Projects – Hobbybotics Reflow Controller Quad V1.0

Here’s a quick update to the new reflow controller project I introduced earlier.  I have fully populated one of the prototype boards and began to write test sketches to ensure it functions properly.  The project is moving a little slower right now as I am in the process of closing on a new house and that has been taking up a lot of my time.

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The last picture shows an early prototype for the LCD/Button interface for the controller.  I am in the process of redesigning the LCD/Button interface to use a 4-way rotary navigation switch with a center select button.  I borrowed this idea from the Viki LCD project over on Kick Starter.  I’ll post more updates in the coming weeks.

Projects – Hobbybotics Reflow Controller Quad V1.0

I’ve been working on a redesign of the original reflow controller.  Here are the features for the new board:

  1. Four MAX31855 Type-K Thermocouple interfaces
  2. DS3234 Real Time Clock with battery backup
  3. FT231x USB
  4. XBee or Bluetooth Wireless
  5. MCP23008 I/O Expanders for 2-wire expanded communication
  6. ULN2803 Darlington buffered output relay/SSR control
  7. Internal or external micro SD interface
  8. External LCD I2C interface/input
  9. ATMega 1284P TQFP AVR with Arduino bootloader
  10. 16 MHz Crystal

Take a look at the new board:

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 I’ll post more on this project in the coming days.  I’ll be offering this project as a full kit for those who are interested.

Projects – Hobbybotics Reflow Controller V8.03

A while ago I decided to start designing my circuits using Surface Mount Devices (SMD).  There are many advantages to using SMD components over through-hole components.  Some of the major advantages are size and cost.  The smaller size means I can make the circuit boards smaller.  In addition, smaller components and smaller circuit boards means lower costs.  One of the disadvantages to SMD components is they are more difficult to solder than through-hole components.  The solution is to use what is called a reflow oven.  The following project details how I designed and built a reflow controller based on a MAX6675 Thermocouple interface and use it to control a common toaster oven in order to reflow surface mount circuits.  Check out the project here.

Projects – Hobbybotics MAX6675 Thermocouple Breakout V1.0

I designed a breakout board for the MAX6675 Cold-Junction Compensated Type-K Thermocouple interface.  My plans are to use the design for various heating control projects such as a Sous-vide cooker, wireless thermostat, smoker controller, beer brew controller, reflow oven and some environmental projects.  Check it out here.