desoldering iron

I am thinking of purchasing a desoldering iron, because braid gets annoying, and i was looking at one at radioshack, its just a soldering iron with a hole in its end and the hole leads of a mounted bulb. i was wondering how they work, the iron heat the solder, and u press the bulb and it sucks the solder, but where does the solder go? into the bulb? how do you get the solder out?

Posted by um0123 9 years ago

How to salvage SMD component from old electronics board

I want to know how to perfectly desolder a smd Component. I  want to reuse them but cant get them i would love suggestion or advice

Posted by geekrex 3 years ago

Desoldering without the right tools.

I am interested in desoldering a few things to get some parts.  However I bought desoldering braid quite a while ago and have no idea where it is.  I do not have the money to buy a pump (no matter how cheap it may be).  So I was wondering if there was anything else I could use or do.  I do own a soldering iron. I am just playing around with a few project ideas with electronics I had laying around and a few things I have taken out of the garbage.

Posted by jcaresheets 7 years ago

Cannibalizing old electronics

I am taking apart and desolder some vintage Mac Powerbooks and I found this Logitech 9215H IC on the trackballs PCB. I wonder. All datasheets I find say it is for a floppy.. Anyone has informations about that IC? I would love to use it in any kind of project. The Powerbook is thisone

Posted by sbeck10 5 years ago

LCD/VFD free samples?

These screens are pretty expensive, has anyone been successful at recieving a sample? Also if anyone knows where I can get samples of flux, desoldering braid, perspex, rare-earth magnets, IC sockets and headers. Thanks, Alex.

Posted by alexgeek 9 years ago

I'm looking for a lead free soldering station.

Hey everyone, I'm looking for a lead free soldering station. I have to do some soldering/desoldering at work and I'm having a problem. The solder on the board is too high of a temp for my trusty Radio Shack soldering iron. To date I've purchased a 50watt iron and I would say that almost did the trick. But, desoldering was a fail. So, I would like to get a professional strength iron that can do the work without breaking my budget ($120). At this point I don't know what to look at 60 or 70 watt or 80. So, if anyone can recommend a good digital lead free solder station? Thanks Everyone!

Posted by ChrisMc74 4 years ago

Post little Electronics you have removed/desoldered,ripped off of something(caps,chips,regulators,ext)

I found a Ton of Stuff from a PSU,from diodes to Capacitors to Leds. Post what you have found(in a picture:) ) And maybe your Desktop too.

Posted by ReCreate 9 years ago

Solder sucker?

Hello all.  I had a question about desoldering.  First thing is that I have desoldering wick.  I found out I was using it wrong.  I melted the solder and then placed the end of the wick in the melted solder.  But I watched a youtube video and according to that I should place the wick on the solder and then heat up the wick and solder as one.  But this still has not been working very well for me.  The wick is over a year old and I was wondering if this could be a problem.  But my other question is how well do those spring loaded solder suckers work?  I was thinking about perhaps ordering one off of e-bay.  Yes I know I might find one in a good hardware store but I have some paypal money I could use.  In case you do not know what I am talking is the spring loaded suckers where you cock it, put it next to the melted solder and then press a button and it forms a vacuum and sucks up the solder into it.  I think I can pick one up for a few bucks off-line, so if you people say they work well then I will give it a shot. Also in case you want to know what I am working on.  This would be used for salvaging parts of of circuit boards.  Like right now I am trying to salvage a few capacitors and also a couple of flyback transformers from crt computer monitors.  Also tomorrow I am tearing apart a broken water cooler to see if there is anything I can take out of there. I have also being having a problem getting solder to melt in the first place.  But that probably just has something to do with the 2 soldering irons I am using and I am trying my best to figure it all out.  I know my way around computers as far as building and repairing them.  But soldering and desoldering is something I really want to learn to be able to further my computer repair skills.  Sometimes it would save so much money being able to solder and desolder myself.  Especially those darn ac ports that are soldered right onto the boards sometimes. I have not actually made anything from this site yet.  But this is a wonderful site and after cruzing the forums here I am pretty sure I will get some good replies.  Ok I will stop babbling and I look forward to your replies.  

Posted by jcaresheets 6 years ago

triac switchero

I have a touch light switch I bought from my local lighting store the triac and heat sink stands too tall for the base of the light ,I want to desolder the original and replace it with a new one with longer leads so I can lay it down to fit inside the base. How do I know if my new triac is compatable they look like they are the same size numbers are different.

