Video teardown of the Nintendo Switch Lite

Originally published at:

1 Like

Teardowns are so soothing, though usually in need to less obnoxious background music.

It’s interesting though that iFixit regards SMD soldered components are worse than glue. I’m my experince solder is a hell of a lot easier to remove than adhesive. Solder melts and wicks up, while melted glue just gets everywhere. I’d much rather have to desolder than de-gunk.

1 Like

It appears the switch lite still suffers from the infamous drift problem though, which must be infuriating if you’ve shelled out for one of these thinking that surely nintendo would have fixed it given the pr disaster it was for the original. So instead of the inconvenience of sending back just the joy-con, should they eventually admit there is indeed a problem you’ll now have to send back the entire thing.

I think it’s not the desoldering that’s the problem as much as the resoldering. Unless you’ve got high quality solder paste, a good hand with a heat gun, and some serious SMT assembly chops, replacing a surface component is basically a nonstarter.

1 Like

I prefer eutectic leaded solder and some flux to solder paste as it’s easier to place precisely, but paste will work, as will pre-formed solder balls (but those are too easy to lose). You’ll definitely need a precision soldering iron tip or tweezers. Also some copper wick and a hot air gun to clean the old solder away. The trick is to tin the pads with the solder and then place the SMD component you’re trying to attach. You’ll also need magnification. I get by fine with a relatively inexpensive illuminated USB microscope and a visor-type head magnifier.

The most important thing IMO is ventilation. And I don’t just mean an open window. You do not want to breath that shit. At a minimum a proper table-top fume extractor is a must and if you’re going to be doing a lot of soldering a shop fume extractor is a very good idea, whether you build it yourself or buy one of the over-priced ones. I implore everyone not to breath leaded solder fumes.

So yes, there’s some equipment involved, never said otherwise. But I disagree that it takes any serious chops. A little practice, and lot of patience and a reasonably steady hand are enough to rework most SMD components. What I find to be the pain in the ass is the diagnostic stage, figuring what to replace and then tracking down a replacement component because I don’t have a huge library of SMD components.

They’re certainly skills attainable by mere mortals, but the gulf between swapping out a flash card and replacing an SMT flash unit is… wide, in terms of both expertise and equipment.

1 Like

Meh. A membership to your local hacker/makerspace and a dozen or so hours to take two to three levels of soldering/rework classes depending on how they’re organized, plus getting better with practice. Perfectly accessible to the interested hobbyist. Brain surgery it ain’t. And if your hands aren’t steady enough, you can always buy, 3D print or machine soldering stencils.

Sure it takes some work, but there’s this idea that it’s the province of the multi-hundred-thousand dollar machines assembly plants use. You’re not going to manufacture units en masse, but you can certainly prototype or repair if you have the parts and know where to put them.

Back to my original point, once you get practiced at SMD rework, it’s easier than getting a bunch of glue off of things the manufacturer does their level best to prevent the user from opening and servicing. And if there’s any question about their intentions, the non-standard screws put it to rest. All part and parcel of the war on user and third-party service/modification.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.