Help with ideas for replacing the RFM22B on an OpLink
« on: September 29, 2023, 08:43:34 pm »
I'm currently replacing the 433MHz RFM22B on an OpLink (actually a non-OP "OpLink Ground") with a 915MHz component.

I've done this successfully in the past too, but after a long and painful process, generally wind up with damaged connection points on the RFM and even causing a little minor damage to the "OpLink Ground" PCB.  Will do the "OpLink Air" after this.

So far I have always slid a dulled razor blade (the thin kind) under the pads as I desolder them.  A pain.  And another pain to work around the components close to the RFM board (worse with "OpLink Ground").

I'm looking for a better / easier way to do this.

I have a hot air gun (with many tip sizes) and Kapton tape, but am afraid of loosing components right next to the RFM board, even with Kapton covering them.  I have only used Kapton a few times and never lost a covered component.  Working with the whole board hot is probably difficult.  Am I worrying too much?  Large nozzle for more heat or small, worked back and forth over both sets of connectors?  Hmm...  I have plenty of OP OpLinks, maybe I should just try it.

Tape it.  Hold it somehow.  Heat quickly while trying to pry the RFM off with a dulled #11 Xacto.

I have also considered just cutting the RFM board up with a Dremel so it can be removed one connection at a time.  This would be hazardous for cutting OpLink PCB traces and a pain cutting it, but may be the best way.

I could also remove the closest components on the RFM side, use hot air with Kapton, then put components back.

I will probably want to do a Revo / Sparky2 in the future.

Any ideas?

Anyone know of a source to buy non-stock OpLinks/Revos/Sparky2s?