Posted by martin365 2 years ago

troubleshooting voice modulator

About four years ago I bought this robot voice kit for a halloween costume: (the scematics are near the bottom of the data sheet) I never finished it and now that I put it together it's not working. The signal goes through to the amplifier, but without the modulating happening. Does anyone know what the problem could be, or if there is a way to narrow it down without desoldering and testing the components individually? Thanks

Posted by Jur 6 years ago

small screw dish

I just wanted to say, if you have a broken floppy drive laying around, take it apart, get the small stepper motor out, take off the LED (bicolor if you are lucky) and contact switches, and anything else useful like a IR photogate, and chokes, desolder the huge pin headers, but after that... remove the round plate that is a part of the main spindle motor, it has a ring of magnet on the inside, it is absolutely perfect for holding small screws when you are taking apart something just felt like sharing

Posted by frank26080115 11 years ago


Hello everybody! I just need some help with an electronic project I was doing-I need to desolder a transformer from a camera flash circuit, but every time I try with a new circuit, it always melts or the component leads fall off. I have included some pictures of it, maybe someone could identify the kind so I could buy it at an electronic retailer? It is meant to have 5 leads, with 3 on one side and 2 on the other. On a technical reference it has 7:3 coil ratio. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by NightRider7 10 years ago

Dremel Tips/Tricks

Hi, I just got my Dremel yesterday (multipro 285 for £20) it ROCKS but I thought it would be good to have a forum topic for people to post tips/tricks about using their Dremel that they have pivked up/ made up.Mine is this (Its in pdf format) but basically it is a way to use you dremel to quickly "Desolder" pcbs (~5 minutes or less per board!). Wht you do is put on a coarse (~60 grit) sanding drum and go over the back of the pcb. It is very dusty but afterwards the components just need a small pul with some pliars and your done.

Posted by josh92176 11 years ago

How to wire an analog stick to a Raspberry Pi B+

So I have taken apart an old MADCATZ Wireless GameCube controller that broke a few years ago and i want to use a component or two in a project im working far, i have desoldered and removed one of the two joysticks, but im not familiar with how to wire it to my Raspberry PI B+ board. The diagram i drew up is the underside of the component showing the 6 pins underneath. I intend to add two buttons, which i already understand how to connect.

Posted by EngineerJakit 3 years ago

What parts to salvage from detectors?

Hey all - at the place I manage I have 15 defective Kidde smoke detectors coming back - now obviously there's something wrong with them but it won't be every part that's garbage. It IS however a good opportunity to get some multiples of same parts.  SO - if this was you and they are in the garbage otherwise..which parts would you salvage?  I'm willing to invest  maybe 2 hours of desolder time.  Other than the resistors and the LEDs, i'm not as familiar with the components used on these boards. suggestions appreciated, This looks like the closest model:,8062,pageId%3D28537%26siteId%3D463,00.html

Posted by Golftester 6 years ago

Mousebot Help...Plz

I have been working on the mousebot on and off for a few weeks now. Yes...weeks. Completely new to everything about it. I have everything together and after the same problem last build I am stuck. 1 motor is getting 3.3 volts. 1 motor is getting 7.78 volts. Resulting in a spinning bot. I removed the eyes (desoldered the sensor from eye stems) so ,if I am thinking correctly here, both motors should get the same voltage. Wires are bare, not touching. Again...this is the second build with same exact result, so I am doubting I soldered the same exact connection badly. I also replaced the relay and LM386 with new ones for second build. Any ideas??

Posted by m3lt 10 years ago

"Taller de Inventos", Jameco Build Night @ Buenos Aires

On Saturday August 24th we held our very first “Instructables Build Night”, which we baptized “Taller de Inventos” (Inventions Workshop). It was a free event aimed for anyone older than 10 ys old. We had around 15 participants that joined us on the quest for technological reappropiation. We knew beforehand that most of them had never touched a soldering iron, so the first activity that we held was an improvised desoldering workshop where people cheerily removed components from electronic garbage. Most of them became immediately enchanted with the mighty desoldering pump ;) After the participants had settled in their preferred spots, we opened the event by talking about what we (Wazzabi) do as a group and what this event sponsored by Instructables and Jameco was all about. We were thrilled of having so many new faces around. What the Build Night meant to us was the opportunity of holding a free event without having to care about components. Since we received 100USD worth of goods by Jameco, we decided to keep it free. We offered the participants various projects to work on: a "Wazzabi Punk" Light Theremin (a light theremin based on our take on the classic Atari Punk console), an audio switch for choosing between two inputs, a LED Blinking Light for bike and a classic Wazzabi Punk console. Every one of them was incredibly eager of soldering components to the PCBs that we gave away and getting their hands on their own creations. They left not only having learned that they were capable of some awesome things, but also with some pretty cool devices made by themselves :) Check the pictures after the jump. They were taken by Cristian Reynaga and Amina Luveaux.

