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Old 05-24-2020, 06:59 PM   #1
Eh546
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Default Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Don't hesitate to tell me what i do wrong and if you have any tips and tricks, because i want to learn and improve.

I have a 60w iron that can go up to 450c, cone tip, i usually set it at 400. I applied flux on solder, tinning the tip then applying new lead solder to the joint so that it can mix with the lead free and lower the melting point, then i tried to suck up the melted solder with the solder sucker. But that didn't work since the lead solder doesn't seems to mix with the lead free one. I also tried applying flux to a wick and the board, then tinning the tip of the iron and trying to remove the solder, it also doesn't work because the lead free solder doesn't get sucked into the wick, only the lead one does.

Here's what the solders looks like after trying the methods above.
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Last edited by Eh546; 05-24-2020 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

1: your soldering iron is too hot - set for 300(lead solder) or 350(lead-free).
2: to make wick work better add flux to it - the powder in it is crap.

if your iron is too hot you just burn the flux and nothing will solder at all.
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

That's a job for a hot air station not a 60W iron with a cone tip.
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Cone tips are pretty much useless for these kind of work. What you want is a chisel tip.

The part you are trying to desolder is on a big ground plane which sucks and dissipates the heat faster and therefore the solder (unleaded) cannot reach melting temperature. This explains "But that didn't work since the lead solder doesn't seems to mix with the lead free one."

You need to preheat the board first (using hot air) and then try to desolder. It is important that you preheat the area of interest as well as surrounding components to prevent warping the board. (Also do not spot heat, rather heat in a circular motion)
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

I see, no wonder why it's so difficult, i'll just use a heat gun for that board.

I also wanted recap an old monitor, an Asus VW266H (same model in this thread but no webcam, repair vid)

In the video he didn't seems to struggle much, and is only using regular soldering iron+wick+pump, so it's probably lead solder.

Thanks for the tips by the way.

Last edited by Eh546; 05-25-2020 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

nothing wrong with lead-free solder, i'v used it for years.
as long as it's not shit(same applies to leaded solder) and your iron is ajustable, it's fine.
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

The power supply in the video is single sided PCB (as opposed to Motherboards which are multi-layer PCB) which are much easier to solder on, although for larger traces you might need to keep the iron on the solder pads for longer.

Having a soldering iron with good thermal recovery is important, especially when working (and using wick) on smaller traces on motherboards to avoid ripping them.

Last edited by Spider1211; 05-25-2020 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider1211 View Post
The power supply in the video is single sided PCB (as opposed to Motherboards which are multi-layer PCB) which are much easier to solder on, although for larger traces you might need to keep the iron on the solder pads for longer.

Having a soldering iron with good thermal recovery is important, especially when working (and using wick) on smaller traces on motherboards to avoid ripping them.
I'm thinking i should just practice on a diy kit like this beforehand to gain some experience and not mess the whole thing up lol.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

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Originally Posted by Eh546 View Post
I'm thinking i should just practice on a diy kit like this beforehand to gain some experience and not mess the whole thing up lol.
Or just practice on some scrap PCB? Am sure you must have a few broken or unused electronics lying around! Plus they are free
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Soldering new through hole components does not really give you any experience in removing components. As Spider1211 suggests, practice removing some components from some scrap boards instead.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

I'll try to find some old junk to desolder that is hopefully not lead free. I also might order diy kits just for fun and soldering practice. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

I can't really add much to what the other guys said. Preheat the PCB for sure. I often give the whole area a quick warm with my hot air for 10-20 secs then grab the soldering iron and get to work. I may have to repeat this sequence several times depending on the job. Sometimes I have been known to hold the hot air in one hand and the soldering iron in the other and use them simultaneously

Flux as mentioned, 100% necessary. Dip your solder wick in it

Even given all the above, I wasn't having a lot of luck with motherboards, and that is with decades of soldering experience, until I got a T12 soldering Iron. I have the KSGER and mostly use a BC3 tip for this sort of work.

The T12 is the one single thing that took this from a difficult job to as easy as it looks on youtube. And they are not expensive. I normally have mine set to 320C, but on particularly stubborn components I just hit the control knob and it goes straight to boost temperature, 370C. I seriously can't recommend one of these enough.

Last edited by dicky96; 05-28-2020 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dicky96 View Post
I can't really add much to what the other guys said. Preheat the PCB for sure. I often give the whole area a quick warm with my hot air for 10-20 secs then grab the soldering iron and get to work. I may have to repeat this sequence several times depending on the job. Sometimes I have been known to hold the hot air in one hand and the soldering iron in the other and use them simultaneously

Flux as mentioned, 100% necessary. Dip your solder wick in it

Even given all the above, I wasn't having a lot of luck with motherboards, and that is with decades of soldering experience, until I got a T12 soldering Iron. I have the KSGER and mostly use a BC3 tip for this sort of work.

