USB UART Replacement

March 19, 2010

Shortly after getting my Arduino i was playing with some DC motors and was powering the device through the USB->serial cable. It turns out this wasn’t the best idea and after a couple hours i was doing something and attached a motor mistakenly without a resistor when I should have had one. The result was burning ozone and a super hot FTDI chip.

I was going to get a new Arduino when I came across this blog post:

http://www.neufeld.newton.ks.us/electronics/?p=328

I ordered a new chip from sparkfun for only $3.95 (shipping was just as much).

Rather than waiting for the new one to come I decided in a fit of activity that the old one should be removed. With a bit of prying and desoldering it was removed. During the extraction two of the wires in the board itself got pulled up.

After a week or so the new chip arrived in the mail. I started to prep the area and fix the pulled up wires and found my old radio shack soldering iron just not up to the task. After a trip to Frys I had in hand some 60/40 solder, Rosin Flux and a new Elenco SL-540 soldering iron.

After getting the new gear it was a much easier task. I dropped a gob of flux on the pulled up wires and pushed them in to place. I dripped some solder blobs on the contacts in the corner and attached the chip. After that i just wicked away the excess using a braided wire and used a tiny bit of solder and lots of flux to get the rest of the contacts down.

Here’s the finished result:

Arduino UART replacement up close.

Arduino UART replacement up close.

Pointing to the UART.

Pointing to the UART.

I was terrified of plugging it in but it turns out it worked perfectly, it just looks horrible.

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One Response to “USB UART Replacement”

  1. Dan said

    Yeah, soldering those little connections is tough, but if it works, that’s great.

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