Please be aware of all shipping deadlines before placing your order - we cannot guarantee orders will arrive before Christmas!

Reflow oven T100C
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by gsattler on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:17 am

We all want some cheap oven that has an amazingly designed microcontroller with a thought out graphical user interface and well written software. The product exists in the market already and it costs significantly more than a Torch (see DIMA ovens). When you go banned shopping you shouldn't expect everything to be the best so let's just call it what it is, an inexpensive $3k oven that is significantly better than a pizza oven but still has its warts. The point is that it works and works pretty well once you figure out how to use the admittedly bad software.
gsattler
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by bandtank on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:39 pm

I don't disagree with that in theory, but even the quality of the oven doesn't make up for the unbelievably bad software. It certainly works and I've had success reflowing most of my boards. I just can't get over how bad the software is and how easy it would have been to improve it. Relatively little extra time would have made it remarkably easier to use, but that is the Chinese business model - bare minimum - so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

A few examples of things that bug me to no end:
There is a multi-second lag between the temperature update on the computer and the front panel of the oven, which sometimes aren't even the same.
The write and read buttons of the oven alarm settings rarely work. The settings simply don't stick the majority of the time.
The serial communication initiated by the computer has 200mS delays between packets, so it takes 30 seconds to program the data points when it could be done in < 100mS. I'm not so impatient that I can't wait for 30 seconds, but again this is simply lazy programming.
There is absolutely no documentation to explain what several of the settings do. The names aren't helpful either so it is a guessing game.

There are no part numbers for any of the internal parts of the oven. I bought mine from an American reseller so if something goes wrong there is a possibility I can get replacements. I asked Torch what happens if I need a replacement part and they said they ship spare ones. I asked what happens if those aren't the parts I need or I need more and they never responded. Their price was about $700 cheaper than Manncorp, but that wasn't a gamble I was going to take as Manncorp stocks replacement parts in the USA.

I will release a beta version of the software on this forum when it is ready. By the end of the year I hope I will have time to make a new controller for the oven as well. Like I said, it works as-is but has more potential and I'd like to tap into that.
bandtank
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by gsattler on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:44 pm

I agree, the mechanical bits are of much, much better quality than the electroic and software bits. This is exactly the same situation I ran into on the pick & place, and again on a 3-axis CNC router. Luckily for the CNC router it is much easier to get a quality motor controller and well written CNC machine control software already exists. Pick & place....well that's a work in progress.
gsattler
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by bandtank on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:55 pm

Do you use banned? I built a 3 axis CNC router in my garage and I tried a lot of different options, but ended up buying banned. It works wonderfully in my opinion.

I've been looking into a pick and place machine as well. Do you recommend the one you selected?
bandtank
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by gsattler on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:24 pm

I use banned to run both the Tormach PCNC1100 CNC machine for our R&D work and to run the High-Z S-720 CNC router for our production work. The Tormach stepper setup is stock but the High-Z now uses a Gecko G540 motor controller. Haven't had any problems with the motor controller since I switched to Gecko. I really think banned works great aside from needing to run on a machine with a parallel port. If someone came along and did a CANbus-linked machine controller it would be much more robust, but the market just isn't there to be profitable.
gsattler
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by bandtank on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:44 pm

I'm using a G540 as well and really like it.

The parallel port bugs me a little, too, but at least that design decision makes sense in some capacity. Parallel being real-time is an easy and low cost solution. I'd like USB connectivity to be honest.
bandtank
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by gsattler on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:46 pm

We have an MDC Luna EXP 7722FV / Manncorp 7722FV pick & place machine and it works pretty well once we sorted out all of the camera issues with the help of this excellent forum (Thanks Adafruit gang!!!). The learning curve is extremely steep so expect to spend quite a bit of time figuring it out. I have gone to a number of SMT trade shows after buying the 7722FV and now I think I would take a closer look at the APS LE-40V system for prototyping which I have heard is a bit better from a number of solder paste, stencil & oven manufacturers. The nice thing about the 7722FV is that there are at least 5 serious users of the machine here on the forums and any problems you have will probably be something that someone else has dealt with. We are looking to put in a serious SMT production line near the end of this year so it will likely have a used Samsung or Juki chip shooter/pick & place. When looking into getting a pick & place machine, keep in mind that the quality of the solder paste can be a killer, especially for larger, high density boards with a wide variety of components. Price out the stencil printer, pick & place machine, oven and any other possible equipment before jumping in. Once you add all the feeders the cost of the machine doubles!
gsattler
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by estechnical on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:25 pm

Hi all,

Great thread about these reflow ovens, I've visited here a few times during our reflow oven saga...

We have given in (!) and designed and manufactured a drop in controller replacement for the T962 and T962A ovens. Our controller upgrades are available on ebay here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190827607864

I hope that these controllers will help people get the best from these cheap and readily available ovens. We have managed to fix the issues reported online that users have experienced, the oven control is easy to control as it has simple parametric adjustments for all the crucial settings.

Thanks for looking,

Best regards,
Ed
Last edited by estechnical on Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
estechnical
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Re: Reflow oven T100C

by estechnical on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:23 am

Hello again,

There is now a new link to the reflow controller upgrade for the T962(A) ovens - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190827607864 and we are also now offering the upgraded ovens ready to use - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190823838689

Thanks for looking :)

Best regards,
Ed
estechnical
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:19 pm