Soldering on boards

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bezoomnyveshch
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Soldering on boards

Post by bezoomnyveshch » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:15 pm

Hey all,
I just picked up a cheap Ensoniq Esq1 that needs a battery replacement. I haven't started on it yet, but I was just curious...if I happen to burn the board a little bit in the process will it ruin anything as long as the traces are okay? I've soldered before, but not electronics. Thanks!
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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by madtheory » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:50 pm

Eek! DO NOT solder the battery in if you've never done electronics. You risk blowing it up, could be nasty. Go practice on cables and veroboard first, and get your technique quick and clean. This is a job that requires accuracy and speed. Or take the Ensoniq to a tech. Best thing is to replace with a battery clip so that it never needs to be soldered again.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by OriginalJambo » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:09 pm

madtheory wrote:Best thing is to replace with a battery clip so that it never needs to be soldered again.
+1!

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by bezoomnyveshch » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:09 am

Great, thanks guys! I'll get my technique down and see where I can go from there.
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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by garranimal » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:37 am

While we're on the topic I have to rant about the SCI Multitrak. It has double-sided PCBs which previous owners were bastards and installed multiple DIP sockets. Two of them are 40-pins, arghhhh. Double-sided PCBs are defeated by the use of DIP sockets since it is impossible to solder the top contacts properly. Welcome to open circuit city, yes you will be going out of voltage business. Its going to take at least a full weeks worth of work to remove the sockets, inventory any broken traces, resolder the chips top and bottom and install jumper wires (to replace the broken trace). >>end of rant<< On the plus side, the Multitrak appears to be one of the lightest, powerful yet compact, and most efficient synth designs I've seen yet. And probably normally pretty reliable construction-wise. Can't wait to get it up and running again, but I'm going to have to put in the time little by little so it might be a couple of months. We'll see.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:07 pm

garranimal wrote:While we're on the topic I have to rant about the SCI Multitrak. It has double-sided PCBs which previous owners were bastards and installed multiple DIP sockets. Two of them are 40-pins, arghhhh. Double-sided PCBs are defeated by the use of DIP sockets since it is impossible to solder the top contacts properly. Welcome to open circuit city, yes you will be going out of voltage business. Its going to take at least a full weeks worth of work to remove the sockets, inventory any broken traces, resolder the chips top and bottom and install jumper wires (to replace the broken trace). >>end of rant<< On the plus side, the Multitrak appears to be one of the lightest, powerful yet compact, and most efficient synth designs I've seen yet. And probably normally pretty reliable construction-wise. Can't wait to get it up and running again, but I'm going to have to put in the time little by little so it might be a couple of months. We'll see.
Garranimal - I designed multilayer pcbs for many years - this is only true of homemade, extremely poor quality and some -very- early double sided pcbs. The vast majority of double sided and mutlilayer pcbs are plated through and hence only require soldering from the underside. Your argument about using IC sockets doesn't hold water as it's simply incorrect to solder the top side of through hole components on a production pcb. The only reason why they appear to be soldered on the top side is that the solder has wicked through the plate-thru. This permits wave soldering amongst other things. The pcbs in my SCI Prophet 2002 appear to be plated through on FR4 and of pretty good quality too.
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by Old Iron Giant » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:51 pm

Find some broken electronics "Radios, outdated computer parts, TV remote- what ever" and Practice- Practice- Practice!

Try un-soldering parts, and re-attaching them back to the PCB board. Its best to hone in your skills before trying the Big job at hand. ;)

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by Esus » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:43 pm

Old Iron Giant wrote:Find some broken electronics "Radios, outdated computer parts, TV remote- what ever" and Practice- Practice- Practice!
Try un-soldering parts, and re-attaching them back to the PCB board. Its best to hone in your skills before trying the Big job at hand. ;)
Another suggestion might be to buy some simple kits to hone your soldering skills.
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot and http://www.apogeekits.com are good sources to build projects. The best part is, when you're done, you have functional tools as well as experience.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by garranimal » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:20 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:
garranimal wrote:While we're on the topic I have to rant about the SCI Multitrak. It has double-sided PCBs which previous owners were bastards and installed multiple DIP sockets. Two of them are 40-pins, arghhhh. Double-sided PCBs are defeated by the use of DIP sockets since it is impossible to solder the top contacts properly. Welcome to open circuit city, yes you will be going out of voltage business. Its going to take at least a full weeks worth of work to remove the sockets, inventory any broken traces, resolder the chips top and bottom and install jumper wires (to replace the broken trace). >>end of rant<< On the plus side, the Multitrak appears to be one of the lightest, powerful yet compact, and most efficient synth designs I've seen yet. And probably normally pretty reliable construction-wise. Can't wait to get it up and running again, but I'm going to have to put in the time little by little so it might be a couple of months. We'll see.
Garranimal - I designed multilayer pcbs for many years - this is only true of homemade, extremely poor quality and some -very- early double sided pcbs. The vast majority of double sided and mutlilayer pcbs are plated through and hence only require soldering from the underside. Your argument about using IC sockets doesn't hold water as it's simply incorrect to solder the top side of through hole components on a production pcb. The only reason why they appear to be soldered on the top side is that the solder has wicked through the plate-thru. This permits wave soldering amongst other things. The pcbs in my SCI Prophet 2002 appear to be plated through on FR4 and of pretty good quality too.
Yes yes these boards are plated through on the Multitrak. However, the pin holes are bigger than the pins of the ICs and the solder wicks through them no matter how quick they are soldered. The plates through the holes are soldered inside and won't be de-soldered with a solder sucker or copper braid. It's making me crazy :-k

