What is Hot Air Blower?
Hot Air Blower is a tool or equipment that blows hot air for desoldering (removing) and soldering of SMD (Surface Mount Devices or Electronic Components) or IC from the PCB of a Mobile Cell Phone or any other PCB. It is also called SMD (Surface Mount Device) rework system and SMD repair system. It has control to regulate or manage temperature and flow or hot air. Temperature settings range from 200 to 500 Degree Celsius.
How Does a Hot Air Blower Work?
A hot air blower machine is divided into 2 parts – a station with all the controls to set temperature and air flow and a hand piece to release hot air. There is a heating element or heater coil (generally made up of ceramic) inside the hand piece. Cold air flows from the station to the hand piece and when this cold air comes in contact with the heater, the air gets hot depending on the temperature setting and hot air blows out.
Hot Air Blower
How to Solder or Desolder IC and other SMD Electronic Components Using a Hot Air SMD Rework Machine?
Here are the step-by-step instructions to use a hot air SMD rework station to properly remove any IC from any PCB and then solder it:
- Set the temperature and air flow at the required setting. Make sure the temperature is neither too high nor too low. A temperature of 400 Degree Celsius is good for most soldering and desoldering work. Also make sure that the air flow setting matches the temperature setting. Proper air and temperature settings are mentioned in the manual of the machine.
- Identify the faulty IC and gradually give hot air to the component. Start by giving heat from some height and then gradually decrease the height. This will prevent the PCB and other electronic components from getting damaged due to thermal shock.
- When the solder paste is melt, remove the faulty IC using a Tweezer or IC Pick Up Tool.
- Clean the track properly. Use desoldering braid if required to remove all the solder paste from the track.
- Dispense fresh solder paste on the track and place the NEW IC.
- Give heat starting from some height and gradually decreasing the height of the handpiece of the hot air blower.
- When the solder is melted, remove the blower and the NEW IC is soldered.
Tips: Apply good quality NO-Clean Liquid Flux before desoldering and soldering.
Which is the Best Hot Air Blower Machine?
There are many manufacturers, exporters and suppliers of Hot Air Blower Machine. Well known among them are Hakko, Weller, Goots and Bosch. Many Chinese companies also manufacture and sell cheap hot air blower machines but they compromise with quality. I trust Hakko and Weller.
When selecting tools and equipment for repairing mobile cell phones, it is important to select the best tools. Cheap or inexpensive tools and equipment may not be handy when repairing a mobile phone. On the other hand, best quality little expensive tools and equipment will help you to repair a mobile phone easily and comfortable. I am personally trained in mobile cell phone repairing and my personal experience says that we must always select and buy the best tools available in the market or online. These good quality tools may cost a little more but in the long term you will be happy that you bought the best tools.
There are hundreds of tools for mobile phone repairing available in the market. It is important to select the best brand. Below all the tools and equipment needed for mobile cell phone repairing:
- Soldering Iron: Used to solder small components like capacitor,
resistor, diode, transistor, regulator, speaker, microphone, display etc. A 50 watt soldering iron is good enough for most mobile phone repairing job. When buying a soldering iron, select the one that is easy to hold and does not burn you hand. The soldering iron must have option to choose and select different types and shapes of soldering tips or bits. These tips or bits must be replaceable. It must also be ESD-Safe (Antistatic) because most electronic components in a mobile phone are very sensitive and can get damaged due to static charge or static electricity. Hakko and Weller are two world renowned brands who manufacture, sell and export world class soldering irons and other soldering tools and equipments.
- Soldering Station: A soldering station has 2 units – a station and an
iron. It has option to control temperature depending on the heat requirement of the soldering job being done. The soldering iron is attached with the soldering station. It is better and more convenient than traditional soldering iron. It makes soldering work much easier and faster. When buying a soldering station for mobile phone repairing one must always select an ESD-Safe (Antistatic) model. Hakko and Weller are two world renowned brands who manufacture, sell and export world class soldering irons and other soldering tools and equipments.
- PCB Holder / PCB Stand: A PCB (Printed Circuit Board) holder or PCB
stand is used to old the PCB of a mobile phone while soldering or repairing. It holds the PCB very strongly and doesn’t allows it to move thus helping in repairing. Again, it is important and wise to select a good quality PCB holder rather than a cheaper and inexpensive one.
- Solder Wire: Solder wire is used to solder electronic components, ICs
or jumper. Composition of most solder wire is Tin / Lead in the ratio 60:40 or 63:37. Since the introduction of RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) from electronics, more and more companies are using lead-free solder. Lead-free solder wire is available in many compositions but the most common composition is Tin / Silver / Copper in the Ratio 96.5:3.0:0.5. Solder wire is available in different diameters such 2.0mm, 1.5mm, 1.0mm, 0.5mm, 0.2mm etc. For mobile phone repairing 0.5mm solder wire is best suitable. Kester is a world renowned manufacturer and supplier of solder wire and other soldering material.
