Cheapest way to get a BGA chip re-balled with lead solder...?

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Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
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My Gateway XHD3000 LCD is flickering again and I don't want to keep doing the temporary fix of re-flowing the solder on the offending BGA chip. I want to have the chip professionally re-balled with lead-based solder.

From what I can tell, it's VERY expensive to have the chip professionally re-balled. Maybe the more affordable options are just hard to find...?

Does anyone know of a place (or industry-secret) where I can send the PCB to have it re-balled with lead solder? My hope is that this can be done for less than $250, if possible. I can buy a whole new board on eBay for less than $200, but I believe it will just develop the same problem again. I'd rather do the re-ball and fix it for good.

[tangent]
This is another casualty of lead-free solder and the RoHS initiative. Interesting how environmental organizations push the industry to adopt practices that lead to inconceivable amounts of e-waste from short-lived electronics. This is the root cause for millions and millions of failed XBOX 360s, PS3s, laptops, TVs/monitors, mobile phones, etc. Of course, those are just the consumer electronics I've personally encountered and associated with this problem. It can affect all categories of consumer electronics. Meanwhile, my 8-bit NES still works great (with a new cartridge connector).
[/tangent]
 

imagoon

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Feb 19, 2003
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The real reason is the Altera chip isn't properly cooled and heats up above recommended operating temps where it torques itself off the board. Lead solder might extend the lifetime a bit since it can flex a bit, but it would fail also.

Heat the Altera chip with a heat gun and a metal slug to about 350C /650F (you should smell the solder melt) then add a heat sink to control the thermal movement. You can fit it in the Samsung case that uses the same board. No idea on the Gateway knock off version.

edit => Reballing requires a balling template which is commonly a one off. Otherwise they are stuck using the flux / tweezers method which simple takes a ton of time.
 
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CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
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The real reason is the Altera chip isn't properly cooled and heats up above recommended operating temps where it torques itself off the board. Lead solder might extend the lifetime a bit since it can flex a bit, but it would fail also.

Heat the Altera chip with a heat gun and a metal slug to about 350C /650F (you should smell the solder melt) then add a heat sink to control the thermal movement. You can fit it in the Samsung case that uses the same board. No idea on the Gateway knock off version.

edit => Reballing requires a balling template which is commonly a one off. Otherwise they are stuck using the flux / tweezers method which simple takes a ton of time.

ATI revealed that the ASIC was incorrect due to the industry believing that manufacturing tolerances were in line with real-world usage scenarios. They weren't. Yes, it was engineered to handle its own heat output, but it did not account for all the variability in manufacturing (partial BGA connections, cold solder joints, etc) as well as longer-term real-world performance. This perfectly accounts for the nVidia, Sony, and Microsoft failures, as well as the OP.
 

ColdFusion718

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Mar 4, 2000
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The real reason is the Altera chip isn't properly cooled and heats up above recommended operating temps where it torques itself off the board. Lead solder might extend the lifetime a bit since it can flex a bit, but it would fail also.

Heat the Altera chip with a heat gun and a metal slug to about 350C /650F (you should smell the solder melt) then add a heat sink to control the thermal movement. You can fit it in the Samsung case that uses the same board. No idea on the Gateway knock off version.

edit => Reballing requires a balling template which is commonly a one off. Otherwise they are stuck using the flux / tweezers method which simple takes a ton of time.

Umm no. A heat gun is for stripping paint. To do it properly, you need a preheater and a reflow station. I honestly don't think the OP ever managed to do a complete reflow. He might have just been heating the solder up just enough to get sticky to reform the cracked joints.

Also, you need to put a thermocouple next to the chip in question to monitor the temperature. Without this, you are doing it blind.

I used to reball xbox 360s.

If you don't have the stencil for the chip, you can use a generic stencil and then just mask off the extra holes using kapton tape.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
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Umm no. A heat gun is for stripping paint. To do it properly, you need a preheater and a reflow station. I honestly don't think the OP ever managed to do a complete reflow. He might have just been heating the solder up just enough to get sticky to reform the cracked joints.

Also, you need to put a thermocouple next to the chip in question to monitor the temperature. Without this, you are doing it blind.

I used to reball xbox 360s.

If you don't have the stencil for the chip, you can use a generic stencil and then just mask off the extra holes using kapton tape.

Do you think a person that fixes XBOX 360s can "do it right" for me? My friend has seriously considered investing in reballing equipment, but I got the impression that it's prohibitively expensive.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
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Umm no. A heat gun is for stripping paint. To do it properly, you need a preheater and a reflow station. I honestly don't think the OP ever managed to do a complete reflow. He might have just been heating the solder up just enough to get sticky to reform the cracked joints.

Also, you need to put a thermocouple next to the chip in question to monitor the temperature. Without this, you are doing it blind.

I used to reball xbox 360s.

If you don't have the stencil for the chip, you can use a generic stencil and then just mask off the extra holes using kapton tape.

You do realize that temperature controlled heat guns are not for paint right? I highly doubt you would be striping paint with the guns I am talking about. They are not much larger than a surface mount air soldering iron and even come with nifty heat guards to keep from cooking the rest of the boards components.

Also I was giving the OP an approach that has worked on other Samsung / what ever knock off brands the Samsung was made in to. Not everyone one wants to invest in $1000+ dollars in gear to fix a $60 Chinese part.

Here is the basics of reballing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97nxZwHG5bA

He even uses the heat gun I am talking about to prime the chip.
 
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imagoon

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Feb 19, 2003
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Do you think a person that fixes XBOX 360s can "do it right" for me? My friend has seriously considered investing in reballing equipment, but I got the impression that it's prohibitively expensive.

It would depend on how he does it. If he removes the chips from the boards, strips the solder, uses masks and quality balls, primes the chips to the proper temp and the places the BGA chip back on the board, then yes I would suspect he would be fine doing it. Assuming he has the right pitch mask.

If he just bakes boards with the bake an pray method then "it might work."
 

PsiStar

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Dec 21, 2005
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Easier to get a vasectomy reversed ... thinking about re-balled ... so to speak.:whiste:
 
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