Author Topic: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick  (Read 15781 times)

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Offline tom66

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2013, 12:45:57 pm »
I found the patent for ChipQuik:
http://www.google.com/patents/US5326016?pg=PA2&dq=5326016&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aiI_UZOWPIyf7AaPhYHQCQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=5326016&f=false

Interestingly they patented the method (mixing low temperature solder to lower the melting point) instead of the actual product. This presumably means it isn't a violation of the patent to make low temperature solder (which would be hard to patent -- so many possible alloys) but it would be a violation to use it without permission/license (which I guess is included when you buy/sample the product??) So by trying to use my own low temperature solder (because I'm a cheapskate) I violated the patent. Making it is fine. Yay for patent law on stupid stuff like that.

Looks like it might have about a month left... so look out for clones in a short while.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 12:51:06 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline Maister

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2013, 01:44:24 pm »
Any suggestions about the alloy ? Maybe there is not any tin at all in it. I would not be surprised.
Professional electronics design engineer living in Hannover, Germany.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 01:46:46 pm »
amyk reports:
According to the MSDS it's Sn 12% Pb 18% Bi 49% In 21%
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2013, 03:49:15 pm »
From the video comments:
Quote from: Kevtris
The patent for chipquik (#5326016) says it is an alloy of 18% tin, 28% lead,? 11% cadmium, and 43% bismuth. This must be why they have a newer RoHS version of it, to remove the cadmium.
And as the comment implies, this is a pre-RoHS composition. Posting it here in case someone might be interested of the old composition.
Whoa! How the hell did Dave know that Bob is my uncle? Amazing!
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2013, 06:43:23 pm »
So by trying to use my own low temperature solder (because I'm a cheapskate) I violated the patent. Making it is fine.

This is not how it works. A patent is limited to a jurisdication. You have to be in that juristication, otherwise it doesn't apply. E.g. a US patent is useless in the UK (I didn't check if the patent you pointed to was a US patent, just explaining the principle).

Second, in many juristications the usage of a patent must be commercial before it might be an infringement. What you do in the privacy of your lab is typical no patent holder's business. Even commercial entities often experiment in the lab with patented techology they don't own, to understand it, improve it or circumvent it. As long as they don't sell stuff without a license it is usually no problem, and if they manage to find a circumvention it is anyhow not a problem.
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 07:22:21 pm »
Wonder how mercury would work....... [ Looks around for a hatter]. I know it does dissolve solder and copper. Very cool to place a drop on an aluminium alloy block and scratch through it then leave in a warm spot for a week, it turns into white flakes.
 

Offline Electr0nicus

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2013, 08:20:48 pm »
Hi Dave!

Interesting video, I liked it.

If you don't want to buy a complete kit, only because you've run out of Chip Quik solder, farnell has the solder on its own in 1.3m packaging. Search for article 2128169 .

Referring to the MSDS it consists of 17% Tin 57% Bismuth and 26% Indium
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 08:22:42 pm by Electr0nicus »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2013, 09:29:46 pm »
So by trying to use my own low temperature solder (because I'm a cheapskate) I violated the patent. Making it is fine.

This is not how it works. A patent is limited to a jurisdication. You have to be in that juristication, otherwise it doesn't apply. E.g. a US patent is useless in the UK (I didn't check if the patent you pointed to was a US patent, just explaining the principle).

Second, in many juristications the usage of a patent must be commercial before it might be an infringement. What you do in the privacy of your lab is typical no patent holder's business. Even commercial entities often experiment in the lab with patented techology they don't own, to understand it, improve it or circumvent it. As long as they don't sell stuff without a license it is usually no problem, and if they manage to find a circumvention it is anyhow not a problem.

OK, yeah, assuming I am in the US, I violated it.

I was informed that commercial use does not matter? For example, MPEG is patented. You need to pay a fee to use it on your device if it doesn't already include it (legally.) No-one bothers, but it's still patent infringement. And say I publish this fact on the internet and MPEG-LA found out, and decided to sue me. A judge would almost certainly throw out the case, but it's still illegal.

Now let's say a company does this. Boom, they infringed this totally over-reaching patent. Mixing solder to remove parts is not new. I hardly see how using a lower temperature solder qualifies as a unique and innovate discovery.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 09:31:25 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2013, 12:02:12 am »
Wonder how mercury would work....... [ Looks around for a hatter]. I know it does dissolve solder and copper. Very cool to place a drop on an aluminium alloy block and scratch through it then leave in a warm spot for a week, it turns into white flakes.