- Thinner or PCB Cleaner: Thinner or PCB cleaner is used to clean the PCB of a mobile phone. The most common PCB cleaner used in mobile phone repairing is IPA or Isopropyl Alcohol. It is important to buy only good quality PCB cleaner as poor quality PCB cleaners can damage the board.
- Jumper Wire: This is a thin laminated or coated copper wire used to jumper from one point to another on the track of a mobile phone while repairing. Most people doing the work of mobile repairing do jumper to solve many problems.
- Blade Cutter: This is used to remove lamination from jumper wire. It can also be used for several other purposes.
- Point Cutter: It is used for cutting.
- Nose Cutter: It is used for cutting.
- Precision Screwdriver: It is used to remove and tighten screws while assembling and dissembling a mobile phone. Precision screwdrivers of sizes T4, T5, T6 and forehead are good for most mobile repairing job.
Screwdriver for Mobile Phone Repairing
- Tweezers: These are needed to hold electronic components, ICs, jumper wire etc while soldering and Desoldering.
- Brush: These are used for cleaning the PCB of a mobile phone while repairing. It is important to buy only ESD-Safe cleaning brushes.
ESD-Safe Brush for Mobile Repairing
- Multimeter: Used to find faults, check track and components. Always buy a good quality reliable ESD-Safe digital Multimeter for mobile repairing works.
- Hot Air Blower: It is also called SMD (Surface Mount Device) rework system and SMD repair system. It has control to regulate or manage temperature and flow or hot air. Always buy a good quality ESD-Safe hot air blower.
Hot Air Blower
- Battery Booster: It is used to boost the power of battery of a mobile phone.
Mobile Phone Battery Booster
- Ultrasonic Cleaner: Used to clean PCB of a mobile phone and electronic components.
Ultrasonic Cleaner for Mobile Repairing
- BGA Kit: Used to Reball and repair ball-type ICs. BGA stands for Ball Grid Array.
BGA Kit for Mobile Repairing
- Magnifying Lamp: It is used to see the magnified view of the PCB of a mobile phone. Most magnifying lamps also have light. Magnifying lamps are available in different magnification such as 3x, 4x, 5x, 10x, 50x etc.
Magnifying Lamp to Repair Mobile Phone
- Mobile Opener: These are used to open the housing or body of a mobile phone.
Mobile Phone Opener
- DC Power Supply: Regulated DC (Direct Current) power supply is used to supply DC current to a mobile phone. Most repair person used DC power supply to switch ON a mobile phone without battery.
DC Power Supply for Mobile Phone Repairing
- Liquid Flux: It is used to clean PCB track and legs or pins of electronic components while soldering. Liquid flux improves quality of soldering. Kester flux is world renowned for good quality.
Liquid Flux for Mobile Phone Repairing
- Paste Flux: This is also used while soldering.
- Solder Paste: This is solder in molted semi-solid form. It looks like paste. Solder paste is mainly used for Reballing of ICs.
- Cleaning Sponge: This is used to clean tip of soldering iron while soldering.
Cleaning Sponge to Clean Tip of Soldering Iron
- Desoldering Wire: Desoldering wire or Desolder wire is used to remove excess solder from track of PCB. Chemtronics is world renowned manufacturer and supplier of Desoldering wire.
- Screwdriver Kit: It has several screwdrivers of different shapes and sizes to dissemble and assemble a mobile phone. Aven Toolsis a world renowned manufacturer, exporter and supplier of all kinds of tools and tool kits.
- IRDA or Infrared Workstation: This machine is similar to hot air blower. Only difference is that it gives heat through infrared. It is very precise and give heat only where it is needed thus preventing any damage to nearby electronic components on a PCB.
- LCD Tester: Used to check whether LCD screen of a mobile phone is faulty or not.
- Microscope: It is used to see a magnified view of PCB or electronic components. These are available in different zoom options. Many microscopes can also be connected to a computer or a monitor.
Microscope for Mobile Repairing
- Test JIG Box: This device is used to diagnose and find fault or problem in a mobile phone. It helps the mobile phone to work and function normally outside its case. This helps to test and check voltage and other test points on the PCB. It simple words it helps the a mobile phone to work without battery.
Test JIG Box
- Wrist Strap: It is work in the wrist of the person who is repairing a mobile phone. It helps to discharge or ground static charge thus preventing the PCB or electronic components from any damage.
- Antistatic Hand Gloves: It is important to wear ESD-Safe hand gloves while repairing a mobile phone to prevent PCB and electronic components from static charge.
Antistatic Hand Gloves
- Antistatic Mat: It is laid or placed on the table or workbench where mobile repairing is done. The mat is grounded using a grounding cord or normal grounding wire. This also prevents damage from static electricity.
- Antistatic Apron: It is a dress work by people who repair mobile phones. This also helps to discharge static electricity.
- Smoke Absorber: This is like an exhaust fan that helps to filter smoke that comes out while soldering and Desoldering.
- Battery Tester: This device is used to test and analyze status or condition of battery of a mobile cell phone.