I've already posted a question here about this when I realized that all things were not right with my Altera DE2 board:

Is this display broken or is it a bug?

After verifying that the segment indeed is broken, I contacted Altera who could send me new segments that they mean should be able to replace the faulty part.

But how do I replace a segment? Do I need to do soldering? When I turn around the board and look at it, it looks like the segments are soldered and that the only way to repair my board is if I do soldering and solder on a new part. Is this operation too risky, what alterantives do I have? Did I understand correct that I must solder?


---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Niklas R Date: Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM Subject: Re: Broken segment of a new DE2 display? To: Cc: , F Lundevall

Thank you very much Gina. Maybe I have another question how to mount the parts when it arrives, and therefore I might contact you again with a question when the parts have arrived. I wonder if I must solder the new display or how the new display will mount to the board.

Sincerely, Niklas

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM, Terasic - Gina Tai wrote: Dear Niklas,

The parts have been shipped today (09/13) via DHL Tracking#1959119923. It usually takes about 3 business days for the delivery.

Feel free to contact us again if you need any further assistance.

Thank you & have a nice day!


               Gina Tai Sales Department 

Not satisfied with our customer service? Send your feedback to us at 2012/9/12 下午 07:08, Niklas R 提到: Thank you. My details are

Niklas Rosencrantz Styrmansg 47a 114 60 Stockholm Sweden Phone

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Terasic - Gina Tai wrote: Dear Niklas,

No worry, I'll send 5pcs x LCD segments for you to replace the broken parts. Please provide your shipping information, including a valid contact phone#, thank you!


               Gina Tai Sales Department 

Not satisfied with our customer service? Send your feedback to us at 於 2012/9/11 下午 10:56, Niklas R 提到: Thank you for the reply. It seems that segment E of HEX 3 is broken after I performed additional tests. This is a new DE2 board bought from Altera in August via my university program kth.se and the board has no signs of damage but segment E of HEX 3 display is not working:

Can it be repaired or replaced or can you suggest a solution?

Thank you Niklas Rosencrantz Styrmansg 47a 114 60 Stockholm Sweden

On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM, Terasic Support Team wrote: Dear Niklas,

There is a tool- control panel provided in the CD-ROM, please use it to test the function of the 7-segment displays on board. And feedback us the result.

If it really exsits the problem onto the segment, please contact our sales team for a solution, thank you.

Free to contact us if you have any other inquiry.

Best Regards Amy Zhou

               Amy Zhou Technical Support Department 

Not satisfied with our customer service? Send your feedback to us at

Niklas Rosencrantz 写道: Hello I bought a new DE2 board via myUniversity program (kth.se) Now I wonder about a technicality that I've written to the forum and asked about http://www.alteraforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37522 Is this display broken or is it a bug? It looks like a segment E on the display is not working and that this is a broken segment:

That is in segment E where is says 9 there should be an 8 and I can't get that segment to light no matter what tests or programs I run.

Is this something you can help me with, is my new DE2 card broken, was it a bad solder / joint that has gone up during transport or is this - unlikely as it may seem - a software bug? I think everything seems that segment E in one of the displays is broken and I wonder what can be done about it - fix it, replace and/or buy new part or new board?

Thank you Niklas Rosencrantz


With an experienced engineer I looked at the board and the engineer almost immediately said that we should handle it over to some expert and since the board is about new the warranty should handle this and I should bring the board in to where I bought it so that is what we are going to do. Because if I solder it myself I must destroy the warrant of the product which was bought as late as in august from Altera in Taiwan via their Stockholm office in Kista.

Update 2

I now got a complete replacement board from Altera but it's the "better" DE2-115 so now my old.sof file won't work anymore...


2 Answers 2


Looking at this picture of the board

enter image description here

it looks like the displays are soldered to the board. Desoldering PTH parts from plated-through holes can be painful: you have to be sure that all the solder is removed from all the holes, and the plating-through doesn't exactly help.

The best thing you could do is try to borrow a desoldering station, where you can heat the two rows of pins simultaneously, and then pull the display. Then use a desoldering suction pump

enter image description here

to make sure all holes are open before inserting the new display.

If you can't get a desoldering station you'll have to use the suction pump and desoldering braid to remove the solder from the holes. In case one or more pins won't give, use a more drastic approach: cut the defective display so that you can remove the pins one by one, but make sure that you don't damage the PCB's copper when cutting.



If the faulty display is soldered onto the PCB, then yes, you will have to desolder it and solder the new one in place.
If you have a half decent soldering iron, a desoldering pump and some solder wick/flux, this should be no problem.
If you haven't done much soldering before, you might want to do a bit of practicing first or get someone else to do it for you.

Some tips:

  • Use plenty of flux on the joints
  • Use iron to reflow solder and use pump to remove it.
  • If solder does not reflow easily, add some fresh solder to the joint (yes, it sounds backwards but it works to help the solder flow)
  • If the pump does not get all the solder out, try a few times or use the wick with plenty of flux
  • Don't heat joint for too long at one time.
  • Try and remove as much solder as possible from all joints, then lift display out if it is free
  • If the display has pins still fixed, apply iron to reflow solder on that pin and wiggle gently to lift it a touch. Then do this with the next pin, and so on until you work the display out. Do not try and force it as you will lift the pads/tracks.


Use a hot air tool if you have one available. This is the easy way as you can reflow all joints at once but still requires care not to desolder/damage surrounding components.


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