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Old 05-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #1
Mad_Professor
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Default I just did my first reflow.

I just re-flowed a Playstation 3 with a wagner heatgun at 1,000 degree's Fahrenheit, and...

IT WORKS!!!!


What I did was preheat the board on the both sides with the heat gun for about a good two minutes moving in an erratic way. Then I focused on processors for about good 1 minute moving back and forth between the two, followed by letting it air cool for an hour.

Sad thing is this is not going to fix it. Considering that a friend gave it to me for free, I'm not complaining I'll probably won't use it alot because I never play any console games. Maybe the general netflix and blu-ray.


I just figured I would share my excitement with you guys.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Did you spray liquid flux underneath the chips before reflowing?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

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Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
Did you spray liquid flux underneath the chips before reflowing?
no.. I didn't think about that, plus I don't think I would be able to get it under the chips, they are pretty close to the board, so spraying may only get around edges of the chip and not reach the center.

I'm probably going to have to reflow again, seeing that reflow has a 50/50 chance of fixing it, this thing may only last for 2 days or 2 years if I'm lucky.

What does flux do to solder joints?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

I read that reflowing will only "take" properly if there's flux. I can't attest tot eh theory behind it but at the time that I read it, it made sense. What I read was that repeatedly reflowing without flux will cause the solder not to bond.

I've also been pondering an innovative way to spray liquid flux underneath a chip.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Makes sense. I'll get liquid flux next time if this thing stops working.

What I want to do now is fix the fan, it runs too low and heat builds up.

I was looking for mods to boost the fan but still have it regulated by the console.

Saw this on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/PS3-INTERNAL-COO...item3cb549f3da

I'm wondering if I can make something similar to it but I don't have knowledge to make one unless I had help from badcaps members.

should I buy it, does it look safe? Can I make my own?
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

you would need some liquid flux, not the paste stuff

I can imagine, when the balls become detached from the solder, that the solder just remains partially solidified and the ball can be come easily detached from it. with flux, it would desolidify the solder completely and give it a better attachment to the ball
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
you would need some liquid flux, not the paste stuff

I can imagine, when the balls become detached from the solder, that the solder just remains partially solidified and the ball can be come easily detached from it. with flux, it would desolidify the solder completely and give it a better attachment to the ball
Why are we not using lead solder again?
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

a reflow means you don't use any solder. you just heat the chip up, and get the solder already there a second chance, and usually the solder has no lead. but using flux can help
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
a reflow means you don't use any solder. you just heat the chip up, and get the solder already there a second chance, and usually the solder has no lead. but using flux can help
The question was rhetorical, he was not soliciting an answer.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

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Originally Posted by Mad_Professor View Post
Why are we not using lead solder again?
ROHS. More waste, less hazardous. Lead solder doesn't hold that much better. As I found by reballing my Gateway 30" LCD with lead solder, heat is most the problem.

The spec sheet says the chip can run at 175*C. Customers don't like fans. The product fails just after the warranty is up. There is no downside here.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Quote:
ROHS. More waste, less hazardous. Lead solder doesn't hold that much better. As I found by reballing my Gateway 30" LCD with lead solder, heat is most the problem.
Unleaded solder is brittle but
Leaded solder is too flexible...

The caveat of using unleaded solder remains...
When manufacturers skimp on the copper in the unleaded solder, it is not as good as leaded solder.

The question is, why force companies like Acer who want to profit off relatively well designed and inexpensive items to use a product which is far more expensive? They end up using inferior unleaded solder and their consumers suffer because of this.

That's why we should just stick to leaded solder.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:15 AM   #12
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Well, I'm glad you managed to reflow it properly.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.



Playstation 3 died last night, My sister tried to use it, but it wouldn't turn on. It went from green to lime green then to blinking red light and beeps three times.

I'm surprise it lasted as long as it did with the moderate use like playing infamous, fight night, ghost recon, and watching netflix.

Might try to reflowing it again someday when I'm bored.

Last edited by Mad_Professor; 03-17-2012 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

how do you get flux all under the chip? thats not very much space between the chip and the board, i'm assuming you use some non-dense liquid flux
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Reflowing with a heat gun will do more damage to the board than good.

