I have a hot air station and I'm trying to replace the HDMI port on a PS3 (playstation 3). The problem I'm having is trying to melt the solder on the hdmi port. I'm curious to what kind of solder its using as I can't seem to melt it at even 400C. I did test to see if it melted my other solder I got from radio shack and it did in fact melt it.

  • Why is the solder on these boards so much harder to melt? Is there something extra added to these solder points?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can't melt it even after setting your iron to 400degC then you have other problems, such as too much thermal mass on the board and not enough on your iron. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 3 '14 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ im using a hot air station as I need to remove this: prntscr.com/52pozc -- it has a bunch of pins underneath and a soldering iron wouldnt really work here. \$\endgroup\$ – Patoshi パトシ Nov 3 '14 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ More than likely you've dealloyed the solder. See electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/117338/… \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Nov 3 '14 at 19:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's probably not the solder, but the thermal mass of the copper in the ground plane. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Nov 3 '14 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be lead-free solder, which has a higher melting point. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Nov 3 '14 at 19:54

Lead-free solder, most likely. I would expect melting temperature somewhere between 210°C and 230°C. As @Ignacio and @Majenko have mentioned in the comment, the ground planes in the PCB are acting as heat sinks. A common way to address this is to pre-heat the whole board. Of course, you have to be careful and avoid pre-heating so much that other components (BGAs, most notably) come off. See this article for some details.

Here's another useful trick. Leaded solder has a lower melting point around 190°C. You can lower the melting point of the lead-free solder joint by mixing leaded solder to it in situ.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ even if i have it at 300-400C it seems very hard to come off. So your saying the pcb board it self is absorbing the heat? But its such a higher temperature. Do you recommend other tools besides a hot air station? Or do you have to use a hot air station for this type of removal? \$\endgroup\$ – Patoshi パトシ Nov 3 '14 at 21:02

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