Redneck fume extractor

As I was getting ready to build the motor driver controller board, I realized that it would be a good idea to use a fume extractor.  This was a major soldering build, more than I’ve done in one sitting in quite a while.  I’ve seen these used, and my local hackerspace has one:  Hakko Fume Extractor

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I didn’t have an extractor, but I did have the parts for one.  A spare wall wart power supply, a surplus squirrel cage fan, an activated carbon filter, and a bit of plastic to mount it on.   The first item to be selected was the fan.  As any good hacker, I have a junk box and happened to have a squirrel cage type in the pile.  Squirrel cage fans are good for moving air, which I need if I’m going to be sucking it through a carbon filter.  I already had the formed plastic on hand, it just needed a hole cut for the fan.  A 3″ holesaw did the trick to cut a hole for the intake.  A 12v wall wart provides enough power to spin the fan at it’s highest speed, which is too noisy and moves too much air.  Downgrading that to a 9v wall wart seemed to give enough air movement without being too noisy.

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It sits nicely over the PCB holder in my PanaVise.  It worked well during the soldering of the motor controller board, and it’s continued to serve me well.

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