Posted by wazzabi 5 years ago

picaxe sensitivitį

Hi there instructables, recently I have bought a picaxe starter kit, soldered it and stuff, played with some code and leds, but now I want to make a time control, so I bought a cheepo alarm clock, desolder the piezo beeper and extended the wires so I can conect them to my picaxe, turns out its too sensitive, the pin I've set to input piks up heat fom my fingers about a centimeter away, breath too, I think it picks up grounding as a signal too, does it ment to be that sensitive or have I messed something up with soldering or the code?  heres the code I used  main: if pinc.4 = 1 then goto led goto main led: high c.1 pause 500 low c.1 pause 100 goto main

Posted by batonas 4 years ago

D-Flip Flop and Clock Alarm

Hey there! I'm trying to hook up one Set Pin of a 74LS74 Double D-Flip Flop to the alarm of my clock. I've already desoldered the annoying buzzer thats been there before and am now measuring the voltage provided to the buzzer. Unfortunately the circuit only provides around 0.1-0.7V (crescendo alert) with each beep, which doesn't seem to be enough to raise the Set Pin to HIGH (0.8V min. I think). So I guess I'm supposed to use some kind of transistor now. Just to make sure I'm asking you guys. Also, if I want to run the clock from a 5V DC wall wart instead of the original 1.5V battery, I suppose the only thing I need to add are some resistors in series. Would that be correct or would there be anything else needed to ensure the clock takes no damage? Would be really nice if someone could help me out with this! Best regards, Philipp

Posted by Christoph680 7 years ago

Rebuild and reuse?

I was just thinking today. I want to get a soldering gun with a desoldering bulb or some kind of device to suck up solder so I can remove parts. I have nearly heaps of old computer motherboards, video cards, ram, and all sort of other things taking up space. And I'm not talking like pentium 3 or old p4 parts, more like P1 and even a few tandy and 486 parts kicking around. I've seen people making earrings and wreaths out of these old parts, but I'm thinking more practical, like what could I be building out of these components. I've never really gotten into things like pic programming and building things on bread boards, however I do have the know how to operate a soldering gun and I wanna get into these things. Could someone point me in the right direction or point me to a forum at least?? It'd be greatly appreciated because I really need a new hobby to do in my spare time instead of blowing my amps.

Posted by Punkguyta 10 years ago

Making Diy Ring Light. Help?

Ok at the moment i'm working on a Diy Ring Light.   I will try to be as detailed as possible.   The light source i'm using is from an old LED light box that has over 204 leds in a array  17x12 matrix  I am using a Old circle fan outer shell for the ring shape and i already made the outer casing. My problem is i am trying to wire these leds off of the matrix and in separate rows.  My plan is wire these leds in a circle and connect the ends to the LED light box controller.  Basically take the box led shape and make it into a circle.   At the moment the leds are attached to the board.  I have desoldered all of them almost and i have figured out the positive led and negative led.    As long as i wire the positive leds in a row and negative in its own row with paper clips and then connect it back up to the positive wire and negative wire on the controller i should have it working? Is there something else i need to do?   It will be powered by the wall because the controller has its own dc input and i have the correct power supply for it.       I will provide pictures if needed.   i hope this is enough info to help you guys help me.   Thanks.

Posted by AustinS83 2 years ago

Cold Cathode Tube Voltage and Speaker Questions

My brother has some cold cathode tubes, some about 6" long, some about 12" or more. I was thinking of hooking them up to my bike, as shown in one of the great Instructables here, but I wasn't sure of the voltage. I don't want to over-power the tube, and bust it. Plus, the two wires coming out of it are in this black connector, so I don't know which is positive or negative. The tubes put out blue light, if that makes any difference.I have an old sports radio, which works pretty good and could be turned up really loud. I desoldered the speaker, and hooked it up to a pair of wires coming from a head phone jack. I plugged it into my iPod, expecting loudness, but no - I had to hold it up to my ear, on full volume, to hear it. Is it because the iPod isn't outputting as much voltage or current to the speaker as my radio was? The radio used 3 AA. I really wanted a portable speaker that actually put out big sound, so I didn't have to have those buds stuck in my ear.Thanks y'all!

Posted by Bran 11 years ago

Trakpower TK-950 soldering station worth it?

