Let's Make Robots!

Emergency de-soldering braid

So I need some components from an old modem board for a new project. I'm trying to rescue a DPDT relay and an LM386 op ap for a mouse bot.

However, the soldering job on this board is really well done, and I'm having trouble.  So I need my de-soldering braid. Is it in the basement with my soldering kit? No.  I must have used it up.

Where's my old de-soldering bulb?  Lord only knows.

What to do?

Old coax cable. Strip off the outer insulation. Pull off the braid. Flaten in vise. 

There you go.

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Despite what I'm sure is excellent quality desoldering braid, I still can't get those components off this board. Damn you, Zoom Telephonics, Inc. with your high quality manufacturing!

With much patience, I managed to de-solder the op amp.  I'd say there is a good 5 or even 10% chance that I did not fry the chip from over heating or kill it with general mangling.

Maybe I'll have more luck with the relay.

I've done the coaxial cable braid thing before.  Here's a few things that worked for me:

Sometimes the braid works better if you first heat the pins, adding more solder.  This gives the braid more solder to get wet with, and start the flow.

Older cables might not have the shiny copper braid that new stuff does.  Scrape (or sandpaper) a little, until you see some shiny copper.  Remember that the old solder on the board does not have any flux to help wet the braid.  Maybe that's why my first idea worked...residual flux from adding more solder?

Alternative to braid/solder sucker:  why not tap or blow the solder out?  Put down a damp cloth, heat up the joint, and a sharp tap will knock out most of the molten solder.  Or use a drinking straw/coffee stirrer to blow the molten solder out of the hole.

Use a heat gun--can heat up all the pins at once, and just lift the part out with pliers/tweezers.



All great ideas that I wish I had thought of. I got the parts I needed, with a combination of patience, cunning, and extreme violence. ; j

Next time I'll try the ideas you gave.  I have a bunch of old modems and other cards from this era, just waiting to donate me their components.



One method I have used with some success when desoldering for a junked board is using a good hot air gun.



I continue to have a miserable time desoldering.  After banging my head repeatedly at this problem,  I did something crazy and researched a few articles on the subject. I've been told that I am trainable.

Here's the best article on de-soldering I have found so far.