Hardware Temperamental USB port, quick questions

hippy dave

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Original model Switch, I guess I've pulled it out from under the bed by the charging cable too many times. The USB C port works when it works, for charging and data, but it cuts in and out. Used to be more occasional, now it's happening much more, to the point where it's a struggle to get a whole nsp transferred or whatever.

A quick googling shows that the USB port is on its own little board that can be replaced, do you reckon I need a new one, or just need the solder connections redoing? I gather it needs doing with hot air rather than a soldering iron, I've never done that before and don't have the gear, shitty hairdryers aside.

My Switch also has a SwitchMe modchip fitted (basically identical to the more common Trinket M0), had it fitted by mattytrog - will its connections to the USB pads get in the way of any of this?

Ta.
 

binkinator

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Original model Switch, I guess I've pulled it out from under the bed by the charging cable too many times. The USB C port works when it works, for charging and data, but it cuts in and out. Used to be more occasional, now it's happening much more, to the point where it's a struggle to get a whole nsp transferred or whatever.

A quick googling shows that the USB port is on its own little board that can be replaced, do you reckon I need a new one, or just need the solder connections redoing? I gather it needs doing with hot air rather than a soldering iron, I've never done that before and don't have the gear, shitty hairdryers aside.

My Switch also has a SwitchMe modchip fitted (basically identical to the more common Trinket M0), had it fitted by mattytrog - will its connections to the USB pads get in the way of any of this?

Ta.

I chased intermittent USB issues for several days. Maddening.

If @mattytrog installed it it I doubt the wires are too long (mine were on my M0 install and were generating crosstalk/noise). You could reflow it with a heat gun/hair dryer but you risk blowing capacitors all over the place with uncontrolled hot air and making things worse.

The connections from the SwitchMe might need to be moved a little if for instance the ground was tapped to the port (unlikely but possible.) The D+ and D- signal wire’s for to pads nearby but are well away from the port itself In the event you decide to take the plunge and replace it. All in all the MB side of the install for the USB connections are the easiest to solder.

Before I ran out and bought reflow gear I’m probably only going to use once I’d check the basics, run a toothbrush dipped in IPA inside the socket and let it dry, get a different USB cable helps as there won’t be wear patterns on the traces, that sort of thing. The sorts of things you’ve probably already thought of but worth mentioning it just the same.

Before I replaced I would try some flux on the visible row of pins and run a hot soldering iron over them…just enough to make them melt and then cool to solid connections again.

if you decide to replace there are two rows of connectors and you’re going to need some controllable hot air to get everything to flow properly…a bit more involved.
 
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hippy dave

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I chased intermittent USB issues for several days. Maddening.

If @mattytrog installed it it I doubt the wires are too long (mine were on my M0 install and were generating crosstalk/noise). You could reflow it with a heat gun/hair dryer but you risk blowing capacitors all over the place with uncontrolled hot air and making things worse.

The connections from the SwitchMe might need to be moved a little if for instance the ground was tapped to the port (unlikely but possible.) The D+ and D- signal wire’s for to pads nearby but are well away from the port itself In the event you decide to take the plunge and replace it. All in all the MB side of the install for the USB connections are the easiest to solder.

Before I ran out and bought reflow gear I’m probably only going to use once I’d check the basics, run a toothbrush dipped in IPA inside the socket and let it dry, get a different USB cable helps as there won’t be wear patterns on the traces, that sort of thing. The sorts of things you’ve probably already thought of but worth mentioning it just the same.

Before I replaced I would try some flux on the visible row of pins and run a hot soldering iron over them…just enough to make them melt and then cool to solid connections again.

if you decide to replace there are two rows of connectors and you’re going to need some controllable hot air to get everything to flow properly…a bit more involved.
Thank you, lots of good info and tips. Sounds like it could be worth my time to look for any simple solutions myself, and if that doesn't work out I might just pay someone to repair/replace.
 
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FAST6191

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Drag soldering if it is just for a reflow job is doable. I would prefer hot air, and might even go back to base to get it should such a task come up when out in the field but it is within reason. If you only have a paint stripper or something you can go get a bit of tin foil and slice it accordingly such that air goes where it needs to. Hairdryer is not going to do anything here for you (even holding it close and for long enough that creep works in your favour it is only going to be a very temporary at very best fix -- soldering, paint stripper or similar temps tool being what you want for this.
That said I am not sure this is really a reflow job. I would probably point the finger at whatever mechanical aspects are in the middle of the connector being the issue which lands us in replacement world. Could a replacement of this be done with an iron? Yes, however I consider myself pretty hot with such a thing and it would want to be a "need it for 20 minutes to get data off" or "we are trapped in deepest darkest and that is what will call in our rescue" type scenarios.

Video because why not
 

hippy dave

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Drag soldering if it is just for a reflow job is doable. I would prefer hot air, and might even go back to base to get it should such a task come up when out in the field but it is within reason. If you only have a paint stripper or something you can go get a bit of tin foil and slice it accordingly such that air goes where it needs to. Hairdryer is not going to do anything here for you (even holding it close and for long enough that creep works in your favour it is only going to be a very temporary at very best fix -- soldering, paint stripper or similar temps tool being what you want for this.
That said I am not sure this is really a reflow job. I would probably point the finger at whatever mechanical aspects are in the middle of the connector being the issue which lands us in replacement world. Could a replacement of this be done with an iron? Yes, however I consider myself pretty hot with such a thing and it would want to be a "need it for 20 minutes to get data off" or "we are trapped in deepest darkest and that is what will call in our rescue" type scenarios.

Video because why not
Thanks! Will keep the shitty hairdryer away from it, I pinkie promise. Still weighing up whether to go in looking for simple solutions or just pay someone and be done with it.
 
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