Finding a Raspberry PI these days is hard – all stocks are empty (Jan 2022). The few available on second hand markets are expensive – either that, or shipping + import tax + 15 euros to BPost for customs handling would make it so. Rather annoyed with the situation – I kept looking at the second hand market, and I spot very cheap Raspberry PI 2B v1.1 – drawbacks ? Yes, a broken microSD card slot and two pins are snapped.
The seller posted very detailed photos of the damages – I could see that I may be able to fix. Order was placed.
To fix the pins looked very easy, just de-solder the remaining of the existing ones. But the microSD card cover looked a little more labor intensive: while the contact pins on the bottom are intact, the top cover is bent in such a way that you can’t straighten it in-situ.
Fixing the microSD card slot
I decided to try to de-solder the metallic cover and if successful, to try to straighten it detached from the board.
It look in poor conditions, one of the corners was torn with a small piece of the circuit board (re-soldering would be impossible there), the sides were broken / snapped, and I did not know if I can de-solder it fully without having to touch the existing pins.
At this moment I decided to test the PI, just to see that at least it can boot from an microSD card, and it did! Soldering it in three places was also easily done. About the corner that was torn away with a bit of the circuit board itself, I figured J-B Weld should help, given is metal against the fiberglass.
To apply the glue I decided to use also a toothpick – for ‘precision’, and I tried to stay away from the little surface mount capacitor on the side.
Everything worked well:
Replacing the broken pins on row 7
Removing the broken pins and replacing them with new ones took longer than I expected, I didn’t easily find the little bag of spare pins I knew I had.
Using the electrical de-soldering pump did not produce acceptable results as the pins were rather small for the tip of the pump; was also afraid I may damage the very thin traces around.
Went back to using a smaller wick and this made everything much easier:
I kept wondering what happened to it in fact, I noticed that one of the screw-holes was also damaged – the circuit board around it was cracked. I think the board was was secured with a single screw and it just fell. The microSD slot cover was torn apart. Still no explanation why the ID_SC and ID_SD were cut ?
In the end, a small video demonstration how the microSD slot is holding up (very good) and that the PI is reading the card successfully (LEDs blinking):
A quick little fix and one more board salvaged from the dumpster 🙂