I know you have a repository of aircraft maintenance stories of your own but you might like this true one from my youth: 
It is 1970 and I have just moved to the remote small community of Gillam in northern Manitoba. My father is at the time an electrical engineer working for Manitoba Hydro, his job the construction and commissioning the AC/DC converter stations of a high capacity DC transmission line to carry the power from dams on the nelson river south. The early design of the station used mercury valves from english electric. They were later replaced by solid state devices from ASEA Brown-Boveri. I am recalling all this from childhood memory so some of the details maybe a little wrong. The mercury valves had large tanks possibly 2 -3 meters long. Father pointed one out when he took me on a tour of the radisson station. "There is mercury in there, (points to tank), guys need to wear special suit to work on them. These things have been nothing but trouble, the whole project is being delayed by them. One sank en route on a ship in the english channel another one some how broke and leaked in an airplane, a flying boxcar, on the last leg up to Gillam. The airplane is a write-off. "

I can imagine all those little blobs of mercury dancing their way into every nook and cranny of an aluminum stressed skin plane. :palm:
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 03:30:37 am by chickenHeadKnob »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2013, 04:42:25 am »
Corrosion in aircraft is a killer. Engines can blow up no problem but most pilots are very afraid if the wings fall off or the bottom falls out.
 

Offline Orpheus

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2013, 06:00:38 am »
For physical patents, you are free to make your own device for personal use.

Software patents have philosophical issues that I don't want to tackle (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a lawyer), but if you wrote your own coder and decoder, and coded only your own data for playback by only yourself, Frauhofer wouldn't have had a claim against you (until recent judicial and political swings that vastly favored corporate "rights") then again, it wasn't so long ago that they wouldn't have been able to patent an algorithm at all (and you still can't patent software methods in much of the world -- Europe, until fairly recently, if not today-- but Europe will now *enforce* patents issued elsewhere, even if they wouldn't have issued them locally)

I did quite a bit of dallying with low-melt alloys in my youth (I frequently encountered a hobbyist writeup on SMT tricks that I posted to  a mailing list under my real name, as well as my early (1996? 97? Within about a year of them marketing online, anyway) Chipquik circulating on the web 10 years later).  I mention this because I still have the remainder of my very first sample from their original recipe (tossed it in a general toolkit when I bought more, but never needed to use it in "general" work) and can confirm it was quite different from the brittle stuff Dave showed (which is more like Woods, Cerro-Low, etc.) It was only moderately less flexible than 63/37

Woods metal *will* work as a low melt desolderer. and is relatively cheap in the quantities used by plumbers, AC workers, etc. for pipe-bending, heat-activated sprinklers, etc. You'll sometimes see Woods Metal sold in 100-2000g lots on eBay, crude unmarked "ingots" that were very likely just cast from scraps/blocks of old plumber's material (I once got one where I could read the embossing of the kitchen bowl they'd cast it in) IIRC, not so long ago, a 3lb block could be had for $20-30 plus s/h if you were patient. I took a quick look and found plenty of sales of "Woods Alloy", but few real bargains -- but those offers were erratic when I used to buy it.

There are a number of such low-melting alloy to experiment with: French's metal, Field's metal, Rose's metal  ... it's been a long time since I was into this, so the exact details elude me. Cerrometals, on the other hand are typically sold in small quantities for specific uses (e.g. cerro-Low is used for revolver pistol chamber measurements, because it shrinks very slightly on cooling for easy separation), and tend to be much pricier (and undoubtedly purer) than their technical grade equivalents. I don't know of any cheap  source for the Cerro-metals, but if I were *counting* on them, I'd go for the brand-name; chipQuik likewise can't patent an alloy that has been known and used for over a century, but it can patent a use, so no one else can sell it.

If I correctly recall the date of my review of the original ChipQuik, a 20-year patent would be running out very soon.

I would steer you clear of the (near) liquid metals. Mercury will suck gold off contacts so fast that you won't even be sure if it was ever there. Gallium (liquid at body temperature, but not *quite* at room temp, IIRC) will dissolve aluminum -- and some metal/liquid metal combos can be quite exothermic during dissolution, become exothermic on exposure to water, etc. Such metal/metal solutions are used in advanced organic chemistry to perform surprising reactions. I don't remember what Gallium does when it hits magnesium, for example, but you wouldn't want a flung droplet to hit your bike frame in the corner and start a fire that night.

