Thursday, January 24, 2008

Soldering &= Control Box Redux; // DC

Just repaired a crappy Western Digital(Although not as shit made as Maxtor) external hard drive, that happened to break itself when I was touching it. I refuse to say I broke it since the POS *never* had it's connections soldered for the USB plugin, instead it was a surface mount part that had 4 surrounding feet lightly soldered in place, on the main piece you repeatedly put force onto! I took the time to do it right(IE solder the actual connections), which was painful since the pins didn't stick out, they were instead underneath it, and that they were hair-pins. At least I learned alot from my repeated(It took me 6 tries till I was happy with it) attempts:
* It helps to place solder on the contact first then heat up the pin on top of the solder
* A light touch with the soldering tip, and then drag it along the contact seems to work the best
* A completely cleaned up soldering tip is the best thing at desoldering bridges between hair-pins

I also epoxied the fucker in place afterwards so it will never come loose again. Picture below, although there's nothing to see since the pins are in epoxy and underneath the actual plug-in:(UPDATE: The computer can't read the bastard, although I can hear it trying to spin, damnit)

Also I did take the effort/spend the $1 on spray paint to fix up my control box a little more for the solenoid lock. I did it outside on my balcony in a cardboard box, since I didn't want the neighbors seeing some random black electronic counter looking thing with wires sticking out sitting around ;)
Still not perfect due to the electrical tape covering the Dremel flaws I introduced by being to lazy to switch to a smaller cutting wheel, and the fact that it's crooked:

Last I never did put my pictures up of our latest downtown DC excursion for my family, so here they are(Barring anything with our faces):
Unsurprisingly only college aged kids were at the Colbert portrait, at least when we were there. We got there right at the opening of the Portrait Gallery(11:30) and there was a line within a few minutes in front of it.

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