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DIY mini T2 Build Thread


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Half a year ago I promised to build a new original DIY T2. Now it’s done. After some difficulties with left channel and PSU she is playing as an original DIY T2 does!!! Thinking of retire a

Finally, my mini T2 is completed. Just want to share my build experience and listening impression for those who are about to build one. Also, a huge shout-out for JoaMat, who conceptualised and design

A few points regarding the boards Michael have had made on my gerbers. They are basically the same as my kitchen made boards I made  five months ago. The small tube footprint has no hole for the

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22 hours ago, chinsettawong said:

Wow!  I tried to solder some SMD resistors today using solder paste and hot air.  It’s so difficult!  I turned the air down to the minimum already, but as soon as the solder started to melt the resistor got blown away.  Is there any good tip for a beginner?

I did some experimentation and found that low airflow and fairly high air temp worked best for me.

I have a quick 861dw hot air station. I set the airflow to 5 out of 120 and set to 360C (the temperature will depend on your solder paste melting point). I hold the hot air nozzle with one hand and with the other I use tweezers to keep the smd part in place. If you do not hold the part in place almost any airflow will send components into low earth orbit. The tweezers I use are curved on the end which makes it easier to place components, keep your hands away from the heat and easier to see what's going on.

 

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Edited by jamesmking
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I always do smd soldering with fin tip solder iron and after a long time of practicing I feel quite comfortable with that. I’ve tested with hot air station and with proper amount of solder paste on the pads and when using low air flow I managed to solder without components blowing away. And it’s a nice feeling seeing a component nicely aligning up on its pads.  But I prefer the soldering iron technique. Me and solder paste don’t mix well. After a while the whole table is a mess and I even have solder paste on my nose.

With some practice I’m sure everyone can do smd soldering, but it can be very frustrating initially. 

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I use an oven (when it’s not too cold outside) and a hot air station during the winter. 

I agree that you need to set the air velocity way down.  I do keep a tweezers handy in case something moves or tombstones, but I generally don’t need it. 

Try to have the air gun directly over and perpendicular to the parts. I move it around in small circular motions anywhere from 12mm - 25mm above the parts. 

It’s very important that the parts are somewhat centered in the pads. For 0603 and down, I use a loop while I’m placing the parts. 

Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very fast way of soldering. 

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To date I've soldered all the SMD applications using a fine-tip soldering iron and a fine tip tweezer. I also find using very small gauge solder is key - I use .02"/3mm diameter solder from Kester with 2% silver and it works great. You can get a small tube of this solder from Mouser offered by NTE. I can try dig out the part number if you are interested.

I want to experiment with a hot air station but have not done so yet. Mostly because I could to decide how much to spend and which one to get. Even the very basic one from the trusted brand (JBC, Hakko, etc.) costs an arm and a leg. 

Edited by mwl168
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15 minutes ago, mwl168 said:

To date I've soldered all the SMD applications using a fine-tip soldering iron and a fine tip tweezer. I also find using very small gauge solder is key - I use .02"/3mm diameter solder from Kester with 2% silver and it works great. You can get a small tube of this solder from Mouser offered by NTE. I can try dig out the part number if you are interested.

I want to experiment with a hot air station but have not done so yet. Mostly because I could to decide how much to spend and which one to get. Even the very basic one from the trusted brand (JBC, Hakko, etc.) costs an arm and a leg. 

the quick 861dw comes highly recommended 

 

 

 

its also useful for drying out pcbs after ultrasonic cleaning, removing surface mount components, heat shrink etc.

 

 

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Michael,

Check out the Rossman group videos on YouTube. He does a review of some hot air stations. He likes the Quick, but I believe he has one from Atten which is cheaper and performs just as well.

 

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Thanks for all the good advices.  I change the air nozzle to a bigger one so that it has slower air velocity, and set the temperature to a bit higher, and now it goes a lot better.  :)

I still have a long way to go though.

By the way, the smell of the flux is really bad.  Do you guys wear a mask or use a filter fan when doing the hot air soldering?  

 

Edited by chinsettawong
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