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Low-cost, high quality reflow oven for surface-mount PCB assembly at home.  Get professional results consistently and reliably!
Low-cost, high quality reflow oven for surface-mount PCB assembly at home.  Get professional results consistently and reliably!
Low-cost, high quality reflow oven for surface-mount PCB assembly at home. Get professional results consistently and reliably!
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    1. Tisham Dhar on February 2, 2015

      The calibration worked great (6 passes) and I now have nice shiny solder finish on oven baked boards. First run was some MAX31855 boards to attach a second thermocouple.

    2. Tisham Dhar on January 20, 2015

      I have been having fun calibrating my oven with the ControlLeo2. I did not notice this till lately. My package is missing the fibreglass cable sheaths. This was my pre-ControlLeo2 build - I will post some updates after the calibration finishes.

    3. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 20, 2015

      Worked with Robert to identify the cause of the compile problem. We were using different versions of Arduino. Version 1.3 of the firmware takes care of this.

    4. Missing avatar

      Robert on January 16, 2015

      @Peter Getting the error below on 1.2 build compile.

      Compiling 'ReflowWizard' for 'Arduino Leonardo'
      Strings.ino:22:48: error: variable 'phrases' must be const in order to be put into read-only section by means of '__attribute__((progmem))'
      :PROGMEM const char *phrases[FLASH_LAST_STRING+1] = {s0,s1,s2,s3,s4,s5,s6,s7,s8,s9,s10,s11,s12,s13,s14,s15};
      Error compiling

    5. Raj Maniar on January 16, 2015

      Thanks Peter, I had a great time testing out my new oven and I learned a bunch about the process!

    6. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 14, 2015

      A backer (Raj) came over yesterday to see the surface mount process in action. He had a turn smearing the paste, and did a little of the pick & place. We did 28 audio analyzer boards:…
      We used Raj's new oven to reflow the boards. After building so many ovens I was pretty confident it would work first time - and it did! They looked good coming out of the oven, and testing showed a 100% yield. Thanks for the help Raj!
      I plan to post an update in a week or so. Nthing major, just some final thoughts on this project and to mention that v1.2 of the Reflow Wizard software has been posted to GitHub. I'm working on some upgrade instructions this week.

    7. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 12, 2015

      @CB_HEX45 - Thanks for the complement, and thanks for sharing your build note. I cannot endorse your method. If the Boom Mat touches the element it can cause a fire (don't ask me how I know this!). That said, this is a good location to have insulation. Keep the insulation as far away from the element as possible. Boom Mat's top layer is aluminum, so use a large sheet to wick away the heat from the area immediately above the element. You might also consider adding an additional aluminum sheet (1/32" 5052) over the Boom Mat to further help with heat transfer and to keep things secure.

    8. Missing avatar

      CB_HEX45 on January 12, 2015

      @Peter - First, this is a great project, well done. I thought I would share a note on my build. It was suggested not to install the boom mat above the upper elements, however, I chose to install the mat above the top elements and rivet the mat in locations adjacent to the heating elements. I then applied reflective tape over each rivet to minimize heat transfer (not sure if this is necessary). I've run the oven several times to temperatures well beyond the normal operating temperature and the solution works perfectly - Hope this helps.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jogy Sam
      on January 10, 2015

      Thank you Peter.

    10. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 10, 2015

      There's a section called "Choosing an oven to convert to a reflow oven" in the build guide.
      I'm not sure where you read that quartz elements are mandatory - they aren't.

    11. Missing avatar

      Jogy Sam
      on January 10, 2015

      @Peter I have received kit already but still searching for oven. one quick question, quartz heating element is mandatory for reflow oven?

    12. Steve Rice
      on January 4, 2015

      @Peter. IMHO options are always a good thing. In this case who knows when you may run across a deal on a paste you have not used and just can't pass-up. My 2 cents anyway.

    13. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 4, 2015

      @Robert - I studied a lot of reflow curves when I was writing the Reflow Wizard code. I took a look at the datasheet you referenced. The Reflow Wizard would get extremely close to the graph shown. Reading the "Recommended profile" section confirms the derived values that would be used.
      In terms of supporting multiple profiles, I know I only use 1 type of solder paste for all my boards. Do others feel the need to be able to switch between paste types?

