Chris Gammell Build Log


Wow that’s quite the machine! I can imagine Tim Allen using something like that if he needed to spin some boards.


Oh, not a full reflow, it’s one of the desktop ones:


Hi @ChrisGammell,
I worked at a small custom PCB contract fab shop in the '90’s. We used aeresol cans of carburetor cleaner and a small nylon brush to remove leaded solder flux. The lead free flux at the time was water soluble.


hi @ChrisGammell,
Did you get your Whizoo oven built? Looked at the kits a few months ago and was very impressed by his latest version. In my opinion these kits are the best route to take next to buying a commercially made oven. I’m planning to build one when time and finances allow. Which oven did you start with?
In one of your posts you encouraged others to not be intimidated by SMD soldering. Have good soldering skills as I’ve had many years experience soldering through hole and little with SMD’s. Not afraid to dive in except the problem I have is poor eyesight. I’m hoping a head mounted magnifier and some type of inspection microscope will make it possible to.
By the way, I really enjoy the AmpHour. Thanks for all your effort


I tried reflow a few months ago. I’d never done it before, but this had a chip that was nearly impossible to hand solder (20-QFN), so reflow was the only practical way.

I was looking at the Whizoo, but really didn’t want to deal with the insulation stuff. I had a plain old toaster oven at home. Black & Decker, circa late 90s, mechanical controls. So I tried to just use that. Small board, put it onto a piece of aluminum I had lying around to act as heat spreader. Took the K-thermocouple from my DMM, stuck into a PTH hole in a spare piece of PCB, placed it next to the board being made.

Just by watching temp on the DMM and turning the oven on/off I was able to follow the recommended profile almost exactly. Turning it on, the temp rises were almost perfect, it didn’t cool much during rests.

At the end, I just opened the oven door and pulled the board out (by the aluminum spreader) to bring the temperature down faster.

Worked like a charm. I made 2 identical boards, one using a hot air station, the other with the oven. The oven was much more convenient and the results were better (got one solder bridge with the hot air).

Since the whole profile is 5 minutes, watching the oven for that long wasn’t an issue. I wouldn’t want to do it for production, but for one-off prototyping and educational board it was great. Going to reflow as much as possible from now on. Only reason I’ve been hand soldering the CE projects is because I didn’t want to spend the $5-10 on a stencil for each one :slight_smile:

So I probably won’t bother to invest in a controller. Might build one myself, for the heck of it, some day, but not buy one.