NeoMatrix repair (part 1)

I had an email from Proto-Pic earlier saying that my WS2812 5050 RGB LEDs for repairing a couple of the Adafruit NeoMatrix panels that I broke were on the way. Result! Shame they’re being posted to work and it’s the weekend but I’ll get them soon enough.

Here are the two victims of my stupidity:

In need of repair

In need of repair

As you can see, it’s all surface mount stuff so hot air is about the only practical way I can attempt to remove the failed LED on each board. I bought some Kapton tape a while ago whilst I was randomly shopping at the eBay store of one of the many Chinese sellers 🙂

Ready for the "off"

Ready for the “off”

I was trying to protect the capacitor (these are 10pF ones according to my meter) and make it so I could just heat the broken LED. Fitting the tape was easy – it took a couple of goes until I was happy with it…

One down, one to go...

One down, one to go…

That wasn’t too hard although, as ever, I was probably a bit tentative with the first one. There doesn’t seem to be any damage to the pads – everything is still connected to the rest of the board so I think it’s been successful. I was more confident with the second one so it came off a lot quicker and easier. The secret seems to be not to be afraid of getting stuff really hot – that is what you are trying to do and the Kapton tape protects all the other stuff.

Job jobbed

Job jobbed

That’s both of them done then. Will clean up some of the old solder before I fit the new chips but, with a bit of luck, I should then have 5 of these boards all up and running for a 40 x 8 pixel Xmas display 🙂

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