    14. Peter Easton 5-time creator on January 4, 2015

      Production update: Just 1 oven left to ship out - very happy about that! I have 2 rewards to ship to Russia that USPS is making complicated and I'm waiting for one more survey response. Otherwise I'm all done. Everyone should either have their reward or a tracking number. :-)

    15. Missing avatar

      Robert on January 3, 2015

      @Peter -- Is it possible to accommodate different paste profiles? For example:

      I realize that ControLeo2 was build around the J-STD-020 reflow standards, but it would be very cool to be able to ** easily ** tailor ControLeo2 to use a non J-STD-020 profile such as above...

      Just thinking out loud here..

      It appears the Profile timing and temperature parameters are established, starting on line 151 through line 174 in the Reflow.ino file. Would it be possible to instead pull those parameters from say a Profiles.ino file where there would be one active Profile (identified as such) , that the user could identify as Active to be used when uploading the sketch to the ControLeo2?

      This way the user could have a repository of profiles that he or she could use. This solution would allow greater flexibility without having to create any major EEPROM issues.. (there maybe other timing/temp parameters later in the code that would prevent this entire line of thought.. ;-)

      I guess the biggest problem would be how to force the user to run the recalibration after a profile change... Hmmmm

      Maybe in ControLeo3 you could include an SD card reader where the user and ControLeo3 could read/write all profile and calibration information.... :-) Crazy I Know... :-)

    16. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 31, 2014

      Sounds fantastic, would be really nice to get the Speed, Open and Close positions as a menu item and record them in EEPROM... :-)

    17. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 31, 2014

      @Jeff - good to hear that it works, and looking forward to seeing your board.
      @Robert - I'm planning to incorporate servo functionality into the base code. I'll also be providing a suitable 3-pin header on the next rev of the board. All this feedback is helping to improve ControLeo2, and is appreciated.

    18. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 31, 2014

      Added simple door Open/Close servo functions to ReflowWizard code base 1.1

    19. 2333 Designs on December 31, 2014


      Thanks for the oven, it works great, we are building our boards now, and since you back me in my kickstarter, the board you get will be from your oven. It works perfectly. No fuss, push the button right out of the box. Thanks again for all your hard work. I know all the late nights are now worth it. (well maybe haha).

      Have a great 2015.


    20. Missing avatar

      David Penney on December 31, 2014

      Spotted this tweet today.
      Not for the faint hearted I feel :)
      Not going to catch me doing this to my MacBook!
      Happy new year

    21. Sylvan on December 30, 2014

      Woo hoo! Congratulations, the end is in sight. :)

    22. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 30, 2014

      Production update: Just 3 ovens left to ship now - and that will happen in the next week. As for the rest of the rewards we're expecting to ship everything out on Friday 2nd. :-)

    23. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 22, 2014

      Production update: it's been very busy here. With my student helpers around thanks to their school break, the focus is largely on the reflow ovens. 14 have shipped so far, with 7 left to go. There has also been a lot of surface mount assembly and through-hole soldering. We're finding we're close to running out of a number of components, and getting them in a timely manner is proving difficult. It is looking like we'll be mailing the bulk of the remaining rewards on Jan 2nd. We appreciate your patience, but if you can't wait please let us know so we can work something out.
      We've shipped rewards to roughly half our backers already, and the feedback has been very positive. Some suggestions have made their way to the build guide on I still have a few more "Hall of Fame" photos to post. Merry Christmas!

    24. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 22, 2014

      @Joshua Let us know how you make out.

    25. Joshua on December 22, 2014

      @Robert. Thanks for sharing. I won't be in a position to do my oven build for at least a few weeks and can then begin to experiment. We've bought the same oven so it will be interesting to compare the results.
      I initially bought a full sheet of aluminium for the shelf but then having read your earlier comments I bought a dental autoclave tray to try. It's perforated and almost exactly the right size. I bought blue on the thinking that dark colours absorb and then may distribute the heat more evenly to the board.
      I'll buy an extra thermocouple breakout board to experiment with.

    26. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 21, 2014

      My thinking was/is.... in an oven space with a solid divider (solid aluminum tray), and differences in distances between 2 heating elements, it would be far more accurate to have the 2 zones controlled independently via each temperature zone.