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:21 am

garranimal wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote:
garranimal wrote:While we're on the topic I have to rant about the SCI Multitrak. It has double-sided PCBs which previous owners were bastards and installed multiple DIP sockets. Two of them are 40-pins, arghhhh. Double-sided PCBs are defeated by the use of DIP sockets since it is impossible to solder the top contacts properly. Welcome to open circuit city, yes you will be going out of voltage business. Its going to take at least a full weeks worth of work to remove the sockets, inventory any broken traces, resolder the chips top and bottom and install jumper wires (to replace the broken trace). >>end of rant<< On the plus side, the Multitrak appears to be one of the lightest, powerful yet compact, and most efficient synth designs I've seen yet. And probably normally pretty reliable construction-wise. Can't wait to get it up and running again, but I'm going to have to put in the time little by little so it might be a couple of months. We'll see.
Garranimal - I designed multilayer pcbs for many years - this is only true of homemade, extremely poor quality and some -very- early double sided pcbs. The vast majority of double sided and mutlilayer pcbs are plated through and hence only require soldering from the underside. Your argument about using IC sockets doesn't hold water as it's simply incorrect to solder the top side of through hole components on a production pcb. The only reason why they appear to be soldered on the top side is that the solder has wicked through the plate-thru. This permits wave soldering amongst other things. The pcbs in my SCI Prophet 2002 appear to be plated through on FR4 and of pretty good quality too.
Yes yes these boards are plated through on the Multitrak. However, the pin holes are bigger than the pins of the ICs and the solder wicks through them no matter how quick they are soldered. The plates through the holes are soldered inside and won't be de-soldered with a solder sucker or copper braid. It's making me crazy :-k
The best weapon for this kind of problem is a Metcal Iron and some DIL "tunnel" desoldering bits. These irons use RF as a heating medium and are amazingly good at getting vast amounts of heat into a joint - even when a huge desoldering bit is fitted.

http://www.metcal.com/products/mx5010

In case you haven't come across these this is because the heat is actually generated in the bit itself unlike a conventional iron. Use tons of flux applied with a flux pen and the "tunnel" bit fits over all of the legs at once enabling you to tug on the chip and extract it in one go. You then need a heated solder sucker, flux and brade to clear the holes. Often PTH is a sod because so much heat is sinked away by ground planes and large areas of copper. If you do this kind of thing a lot then it's worth investing in the right tools. If you can't then you might want to get friendly with a pcb population/rework service or a good service engineer. The irony is that if your iron is not hot enough you can damage the pcb because your having to heat it for longer.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by garranimal » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:04 am

HideawayStudio wrote: The best weapon for this kind of problem is a Metcal Iron and some DIL "tunnel" desoldering bits. These irons use RF as a heating medium and are amazingly good at getting vast amounts of heat into a joint - even when a huge desoldering bit is fitted.

http://www.metcal.com/products/mx5010

In case you haven't come across these this is because the heat is actually generated in the bit itself unlike a conventional iron. Use tons of flux applied with a flux pen and the "tunnel" bit fits over all of the legs at once enabling you to tug on the chip and extract it in one go. You then need a heated solder sucker, flux and brade to clear the holes. Often PTH is a sod because so much heat is sinked away by ground planes and large areas of copper. If you do this kind of thing a lot then it's worth investing in the right tools. If you can't then you might want to get friendly with a pcb population/rework service or a good service engineer. The irony is that if your iron is not hot enough you can damage the pcb because your having to heat it for longer.
#-o Thanks so much for the good input. I've already invested much already can't really invest in more tools equipment special things. I'm going to put this thing on a shelf for a while and see how I feel about it later.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by bezoomnyveshch » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:53 pm

Hey all,
After finally building up some soldering skill and getting the balls to pop the ESQ1 open, I removed the battery only to see that someone who didn't take the time to practice before had already burned the contacts by the battery. I soldered it in the best I could, and everything appears to be working (so far) but I'm still a little freaked about it. It's an old OS so I'm sure this battery has been replaced before. Any suggestions on what to look out for?

On the bright side, the low battery warning has gone away and I'm about so load in some patches to get rid of the ubiquitous "Brass1!"
Korg MS2000B, Akai AX80, Kawai K1m, Ensoniq ESQ-1, NI Massive, Absynth, Reason 3

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by bezoomnyveshch » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:07 am

Just thinking about it...alternatively, is there any way to replace the board if anyone thinks there will be problems?
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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by garranimal » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:19 am

There only may be an issue if the traces are getting lifted. You may have some room to shift the battery location slightly and drill new holes with a 1/32" bit. Usually you should only replace a circuit board as a last resort if something is extremely wrong. Like the board is cracked in half or something. Even then there might be ways to salvage it if traces are still intact.

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Re: Soldering on boards

Post by bezoomnyveshch » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:47 am

garranimal wrote:There only may be an issue if the traces are getting lifted. You may have some room to shift the battery location slightly and drill new holes with a 1/32" bit. Usually you should only replace a circuit board as a last resort if something is extremely wrong. Like the board is cracked in half or something. Even then there might be ways to salvage it if traces are still intact.
That makes me feel a lot better since all the traces are intact. I fired her up and midi dumped a bank through sysex to test her out. Banks 1 and 2 appear to work okay, but banks 3 and 4 just have garbled symbols (if anything). Do you think this is a problem with the synth or just a corrupted midi file?

P.S. Thanks for being patient with me everyone. I'm used to working with digital, so doing anything analog freaks me out. I'm always afraid I'm going to mess something up. :roll:
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