The T12 is the one single thing that took this from a difficult job to as easy as it looks on youtube. And they are not expensive. I normally have mine set to 320C, but on particularly stubborn components I just hit the control knob and it goes straight to boost temperature, 370C. I seriously can't recommend one of these enough.
Heating the boards seems to be essential for non leaded solder, for the T12
i might just pick one up, seems to be pretty good and not that expensive.
I practiced on a cheap diy kit off of amazon, the only part which i struggle is the removal of solder when it stuck in the hole, sometimes even with some fluxed wick with leaded iron, or applying more solder on it then try to suck it out doesn't work out, i might just grab a solder sucking gun.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Does not matter if its leaded or unleaded. When there is a big plane that sucks away heat quickly it is essential to preheat the board (irrespective of type of solder).

You could be struggling to remove the solder because of a few things but the most common would be:

1. Heat hasn't yet properly conducted to the further end of the joint. When this happens and you try to unsolder, the top part of the solder will easily be removed but some will remain at the further end. Soldering iron with good thermal recovery (such as KSGER as mentioned by dicky96) usually mitigate that.

2. This is most common with through hole. When the leads of the components contact the side wall of the solder hole, it creates a slight capillary effect which holds back some solder. One way to solve that is to try to move the leads away from the side wall using the iron when desoldering (to avoid ripping the plating on the side wall) and use a big solder sucker (the small ones usually don't have enough suction power) to suck up the solder. Or ideally you would use a desoldering gun, but those are a bit pricey and would be mostly used when there is a lot of desoldering to do (such as connector terminal on car ECU, etc).
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

if you use a solder sucker, put a cm of heat proof rubber tube over the end - it will work much better
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Unless you mentioned and I missed it, you don't say what soldering iron your using. That is a lot of thermal mass your trying to work with there.
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider1211 View Post
Does not matter if its leaded or unleaded. When there is a big plane that sucks away heat quickly it is essential to preheat the board (irrespective of type of solder).

You could be struggling to remove the solder because of a few things but the most common would be:

1. Heat hasn't yet properly conducted to the further end of the joint. When this happens and you try to unsolder, the top part of the solder will easily be removed but some will remain at the further end. Soldering iron with good thermal recovery (such as KSGER as mentioned by dicky96) usually mitigate that.

2. This is most common with through hole. When the leads of the components contact the side wall of the solder hole, it creates a slight capillary effect which holds back some solder. One way to solve that is to try to move the leads away from the side wall using the iron when desoldering (to avoid ripping the plating on the side wall) and use a big solder sucker (the small ones usually don't have enough suction power) to suck up the solder. Or ideally you would use a desoldering gun, but those are a bit pricey and would be mostly used when there is a lot of desoldering to do (such as connector terminal on car ECU, etc).
Quote:
Originally Posted by stj View Post
if you use a solder sucker, put a cm of heat proof rubber tube over the end - it will work much better
Alright i'll try that, thanks for the advises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llonen View Post
Unless you mentioned and I missed it, you don't say what soldering iron your using. That is a lot of thermal mass your trying to work with there.
It's a 60w iron, but i won't work on that xbox360 board anymore, or until i have a heatgun.

I think i will be able to recap the monitor power board that i talked earlier, i'm just waiting for the caps to arrive.

So here's some pic of the diy kit i practiced on, far left ones on the first are very ugly because i thought i needed to bend the leads way apart for the components to hold on to the board.

I'm also missing a 2.2nf 50v ceramic radial capacitor from the kit that go in C2, i'll probably order from aliexpress or digikey.
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File Type: jpg 20200602_192647.jpg (432.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 20200602_192545.jpg (433.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 20200602_192606.jpg (487.2 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by Eh546; 06-07-2020 at 06:59 AM..
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

You still have not mentioned what brand of soldering hand-piece you are using, not all 60watt hand-piece's are the same.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llonen View Post
You still have not mentioned what brand of soldering hand-piece you are using, not all 60watt hand-piece's are the same.
Well, at least we know it goes up to 450c... ;-)
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: Beginner, practicing to unsolder on a lead free xbox 360 board, it is hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llonen View Post
You still have not mentioned what brand of soldering hand-piece you are using, not all 60watt hand-piece's are the same.
Chinese junk from this kit with a bevel tip.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by Eh546; 06-09-2020 at 09:40 PM..
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