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Soldering

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Posted 2nd Jan
Wondering how did those of you who are proficient at soldering large and micro electronics get into soldering. Do you practice on blank boards soldering/desoldering?
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Buy some cheap electronic toys from a charity shop, verify they are fully working then desolder them strip them down and rebuild, you are then able to retest them and also supporting good causes at the same time.
I just got straight into it when I needed to repair an old monitor that had dodgy capacitors, then a Sky box with the same fault on the power supply and subsequently a PS4 with broken HDMI port. It’s not that difficult as long as you get the correct tools and take your time. A set of helping hands with a built in magnifying glass is invaluable.
Rune_2H02/01/2020 12:36

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Just make sure any power sources are removed and with things that are mains voltages especially capacitors can hold a charge for a long time (smaller items can too ie disposable cameras flash units - they pack a mighty punch). Familiarise yourself with component types such as diodes, resistors, leds, transistors, capacitors etc an how to read them, things like diodes and led's only work one way around ie current will only flow one way.
I just dove straight in, they do say you shouldn't let the component being soldered get too hot, but I couldn't make it work if it wasn't hot enough.
You should use good quality solder though, you don't want to have to redo things.

First attempts were pretty messy, but the more you do it the better you become.
PM me your email as I have a fairly decent soldering guide that someone sent me years ago in my email.
Rune_2H02/01/2020 12:42

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I’d suggest a decent soldering iron, doesn’t have to be expensive, just a standard wired one will do. Probably look at an Antex iron.

As already stated, make sure to use good solder, get yourself some desoldering braid - basically allows you to heat it over the soldered connection and the old solder sticks to the braid, allowing you to remove it from the component. Soldering paste (flux) will also help ‘loosen’ the old solder and help the new stuff to adhere.

Aside from that, get a set of helping hands with the magnifying glass and follow some guides on YouTube and you’ll be grand. Just take your time and be careful not to apply too much heat to surrounding components or the board itself.
Have a look at these links/channels



youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZzwMlLVLdOAi-Xp78vQYOgoa9mFUouyn

These are some useful channels for learning

youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup
youtube.com/channel/UCfOrKQtC1tDfGf_fFVb8pYw

As far as soldering iron tools go, it can vary and be quite a personal choice (I.e. what works for you), myself I use a Metcal soldering iron, you can usually pick up older generation models second hand on eBay. That said JBC is quite popular now. Depends on how much you want to spend and how much use you are going to make of it.
Edited by: "Nixy32" 2nd Jan
Reminds me of my first hobby project from a few decades ago using IC 555 and 556.
Rune_2H02/01/2020 14:01

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Looking at the port and the pins, it doesn’t look all that different to the PS4. Whilst it certainly isn’t easy, there are no specialist tools required, aside from what I told you already (at least not that I can see from images on Google, I haven’t stripped a Xbox slim to see it in person).

It would be a matter of removing the solder from the points that hold the HDMI socket in place (far from easy) then slowly taking the iron across the connections at the rear, whilst putting light pressure on the socket (trying to remove it) and it should remove from the board fairy easily, just do not force it as you risk ripping the contacts off the board, at which point you’ve pretty much ruined it!

Edit - you can if you prefer use a soldering iron with a heat blower attachment. That way the iron doesn’t have to touch the fine connections, you just move it back and forth until it’s hot enough to loosen them, although I found it actually easier with the soldering iron contacting the pins, as you could feel them loosening, if that makes sense?
Edited by: "Diggsy" 2nd Jan
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