How to: Nintendo Switch Dock LED Swap Mod

Discussion in 'Switch - Tutorials' started by Noobly300, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    This mod is a fun little thing I decided to do since I got bored doing nothing waiting on my car from a dealer. If requested I can do a video to help those who need a visual on how to do this fun mod!! If you got any questions I am more than happy to help with anything, just feel free to message me!

    I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU DAMAGE YOUR DOCK!!
    DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND IF YOU HAVE THE CAPABILITY AND TOOLS TO DO IT!!


    This shouldn't take more than 40 minutes if you have skill with using a soldering iron and tiny components. But be sure to know what you're doing and know that you need to do everything with patience!

    Tools I used for this
    :
    • Soldering Iron FINE TIP (Don't use anything below 30 watt!! Or at least buy from a reputable brand)
    • Solder and Soldering Flux (For a project as small as this I REALLY RECOMMEND GETTING FLUX!!! HELPS A LOT!!)
    • SMD LEDs (0603 or 0805)
    • IC Tweezers (These CAN be optional but they help out a lot keeping the LEDs in place)
    • Soldering Hand Helpers. Either one of these or this one which I own, seriously works great. (Depending on how good your eyesight is, I recommend getting something like this)
    • Some Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the work area before you start
    • A #00 Phillips head screwdriver and a #00 Tri-Wing screwdriver
    Guide On How to Disassemble Dock

    Here is the stock green LED which is fine, except it gets boring after awhile.
    20180604_034751.

    Now this blue color that I swapped it out for, which really looks appealing and great. Without a skin or stickers on the dock it really looks good on the gray plastic. 20180604_045521.

    When you disassemble the dock, you're going to want to get to this area in which the PCB where the LED is on. Just slide it out and don't force it. You have to move up the USB-C port assembly since it's under it.
    20180604_040816.

    The LED has to be removed, to remove it just build a tiny solder pool on the tip of your soldering iron, and then drag it back and forth between the
    Anode and Cathode of the LED until it starts moving and it gets removed. 20180604_042208.

    Once you remove the LED, be EXTREMELY careful and take out the colored LED of your choice you bought and remove it from it's packaging since it's super tiny and easy to lose. Here is the packaging it comes in:
    20180604_043432.
    Take note of the polarity of the LED and align it to match the Anode (Positive) and the Cathode (Negative) the bottom side of the LED has to match up with the symbol on the PCB. Here is a picture of what polarity symbol your LED may be.
    smdledpolarity.

    And here is the symbol on the PCB, it has to be soldered to correctly and not reversed or you may risk causing a short.
    SMD_LED_Polarity_165x137.

    Once you solder it on, it should look something like this.
    BE EXTRA SURE IT'S SOLDERED ON CAREFULLY AND CLEAN THE AREA WITH ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL IN CASE THERE WERE ANY SOLDER SPLASHES.
    20180604_043717.

    The end result should look clean and neat. If you're comfortable with how it turned out, reassemble the dock correctly and test the dock out by plugging it back into the wall. When you plug it in, there should be a quick flash of light and the colored LED you soldered on will working correctly. You can slide your Switch in at this point and enjoy your new different colored dock!!
    AGAIN I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOUR DOCK!! THIS IS SAFE TO DO IF YOU DO EVERYTHING CAREFULLY AND NEATLY!
    Note: This is my first "tutorial" that I wanted to share with everyone else, so I apologize in advance if I did anything that doesn't align with forum guidelines and if I get notified about it I'll be more than happy to fix it.
     
    Ninn, McWhiters9511, Devin and 8 others like this.
  2. Taffy

    Taffy If specified, this will replace the title that...

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    Tiny soldering guy is gonna go back in buisiness!

    ...if only I had my soldering iron.

    I'd love to see somebody add a rainbow led, I don't care how I just want a rainbow light dock :D


    nice writeup :D
     
  3. FierceDeityLinkMask

    FierceDeityLinkMask GbaTemp's Official Deity

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    Somebody better get Tiny Soldering Guy in on this. :grog::grog:
     
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  4. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    Haha, I'm new to the forum so I didnt know who Tiny Soldering Guy is. But a quick search and I find he's a reputable guy with a soldering services. I don't mean to step on his shoes or anything but if I am persuaded I'd be more than happy to take requests for soldering jobs on nintendo consoles. I've done over 10 gamecubes (one of which I kept and installed a Gamecube Plutollx board), three 360 consoles, and 4 of the gamecubes of which I sold as a sort of "custom" job. Xeno Chip + some LED mods. Here's one I sold recently.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. FierceDeityLinkMask

    FierceDeityLinkMask GbaTemp's Official Deity

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    You're taking all the fun out of this... also you're better off without Tiny Soldering Guy. Trust me, I'd go with you over tiny soldering guy.
     
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  6. SirNapkin1334

    SirNapkin1334 Renound Aritst

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    Crap Mountain
    That blue light looks really cool. Good tut.
     