It's just as improper and damaging to the board as the X-clamp washers and bolts on the 360 consoles and achieves the same result severe board warpage.

The board and the BGA are probably warped now.

The proper way to do this is with a temperature regulated rework station and a board preheater or a BGA welder (which has an IR regulated heat gun and a preheater built in). By preheating the entire board it minimizes warping and requires less heat to be applied from the top with a hot air gun. Also I don't mean preheat in an oven or on a presto griddle with a proper regulated preheater.

Not to mention when hot air reworking you use a nozzle that disperses the heat evenly over the entire BGA if you're using a hot air station it also must be mounted on a stand so the distance from the edge of the nozzle to the board is kept even from the board (the reflow process usually takes at least 15 minutes). Far from the "move the heatgun in circles" which you no doubt read on some site. You must get all of the balls to reach their molten state evenly and you're not going to do that with unregulated and uneven heat.

You also place thermocouples 1mm away from the edge on 2 sides of the BGA to verify when your board preheaters heat has penetrated to the top of the board, to dial in your temperature regulated station to the proper temperature, and to make sure you've reached the molten state on both sides and that the heat is even. I won't bore you with thermal profiles which is basically how you slowly bring the board up to temp with the preheater and rework gun and slowly cool it to get sound solder joints and to reduce thermal stress on the PCB.

An unregulated heatgun is just as dangerous and ineffective as towel tricking the console (blocking the exhaust ports and overheating the board) and just as ineffective for solving the issue in the long term.

Most likely you didn't achieve full re flow you may have partially melted the balls which only broke up some of the solder crystallization that caused the solder ball fracture the fault will return. These types of repairs are very short lived and each time it's repeated the subsequent repair will be shorter lived.

Please use your heat gun for what it was designed for melting heatshrink, bending thin plastic, stripping paint, etc.

Sorry but I had to set the record straight I'm tired of this misinformation that's sending perfectly good boards to the scrap heap. It's not your fault there are just too many people spreading this misinformation and not enough people posting the right info.
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Last edited by Krankshaft; 03-17-2012 at 06:56 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
how do you get flux all under the chip? thats not very much space between the chip and the board, i'm assuming you use some non-dense liquid flux
They usually use a syringe aim it under the BGA and keep squirting till it comes out the other side.

Last edited by Krankshaft; 03-17-2012 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krankshaft View Post
Reflowing with a heat gun will do more damage to the board than good.

It's just as improper and damaging to the board as the X-clamp washers and bolts on the 360 consoles and achieves the same result severe board warpage.

The board and the BGA are probably warped now.

The proper way to do this is with a temperature regulated rework station and a board preheater or a BGA welder (which has an IR regulated heat gun and a preheater built in). By preheating the entire board it minimizes warping and requires less heat to be applied from the top with a hot air gun. Also I don't mean preheat in an oven or on a presto griddle with a proper regulated preheater.

Not to mention when hot air reworking you use a nozzle that disperses the heat evenly over the entire BGA if you're using a hot air station it also must be mounted on a stand so the distance from the edge of the nozzle to the board is kept even from the board (the reflow process usually takes at least 15 minutes). Far from the "move the heatgun in circles" which you no doubt read on some site. You must get all of the balls to reach their molten state evenly and you're not going to do that with unregulated and uneven heat.

You also place thermocouples 1mm away from the edge on 2 sides of the BGA to verify when your board preheaters heat has penetrated to the top of the board, to dial in your temperature regulated station to the proper temperature, and to make sure you've reached the molten state on both sides and that the heat is even. I won't bore you with thermal profiles which is basically how you slowly bring the board up to temp with the preheater and rework gun and slowly cool it to get sound solder joints and to reduce thermal stress on the PCB.

An unregulated heatgun is just as dangerous and ineffective as towel tricking the console (blocking the exhaust ports and overheating the board) and just as ineffective for solving the issue in the long term.

Most likely you didn't achieve full re flow you may have partially melted the balls which only broke up some of the solder crystallization that caused the solder ball fracture the fault will return. These types of repairs are very short lived and each time it's repeated the subsequent repair will be shorter lived.

