- on Miscellaneous Electronics
- Published in issue 2/2000 on page 0
a craft in its own right
We can assume that the majority of our readers have sufficiently mastered the noble art of soldering. However, the art of unsoldering already soldered components, or desoldering, is something else. Even rather experienced solder artists often prove to be extremely clumsy in this area. They go about it the wrong way, and lacking both patience and the right touch, they tend to mess around until they have ruined not only the component but also the printed circuit board.PUMPING OR SUCKING?The only good way to desolder is to patiently remove all of the solder from the points where the component is attached to the circuit board. This can be done using a special ‘solder-sucker’ soldering iron, a vacuum pump or desoldering braid.Of these various options, the vacuum pump and the special soldering iron may seem to be the most convenient at first glance, but in practice this is not so. The nozzles of these tools are easily clogged, and the sucking action is not always perfect. If you use a separate pump, you have to heat the solder joint quite strongly, which is in itself risky. Even then you have to quickly switch between the soldering iron and the pump, since otherwise the solder will cool down and become hard again.