Surface Mount Soldering: How not to do it (a continuing series)

I’d been very pleased with my Allo DigiOne, it was providing a solid low jitter feed to an Auralic Vega at my girlfriend’s place, enabling use of the Exact clock without a hiccup. But it had a tendency to crash if left on indefinitely. A number of other users had the same issue and Allo tracked it down to a DC choke creating a static electricity vulnerability.

Allo offered to exchange boards but also provided a picture of the board identifying the component (see the DigiOne thread in Audio Products) and brief instructions to enable those who wanted to replace it with two 0 resistors or some wire jumpers.

Well how hard could that be ? I had a magnifying light with third hand clips, a variable voltage iron, a flux pen, solder and wick. So on New Year’s Day I watched a few YouTube videos on desoldering surface mount components and got to work.

After farnarkling round unsuccessfully with bits of wire etc. I chipped the choke off with a screwdriver and cleaned up the pads with flux and some fresh solder. This wasn’t so hard. I got the first length of wire jumper connected and felt quite pleased with myself. Then I noticed that the handy black thing that I’d braced the soldering iron on … wasn’t just a handy black thing:

Allo have kindly maintained their offer to exchange, notwithstanding my amateur efforts. Replacement board arriving soon.


If Allo decides they don’t want that one back, and you decide you’re going to toss it, I do SMC soldering (SysAdmin with hardware board level repair background)… Wouldn’t mind setting something like this up.