Today we're going to be looking at the REFOX Soldering Lugs used to help repair broken solder pads on iPhones.
For those that aren't familiar with microsoldering repair, it's common for solder contact pads under various integrated circuits (IC's) to break off. Usually this is caused by drops, especially over time. A very common issue in the repair industry is for an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to exhibit audio issues. There's a specific weak point near the middle of the logic board that flexes during drops. Over time it'll damage a solder pad used to connect to the audio controller. Once this happens, the iPhone will have issues with Voice Memo recording and microphone issues during calls. If severe enough, the phone may enter a boot loop, making it impossible to retrieve data without fixing the issue.
Traditionally, you would have to take a thin wire, solder it to the resistor it's connected to, coil it in the spot of the pad, and secure it with Green UV curing glue. The wire used is thinner as a strand of hair, at 0.02mm, and the solder pad is under half a millimeter. Therefore it's only possible to do this type of repair under a microscope. To coil the wire into a circle is very time consuming and the wire can break off partway through due to its thinness. You can see finished coils courtesy of u/B3albakii on Reddit. Once these soldering pads are repaired, the audio controller can be soldered back on and the repair would be complete.
With REFOX Soldering Lugs, a solder pad of the correct size is pre-made with a tail making it possible to skip the coiling and simply solder the tail onto the circuit where the resistor connects to. The finished repair looks almost indistinguishable from a non damaged solder pad.
Aside from aesthetics, what's more important is the speed that you're able to complete pad repairs when you're not spending time coiling a wire over and over. For me, as an experienced microsolderer, my repair time on just the pad repair was cut by half. You're skipping the most time consuming and tedious step, and experienced techs know how tiring it can be to stare into a microscope for long periods at a time.
These soldering lugs come in many different sizes, allowing you to repair any pad size ranging from an iPhone 6 Baseband pad to pads on a NAND. They even have the rectangular ones for Wifi IC's.
Now I know for people that do these repairs on the regular and have their own methods, at the very least it's good to have these on backup, just in case.
A single sheet of these lugs is less than $5. For business owners, saving time while producing effective repairs can mean the difference between winning and losing against your competition. For experienced microsolderers, you're able to complete the repair with significantly less effort. For those new into microsoldering, learning how to handle thin wires has a very steep learning curve and can be super frustrating. After working with REFOX Soldering Lugs, it only takes a few repairs to get the hang of it and you can begin to rapidly repair phones much sooner with less practice.
Source: Han's Repair
Han is an experienced repair technician based in Canada. He is now sharing via Facebook. Please feel free to subscribe to him for in-depth repair knowledge.
Apr 23, 2021
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