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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: bkenobi on February 12, 2018, 06:19:42 PM

Title: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 12, 2018, 06:19:42 PM
I have a device that uses a PCB mounted button.  The button has become finicky recently and only works when pressed at certain angles. I don't see any numbers on it, so I'm not sure how to source a replacement.  I've vontacted the manufacturer, but who knows if they will help.  Any suggestions on how to gind a 1 for 1 replacement?
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 12, 2018, 06:40:43 PM
By "button" are your referring to an actual pushbutton switch or one of those little PCB dimples?  If an actual pushbutton switch, Mouser should have something similar if not an exact replacement.

I may be able to help more if you provide a photo of the actual switch.

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 12, 2018, 06:51:36 PM
Yes, it's a soldered on pushbutton not a dimple.  I can post a picture, but wasn't sure if certain dimensions would help, too.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 12, 2018, 07:19:40 PM
A photo may be sufficient.  You could also go to mouser.com, search for pushbutton switches, and try to narrow down from the 20K choices by using the filter chart.

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 12, 2018, 08:12:12 PM
4 solder points 90 degree push button
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 13, 2018, 04:08:16 AM
Thanks for the photos.  That is a strange one.

After narrowing down to about 600 pushbutton switches with through-hole mounting, I went through 23 pages and didn't find an exact match.  Mouser has perhaps the best inventory of electronic components in the industry.  They supply almost all the components I use for the XTB products.  If they don't have it, I'm afraid it may be very difficult to find.  I had a similar problem with a Panasonic receiver years ago and bought a non-working one on eBay to cannibalize.

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 13, 2018, 04:35:17 AM
When reviewing the pictures, I noticed a couple number "Y8" and "43" that weren't visible without the flash.  I tried searching for them hoping I'd locate a manufacturer code, but found nothing.

I got an email from the vendor and today they are claiming that the unit has a lifetime warranty on parts but the labor is not covered.  Yesterday they told me that I'd be out up to the cost of the module ($165 plus shipping and labor) for a unit I paid around $250 for.  Under that scenario, finding a push button was a no-brainier.  If they are actually going to cover the parts cost, then it's probably worth it to wait the 2 weeks for them to fix it.  That said, shipping a push button from china or Mouser is probably less expensive than domestic shipping for this thing due to size.   :o
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 13, 2018, 04:45:27 AM
Digikey!

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/panasonic-electronic-components/EVQ-PF003M/P10877S-ND/286362

Mouser too, once I searched for "tactile switch" instead of "pushbutton switch".

https://www.mouser.com/Electromechanical/Switches/Tactile-Switches/_/N-5g2m?P=1z0z63xZ1z0yzk0Z1z0z2y5

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 13, 2018, 05:00:51 AM
That looks really close.  I found it on Mouser, too.  When I went up a level on Mouser, I was able to filter and "right angle" was an option.  Adding a couple other filters, there are 79 options of which a handful look physically close.  I'll call the vendor this morning, but I really appreciate your help finding a cost effective alternative!

Come to think of it, I think I ordered a bunch of buttons from either MCM or AllElectronics a few years ago.  Some of the buttons had really long buttons, but I wonder if there isn't one there that would work.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 13, 2018, 06:44:34 AM
Well, I think I'll be replacing the button.  The vendor wants $79-99 for "inspection and diagnostics fee".  The module costs $165 and the whole thing is $260.  They really know how to make money on a faulty $0.30 button!   B:(
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 05:03:13 AM
I opened the module and tested the button.  It was definitely intermittently working.  I used a jumper and the module worked perfectly.  So, I went to remove it and had all kind of difficulties due to my trusty aging Radioshack desoldering iron https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-45-watt-desoldering-iron (https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-45-watt-desoldering-iron).  Lately, the only way I can get it to work is to use my solder iron to melt the existing solder and sometimes even apply more new solder.  Then the desolder iron sometimes will get a good suction and clean things up.  I replaced the tip years ago and it helped for a while, but RS isn't local anymore.  Any recommendations on a new desolder solution?

Due to these issues, I ended up having to cut the button off and work at removing the remaining pins being careful not to overheat the traces or pads.  I eventually had a pin stuck and had to use a precision dremel bit https://www.rockcliffmachine.com/product/micro-drill-bit-10-pc-set/ (https://www.rockcliffmachine.com/product/micro-drill-bit-10-pc-set/) to open the hole.

Ironically, after all that, the 9v snap lead broke so now I have to fix that (easy fix and I have the part).   B:(
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: Noam on February 14, 2018, 05:20:03 AM
Any recommendations on a new desolder solution?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00068IJSG
This one looks very similar to the Radio Shack one I have (my second one - the first RS one died, too)

--Noam
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 05:27:55 AM
That looks exactly like the RS model.  Think someone bought them from the same vendor?  I mean, even the triangle shape of the handle looks the same.

