Building the Yocto #13 – Rework of Low Tom SW8

As you may have noticed (if someone is actually watching!) I managed to put the switch in the Low Tom section on the wrong side of the board. Don’t understand how I could miss that, but shit happens I guess. Decided to spend some time on the new year to resolve this issue.

$5 (including shipping) heated desoldering tool

I first tried to use a $5 eBay desoldering tool, a basic single shot solder sucker with a heating element. I’ve tried using this in other projects but my experience with it is that it is just a cumbersome version of the regular ones as you have  cable in the way. It is easier to get in place than the regular onces and you can get a fairly tight seal against the board. But as there isnt continous suction like with the more expensive ones most of the times, if you’re not very lucky, there is still some annoying blobs of solder left in the via in question and the pin is still stuck

After using this a couple of minutes I noticed it was getting a bit wobbly and I had to stop using it as the heating element actually softened/melted the plastic so the screws holding the front part to the handle came loose. So you get what you pay for when it comes to tools I guess, but I had to test it as it was so cheap 🙂

I then tried to drench the switch pins in solder to be able to heat all of them at once, which has worked fine for me in other occations but not this time. So what resolved the problem was using flux, solder wick and the plain old non-heated solder sucker and using a small hook/poker. There were some small “hairs” of solder left in the vias so I had to use some mechanical action with the hook. Not ideal as it easy to damage or remove pads when using force, but I didn’t see any other way and I don’t think I made any permanent damage. I guess we’ll have to see when testing it later on.

Before: Switch on the WRONG side
After: Switch on the right side!


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