I want a simple programming jig for the Esp8266, Sadly, all of the jigs I can find on ebay and other sites, have not worked for me, and use the Silicon Labs CP210x, and I have had NO luck at all with that. Normally I use the NodeMCU and it is absolutely great (other than the size). So, my plan is to remove the Esp8266 from the NodeMCU board and then solder pogopins in it's place vertically and mount it in a frame I will build. the issue is that I have been unable to remove the ESP from the NodeMCU... A heat gun seems to be heating the board too much before i can get the esp off, and after it does not work. Adding solder to the esp pins doesn't work because there are resistors too close to the esp module and they get pulled off as well. Simply trying to unsolder each pin while lifting the esp breaks the pads off of the NodeMCU board. Does anyone have any ideas on how i can do this? If all else fails, i can use the NodeMCU to program another but I will have to pin it so i disable the esp module is disabled and that isn't exactly optimal. any ideas would be much appreciated and sorry for such a long post.
During prototyping a pcb containing an esp32 I had the need to desolder the esp sometimes. For the reasons you mentioned this is very tricky bit I figured out two strategies that worked well for me:
method: if you have a third hand and a second solder iron, you can bend a massive copper wire to fit the esp's outline so that it has contact to all of the esp's pins. You then apply a huge amount of solder along the wire. This way you are able to melt all solder joints (which works better if you have two strong irons) and finally remove the esp.
method: put the nodemcu into an oven at 250°C (solder probably melts at around 220°C) and wait until the solderjoints melt. Then carefully (!) remove the esp. Of course, all other solder joints will be liquid, so you must not grab the esp by its shielding, neither you should drop the nodemcu! Afterwards wait until the remaining board has cooled down.
I think, in both cases (and also when using hot air) you are out of the specs concerning the solder process (max temperature, max duration), but as you will be using the result for private purposes only and the device will not be running 24-7, this will be acceptable.
Have a look at the following methods to make programming jig for the ESP.
If you really want to go ahead with the de-solder method, try using solder paste and cover all the pins of esp8266 module with it and then use a heat gun for reflow. (this may get a little messy)
There are bare NodeMCU boards (i.e. without ESP8266 module pre-soldered) available on sites like eBay & AliExpress.
Try searching online this term "esp8266 pogo pin", you will find many videos on YouTube and articles on sites like Instructables & Hackaday.
BTW, it seems like you have already broken quite a few NodeMCU boards.