- It’s better not to burn a board out in the first place. Shut off the power to the power supply unit before messing with the wires to your 3D printer.
- If you have to burn out a part, try to make it one near the edge of the board.
- If you have to burn out a part and it’s not near the edge, try to make it one that’s not near tall parts.
- When trying to desolder a part, you cannot move too slowly, re-check your work too much, or be too gentle.
- When desoldering or resoldering a surface mount electronic part, the magnifying lens headgear is super helpful.
- Keep a toothpick handy to wipe away any solder paste between electronic leads or to apply extra solder paste to the joints.
- Solder paste gets everywhere, plan accordingly.
- Rubbing the soldering wick very slightly with the soldering iron seems to help. 1
- When you think you’re all done, check your work by testing continuity between the top of a lead that touches the electronic part and the pad where the lead is (hopefully) soldered. If there’s no continuity, touch the solder join again with the soldering iron. Retest. If still no continuity, add a little solder paste with a tooth pick, wipe away any excess with another clean toothpick, touch with the soldering iron, and retest. Repeat this until there’s a connection.
- When you think you’re all done, check your work by testing each lead against each adjacent lead. If there’s a connection between two leads, you might have a solder bridge between them. I don’t think I ran into this problem, but if I had I would have tried peering into/underneath the part with the magnifying headgear, trying to wipe or break the bridge with a toothpick, then trying to heat the two leads and poking at the bridge and hoping it broke. 2 Please leave a comment on how you would fix this problem.
- I also tested the extruder board very very slowly. With the power off to the entire 3D printer and with the extruder board disconnected, I connected just the thermistor, plugged in the extruder board, and turned on the MakerBot. Success. I then powered down and disconnected the extruder board. I then connected the leads to the power resistors/heater, reconnected everything, then turned it back on. I was still getting a reading from the thermistor, so in the control panel for ReplicatorG I set the temperature for 5 degrees higher than what it was registering. When I saw the temperature climb, I shut everything down and disconnected the extruder board again. Then I connected the motor wires, connected the extruder board, then powered it all up. 3 Yay!
The extruder board has two sets of terminals where the motor connects and two sets of fiddly bits (part number “A3949SLBT”) called H Bridges by people who know what they’re talking about. Theoretically there’s a way to switch H bridges just in the firmware. Maybe the next firmware/ReplicatorG update will have such a feature?
Stay tuned for how I repaired my extruder board!
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