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Hoof tips! Print E-mail
Aug 17, 2011 at 01:08 PM

I just made myself a gift, a new soldering tip, as I had to order some more components from Farnell to reduce the shipping costs. Since I rarely used hoof tips so far, but heard they'd ease up smd soldering sometimes, I decided to get an Ersa 0102WDLF16. It's not that I wasn't happy with what I got from common chisel tips (1.2/1.6mm, Ersa 0102CDLF12/16) doing smd rework so far, but these hoof tips definitely do rock.

I practiced a bit on an old Supermicro 370DE6 board reworking a TSSOP24 and a QFP44 chip housing, and here are the results. I took the pictures before cleaning the pc board, so this is of course not the final result.



It's remarkable, even the small 0.65mm spaced TSSOP24 with unfriendly short pads for automated reflow soldering wasn't a problem at all, I guess due to the reservoir in the hoof tip. The heat just spreads automagically through the mini wave creating beautiful solder joints. Unfortunately, I didn't bother making a photo of the side fillets, but be assured, to me they look class 3 compliant 8)

All drag soldering was done without any additional magnification aids, only the control picture was taken using a cheap USB microscope. As you can see shiny joints, it's obvious that I used (eutectic) leaded tin, but that's ok since this board never was lead free anyway, as aren't 90% of the prototypes I do. The soldering tool was an Ersa i-CON 2¹ soldering station with the appropriate i-TOOL, my tip temperature for leaded tin is usually set around 300-320°C. I was using a cheap noname no-clean flux I got off eBay, not the best you can get, but ok if you're quick.

¹ Out of curiosity - what's the deal everybody putting an "i" at the beginning of their otherwise arbitrary product name, is this the successor for the "-2000" suffix? It's already annoying seeing Apple doing this for a certain branch of their product portfolio, but do marketing guys always have to be copycats?

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