I looked at tips for that unit and they are compatible with the RS model according to Amazon reviews.  I may just buy a couple tips for now.  What I would really like to do is get a rework station, but they seem to be in the $$$ entry point.  I found one on Amazon/ebay for around $60 but I'm skeptical what kind of quality one can get for a solder and air rework station.  I don't believe it has desolder, but it did come up under that search so not sure.  This one is available in other brand names for the same price, too.

https://www.amazon.com/F2C-862d-Soldering-Station-Display/dp/B013DQQ4XO (https://www.amazon.com/F2C-862d-Soldering-Station-Display/dp/B013DQQ4XO)
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: Noam on February 14, 2018, 05:31:33 AM
That looks exactly like the RS model.  Think someone bought them from the same vendor?  I mean, even the triangle shape of the handle looks the same.

I looked at tips for that unit and they are compatible with the RS model according to Amazon reviews.  I may just buy a couple tips for now.  What I would really like to do is get a rework station, but they seem to be in the $$$ entry point.  I found one on Amazon/ebay for around $60 but I'm skeptical what kind of quality one can get for a solder and air rework station.  I don't believe it has desolder, but it did come up under that search so not sure.  This one is available in other brand names for the same price, too.

https://www.amazon.com/F2C-862d-Soldering-Station-Display/dp/B013DQQ4XO (https://www.amazon.com/F2C-862d-Soldering-Station-Display/dp/B013DQQ4XO)
Yeah, that's what I thought when I saw it.
I saw a hack online a while back to turn the RS desoldering iron into a reflow iron. It involved stuffing some copper mesh (like from a desoldering braid or pot scrubber) in the tip of the iron to increase surface area, and then connecting an aquarium pump to blow through the tip. The suggestion was to use silicone tubing, at least for the last few inches connecting to the iron, so it won't melt. The copper mesh in the tip helps increase heat transfer and reduce heat loss from the flowing air.
I never tried it myself, but it sounds like a cool idea.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 05:34:51 AM
For reference, my current setup isn't fancy but it has been functional to date.  I have a Weller WLC100 solder station http://www.weller-toolsus.com/weller-wlc100-solder-station-40w-120v-w-st3-tip.html (http://www.weller-toolsus.com/weller-wlc100-solder-station-40w-120v-w-st3-tip.html) and a RS desolder iron https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-45-watt-desoldering-iron (https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-45-watt-desoldering-iron).  Like I said, I like the soldering iron but I've only ever had this one and the garbage RS iron https://www.radioshack.com/products/5-piece-basic-soldering-set (https://www.radioshack.com/products/5-piece-basic-soldering-set).

I would like to get something that's better than the weller and ideally had temperature control as well as air and desolder.  These don't have to be a single unit, but they need to be functionally better and looking more professional would be nice too.  This is a multi-use space, so I have to move my soldering equipment and DC power supply to do other things hence a single controller would be nice.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: Knightrider on February 14, 2018, 05:55:56 AM
I use the braid/wick.  Seems like every vacuum bulb I have ever had wears out.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 06:00:53 AM
I have RS solder wick and have not one time been successful in anything other than solderimg the wick to the joint.  I have successfully thrown my roll of wick quite a few times though!
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 14, 2018, 06:08:10 AM
Any recommendations on a new desolder solution?

I've been using a desoldering pump for years.  Occasionally it has to be cleaned and lubricated, and the tip replaced.

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/aven-tools/17535/243-1182-ND/1992576

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 06:33:49 AM
So the pump works with any heat source (iron, air gun, etc)?  Doesn't the tip melt?  And for $5, do you replace when full or can it be emptied?  I saw a pro level $400+ unit that filled a disposable chamber (and the chamber probably cost more than the RS one I use today).
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: dhouston on February 14, 2018, 06:40:53 AM
I've used what Jeff has and I've used the fancy-smancy desoldering station. These days I prefer...

https://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-8240-Vacuum-Desoldering-Iron/dp/B008DJRYIG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1518630489&sr=8-6&keywords=desoldering+iron (https://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-8240-Vacuum-Desoldering-Iron/dp/B008DJRYIG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1518630489&sr=8-6&keywords=desoldering+iron)
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: JeffVolp on February 14, 2018, 07:18:56 AM
So the pump works with any heat source (iron, air gun, etc)?  Doesn't the tip melt?  And for $5, do you replace when full or can it be emptied?

