Released on September 19, 2014, this 4.7" screen iPhone is the smaller version of the iPhone 6 Plus.

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Will these tools work for micro soldering?

I am new to cell phone repair and would like to get into microsoldering. I have a budget of about $200. I have been looking at the Aoyue 866 All in 1 Digital Hot Air Rework Station with Pre-Heater as well as the 992DA 4in1 SMD Hot Air Rework Soldering Iron Station Fume Extractor. Will these work for my needs? Also can I use a camera or magnifying lens to handle the magnification? Is a microscope essential?

Thank you so much for your help.

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I guess the first question is why? Are you looking at doing this as part of your repair business or is this more of a hobby/sideline work. That makes a big difference. If this is for your business, I would say you need to invest more. That said, some techs do amazing work with limited tools but the cost is hidden in the long hours of practicing and perfecting technique to compensate for the shortcomings of the tools.

The second question is what? What you plan to repair also makes a big difference; large multi-layer boards, high density smartphone logic boards, massive GPU's or small surface-mount passives? In general you need equipment that can deliver massives amount of heat very quickly. The lower cost stations often struggle with that.

In general, most people who do serious work generally outgrow their Aoyue-type tools pretty quickly. Without getting in to the expensive stuff (higher end Hakko, JBC, Weller etc), you could look at the Quick 861DW Hot Air Station or the Hakko FX-888 Soldering iron.

If you are just looking for hobby equipment, then the Aoyue stations will work fine to get you started. I would check out the forum at the EEVBLOG...lots of detailed discussions over there.

Come back and tell us more about what you want to do.

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Yes, so I first realized I needed micro soldering skills when I was working on an iPhone 6 plus. It has IC Touch Disease and I saw a popular iFixit tech over at Ipad Rehab solve this by soldering a new IC chip onto the logic board. So in short, i want to expand my cell phone business beyond screen repairs by offering more complex fixes like logic boards. My knowledge of electronics is rudimentary. I have self taught the basic concepts and do not have much experiance soldering. So i understand that i will need tools that are easier to learn and manage. Those are my intentions. Am i comming up short anywhere? If I am not answering sufficiently what topics should I read on to understand cell phone repair better? Lol its hard when you don't know what you don't know.

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It's not that the tools are easier, they just work better. They will heat up faster, supply endless 'heat' to difficult jobs and give you reliable temperature readings. Touch IC's, for example, need the right amount of heat and no more. Not knowing if you're funneling 350C or 450C air can make the difference between a successful repair and a dead board. I'm exaggerating here to make a point.

IMHO, I think you need to up your budget. You will need a hot air station, a temperature controlled soldering iron, a microscope (used?), tweezers, solder, flux, schematics and boardviews, multimeter etc. As you progress, you will see what else is required.

You can do like @theimedic, whom I respect very much, and start with a really low cost station. It'll work but as I said before, you will pay for the difference with your time and a few failed repairs. If your business can support it, get good quality out of the gate. If the budget is tight, then you'll have to make difficult decisions.

Let us know how you progress!

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@refectio is totally right. The reliability of what you're getting out of "expensive" equipment will change everything. Did the quotes cause what I find expensive, Jessa Jones finds cheap. Not knowing what you're doing to that board is a really good, and fast way, of in her words rotisserie cooking that board. I'm probably getting away with what I'm doing, because I studied for a year on loads of things, before I actually started the work. And safety is a HUGE thing for me. When in doubt, flux it out. You really can't have enough flux. You'll just have more to clean later. Also, I think you mentioned one of the machines you have has a fan? That's a pretty big deal. I did some microsoldering, couple months?, without the fan. But I knew I needed it. Also I knew buying my fan with a charcoal filter, and will save me from the cancer from the flux and the lead solder. Another big safety thing is to use Kapton tape, and a quarter as a heat sink

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Yeah, you can get away with one of those setups. I got mine for $30, and already started successfully tackling a bunch of board level repairs. Now I'm putting more money into my lab. The microscope. I dunno. I feel like it's pretty essential. Also you can get a $200 amscope one. My scope is worth $1200 retail. Paid $600 with the camera. After that it's really a lot of flux and practice and fail and practice

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I have a fake Chinese amscope and it works just as good as the real thing haha

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Yep. How much did you drop on it?

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I don't know; it was a Christmas present. Probably not much.

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Pretty nice Christmas present

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