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Reflowing a BGA?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by mike, Jul 7, 2011.

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  1. mike

    mike Guest

    I bought a Thinkpad X31.
    Fails video memory test and the image looks like
    it's in 8-bit color mode.
    Pushing hard on the motherboard fixes the image.
    Lots of googling uncovers many people who've reflowed
    the nVidea BGA chip by means varying from oven to hot
    air to a blowtorch.
    The bad news about this one is that the video BGA
    and a RAM BGA are sitting on a carrier that's looks
    like it's made out of circuit board material and is also
    BGA'd to the mother board.

    I'm not optimistic about getting the heat thru the chips
    and the carrier to the motherboard without burning up something.

    The thing works well enough to surf the web or control stuff.
    I'd hate to brick it. Certainly not worth a replacement motherboard
    that has or will soon have the same problem.

    Anybody got experience reflowing this dual-stack kind of thing?

  2. mike

    mike Guest

    I discounted the ribbon cable because it fails video ram test
    and because it has the same problem at the VGA output connector on the back.
    Is there something I'm missing?
    I watched a bunch of videos, including that one.
    Difference is that they all have a BGA mounted directly to the main board.
    That intermediate carrier is the wild card. I don't know what to
    expect except that it's a thermal insulator and have nothing equivalent
    to practice on.
    I haven't taken it apart far enough to try to determine if the chip
    or the carrier is where the fault lies.
    I have three temperature controlled air guns. I've made air nozzles
    with baffles in the past...way rework gull-wing and J-leaded
    I've got zero experience with BGA and even less with two-layer stacks
    of BGA.

    I thought I'd build a hollow platform out of bricks and blast it from
    underneath with a power-controlled heat gun while I watched the pre-heat
    Then hit it from the top to reflow it. Sounds like reflow temp
    is about 260C. Any recommendations on what air temperature
    I oughta use to get there?

    You don't really need all the BGA nozzles as a small 3mm nozzle
    Thanks, I gotta go find some flux...
  3. mike

    mike Guest

    Flux turned out to be a much more difficult question than I thought.
    What flux do you recommend?
  4. mike

    mike Guest

    Thanks for the inputs.
    Trying different stuff sounds good on the surface, but I've only got one
    at this ;-)

    I find it annoying, although not unexpected, that the cost of a bottle
    of flux is 8X the cost of the laptop. Sigh...

  5. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    As an electronic assembly house, I buy flux by the gallon. Find such an
    outfit in your area and I'd bet they'd give you an ounce or two for
    nothing. I would.
  6. mike

    mike Guest

    I buy computers when they're a buck and I think I can fix 'em up.
    I do it mostly for the challenge and to give me something to do.

    Price of flux isn't a "problem", it's an annoyance.
    Making your own is interesting. Wonder what my neighbor would say
    if he caught me gnawing on his pine tree?
    I happened by a parts store today, but they didn't have anything
    I thought would work.
    I'll just order some from ebay.
  7. mike

    mike Guest

    Thanks for the inputs.
    Flux arrived.
    I practiced on a TiVo board. Had to get the air temp over 350C to get
    enough heat to desolder a BGA.
    I then took a shot at the laptop.
    The intermediate board curled up on the corner when I heated it. I
    feared I'd lost connection on that corner. Probably shoulda dropped the
    temp cause of the thinner intermediate board.

    When I tried to run it, I got no video. My heart sank...
    I didn't think I needed to plug in the boards for wifi, firewire
    and modem, but I took a shot and reassembled the whole thing.

    Got any suggestions for a blower for a hot air gun.
    This Leister is a 600W element and temperature regulator
    at the end of a 10-foot air hose. They ran the power wire
    down the center of the air hose and it provides a lot of back pressure.
    It's designed to run off shop compressed air. My 3/4HP compressor
    won't supply as much flow as I like. I haven't found anything that
    can give me more volume against the back pressure. I even tried a 14"
    blower designed for blow-up advertising devices. No luck. Back pressure
    just stalls the impeller and the flow drops to nearly nothing.
    Can't really justify a bigger air compressor and a new circuit to run it
    for this.

    Does it make sense to put fans in series to get better flow under
    pressure? I gots lotsa fans.

  8. mike

    mike Guest

    Well, I asked you about this before.
    I used an IR thermometer to monitor the chip temperature and stopped
    heating when it got to 220C. I didn't time it, but it seemed like it took
    a long time to get there with 350C air temperature.

    When I practiced on the tivo, I tried air at 260C and could never get
    the chip over 150C. 350C worked nicely, but it didn't have the
    intermediate substrate.

    The thing is still working. Good enough for me.
    Consensus seems to be that uncontrolled reflowing is a temporary solution
    at best. Reballing and reworking with proper equipment is discussed
    as the only reliable solution.
    Remember, we're talking a dollar laptop. Not like it's the end of the world
    if it quits. I hate that darn eraser mouse, so probably won't use it
    anyway. I just like to fix stuff.
    I can part it out for more than it's worth.
    Labor 7 S
    I don't have the tiny nozzle, opening is about half an inch across.
    I built a 1/4" nozzle and experimented on the tivo board, but decided
    it was worse than the full opening.

    Rated 50-150 l/min at 500mbar static pressure.
    I set the regulator at around 10psi, no idea how accurate the gauge is.
    After about a minute, the tank pressure equalizes somewhere below 10psi
    and that's all the flow I get.

    It's designed for plastic welding with a small tip.

    That 10 foot hose really does restrict air flow when you use the whole
    When I dug up the spec, I found lotsa graphs of volume vs back pressure
    for fans.
    So, I've looked at this in detail back in 2005 and gave up.
  9. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    I had an NVidia 8500 that the gpu was BGA. I cooked it in the oven at
    450F for 5 minutes and it fixed the problem I was having, a system freeze
    hard lock. Internet suggestions were a BGA problem and the reflow or
    whatever the oven did fixed it. I thought solder melted higher than 450F
  10. Aliem

    Aliem Guest

  11. Aliem

    Aliem Guest

    Most commonly used solders melt in the temperature range of 360 to 370
    F. But depending upon the type of solder used, it may be a eutectic or
    non-eutectic solder (single melting point or multiple melting point
    alloy), so it may not even have any single melting point. Instead, as
    the different components of the non-eutectic solder alloy reach their
    melting point, the solder will form a slurry of the liquid
    lower-melting-point metal, with solid bits of the higher-melting-point
    metal in it.

    If the card was produced prior to ~2006, NVidia most likely used what
    most other electronics manufacturers used, the 63/37 Sn/Pb solder,
    with a melting point of about 362 F.

    If it was produced after ~2006, it most likely used Sn-Ag-Cu
    (Tin-Silver-Copper) solder, with a melting point of ~428 F.

    Here's a soldering tip if yer soldering to gold connectors... Sn (tin)
    at soldering temperatures dissolves gold. So if yer solder joints
    don't look shiny, and instead have a dull look, it might mean you had
    the heat on too long, causing some of the gold to dissolve into the

    We'll just chalk all this up as yet one more thing you have no clue
    about, hey.

    Fixed yer .sig to reflect yer reality.

    Yer welcome.


    ___ ___ ___ ___
    / /\ / /\ ___ / /\ / /\
    / /::\ / /:/ /__/\ / /::\ / /::|
    / /:/\:\ / /:/ \__\:\ / /:/\:\ / /:|:|
    / /::\ \:\ / /:/ / /::\ / /::\ \:\ / /:/|:|__
    /__/:/\:\_\:\ /__/:/ __/ /:/\/ /__/:/\:\ \:\ /__/:/ |:| /\
    \__\/ \:\/:/ \ \:\ /__/\/:/ \ \:\ \:\_\/ \__\/ |:|/:/
    \__\::/ \ \:\ \ \::/ \ \:\ \:\ | |:/:/
    / /:/ \ \:\ \ \:\ \ \:\_\/ |__|::/
    /__/:/ \ \:\ \__\/ \ \:\ /__/:/
    \__\/ \__\/ \__\/ \__\/

    WHO IS 'MEAT PLOW' from Alt.Usenet.Kooks (AUK)?

    The obese, abusive, ugly, snaggle-toothed, giant-headed, gay 'bear'
    biker retard who likes to surf gay porn sites as 'BlancoBear' while
    wearing only assless chaps:

    William Malone Griffith, Jr.
    (aka Milt, Meat Plow, BlancoBear, , Tripp)
    308 10th Street NE
    North Canton, OH 44720-2023

    Some of this sick ****'s best work, and comments from others about
    Message-ID: <SFexc.17128428$>

    Willy claims to be a member of SPUTUM (Subgenius Police, Usenet
    Tactical Unit, Mobile), but subgenius doesn't even BEGIN to describe
    Is yer CapsLock on, Willy?

    Evidence that Meat Plow is William Malone Griffith, II:
    Message-ID: <>
    Message-ID: <>
    Message-ID: <>
    Message-ID: <>

    Meat Plow personal info:
    Birthdate: Oct 3, 1955

    Amateur Radio callsign N8NCX
    Technician Plus
    (2 meter, 6 meter)

    Photo of MeatPlow in Belden Village Music store (his sister's music
    (Note the guitars in the background, the planet-sized head,
    the rotten-Chiclet teeth, and general look of retardation)

    Photo of William Malone Griffith, Jr. from
    (Note that it's the same person as in the photo above)

    He's got his father's nose and eyes:

    Meat Plow email addresses:
    "Bill N8NCX "

    wgriffit at (neo = North East Ohio)
    mhywattt at
    mhywatt at

    Meat Plow admits to being from Ohio:
    Message-ID: <>
    Message-ID: <>

    Meat Plow's brushes with the law:


    Meat Plow quotes:
    Message-ID: <>
    "I have no shame here in Usenet."

    Message-ID: <>
    "I'd bet $200.00 of that Keiser money you still have that you will
    leave before me."

    Meat Plow describes his high-powered legal team:
    Message-ID: <>
    "You know i have a legal team who specializes in internet law. And I
    won't hesitate to get them in on the action."

    Message-ID: <>
    "I haven't changed nor do I plan on it any time in the near future.
    And yes I am bullet-proof as I have proved it."

    Meat Plow visits a massage parlor for a Happy Ending massage.
    But they refused to give him a Happy Ending his second time there.
    That explains why he's gay, he can't even PAY for HAND JOBS from
    "One time I got a HE, and the 2nd time I didn't. I was asked if I was
    there both times and said I was. That's is why I didn't know if I said
    something wrong the 2nd time which made me not get a HE."

    Well, at least we know what he does with his weekends.

    Meat Plow losing his connection to reality, insinuating that he's law
    Message-ID: <>
    "I could be LE posing as Meat Plow. It can't be dis-proven."


    Oh, William, what would yer family say if they learned yer secrets?

    Catherine & Angelo Griffith

    4760 Echovalley St. NW
    North Canton, OH 44720-7504

    Pamela L. & Roger R. Werling
    { son Todd E. Werling (Ft. Wayne, IN) }
    { son Chris (Kennesaw, GA) }
    { son Keith (Ft. Wayne, IN) }
    { grandson Easton }
    { grandson Zakary }
    { granddaughter Camella }

    7704 Bisque Court
    Fort Wayne, IN 46825-3501

    Cheryl J. & Jason 'Sparky' Humberto E. Rivera
    { daughter Christina }
    { daughter Rosalio (North Canton, OH) }
    { daughter Maria (North Canton, OH) }
    { son Len Gray (Ft. Worth, TX) }

    5225 Echo Valley St. NW
    North Canton, OH 44720-9702
    Belden Village Music
    6787 Wales Ave NW
    North Canton, OH 44720
    Rosalio B & Maria I Rivera
    444 Wales Rd. NE
    Massillon, OH 44646-5875
    PO Box 35093
    Canton, OH 44735

    Carol L. & Ric A. Campbell
    { son Richard }
    { son Christopher (North Canton, OH) }
    { son Brandon († 30 May 1996) }
    { daughter Erin }

    6794 William Tell Ave NW
    North Canton, OH 44720-6546
    PO Box 36473
    Canton, OH 44735

    Christine H. & Shelton M. Vick
    { son Matthew }

    3915 Harvard Ave NW
    Canton, OH 44709-1538
    Re/Max Edge Realty
    North Canton / Massillon / Canton
    Realtor Christine H. Vick

    6929 Portage St. NW
    North Canton, OH 44720-6535
    888-830-6509 (fax)
    330-904-0883 (cell)


    Angela C. & Mark Warshefski

    11 SE 12th St.
    Pompano Beach, FL 33060
    4760 Echovalley St. NW
    North Canton, OH 44720-7504

    Eddy Dailey

    Bergholz Super Mart
    861 Washington St.
    Bergholz, OH 43908
    Bergholz Financial Corp.
    dba SuperMart
    PO Box 545
    524 Garfield St.
    Bergholz, OH 43908

    Donna L. Dailey

    524 5th St.
    Bergholz, OH 43908
    Bergholz Super Mart
    861 Washington St.
    Bergholz, OH 43908
    Bergholz, OH EMT

    Bill & Joyce Leas
    { son Billy }

    243 2nd St.
    Bergholz, OH 43908

    Rachel & Adam T. Livengood
    { son Lukas }
    { daughter Lauren }

    6342 Palmer Dr. NW
    Canton, OH 44718

    Izzatchoo, or yer dead daddy?
    William M. Griffith

    between 3rd and 4th St.
    between Monroe and Lincoln Ave.
    Bergholz, OH 43908

    What would yer landlord for 308 10th St. NE,
    North Canton, OH say if they learned yer secrets?
    David S. and Joan R. Shaner

    2095 Waterbury Dr.
    Uniontown OH 44312

    What would the employees at yer family's
    business say if they learned yer secrets?
    Ohio Kentucky Oil Corporation
    aka Ohio Oil & Gas Exploration (defunct)
    aka Ohio Kentucky Coal Company (defunct)

    5112 Portage St. NW
    Canton, OH 44720-6856
    (330) 494-8810
    (330) 497-7980
    110 E. Lowry Lane
    Lexington, KY 40503
    (800) BUY 4 OIL
    (800) 289-4645
    (859) 223-5656
    (859) 223-5946
    (859) 276-0699 (fax)
    (859) 276-3500
    (859) 276-4080


    Oh, but wait, Ohio Oil & Gas Exploration is no longer incorporated in
    Daddy Griffith's petrol exploration company (defunct):

    Nor are any of the other businesses yer daddy started. You let them
    all fail:
    Daddy Griffith's stables (defunct):

    Daddy Griffith's motel business (defunct):

    Daddy Griffith's drilling company (defunct):

    Daddy Griffith's metals business (defunct):

    And Ohio Kentucky Oil Corporation is on its last legs, inundated with
    securities fraud lawsuits and EPA lawsuits. It's barred from
    soliciting investors in Tennessee due to securities fraud, it's under
    investigation in Ohio and Kentucky, it owns no oil assets or wells,
    and it no longer does any of its own drilling. It'll be gone soon,

    And you've squandered everything Daddy Griffith earned from his
    businesses, so yer now poor, adding insult to injury.

    You being poor is why you issued the following. You knew you didn't
    have ten thousand dollars or so to defend yerself against yet another

    William Malone Griffith, II's grovelfest of an apology for being a
    fucktard stauker:
    Message-ID: <>

    Title: Apology to Charles Novins

    The witnesses to this abject, groveling apology:

    Angela Griffith = Angela C. Griffith-Warshefski, William Malone
    Griffith, Jr.'s sister

    Catherine Griffith = William Malone Griffith, Jr.'s mother

    Julia M. Griffith = ?

    Cheri Griffith = Cheryl J. Griffith-Rivera, William Malone Griffith,
    Jr.'s sister

    Justin Griffith = ?

    Kristy Griffith = Christine H. Griffith-Vick, William Malone Griffith,
    Jr.'s sister


    Questions yet to be answered:
    Who are Julia M. Griffith and Justin Griffith?

    Angela C. Griffith-Warshefski came all the way from Pompano Beach,
    Florida to witness and sign MeatPlow's apology letter?

    Or did William Malone Griffith, Jr. forge the witness signatures,
    which would indicate some level of insincerity in the apology?

    If William Malone Griffith, Jr. did indeed forge the witness
    signatures, is his family cognizant of him using them in this way?

    Who is Deborah Ann Griffith?

    Who is Sherri Renee Christie, William D. Christie (age 54) and Lillie
    L. Christie, and how are they associated with William Malone Griffith,

    1345 Bison St. NW
    Massillon, OH 44647
    330-833-5313 (Sherri)
    330-837-4967 (William)

    2524 Meadows Ave NW
    Apt. 4
    Massillon, OH 44647

    PO Box 36221
    Canton, OH 44735


    It's time for a digital enema to flush this turd named William Malone
    Griffith, II out of the system.

    The exit is -.
    .---. .-----. |
    | | '---. | |
    '-. `-----|-' |
    | '---'
  12. josephkk

    josephkk Guest

    Recently there was a thing about high volume low pressure air for paint
    guns. I bet you could find something surplus or yard sale for cheap.
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