Activity Board power switch

Just curious if anyone has replaced the power switch on an Activity board? Wondering how hard it is to remove and re-solder. Over time, I've purchased 7 Activitybots for a club/class at my daughter's school and two of them have the little plastic tab on the power switch broken now.
Thanks for any ideas or tips if anyone's done this.

Comments

  • 14 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,240
    edited October 7 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've had to do this a couple times. Patience is a virtue here! Try melting the solder on each pin in rotation, along with using a gentle pulling force to lift the switch a little at each step. Once the switch has been lifted a little from the PCB, use side-cutters between the switch and PCB to free it. Then desolder and remove the leads one at a time. Finally, use a vacuum solder sucker to open the holes so the new switch can be inserted.

    Do you have replacement switches? DigiKey carries them.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Hi Phil, thanks for the great step by step! I hadn't sourced replacement switches yet, so thanks for letting me know where to get them as well. :)
  • Here's a link to the replacement switch:

    https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=ckn9543-nd

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • DrPop,

    Try calling Parallax Tech Support for help with this.
  • I'm happy to replace these boards for you.

    Contact me at kgracey@parallax.com and we'll cross-ship a couple of PABs under an RMA number.

    Thanks,

    Ken Gracey
  • Hi Ken, I'm simply amazed at that level of customer service. There are no other words for it. I will gladly be in touch about the boards, that is extremely generous of you, but I don't think it's in any way Parallax's fault. The Activity Boards are solid and well built overall. It's just you know how kids are... :innocent:
  • DrPop,
    FWIW This is the way Parallax does business. That's why we love Parallax :)
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,268
    edited October 10 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Use cheap air rework station (see sparcfun). Heat carefully and remove slowly so you don't lift traces and pads. Best way I have found to minimize risk to the board.
    Ordnung ist das halbe Leben....
    Ich lebe in der anderen Hälfte
  • DrProp
    Just contact Ken and get them replaced, easypeasy and why we love Parallax!
    Jim
  • Thank you all, I will send a note to Ken, and I'll look at that air rework station as well for future projects.
  • I don't have an air rework station, just the trusty solder sucker, and solder braid.
    Not only have I built tons of pcbs, including SMT 0402 and 0.5mm pitch ICs, but I don't damage boards either.

    If you are removing an old component, see if you can break it down without putting pressure on the pcb. Then you can remove a pin at a time. Helps to have some form of pcb vice so you can heat the solder on one side while pulling the pin on the other side with tiny pliers. Make sure there is plenty of solder on the pin so it heats quickly. Don't keep heat on the pcb any longer than absolutely necessary. Once the pins are out, solder and then suck the hole clean. Here is where the solder sucker on the opposite side helps, or solder braid on the same side as the iron.

    Small pliers and cutters are your friend, as is solder flux when resoldering.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,268
    edited October 13 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Before the cheap Auyuoi (that wants to think itself an ) air rework station, the method Cluso99 describes was my goto. My assumption was that if I suspected a chip enough to remove it, then do it, but cause no harm to the board. Dips were easy, cut each leg at the body and tweezers and soldering iron got the leg and sucker or good quality wick got the rest. Flat packs with leads not so easy, but with care doable. But with multilevel boards and heavy power and ground layers, I had to preheat the area to enable the pin to get hot enough to remove safely. Took a bit of heat for pushing for it, but the $8000usd saved on two multilayer boards took care of that. Of course, never could get them to spring for a zephtronics system. (Preheater, stand, hot air pencil, etc) just a bit more costly tHan the Auyuoi unit. There are some things that heating all connections at the same time is the best way to do it safely.
    Ordnung ist das halbe Leben....
    Ich lebe in der anderen Hälfte
  • Hey DrPop- just making sure we got this issue addressed for you today. I usually pass it to our team and they take care of it, without checking back and seeing that we got it wrapped up.

    Ken Gracey
  • Thank you all for the repair tips, and special thanks to you, Mr. Gracey. Your team is incredibly efficient! Replacement boards on the way and a tracking number emailed within an hour of giving them my address.
    Hard to show in a forum post how impressed I am with this experience, but your customer care is real and has me looking forward to coming back for more bots and accessories in the future.
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