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I want to detach pots from a board...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hambone, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. ...what are the caveats and are there some tips to know?

    I've got a 3 band preamp I want to use in a build but the critical pots are board mounted. They are standard, 3 prong and I would like to remove them and put them on leads so that I can arrange them in a different pattern in the cavity than the current setup allows.

    I assume it would be a good thing to use a shielded 3 lead wire to reconnect them with the board?

    Anything else that could get me in trouble here?
  2. Well, thanx guys!
    I'm surprised there's not a single opinion or comment on this.

    Good to know where I can go to get a favor returned! :rolleyes:
  3. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I don't think you'll have any problems. If the cavity is sheilded (assuming this is going in a bass) and you employ a decent grouding scheme (ie, star), then I don't see the need for sheilded wire. I do't you think you will run into any hum or brick walls. And besides, you could always try it, and if it doesn't work the way it was planned, you can always put the pots back on the board and get a different preamp.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    James got it. I don't forsee any difficulty in your future. Just make sure you don't get the board too hot ;)
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Be sure to get some good desoldering wick, or a bulb. I like to use old IDE cables from a computer for relocating pots. It keeps the wiring cavity cleaner, and it is high quality wire for not a lot of money. Just make sure you mount the board right, so it doesn't short out. I plan on doing this with a kubicki preamp I have laying around...
  6. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Make sure the replacement pots have enough clearance so you don't crack the board upon reassembly.

  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Hey Hambone, removing components without destroying them or the board is an acquired skill. If you haven't done it before, I don't recommend doing it on something you really care about.

    That said, the trick to a successful removal is destroying the part you are removing. Honest, that is how us professionals do it. We cut the leads off the parts and replace the part. It usually the best way to remove a part without risking damage to the board. Solder wick and other desoldering tools work pretty well, but depending on the part, may or may not free the legs from where they are soldered.

    If you absolutely must save the pots that you are removing, you need to do one of two things, either heat all of the legs simultaneously or remove nearly all of the solder from each leg. There are spring-loaded tools that suck solder away while you heat the location with an iron. These work pretty well on larger holes and not so well on smaller ones. There is a copper braid often called solder wick that can placed in contact with the solder and then heated. The solder wick will draw the solder away from the hole.

    Lastly, if you aren't in a hurry, you are welcome to send it out to me. Depending on the hole pattern, we should have the right tools at work to remove the pots without damaging anything.

    Best of luck.

  8. Thanx Bob and guys,

    These pots are nicely mounted and pretty high with plenty of clearance and a good 3/32" of tab to the board. The actual solder contacts for each lead are well isolated from each other and have a minimal amount of solder on them. From yall's descriptions, this doesn't sound like a monster with teeth. BTW, I concur with the use of computer wire for bass wiring but what is IDE cable? I don't know the term.

    I use my own DIY solder wick version - fine woven slot car contact braid! Works just like you said. I've also got a suction bulb and the usual array of third hand helpers and the like. I've been component soldering for 30 years but I've never WANTED to take a component off of a board, at least for this reason. I've HAD to take stuff of of boards for, well, you know why. :scowl:

  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    When he says IDE cable, he refering to the ribbon cable that is used to connect the hard drives to the motherboard. Most likely ribbon cable would work just fine for this application.

    If you have any difficulties along the way, feel free to toss me an email. I sometimes go days without looking at TalkBass, but I get notified right away when I have email.
  10. Good point. Even a desoldering tool like the cheap Ratshack plunger type works wonders. I always desolder before trying to remove any type of component from a circuit board. I like to always use some fresh solder and soldering reson flux when resoldering.

    Sounds like a good plan Ham.. seems like you have all the bases (basses??) covered..

  11. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Just read this and hadn't noticed you'd posted it when I first saw the question - not that I would have been of much assistance. Never done it and have had a pot attached to a small PCB laying in waiting for months (not a priority).

    But did you really expect to locate someone that knows more than you do within 24 hours :)

    Also, haven't heard the term slot cars in years - do they still make those?