Hey guys! I bought a Chinese knock off 60W variable temp soldering iron for $15CAD and used it intensively for more than a year now and the end of the part holding the tip just started to rust away and doesn't hold the tip in place anymore. Needless to say, I have enough of this and want to get a decent soldering iron, I was planning to get the Hakko FX888D as you can't get the analog knob model anymore but it's only available online from the US and comes up to $180-200CAD with the shipping which is way too expensive. I can get the TrackPower TK-950 (TeamCheckpoint TC-950 is basically the same one but the older version) for $130CAD with a 5 years warranty at my local store, it seem like a clone of the Hakko 936 but what kind of quality is it? Perhaps like the Yihua? If you guys know anything about it or any other recommendations on soldering stations I can get for around the same price with better quality in Canada, it'd be great! I do a lot of soldering through hole only for now and I also do a lot of desoldering, this is how I get most of my electronic components so I need a soldering station that will last me for a while and that doesn't smell like a Chinese knock off out of the box. Thanks for your time. :) -Electrospark

Posted by Electrospark 2 years ago

Making a Laser Cutter, but I need some help!

If there is one thing I do enjoy about making stuff, its when im making it out of cardboard. I wanna make better stuff out of this material, but my patience and skill with an Exact-o knife tend to lack or screw up when im trying to get dead on accurate cuts with large sections of cardboard. So if i'm gonna make some really good stuff i can be more than proud of, I figure i'll need a laser cutter. Ultimately I'm  wanting to build a laser cutter that can: -cut paper, cardstock, cardboard, and fabric without setting it on fire -about a 2 foot square or 2*3 foot rectangular cutting bed -parts that won't cost me more than $100 each i know its possible to build a laser cutter with DVD/CD parts, amongst other things. And i do have one Raspberry Pi Model B board, 1 Arduino Uno and Mega boards, along with 1 Seeeduino: Motor, Relay, Ethernet, TFT Touch, and SD Card Shields. I'm still waiting for my Arduberry to come in the mail, but that's all the major components I have. I do have the necessary tools, soldering and desoldering irons, and a multimeter. Now all i need are the parts and programming skills. I am more than willing to learn Arduino and/or Raspbian languages, and i have ways of getting the parts i'll need, but I have no idea where to begin on the CNC aspect. Can anyone recommend some good resources or parts for what i'm trying to build? I'm not asking for someone to build it for me, i'm just asking for some guidance on this project.

Posted by EngineerJakit 3 years ago

Help me fix ma zune!

I've got to fix this damn zune, there's no warrenty on it and all in all it's a piece of crap. The guy doesn't care that much if it can't be fixed. I've got shit webcam reference pictures. You'll see that the battery has the terminals connected to a small IC board with 3 solder pads on it, and a voltage regulator of some sort on the bottomside of it. The ribbon cable has 3 little metal spades that solder to those pads on the battery. There's voltage coming out of the pads (I don't have a voltmeter, just a tongue but that works just as good). When I've got the ribbon cable soldered to the battery and I touch the end of it to my tongue I can feel current, so why is it that only once in a while I get power to the zune? Like if I wiggle the cable around sometimes I can get a low battery symbol to come up and then it shuts off. I don't know why it's still showing a low batt symbol because I charged it and it feels like there's a good charge in there so what's the problem? I wanna get this fixed so I can play around with it, no I've never had the pleasure of a zune :p. Thanks guys for anything you can help me with. I was thinking maybe the IC came loose from soldering/desoldering the cable a few times, but it still appears to be stuck on the board pretty good. Well look at the pictures and decide for yourself. It's starting to look like I'll be buying a new battery, which apparently the ipod 30/60 gig batteries are the same size/amperage and can be used in the zune and at a low price of $14, I can probably get a battery that'll last longer than the factory one eh?

Posted by Punkguyta 10 years ago

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

Lately I've been taking my spare time and using it to sit down (or sometimes stand) and desolder stuff from circuit boards. Just from one old computer motherboard that no longer works, you can harvest quite a few fully functional capacitors. For my example I'll post a couple pictures I took a while ago, one is a pile of parts beside my keyboard from an old motherboard I nearly completely stripped except for the sockets and other things I didn't need or didn't have the patience for. Tonight I found 4 more things to strip down, 2 mini power supplies (one from an old xbox, one from a junk tv set top box) and two toasted subwoofer amplifiers (no I don't plan on harvesting the transistors from them). I find it completely wasteful to see all the electronics that go into the landfill, simply because it broke, and from experience a lot of electrical failures are usually limited to one or two parts shorted out or gone bad (although this is not always the case). So this is my little "effort" to help save the planet. Does anyone think I could sell bulk "used" capacitors/resistors/diodes in say, mystery bags with random types of capacitors/resistors/diodes? I'm also doing this for my own personal sanity as I have gone to fix several motherboards in the past that simply required a bad capacitor to be replaced, woopy do, but it does no good if I can't find any parts in my parts bins! What do you guys think!? Also, would someone be willing to help me (maybe through msn would be easiest) identify certain parts I've found that I'm not entirely sure what they do or they're lacking of any useful numbers on them????

Posted by Punkguyta 8 years ago