Desolder Chips

Removing chips to re-use

The following photos show how I insert a needle inbetween the legs of a chip, I heat the leg up and then lever that leg up and away from the board.  With a bit of practice, it doesn’t take too long to remove a chip.

  1. Insert needle in-between legs of chip
  2. Place soldering on on the pad of solder where the leg is joined to the circuit board
  3. Gently push the needle downwards
  4. This will lever the leg of the chip away from the board
  5. Check, double check and triple check that there is no solder still linking the leg to the board, if there is, use your soldering iron to heat it, if necessary use the needle to help

This chip is the Mask ROM for StarFox (to get the best results overclocking this game, it’s recommended to put it onto a board with a GSU-1 (or 2) chip.  You can use this method for the SRAM chips too.

How to remove chip

Using pin to remove chip
All legs lifted, double, triple check each leg before trying to lift the chip off the board

Quick and dirty removal, destroying the chip

I’ve used this when removing Saturn and Dreamcast BIOS chips when fitting a Region Free BIOS Chip, I’m just going to throw it out anyway!

I use a pair of half decent side cutters to carefully snip each leg. I hold them with the flat side facing upwards so that the sharp edge is as far away from the motherboard as possible and then cut each leg as close to the chip as I can (you’ll probably find it will cut on the bend of the leg, that’s perfect!)

Saturn BIOS Cutting Legs

Saturn BIOS Cut Legs

Work you way along both sides and double check them, you definitely want a clean cut through each leg for the next bit!  In fact, TRIPLE check them.

Saturn BIOS Cut Legs 2

You may find that the chip is glued to the board and won’t just lift off. If this is the case, you can gently lever it off, be VERY careful not to damage the board if you have to do this, if possible, use something plastic to do this, so you don’t scratch the board or damage any traces.

Saturn BIOS Removed

Now it’s time to tidy up the pads ready to solder the new chip onto. Very quickly run your soldering iron along each pad and the bit of remaining leg should come away with it. You can probably do a couple at a time and then wipe them off on a bit of wet sponge.

Saturn BIOS Removing Legs

Saturn BIOS Removing Legs 2