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this one on Amazon price can go up and down you might be able to find it as low as 10 bucks.
It was a different brand name but I think this is literally the same device as the one I have. Same color and everything.
The best $17 bucks you'll spend. Works extremely well. I was able to desolder a 75% in around 30 mins....no idea the longevity of it, but at this price I'll just buy a new one when I need it, lol
Its never too late to learn how to solder, if its only a few switches that are like this you can buy some Gateron switches individually or in a 10 pack and replace the bad ones.
A decent soldering kit that comes with everything you need can be bought at amazon for less than 20 bucks, with a solder sucker included and if you want even easier solder removal you can get one of these desoldering iron pumps - [link]
There's plenty of switch desoldering tutorials over at /r/mechanicalkeyboards, and if you need help just make a post and I'm sure plenty of people will be glad to help you out.
If you only intend to solder once or twice, any cheap soldering iron on Amazon will do. The Engineer SS-02 is recommended by some for a desoldering pump. If you have a bit more leeway, this desoldering iron is reportedly quite good (since it can heat the solder and then suck it away, all within the same tool)
After going through entirely too much wick, I finally bought this and immediately wished I had done so a lot sooner. Wick is fine for smaller jobs, but if you have to swap out switches on an entire board, it gets old fast.
For what its worth, [link] is way faster and cheaper than the ss-02.
I was using the ss-02 and was getting annoyed with it and figured for 17 bucks why not try this thing before shelling out 200 on a desoldering station, and it works great! Cant say for sure how long it will last, but for 17 bucks I've gotten 2 pcbs desoldered out of it and it only took about 20 mins for each board.
Are you doing it with an iron or an actual desoldering tool? I bought one of these off Amazon and it's not perfect but it works quite well. It just takes some time to heat up and eventually you have to eject a mass of molten solder since it's all stored in the suction tube.
It's not exactly hard, but it's a pain in the ass. You need a solder sucker of some kind, then you heat the solder with your soldering iron and suck it away with the sucker.
But I'd really get at least a cheap soldering iron with integrated sucker.
Something like this:
Makes it at least easier.
And always be careful and make sure to remove as much solder as possible, and make sure not to let things get too hot.
Yikers. Am I crazy, or does it appear that your right stabilizer stem is missing one of the 4 cruciform bars? And it looks like the one on the left is damaged?
It totally depends on the case and plate, but from the looks of it (and this is almost always the case), you'll have to desolder the board to separate them and remove the stabilizers to fix them. If you don't have one, get yourself a good desoldering tool - you'll save yourself literally hours of frustrating effort, and reduce the risk of damaging your board by a lot.
I highly recommend this boy. As you'll note from the reviews, they don't have a lot of durability (I can attest to having gone through 3 of them myself). You generally only get about 2 boards done before they start to get cruddy. That's okay - you're only going to need it for one board now as it is. $15 is WELL worth it to quickly and easily desolder a single board.
You are going to have a very hard time removing the switches without desoldering braid or a desoldering iron.
Without that, you are going to be forced to apply pulling force to a switch while trying to heat up both soldered legs and keep the solder liquid enough for the switch to come out, all without damaging the PCB from the heat or burning yourself.
Is it impossible? No. It's strongly suggested against though, because that's a quick way to destroy the board you're trying to remove the switches from.
This is the desoldering iron I mostly use when I have to desolder, and it works great, especially for the price:
Switch soldering is really easy, especially if you have soldered before.
Desoldering though is something completely different. I might be incompetent, but I haven't had any luck with a manual desoldering pump. It was WAY easier with this little tool. Keep in mind that solder will eventually get stuck in the metal part and then the whole thing is ready for the bin. It should work wonders on a single keyboard though (At least it did for me).
In terms of a soldering iron you don't really NEED anything special. If you already have one it will probably do the job fine. If you are going to buy one you just need to decide if it is something you are going to buy for this project or something you'll use for a long time and buy accordingly. However, when it comes to desoldering the switches I would recommend buying a specific desoldering tool like this:[link] or something similar because although you can use desoldering braid I find it is a pain to get at all the solder that can sometimes be deeper in the hole where the switches are soldered, whereas a tool like that will suck it all up in a few seconds. I have desoldered literally thousands of switches and using a tool like that will save a bunch of time and frustration.
Nice is unnecessary for what we are doing. If you need to remove ICs or something tiny, get a good one. If you're doing through-hole stuff (most keyboard soldering), get the cheapo Tenma from Amazon for like $17 shipped and call it a day.
It has no temp control and occasionally barfs blobs of liquid hot solder when resetting the suction spring. If you are a bit careful, it will work very well.
For desoldering, I just ordered one of these. Typically I'll use solder wick and some flux but this seemed well reviewed, maybe it's worth it for you to order one and give it a shot?
