Repairing the Commodore 1581 floppy disk drive. Part 2

I assumed that the Commodore 1581 was failing because of a bad WD1772 IC (as documented in Part I). So I ordered a WD1772 replacement + the IC socket, I developed some basic desoldering skills, watched some desoldering videos, and also got a cheap desoldering iron from Radio Shack:

Only $11 bucks at Radio Shack

So, I removed the board from the Commodore 1581 and started to desolder the IC. To my surprise the $11-buck desolder iron worked pretty well. I was able to remove all the solder from the the pins in a few minutes. The desolder iron just takes some time to reach the needed temperature, but besides that, it seems to be a great tool for occasional desoldering tasks (a hobbyist desoldering iron cost more than $250)

Continue reading “Repairing the Commodore 1581 floppy disk drive. Part 2”


Soldering, what could go wrong?

I’m good at software engineering, but in electronics, I’m a newbie. Nonetheless, I find electronics fascinating.

Last year I did the first basic tutorials with Arduino, then I played a little bit with Raspberry Pi and CI20 (technically not really electronics). And this year, I built a very simple circuit to connect the RGBI output of my Commodore 128 to VGA… I have been using breadboard, so no soldering, no PCB, or anything like that.

But yesterday I decided that I wanted to keep learning Arduino, so I tried to do some advanced tutorials, and it required soldering. I had never soldered before, I hadn’t read any soldering tutorial… but what could go wrong? Soldering is easy, right?

Well, everything went wrong… I tried to solder an LCD display but didn’t work, I tried to unsolder it and solder it again, but failed again. In fact, I think I burnt the LCD display. And also I think I broke the tip of the solder.

But on the positive side, I think I did all the possible mistakes that one possible can do when soldering… than means that I learned a lot 🙂

My failed soldering experiment
My failed soldering experiment

Anyway, I’ll keep learning electronics… I’ll keep learning how to solder, but this time I’ll practice with empty PCBs.