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needing suggestions for purchasing an entire desoldering and soldering kit

Hi Everyone;

         I am interested in removing a DC recharge port on the motherboard of a laptop computer and replacing it with a new DC port.   From what I have gathered, the procedures involved in desoldering or removing the defective port and soldering or adding into place the new one is risky because of the heat generated by these tools which brings me to the crux of this question.  

        I want to say that I have purchased a few soldering guns and a desoldering gun with an attached desoldering pump, which really feels awkward.  Personally, I don't think the wattage is high enough on any of these guns because they do not see to melt the soldered joints despite of the application of solder.   Since I am not totally sure I have the right tools for this job, can someone shed some light on this matter?  For instance, is there a kit I can purchase which will have everything needed to safely remove a DC recharge port on a motherboard?  A friend of mine told me about a "cold" soldering gun which he says is safe because of elminating the risk of damage to a motherboard because of heat.   Also, can I use "one" tool for desoldering and soldering or will they need to be separate?  

           Any shared thoughts to this question will be greatly appreciated.  

           Thanks so much.

            George
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GMartin
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GMartin
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6 Solutions
 
Ravi AgrawalCommented:
Soldering / Desoldering in Electronics pretty much depends on your earlier experience. In case this is your first time, better not try it on the mainboard you are talking about.

My advice is you take some scrap board which is not working & try using the Iron on it to get an idea of how it would melt the joint. It generally takes 1-3 seconds (for a fully heated iron) and you have to hold the Iron on the part you want to melt.

In my view, any soldering Iron should do but you need a little bit of skill on soldering / desoldering.

If you have not done it before, take it to a repair shop & let them do it as if you break it, ultimately you will to pay for it or maybe more then.

Ravi.

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nobusCommented:
i recommend a good brand to start, personally i find Weller a very good one (temperature controlled) at a good price, but i don't know if they sell it in the UK.
i found this one for uk, but here can be others  
 http://www.antex.co.uk/prodtype.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=185&numRecordPosition=1

just found one - but a bit pricey :  http://nl.farnell.com/cooper-tools-weller/wd-1000m-uk/soldering-station-uk-plug-230v/dp/1268105

here another known one : ERSA :  http://www.ersa.com/soldering-und-desoldering-stations-en.html?fcid=a3f1ffdac32812f98c18c5d3a2eaa596

and i have a 60W soldering gun from Weller, but it was difficult to melt the solder joints, just like you said.
i then had to pick an old 100 W that i had laying around for the job (but it was not really made for it -too big)

and as said -  practice first on an old - bad board if you can !
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone;

          After reviewing Radio Shack's site, I found a link to a soldering gun which appears to have good reviews.  The link is http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3086614#  Could someone look this product over and offer feedback on it?  And, secondly, could this soldering gun also be used for desoldering?  It seems that whatever is used for soldering can also be used for desoldering.  This reasoning may not be true though.  So, any input on that part as well will be appreciated.

            I will look forward to hearing more from everyone regarding this post.

           Thank you.

           George
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Ravi AgrawalCommented:
Of course it is the same thing.

The point is soldering wire or compound has a low melting point which melts when it comes in contact with the tip of the soldering iron which is hot but not enough to melt the wire of the device you are soldering to. You use the iron to take a bit of the solder wire which melts instantly and apply it to the area to be joint. Once you remove the iron the molten drop of solder solidifies holding everything in place. Desoldering is just the opposite process of removing the applied solder to a component.

Ravi.
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nobusCommented:
i would never use such one for desoldering on a mobo (i have one) - but that is my opinion
you have to keep the trigger pressed all the time - if i'm correct. you see in the comments also : minor pojects, not one you'll need for hours.
what you need is a light weight, powerful soldering station, with replaceable long life tips
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garycaseCommented:
Hi George,

A few thoughts ...

First, I would NOT use the soldering gun in your link to Radio Shack -- it is far too high a wattage tool to work on a circuit board.    A gun like that is more for stained glass, automotive work, "vintage" electronics (i.e. old tube-based equipment with discrete resistors, capacitors, etc. that aren't on printed circuit boards),  etc.

It's best to use separate tools for soldering and desoldering.   I use this Weller de-soldering tool, which works very well, but is rather pricey:  http://www.weisd.com/store2/WELDS40.php
Radio Shack has a similar tool that should work about as well -- http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062731

... with these tools it's important to let the iron get hot before you touch the area to be de-soldered;   then you (a) compress the bulb;  (b) touch the solder joint you want to remove;  (c) wait until the solder begins to flow & then immediately release the bulb.     This causes a vacuum action that will "suck up" the solder.      Then point the iron at a safe disposal area and pump the bulp rapidly a couple of times (this will "spit out" any solder in the tube.      For a fairly large soldered area it will take several iterations of this to full de-solder it.

