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Howard Electronic Instruments, Inc.

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The Future is HERE for Complete Rework Stations


About you:  In the next few years, it will be hard to find a manufacturer who will build anything that will not contain SMDís (Surface Mount Devices).  What this means to you as the service tech, is that you had better be ready for the new technology. Having the proper tools to do the job and the knowledge to use the tools that you choose will be important to your survival in the electronics repair business. Surface mount technology has been around for a long time, but the tools for R&R (Removal and Replacement) have been slow to be accepted by the service and repair organization.  I think mostly because it is hard to justify the price of the better tools when weighed against the price of the average repair.  It forces some of the more conservative service centers to look for innovative ways to use the tools at hand to do the work.  The biggest problem with this is that it is possible to ruin the whole board by not having the right tools.  Thereby ruining the whole device that you are working on.  This usually presents no problems when the repair cost will be over that of the replacement cost.  It becomes a real problem when working on higher priced equipment as opposed to what we call throwaway equipment.  Those of you who plan on staying in the electronics repair business had better be servicing at least some higher priced equipment.  That also requires an investment in top quality soldering and desoldering equipment to perform a job worthy of your reputation.

For you:  Fortunately for you, the investment does not require you to mortgage the business.  For less than $800.00, you can purchase a Xytronic 988D850DTP package deal which gives you the ability to replace almost any thru-hole, chip, SOT, SOP, QFP, PLCC, and etc. component.  I said almost because there is a component used in some equipment called BGA's (Ball Grid Array).  They are only repaired by a select few service centers because the equipment can cost several 10's of thousands of dollars to repair BGA equipment and is beyond the scope of this article. 

About us:  Our company has been in the electronics business for 58 years and has seen a lot of soldering and desoldering tools and techniques come and go.  We have been specializing in selling soldering and desoldering tools for the past twelve of our 58 years and have been looking for the perfect rework station that will handle all soldering and desoldering jobs with ease and not requiring considerable technique.  We finally found a manufacture in Taiwan who met all of our requirements for a quality rework station at very affordable prices.  We decided to import these tools and sell direct to the servicer, making them even more affordable.  With this Xytronic 988DTP package, you will be able to successfully desolder thru-hole components on single and multi-layer boards. You will be able to pick off chip components like the dreaded fish caps (Surface Mount Electrolytic Capacitors) with the set of Xytronic TWZ60 hot tweezers, blow hot air on small chip components and SOT, SOP, etc. with the Xytronic HAP60 hot air pencil, and blow hot air on large components with the high wattage, temperature and air flow controlled 850D Hot Air Rework Station. Included with all of this is one of the best, temperature controlled soldering pencils available.

Money Back Guarantee:  Without boring you with all of the specifications of these tools, I will just tell you that you will wonder how they put all of this quality in these tools for so little money. To back this up, we offer a sixty-day money back guarantee on everything that we sell. We simply donít sell anything that we donít believe in 100%. 

Thru-hole Desoldering:  Now with that in mind we can get down to business and give you a scenario of how you might use the Xytronic 988D desoldering Station. You will first notice an obvious increase in productivity. You will be able to remove an IC from a single layer board to the tune of about 2 seconds per pin. A 100-pin microprocessor will take you about 200 seconds, or about three and one-third minutes. It will take you slightly longer with a multi-layer board due to the slower heat transfer to the other side of the board. You must get thorough solder melt before pressing the trigger on the desoldering pencil. When you are done the IC should just fall out and all of your pads will be perfectly clean and ready to accept a new IC. Re-soldering the new IC should be just as fast with the temperature-controlled soldering iron on this station. There is a K-Type thermocouple built right into the tip of the ceramic heater, thereby holding the idle temperature within 3 degrees Celsius.  

Eliminate Costly Repairs:  You will also begin to eliminate costly board repairs caused by using inferior tools. I think we all can relate to ruining or almost ruining a pc board at one time or another. Sure you were probably able to repair your mistake, but you were sure hoping that if anybody in the future saw your work, they would not be able to trace it back to you. I know...we have all been there. This scenario can all but be eliminated by using quality tools. Remember, the tools make the technician, just like the business suit makes the businessman. 

Cost of Doing Business:  You will also find that you will lower your cost of doing business, thereby making your business more profitable, and more competitive in the marketplace. Whether you have 200 technicians working for you, or you are a one-man shop, you still have to be productive, competitive and perform quality work to remain in business in this economy. 

Hot Tweezers:  Technicians who work on camcorders and other equipment with Surface Mount Electrolytic Capacitors will be relieved to see how easy they are to remove and replace. With the hot tweezers, you can remove one about every three to five seconds. With a little practice, you can easily replace them with the hot tweezers too. Also removing chip resistors, chip capacitors, and SOICís are a snap. The tweezers have blades up to 30mm wide. The tips come in sizes of 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, and 30mm. 

Hot Air Pencil:  The HAP60 hot air pencil is also great for removal and replacement of small chip components. Replacement can be done with solder paste and it should look like it has never been removed when done. Then you know that you have done a job to be proud of.  When you get into larger components, you will then use the large 850D hot air machine. It has a 310 watt ceramic heating element that is temperature adjustable, with a sensor built into the tip to keep the temperature constant regardless of air flow. The air flow is also adjustable so you can use high air flow for removal and low air flow for replacement with solder paste. Several focus hoods are also available to cover the many different types of ICís including PLCCís (the J leads). The unit comes with a four focus hoods that  will be perfect for many jobs. There are many different sizes of focus hoods available for this unit. There are also focus hoods from other manufacturers that will fit the heater perfectly, so you can share focus hoods if you already have some in your service center. 

