[time-nuts] Help - Hope?

Chuck Harris cfharris at erols.com
Tue Jan 3 08:14:31 EST 2006

Dr. David Kirkby wrote:
> Mike Feher wrote:
>> I just bought myself a couple of Hakko model 850 hot air surface mount
>> soldering stations and various nozzles. 
> But that is at quite a considerable cost. Fine if you are a professional 
> or dedicated hobbiest, but not if you are a child.

Poppycock!  and to show we are friends, I'll add a ;-)

Wander over to ebay, and do a search on "(SMD,SMT,solder) (rework,re-work,
hot air,hot-air)'  and tell me what you find.

There are very credible HAKKO 850 compatible SMT rework stations available
for $70!  My 12 year old son buys Warhammer models (tin soldiers for the
back pain crowd) for $35 each using a combination of his allowance, and money
he gets as presents from relatives.

When we were kids (putting on my grandpa Simpson suit), we spent $3 for a
cheapo RadioShack soldering iron.  As a teen, I spent $3 to fill the tank
on my car.  To fill that same car with its 19 gallons of gas now costs
nearly $60.

I think just about any teenager can afford a SMT rework station.

Heck, I even import one of the fanciest stations out there from Aoyue
in China.  It has a 70W digitally controlled hakko compatible soldering iron
with fume vacuum, a 500W digitally controlled hakko compatible hot air section,
an air flow gauge, and 5 different SMD air tips.  I sell the whole thing
for right around $200.

My point is that the things that my friends and I did to dabble in technology
strained our finances way back in the tube era, and the cost to play today
isn't all that much more than we paid for a Gilbert chemistry set.
> It's hard to see how a significant number of 7-11 year olds will have 
> the money to buy that sort of kit and the other bits you need to so SM 
> technology.

There are more than a few guys that are dabbling in SMT manufacturing using
a teflon coated electric frying pan.  Cooking up a bunch of 2"x3" PCB's is
very much like frying up some potato wedges.  You have to watch them, and
scoot them around a bit with a plastic spatula so that all of the solder gets
melted.  Wallyworld has electric frying pans for $35.  Do a google, and you
can easily find instructions for doing SMT work on the cheap.

If a kid wants to work in this arena, he will.  You ought to see the mass of
equipment my son access to (that he ignores completely).


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