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Discussion Starter #1
I recently tried to switch out a 2-pin middle mouse switch and had extreme bother taking one from a new-ish bricked mouse to put into another 'live' mouse. I got there in the end and the switch is working fine but it took far too long and I made a huge mess in the process. I used a very cheap soldering kit and that's probably half of my problem but I'm also not very experienced when it comes to soldering in general. The tips that came with the iron don't seem to tin very well, even after putting a brand new one in, and the solder (that also came with the kit) just becomes a ball. I definitely should invest in something more decent but I'm not sure which is best. Any brands that are good? What other pieces of kit should I get? I've got a sucker, some small sponges, a stand with some alligator-like clips (although it's not too stable, it rocks a bit when working on something clamped in it), the crappy soldering iron itself and some lead-free solder. I didn't know where else to ask this and since I was working on mouse switches and LEDs, I thought I'd see if anyone is knowledgable here. Ta.

TL;DR

What are the best tools to have?
How should I go about desoldering/soldering switches?
 

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a desoldering gun is most likely the absolute best, since it just requires you to heat it up and put it on the joint and go. takes a few seconds per joint.
but they also cost >£100 on average.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchzilla View Post

a desoldering gun is most likely the absolute best, since it just requires you to heat it up and put it on the joint and go. takes a few seconds per joint.
but they also cost >£100 on average.
I've looked at some of those but can't really justify spending that much for a task I'm rarely going to do. My main problem was getting the switch out i.e. getting all the solder off. I needed to put pressure on the existing solder for it to melt and even after I used the sucker, not all of the solder had come out. Some ended up being stuck in the hole and was a pain in the .... to get out
 

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did you use a little solder wick as well? it usually is a mess with solder suckers and wicks though, so maybe you just did it the right way and... it simply sucks too much
tongue.gif

that is my experience at least. desoldering guns are pretty much a must for desoldering...
 

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ironic post timing , i was trying to save a Logitech performance MX mouse just last night .
that is until the tip of the soldering iron self destructed , and wouldn't apply enough heat to affect the multi layer circuit board .
out of curiosity what brand / model of mice are you working on ?

the mouse suddenly developed a nasty quadruple left click issue , very annoying and dangerous when drag and dropping files .
took apart some old mice and was able to match up a similar omron switch .
but cant continue until the new tip arrives .

never had much luck with desoldering wick , seem to have better luck with a bulb type " sucker " .
but that's just me , your mileage may vary .

i really cant complain about the " vintage " Weller soldering station i have ,
since i have been using it since the late 70's and has never failed until last night .
after some research , it is still available on ebay cheap , as well as new old stock replacement parts .
 

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My way:

For desoldering I always use a desoldering pump. Original solder could be very hard to remove.

So put on your solder on top the original. This makes it much easier. The new solder will "connect" / heat the original solder.

The tip should not be to small. More heat, shorter time is may way. And you have to get use to the desoldering pump. You should be fast, very fast. Train it.

Also very important is to fix the pcb. I shouldn't move during your action. Otherwise you will not be able to use the desoldering pump the right way.

Put the pump over the floating solder and press the button. Should be done in about half a second.

If your new solder for a new switch is a ball, you may use to much solder. Stay a little time with the solder at the hole/pin. So the solder could fill the gaps. Than wipe the tip at the switch pin straight upwards.
 

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You want a solder-sucker, a BIG one, the bigger the better, because it would have a larger spring and more volume, therefore more suction..

Solderpult works pretty good, they make fancier ones, but the regular one is good enuff for mouse and keyboards.

DO NOT desolder mouse switches or keyboard switches without a good spring-loaded solder sucker, because the traces are thin, and if you hold it there for too long, it's gonna either lift up or burn off..

So you gotta be fast..
 

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I use a cheapo desoldering pump with no issues.

Just takes a little bit of practice, if you have a crap/broken mouse lying around i'd urge you to try it out on that until you feel confident.
 

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I've always been using desoldering wick when changing switches on mice (or any desoldering work). I got my self a 3 euro pump though for those times when wick doesn't do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some great advice on this. Cheers folks. Think I'll go ahead and practice on some of my buggered mice... after I find a decent iron, I suppose.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0uz View Post

Some great advice on this. Cheers folks. Think I'll go ahead and practice on some of my buggered mice... after I find a decent iron, I suppose.
you don't need an expensive Iron, just get a good TIP.. and it will do most of the small jobs..

You only want to buy the expensive gear if it's ur livelihood.. otherwise, the cost is not justified..

If you do decide on a desoldering pump, like a really really ghetto one, at least make sure it's spring loaded, and lubricate the moving parts before use.. It should work fine as long as it's well lubed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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Originally Posted by tp4tissue View Post

you don't need an expensive Iron, just get a good TIP.. and it will do most of the small jobs..

You only want to buy the expensive gear if it's ur livelihood.. otherwise, the cost is not justified..

If you do decide on a desoldering pump, like a really really ghetto one, at least make sure it's spring loaded, and lubricate the moving parts before use.. It should work fine as long as it's well lubed.
Is a 40W iron sufficient? How do I know which tips are good? Are there different sizes of tips? Will I ever stop asking questions?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0uz View Post

Is a 40W iron sufficient? How do I know which tips are good? Are there different sizes of tips? Will I ever stop asking questions?
Yes 40W is sufficient

The good tips costs more.. go with a name brand, and it should be fine for your use.

Different size tips for different jobs.

I prefer a small chisel tip for most stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tp4tissue View Post

Yes 40W is sufficient

The good tips costs more.. go with a name brand, and it should be fine for your use.

Different size tips for different jobs.

I prefer a small chisel tip for most stuff...
Ta very much
 
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