Stick to low-melting solid alloys. You have to add heat, but by controlling the heat, you have more control over the physical material

It's dense, and they need to temporarily fill a fixed volume of often 100s/100cs of cc) - and they I never worried much about how to cast it into a wire, because it will stick to many materials (like the polyethylene containers I used in a water bath to melt it) creating thin "flashing" sheets that can easily be flexed off the poly and used almost as conveniently as wire. As you can see with the new Chipquik in the video, though,
 

Offline Orpheus

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2013, 06:12:38 am »
Historically for "physical patents" in he US, you are free to make your own device for personal use. You could even build on as a [temporary] employee for someone else. Eli Whitney pretty much went broke on the cotton gin as a result. I'm sure the corporations would beg to differ, but it hardly matters what the law actually is these day: few will contest a threat of lawsuit.

I often joke that between his cotton gin [which vastly increased the market for slave-grown cotton) and his innovations in interchangeable parts (which finally made him rich building rifles), he pretty much made the US Civil War happen when/how it did

Software patents have philosophical issues that I don't want to tackle (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a lawyer), but if you wrote your own coder and decoder, and coded only your own data for playback by only yourself .. not I promised myself I wouldn't go there. Suffice it to say that if you wrote a program to decode a legally encoded MP3, you'd have to worry more about DMCA, because you'd be circumventing an encryption (whatever rights you'd otherwise have) Besides, MP3 is part of the MPEG-2 standard (1991?), so the original patent would likely have expired by now -- or in ca 2015, at the latest, if it was an add-on. I don't recall the details.

I did quite a bit of dallying with low-melt alloys in my youth (I frequently encountered a hobbyist writeup on SMT tricks that I posted to  a mailing list under my real name, as well as my early (1996? 97? Within about a year of them marketing online, anyway) Chipquik circulating on the web 10 years later).  I mention this because I still have the remainder of my very first sample from their original recipe (tossed it in a general toolkit when I bought more, but never needed to use it in "general" work) and can confirm it was quite different from the brittle stuff Dave showed (which is more like Woods, Cerro-Low, etc.) It was only moderately less flexible than 63/37

Woods metal *will* work as a low melt desolderer. and is relatively cheap in the quantities used by plumbers, AC workers, etc. for pipe-bending, heat-activated sprinklers, etc. You'll sometimes see Woods Metal sold in 100-2000g lots on eBay, crude unmarked "ingots" that were very likely just cast from scraps/blocks of old plumber's material (I once got one where I could read the embossing of the kitchen bowl they'd cast it in) IIRC, not so long ago, a 3lb block could be had for $20-30 plus s/h if you were patient. I took a quick look and found plenty of sales of "Woods Alloy", but few real bargains -- but those offers were erratic when I used to buy it.

There are a number of such low-melting alloy to experiment with: French's metal, Field's metal, Rose's metal  ... it's been a long time since I was into this, so the exact details elude me. Cerrometals, on the other hand are typically sold in small quantities for specific uses (e.g. cerro-Low is used for revolver pistol chamber measurements, because it shrinks very slightly on cooling for easy separation), and tend to be much pricier (and undoubtedly purer) than their technical grade equivalents. I don't know of any cheap  source for the Cerro-metals, but if I were *counting* on them, I'd go for the brand-name; chipQuik likewise can't patent an alloy that has been known and used for over a century, but it can patent a use, so no one else can sell it.

If I correctly recall the date of my review of the original ChipQuik, a 20-year patent would be running out very soon.

I would steer you clear of the (near) liquid metals. Mercury will suck gold off contacts so fast that you won't even be sure if it was ever there. Gallium (liquid at body temperature, but not *quite* at room temp, IIRC) will dissolve aluminum -- and some metal/liquid metal combos can be quite exothermic during dissolution, become exothermic on exposure to water, etc. Such metal/metal solutions are used in advanced organic chemistry to perform surprising reactions. I don't remember what Gallium does when it hits magnesium, for example, but you wouldn't want a flung droplet to hit your bike frame in the corner and start a fire that night.

