The LaST Upgrade Part 26 - PLCC SOCKET REMOVAL

Last updated January 15, 2017

This guide will show a easy way to remove the PLCC socket on Atari motherboards with no damage by trying to remove it all in one go. Please note, this guide does not state how to remove the socket as a whole for re-use elsewhere. This guide breaks the socket to make it easier to remove for people who may have not have much experience at soldering.


I used a old STFM motherboard for this guide. Likely the people to be unsoldering the PLCC socket will be on the STE for fitting my CPU booster etc.

First off is to remove the metal clamp on top. Normally there will be a "+" shaped part under the clamp, but likely I lost that ages ago :)


Using a small flat tip screwdriver , you can easily pry off the metal clip.


I use the normal PLCC extractor tool, though I prefer to only use one side at a time. Gently remove the IC by lifting it up a little each side. After a couple of lifts, it will pop out.


Next you will need 2 pins. A yellow one and a pink one. The colour is extremely important so don't mess that part up!


Made a small bend in the yellow pin end as shown in the image above.


Now with the pink pin which is still straight, push it behind the socket pin as shown above and push the socket pin forward.


Now using the bent yellow pin, hook it behind the socket pin and pull it upwards.


Now that the same to all the other socket pins.


Should now look something like above.


Bend all the pins upwards and then cut them off ass shown above. Cut the pins as close to the socket as possible as the pins will grib into the socket and make it difficult to remove others.

At this point you can try pulling the plastic part of the socket upwards with some small pliers. Pull gently in the corners and see if it shows sign of pulling up. If you are lucky , it will pull off. Assuming its going to be a bugger then you will need to chop it into smaller parts.


WARNING: If you try to lever the socket off the motherboard then use a plastic screwdriver or place card under where you are levering otherwise you will damage the PCB tracks as you lever against it.


Mine got stuck :(

The pins are likely bent or twisted in the socket causing it to get stuck somewhere..


Cut out the center of the socket. And made some cuts in the socket to make it more manageable. The pink pin had likely gone rogue at this point.


Using a screwdriver or pliers, pull up a section of the socket and then do the same for the rest.


Then you should be in a mess similar to above.


You need some good flux next. I use the one above. I have only just started using that brand recently, it seems to work well.


Go around all the pins and give them a good blob of flux. This will make unsoldering 1.7billion times easier.


Now heat up a pin and likely the pin will fall to one side once its solder has melted. Then GENTLY pull the pin up. It should come up with no effort. Do not pull this pin with any force as you may rip the VIA's out of the motherboard, then your gonna be in trouble. Do not press too hard with the soldering iron else you may damage the PCB traces/pads on top.


Keep going until you have pulled them all out. If the flux all burns off, apply some more as you go. If the pin seems hard to remove, try some more flux.

Generally use the soldering iron on max temperature setting for these (I use 450degC) Lower temp irons will likely struggle to heat up the copper area. A small crafts heatgun can also be useful. They are generally 200-300watts and normally cost less than 15.

There will be about 4 pins which will take longer to heat up than the rest. Generally it should take 1-2 seconds to heat the solder up to pull the pin. The power pins (which are connected to large areas of copper) will take about 10-30 seconds to heat up before you can pull the pin out. Do not force the pin out, if it doesn't come out easily then its not melted the solder enough and you need more heat.


Then you should be in a mess like above. Now remove all the pins from the motherboard. Make 100% sure none have dropped somewhere else on the motherboard also.



Next up you need to remove the solder from the holes. Some may want to use a solder sucker here, but I find the sucker tends to jump hitting the board and can damage the pads. So for this work I opted to use de-soldering braid (aka solder mop). The stuff I used is pretty rubbish. Probably 3mm would be better for this work. Get something with a high flux content also. The cheaper stuff hasn't any flux at all which makes the stuff near impossible to use. Though you could in fact use the flux syringe and flux the braid anyway.


The solder braid goes ontop of the pad and soldering iron on top as shown above. The solder braid will "suck up" the solder from the hole after a few seconds. You will likely see the braid go silver coloured as the solder is sucked up. You may need to add more flux and you may also need to de-solder the bottom of the motherboard if the solder isn't sucked up correctly. Note that the braid can only be used once. So once it has done a few holes, cut that part off the spool and use clear solder braid. Once the braid has solder in it, its done and you can't use that section of the braid again.


As mentioned previously. Some holes like the one above the solder is difficult to remove due to the large copper areas connected to it. In this case, add some more flux and using a fine soldering iron tip, gently push down in the middle of the hole on top of the braid. As the solder melts, the soldering iron will likely break though the center of the braid and it will be easier to suck up the solder. Don't push down too hard otherwise you will damage the PCB VIA's.


Once all the solder is up. Use a IPA wipe to clean the area up and then we are done :)