Please use your heat gun for what it was designed for melting heatshrink, bending thin plastic, stripping paint, etc.

Sorry but I had to set the record straight I'm tired of this misinformation that's sending perfectly good boards to the scrap heap. It's not your fault there are just too many people spreading this misinformation and not enough people posting the right info.
Not everyone has the equipment and must make-do with what they have.

Frankly it's not going to matter since reflow and reball have not proven effective in fixing these faults. Therefore the same amount of scrap still remains.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

There are plenty of servicers out there who will reball with the proper equipment for the cost of a game 60 with return shipping without the negative effects of damaging the board and sending it to an early grave. Reflows run about 40 bucks how much did that heatgun cost 25-30 at least?

I've yet to have a leaded GPU reball come back to me with the one stipulation that the consoles heatsinks were cleaned on a regular basis. Depending on use once a year or once every 6 months with heavy use.

The reason the BGA joints fail is because of dust infiltration dust plugs up the GPU heatsink and since end users don't open their consoles to clean them out (nor does the manufacturer recommend it so they can sell more consoles) the consoles GPU runs hot.

The fans compensate by running at a higher speed dust keeps plugging up the fins until even the fans running at full speed isn't enough to keep the GPU cool the high heat then thermally stresses the BGA solder balls causing crystals to form which causes them to eventually crack.

The reason why these people are saying reballs aren't reliable is because they have no clue why the joints failed to begin with.

Whenever you repair ANYTHING you must figure out what prompted the failure in the first place or your repair too is destined for a subsequent failure.

Last edited by Krankshaft; 03-17-2012 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krankshaft View Post
There are plenty of servicers out there who will reball with the proper equipment for the cost of a game with return shipping without the negative effects of damaging the board from any subsequent repairs. Reflows run about 40 bucks how much did that heatgun cost 30 at least?

I've yet to have a leaded GPU reball come back to me.

The reason the BGAs fail is because of dust infiltration dust plugs up the GPU heatsinks and since the end users don't open their consoles to clean them out the consoles run hot thermally stress the BGA solder balls and cause them to crack. It's not the consoles problem it's the users problem.
$15, and some luck. You explain on the process of the reflow but you don't say how the faults are corrected? Wouldn't the solder crystallization come back after time?

I modified my fan with 555 PWM controller, plenty of air flow, but loud. The problem on why so many PS3 are failing is not because of clogged vents or inadequate heat dissipation, which if you look at the PS3 Fatties, their heatsinks are massive with heatpipes and using an aluminum metal i/o shield with a riser with 1/4" wide spacing slots for vents with a 6" fan. How could this console overheat. It's Sony's debilitate attempt to reduce "Fan Noise" by slowing the fan down. If you look at all the firmware updates most of them keep adjusting the fan to lower speed. Some 1% others 10% it's ridiculous. It's almost as if they are trying to sabotage their consoles to force consumers to buy new ones.

What's fucked up is that the fan does not throttle up when a user is playing a game.

Frankly you're right, heat is the problem with most consoles, small form factor and poor cooling and crappy unleaded solder = death on a silver platter.

Last edited by Mad_Professor; 03-17-2012 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: I just did my first reflow.

Sorry I was talking about Xbox 360s in that specific instance PS3s as you said are another story.

Sony would argue it's in response to consumers wanting a "quieter console" and since that aligns with their goal of selling more consoles they're more than happy to oblige.

Reflowing eliminates the solder crystals when the balls reach a molten state.

Solder crystals are formed at an accelerated rate when the joints are held at high temperatures for extended periods. The underside of a BGA has the perfect conditions for them to form.

You can't eliminate them completely the only thing you can do is keep the heatsink clean (maintain good airflow) and keep an eye out for dried up thermal paste (poor dissipation from the die to the heatsink). In other words keep the BGA as cool as possible. This will reduce their formation drastically. A very good thermal paste I use is Arctic Silver 5.

Don't use the cheap white stuff that's for passively cooled semiconductors (voltage regulators, FETS, etc). I've seen many x-clamp modded consoles (said to be "refurbished" by a game store) with that white bird crap on them.

Last edited by Krankshaft; 03-17-2012 at 08:08 PM..
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