Cooking up some strobes?


Way behind schedule - again...
May 13, 2010
San Jose, CA
I am planning to use my newly built SparkFun oven controller and a 4-element Black&Decker toaster oven to mass produce the LED strobe boards. For those of you who might be planning the same, I thought this would be a good place to share experiences on the process. The SF site has a basic oven controller program that I have burnt into the PIC and it comes with a sample program. You can of course create your own but it would make things easier if the existing one worked as-is. Is there any thought on the cycle (rise, steady-state, cool-down) times for these little guys? Also - which solder paste would be best for these - would a stencil be a good idea (especially when doing 200+ of them...)?

Anyway - just opening it up for comments for those of you planning to use an oven. I know a soldering station or hot air rework system can be used but I'd like to focus specifically on oven use here. I am thinking of "cooking" several dozen boards at a shot so I would be done after a few runs. I know the boards are double-sided so I'd be looking at putting the opposite parts (e.g. the PIC) on by hand. I'm only planning to put the PIC on about 1/4 of my boards.


Full time elf
May 9, 2010
Paris / France
Hi ,
I just invest in a new "Plancha Grill" from TEFAL with removable plate (Die cast aluminium plate).

The choice of this one, better than a standard oven, is you can replace very easy your components in live, with a good view in case you used too much solder paste and the components move.

Also the resistor offers a real heat diffused in all surface and not just around the plate as we can found in standard grill plates.

The results today are perfect compared to my old grill plate.

The second thing, personally for solder paste, i use a "dispenser tool" ( from Teli Dispensing Asia), where i can manage exactly the solder paste points and i used it also for silicone dispenser. (needs a small external air compressor, to use with).

My conclusion, as now more and more devices uses SMD components, we need to adapt our tools for that, specially if you want to build your units yourself.

Cheers, Henri