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Desoldering the header
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Desoldering the header

by blkant on Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:36 am

After getting everything else set up and after soldering the header I made the horrible realization that I had put it on backwards (though fortunately I realized this before soldering the tube). I tried using the solder which to no avail and outside of maybe getting a solder sucker I'm not sure what else I can do here. I've never desoldered before and honestly this is only my second time soldering to begin with. With the 20pins what would be the best method? Is there any way to get a new header/pins? Or absolute last case, would simply placing the tube wires suffice (though it would look horrible in the end and idk what issues may come of it either...).

Every other part of the clock is done and has passed all the tests within the guide so I simply can't quit now, any help on this at all would be much appreciated.


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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Desoldering the header

by phild13 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:21 am

A solder sucker will help a lot, and so will desoldering braid. Both are available from Adafruit or Radio Shack

Since the header is very easy to damage with heat so you may need to get a new one anyway. If so, you can get the male header and a replacement tube board for about $7.50 from Adafruit:
Or you can order the headers from DigiKey
Male header:
about 3 bucks with the postage
Female header
about 4 bucks or so with postage

Personally, I would suggest to just get the board/header combo from Adafruit. That way if you do happen to mess the tube board up while desoldering the header, you have a replacement board.

As a side note:
If you have access to a hot air rework station, then that would be the best way as they can melt the solder on all the pins at once. If not and you have access to a heat gun (not a hair dryer) you can use that but the wider air flow may melt things you don't want to melt like the plastic on the header. The idea is to Heat the solder side of the board up in the area of the pins until the solder on the pins melts and the header will drop out fairly easily. Try to minimize any heat on the black plastic of the header or the pins may get out of position.

You can also cut the pins and desolder one by one and then clean the holes so a new header can be put in.

Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:05 pm

Re: Desoldering the header

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:33 am

Good advice from PhilD13. Desoldering pins one-by-one is tedious, but without a hot-air desoldering station, it probably your best bet for removing the header without damaging the board.
We stock the dual right angle header strips if you want to go that way:

And replacement board/header sets are available if that doesn't work out.

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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:11 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.