Jump to content
Simius

Sophia 2 - improved GTIA replacement

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, 8bitguy1 said:

My installs will press my abilities with a soldering iron to a level I've never gone before.

If you’ve never removed soldered IC’s from a board before, I *highly* recommend you get hold of some junk boards - old PC cards or motherboards, broken consoles or other electronic junk. Practice on that stuff and focus on removing all the solder before you try to remove the chip - each leg of the component MUST be able to move freely before you start pulling it out or you will damage a trace. I’ve replaced chips and sockets with only flux and a spring loaded solder sucker but it is very much a chore for 40-pin chips. Apply flux to both sides of the solder joint, then heat with your iron until the solder melts, and trigger the solder sucker to pull out the solder. Repeat once or twice as necessary but if the leg is not free or mostly free by then, move on to the next leg and come back to the first one later. Stubborn legs may require you to add some fresh solder, then suction.  You can do pretty much the same thing without a solder sucker with just a hot iron and solder wick, but I’ve never had that much luck. When it became clear to me a few years ago that I was spending a lot of time working on systems, I got a Hakko desoldering iron and it’s like magic for IC removal. But it’s also not particularly cheap so not worth it for someone not really dedicated to hardware work and mods. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for getting a Hakko Desoldering Gun, if you want to reproducible successful chip removals. I've removed hundreds of chips with one of these guns, and once you get the technique down (its very simple), you should have nice results.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a video I made a while back showing a 40-pin removal using my (now discontinued) Hakko 808

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The advice and videos are appreciated!  I've watched several other youtube videos on desoldering chips and I'm still intimidated.  Practice is a good idea, but it's a time investment and as such I fear the Sophia2s I've acquired are likely to sit in a drawer until my kids are much older...lol.  It is a skill I would like to acquire though.

 

My other thought was reaching out to local electronics hobbyists and seeing if, for a small fee, they would take the chip out and put in the socket.  With COVID and the lockdown such as it is in Alberta, I'll have to wait on that too.  The specialized equipment costs more than the Sophia 2 did (especially with shipping) so economically hiring someone also makes sense, but there is that old saying about teaching a man to fish....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, 8bitguy1 said:

The advice and videos are appreciated!  I've watched several other youtube videos on desoldering chips and I'm still intimidated.  Practice is a good idea, but it's a time investment and as such I fear the Sophia2s I've acquired are likely to sit in a drawer until my kids are much older...lol.  It is a skill I would like to acquire though.

 

My other thought was reaching out to local electronics hobbyists and seeing if, for a small fee, they would take the chip out and put in the socket.  With COVID and the lockdown such as it is in Alberta, I'll have to wait on that too.  The specialized equipment costs more than the Sophia 2 did (especially with shipping) so economically hiring someone also makes sense, but there is that old saying about teaching a man to fish....

If we weren't having shipping issues and closed borders I'd knock out the repair for you for a 6-pack of beer.  It would probably cost more to ship both ways that it would be worth though.  It's weird - the internet makes the world seem so tiny - instant communication with anybody, anywhere.  Then you need to actually "reach out" and help someone and reality sets back in - there's some big distance between us!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 8bitguy1 said:

The advice and videos are appreciated!  I've watched several other youtube videos on desoldering chips and I'm still intimidated.  Practice is a good idea, but it's a time investment and as such I fear the Sophia2s I've acquired are likely to sit in a drawer until my kids are much older...lol.  It is a skill I would like to acquire though.

 

My other thought was reaching out to local electronics hobbyists and seeing if, for a small fee, they would take the chip out and put in the socket.  With COVID and the lockdown such as it is in Alberta, I'll have to wait on that too.  The specialized equipment costs more than the Sophia 2 did (especially with shipping) so economically hiring someone also makes sense, but there is that old saying about teaching a man to fish....

 

 

I know so many people here learned to solder that it is undeniable that the skill can be acquired.

 

However, speaking as a person that didnt acquire the skill and destroyed quite a few practice machines... there is just no way the skill is limited to soldering.  nobody gets it right all the time they have to grab a voltmeter and check for shorts, so the skill is about reading schematics, understanding basic electronics and the art of soldering.

 

even the simplest of upgrades sold here, even one advertised as no soldering will require extensive case modding, like my antonia has laid claim to another destroyed Atari.

 

anyway I just pay the man his money these days.  my sophia is being installed by a tech.   

 

still.....someday I will pick up the iron again....hehe 

Edited by Dmitry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stephen said:

If we weren't having shipping issues and closed borders I'd knock out the repair for you for a 6-pack of beer.  It would probably cost more to ship both ways that it would be worth though.  It's weird - the internet makes the world seem so tiny - instant communication with anybody, anywhere.  Then you need to actually "reach out" and help someone and reality sets back in - there's some big distance between us!!

Shipping has gotten crazy.  I used to be able to send stuff out and have installs and repairs done for reasonable costs, even across the pond.  Now shipping is more than the part. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 8bitguy1 said:

Shipping has gotten crazy.  I used to be able to send stuff out and have installs and repairs done for reasonable costs, even across the pond.  Now shipping is more than the part. 

Yep, 15 years ago I could import stuff to the UK from the US for very reasonable costs. Sometimes by sea freight which took forever but cost peanuts.

Now I can't get stuff from the EU because of the crazy new rules imposed by our government. I really don't blame the EU suppliers not wanting to register a UK vat account before they can ship anything.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite the madness, what complete loon thought that imposing that on other states would help British business. Some vast car giant may sign up to it but hobbyist makers like our guys, why would you want to shackle yourself to another countries tax system in such a way. To many on here its a once in a while set of sales, to others its part of their business but we are not talking of 4 houses in the country and 3 sports cars in the garage, its a niche setup that pays a few bills. Obviously wee would like to see them get the 4 houses etc but we have to be realistic. And now the UK has stuck a virtual wall up to potential sellers.

