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A upgrade to my SMD Hot Plate with a larger hot plate, better cooling and updated software.

About 6 months ago, I built a SMD hot plate using a standard 200W element (See SMD Reflow Hot Plate). Although I use it wherever possible, its small hot plate limits the size of PCB that can be used. This new version uses a 400W hot plate and doubles the size of the heating area. It also helps in overcoming the shortfalls of my previous version mainly in the area of cooling. The fan and position of that fan in the 200W version had little effect in cooling down the hot plate. This latest version has two 70mm x 70mm case fans mounted under the heating element that provide a noticeable improvement in the cooling of the hot plate.

What are heating profiles
The issue with heating up Surface Mount Devices (SMD) is that if heated or cooled too quickly, potentially damage can occur to the device. Also the flux in the solder needs time to activate and any water vapor that may of seeped in needs time to evaporate. This usually requires a soak period for around 90 seconds at 150 degrees Celsius before raising the temperature to around 220 degrees Celsius to melt the solder paste. Thus manufacturers of these components provide heat profiles which you can sometimes obtain from their respective datasheet.”

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