Fab C: Arcsin starting to come together

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Here is a shot of the latest version of the Arcsin. If you are keeping track, this is actually the Fab C board. Fab A and B were engineering experiments and both had their share of issues. I'm thinking that there will probably be one or two problems on the Fab C as well but at least I have the motivation to work on it.

 

The original Arcsin on the left and the new Arcsin on the right. The compression results in a 40% decrease in size.

 

To work with SMT parts, I needed a way to reflow the boards if I was going to make this any eaiser. So, I hunted around on Ebay for a couple of weeks before finding an industrial heating plate. The unit I found is almost 3/4" thick, runs on 220 power and will crank out some serious heat. I also picked up a cheapo Xanke PID temerature controller and K type thermocouple to control this monster.

 

A shot of the thermocouple screwed into the far corner of the pate. I didn't want to hit the heating element when I was drilling, so I picked an out-of-the-way spot.

 

I've been looking at commercial conveyor toasters for some time for use as a reflow oven, but I didn't really want to spend a bunch of money on something that I wasn't sure was going work. Well, I was out picking up a CO2 tank that I bought for our home carbonation project (another story) and the guy also had this old toaster. So, I scored it for $20.

 

The conveyor is a bit short, but this thing will cook boards. I ran a few Arcsins through and the first few came out looking like burnt toast. It will take some time to dial in, but I think it just might work. Remember where you saw a conveyor toaster used as a reflow oven!

 

This is the type of toaster that drops the toast down and back out the front, so, I had to hack a hole in the back to get the board out after reflowing. I'm going to keep my eye out for one of those small conveyor sandwich ovens because those have a longer conveyor and would work perfectly.