Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Soldering the micro-USB

The previous post raised some questions about how difficult it is to deal with the micro-USB connector.  The connector in question is an FCI 10103593, a devilishly tiny little thing but really, not all that hard to deal with.

Top view of the connector

Bottom view of the connector
The pads on the PCB in question are only complete for the power and ground pins

PCB pad

Before starting, it can be helpful to bend the required pins down a little, and the unnecessary pins up and out of the way
Bent pins

The first step is to tack down one corner with the pins properly aligned.  
Step 1

Then, you can take a close look with a magnifying glass and verify that the pins are aligned.  With only one corner tacked down it is easy to re-heat the pad and re-position the jack.

Once you are comfortable that the pins are properly aligned, tack down the other three corners so the part is now secure.
Step 2
Finally, heat the Vdd pad and flow a little solder onto the pad.  Wait a bit with heat on the pad and the pin will heat up and wick the solder onto the pin. 
Step 3
If you should get a little heavy on the solder, desoldering braid is a wonderful thing!


  1. Aligning the pins can be made a little easier by:
    1) Placing a tiny dot of Blu-Tack on the bottom of the connector
    2) Pressing the board and jack up against a rectangular prism such as an Altoids tin

  2. Also, when heating the Vdd pad you need to be very gentle. The pad is quite small and easily lifted if you get too energetic.