To wrap up 2017 here’s the near-mandatory, and-now-for-something-completely-different, holiday seasons DIY post.
This time around though I’m skipping the turkey in favor of adding LED lighting to thruster engines of Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collectors Set (UCS) nr. 75060 aka ‘Slave 1’.. Aka ‘that clothes iron looking spaceship’ with which Jango & Boba Fett transport their *preciousssss* bounty in in Star Wars movies. Read More…
Whilst working on the Funky Flash Cart, I thought maybe some people would find a solder bridge removal how-to of use. So I promised Arto (that is, the one who designed FFC, not myself ;) to contribute one for his project. As getting grips with soldering surface mount devices (SMDs) can be rather tricky for the beginner, I figured why not expand on the topic a bit and write something like this post!.
First up, if you’re a complete beginner with SMD soldering, it’s very advisable to take whatever scrap board with SMDs (f.ex. broken VCR/DVD/CD player) and practice with that prior to moving on to DIY projects. With a little practice and a steady hand, the standard 1206 and 0805 sized parts (that’s 0.126″ × 0.063″ / 3.2 mm × 1.6 mm AND 0.08″ × 0.05″ /2.0 mm × 1.25 mm respectively) can be soldered with most generic tools. Smaller sizes are doable as well but a microscope is usually required for inspecting solder surface (quality etc). 1206 and 0805 you can manage with a decent magnifying glass.
I’m quite sure anyone who has done even the slightest bit of electronics repairs has pretty come across battery leakage damage. On such a case, some internal battery (realtime clock, memory refresh etc.) has leaked all over the circuit board and corroded traces, component feet or even the board itself! This corrosion can cause poor conductivity (increased resistance), short-circuits or cuts on signal paths. I deal with various types of board repairs all the time, so I thought maybe my methods of cleaning up these leakages might be off interest to someone.
The case I’m about to present was actually a user-originated fault and not the more traditional type of leakage case. Nonetheless, battery acid all over the board and it had had a bit of time to work it’s magic. What had most likely happened in this case was that the end-user had replaced the internal rechargeable batteries with regular ones (the device has a built-in NiMH charger). Not sure how long the unit had actually been in use after the batteries had started failing, but the corrosion suggests it did’t happen overnight. There are two batteries inside the unit, both were rather similar in appearance, thus I’m focusing only on the left-most one. This is how the internals looked like after opening the casing: