Can you replace those little buttons on motherboards?

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Can you replace those little buttons on motherboards?

Postby Frozti » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:22 pm

I have a device with a button on the pcb thatI suspect is broken. I couldn't find out what those buttons were called with google so I came here. The little square pieces with a white or black circle momentary button in the center, used for the power button on motherboards that have it onboard. What are those called and can I replace one with the average soldering iron? The one I need to replace is bigger than normal ones but the same thing.
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Postby evasive » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:21 pm

can you put a picture online somewhere of the actual button? I think the title is SMD momentary switch, micro momentary switch or SMD micro switch. If all the leads are on the outer edges where you can see them (they usually are), you should be the judge if you can solder that or not (also depends on the location on the PCB.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:14 am

Typically, those micro on-board switches are called "SMD" or Surface-Mount Device. Normally, they would have four contacts.. two on two sides, or one on each side. A special iron tip is needed to get all contacts at one time.. and avoid heat damage to nearby components. Might look like this sample.
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Postby Frozti » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:49 pm

Karlsweldt wrote:Typically, those micro on-board switches are called "SMD" or Surface-Mount Device. Normally, they would have four contacts.. two on two sides, or one on each side. A special iron tip is needed to get all contacts at one time.. and avoid heat damage to nearby components. Might look like this sample.


Yup, those are the buttons. There are 3, two that are slightly smaller then those and one that is a bit bigger. the bigger one is the one that I think has the problem. It's still very clicky but the device acts as if it's pushed down permanently. It's just a tiny bit crooked. Which leads are which? Which is there four? Can I just melt it off and hook it up to a battery and LED to see if it works?
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Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:41 am

Normally, those tiny switches have a pair of contacts.. one for "break" and the other for "make" when the button is pushed. Or two "make" contacts. Only one pair of contacts may be used, but the combo switch can be used with many circuit designs.
It is not practical to use a soldering iron on only one contact at a time to remove it. Minimally, an iron with a broad tip that can breach both side contacts at the same time to allow it to be removed should be used. A plastic 'wedge' pushed under the center of the switch will help lift it when the solder joints melt.
If you have two identical solder irons, and a friend, then one person can induce the device to lift while the other applies the heat. But don't apply heat too long, or damage to other components can result! "Get in and get out" with the heat is the rule.
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