I hate using desoldering pumps, sadly, they are way cheaper than copper braid. So, imagine my face when I was told that I had to rework/repair/canibalize boards with seven segment displays. Yay! tons of holes to unplug…! (ffffffuuuuuu…..)
Even after finishing the first board, I thought that there should be some way to help localize where the hell are you aplying the vacuum. (because I heat the board from the top, and use the shringe on the pads bottom). And this, became to be:
You can see another red led down on the rim, I originally intended to use that one, because forgot that once compressed, the plunger that helps cleaning the nozzle, also blocks all light to, and from, the inside. Still, I left it there because it perfectly plugged the hole I made prior to really think what I was doing. Then I just added the other led on top, with tape. It makes for an easier shringe location (if it has vias or other places to shine the led through, otherwise is useless.
At first, I thought that having the beam aligned with the vacuum point, would be the ideal, however, I later found that the offset in the locator, actually helped to desolder, because after a while, you got the hang of about how much distance you needed to add and I was unplugging two holes at once on the display vias through correct nozzle positioning.
But, is it helpful? It’s hard to say. Probably someone who spends it’s days doing just that, doesn’t need no aid, but for me, it made for an enjoyable pair of days of desoldering, instead of a pain in the ass.