Heatgunning with Isolation

Tuesday 22nd July 2008
Clicks: 331842

Error codes that can be fixed with this method:
PrimarySecondary Error code 
1 red light 1RLODE67; E69; E73; E74; E79;
2 red lights 2RLOD0011; 0012; 0013;
3 red lights 3RLOD0001; 0002; 0003; 0020; 0021; 0022; 0023; 0100; 0101; 0102; 0103; 0110; 0203;
4 red lights 4RLODYES

Last update: 21st July 2011

Important notice!

Heatgunning is one of the worst ways to reflow a mainboard, a lot of thermal flexing occurs and due to that the lifetime of the fix is pretty short in most cases, we recommend to consider a professional reflow first or if you want to stick to a homemade fix at least do the oven reflow, that one is also risky but the results are a hell of a lot better and you got a longer lasting fix which does not make future repairs nearly impossible :)

Heatgunning the mainboard is a risky thing as it will definitely start smoking if you dont isolate it properly most people will have noticed that already.
I heatgun most of the boards when the X-Clamp Fix doesnt work and played around with different isolations(rockwool, aluminium foil etc.)
This one was the cheapest and best in my opinion though because I didnt have to clean the mainboard after I was done like with the rockwool and it is much better to handle..

Well what you need:
- Completely disassembled xbox 360 mainboard(always remove the heatsinks or you can trash the board after you reflowed the solder...)
- A heatgun obviously
- Some aluminium foil + needles to fix it
- electric tape( heat resistant adhesive tape if possible)
- Some foamlike anti-static layflat bag or similar insulation material, oven bags...
Putty also led to success for quite a couple of people, more information on the material can be found here http://xbox-experts.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=404

More advanced users who need a reusable insulation to save time, can also build an insulation shield, like shown here http://xbox-experts.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=436

To help the solder reflow you should also use flux if you can this will cause the joints to be stronger after reflowing and sort of renews them, more information can be found here http://xbox-experts.com/e/tutorial.php?n=usingfluxforrefl

The more evenly the mainboard heats up the less thermal flexing which often causes issues will occur so you should in general only do reflows of the WHOLE mainboard while slightly concentrating more on the components that you actually really want to reflow, the smaller the temperature difference the less flexing again.

Another idea that greatly helps is building a bottom heater out of a grittle which heats up the bottom of the mainboard, instructions how to build such a cheap alternative to a real BGA reflow station can be found here http://xbox-experts.com/e/tutorial.php?n=buildingacustomb

The pictures were resized so just click one to see the high def version of it...
Well lets start...

a pic
This is the foamlike plastic wrap I used

a pic
Cut out a hole for the CPU etc

a pic
So that it looks like that

a pic
Then fix it with the tape and make sure you close everything so that no air can come through...

a pic
Same procedure for the other side, cut and fix with tape

a pic
Use some tape to fix the rest on the backside, dont put any foil over the holes of the screws though cause it will melt then

a pic
Then cover everything with aluminium foil make sure that there are no holes again, using more than one layer helps.
In the end fix it with needles, then it will not get loose so easily which is lethal while reflowing.

a pic
Now you are done. Get your heatgun and use it on the lowest step to warm it up for a minute. Never keep it at the same spot, move it over the whole area in circles. Then switch to the next step (thats a 500C for me) and heatgun it for another 4 minutes.
There is pretty much no way to see if the solder has melted, just keep the timings, then you will be good. Also make sure that you never move the board or accidently hit the table while you are reflowing it because this might fuck it up completely...

a pic
Then let it cool down for at least 45 minutes and after that carefully remove the aluminum foil and the rest of the isolation. You will see that the plastic melted but the most important components are still covered(like the big caps). If you still got the time turn the mainboard around and heatgun it from the other side as well thats what I always do but the first time should have been enough already. On the backside you wont have to isolate anything as there isnt anything that melts at low temps just watch out for the plastic parts(you shouldnt be anywhere near them while heatgunning though because it is not the area that you want to reflow...)

Now you are done, congrats!

a pic

This is a little example of what happens if you dont isolate it properly...
On the right side I only used aluminium foil, the big caps that the arrows point at melted at the bottom and the top is burned and raised a bit. If I wouldnt have stopped when they started smoking I bet they would have blown up...

Notice: The Tutorials have been done many times and were often successfull, however we cannot guarantee the success and so dont take any responsibility for any damages that might be caused by it, you do it on your own risk!!!



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