Finding Lifted Solder Pads and Broken Traces

Troubleshooting a failed mic mod?

First, clean the board. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and 99% Isopropyl alcohol or a commercial flux cleaner. Flux deposits hide bad joints, so you have to clean the board before you inspect it.

Then look at the solder joints from an angle. Not from top down, but from 45 degrees or so. Look for corners that are standing up from the board.

See anything wrong here?

Lifted solder pad, with broken trace

The easiest way to repair this sort of problem is to remove the component whose pad has lifted, and install a replacement part whose leads have not yet been trimmed.

Then use those long leads to bend them toward the next solder pad on the same trace. Solder this leg in both places -- both to the lifted pad, and to the next pad on the same trace, for stability.

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