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I'm new to soldering and I've done some research on what I need in terms of material and tools and what I need to do in terms of removing and replacing a circuit. The circuit I'm replacing is a Laptop (ASUS g53sw) power jack. This component has 5 connections onto the circuit board and while I've been able to remove a good bit of the existing solder with a wick and flux I'm finding this component is still stubbornly stuck to the board. I'm in need of some good advice on how to remove this as I want to avoid damaging the system. I've read a number of articles and watched some good videos but I still need some pointers as I don't doubt a professional could handle this.

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Do you have access to a heatgun? – BB ON Feb 26 '14 at 21:03
reopening. Please pay attention -- although this question mentions an appliance, and mentions a repair, it is a board-level rework question. – markrages Feb 27 '14 at 0:19
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Usually, there is one pin that is making it hard to remove. That is usually the ground pin, and it will be attached to the ground plane. The ground plane will try to suck away the heat as fast as you can apply it. This is where you need a high wattage iron, so you can get it hot quickly.

On a good day, you can remove the solder, then wiggle each pin until it breaks loose. Again, usually all except the one difficult one. Then you know which one to work on.

Failing all that, there is plan "B". Destroy the connector--crush it, for example--and once all the plastic is gone, each metal contact can be dealt with on its own, instead of having a 5-piece puzzle.

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I believe I am at plan "B"; I was leery of this approach though having limited experience. Tonight I'll cut it out and then go pin by pin. Thanks everyone! – Gedalya Feb 26 '14 at 17:05

Add more solder. Use tin-lead solder or special low-temperature solder (ChipQuik). If you can make a solder blob over all five pins you can just lift the jack out. The solder is easy to clean up with braid afterwards.

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Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately three of the pins are at the rear and the other two are on the sides so I can't easily heat all 5 at once. – Gedalya Feb 26 '14 at 16:22
+1 for ChipQuik. Great stuff. You can get it from Digi-Key. – tcrosley Feb 26 '14 at 16:32
I see a number of ChipQuick products; is this what I need? frys.com/product/2644632?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG – Gedalya Feb 26 '14 at 16:35
+1 That's really clever! I've always tried to heat two or three pins at once with the soldering iron (which is a similar idea), but it was awkward and innefective. – Ricardo Feb 26 '14 at 16:55

If you've already removed some of the solder, but find the pin is still stuck in the hole. What I've found helps is adding a little extra solder back onto the pin to make sure you get a nice reflow up through the hole and then I use a solder sucker instead of a braid.

Also, you might check for any kind of glue under the part. Circuit parts that are physically large or are subjected to external forces (like plugs for external cables) are commonly attached to the board by other means: like screwed down or glued down. That way the forces are not held by the soldered circuit pins themselves.

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I have attempted to add additional solder for improved reflow; I haven't tried a solder sucker though and will give that a shot. – Gedalya Feb 26 '14 at 16:46

Multi-layer boards and huge ground planes are your enemies. Your friends are a powerful iron and this strategy:

  1. crush, melt, or otherwise break the connector so you can extract each pin individually (if all pins are on the perimeter, preferably snip them free of the plastic body)
  2. heat the pin, not the pad, just enough so it can be wiggled free
  3. with a small tool (like tweezers) quickly work the pin loose (before the heat in the pin is drawn away through either the tweezers or the board)
  4. clean up the aftermath thoroughly, because it will be ugly
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