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Soldering is a method of connecting two pieces of metal together by melting another filler metal in between them. There are many kinds of soldering, but this article is designed to teach you the basics of electrical soldering.

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How do I desolder plastic ribbon cable connectors

I don't have anything I need to desolder but I would like to learn how to desolder the plastic ribbon cable connectors for things like a keyboard or trackpad. I had tried a few times on stuff that doesn't work and either nothing happens or the connector melts. If I hold a hot air gun over the connector the connector comes off but it is melted pretty bad. If I wave the how air gun around it doesn't come off. I have a soldering iron, hot air gun, and flux. I have tried at both 325c and 350c which both seem like they should be enough to melt the solder. Is there any tips that would help or things I am doing wrong?

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N Coy your plastic will always melt before the solder does. Use a hot air rework station and desolder the part by heating it from the bottom. Plenty of flux and Kapton tape to protect the complete connector will help. If you have the contacts leading slightly away from the connector, you can try a soldering iron. Again, use Kapton tape and plenty of flux. Preheat your board and keep plenty of solder on your irons tip. Sometimes low melt solder will help but it all depends on what the connector looks like and where it is located etc. Practice, practice, practice :-)

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Just to add to the excellent answer by the magnificent @oldturkey03, most manufacturers today use lead free solder, which is a pain to work with (imho). I always use leaded solder (63/37) and if I can safely, try to “swap out” the lead free solder using my micro iron. My hot air rework station does a good job if I can’t touch up, but lead free solder very often requires a lot more heat to desolder. Copious amounts of Kapton tape and even more practice :-)

Stick in there, you’ll get the hang of it!


Got the chance to try again and successfully replaced a trackpad connector


@N Coy that's Awesome. Great Job. Repair is War on Entropy!


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N Coy будет вечно благодарен.
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