Best way to repair the solder joints on the "EM8" of a GBA SP AGS-001

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by Mechageo, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Mechageo
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    Mechageo Member

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    I have a GBA SP that's not charging unless the power cord is held at an angle.
    It's my only SP and I've begun collecting GBC games and this is the best way to play them until I get a Retron 5.

    Anyway, I found a video which describes the issue as being a loose solder joint on the EM8 part, as detailed below:

    [​IMG]

    I took apart my SP and found that if I squeezed the EM8 piece, the system would charge normally.
    I then shielded the mainboard with tinfoil and blasted the EM8 piece with a hair dryer (Yes, I know it's not hot enough to melt the solder). While it was warm, the unit charged normally due to heat expansion, yay!

    So all I have to do is poke at the connection points for this EM8 piece with a microscopic soldering iron, right?

    Well, I don't own one of those.

    I'm now considering baking the mainboard in the oven at 425 for about 6 minutes. Is that overkill? Will it damage the plastic?

    Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Don't bake it in an oven as it will probably ruin lots of things, the dome switches on the buttons for one.
    You need either a hot air station ( http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-968A-Digital-Rework-Station/dp/B006FA481G/ being a cheap and cheerful one, a video here for another slightly more expensive (but still cheap) device and what it can be used for) or an infra red station (usually used more for BGA work and more expensive still, I would say don't do it for this). I highly recommend some kind of hot air station if you plan on doing electronics repair in the coming years, even screen replacements for phones benefit so much from mine.

    You might be able to do with with a tiny well tip soldering iron, or perhaps even a small spade tip one but it is not likely to be cheap/easy unless you already have the gear and know how to use it.

    Alternative. I am not sure what that part is. From looks it might just be a ferrite bead but do not quote me on that one. If it is (ferrite is mainly noise reduction and some kinds of transient voltage suppression) and you can deal without it then you can bypass it which you can do if you can otherwise solder that small.
     
  3. sandytf

    sandytf GBAtemp Regular

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    Can you provide a high resolution image of the portion of the board around the em8 part? If so, we might be able to provide repair approaches.
     
  4. Mechageo
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    Mechageo Member

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    [​IMG]
    This was the best I could do before my phone
    stopped focusing. It appears to be damaged because it is. I broke off part of the resin squeezing it with a metal tool.

    This didnt have an effect on how it behaved (Read my original description) so I dont think it's meaningfully damaged.

    Against your better judgement, I baked the board at 425 for 5 minutes with no adverse effects. I did this because I hadn't checked this thread for responses yet.
     
    Last edited by Mechageo, Jul 24, 2015
  5. Catastrophic

    Catastrophic Perfectly Normal

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    If you own a regular soldering iron then you might be able to wrap a sturdy wire around it and use the tip of said wire as a miniature solder tip. Not reliable but it may work for a simple reflow like this.
     
  6. Mechageo
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    Mechageo Member

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    I'm thinking about ordering one of these and putting a blob on each corner of the chip.

    Do you think that would work?
     
  7. Drud1995

    Drud1995 GBAtemp Regular

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    Like the others said, just get a soldering iron off of eBay or something as you can get them for under $6.

    Here is a link for a cheap one I found if needed: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-60W-IRO...me-Shop-Gun-/230804030251?hash=item35bcfe032b

    If it is hard to make a good connection, use a file to scratch off part of the silicon covering the copper connection between the chip and the rest of the board to bridge the connection issues on the underside.
     
  8. Jorpho

    Jorpho Newbie

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    Hello,

    Google brought me here. There seems to be a lot of talk around the Internet about repairing weak solder joints on a GBA SP, but there's little definitive information.

    My AGS-101 generally works perfectly fine and will happily charge – but squeezing the unit occasionally causes the system to switch off or reset, and the power light sometimes flickers from green to red. There is unfortunately no consistent pattern to indicate where the problem might lie.

    I've already tried re-soldering the two contact points on the battery connector, but that didn't help at all. What would be the most likely culprit? It wouldn't be a broken trace or something, would it? (I'm contemplating trying to do an inspection with a microscope.)
     
  9. Mechageo
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    Mechageo Member

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    Found this album on imgur that details someone repeatedly fixing this same issue: http://imgur.com/a/FjS2Z

    Thought I'd share it in case someone else finds this thread in the future.
     
    mumblyOMOD likes this.
  10. mumblyOMOD

    mumblyOMOD Newbie

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    I'm actually the person that made that imgur album. I got the information about the EM8 from the YouTube video in the original post. If anyone wants any additional information or advice about how to fix the EM8 issue, just let me know.