Fixing Soldering Pads

Yesterday I started on repairing the motherboard of an old Amiga 1200. For the first test it seemed to work fine. Then I started looking closer at the board.

The initial inspection, everything seems to look fine, a little rust on the tv tuner shielding, a lot of dust

Amiga 1200 motherboard

Looking closer on the blue resistors, those small blue ones in the middle of the picture, the solderings are matte, they should be shiny. This is typical for old computers where the smd capacitors have leaked acid.

Hold on. There seems to be a capacitor missing, just to the left of the white connectors. The solder pads are gone too. This capacitor is used for one of the audio out, if this is missing, no sound will be heard from on of the stereo channels. I checked the other channel, which was missing too, but solderpads were intact.

Amiga 1200 - Corrosion and missing capacitor

Working with lemon juice on a cotton stick to neutralize the acid from the capacitor, I gave it a good cleaning around the area. After that, a trip to the dishwasher. And letting it dry for ½ day. I probably won’t power it on for another week or so, so all the water should be evaporated for that time.

The following pictures were taken from a USB microscope bought for $1 on ebay, quality is not perfect, sorry about that.

I scraped off the protective layer of the rest of the wires, and tinned them afterwards. Time to look for something that can be used as solder pads, as I didn’t dare solder the new capacitor onto the wires directly, they are just too fragile.

Zoom-in on missing solderpads

I found an old PCI board this is a promise SATA150 controller.

Solderpad spares

Using a simple knife, this one isn’t particularly sharp, I managed to remove a couple of connector legs.

Removing pci connector

Doing a quick measure to see if they are allright, looks like it

Solder pads are ready

I used some loc-tite glue to glue the pads to the pcb. I found out later I should probably have used another kind of glue as this one got liquid again when warmed.

Glued solderpads

After a little work I managed to tin the connectors, and get a connection to the wires. It’s not the best solution, but it’s better than the alternative. I also tinned the copper surface to prevent it from oxidizing.

Solder pads, glued and tinned

Soldering the cap onto the newly made solderpads were less of a hazzle, glue seems to be effective again

Fixed the capacitor

Almost finished board, this now has it’s SMD capacitors replaced, a trip to the dishwasher and cleaned some acid infected solderings. Only the 4 non SMD electrolytes are missing from replacement. Only the electrolytes were replaced.

Amiga 1200 refurbished

There are plenty of guides out there how to replace SMD capacitors, I find them the easiest to replace from regular old fashion caps.It’s basically

  1. Spin the house around till it falls off.
  2. Use the solder iron to remove the broken pin from the solderpads.
  3. Clean the solderpads with a desoldering wire.
  4. Apply alittle solder paste to each pad
  5. Attach the cap (remember in the right direction), eventually adjust it so it looks nice too.
  6. Heat the solder paste with your solder iron until it gatheres around the pad and cap leg. Instead of solder paste you can also use a thin solderwire. I use that when it’s easy to access the pads. I use a 0.25mm wire for that. 0.6mm should be good too.

Updated 28/6-11
New status – I’ve tested the amiga board, and everything runs perfectly (floppy, sound, video, harddrive), except for the right mouse button. Activating the right mouse button gives a click in the sound, and it’s not functioning, I’m affraid that I’ll have to replace paula.

A feature I love with the csh / tcsh

The foreach command which I never remember how to do, is a very powerful tool in the csh, which is missed in bash.

For those who don’t know it, foreach can be used in the command line interface (cli) in csh, unlike some other shells.

With foreach you can do some very simple directory work without having to first make a shell script.

Below is a very simple way of using the command.

First lets prepare something to work with, create a test dir that can be easily be removed afterwards

# mkdir test && cd test

Prepare some directories. these can also be files if you want to work with this.

# mkdir 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The few commands to populate each directory from 1-9 with a file called test

# foreach file (*)
# cd $file && touch test && cd ..
# end

Now go and take a look in each directory, and you’ll see a file called test.

Reverse airflow on aquarium air pump

Aquarium airpumpI recently bought an aquarium pump (this one from dealextreme. It’s a 3w airpump with rubber feet, and nice plastic casing. So I hacked it to reverse the airflow so it would suck air rather than blow. This is due to that I need it to suck away fumes/smoke when soldering. It took me little time to figure out how such a thing worked, and so I hacked it. Not a problem when using hot glue.

It reversed the airflow, but not enough. I had to have the soldering iron just beneath the plastic hose before I could see any effects. So I upgraded it, I drilled some larger holes where the air could flow through, also some holes in the casing itself to make sure the air inside could get out. But with no major luck I still needed to put the hose just above the soldering iron. The smoke didn’t even change direction when the hose was 1 cm away.

Ok the hose is around 5 Meters in length. I’ll go to the pet shop tomorrow and get me another hose that I can cut and adjust as I see fit. The hose I’m using now is meant for water cooling in a PC.

Else I think I’ll need something that can move some air. I don’t think the 5W airpump that DX also have will make any difference.


Movie – 2012

Movie 2012Just watched the movie 2012 on Blu-Ray.

Though it was good entertainment, it was pretty predictable and much alike to The Day After Tomorrow. There was a lot of beautiful and realistic CGI in the movie.

But I must confess that some scenes were too much Hollywood action where 1 Meter or 1 second made a difference, unlike Day After Tomorrow.

It had a good selection of known actors, most surprisingly Danny Glover whom I don’t remember seeing in movies after Maverick (Mel Gibson) and Lethal Weapon 4.