Low-temperature solder paste makes it easier to reflow-solder and re-work surface mount circuit boards. MG Chemicals offers a Bismuth-based paste that works great from larger passive components to fine pitched packages, like QFN. In this video, learn what solder paste is, what it means for a paste to be “low temperature,” and some things to watch out for when using it. This episode was sponsored by MG Chemicals.

The next stage of the reflow oven project is moving to a custom PCB for the controller electronics.  Overall the board is based on the ATmega32u4 with a DS3231 RTC.  The LCD module is intended to be driven by one of Adafruit’s Serial backpacks.  There is an area of LED indicators (something I learned from a previous project) and some extra VCC/GND pins sprinkled about.

For the past couple of weeks I have been working with the DS3231 Maxim. This chip is a I2C based RTC with an integrated temperature compensated oscillator and crystal.This means despite changing temperature conditions, it will maintain a very accurate track of time. If you’re interested in the first rev of the PCB, let me know. I have a few available. They are functional, however, the prototyping area came bad.I have a set of new…

While testing my Toaster Oven’s maximum temperature I learned a valuable lesson. Soldermask has a pretty limited lifetime when it is exposed to temperatures above 250C. Looks like I need to spend some time building a temperature profile and not just brute forcing. Build description here:  Open Vapors Reflow Oven Controller Project Page