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Thread: Reworking PCB's DB9 and DB25 Connector Removal The Dremel Way

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    Join Date
    Mar 08, 2014
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    Default Reworking PCB's DB9 and DB25 Connector Removal The Dremel Way

    Well I am patting myself on the back for NOT dragging out my soldering station today.

    I have a controller that is in excellent condition except that in its previous life the two DB9 connectors and the DB25 connector were exposed outside their enclosure to humidity. The connector hardware looked awful where the zinc plating turned to rust and I could not be certain the female connectors were not corroded. So I decided to replace all three.

    Normally I would be tempted to unsolder each connector and do my best to perform a good rework. But faced with 43 solder connections plus the 6 points where the connector mounting tabs are affixed to the board through the groundplane my odds were looking bad.

    I initially had some concern about using a Dremel tool and small abrasive cutoff wheel to take apart the connectors from top down. I was concerned about vibration and having the tool take out some other parts or even the PC board.

    It went very well, I was able to score the tops of the DB connector body on each one and cut the horizontal runs of the internal pins. The tool did not vibrate the board apart or jump uncontrollably. In fact the plastic melted at the moderately high speed I ran it and the plastic yielded. I used some large Dykes to peel apart the plastic and cut the remainder of the conductors. I ran the Dremel down into the opening I created and separated the mounting tabs to the extent they no longer held attached to the connector frame. I was able to coax each connector off vertically exposing the stems of all 43 pins plus 6 mounting tabs. The procedure was to slice long side from above with a cross cut above each short side.

    Sorry no pictures or youtube. It is not a three martini job, but at my advanced age I was happy at the ease of doing this. Do it outside as it will kick up a lot of dust and pile of debris that seems enormous for the size of the connectors.

    Tomorrow I heat up the soldering station and clean out the leads from the holes. This will be easy and the heat required will be minimal. I have some ChipQuik I will use on the mounting tabs if they balk at me.

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