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  1. #1
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    Need info/help with soldering

    I do have a low-heat soldering iron. I will have to get some low-heat solder, dont think i have that, but radio shack does.

    I finally killed my first mobo! Please hold the cheers down, lol.

    Its a pc chips 810lmr with the supposed newest bios in it. Had a duron 900 in it but i wanted to test an xp2000 on it. xp2000 was showing up as 1250mhz and testing said the same thing. So, i put the original duron 900 back in, cleared the bios by shorting pins 2&3, putting them back to pins 1 and 2.
    But it wont boot, power supply turns on, cpu fan spins and that is it. No video, the light turns to green from amber on the monitor but no video and it wont boot.

    I believe the culprit is the screwdriver. It had a mind of its own and slipped when putting the duron 900 back in. I said the obligatory curse words, hold the applause.
    I noticed that there is a slash mark that the screwdriver made, it seems to cut across 2 tracers, i think that is what they are called,
    anyway, 2 of the thin lines, i think i cut them.

    So can i solder a jumper wire for each of these 2 wires to get this mobo back working? Is that feasible? What are the tricks I need to know? My soldering knowledge is limited but I have done some.
    I remember soldering a new battery in the days when you had to do that!

    I even think that I read somewhere that a person can take some tinfoil and use that instead but I am not sure if they were talking about a mobo or something else, or i had a bad dream or what.

    Would like to get some expert opinions on this and thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Ultimate Member dunbar's Avatar
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    It can be done, but wow. Thin traces are very difficult to repair correctly, I've been a career electronics tech and would suggest not trying, because you need to scrape the coating (called solder mask) off of the ends of the traces and that may further damage those mobo traces. Afterwards, if the mobo works, glue the patch job down with something that sticks to the solder mask coating (not much will stick very well, but it can be roughened).

    These traces are how big? 0.025" are about as small as I'd suggest for people who are unfamiliar with the task. What happens after that is still a guess, because I don't hear you saying much about your abilities to solder tiny stuff (batteries need a blow torch and plumbers solder, right? This is totally different ), so if this is a 'I think I can' excercise, my cautious nature says you possibly "won't". Sorry to sound negative, but as I said, while it can be done, there is a lot against you if you've never done this before.

  3. #3
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    nork, perhaps you will find some useful information in this thread.

    I would say that soldering is probably not the way to go. Those traces are pretty thin, and you would probably do more harm than good. I would suggest using a PCB conductive pen as is mentioned in that link. You'll have to scrape the masking off of the ends of the traces as dunbar said, but be careful not to damage too much of the traces themselves.

    No, you weren't dreaming- that was me with the tinfoil trick...

    But, I used that method on a circuit board that had no masking on it. I just used some very thin strips of foil to bridge the gaps, and taped the ends down with electrical tape. That electronic device still works to this day...

    Good luck to 'ya!

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member TOAD6147's Avatar
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    Let's make a "dead-nuts" determination that you have indeed damaged these traces before you start such an "iffy" project. I would suggest you find one of those lighted magnifying desk lamps and an Ohmmeter/continuity tester to test for continuity across the scrape before you go any further. I've done this same thing several times to several of my boards and was sure I had damaged some traces as well but never did.
    But, even before THAT, I would suggest you dump the CMOS again being absolutely sure that the power supply is disconnected from the outlet.
    "Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the
    foolish their lack of understanding."
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  5. #5
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    Hi Joe, how are you!! Long time no hear!!

    Yes, that is the thread I was remembering, forgot it was you with that info. Well, now I know I wasnt dreaming that.

    Well, this mobo is dead at the moment so i see no hard done trying to fix it. I cant return the boards as I didnt buy them. I was given 2 of the same for my charity, pc chips 810LR. He couldnt get either of them to work. I got the one working.

