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Heaterizer XL 3000 FTW! [May. 21st, 2011|12:32 pm]
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[Current Location |Purcellville, VA]
[mood |pleasedpleased]

I decided to buy SparkFun's $10 Heaterizer XL 3000 Heat Gun to try for heat stink and desoldering duties. I'm getting more and more opportunities to remove surface mount parts from boards, and this looks like a more cost-effective approach than a surface mount rework station with a bunch of nozzles for different size and shape parts. Hey, it's only $10 and the instruction manual is a hoot! Seriously, give it a read.

Today, I decided to give its desoldering abilities a whirl. I grabbed a scrap board (from an HP multi-function printer, if you're curious) and had at.

Board with removed chips

It did a nice job neatly removing even high pin count chips. All I did was blast the chip with hot air for a minute or two, then rap the board on a hard surface, and the chips fell right off. Even BGA packages, chips with thermal pads soldered down, connectors, and power transistors with heatsink tabs. It made short work of all of 'em.

Small SMD parts

I also got a rain of smaller parts I wouldn't normally bother to salvage, right down to teeny little packages I'd have to pick up with tweezers (Picture taken with an ancient 55mm Micro-Nikkor lense I picked up on eBay for $15).

I am quite satisfied with this little beast. It does a lovely job at melting whatever I point it at. Originally posted at Dreamwidth.org comments

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2011-05-21 04:58 pm (UTC)

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We're increasingly moving to using hot air rework at work, because it's fast and in many cases it's the only option. (We very much like using hotplates for initial placement but that's difficult once the board's got parts on both sides.) With most of ours we can vary the airflow so you don't blow off all the adjacent parts: I dunno if it'd be possible to add this to the Sparkfun model, but I think it's a help (although it requires a different heat controller, most likely, since theirs is probably constant power making an assumption about airspeed.)
[User Picture]From: gravitrue
2011-05-23 06:37 pm (UTC)

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Well, if there was a diverter the airspeed could probably stay constant; just knock some of it in a direction away from the board. Alternatively, would plugging it into a variac work?
[User Picture]From: madbodger
2014-01-13 10:23 pm (UTC)

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Can you recommend a hotplate for this sort of duty? My default position is grab a cheap no-name bare burner one and bolt a 1/4" hunk of aluminum on the top, but I'm hoping there's something a little more elegant out there.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2014-02-01 02:37 am (UTC)

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I've used a nice thermoline at work but at home it's just a cheap food rewarmer from target.