      I accidentally solidified this point in my build, as the tray I was using in the oven was so tight, it did not allow enough heat to reach the upper section (and thermocouple) in the correct amount of time, however the temperature below the tray was reaching temperatures well over 200F above the desired temp. Now this happened to be an easy fix by trimming away sections of the tray.

      I believe the ControLeo2 is best suited for this type of accuracy (zone control) over all the other "poor man" re-flow controllers out there. It's already controlling the upper and lower heating elements via a timing algorithm. So the next logical step in my mind is zone temperature control.

      All that said, after looking over the code a while, It looks like it's going to involve a large amount of re-coding, involving some strong coding skills to make this type of control a reality. Skills I'm not sure I possess at the moment.. :-)

      Hope that helps.

    27. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 21, 2014

      @Dr. Azzy - I compared your photos to the one from Update #10 (…). Assuming you are using the same board (and from the same batch), it looks like it was exposed to temperatures that are just too high.
      While 240C is a good target temperature, there are factors that influence the reading:
      1. The MAX31855 IC has an error margin of 2C.
      2. The thermocouple probe has an error of 3C.
      3. The location of the probe makes a difference. Make sure it isn't touching any walls, and is a good distance away from the heating elements.
      I'm not entirely surprised by your results. There are so many factors in play here - and there is the solder paste to consider too. You should lower the maximum temperature by 5C, or perhaps more. My web site guides you through this (

      The aluminum sheet helps to distribute the heat, helping to eliminate hot and cold spots - which is why I recommend it. If you are only doing 1 small board at a time you don't strictly need it, as long as you always place the board in the same location on the tray.

      For what it's worth, my oven is set to 237C.

    28. Missing avatar

      Dr. Azzy on December 21, 2014


      So I've got my Reflow oven assembled and running. I built per instructions, though I don't have an aluminum tray yet.

      It seems to work great, except that I think it's getting WAY too hot. I'm running with the target temperature of 240C per recommendations (right?). The yellow capacitors darken a little, but the PCB itself turns dark brown. The flux turns dark brown.
      I've tried in various parts of the oven, and no matter where I put it, it turns the boards dark brown like that.

      If I watch it while it's running, the solder melts around 220C (according to the ControLeo2).

      So I'm baffled - it's as if the temperature is being reported wrong, and it thinks the oven is cooler than it is.

      Do you have any suggestions on what might be causing this?

      I'm sure I could crank back the temperature, and get something that would work, but I'd rather have it work normally with accurate temperature reporting and all that.


    29. Joshua on December 18, 2014

      @Robert. Would you mind going through your thoughts and reasons behind monitoring both the upper and lower halves of the oven's temperature? I'm in two minds whether to go down the same path but I'm having difficulty convincing myself of the benefits. Thanks!

    30. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 18, 2014

      @Robert - thanks for the complement. Installing Reflect-A-Gold is all down to technique, but only have 2 elements per oven helps. I'm able to open the oven and get the tape installed in less than half-an-hour. The student that started yesterday is currently taking 2 hours, but I'm sure she'll improve.

    31. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 18, 2014

      Thanks Peter. All but that Gold Tape was pretty straight forward (Man I would have gone crazy trying to install that stuff on all those ovens you sold)..

      I've looked over the code, and I think I've come to the conclusion I'm going to have to throw some money at someone to get the upper and lower zones working, but we'll see.

      I've got to say Peter (& Gary), you guys really did a nice job on this product. Big Kudos!!!!

    32. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 17, 2014

      @Robert - Wow! Hat's off to you. That looks like a lot of work (and you still aren't done).
      I'll have to make sure it gets featured on the Hall of Fame:

    33. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 17, 2014

      @Robert - Glad things are working for you! Yes, the way you've wired the thermocouple board will work.

    34. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 17, 2014

      Received my kit on Monday all in tack, and well packaged. Built up the oven yesterday, and after some modifications it finally passed learning mode.

      I'll post back a link to some pictures, once I get everything in order.

      Thanks Peter and Garry, Job well Done!

      PS: I didn't know exactly how to wire the second thermocouple board for future implementation, so I went with:

      D12 to SCK
      D1 to CS
      DO to SQ

      I assume that I can tie these in on the firmware side?

