Author Topic: Pedal Repair - Soldering Question  (Read 437 times)

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Pedal Repair - Soldering Question
« on: September 02, 2017, 06:01:23 PM »
Hey guys, I need to fix my DOD FX10 pedal. DOD was nice enough to send me two new switches, on the house. All I needed was one, so they got some class over there at DOD. There's a page on the America's Pedal site that goes thru the repair, step by step..

Anyways, onto my question. I have soldering experience, but I've never desoldered. I was watching some YouTube videos on the topic, watching both a solder sucker and desoldering braid (also called solder wick, I believe). Anyways, when watching the demos of people using the cheap, $7 sucker, it seemed like they got what they paid for.. while the desoldering braid seemed to work pretty flawlessly, not to mention that it's cheaper. Would you guys agree that if I'm not going to spend money on a quality sucker that I should go with the braid?

As far as the solder itself, it's recommended to use lead based 60/40 rosin core, as it's what was probably used at the DOD factory. That solder is also the most commonly used for replacing pots in guitars and any type of equipment, instrument to pro audio, right?

It also says I need a pair of heat sink soldering tweezers. These are the same thing as a hemostat, right? What size do you recommend? I don't have the cash to get a kit of all different lengths.. I just want something that'll work on various repairs whether is be this pedal, the mic I'll be modding and other projects. They have combo packs of straight and curved, 5" and 8". Any recommendations on the length, and a brand (if it matters)? There are so many! Although, I think I'm reading a bit too much into the few bad reviews instead of the 90% of 4/5 star ones.

As far as buying this equipment, the local Ace Hardware had absolutely nothing (except for the soldering gun and solder), and Radio Shack went out of business, at least in my area. Is still the recommended online retailer for this type of stuff? They were a while ago, the last time I ordered parts online. Or is there a new up and coming, reputable site, with equally quality parts and cheaper prices?

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 06:29:33 PM by MustangMartigan »

Re: Pedal Repair - Soldering Question
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 06:25:22 PM »
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 06:30:34 PM by MustangMartigan »


Re: Pedal Repair - Soldering Question
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 07:17:04 PM »
I wouldn't bother with the tweezers for fixing this pedal. I don't even know what you would use them for. Just the pedal, screwdriver, solder wick, iron, solder, and the new switch is all you need. Once you've dealt with the screws, hold the wick to the solder on the legs of the old switch, and put the iron to the wick. I should wick, pun intended, the solder right up the wick. There should only be two legs soldered, I believe. Pull out the old switch and pop in the new one. Use the iron and solder to solder the new one in and then put everything back together. I've done something like 50 of these. Easy, peasy. Just be careful of the wires. You may want to take a picture or two of the inside of the pedal. DOD used thin cheap wire that breaks as soon as you flip that board over. You'll want to have a record of where they all go in case they do come loose.

As for where to get the stuff. I don't where you live but if going online, amazon has a lot of stuff, so do places like

Good luck.

Floor-mat at the front entrance to my former place of employment. Oh... the irony.

Re: Pedal Repair - Soldering Question
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 08:21:38 PM »
I wouldn't bother with the tweezers for fixing this pedal. I don't even know what you would use them for.

Here's a section from the link I posted regarding the repair:

"In addition to the solder, the switch is held in place by the "spring action" of its legs. As you heat the solder, use a small flat-head screwdriver as a wedge to "pop" out the old switch, one side at a time (photo 3). A "third hand" or a pair of heat sink soldering tweezers (shown) is very helpful at this stage."


Re: Pedal Repair - Soldering Question
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 04:18:23 AM »
hemostat can work. what you're looking at with a heatsink tweezer is typically a solid connection that doesn't harm the component as well as good heat dissipation. hs tweezers will typically have wide flat blades for thermal emissivity. hemostats lack that athough they may be good for holding wire in place. i have used them before and find them to be a nuisance. maybe mine don't work right but the first click doesn't hold, only the last two, and those apply a lot of force to an object stuck in their grip. remember they're for cutting off blood supply in arteries. then after you've done what you need to do, you have to stop and use both hands to pull the teeth apart to release it, which slows you down. tweezers have spring loaded forceps, nice and quick.

its like asking if a bread knife can cut meat. yes. but the reason we get toolboxes full of tools is because there's subpar and superior objects for the job. it might be better to compare a meat knife to an axe, because an axe is unwieldy for the job although it will work given time and more effort. a sharp edge is a sharp edge. but a knife is clearly a better tool for the job, even a bread knife, and a hemostat with its high clamp pressure and locking mechanism is like an axe for meat cutting.

you can buy online from radio shack if the price is right. show them they're missing out on business.

solder suckers really do work. don't knock them. the ideal scenario is a solder sucker and a braid. solder suckers can work really well on the underside of a flat board. heat up the component lead with a pencil tip on the top of the board and have the solder sucker on the underside right over the joint and press the button. SSSSSSSUCK. nearly all gone.

if you can't do that or its too difficult put the ss on the opposite side of the component's leg as the soldering iron on the side that has the solder, let it melt and let the tip of the ss get slightly hot and then press button.

the ball solder sucker works too but i prefer the mechanical one. use the ball for intricate stuff possibly since it can be depressed and released carefully, but the spring loaded one creates a jerking motion that, while you can learn to manage and reduce through good technique, will never fully go away. that jerking motion can restrict how much solder you get or cause you to bump your work if you're not experienced and or fatigued or in a hurry or frustrated.

the braid is superior for minute amounts of solder but i have gotten very clean results from aged and reapplied solder with a button type ss on 3 lug ends of guitar body jacks.

experiment with both. you will find that the solder sucker can do the job hundreds of times to get off 80-90% of the solder with ease. the braid gets solder off by destroying itself. ss mostly don't do that. what happens is solder quickly cools off and becomes balls, flakes, or whiskers in the solder bulb or tube and you just clean it out when it stops functioning. in both the bulb and tube case you can clear the muzzle by gentle banging on a surface and using the sucker action.

id test braid and solder sucker by removing 100 joints on a project you made just to test an effect and to test the solder. build the board then solder suck and record results. put it back together and use braid and record results.

braid is great for fine work because it acts as a heatsink too and can pick up the trace solder a ss might not be able to get in its vacuum due to surface tension and lack of mass on the part of the remaining solder.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 04:26:58 AM by Djentronio »