Thanks to the help of Huff, ich1ban, and Thunda; I was able to learn how to switch out the microswitches on my EC2 Evo (the dreaded and awful Huano with D2F-01F (Japanese Omrons)).
Here is how I would modify the original guide to be more user friendly and perhaps less deadly to the mouse PCB.1)
I would not put hot solder on all 3 connectors of the original microswitch at once. Doing this, I feel unduly risks the contacts on the PCB and adds to the mess you have to cleanup. My method (suggested by Huff), was using a desoldering iron (found at Radio Shack or online). Mine was 45W.
What you want to do is heat up the iron for a few minutes and then place it right over the tip of one of your microswitch connectors (be sure to have the pump depressed as you are going to be sucking up excess solder). Then apply a little bit of fresh solder (I used 60/40). This will melt instantly and connect your iron to the switch. Push in the iron so that the tip is almost touching the mouse PCB. This will connect your molten solder to the mouse’s original solder and melt that solder as well after a few seconds. If you have bought the “third hand” device (which you should have, it’s dirt cheap and extremely useful), you will be able to see the original solder melt through the magnifying glass. After a few seconds, release the pump of the desoldering iron and all of the molten metal will be sucked up (the solder you added + the original solder on the mouse).
I find that this method risks less direct heat to the PCB and works across more different types of mice (some mice I experimented on had very temperature resistant solder that would simply not melt with direct application of the desoldering iron. Adding my own solder on top remedied that).2)
After this is done, let the switch rest for a minute or two and you should be able to “wiggle” it in its hole by grabbing onto it in order to know that it is loose. After doing all 3 microswitch contacts with this method, the entire microswitch should come out rather easily.3)
Resoldering is basically the same method in reverse. Secure your new mouse switch with electric tape. Then place the desoldering iron over the very tip of a contact. Put a little bit of solder under the tip and molten solder will coat your tip and the contact. Push in with your desoldering iron so that it’s almost in contact with the mouse PCB and give it a little squirt with the pump. Then quickly remove your desoldering iron. I found that this method creates a solder joint with the mouse PCB that looks factory fresh and superior to just using a soldering iron and solder.
Basically do it this method to whatever switch you want to place and voila, you have basically a new mouse.
These are some pictures of my worklog after the spoiler.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
: This entire method is not for the faint of heart. I tested out desoldering on my Deathadder Black Edition first. Not only did I stupidly break the 10-wire ribbon cable that connected the button pcb to the lens pcb (I had to very carefully resolder it in … got lucky since the wires were so tiny and closely spaced), but I melted part of the plastic that held the lens as well as the outside of my mouse. Here’s a picture of the damage done to the shell:
Here are some random mouse facts I learned along the way:
1) D2F-01F and D2FC-F-7N omron switches are both rated very similarly in terms of operating force and refracting force (force to depress and force that resets the switch when you let go). The only data sheet I could find on the D2FC-F-7N (which is made in China) was that it had an OF that varied between approximately 35-75N. D2F-01F’s according to Omron’s site are rated at a strict 75g OF. Odd because I find that the D2F-01F’s are generally softer to depress than all the D2FC-F-7N’s I’ve seen (they are found in basically every gaming mouse that isn’t zowie).
I am almost certain that Huano switches (found in Zowie Mice) are rated at 150g OF which is why they are such a pain to press IMHO.
2) Some mice manufacturers place some epoxy or superglue on their switches. Even after desoldering, you cannot remove the switches. I found this to be the case on some of the test mice I tried.
Thanks for reading, and thank you again to Huff, ich1ban, and Thunda. If you liked this semi-guide, please rep.Edited by Diogenes5 - 7/10/12 at 9:26pm