Thursday, April 9, 2015

Part 2 of the K3 surgery.

It's time for the surgery
Beware of other components 
It was time to heat up the soldering iron, hold my breath and begin the surgery! First off you have to get to the P30 and P35 headers. Taking the radio apart is a very important step that close attention is required. Don't take short cuts, for example screws that are removed put them somewhere safe. When handling the rig use an anti static mat and wrist band. Finally when handling covers and boards be aware of fragile components, the last thing you want to do is damage components. Once the rig is apart I identify the components to be changed and made sure they really were P30 and P35. I then look at the parts Elecraft sent to me, last thing you want to do attempt to install an incorrect components. I now looked at the PC board and become familiar other components, wires or anything that I could damage when soldering. I have found in the past when concentrating on a very small section of a PC board you could at the same time place your very hot soldering iron close to sensitive comports and your not even be aware you are doing it. With my project today I had to move a wire that was close to P35 and I have to be aware of 2 components that
Front control head removed
Fume trap and soldering iron ready
are close to the pins on header P30. The first step is to cut the header pins right  the 90 degree bend and I am left with pins protruding from the board. With this completed I am left with pieces of pin sticking though the board that have to be removed. It's now time to setup my soldering station, fume extractor and solder feed station. What I do is hold the pin with my needle noise pliers and heat the solder pad and at the same time pull the pin out of the board. All but two pins came out which considering how many pins had to come out I was pleased with the results. I am left with solder pads to clean out (both top and bottom of board) and work on getting the 2 stuck pins out. The best tool to clean the solder pads is my Hakko 808 desoldering tool, it does a clean and fast job! With all the pads clean it's time to deal with the 2 remaining pins. I decided to trim the pins down close to the board and use the Hakko 808 to suck the pin out once it melted the solder. It worked great and I am now ready to install the new headers.
Trimming the header pins
The two stubborn pins
After using Hakko 808
Old out and new ready
The installation of the two headers is going to be part 3 of the post I have added some extra pic's or the removal of  P30 and P35


  1. Bravo Mike. I don't have the physical ability to do this sort of thing today. . When I did have a steady hand and keen eyesight, I didn't have the nerve to get into an expensive rig as you are doing. Good luck with your project. 73 Dick

    1. Good morning Dick, I too admit that the first time I took the soldering iron to the K3 it was very nerve racking! Have a good weekend Dick and thanks for the comment.
      Mike 73