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Alan Gamma

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  1. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    Update: I finally had success by switching the solder tip from a blunt chisel to a pointed tip. I held the tip perpendicular to the board and pushed it into the hole on the bottom side and had my solder sucker ready on the other. At first it seemed pointless because the tip was obviously not going to get hot enough to melt the solder, but after turning my iron to around 700F it suddenly melted and pushed through all that old solder. This is the first time I was actually able to get the solder sucker to work! Thanks for everyone’s help! Now I just need to test all the connections, then clean it up and put it all back together to see if I’ve got sound!
  2. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    Ugh, I might have to do that. Tonight I finished soldering all the surface-mount components just fine but ran into the same problem with C11 (the other axial capacitor connected to the ground plane). I tried the needle method again and this time the needle snapped off inside the hole while heating! I had my iron set around 600 F and was holding it pressed against the needle for almost a minute, and I barely made any progress (just a tiny hole into the solder). I wonder if my iron is just underpowered?
  3. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    It worked! I was able to force the needle through and then seat the capacitor! I've soldered it in place and tested for connectivity, and so far it looks OK (the real hope is I didn't accidentally bridge any other connections). Thanks for the help everyone! I'll continue soldering (when I have time) and hope the thing boots
  4. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    Thanks so much for the advice, I’ll give it a shot today and see how it turns out!
  5. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    Thanks, that makes me feel better. Using a needle is a really good idea! Question though - how can I effectively heat the needle with the soldering iron tip? Should I try to use solder between the tip and the needle (I’m guessing if its steel it won’t stick)?
  6. Alan Gamma

    Need soldering help, likely damaged board :(

    I’ve got a flux pen (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/16257) that I’ve been using before soldering. I didn't attempt to clean up the mess with it yet though, so I’ll try that. Should I be using flux paste? I didn’t think of using a hand drill to get through that inner layer, although given how badly the desoldering went I’m a bit hesitant to try it :(
  7. I need some help from someone with more soldering experience than me. I am trying to repair a Macintosh SE/30 board that was given to me in good condition (they replaced the internal battery sometime in the 90s, but the caps were leaking pretty bad). Anyway the desoldering process went pretty well except for the radial caps in C2 and C11 which were a nightmare to get out! I think it was due to the ground plane absorbing almost all the heat my soldering iron could put out, but eventually they slid out leaving solder in the hole. After that I was replacing the SMD caps tediously but things were going well until I got to C2. I managed to get enough solder hot enough to get one end of the cap in the hole, but the other end (connected to the ground plane) would just not melt. Things I tried: * Adding fresh solder to both sides (I’m using lead-free btw) so its almost mounding, and then heating it while pressing one leg of the cap into the hole. No luck,. * WIping a desoldering wick across the fresh solder. This actually worked pretty well at first but it didn’t remove the solder deep in the hole. * Getting frustrated and turning the heat up higher and higher while wiping with the wick, which ended up scratching some of the board * Using a solder sucker to try to suck out the solder, which really did nothing (see above about how difficult it was to even get the solder to flow!) * Holding the iron against the backside for a long time in an attempt to heat the entire ground plane, which ended up scorching the board! I think the biggest problem here is that I ran out of patience. Due to COVID I wasn’t able to get help from my experienced friends and just kept pushing. Anyway here’s some pictures of the damage for C2: The top doesn’t look so bad although you can see I scratched the trace next to it (argh). And the bottom: Oh my god it looks so much worse zoomed in like this My questions: * How screwed am I? Have I irreversably damaged the board? * I’m using a Weller WES51 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BRC2XU), is it possible it just can’t put out enough heat? * How can I get the solder flowing so the leg can be put in? What temperature should I be using?