Solder Reflow Oven Controller with a graphic interface – Part 1

So I’ve been looking at developing a second version of my portable battery charger. In researching the topic I found that I would either need to make use of a hot air gun, a hot plate or a solder reflow oven to be able to mount some of the electronics, QFN packages, that I’m interested in using. So after doing some more research I found that the components available in QFN packages, other really small SOD and TSOP packages were the best available options to use for the electronics project. This realization inevitably spurred me to do some more research on the the subject of hot plates, hot air guns and solder reflow ovens. I then noticed some people that had similar issues with surface mount components who made use of a toaster oven and hacked it to use it as a solder reflow oven. I further researched and found some interesting information regarding solder reflow oven controllers and solder reflow oven shields for Arduino.

These projects really motivated me and I searched for available designs but none of them really were what I wanted.  So I set out to develop my own, I decided that I wanted to make use of a graphic LCD (GLCD) to interface with the control board that I am developing using Arduino.  Developing the interface was and still is a bit more difficult than I’ve imagined. I have made a lot of progress but I’m still busy. The menu structure is finished and I’ve managed to be able to code an “Edit” part into the operating menu allowing you to change the reflow profile.

Thirdly I have a “Run Program” option that starts the whole process. I’ve struggled now for weeks to sort out the plotting of the “reference profile” and the plotting of a graph according to the temperature reading but have finally solved the issues I was having with it today. I’ve incorporated all these features into the main program and have tested it today.  Everything looks good but there are some glitches that I hope to sort out in this coming week, the program is not running as smoothly as I would like it to run but I will solve that as soon as possible (“,)

I’ve got everything breadboarded out and as soon as I’m happy with the program I will be developing an Arduino Uno R3 Solder Reflow Oven Shield to drive the relays, connect the thermocouple and to connect the GLCD with the 4 interface push buttons. Before this can happen I still want to incorporate writing the edited reflow profile values to the ATMega328’s EEPROM so that you don’t lose the values once you power down the unit. Haven’t gottten to there as yet but I will update as I go along. but before signing off, a little picture or two.

SAM_4229

From humble beginnings

SAM_4231

to adding buttons to interface

SAM_4232

thinking, ooo pretty colors

SAM_4237

menu structure looking good

SAM_4239

“running program”, simulating temperature with a pot

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