Arduino-based digitally controlled hot-air rework

Hey guys,

I'm completely new to arduino, uC and electronics engineering in general. I do electronics repair as part of my everyday job, and I got my bosses to shell out for an Aoyue 968 SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station.

It's freakin' sweet.

The problem is, we've opened another store, and now that I work at both of them, I need a station at both shops. I don't personally have like $200 to spend at the moment, and I can't get them to shell out again, so I figured I could build one. I know that's probably not the optimal solution, but I've been looking to get into uC development, and I really just can't get the idea out of my head.

Down to business, I figured I could modify a heat gun so that the heating element and the air-flow fan are on separate circuits, then use an arduino to check the temperature of a type k thermocouple at the business end of the heat gun. The temperature is then used as the logic input to control a loop that cycles a relay on and off to the heating element, to maintain a set temperature.

I figured the parts count would be something like this:

arduino 555 timer chip 120v relay w/ 5v control type k thermocouple a max6675 K-Thermocouple-to-Digital Converter a 16x2 or 20x4 character LCD potentiometer or momentary switches for inputting the desired temperature

I've done a LITTLE research, and that's what I've come up with. I'm really hoping someone can guide me in the right direction.

I will, of course, GPL the end result of this project, as I really think an open-source hot-air rework station would be amazing. Also, by my count it'd be like $60-$70 to make, instead of $180 to buy.

Can anyone help me?

with some pipe, a scooter handle and a hacked up heatgun you can fake one

I saw that when I was trolling around for ideas on how to make this work. I have the heat gun I'd want to use. The heat gun isn't the problem.

We use the rework station to reflow XBox 360 GPU's. It needs to have a decent readout of the actual temperature being produced, otherwise we melt/ burn/ seriously damage people's electronics.

Thank you for your feedback though!

well its the heat gun with a thermocouple attached at its end and being controlled by a appropriate pwm signal by the arduino

not to sound snippy (cause i know that might) but there are some buzzwords for you to search 8-)

ps: logic level mosfet or solid state relay ::)

you wont need the 555, the arduino can generate pwm signals

potentiometer or momentary switches for inputting the desired temperature

maybe a rotary encoder, best of both

You don't sound snippy to me.

The problem I'm having is that I could count the number of things I know about uC development and electronics engineering on one hand, without using a thumb.

Is there anything more you can give me?