Introduction: Solder on PCB Traces

Picture of Solder on PCB Traces

Have you ever needed to solder a component onto an already completed PCB, or wanted to fix a broken trace or even mod something like a gaming controller? Well here's how!

Step 1: Supplies!

Picture of Supplies!

You won't need much for this instructable, just the basics.

You'll need:

1. The ability to solder (I'm sure you already know that by know)
2. A soldering Iron (the smaller the tip, the easier it is to solder small traces!)
3. Solder
4. A PCB or something with a trace
5. Something to scrape the trace with (an exacto knife or screwdriver or something else thin)
6. Something to solder to the trace
(Optional) 7. Helping hands to hold circuit boards
(Optional) 8. Flux

Difficulty:
Very Easy

Step 2: Pick and Scrape!

Picture of Pick and Scrape!

Now pick the area you want to solder to and scrape! You'll notice that you can't solder directly onto the trace. There is a small layer of plastic coating and the polymer solder resist (the green stuff) covering the traces of copper. Our goal here is to remove all the junk so we can get to something that solder will attach to, copper!

Step 3: Prepare!

Picture of Prepare!

Now before you solder anything onto the PCB, you need to prepare your components/wires. You should put a dab of solder on your wire or component using flux and cover the revealed copper trace with solder. If you don't have flux, you can still coat your wire (braided wire usually works best). This will make things much easier.

Step 4: Solder!

Picture of Solder!

Now go ahead and solder your component/wire to the PCB.

Hint: If your soldering to a very thin trace, you might want to add a dab of hot glue to keep the component in place
(I used a particularly large trace for the example.)

Step 5: Examples!

Picture of Examples!

The ability to solder to traces can be quite useful in repairs and modifications. In the pictures you can see that I "repaired" a broken trace and added a component to a trace.

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable!

Comments

RayM3 (author)2014-10-23

thank you.. very helpful!

bwetman (author)2014-02-24

It is really helpful and informative....
thanks

asadeghi (author)2011-04-15

Thanks! About to re-solder a trace on my MTX amp from 2001.. Hope it goes well!!

McGrep (author)2010-12-05

This is infinitely useful to me, the demolisher of traces and abuser of solder. Really, I'm awful at this... Now I'll be able to fix a lot of silly mistakes! Thank you very much!

nrclark (author)2009-04-09

Great work. I've had some success repairing small traces using 28- and 30-gauge magnet wire too.

hg341 (author)2009-04-06

nice work i have never been able to do this

F-zero (author)hg3412009-04-06

Thakns :D I figured this out the hard way xD

hg341 (author)F-zero2009-04-06

well i would have tryed to do it more but i not that good with the soldering iron i tryed to make my own tracks for a high volt/amp cap bank but it keeps gaping...

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