Stick to low-melting solid alloys. You have to add heat, but by controlling the heat, you have more control over the physical material

It's dense, and they need to temporarily fill a fixed volume of often 100s/100cs of cc) - and they I never worried much about how to cast it into a wire, because it will stick to many materials (like the polyethylene containers I used in a water bath to melt it) creating thin "flashing" sheets that can easily be flexed off the poly and used almost as conveniently as wire. As you can see with the new Chipquik in the video, though,
 

Offline Orpheus

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2013, 06:22:06 am »
Actually, I should've said *historically* for physical patents *in the US*, you were free to make your own device for personal use. You could even build one for someone else as a hired workman [but not as a product]. Eli Whitney pretty much went broke on the cotton gin as a result: he didn't sell it, preferring to force growers to use his mills, but they just built their own. I'm sure the corporations would beg to differ on your rights, but it hardly matters what the law actually is these day: few will contest a threat of lawsuit.

I often joke that between his cotton gin [which vastly increased the market for slave-grown cotton) and his innovations in interchangeable parts (which finally made him rich building rifles), he pretty much made the US Civil War happen when/how it did

Software patents ... I shouldn't have gone there at all. It requires a completely different venue (and more sleep than I now possess), but, MP3 is part of the MPEG-2 standard (1991?), so the original patent would likely have expired by now -- or caa 2015, at the latest, if it was an add-on. I don't recall the details, but I know I used MP3s in 1996, well before eMule, Napster and all that
 

Offline robbak

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2013, 12:37:21 pm »
Software patents ... I shouldn't have gone there at all. It requires a completely different venue (and more sleep than I now possess), but, MP3 is part of the MPEG-2 standard (1991?), so the original patent would likely have expired by now -- or caa 2015, at the latest, if it was an add-on. I don't recall the details, but I know I used MP3s in 1996, well before eMule, Napster and all that
While that would be logical, there is more to it. A patent is valid for 20(?) years from date if issue. What companies do these days is apply for the patent, and make sure that it is held up for years with edits and changes. (They will also try to edit their patent to cover things developed by others since their application, if they can get away with it). Then, sometimes 10 years later, they allow the patent to be issued, with the 'technology' now 10 years old and used literally everywhere. The can then extract rents for the next 20 years.
It is a thoroughly broken system.
 

Offline mohf

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2013, 09:47:52 pm »
LOL. Just imagine:

Using ChipQuick to replace a power-hungry IC chip. Turn the device on, IC warms up, reaches 60 degrees... BOEM! IC short circuits everything.
System.out.println("Hello World");
 

Offline Orpheus

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2013, 06:47:53 am »
Actually, since 1995, "submarine patents" (patents whose application was deliberately "continued" [delayed] by the applicant) have not been allowed in the US since it signed the TRIPS agreement after the Uruguay Round of the WTO, it began counting the term of the patent from the original application, not from the grant date (unless the USPTO partially caused the delay, and even then the extension may be lessened if the applicant is seen to have participated materially in the delay of issuance). Further, since 2000, US patent applications are no longer 'secret' (previously, they were only published when granted; now they are published within 18mos and continuations are published after 6 mos)

I won't say that corporations don't play a LOT of games with patent (other forms of "evergreening" remain in wide practice), but rather than say "what companies do these days", one should say "what companies used to do". Few US submarine patents remain in effect today, and the courts are even, begrudgingly, beginning to overturn evergreened and other abusive patents (so naturally the US went to "first to file" and opened a new can of abuses and tricks). A lot of the patent troll actions that catch the public eye are desperate squeeze plays in the waning years of a purchased patent portfolio.

Admittedly, the patent on ChipQuik was issued in 1994, so it could have been a submarine patent, but the point is: it was indeed issued in 1994 (after being applied for in 1993), so even under the old law it would expire in 2014. "Method for removing electrical components from printed circuit boards". On MPEG-3, I have no idea. I just happened to be looking at patents for another reason today, and recalled this slightly old thread

Then again, I'm not a patent lawyer, so what do I know? Heck, I wouldn't know much if I were one!
 

Online prasimix

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Re: EEVblog #437 - Removing SMD Parts with ChipQuick
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2015, 10:43:11 am »
Just to refresh this topic I'd like to say that I recently find on eBay a Rose's metal in grains (50g) and tested it for desoldering some quad flat pack. It works fantastic even with higher melting point (95oC) then ChipQuik but for the much better price.
 


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