  7. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    Haha I appreciate that a lot thanks! You have no idea how much it means to me! I was trying to play on with what everyone keep saying about him and his (I guess?) catchphrase. But I try to make a fair price when I sell on my eBay page or other platforms that help me keep soldering as a hobby.
     
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  8. StarGazerTom

    StarGazerTom GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Feb 2, 2015
    That hot purple led on the gamecube, gorgeous.

    Nice and simple little guide. Take my like!
     
  9. FierceDeityLinkMask

    FierceDeityLinkMask GbaTemp's Official Deity

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    I see where you're coming from. Just a note, the "Tiny Soldering Guy" meme isn't a put down to people coming on the forum offering their services. Rather just that one nut. Basically he tried to take advantage of people with his prices, jumped the gun by offering his services before team xecuter or fusee gelee even unveiled their mod, and generally didn't respond well to other people. Doing one of these things doesn't give you a good look but he did all three at the same time. He became a joke pretty quickly. He was even referenced in the fusee gelee faq. https://www.ktemkin.com/faq-fusee-gelee/

    "No tiny soldering required." LuL.
     
  10. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    Haha I see, I got the abridged version of his story pretty well explained by you then. But good to know the story so maybe I can refrain from doing the same if I realize what im doing sometimes online when speaking.
     
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  11. FierceDeityLinkMask

    FierceDeityLinkMask GbaTemp's Official Deity

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    Yeah, the guy tried to get a head-start on his "business" which is completely understandable. He really just failed because it all came down to terrible PR and absurd prices. One poster put it nicely.
    "Yeah well but charging already 100$ for a unknown soldering chip with 0 info about it and specially in the hacking section of switch is dumb."
    Not to mention he tried to do this outside of the trading area for an advantage. Despite according too his own post being a lurker here for 2 years.

    Back to your post though, it looks extremely well done. I might just need a tiny soldering guy for this in the near future.
     
    Noobly300 likes this.
  12. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular

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    Neat I've done a lot of smd soldering on the clocks and heater controls in my car.


    My only recommendation to the guide.
    would be use a chisel tip & clean the removed led pad area with desoldering braid before adding fresh solder it'll make placement of the new smd loads easier also low heat as to not damage the smd.

    How was the disassembly of the dock? Simple enough or rage enducing
     
  13. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! Im always looking to learn! Surprisingly its just a couple screws. Nothing really on the level of dissassembling a phone. Basically like taking apart a gameboy.
    And I'm not one to teach about soldering to be honest, since I've had my fair share of mess ups. But in my experience, THT seems to work best with a chisel tips. And SMD I've had better luck with fine tips. But I have a Hakko FX-601 and I set the temperature to 200° celsius when it comes to SMD. And you are totally right about the desoldering braid! It helps keep the contact pads flat however depending on how good you're able to work on it a desoldering braid may not be needed.
     
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  14. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular

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    Mistakes are how we learn, don't worry done my fair share too I always find old solder to be harder to work with, plus I'm pretty sure the new stuff is lead free I prefer lead based solder as do most people.

    Still excellent write up I'll look into my own dock soon
     
  15. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    Apr 23, 2017
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    If you're cool with sharing the results I'd like to see the end result! I use rosin core 60/40 solder, that lead helps out a lot. And don't get me started on the soldering flux! But goodluck my guy, I'm glad I sort of inspired you to spice up your dick and make it unique!
     
  16. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular

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    Will do I think I have some UV(purple) smds I'll post up once complete
     
  17. SomeGamer

    SomeGamer GBAtemp Guru

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    Even the Switch dock can't escape the RGB LED "gaming" craze, huh? Nice work! (WhiteMaze, quick, add Gaming Gaming Game Console Dock to that comic!)
     
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  18. Taffy

    Taffy If specified, this will replace the title that...

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    Wait...oh hey the images finally loaded.

    Why do we have to use an smd LED for this? Couldn't we just solder a normal-sized LED to the existing wires, granted we could make it fit?

    like the bulb-shaped leds. not led lightbulbs...you know what I'm talking about right
     
  19. Noobly300
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    Noobly300 Member

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    I'm assuming you mean LED diodes. Well in theory, I guess they could work (I'm not too sure what voltage the led port operates at but its safe to assume its 3V, 3.5V or somewhere close), but I'm like 80% sure getting them to properly fit in a space like how tight it is would be a pain in the ass. Once I get some rainbow LEDs to do a video about I'll check with my multimeter what voltage is being outputted.
     
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  20. GotKrypto67

    GotKrypto67 Web developer and more

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    I ordered a bag of these. Though they're too big, and they don't work with the power supplied to the LED from the dock, I'm sure there are versions out there that do. I have these in multiple Gamecubes, certain areas of my Corsair case, and a few misc things around the house like my room fan, lol. They work really well, and its great that they're all-in-one instead of requiring an external controller.
     
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