I got one of these a while back and it makes desoldering really easy. I'd recommend you get one and do it yourself - it would likely be both quicker and cheaper :)
It wasn't one of the easiest things to desolder. I lifted a pad for the first time and had to hand wire one switch. I used one of these and soldering wick to do the whole thing.
I love the build quality and layout of the board, but I need MX clears, so it was worth desoldering the thing IMO even though there were a few headaches.
I have to desolder a bunch of switches, and it sucks. I was looking for a specific desoldering tool; would something like this fit the bill?
Is that better than something like this?
Tenma 21-8240 Vacuum Desoldering Iron [link]
Works good 😁
It really kind of depends on what you want out of new switches. :) Do you want linear, tactile, clicky, silent, etc.? The most variety with the most compatibility come from Gateron. One other thing to keep in mind is that the switch stem color does impact the analog functionality so if you have really dark switch stem colors like black and brown they don't do quite as well as others. Yellow seems to provide the best response in all the switches I've tested. You can also always swap out the stems and put them in the existing enclosures in case there is a specific switch type you want but doesn't come in a clear enclosure.
The all-in-one solution easy solution to desolder would be something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-8240-Vacuum-Desoldering-Iron/dp/B008DJRYIG/ref=zg_bs_8107034011_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Y32X8ETHGK7RK9VS30S9
You basically press the button down on the top, heat up the pins, press the button on the side and it sucks up the solder nice and clean. If it doesn't come up clean you sometimes need to apply solder back on with a soldering iron and then try to desolder again. The only real danger to messing up the PCB would be if you hold the desoldering iron for too long on the contact, but if you just let it melt the solder and you suck it up and should go pretty easily.
I don't like the plastic solder suckers, but there's one heated solder sucker which I've had good luck with.
The iron pushes you up $10 over but it's worth it, not sure of any $30 irons that are any good (but would be very happy to be corrected here).
If you spend a little more you can get a way better iron. The KSGER T12 is an amazing soldering station for the money, and is only $10-$20 more.
This one on Amazon has been recommended before. It's a desoldering pump with a heated end, so you can desolder with just one tool.
I had a good experience with a desoldering iron with integrated pump.
It looks like this: https://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-8240-Vacuum-Desoldering-Iron/dp/B008DJRYIG/ref=sr_1_23?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=desoldering&qid=1560419680&s=gateway&sr=8-23
The only problem is, that - if you desolder a whole board with it, the tube gets clogged up and you have to clean it with a rod of the correct size.
(Also: There wasn't any documentation on how to clean it/empty the pump. I then found one on youtube.)
>he hako is like $200 or something isnt it? I really dont desolder enough to justify that price tag.
Last week someone posted this as a good cheap option: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008DJRYIG
For future desolderings, buy a cheap desoldering iron. It makes all the difference in the world.
You could try one of these, it worked good for me. I removed a promicro using it.
I decided to get a desoldering iron which help a ton. This is the one I got. It wasn't very expensive but it works pretty well.
Next time I recommend using one of this instead of a solder sucker.
I use this. Works great.
If you are looking for a cheap solution you could get something like this: [link]
I use this for desoldering switches and it works really well and is cheap
If you really want different switches on a BW X TE, and still have some money left to spend then MAYBE you can buy a desoldering iron, switch holtites, and switches of your own choice. I said maybe because there's no guarantee that the switch holtites could fit just right into the BW X TE's PCB. Just to give a brief run down, holtites makes it so that you don't have to solder if you want to replace a switch. If you're willing to go through this route, I can help you, but I can't be held responsible if the holtites doesn't fit and you've already bought the holtites and desoldering iron, maybe even the switches.
I have the FX-888D - the adjustable temps etc are very nice.
I don't have a de-soldering station, but I was looking at this as an interim step, or this -- it's a manual pump on a soldering pen. I like the idea because my problem right now with the plastic pump I have is the fact that you have to be holding both the pump and the iron, which is difficult. It works, better than wick, but it's not good. An actual de-soldering station can get very expensive very quickly (like a good soldering station).
Edit: Ah to heck with it, $10 with prime, I ordered this I'll let you know how it goes.
I used a crappy hand pump I got from Amazon for $8. I'd give this one a try though.
As others have said, ADD solder. Also, big parts suck. You are going to have to get out your big iron, with a big tip. I am usually replacing parts on 30+ year old boards, not just salvaging. This means that pad damage is a No-Go. I will often clip the legs of ICs in order to remove them without damaging traces. Learning to test the ICs is something I'm getting better at so that I don't needlessly destroy or replace ICs.
I don't have a soldering pump, because I do fine for my purposes with a few other tools. My new favorite is this desoldering iron that resembles a solderpault. After that, I like this one with a good tip on it. For big stuff, I break out the big, 45W Fat tipped soldering iron and use a solder sucker to remove the solder.
That's an investment I'm not sure I'm ready to make.
Have you had any experience with the cheaper versions? ie: [link]