For too long I’ve been soldering surface mount boards by hand – it’s not particularly difficult but is time consuming. The 0402 parts can also be interesting, especially when one bumps the PCB and then one is playing a game of “hide and seek” for a resistor on the floor…

The remedy to the situation? A reflow oven!

While one would wish for a nice fancy commercial unit, that’s not going to happen and so to the backup plan: a converted toaster over. The starting point is the controller and the ControLeo2 unit from is now awaiting delivery:

Peter Easton has put together a good build guide for an oven using the controller, so well worth checking his site out.

As for the oven, I’m not sure yet… The basic specifications are for elements top and bottom, and convection if possible. Size is supposedly important, i.e., the smaller the better, to ensure good temperature control. So this latter point will likely dictate the actual oven purchased; but it does also mean that it should be fairly cheap, around €50 from Amazon or similar.

To round out things for the moment, the following is on order or has been received:

  • Boom Mat Floor & Tunnel Shield II – reflective heat shielding with a fibreglass core and self-adhesive on the back
  • Reflect-a-Gold – gold heat reflective tape
  • Fotek SSR-40DA x3 – 380 VAC 40 A solid state relays
  • Heater catridge x1- 220 VAC 500 W heating element

The first two items were purchased from TurboZentrum in Berlin (very prompt service!) and the latter two via eBay.

Thus now waiting for the control kit and the other parts to come in. Also time to search for a suitable toaster oven…