How to reflow solder an LED emitter on a PCB or MCPCB.

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vestureofblood
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How to reflow solder an LED emitter on a PCB or MCPCB.

Hi all,

I have decided its time to do an instructional video series. “Flashlight hax” will be the theme for most of it. I thought re-flowing would be a good place to start since I get a lot of questions about it. Hope you enjoy.


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If this tutorial helped you please click “like” on the video. If you enjoyed it and would like to get a notification when the next video on the series comes up you can subscribe.
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Here is a thread on how to use a soldering iron.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/51777

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Edited by: vestureofblood on 12/30/2016 - 20:32
Ouchyfoot
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Great video. I wish there had been more of this type of “how to” videos when I was a beginner modder. Thank god Old Lumens was here for us, or I would have been lost.

jescereal
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Well made! Good resource. I wish I had seen this when I did my first reflow. Crying

MRsDNF
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Thanks vob. Nice video.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

teacher
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Wow, this is a great video ‘vestureofblood’!!!
It answers every question I had about this subject as well as took the “mystery” out of it. I actually believe I can do this now without a problem.
Thank you for sharing this…….. Smile

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EDIT: May I suggest this thread be made a “STICKY”…. The info is priceless as far as I am concerned. Smile

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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saypat
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Very well done! You could be an educator. I am not a model so this was really an eye opener for me.

thanks!

tech
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Good video, thanks for this. Also big thanks for the work you have uploaded on Oshpark.

CRX
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Good Stuff.

Boaz
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Nice video … you need to start doing infomercials.
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—————————————————————————————————

See how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

 

   Interested in Diffuser film …  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

strango
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Thanks for video. It was very useful.

Barkuti
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Wow! This just came on time!

I’m planning on reflowing 4 3’5×3’5mm emitters on an XHP70 board. I see you “tap” the emitters to remove excess solder but, I wonder what will happen upon tapping over the dome of each one of the emitters on such a 2×2 array. :/

Cheers

P.S.: Great tutorial.

The Miller
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NICE thanks!

vestureofblood
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Thank you all for the comments, I appreciate them.

teacher wrote:
Wow, this is a great video ‘vestureofblood’!!!
It answers every question I had about this subject as well as took the “mystery” out of it. I actually believe I can do this now without a problem.
Thank you for sharing this…….. Smile

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EDIT: May I suggest this thread be made a “STICKY”…. The info is priceless as far as I am concerned. Smile

I know you can do it.

“What one man can do, another can do”

– Anthony Hopkins – in some movie I forgot the name of.
Boaz wrote:
Nice video … you need to start doing infomercials.

Maybe if Convoy, Surefire, or Maglite ever needs a guy I will get the job Smile

Barkuti wrote:
Wow! This just came on time!

I’m planning on reflowing 4 3’5×3’5mm emitters on an XHP70 board. I see you “tap” the emitters to remove excess solder but, I wonder what will happen upon tapping over the dome of each one of the emitters on such a 2×2 array. :/

Cheers

P.S.: Great tutorial.

Thats a pretty ambitious reflow for anybody. I’ve never tried it. I suppose if you have a problem with them squabbling around when you tap something you could do is this. Once you have them in place you can take something with a flat and set it on them. A glass lens should be heavy enough to push them down and you could still see if they had been moved out of place. I have done that a couple times. You just put the lens in place ( I used a borofloat maglite lens) and turn off your heat.

Once you get it done maybe you can shoot us a pic or two.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

bwings
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Thanks, very helpful.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Sorry for my poor English

Barkuti
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vestureofblood wrote:

Thats a pretty ambitious reflow for anybody. I’ve never tried it. I suppose if you have a problem with them squabbling around when you tap something you could do is this. Once you have them in place you can take something with a flat and set it on them. A glass lens should be heavy enough to push them down and you could still see if they had been moved out of place. I have done that a couple times. You just put the lens in place ( I used a borofloat maglite lens) and turn off your heat.

Once you get it done maybe you can shoot us a pic or two.

Whew! And I was just thingking in assembling a mixture of emitters like a “XP-L HI”/“219B” and “219B/XP-L HI” plaid fashion … DERP!

Cheers Party

vestureofblood
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Better get this one to the top again in time for the made from scratch contest Smile

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

luminarium iaculator
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A lot off effort from vestureofblood. Very nice and educational video. Thumbs Up

Ouchyfoot wrote:
Great video. I wish there had been more of this type of “how to” videos when I was a beginner modder. Thank god Old Lumens was here for us, or I would have been lost.