    35. Shane Lewis on December 15, 2014

      Thank you. Very nice work on the oven. It looks great and professionally assembled. Tell your students they did a great job :~)

    36. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 15, 2014

      @Shane - Glad to hear it arrived okay. Yes, you can make the change to use leaded solder. Here are the instructions:
      The oven will have to go through its learning cycles again - which will take a while.

    37. Shane Lewis on December 15, 2014

      Hi Peter,

      My oven arrived the other day. Everything is in good order. Found some time today to bolt the controller on the oven and install a couple of color beads. Ready to go, however I would like to change the temp profile to lead solder. No need to build personal boards in ROHS, lead solder is just easier to work with (easier on the parts too). Is there an easy way to make the change? Thanx!

    38. Tisham Dhar on December 15, 2014

      No problem with the delays. I have got time to get my oven build sorted, order Reflect-a from the US, boosters from HongKong and all the bits. The delay has also let me start to explore the firmware a bit.

    39. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 11, 2014

      All the $299 rewards have shipped, and most of the $139 rewards too. Shipping the rest will take time and the schedule is slipping. To those who volunteered to delay receiving their rewards - thank-you! Gary & I are fatigued from working long hours and the stress of coordinating this project. Fortunately we have 3 students helping us from the 17th.

      Sorry for any delay you experience in receiving your reward. If it is important to you that you get your reward quickly, please let us know. We can probably figure something out.

    40. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 4, 2014

      I thought I share a photo from a customer using a beta version of ControLeo2 to control an industrial BGA hotplate. He modified the code to do this, but has this to say "I love the sketch for the controLeo2. It's very organized, neat, and easy to navigate. I admire the attention to detail".

    41. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 4, 2014

      @ttan - the B&D oven I've documented is around 11 liters. You have a nice, small underpowered oven. It should work very will with some insulation and a boost element.

    42. Missing avatar

      ttan on December 3, 2014

      Found a 9-litre, 700W oven locally. I will have to check out the heaters & ease of dis-assembly first-hand. What's oven volume of the B&D you're using?

      On a side-note, IMHO, having direct support from a product inventor on kickstarter makes up for the convenience of buying retail as joe public.

    43. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 2, 2014

      In the interests of full disclosure I want to mention that ControLeo2 is now available to order on eBay ( Our intention was always to have retail channels for ControLeo2. Planning for large volumes (larger than Kickstarter) helps us to keep the price down.
      Q: Will this affect when my reward ships to me?
      A: No, the schedule mentioned in update #13 will be followed.
      Q: Why did I buy from Kickstarter, when I could've bought from eBay?
      A: Kickstarter reward levels are significantly cheaper than the current MSRP.
      Q: Why not take pre-orders until the Kickstarter rewards ship?
      A: That's a hassle; we'd rather spend the effort getting your rewards out sooner
      Q: I'm still pissed off that eBay users get ControLeo2 before us loyal supporters.
      A: Please contact us. We appreciate loyalty and only want happy supporters

    44. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 2, 2014

      @ttan - Your thinking is good. Smaller is better. You could use something like this:
      The top and bottom elements combined are just 470 Watts, so you should add a substantial boost element.
      There may be better small ovens, but I'm really happy with the size and performance of the B&D ones that I haven't spent much time looking around.

    45. Keith Rome on December 2, 2014

      Thanks Peter, I'll check into that.

    46. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 2, 2014

      Oppps,... In my excitement .... Lets try that again.....

      yeeee hawww 5 hours to go... ;-)

    47. Missing avatar

      Robert on December 2, 2014

      Yeee Yaaaaw 5 hours to go. :-)

    48. Missing avatar

      ttan on December 2, 2014

      Do you have any specs recommendation for a smaller oven? As I don't think any of my personal projects will have PCBs much larger than a slice of bread. I am hoping to make the ovens quite small. So that I can save on operating space, hopefully better temperature control and use less gold tapes (as I am making 2 ovens). Thanks.

    49. Peter Easton 5-time creator on December 1, 2014

      @Keith - Having an aluminum sheet under the boards makes a big difference. I've used this seller before, and the price looks right:
      1/32" is the right thickness. Any thicker and you're just adding to the thermal mass. Any thinner and it flexes.

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