how to resolder tripath chip in T-amp? - diyAudio
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Old 19th September 2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default how to resolder tripath chip in T-amp?

I lent my T-amp to a job colleague, he returned it with a loose part wich happened to be the tripath chip, not less.

Since i am DIY illiterate I will sincerely appreciate your help:

1) Is it posible to resolder it to board? How, wich steps?
(I have a brand new, unused, soldering iron and I have found webpages on the basics of soldering/ desoldering).

2) As my first DIY project, I would like to perform the easiest&cheapest modifications:
- new housing & connections, as described on tnt-audio (http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/t-amp_tweaks_e.html). It looks easy.
- out with the volume pot (how to bridge? do you know any link with photographs?)
- change that input cap that spoils the sound: wich of three mods proposed by michael mardis is the easiest? (http://michael.mardis.com/sonic/inputmods.htm9) . I cannot understand wich one does what.

Sorry for my ignorance. Thanks for reading.
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Old 19th September 2007, 06:43 PM   #2
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Wow, hard to imagine what caused the chip to fall off.

Others may be better able to help you more with this, but I think the procedure will be just hold the chip in place, carefully tack down the corners and then go down the pins heating them up and making the connection. There's probable enough solder on there already, but use flux. There's a lot more detail about soldering chips on the 41hz web site: http://41hz.com

Reboxing is very straightforward.

I like the stealth mod, but all pretty much accomplish the same thing. It's easire to bridge the small caps if you don't remove them. Just use a fine single strand of wire, tack it to one side of the cap, then bend it around to the other end of the cap and tack that end down and trim off any excess.

Be aware that the newer boards are arranged differently, to the caps and resistors you have to deal with are in new positions. It's been discussed here, so look for it.

As for bypassing the pot, just look at the colored lines for each channel running to and from the pot. You can see where they go into and out of the pot. Just make the connection directly: jack > capacitor > board.

The input caps make a huge difference. Generally, a polyester film cap will give you the best sound--if you're the obsessive type you can make yourself crazy trying to decide. Search the site. There have been several capacitor comparisons.

Also well worth doing and not too hard is to replace the reservoir capacitor (C 10, I think) with a better grade of higher value. And adding additional capacitance is probably also worth doing. Again, search the forum. Theres been plenty of detail on all this.

Good luck,

--Buckapound
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Old 20th September 2007, 07:12 AM   #3
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I've been soldering professionally for 15 years and even I wouldn't attempt to resolder a tripath chip by hand with anything remotely resembling a standard soldering iron. You need hot air and flux or an incredibly fine and short tip in a professional compact soldering iron and the hands of a neurosurgeon.

You could take it to someone who fixes mobile phones. Resoldering a surface mount chip is not a good first soldering project. The difficulty level is like hopping on a 1000cc motorbike when you've never been in a bicycle before. It's going to end in tears.

I doubt the chip fell off without any damage to the board.

Sorry. Start with a new T-amp.
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Old 20th September 2007, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
I've been soldering professionally for 15 years and even I wouldn't attempt to resolder a tripath chip by hand with anything remotely resembling a standard soldering iron. You need hot air and flux or an incredibly fine and short tip in a professional compact soldering iron and the hands of a neurosurgeon.

You could take it to someone who fixes mobile phones. Resoldering a surface mount chip is not a good first soldering project. The difficulty level is like hopping on a 1000cc motorbike when you've never been in a bicycle before. It's going to end in tears.

I doubt the chip fell off without any damage to the board.

Sorry. Start with a new T-amp.
Wow, nice way to discourage the fellow.

I completely disagree with your entire post. So much so that I disassembled one of my amps so you can see just what can be accomplished with a standard 25w soldering iron.

The chip (no extra flux was used).......
Click the image to open in full size.

The tools.......
Click the image to open in full size.

The Tripath chip was the first surface mount IC I ever soldered. I've done about 7 or 8 of these chips this way with 100% success.

Am I some kind of "Surface Mount Savant"? I think not. Not a neurosurgeon either. I think you have just been spoiled by the tools available to you as a professional.

The guy really has nothing to lose by trying. If he screws it up oh well, it's all part of learning.
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Old 20th September 2007, 02:31 PM   #5
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi,

These four tutorials may help give you the confidence to move forward. Practice on something you are going to throw into the garbage first and then when you get comfortable, go for it!

Worst case, you get another one. but the lesson is worth the price (ouch, I paid this way too recently).

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/tt01.html

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/tt02.html

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/tt03.html

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/tt04.html

Good luck and let us know how you do!

Regards//Keith
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Old 20th September 2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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Resoldering the chip will be tiny and carpal-tunnel injury inducing. You may well not be able to do it, but if it's already busted then you might as well give it a shot!

- You might look for one of those 'helping hands' things with little clamps and a magnafier. Some sort of magnifying option would probably be nice, I was glad to have one when I was modding my T-amp.
- Try not to overheat the chip. I don't know how suceptable to thermal damage it is, but it's something I'd worry about.
- Watch out that you don't get a blob of solder to short one pin to another. It's easy to get a little strand of solder that sticks out when you pull away. Once you've made a short it's difficult to remove. Use as little solder as possible to avoid this.

I hope that you don't drive yourself crazy getting this thing resoldered only to find that whatever loosened the chip also damaged the IC.

Good luck! Let us know if you pull it off. ... so to speak...
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Old 20th September 2007, 05:50 PM   #7
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by theAnonymous1
Am I some kind of "Surface Mount Savant"?
Judging by that photo, I think you might be! I've seen many people that do a terrible job soldering through hole parts let alone a fine pitched surface mount IC...

While Anonymous1 may be the exception to the rule (most people aren't capable of doing that good of a job with regular equipment), he's right that you can solder these fine pitched ICs with a regular old iron, flux, and solder braid. You need to take your time and keep your hands very steady. Repair work is harder, especially if it involves removing chips. There's no way (using a regular iron) to successfully remove a TA2024 if the slug on the bottom of the chip is soldered to the PCB.
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Old 20th September 2007, 06:01 PM   #8
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Flood all pins with solder and then use your wick to remove excess between pins. Should take you about 3 minutes in total.

Take care to not over-heat the chip.
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Old 20th September 2007, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by KevinLee
Flood all pins with solder and then use your wick to remove excess between pins. Should take you about 3 minutes in total.

Take care to not over-heat the chip.
That's close to what I do, but I don't exactly flood. I solder each pin as carefully as possible with just enough solder to make the connection. Then I go over each pin with solder wick to suck up the excess and any solder bridges. Lastly I hold the board under good lighting and inspect the joint to make sure I didn't take up too much solder with the wick. The junction where the pin meets the pad should have a subtle curve to it like in the picture. If it looks closer to a sharp bend then there isn't enough solder there.
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Old 20th September 2007, 08:39 PM   #10
GJF is offline GJF  United Kingdom
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And I thought I was the only nutter on here that got a kick from soldering SMD with a normal soldering iron!

Nice work theAnonymous1 and spot on with the method.
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