For soldering, you should get a 24-40 watt pencil iron.    Again I like (and use) the Weller models -- this is the main one I use for circuit boards: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3348443
...  but again Radio Shack has a much-less-expensive alternative in this dual-power (20/40 watt) unit:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062750

With both soldering and desoldering it is important that you have patience and wait for the iron to get hot.    Be sure you're "tinning" the iron before you solder;  and be sure you're heating the joint -- not the solder.    A 40 watt unit is PLENTY for what you're doing -- indeed 25w is enough in most cases.
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tbrent77Commented:
I spent many years working on fine/small electronics with a soldering station and vacuum sucker desoldering tool.  What you are attempting to do is hard enough for someone with a lot of experience.  I would return the soldering tools and pay someone to do it. You will spend less money in the long run and the risk of damaging your motherboard will be the other persons responsibility.  Motherboards are not simple pc boards with a single trace on each side. Motherboards are multilayered with as many as 7 layers or more of printed circuitry and it is very easy to damage them from too much heat and too much downward pressure trying to unsolder something. The traces are very fine, small as a human hair or smaller in some places.  ANY kind of desoldering, even for an expert is risky...  If you are the type that wants to continue anyway, at least you have chosen a place on the board that has large traces so they are more rugged.  The tools recommended by Garycase will work. But only in the hands of experience. To continue, find a dead motherboard and practice, practice, practice, especially on the power connector that you want to replace... practice taking it out of a dead motherboard first.. this will tell you what you need to know.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone;

          After reviewing the information given, I do have one more followup question to this thread.  When desoldering and soldering, is there any pressure used on the joint?  Or, is the heat itself enough without having to press down any on the joint?

          Thank you.

          George
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tbrent77Commented:
I'm tbrent77. many years with solderering.  I like you.  It seems you are willing to take the chance. Ok. What you have decided to remove has more solder than most items on a motherboard (mb). It is a big item compared to the rest. This means you have to heat it up to the point that the solder melts. You can tell by VERY carefully watching as you apply heat. The solder will rinkle a little. Almost imperceptibley. Once it does, you need to apply succution immediatly.  I use a suction device that is not part of the iron. But that will work too.  My experience has been that if you are using an iron with a suction bulb, you will need to repeat it over and over. That is because the iron is low heat.  Yes to answer your question, you do apply some pressure, but that is based upon how hot your iron is.  The hotter the iron, the less the pressure needed.  Too much heat will cause the foil circuit prints to lift also. So while you are applying pressure, be aware of the heat because it will damage the mb if too much heat or pressure is applied.  Just watch for the melting, suck it off, and do it again, until you can remove the socket. Soldering it back is very easy.  I hope this is enough detail for you. You sound determined, and intelligent. Be patient. You can do it.
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garycaseCommented:
You don't apply pressure in the sense that you "push" on the joint -- but you do have to make solid contact, so you do use a SMALL amount of pressure.    Heat will transfer fine as long as there's good contact.

For the recharge port, you COULD use a higher wattage gun and a separate suction bulb, but if you do so be VERY careful that you don't overheat the board.    Soldering is more tedious than hard ... just be patient and you'll do fine.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone;

           Armed with the suggested tools and information given, I have the confidence now to start this project.  I now have a image in my head of what will actually need to take place.  The last time I talked myself out of it because of lack of confidence and not having a clear vision of what to do with respect to desoldering and soldering.  This time, I am ready.  

            Thanks again everyone for the resourceful links, information, suggestions, and especially the confidence.  Everyone has been wonderful with their guidance and support.

             In closing, I wish everyone the best of the holiday season.  May everyone's wishes come true during this special time of year.

             George

       
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garycaseCommented:
Good luck George :-)

... and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi

        Thank you as always, Gary.  You have and always continue to be helpful with all of my concerns.

         Hope you enjoy the holidays.

         George

         
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nobusCommented:
well George, if you happen to pop over to antwerp, i'll demonstrate it for you !
post results, and a merry Christmas and happy New Year
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone;

          I hope everyone had a nice Christmas.  I am still working on that To Do List around here.  But, as soon as I get caught up on things around the house, I am getting back on this project and will post results accordingly.  

          In closing, many thanks for the kind words of encouragement.  That always means a lot to me.

          Thanks again.

          George
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