Those with projects that require soldering surface-mounted components onto PCBs or those with hard-to-solder smaller electronics would do well to have a reflow oven, which can solder all those electronic components to the PCB at the same time. While most smaller reflow ovens are affordable, some makers prefer to build their own, including Dan Cogliano, who designed his using a Black and Decker toaster oven.
Cogliano explains, “The EZ Make Oven is just that: it's an easy to make reflow oven that requires no high voltage wiring and does not require any disassembly of the oven. The reflow oven can be put together in just a few hours with just some minimal soldering required.” Beyond the readily available toaster oven, Dan’s design uses three main components — an Adafruit PyPortal IoT device outfitted with a graphical touch screen, an Adafruit MCP9600 Thermocouple Amplifier and K type Thermocouple, and a controllable four-outlet power relay module.
The Easy Make Oven’s display shows the current stage, overlay of oven temperature, and solder profile. It also provides beep notifications for each step, and when the reflow job is complete, and the oven door can be safely opened. Since the PyPortal makes use of CircuitPython, it allows users to install new code via drag-and-drop placement. This opens up new features as well, including the ability to use JSON-based solder profile files, create custom profiles using a text editor, and produce on-the-fly code customization without compiling them first.
For those interested in recreating Dan’s build, he has uploaded a detailed walkthrough of his Easy Bake Oven on Adafruit (linked above), complete with schematics, the necessary code, and links to all the parts necessary to get the oven up and running.