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Author Topic: Replacing a decoder 6pin male connector  (Read 547 times)

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Offline NinOz

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Replacing a decoder 6pin male connector
« on: August 02, 2017, 08:13:37 AM »
This procedure will invalidate any warranty and is not guaranteed to work.
Outcome is dependent on personal skills and capabilities - use at own risk.

Repairing broken pin/s
Replacing straight pins with 90deg pins

Tools and Equipment:
Right angle pin header .05" / 1.27mm spacing, 6 pins
Small side nippers
Small flat file - jewellers size
Soldering iron - temp controlled preferred
Small soldering tip - <2mm size
Small vice or equivalent to hold decoder steady
Small magnifying glass -10x or better
Very strong lighting

CT Elektronik DCX77z used to illustrate procedure - soldering iron tip used

Remove the straight pins from the decoder using the soldering iron (mine was set at 250C), tinned with minimal solder remaining. 
A gentle wiping action starting at solder end of each pin toward the PCB edge should quickly and cleanly remove each pin leaving a small mound of solder on each pad.
Check that there are no solder bridges after removing pins.

Cut 6 pin length from the header pin block.  Pin ends which do not contain the plastic spacer block will be soldered to the PCB.  Trim these pins to a size to fit the solder pads on the PCB, generally 1 to 2 mm.

Determine which side of the trimmed pins are to be soldered for the required orientation of the decoder.  The orientation of the socket (which end is pin one) relative to the direction of the decoder when installed will determine whether the pins will be "up" or "down" relative to the pin solder pads.
Lightly tin the appropriate side of the pins.

Pin header used with side views of a single pin and a trimmed and tinned pin.

Clamp the decoder in a restraining device such that free access is available for soldering.  I prefer to clamp the decoder by the PCB edges in a small hobby vice rather than on the components.

Hold the pin header block in desired position (fingers, tape, wax, blutac, etc).  With a clean iron (freshly tinned and no blobs of solder) lightly touch one of the end pins to solder in position and anchor the block.  Check remaining pins are still in correct position.  Adjust soldered pin as necessary.  Solder opposite end pin in position, check all is well and solder remaining pins.

Using the small magnifying glass and a very strong light source, check all pins are correctly soldered and, most importantly, that there are no solder bridges between pins or between pins and components.  Also check that pins are not touching components or pads which they shouldn't.

Gently push the plastic block toward the bend in the pins.  Using the removed blanking plug, trim the new decoder pins to the same length as those on the blanking plug or to a size to suit the installation.
With a small file remove any burrs from the trimming process and chamfer the edges for ease of insertion.  The plastic block can be removed from the pins to reduce the installation height if required.  The decoder in the picture below could easily be lowered by a couple of mm if needed.

Finished item

Installed into Farish 64XX

Pop the decoder into a programming test rig to check all is operating correctly before running.

Apply appropriate medical remediation for any cuts, stabs or burns sustained during the process.

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Online Railwaygun

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Re: Replacing a decoder 6pin male connector
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 02:35:10 PM »
Or you can buy L-shaped decoders if your nerve fails you!


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Online njee20

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Re: Replacing a decoder 6pin male connector
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 02:49:53 PM »
Or something like a Zimo with very long (and flexible pins) can be bent by looking at it.

Still, it's another option if you need something as small as the DCX77.


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