From Ben James on the Hackaday blog:
There are few scenes in life more moving than the moment the solder paste melts as the component slides smoothly into place. We’re willing to bet the only reason you don’t have a reflow oven is the cost. Why wouldn’t you want one? Fortunately, the vastly cheaper DIY route has become a whole lot easier since the birth of the Reflowduino – an open source controller for reflow ovens.
This Hackaday Prize entry by [Timothy Woo] provides a super quick way to create your own reflow setup, using any cheap means of heating you have lying around. [Tim] uses a toaster oven he paid $21 for, but anything with a suitable thermal mass will do. The hardware of the Reflowduino is all open source and has been very well documented – both on the main hackaday.io page and over on the project’s GitHub.
The board itself is built around the ATMega32u4 and sports an integrated MAX31855 thermocouple interface (for the all-important PID control), LiPo battery charging, a buzzer for alerting you when input is needed, and Bluetooth. Why Bluetooth? An Android app has been developed for easy control of the Reflowduino, and will even graph the temperature profile.
When it comes to controlling the toaster oven/miscellaneous heat source, a “sidekick” board is available, with a solid state relay hooked up to a mains plug. This makes it a breeze to setup any mains appliance for Arduino control.
Dan Maloney on the Hackaday blog:
Simple Mechanism Gives Support for SMT Assembly
To fight the shakes, you can do one of two things: remove the human, or improve the human. Unable to justify a pick and place robot for the former, [Tom] opted to build a quick hand support for surface-mount work, and the results are impressive considering it’s built entirely of scrap.
It’s just a three-piece arm with standard butt hinges for joints; mounted so the hinge pins are perpendicular to the work surface and fitted with a horizontal hand rest, it constrains movement to a plane above the PCB. A hole in the hand rest for a small vacuum tip allows [Tom] to pick up a part and place it on the board — he reports that the tackiness of the solder paste is enough to remove the SMD from the tip.
Everyone needs a helping hand in the shop once in a while, and most of us have gone the traditional route and bought one of those little doohickies with the cast iron base and adjustable arms terminated in alligator clips.
via Coolant Hoses Retasked to Lend a Helping Hand — Hackaday
Timothy Woo has launched a Indiegogo campaign to manufacture his open-source, Arduino-compatible, wireless PCB reflow oven controller:
Reflowduino is the first completely open-source, Arduino-compatible reflow oven controller of its kind that enables practically anyone to assemble their own beautiful circuit boards at home!
Reflowduino comes loaded with features, all in a compact Arduino-compatible package, with full documentation, example code, demo app, and comprehensive wiki on Github.
Reflowduino is designed to be extremely easy to use! The general concept is to switch the power of the appliance on or off with a solid-state relay as shown below, measuring the temperature by placing the thermocouple tip inside the oven during the whole process.
If nothing else, please share this campaign to your friends, family, and anyone who might be interested on social media! Remember that every view counts for me, and I’m depending on you to make this happen!
Jeremy S Cook writes on the Tindie blog:
Weirdly, one problem with memory now being so small is that these drives can be placed in areas that are difficult to access. Usually this means some sort of USB adapter (another amazing improvement over serial or parallel ports), but if you just want an actual SD extension cable in the form of a micro SD card, here it is! This device was conceived of when programming a BeagleBone Black, and could have lots of other applications.
I designed this little tool while compiling a software installation on BeagleBone Black. I needed to repetitively remove/inset the micro SD card. The BeagleBone was installed in a hard-to-reach area. So much time was wasted trying to inset the card with tweezers.
This simple tool plugs into the hard-to-reach socket, and provides a flexible extension.
We’re looking for a variety of flex designs to test. The specs will be the same as our normal 2 layer service but on Kapton:
6 mil minimum trace width
6 mil minimum trace spacing
10 mil minimum drill
5 mil annular ring
Please send us an email with “flex” in the subject: [email protected]
The ATXMega32E5 is the next step up for those experienced with the AVR series of microcontrollers from Microchip (formerly Atmel). They use the same compilers and libraries as the rest of the AVR 8- and 16-bit families, but they can run at 32 MHz and have an amazingly powerful set of internal peripherals that can take your projects to the next level and beyond.
For prototyping, however, the disadvantage is that the XMega chips are not available as through-hole parts. That’s where this breakout board comes into play.
nsayer has shared the board on OSH Park: