A few months ago we noticed a Kickstarter being run out Milwaukee for a pretty nifty looking reflow oven controller by Marquette student Nate Zimmerman. We love to support makers in their endeavors and as it happened none of our members had ever gotten around to converting a toaster to reflow. This, despite the fact that a number of us regularly design and build surface mount boards.
So, a few of us got together and backed Nate’s Revision 2 controller kit. The kit came in last week, I picked up a cheap toaster on clearance, and this past weekend we installed the kit into the oven.
From the kit installer’s perspective Nate’s kit couldn’t be simpler. A supplied SSR is inserted in series with the main AC line, and a K-type thermocouple is fed into the oven cavity. Both items connect up to a preassembled circuit board and LCD touchscreen.
We fired up the oven and ran it through its paces right from the touch screen. It performed great right away. There were no real issues. I did manage to install the display upside down, but that will take 5 minutes to flip when next I’m at the space. I just plain ran out of time this time. Next time I’ll also be able to play a bit with the PC software, but it was great that the controller fired up and ran right away without having to mess with the PC at all.
So now the space has a nice profiling reflow oven! I am looking forward to using it! I know one member already has a board lined up to go this Tues (Feb 3rd, ’15). So if you’d like to see it run in person stop on by the space on Tues. at 7PM!
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