Yes, it works with anything that melts the solder.  The tip doesn't "melt" but it gradually deteriorates with use.  A new tip is about a buck.  It opens to dump out solder and apply a little lubrication.

Just one caution.  The ones we used back at the lab were identical except they had a metal plunger.  That lasted forever.  The plastic plunger on the cheaper one can snap if not pushed straight in.  So I keep a couple of spares in case I snap one in the middle of a rework job.

Jeff
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: dave w on February 14, 2018, 07:35:24 AM
My old Weller WTCP started getting intermittent with wires getting brittle in the handle
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Weller-W-TCP-Controlled-Output-Soldering-Station-Solder-Iron-Stand-Solder/282840728337?hash=item41da9f0311:g:oYIAAOSwjXNafK6S
So  I just bought this off Ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Iron-Station-X-Tronic-Model-4010-XR3-75-Watt-Digital-LED-Display/112629323482?epid=28011992070&hash=item1a393b16da:g:fHoAAOSwhDBZ~env
It is not bad. Temp controlled, comes with one tip, small enough for SMDs and a solder sucker, for forty bucks. The good news is, it can use Hakko tips.
 https://www.ebay.com/p/10pcs-Solder-Screwdriver-Tip-900m-t-for-Hakko-Soldering-Rework-Station-Tool-Hot/2126911245?iid=302188145094&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D44040%26meid%3Dec1904a717924a3da84ca0a3af06d0c3%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D181633425710%26itm%3D302188145094&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Buttons
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ocr-TM-Tactile-Push-Button-Switch-Micro-Momentary-10Value-200PCS-Tact-Assortment/162633592975?epid=3006174518&hash=item25ddb7b08f:g:W~oAAOSw~gFZjCYE
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 08:33:18 AM
I'm sure the air gun is overkill, but it seems it could be multipurpose as heat shrink melter, desolder helper, smd add/remove, dip remover, etc).  I don't think it will get as much use as the soldering iron or desoldering iron.  I am just concerned that it will be dangerous due to quality and fire risk.  My work bench is in the basement away from my living areas so when not in use, it's not monitored.  I currwntly get paranoid about fire risk, so I put the irons on the concrete floor after use to cool.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: brobin on February 14, 2018, 10:00:20 AM
When I was a volunteer at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor I had a project where I needed to replace 5 or 6 leaking caps on each of 18 video boards.  The boards had been discontinued and the Flight Sim software running on WIN XP boxes wouldn't play nicely with any others.  I tried both a bulb and vacuum desoldering tools that I had occasionally used before but I got the best and fastest result using soldering wick.  The key to using the wick is to press it against the joint with the tip and while slowly pulling the wick as it collects the solder. 
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: Brian H on February 14, 2018, 11:29:08 AM
I was very lucky. When I worked for a Motorola repair shop.
We had a Pace desoldering machine. Step on the peddle after heating and it sucked the pads clean.
Don't do enough to purchasing one for myself.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 11:31:31 AM
I had 2 thoughts on the problem with my desoldering iron and maybe a reason why the tips tend to fail...maybe.

1) Type of solder.  I use solder sourced from my local distributor ages ago (I bought a huge roll and haven't gone through it yet).  I don't have it in front of me, but I know some solder is led free and some has led.  Is one type worse for irons (both solder and desolder)?

2) I never use flux though I know it's something that is supposed to be in everyone's kit.  If I use the tip without flux, am I "gunking up" the through hole with solder or leaving burned residue on it that keeps the tip from properly transferring heat? 

The issue seems to be that the tip never gets hot enough to melt the joint and I have to use my soldering iron to heat up the joint and then quickly use the pump on the desoldering iron before the puddle solidifies.  Last time I replaced the tip, things went back to new IIRC.  I watched a video that showed how flux "fills up" the solder wick and keeps new solder from being absorbed.  Also, a dry iron won't start the wicking action.
Title: Re: button replacement options
Post by: bkenobi on February 14, 2018, 05:47:58 PM
I'll close out the original topic first.  I teplaced the 9v battery lead and found the module still wouldn't power on (that's what the button was for).  I removed the button and checked the traces.  I found that there was probably a thru hole solder sleeve (not sure that's the right nomenclature).  When I drilled out the stuck pin I removed the sleeve which isolated the 2 sides of the board.  Turns out, there was a trace under the button that wasn't making contact.  After adding a jumper wire, all is working again!

As for the desolder iron, I removed the tip and cleaned it with my dremel.  It had a ton of funk on the inside.  It appears to be copper and now that it's clean it works like new again.

I am still very interested in a better doldering iron/air station.  Is there a price point that would get me out of the chinese garbage range and into the acceptable hobbyist range? I simply cannot justify the pro range, so I just want quality but flash isn't needed.