Repairs to Pro Stick Plus?


#1

I’ll declare that my ability to solder surface mount electronic components is mediocre at best these days. With that said, has anyone opened up a Pro Stick Plus and done a repair on it?

I re-located my antenna and in the process I bent the SMA connector on the Pro Stick Plus. It is lose and I know that there is a break in it because when I put the antenna/pi/pro stick combination back up I went from having 100+ airplanes noted to 30. I wiggled the connector and now I’m up to 60ish. So I know I screwed it up. I’m wondering if there is enough on the board that I can repair it or if I should just order a new stick.


#2

The SMA edge connectors are fairly easy to solder on but can be quite difficult to get off without the right tools. You need something that can heat up the joint to a high enough temperature to desolder. This usually means a hot air gun made for desoldering or something that can put out a lot of heat.

You can buy the sma connector cheaply on eBay or something similar. They wholesale from .10 to .40 each but you might need to buy a retail package of them. Search for “SMA female edge connector” and see what you can find.

Soldering the new connector on is similar to normal soldering. Put your soldering iron on a higher temperature than normal due to the heat mass of the connector and it shouldn’t take more then a few seconds.


#3

I agree hot air would be easiest, however i have on more than one occasion just used a soldering iron

My method for doing this with limited tools would be as follows:

If possible cut the center pin or heat and lift it out of the way.

Then hold the iron on the body of the SMA (apply some solder to wet the connection of iron to body) it will take a while depending on the type and wattage of the iron. Whilst applying very light pressure (the weight of the iron is often enough) to the connector it will eventually start to move and will slide of the board.

Most importantly let the PCB cool fully before trying to clean up the pads or they will lift from the PCB.


#4

Here is the repair video:

And the results from using it after:


#5

i’m glad it turned out to be a easy repair in the end.

I have used the nuts and washers from an old wi-fi router on mine to strengthen the connector, its never good to rely on a solder joint alone.