EE Tips Resources

Desoldering Components (EE Tip #118)

Desoldering components from a printed circuit board.
Written by Fergus Dixon

Every engineer and technician sooner or later faces the challenge of having to desolder a component. Sometimes the component can be a large transformer with 10 pins or a power chip with many connections, and desoldering tools are typically around the $1,000 mark and above.

Chip Quik is a solder-based alloy that stays molten for up to 30 seconds and makes desoldering any component very easy. The only drawback is that the cost of a 2´ length of Chip Quik is around $20. But a little experience can make this go a long way. Having some Chip Quik lying around in the workshop is reassuring for when that urgent job comes in.

Editor’s Note: This EE Tip was written by Fergus Dixon of Sydney, Australia. Dixon, who has written two articles and an essay for Circuit Cellar, runs Electronic System Design, a website set up to promote easy to use and inexpensive development kits. Click here to read his essay “The Future of Open-Source Hardware for Medical Devices.”


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Fergus Dixon ([email protected]) holds a BE from Sydney University. After working for 12 years in various fields such as packaging, mining, and medical and control systems, he set up his own company, SRI, to do custom electronic designs. After 14 years (and two Australian design marks), Fergus now runs several businesses including Electronic System Design and Shields for Arduino. He spends most of his spare time maintaining and improving the popular program “Simulator for Arduino.”

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