Ripped pads on WS2811

whatthej

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Dec 31, 2019
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Hi folks, learning to solder on the WS2811 and I've ripped out the pads. Too much heat applied was the mistake (and wire too stiff). Are the 3 pixels written off or can I fix these somehow?
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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err, what do you even have that needs you to solder the chips on?
There's no mention of chips, I assumed they meant the pads where pigtails are soldered on?

@whatthej I'm assuming you are referring to strip? Some people have been able to scrape away the underneath (bottom, other side) where the solder pads would be and solder directly to the traces there. But if its botched beyond repair, then you can cut at the next pixel (3x LEDs) and use the clean pads there. Obviously this means your line of strip is 1 pixel smaller, so you can either replace with another section and resolder it back to the same length, or reduce your length by 1 pixel. If doing the latter, dont forget to adjust in your software and controller.
 

Snowy

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What DJ said . i have done it that way but it is easier cutting the bad ones out and replacing them.
 

TerryK

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Hi folks, learning to solder on the WS2811 and I've ripped out the pads. Too much heat applied was the mistake (and wire too stiff). Are the 3 pixels written off or can I fix these somehow?
As others have mentioned, not enough detail has been given for anyone to provide a precise answer.

In most cases, not all, if solder pads have been lifted from a PC board, the board can be made functional again with good techniques and tools. The end result of any PC board with lifted pads or traces is never pretty and one would be hard pressed to call a board in such condition 'repaired'. In any case working with a PC board with lifted pads/traces is usually done out of necessity/desperation/cost which I do not see pixel strips, strings, or modules as being.

I suggest as you mentioned, write them off and adjust whatever you are working on accordingly. You also could set aside the removed pixels using them as pratice for your solder techniques.
 

whatthej

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Thanks folks. Most were spot on in their assumptions. My bad, my assumption was that it was a common activity on the ws2811 to solder on pigtails and that there was only one way for pads to get ripped out. Will post pictures next time I ask a question!
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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Just to be clear, WS2811 is a protocol of pixels. They can be nodes (both bullets or square) strip or modules.
And all types of pixels can have pigtails attached :)
 

Katekate

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if you are attaching pigtails, you would solder to the existing wires. if you are stripping pixels down to the pcbs you will have to re-waterproof them. if you are using strip then thats a whole other thing.
 

lithgowlights

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if you are attaching pigtails, you would solder to the existing wires. if you are stripping pixels down to the pcbs you will have to re-waterproof them. if you are using strip then thats a whole other thing.
Problem is if you cut a strip and want to use the rest then you need to solder directly onto the strip, which is where the issue usually occurs. This is not an issue with pixels as you can always solder onto wire, not so with strip.
 

Adsy

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They said WS2811, so I assumed that is what they meant.

Pretty ambiguous post tbh, need to see some pics of what they have done.
yeah WS 2811 comes in different forms in case you weren't aware. Soldering isn't the issue, it's fixing the blowouts that's a pain
 

Seancrv

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When I started all of this I had never soldered anything, let alone electronics. That said, I bought an extra strip of LEDs just to practice and make mistakes on.

Not knowing exactly what you are doing, I did see you said something adding about wires. When extending an existing strip, I practiced until I was able to align the two sections and solder directly between pads. This is how they put them together at the factory so I figured it would work and it does. Square cuts are extremely important and I use lead free solder, as it seems to be stronger.

When I do use wires, it is to go around corners. I am putting the strips into channels so the corners give some room to install wire.

About 10 pixels were sacrificed getting to a point where I am comfortable with putting things together again. It is easier to just insert a new pixel than to try and salvage one that requires delicate surgery. You will eventually realize when the pads are cut too small to be realistically useable.
 
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