeing skills and began to receive some training from my Boss at the University where I work. If you haven't seen a Hot Air soldering unit, solder a chip using "solder paste"... it will blow your mind!! There is no contact with the Chip pins whatsoever when you solder. The magical "Solder Paste", once heated...will heat up and then begin to bubble. It then turn molten, almost like murcury. It will then only flow towards the metal of the pins on the chip...completely on its own. This is so awesome to see the first time.You'll ask yourself.."What the Heck just happend?".

So, you can spread the solder paste across all the chips solder pads (But not too much, very little actually), and then the hot air takes care of the rest. It's really awesome and it is the way to go if you're soldering multi pin chips like TSOP or TQFP packages. If you put too much solder paste you will get small bridges across the odd pin and you'll then have to re-solder. So finding the right amount is tricky. They also provide stencils for various chip packages. This applies the exact amount and only to the PCB's solder Pads.

Check out this youtube video of some hot air soldering, you'll have a double take on this one, and you'll watch it twice garenteed! HAha!! :)