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SuperHouse Vlog #55: The T-962C surface mount reflow oven

While working on new SuperHouse episodes I’ve upgraded my surface mount reflow oven. Most things I design are assembled in factories, but about 8 years ago I set up a toaster oven with a temperature sensor so I could do quick reflow at home for prototypes and small production runs.

I wrote up a tutorial about DIY surface mount assembly for Freetronics: you can read it at Surface Mount Soldering With A Toaster Oven.

Some years ago I upgraded the toaster oven by fitting an Arduino based automatic temperature controller, and since then I’ve baked several thousand circuit boards in that little oven. However, the time has finally come to replace it with a proper semi-professional reflow oven.

The T-962A is currently the most common cheap desktop reflow oven, but I need something a bit bigger so that I can run a few dozen boards at a time. I decided to go for its big brother, the T-962C.

Yes, I know the camerawork is terrible! Normally I’d re-film anything that looks as bad as some parts of this vlog, but TBH I can’t be bothered for a quick update 🙂

9 thoughts on “SuperHouse Vlog #55: The T-962C surface mount reflow oven

  1. Link to related blog post is ftps instead of https which is a bit strange.

    1. That was my typo! Fixed now, thanks 🙂

      1. Thanks for fix and keep up the good work!

      2. Do you still recommend the T-962C oven? I have read a number of reports that say it is under powered compared to the T-962A. I need an oven that will accommodate a board size of 13.7″ x 4.7″. There are also aftermarket mods available online but it is not clear to me that they will help the T-962C. Any comments will be appreciated! Thanks, Mike.

        1. When it’s in the heating stage I’ve noticed that the actual temperature lags a little behind the desired temperature in the early part of the cycle, then it catches up towards the end. It’s not much though, certainly not enough to worry me. By the time it’s at the upper end of the reflow cycle the temperature is tracking spot on where it should be.

          The T-962A is 30x32cm working area with 1500W, so about 1.6W/cm2. The T962C is 40x60cm working area with 2500W, so about 1.06W/cm2. Definitely lower, but I haven’t had any issues. Perhaps if you were doing many boards at once with a lot of thermal mass (pre-mounted heatsinks, or something) it may be a problem.

          The only thing that bothers me about the C is that it seems very wasteful to cycle it when I only want to do 1 or 2 boards. The size is totally justified for many of the runs I do (I often have it totally full of boards, and do multiple runs to work through a batch) but ideally I’d like to have a very small second oven that’s maybe 500W for those times I want to do just one board.

  2. Are you aware of this repository?

    Custom firmware for the t-926 that addresses a lot of the problems with it.

  3. Have you had a chance to do any BGA devices with the 962C. If so what size BGA device.

  4. Hi Jonathan ,

    Now that you’ve had the oven for a while, have you experienced any problems with odour? After watching your video I bought one and have found the smell to be unbearable, even without any boards inside.


    1. Yes, it definitely smells. I have an exhaust fan with inlets connected at different points around my office so I run that whenever the oven is going, but there’s still enough odour to be unpleasant. I’ve been thinking about adding a small enclosure to the back (maybe just covering the back third of the unit, with a gap all around) connected to the exhaust system like a mini fume hood. I’d have to be super careful to always have the exhaust system running when the oven is on, otherwise the heat would build up and it could be very dangerous. I’m still thinking about the best way to do it.

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