Free Accessories:  With this complete unit, we also offer a complete set of TWTP  high tensile stainless steel tweezers, a soldering tip for soldering in IC's,  a very high quality soldering tip cleaner Part # 460, an IC popper that really works, all for FREE with the Xytronic 988D850DTP Complete Rework Station. This station can be seen on our web site at

SMD Removal:  With this station you should be able to, very easily and without much expertise, remove and replace most any component. Some of the harder components would be the fine pitch QFPís (Quad Flat Packís) so that is what we will dwell on right now. Removal is done by simply applying a good quality paste flux and applying heat from the 850D Hot Air Station. Preferably with the correct focus hood or tip to match the job, but if not you can still use the 5mm focus hood that comes with the unit. You just have to move it around a lot more and will probably take longer for removal. With the IC Popper, you never have to worry about getting the IC too hot because the IC popper will pop up the IC just as soon as you have solder melt on all leads. You also do not have to worry about pulling any pads, as the IC Popper does not put enough pressure on the IC to pull up a pad because of trying to remove prematurely. 

Clean-up and Site Preparation:  Now that you have the IC popped off it is time to clean the area with the desoldering tool. This does a fine job of cleaning the pads. Just turn the temperature up a little, touch the pad and wait a couple of seconds for solder melt. Then start in a circular motion with the desoldering tool perpendicular to the pads and work your way around the pads until all of the solder is removed. Next I would take an alcohol pad or flux remover and clean up the flux residue.  Then take your syringe of solder paste with a blunt tip stainless steel needle or plastic taper tip needle and apply a small bead of solder paste around the outer perimeter of the pads. Next take a vacuum pickup tool and locate the proper positioning for the IC to the pads. The solder paste is tacky and should hold the IC in place during re-flow of the solder paste. Positioning of the IC at this point is not extremely critical. If you have at least 50% of the lead on the pad it will correct itself during re-flow. The solder has a terrific surface tension and will align the IC automatically during re-flow. 

SMD Replacement:  Next take the 850D hot air handle and adjust the air flow to a point where it will not blow the solder paste during re-flow. This can be achieved by trial and error and then can be set the same way each time you re-flow with that particular tip. What you are really trying to achieve with the solder paste is exactly what has been done during the production of the component or unit that you are working on. The secret to proper re-flow with the solder paste is to bring the temperature up to approximately 130 degrees Celsius. (This is called the pre-heat time). Then slowly (about 2 į C/second) bring it on up to about 170 degrees Celsius. (This is called the Soak Time). Then more rapidly bring it up to 220 degrees Celsius (this is called the dwell time), and remove all heat and let it cool on itís own without any external cooling. (Of course, this is called the cool time). 

Solder Paste Type:  There are three well know types of solder paste in use today which are all determined by the type of flux used to hold the solder balls together. The most common type is the RMA type, which stands for Rosin Mildly Activated. It washes off with denatured alcohol or a common flux remover. The second type is Water Soluble, which washes off with DI (De-ionized) water. The third type is No Clean, which means that you can leave it on without any detrimental effects. The No Clean Solder Paste and Flux are fast taking over the as the most popular.

PC Board Pre-Heater:  One other practical addition to our soldering and desoldering tools that is brand new on the market at the time of this writing is an SMD Pre-Heater. With the use of a pre-heater, you can virtually almost eliminate thermal stress and thermal shock on the component and printed circuit board. Pre-heating of the PC board is now the accepted process when reworking large components and is an absolute must when reworking BGAís (Ball Grid Arrays). The Xytronic 628 Pre-heater has a ceramic heater with a K-Type Thermocouple and closed loop for temperature stability. It also has digital readout of the set temperature and the actual temperature. This will be a regular stock item and can be purchased for the low price of $475.00 and can be seen on our web site at

Closing:  In closing I want to say that I realize that times can be tough in the service business but good tools are essential for survival. It is very rare in the electronics service business to see a successful company who has not made a significant investment in soldering and desoldering tools.  We are very happy to be able to offer these professional quality products to our fellow colleagues at such great prices. You can also save 5% by going to and ordering through our SECURE on-line shopping cart. If you are not connected yet, just tell us that you seen this article and still receive the 5% Internet discount. 

Author - Jerry Howard, President
Howard Electronic Instruments, Inc.

Copyright 12-09-00
Revised 11-05-04


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We do our best to offer you the lowest prices on all of our products. If you find a better price on an identical item, we will beat it by 10% of the difference. Just give us a call. Or, place your order on our site at our existing price, send us an email with a link to the lower priced site and your order number and we'll refund the difference, plus 10%, back to your card! The item must be in-stock at the other location to get this discount!

Howard Electronic Instruments, Inc.
974 SE Pioneer Rd
El Dorado, KS 67042
1-800-394-1984 Toll Free (USA and Canada)
316-321-2800 Local
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Current date CST: 09/02/2015

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