Fixing broken pins on a ROM chip

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rubber_jonnie
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Fixing broken pins on a ROM chip

Post by rubber_jonnie »

Since this just happened to me, and also someone else on the Facebook Pages, I thought I'd do a quick fix guide for if you've broken a pin off your ROMs, or indeed any other chip.

In my case, it was the fact I had to remove a dual ROM setup, where the pins had been bent up, so they were not plugged in, and soldered to a switch.

Both ROM sets were like this, however one was recoverable, the other lost one pin off each of the HI and Low ROMs as below:
owie.jpg
owie.jpg (370.58 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

It isn't the end of the road, and is actually something you can recover from, even if it's multiple pins you're missing. You will need to solder here, or find someone who can.

The first stage is to tin the remaining portion of the leg of the pin, making it ready to accept its new pin. Just get a small blog of solder on the leg:
tinned.jpg
tinned.jpg (276.37 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

Next, pop the ROM into it's socket as though you were fitting it. Once fitted into the socket, find the leg you're repairing and using a small screwdriver, push it in slightly to make room for the wire:
ready_for_wire.jpg
ready_for_wire.jpg (377.01 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

Next to the leg of the chip, insert a piece of wire. I used long header strip pin, but as long as it's reasonably rigid, it will be fine:
ready_to_solder.jpg
ready_to_solder.jpg (386.4 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

Line the wire up with the centre of the leg, and solder it to the leg as below:
soldered_on_in_socket.jpg
soldered_on_in_socket.jpg (379.22 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

Very carefully, so you dont break any more pins (!!!), remove the ROM from the socket, to reveal your new pin:
soldered_on.jpg
soldered_on.jpg (277.66 KiB) Viewed 4979 times

Trim off the excess wire, and you're done. Carefully plug the ROM back into it's socket and you're ready to go.

I've used this method many times to recover damaged chips of all shapes and sizes, and it's certainly worth a stab, and will at least get you up and running until you can get a replacement, and will probably last the life of the chip.
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Re: Fixing broken pins on a ROM chip

Post by exxos »

:bravo: :goodpost:

Happens to me loads!
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: Fixing broken pins on a ROM chip

Post by Stimpy »

You wait until you have to fix an IC where the pin snaps off at the point it enters the plastic! :shock: :cry:
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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Fixing broken pins on a ROM chip

Post by rubber_jonnie »

Stimpy wrote: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:24 pm You wait until you have to fix an IC where the pin snaps off at the point it enters the plastic! :shock: :cry:
I have used this method to fix these too :)

It takes a bit more effort, in that you have to cut away some of the chip body and reveal the pin before you can solder, but it is doable.

However I usually only use that method as a temporary fix, as it is a lot weaker.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...
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