Unleashing the Power of the Miniware MHP50: A Compact Hot Plate for Preheating and Reflow Soldering

    • van Clemens Valens
    • Leestijd: 5 min

    The Miniware MHP50 isn't just another hot plate for preheating circuit boards—it's a versatile tool that's perfect for reflow soldering on smaller boards. Let’s dive into the remarkable features of this compact device and see why it’s a must-have for anyone working with electronics!

    The evolution of SMT Soldering Tools

    Surface Mount Technology (SMT) soldering and desoldering tools are gaining popularity. While reflow ovens were once the staple in labs, the modern trend is shifting towards hot plates. These devices are more compact and easier to manage, making them ideal for prototyping and small production runs. Hot plates are especially effective for soldering large copper areas, like ground planes, by preheating them to simplify the process.

    Perfect Tool for Repair and Rework

    Hot plates are becoming indispensable in repair shops, especially for replacing ICs in small devices like phones and tablets. The Miniware MHP50, with its 50 mm by 50 mm heating area, is perfectly suited for such tasks. Miniware also offers a smaller variant with a 30 mm by 30 mm heating surface for even more precision.

    Miniware MHP50 Dimensions:

    miniware mhp50 dimension
    The MHP50 wearing its protective silicon cover.

    The Miniware MHP50: Compact Design Meets Functionality

    Miniware pays great attention to the design and packaging of their products, and the MHP50 is no exception. The orange and black box opens to reveal a manual in Chinese, English, and Russian. Beneath the manual, the hot plate and USB-C power cable are securely placed in dense foam. Note that a power supply is not included.

    At first glance, the MHP50 is charming, resembling a toy scale from a children's playset. Despite its playful appearance, it is robust, weighing 170 grams. The hot plate features pushbuttons on either side of a small color display, with a protective silicone cover.

    Versatile Power Supply Options

    The MHP50 offers flexibility with two power supply connectors on the back: a USB-C (PD) and a barrel jack (DC5525), compatible with certain laptop power adapters. Both worked seamlessly during testing. The DC5525 allows up to 150 W of power, while the PD supply provides up to 100 W. The USB connector also supports firmware updates and custom boot images.

    The power supply significantly affects heating times. Using a 50-W PD supply, it took nearly five minutes to reach 220 °C, whereas a 65-W laptop supply heated it up in just two minutes. According to the manual, the MHP50 can reach 300 °C in 150 seconds at full power.

    miniware mhp50 reflow mode
    Reflow mode, phase C ('welding') almost completed.

    Simple and Intuitive Operation

    Powering on the MHP50 is as simple as connecting it to a power source. The device automatically shuts off after inactivity, and you can restart it by cycling the power supply.

    When powered on, the MHP50 starts in Heat mode, indicated by a green RGB LED. You can switch between Reflow, Menu (configuration), and Info modes using the pushbuttons. A long press activates the selected mode, and another long press exits it. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive.

    Informative Display

    The Info page provides essential details like the current temperature, fan speed, and firmware version. This information is particularly useful when the device is cooling down after exiting Heat mode.

    Efficient Heating Mode

    In Heat mode, the MHP50 begins heating to the preset temperature T1. The display shows the current temperature, input voltage, target temperature, and elapsed time. A bar graph indicates power consumption. When the MHP50 reaches the target temperature, the RGB LED turns red.

    You can select different presets or reset the timer with the pushbuttons. A long press on the left button allows you to set the desired temperature.

    Safety First with Tilt Alarm

    The MHP50 features a tilt alarm that activates if the device tilts more than 30°, a default value that can be adjusted. This safety feature prevents accidents and ensures stable operation.

    Advanced Reflow Mode

    Reflow mode requires the plate to be cooler than 100 °C. In this mode, the MHP50 follows a preset 3-phase heating curve. You can program this curve through the configuration menu or by connecting the hot plate to a computer and editing the config.txt file. This flexibility allows for a library of configuration files. Note that pushbuttons are disabled when the hot plate is connected to a computer.

    miniware mhp50 disassembled
    The hot plate is detachable.

    Removable Hot Plate for Easy Maintenance

    One final standout feature of the MHP50 is its removable heating plate, which can be easily detached. This makes cleaning straightforward and allows for swapping plates. Miniware offers black-coated ceramic and bronze models, though specific use cases for each material are not detailed.

    Wrapping Up: Why the Miniware MHP50 Stands Out

    The Miniware MHP50 is a user-friendly, well-crafted, and and stylish hot plate that efficiently heats printed circuit boards for rework. It can also serve as a multifunctional tool—perhaps even for keeping your coffee warm or baking a tiny pizza. Its advanced reflow mode is perfect for assembling small boards, and its compact design ensures it can be easily stored when not in use.



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