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Easy to use controller to reflow your own PCBs in a simple toaster oven
Easy to use controller to reflow your own PCBs in a simple toaster oven
99 backers pledged $8,098 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,098

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RefloLeo is an integrated toaster oven controller that is designed for the hobbyist or electronics designer who needs to create a small quantity of electronics with surface mount components.  This is perfect for prototyping work or small volume production with professional look and performance.  This oven controller will regulate the internal temperature of the oven according to a set heating profile that best suits the components being baked.  This makes it super easy to reliably bake your own PCB designs at home.  Just put your board that is ready to bake in the oven, turn on RefloLeo, select your desired baking profile and wait just a few minutes for RefloLeo to bake your board for you.  After a short cool down time, you are ready to remove your completed board from the oven that is ready for use in your project.  RefloLeo takes care of the multi-stage timing, pre-heating, heat soaking, peaking and cool down for you.

Features:

  • K-type thermocouple
  • Arduino Leonardo compatible
  • Simple setup and operation
  • USB powered
  • 5V, 600mA external relay control capability
  • Open hardware design

This design avoids the major surgery involved in most toaster oven conversions for PCB reflow work by not requiring the owner to disassemble and change the internal workings of the oven.  You simply plug the oven into the external relay controller and RefloLeo turns the oven on and off according to the programmed heating profile.  If you either live in another country where power requirements differ or simply choose to supply your own power relay, RefloLeo can control an external relay with up to 600 milliamps at 5 volts through its integrated MOSFET on the relay control terminals.

RefloLeo is simple and friendly to program.  It is Arduino compatible by emulating an Arduino Leonardo and can be programmed just as easily.  The firmware that comes with RefloLeo is available for free, including the source code, and you can program additional features easily if you would like.  Uploading your own custom firmware is easy by using the Arduino integrated development environment and uploading the new firmware over USB.  It is easy for the beginner but has advanced options available too.  This is a fully integrated design that does not require an external Arduino circuit board to operate.  

Reflow profiles are stored as text files using the simple instruction set and saved on a standard SD memory card.  RefloLeo will read from this text file and execute its instructions to follow the profile you have specified.  Up to 255 different reflow profiles can be saved, selected from the on-screen menu and used to accommodate any job.

Example low temperature reflow profile:

T130,000          Goto 130 degrees

W000,015          Wait 15 seconds (and turn off heat)

H150,120          Hold at 150 degrees for 120 seconds

T212,000          Goto 212 degrees

W000,020          Wait 20 seconds (and turn off heat)

H225,020          Hold at 225 degrees for 20 seconds

X000,000          Exit program and turn off relay

Design Files:

https://github.com/mrjohnk/RefloLeo

RefloLeo can be used with a variety of toaster ovens or hot plates.  Please be sure to closely monitor your oven or hot plate during baking to be sure of safe operation.  

Risks and challenges

This project carries minimal risk and challenges. All of the components required to make RefloLeo can be sourced from multiple vendors within the United States. Since I already have my own RefloLeo that works great, I'm setup for small production runs like this. Should this become a super popular project and become a larger job than a small production, I will engage the services of an external circuit board assembly house to meet production demands.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    Bare bones RefloLeo controller that is fully assembled and tested. It does not come with a USB power cord, USB power supply, external relay, SD memory card or thermocouple. You will need to supply these additional items along with a suitable toaster oven to have a complete solution.

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    12 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    International RefloLeo controller kit comes with the fully assembled and tested control board along with a thermocouple, SD memory card and USB power cable. You will need to supply an external relay, a USB power source and a suitable toaster oven. This is kit is missing the main components specific to supplying power.

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    44 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Complete RefloLeo controller kit that comes with the fully assembled and tested control board along with a USB power cord, USB 120VAC power supply, external relay, SD memory card and thermocouple. You will need to supply only a suitable 120VAC toaster oven rated for 15 amps or less. This option only available for shipping to locations within the United States due to the power relay rating of 120VAC.

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    Ships to Only United States
    38 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)