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Pogo Pins Or Solder?


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#1 POTF

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:20 PM

First this is not a post I need people that are going to start a war, or flame. I just need facts, and personal experience.

I know many people say that soldering last longer. I however am not very good at it. So I am considering getting a chip with pogo pins. Other users have claimed pogo pins will not last and/or have problems.

1. Exactly how are the pogo pins bad? Don't stay connected? Break, or don't last a long time? Not good if you plan to move your Xbox frequently?
2. Is soldering a chip worth the chance of messing something up? If it is, then why do you think so?
3. If I get one the does require soldering then should I take it to a pro, or try to learn, then do it myself?

#2 LumbraX

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:24 PM

Solder has a better connection then Pogo Pins will ever have. This is for a fact to. laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

#3 LumbraX

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:25 PM

And get your chip fitted by a pro. Extreme-Mods.com has the best installation service. wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif

#4 _ASIC_

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:36 PM

Firstly, a post like this is almost guaranteed to start a war but what are you going to do... (hope it's entertaining! biggrin.gif )

1.) Downside to pogo pins. They don't always hold their connection well, and will require re-alignment. The LPC bus (large connection points) won't be the problem there, it's just the one pin off by itself that has a very small contact point. (I speak from experience. I have a matrix)

Also, over time, since the contact point is very small (tip of pogo pin only) oxidation can set in and eventually the connection can be lost. (removing/cleaning and reinstalling would fix this.)

The XBOX MB also does not allow for a very satisfactory mounting solution with pogo pins. One screw, off to the side. A lot of leverage on that screw from the pogo pins. If there were to screws on either side (MB does not allow for this) I would be ok with it...

2.) Soldering is definately better. However, more chance of screwing up. Although with the low connection numbers of some of these modchips, it is not hard. More of a confidence issue than anything. If your afraid to solder, or unwilling to take the risk, buy pogo pins

3.) Learn, and do it yourself. If your too scared, take it to a pro. No-one can answer that kind of question for you. You have to decide for yourself if you want to do it.

All I can say for certain, is that the solder is definately the superior method.



#5 Merle Corey

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:49 PM

1) You nailed it - pogos don't stay connected. Over time, there's also a likelihood that they (or the pads) will oxidize and you'll need to clean them.

2) No. If you're not comfortable with your soldering abilities, don't solder.

3) It's probably worth paying a pro to do it, but it's not hard to learn, either (especially for the soldering skill needed for something like the x-ecuter). If nothing else, it's at least worth trying to learn.

Get some rosin paste flux, a 15w fine-tipped iron, some 30awg kynar insulated wire wrap wire, some 63/37 rosin core solder (preferably in .031 or .020 diameter, but you can use .050 in a pinch), and an old circuitboard. You might want to pick up some desoldering braid while you're at it. Everything but the kynar and the circuitboard you can get at Radio Shack. The kynar you might have to hunt online for, or if you're not too picky about pricing, try www.action-electronics.com. Keep at it until you're comfortable or you decide you don't have the hand/eye coordination to pull it off. Either way, you should know within a few hours.

There are a lot of tutorials on soldering technique elsewhere on the net. The key is the flux paste - I taught myself soldering by trial and error when I was a kid, and managed to not hear about it until a few years ago when I was modding my first PSX. If you really want the point drilled home, try experimenting both with and without flux (on your disposable board) - it makes a world of difference, especially for the fine connections.

You already show the first important attribute: Caution. If you even *think* you might not be able to do it yourself, don't try. Period.

MC

#6 nasis x.

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 12:51 AM

Let's clear up some basic facts about Plug&Play installation.

I have used 8 diferent types of connectors,
with a compatible ribbon cable,
for my PLUG&PLAY design for PS2 consoles,
and from my experience,
if you want to achieve a steady connection,
you must follow exactly the specifications of the component that you use.

So, if you want to avoid soldering,
then you can find many diferent ways,
like glue, chewing gum, tape, or pogo pins ...

From the other hand,
soldering is offering you a steady connection,
but you always have to keep the freedom,
to undo it incase of a mistake or an upgrade...

So I believe,
that in Xbox modification through the LPC bus,
both of the current solutions are risky,
and must be done only by expert installers.


