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DotStar High Density Led Pixel Matrix connector broke
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DotStar High Density Led Pixel Matrix connector broke

by SirMorland on Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:48 pm

So I might have broke my DotStar Led Matrix. As a total noob I had a hard time soldering some wires to the small connector pads, coincidentally Data In was especially hard and the solder didn't stick to the wire. Finally when I managed to solder it and tried to bend the wire I heard a crack and the DIN connector pad came off of the board. Now I can't get the wire stick to the board at all. Is there a way to connect DIN without the pad or is the matrix done deal?

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Re: DotStar High Density Led Pixel Matrix connector broke

by franklin97355 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:55 pm

Start by posting a closeup of the connector and its surroundings. Usually, there are traces from pads that can be exposed and soldered to but you need to practice soldering until you are good enough to do this in a quick and clean manner.

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Re: DotStar High Density Led Pixel Matrix connector broke

by SirMorland on Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:36 pm

Thanks for the quick answer. There doesn't seem to be any pad left, instead in its place seems to be something that looks like iron. I tried to scratch the excess solder off so I might have scratched any leftover pad too :/ What are the pads connected to? Would it be possible to dig my way to it and connect to it directly?
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Re: DotStar High Density Led Pixel Matrix connector broke

by Arudinne on Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:46 pm

SirMorland wrote:Thanks for the quick answer. There doesn't seem to be any pad left, instead in its place seems to be something that looks like iron. I tried to scratch the excess solder off so I might have scratched any leftover pad too :/ What are the pads connected to? Would it be possible to dig my way to it and connect to it directly?


Short answer: Nothing. Digging will get you nowhere.

Long answer: Like nearly all PCBs the copper is layered directly onto the fiberglass. Under the copper is the substrate (fiber glass). Some of the pads seem to have VIAs to another layer but DIN isn't one of them which is sort of good news. You might be able to scrape some of the solder mask off what is left of the trace and solder a tiny wire to that, but it won't be easy.

You can see the traces in this photo: https://cdn-shop.adafruit.com/1200x900/3444-02.jpg

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