While making a reflow oven was all good and well, and resulted in an addition to the toolset available, the real reason was to be able to complete an LED prototype that is in the works – the uSolaire 180. (More to come in regard to this…)
Originally – and naively – I though that it shouldn’t be a problem to solder a metal core PCB. Heat the board up, maybe quite a bit, and then “attack” it with a soldering iron. A little thinking on the thermodynamics of the situation, i.e., the amount of good conducting aluminium, would have made it obvious that this approach just wasn’t going to work. The feeling of ‘oh oh’ when things don’t go to plan can be a sinking one… Particularly when the next thought is: now what?
So with the reflow oven now built and performing approximately as it should – Reflow oven: wrap-up – what better way to test it than on something more serious. Time to put the game face on! Below are the various photos taken of the board and end result.
And to the obvious question: did it work? Yes
A little more seriously: I had enlarged the pads – beyond the size from the LED data sheet – presuming that I would hand solder the LEDs. So they’re not very accurately located, but c’est la vie – the life of an LED prototype board. Beyond this the board lights up like Clark Griswold’s house at Christmas.
For reference purposes, also find below the temperature profile of the solder reflow for the board.
Not exactly perfect – at least per the LED datasheet – but representative and controlled. Certainly given that the LED PCB is quite the large aluminium core board. Always room for improvement, but with only one board available at the moment another test will have to await another time. And again, everything worked out first time!