#7 Tarobap

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 01:25 AM

I know this may sound weird, but what about soldering only that one point on the matrix that seems to mis-align . . . is this possible? Perhaps disconnecting that one pogo pin and using a wire to connect that connection to the mobo? That may make a really stable matrix.

I know I know . . . this defeats the solderless mod . . . but we are talking about stability here . . . this would make it easy for solder newbies (not to say I'm an expert) and you would get a solid connection.

This of course assuming the other pogo pins have good connections . . . I don't have a mod yet . . . perhaps those that do can clear this up . . .

Yes . . . no flaming . . . after lurking on this board for some time . . . I have noticed that people really get pissed over really stupid things. Thanks . . .

#8 POTF

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 01:55 AM

I understand the pogo pins can have bad connections. But if I screw it in there securely, and only move it occasionly. Besides oxidation build up is there anything really wrong with it? I mean I understand it could slide a little, but if it is just going to sit there, then is there anything else that could go wrong? Cause I am not worrying about it sliding, or the build up from the oxidation, just that for some reason it won't physically last as long.

#9 Ace25

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 01:57 AM

Ok, to be nice, it would be VERY hard to solder just one of the pins on a matrix. You need as short a wire as possible. Just think about it, and then would be hard to clean the pogos when oxidation happens.

To Merle Corey and _ASIC_:
Those where 2 of the best responses in a row that I have seen on here. Great help!!! Excellent tips on soldering. That is exactly what n00bs should do to learn.

Everyone should have an old modem, video card, motherboard or something like that they can practice on. Take out an eeprom and test soldering that to 8 points on another board with wires for practice. Even better, like suggested, try soldering 4 points without flux and 4 with and you will soon be a lifelong fan of flux. Once you see and feel the difference yourself it will be a no brainer.

#10 Merle Corey

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 03:38 AM

QUOTE (POTF @ Oct 30 2002, 12:55 AM)
But if I screw it in there securely, and only move it occasionly.

Ah, that's where you want to be careful. As _ASIC_ said, because of the layout, those pogos have a lot of leverage. I found that when I screwed my Matrix down securely, it was more prone to going out of alignment. I left a little more slack on the screw than I was necessarily happy with last time, and it's held for a whole week so far. (Previous record was about 2 hours.)

Oh, and use a longer screw if you go with the Matrix - you'll save yourself some headaches.

Beyond that, there's no innate "This mod will self-destruct in 30 seconds" factor with the Matrix. Well, that we know of, anyway. laugh.gif The fact that it's based on a 256K chip instead of a 512K or 1MB makes it slightly less future-proof. That, and the occasional headaches with getting it flashed initially, DOA units, etc. (The cheapmod had similar issues, the Matrix just blows them into a larger scale because it's mass produced.)

As for permanence of the LPC bus based hacks... I've plugged it a few times before, but I love iMurderer's socket solution for the X-ecuter. Given that a socket is precisely what that location was designed for, it makes perfect sense. Check out the page (piratesrus.org) for pictures and details. (And yes, I know that Numbnut used the same thing in earlier incarnations of the cheapmod project.) Since every LPC bus hack is going to be accessing the same points (at a minimum - they may access more, but they basically can't access less), it's also relatively future proof. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, though.

Ace25: Thanks!

Tarobap: I've considered soldering my Matrix. I've considered removing all the pogos and installing a socket. I decided to leave it as is, and pick up an X-ecuter2 once they're widely available. For me, the Matrix was bought with the understanding that it was an interim mod - my timing was damn near perfect, too. I ordered it three days before the X2 announcement. rolleyes.gif

MC

#11 bagel5009

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 03:46 AM

im one bad solderer, pogo pins all the way!

#12 newbie_te

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 01:12 PM

It seems, a lot of people are willing to talk with out facts...

I have done many installations in the past few years (+ 500) ranging from neo4 (44 wire Ps2) to messiah on v3 (PS2) to 29 wire Xbox .. x-ecuter and now matrix, apart from the difficulty of work in terms or time and accuracy of soldering , each and every "mod" has it`s benefits and draw backs.

