- Joined Oct 29, 2009
Wow don't let your kids search on vacuum pump on eBay.
Everyone seems to be diss'ing the RS one, mine must be a different version as I am certainly not seeing the same results!it doesn't seem to have the same heat capacity as the one I linked above. So it doesn't work well for me for anything that has a lot of copper in it, or for desoldering multiple pins in a row. It just doesn't stay hot. It could be a problem with my specific unit as I haven't tried a different one.
That is the one I use, Max. The problem is that those tips wear away far too rapidly. And I no longer have machine shop access to make more of them.
Don't know, but I have seen a number of conversions of small aquarium pumps to vacuums https://www.instructables.com/id/Vacuum-Pump-from-Aquarium-Air-Pump/, but they don't specify the pump power and they stress picking up SMT parts more than solder.
This one, https://hackaday.io/project/45998-p1-aquarium-to-vacuum-pump-conversion however, does, but it specified in millibars which I am too tired to figure out from whatever I know about barometric pressure. Also, he is not enthusiastic about the results (again, more appropriate for picking up SMT components than solder), but was optimistic that a more powerful one would work better.
The big pumps, like pictured give cubic feet per min CFM.
A compressor from a refrigerator or small window A/C is free.
Maybe a half gallon in size.
It will pull a vacuum of 30" mercury or better.
I planned on using the small air blower nozzle as a valve so it has time to accumulate vacuum and only used a little bit at a time or the air flow would cool the desoldering tip.
In my area they are often available, and don't forget dehumidifiers as a source of compressors, also ice maker machines. Of course there are a lot of places where any sort of free-lance recycling is forbidden by all sorts of laws. Avoid those biggoted areas, they are toxicAssuming one has an old refrigerator or AC laying around.
That pump could produce enough vacuum but it will need a tank to provide enough flow to remove solder. The whole secret of solder sucking is a fast rise in flow rate and the high flow rate itself. That is because the solder has to move while in the fluid state.
I wonder, and am just thinking out loud...you really only need to move the solder a few mm in the liquid state. Would it be possible, in principle, to combine the vacuum pump idea with the solder braid idea? We have probably all used that braid before. Something like sucking the liquid solder into the braid? Again, just thinking out loud.
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by Jake Hertz
by Jake Hertz