Fixeight (Toaplan) Repair log

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    • Fixeight (Toaplan) Repair log

      Today i've tried to fix my Fixeight board. Despite having a broken jamma edge that i still need to take care of (will take any advice, for now my best plan is to fix it to some wood or plexi and use a jamma extender to avoid any further load on this already fragile piece)

      The problem was obvious : horizontal lines across the screen, all the time.

      After visual inspection (everything looks fine), i've started pushing gently on components, and bingo, the problem was from a Toaplan custom chip. Having just a very light push on it makes the problem disapear, so it was for sure a cold joint issue.

      I've decided to take a wooden toothpick and start pushing on legs to see which was the culprit. It was the second pin under that 105 mark, so i guess it's pin 106 ?

      Having no experience at all with SMD soldering, i've tried first with my clean iron tip and push gently on it with some flux, no luck. I was too afraid to bridge anything, so i've bought some solder paste. After a few try on an old motherboard (and realise that the default needle will give way too much paste), i've decided to go for real.

      I dipped a sewing needle on the top of the paste tube to get a very light touch of it, applied some flux and tried to dispose it. Paste somehow melted with flux, i was hopping for the best. I put Kapton (well, Koaptan, thanks China) all around to try and protect everything, and start applying hot air, at 275. Within a few seconds (having such a low quantity of solder paste probably helped), it was ok, but two pins where obviously bridged. Damn.

      I then took my soldering iron, some flux, and was able to remove the bridge by dragging it down in one or two shots with a very clean tip.

      After that, it was probably not the cleanest job on earth, but using magnifying glass and my multimeter seems to tell me that there was no bridge. I can't really trust it though, as my multimeter was telling me that the pin was perfectly fine on the board and was making good contact, but it wasn't the case since i had to push it with a tooth pick to work.

      Cleaned it, and here's the result (coin for scale) :

      No visual bridge, even if it looks like here on the pic but i guess it's shadow from each leg.
      After letting it dry for a bit, here's the final test :

      I guess now it's a FIXEDEight :D
    • Good job!

      What's wrong with edge connector? It looks fine in the photo. The corners are gone, but that's a common issue with old boards. Believe it or not, but some ops used to file the corners to make the boards easier to insert and remove.

      Contacts look like they need a good clean though.
    • Thanks !

      It's as bad as it looks, but i didn't know this was a common issue or even something intentional.

      It's not great because i always have to plug the edge 2 or 3 times because it's always misaligned, i was afraid that it might get worse and will be hard if not impossible to get back.

      Anyway, that's good to know, maybe i'll let it this way ?