Here are the facts about the Matrix ... when installed , all points including D0 measured .. and 3 weeks later still measure less than 0.1 ohms resistance .. this is proof in itself that a solid connection is easily obtainable through a gold plated pogo pin , after all, companies like Ericcson, Sony, Universal, Panasonic, Nokia, etc etc .. would never have used them for such critical applications as battery terminal pick up ( typical required resistance is well bellow 0.1 ohms ) let alone simple data communication , which requires a lot less in terms of resistance tolerance for the simple reason that very low current is being drawn.

I have seen and repaired many a soldered mod chips installations, with 99% of the problems being bad solder points , especially in difficult installations like the e-xecuter, (remember I`ve done many a messiah ps2 v3 console) ..

Before any of you go on a rampage as to how I can possible call the x-ecuter difficult , there is a very simple reasoning .. when I solder i check each point I solder by simply tugging on the wire to ensure it has a good solid (mechanical and therefore electrical) connection .. this is impossible to do with the x-ecuter .. so you basically have to "BLIND" solder and pray that each of the LPC points have been soldered .. or remove the whole mother board and do your electrical tests ( something I`ve been forced to do quite a few times up to now ) and yes it is possible to have a partially good solder point , which over time with the change of environmental temperature cause expansion and contraction and cause loss of continuity.

The workings of one design over another are at the end of the day neither here nor there, yes people will argue that the one they have is better than the other ... But when it comes down to pure facts .. what ends up counting is the way each mod is installed .. a rushed unchecked job , either soldered or not , will eventually give you trouble ..


#13 Merle Corey

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 02:13 PM

QUOTE
this is proof in itself that a solid connection is easily obtainable through a gold plated pogo pin


Ah, now see, that's where you're misunderstanding us. We're not saying that you can't get a good electrical connection through pogos in general, we're saying that the Matrix in particular (and the so-called "g-spot" pogo), because of the angling involved, is twitchy.

I'm pretty sure that nobody (at least on this thread) has gone so far as to say it's impossible to get a good connection. You've got a pogo the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen trying to make contact to a via the size of the tip of a needle - tricky, yes, impossible, no.

Citing Ericson et al is a bit of a strawman, don't you think? Whenever a "real" company uses pogos or comparable connections, there's a fair amount of design around making sure that the pogos don't apply any unbalanced pressure to the connection. The Matrix, on the other hand, has an unbalanced force acting against it, and would be difficult to have otherwise (without the board being extended to cover 2 or 3 screw points).

To twist your words a bit further (biggrin.gif), it would be like saying that solder must be a good connector because M$ used it in the Xbox - while strictly accurate, it fails to take into account the design specifics of the product in question.

QUOTE
this is impossible to do with the x-ecuter


No, it's just impossible to do with the x-ecuter if you follow the default install instructions. I'm surprised you're not wiring it in and tacking it down with doublestick tape - easier to install, easier to test, easier to correct, easier to remove.

That said, you're quite right - calling the X-ecuter a 1 wire mod is extremely misleading. I suspect it was a marketing strategy, to be honest - it just doesn't make good sense to solder a board to another board like that. While the alternate method I outlined above is reasonably intuitive for anyone with some decent experience, it doesn't do much to help the newbie solderers trying to mount it.

For that reason alone, I'm glad to hear the the X2 is being primarily marketed as a 10 wire mod with different adapter options available - easier on the newbies, easier on the more experienced.

QUOTE
a rushed unchecked job , either soldered or not , will eventually give you trouble


True enough, and it applies to more than just mods. Measure twice, cut once, and all that.

To wrangle this back on to topic, however, the original poster explicitly asked why people thought that pogos on the Matrix were potentially problematic, asked for some opinions on soldering, and made it clear that he was willing to consider hiring someone to install a mod.

We went on to answer his pogo questions, offer some soldering tips, and reinforce - repeatedly - that he should have a pro do it if he wasn't completely comfortable soldering.

So where, exactly, were we talking "with out facts"?

MC

#14 POTF

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 08:15 PM

Now here is another question though, if the X-ecutor 2 comes out with Pogo pins, and somehow has a better way of staying aligned. Then would pogo pins be better so to speak? (I wonder how soon soon is, when they post the prototype pics.)

#15 akarnid

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 09:18 PM

Excellent response MC.






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