I still use Old Lumens bench vise – soldering iron method and I found that as a best method for me (btw it is also very safe and regulated through regulated soldering station)

Worth to mention that there are emitters which will not automatically suck into MCPB and they require steady hand, eagle eyes and firmly pressed MCPCB to properly set up emitter on tray Smile

So if you have emitter on MCPCB that refuses to suck it Old Lumens method is only one that will do and especially if you want to tap and hold emitter until it cures to push excess solder and to make as thin layer of solder between it and trays.

Modding is making something how you want it to be, not how it comes stock...

Old-Lumens

Mitko
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Quote:
Worth to mention that there are emitters which will not automatically suck into MCPB

This! XPE2 simmilar ones do that often, they are just too light to push the extra solder aside

Something else that is important and worth mentioning: sometimes the emitter + pad and the core pad could solder toghether yet the emitter will work( xml, xpl, xpg est).

It will work even if you connect the proper driver for testing outside the flashlight, but then inserted in the host the MCPCB will contact the host body and ofc this will cause a short connection.

Thats valid for DTP MCPCBs, non dtp in this case wont suffer that issue yet the emitter core isnt electricaly neutral: sometimes it could affect driver memory mode and/or correct driver modes

vestureofblood
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Ya, doing small emitters is the hardest. For me either setting a piece of glass on them to weight them down (like when doing a triple) or a very quick “tap”, hard and fast enough to eject the extra solder like a projectile is about the best way.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Barkuti
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Hi!

My first reflow guys, done with helping hands, standard solder wire and a cigarette lighter. Toasty! LOL!  

 

Cheers Party

cabfrank
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Great video, thanks! You make it look very easy, and explain it very well.

MRsDNF
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Ah, but does it work? Thumbs Up

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Barkuti
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MRsDNF wrote:
Ah, but does it work? Thumbs Up

Nice you asked, because I had not tested it.

Just hooked it up to a 5V PSU (output: 5'16V). I dimmed the room a bit at first because nothing seemed to happen and, anyway, at 2'58V per die I thought it would be barely visible under my 5000 lumen kitchen lamp. Then I realized I was trying to drive it inversely… Aaah! WHOOOSH! Sick

@#$%! That stuff is shining bright for such a low Vf! Is that normal? Maybe I should take some current measurements tomorrow…

 

Cheers Party

Barkuti
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Well, my multimeter shows 0'02 onscreen using the 10A (unfused) scale so, current is ≈20mA. And I remembered I had popped off the ammeter fuse long ago. Facepalm

 

Cheers Party

BrianK
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Thanks for the video! I was wondering about that. Despite my age I still have childlike curiosity and a need to know.

vestureofblood
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Barkuti wrote:
That stuff is shining bright for such a low Vf! Is that normal? Maybe I should take some current measurements tomorrow…

 


Cheers Party

Way to go man, I’m so glad you decided to try it. Getting a lot of light even at low power it normal. When I check to see if my reflowed XHPs are working I apply 4.6V with my bench power supply. This will allow me to look directly at the dies to see if they all light up. Going up to only 4.8V and doing this would result in a sharp piercing of the eyes.

Keep up the modding…

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

MG
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Great video. Thanks for doing this. Turned out to be a fun thread too……..

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Looks like that sinkpad got way to hot, its gone brown!

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mattjk wrote:
Looks like that sinkpad got way to hot, its gone brown!

I reflow on my stove top using an aluminum pie pan and sometimes my sinkpads turn color but they seem to work just fine.
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mattjk wrote:
Looks like that sinkpad got way to hot, its gone brown!

It's gone plaid! 

Yep, the thing got tanned. That's what happens when you're a n00b in these matters and try to dissolve/spread some solder onto the base “the way of the tiger” (i.e. no rosin/flux). Facepalm

I'll have my packet of rosin at hand next time.

 

Cheers Party

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Good video! You got your hand/fingers in the way a few times when it gets interesting but hey… no problem Wink

There is one thing I was always very curious about: the LED and pad have 3 connection points, two for + and – connections and one large pad that is resposible only for heat transfer from the LED to the sinkpad, right? Now you took A LOT of that solder paste on that first pad. now what happens if you take so much that the solder under the LED creates a electric connection between + and headpad, or – and heatpad, or even between all 3 of them? When connecting this to power it should create a short and destroy the LED, right?

How do you make sure this does not happen? You seem to be very tolerant and even move the LED around on the pad when the hot solder is fluid, I don´t get why it works anyway.

EDIT: those DTP boards like the sinkpad also have some kind of “cavity” or pit where the solder can “flow in”, while cheap aluminium stars like this don´t. Does this affect the process?

K.

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