 

Stupid...

 

The bottom line (and a return to topic), how hard is it going to be to get a Sophia 2 in the future or any of the other great gear out there that's not in the uk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, mimo said:

I really don't blame the EU suppliers not wanting to register a UK vat account before they can ship anything.

 

Are you shure that any supplier needs to do that before sending something to the UK? In germany the buyer has to pay the local VAT at customs as part of the import duties.

Edited by Dinadan67

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Stephen said:

Here's a video I made a while back showing a 40-pin removal using my (now discontinued) Hakko 808

 

@Stephen what would you recommend as a replacement for the 808

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, orpheuswaking said:

@Stephen what would you recommend as a replacement for the 808

The FR-301 is a great device and works amazingly well. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, orpheuswaking said:

@Stephen what would you recommend as a replacement for the 808

 

27 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

The FR-301 is a great device and works amazingly well. 

Yeah - as Dr mentioned, the FR-301 is their replacement for the 808.  I am not familiar with any other makes or models.  The Hakko line is expensive, it's definitely a professional model.  If you are only going to do one or two replacements, I'd probably find something cheaper, but for regular/continual work, they can't be beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Stephen said:

 

Yeah - as Dr mentioned, the FR-301 is their replacement for the 808.  I am not familiar with any other makes or models.  The Hakko line is expensive, it's definitely a professional model.  If you are only going to do one or two replacements, I'd probably find something cheaper, but for regular/continual work, they can't be beat.

Yeah I would only use it for hobby work so I'll probably look at the Aoyue line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I foolishly bought a Zhongdi ZD-985 a couple years ago, and while it can do the job, it clogs super easy right by the vacuum chamber.

My workflow currently is: Desolder a pin.  Shove the cleaner (ram-rod) through the nozzle to ensure it hasn't clogged.  Move onto the next pin and repeat.

 

How is the FR-301 as far as clogging is concerned?

The ZD-985 is an absolute pain to unclog when it clogs - since the clog happens beyond the heating element where the pipe is cooler.

I've resorted to hand twisting a small drill bit into the pipe to unclog it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Calibus said:

The ZD-985

I've been using the cheaper ZD-915 for a year or more now and have found it to perform well. I reviewed it on YouTube a while back. My 'clogging' issues were eventually traced to improperly sealed tubing and a crack in the iron tip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Calibus said:

How is the FR-301 as far as clogging is concerned?

I typically only clean it after a session of desoldering, whether that’s two pins to remove a diode or after removal of a 40-pin chip. So long as vacuum is triggered every little bit and the heating element remains active, it’s not very prone to clogging. But don’t turn it off and put it away without cleaning. That can be a pain (did it once, and only once!). You do also have to periodically empty out the chamber and replace the consumable ceramic fiber filter pads, but that’s not a big deal. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dinadan67 said:

Are you shure that any supplier needs to do that before sending something to the UK? In germany the buyer has to pay the local VAT at customs as part of the import duties.

Outline of the changes

For imports of goods from outside the UK in consignments not exceeding £135 in value (which aligns with the threshold for customs duty liability), we will be moving the point at which VAT is collected from the point of importation to the point of sale. This will mean that UK supply VAT, rather than import VAT, will be due on these consignments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice desolder video @Stephen, those tools certainly make it a lot easier, been watching Jon use one as well. Too rich for me and pointless as well because I do work for me only as it stands and I'm nowhere as super neat as you lot :)

 

Got my very cheap Aliexpress one that I have yet to use (gotta be better than a standard desolder pump..)

 

But super impressed with those models, may they continue to serve you guys well. I just like seeing it all done properly and neatly...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

Nice desolder video @Stephen, those tools certainly make it a lot easier, been watching Jon use one as well. Too rich for me and pointless as well because I do work for me only as it stands and I'm nowhere as super neat as you lot :)

 

Got my very cheap Aliexpress one that I have yet to use (gotta be better than a standard desolder pump..)

 

But super impressed with those models, may they continue to serve you guys well. I just like seeing it all done properly and neatly...

I should make a video showing a similar chip removal using just a plunger and solder wick.  I got really quick at doing them that way before having the Hakko.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stephen said:

I should make a video showing a similar chip removal using just a plunger and solder wick.  I got really quick at doing them that way before having the Hakko.

I still use the plunger and wick myself. I almost bought a desoldering iron station, but before the plunger I used only wick, and with the plunger and a PCB holder so I could work with both sides of the PCB at once, I find the plunger and wick and holder good enough for me, since I only do stuff for myself too. I've become pretty quick and adept enough to not worry about a desoldering station. I've decided to buy a 3D printer instead.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my Sophia 2 today - got it installed in my Atari 5200 - truly plug and play!  Not very sure yet where/how I will mount the DVI port.  The RF-out still works, so I know the Sophia2 is functioning, but what I can't test right now is SCART input (RGBs) - I want to use this on a CRT, so need a breakout cable that takes the Analog RGBs from the DVI port and wired into a SCART port on my switcher.  I emailed retro-access and asked them if they were going to make a cable, but I haven't heard back from them yet.

 

For others who are going to use this on a 5200/CRT - what are your plans?

 

Matt

Edited by mathewbeall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what are the default values?  I found a DVI-VGA adapter and tried it - but nothing came out.  So not sure what the initial values are.  Since I am using an atari 5200 - I am not sure that I have the means to adjust the values?

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VGA mode isn't default. You have to put the Sophia on the XL/XE machine and set your preferred configuration there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...