Selecting a makeshift Reflow oven

A project log for Open Authenticator

An Open Source TOTP based hardware authenticator using ESP32.

vedant-paranjapeVedant Paranjape 01/21/2021 at 17:070 Comments

As some of you might know, I am still a student and I have to manage costs of all these equipment/parts on a pocket money. Before doing this project, I was sure I won't be able to reflow soldering as I didn't have the skill nor did I have the money to buy costly reflow over or hot air guns. If the lockdown wasn't there I could just visit Lab in my university and my work would be done. I started looking for a cheap way to do it, and realised that reflow soldering is pretty straight forward. I thought I can simply heat the board to 190 C and it would work fine, and found a few lads doing this on youtube too.

The tools used in these are pretty cheap, so basically I used a induction cooktop, old pan and some sand. I also bought a infrared temperature gun to have a crude temperature control. Please check below to see it in action

You can see the solder melting

— Vedant Paranjape (@ve0x10) December 22, 2020

And here it goes

— Vedant Paranjape (@ve0x10) December 22, 2020