Introduction: Easy SMT IC Removal
This is my first instructable so I hope it does not suck.
As you might have noticed most electronics these days are surface mount components and can be difficult to work with if you don't have a preheater and a hot air rework station. This can make troubleshooting a pain. Fortunately there is a solution. I will give you a quick introduction to low melt solder.
Step 1: What You Will Need
1 Soldering iron with a small tip
2 Low Melt Solder
3 No clean paste flux
4 Tweezers or a vacuum pickup tool
Step 2: Flux It Up!
If you haven't worked with low melt solder before you don't know what you are missing. This is some cool stuff. At least I think so but I am kind of a geek.(go figure)
Lets go then.
1st we add no clean paste flux or the flux of your choice to all the pins on your IC or to your discreet SMT component.
Step 3: Add Low Melt Solder
Next we add some Low Melt Solder to the pins.
Put your soldering iron tip (set to around 700'F) onto a pin and add some low melt.
You don't need much, a little goes a long way. Now drag a bead of low melt down the whole side of the chip making sure each pin is covered. Touch up as needed. Repeat on the other side of the chip.
Step 4: Here Comes the Magic
Heat one side with your soldering iron until its molten and then the other side. This stuff stays molten for quite a while. Remove the IC from the board with tweezers or a vacuum pick up tool. Easy as pie!
If you don't have a vacuum pick no need to worry. I will post a vacuum pick instructable soon.
Step 5: Clean Your Pads
This step is very important!
You must completely remove the low melt solder from your pads before replacing your IC or discreet component. Solder Wick works perfect for this. If you don't it can be a pain in the neck getting your component to stay in place while you solder. Also, if your component is next to a chip that runs hot you run the risk of the solder melting and your chip sliding and causing havoc.