    I had it going with a duron 900, all ready to go inside a case and then off to a schoolkid and all I wanted to do was test the xp2000 until the other mobo I bought for it gets to my place. Damn my hide!
    Anyway, the other board is identical except one cap is broken off and another cap is scratched.
    I think maybe I will try fixing the first one and if that doesnt work then I can heat the caps off and use them in the other unit.
    I had already ordered the caps for the other unit but they are in Dearborn Mi and I am in Canada right now so...........
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  6. #6
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    I have re-set the bios a dozen times. But I am going to let it go overnight with the jumpers set to 2-3.
    I do have a continuity tester and will try that. Cant believe I didnt think of that.

    thanks
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  7. #7
    Ultimate Member DoctorReno's Avatar
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    I have occasionally had a problem getting the probes for the multi-meter to make contact thru the solder mask. It's not really a professional solution but I take small sewing needles and rubberband them to the probes. Set your meter to continuity and touch the needle tips together to see if the needle to probe connection is good. The fine needle points make it easier to see if you are touching the trace and also the needle point will penetrate the solder mask coating.
    Good luck. It's always rewarding to bring an otherwise dead electronic component back to life.
    If you can't say something nice... SAY IT REALLY LOUD!!

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member DutchMaster's Avatar
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    Perhaps better to solder a wire from a component to a component on the other end of the trace.

    The traces are just to thin to solder a wire onto. If you ever will succeed it probably gets loose in short time anyhow and might cause more problems.

    Still its a unproffessional solution but hey you have nothing to loose!
    If you check my photogallery you will see I did some soldering myself and that PC is still running


  9. #9
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    DoctorReno

    Great idea, thanks!!
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  10. #10
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    To Dutchmaster
    What you said:

    "Perhaps better to solder a wire from a component to a component on the other end of the trace."

    I dont see how I could do that in this case. It goes from the main chip to the ram slot. The lines are so thin and so bunched together at the chip end that i could never be able to trace it, as far as my current ability would be right now, at least that I tell by looking at it.
    Good idea, have seen that on vid cards and other cards. But these lines are so close together I think that would be impossible for me.
    thanks
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  11. #11
    Ultimate Member DoctorReno's Avatar
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    The PCB conductive pen is the ONLY way you should try to repair the traces. It is usually a silver based "ink" in these pens so that you have good conductivity. The tips are small eniouth that you can carefully draw over the damaged area and not get "ink" on other traces.
    Once I have determined where the trace is severed I use either a small needle or carefull use an exacto knife to carefully and lightly... I mean CAREFULLY and LIGHTLY scrape thru the solder mask to expose the trace. Remember that that trace is only a few molecules thick so be careful not to scrape thru the trace. Also you want to keep your repair as small as possible, the part you repair should be 1/8" in length max. Then use the conductivity pen to draw a line from known good to known good length of the trace.
    You can probably find something at radio shack to paint over the repair and act as a new solder mask. If you have time you can go to Epoxies.com and get a free sample sent to you.
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  12. #12
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    To DoctorReno

    I guess they have caught on to that deal. I went to order a sample and on the ordering page is:
    - Samples of electrically conductive products are not available. You may purchase small evaluation kits. Please contact customer service for information.

    Guess a few people have done that? Like a few hundred if I know my fellow geeks as well as I think I do!!! Judging by some of the responses I got on another forum, it would be in the tens or hundreds but not in the thousands because I have received a lot of "Dont think you will be successful at it" comments.
    I dont mind, but the worse thing you can do is tell me i cant do something!!! Spoken like a true geek??
    I remember wanting a glass table and the glass company said it couldnt be done. I wanted it to have only one leg and the top made of plain regular glass and not have to pay double for extra strengthening and it had to be such and such as size. Well, I built that table, it is attached to the wall on one end and there is a wooden oak pedestal on the other end, only one leg. It is approx 60 inches long and it is regular glass. My niece has sat on the end of it!! And this couldnt be done safely I was told. That was 6 yrs ago I might add. Reason for this table is that my mother is in a wheelchair and needs to be able to get around the table without hitting the legs with her wheelchair. Easier to clean the floor too!!

    I am psyching myself up for this challenge, can you tell!
    Might take me a few months but I will do my best to get this bugger working again!! Too cheap to get a replacement for a cheap pc chips 810LR. Now thats cheap!!!
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  13. #13
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    By the way, my above comments were not directed at this forum.
    You see, I posed the same problem to another forum and got back a bunch of replies saying I prolly cant do it or outright saying forget it.
    But this forum, totally different. A few people are saying its tough, but no-one is ruling it out. What a difference between 2 forums!!
    I wouldnt have expected such a big difference in attitude. This forum rules!!!
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