I’m a total n00b when it comes to soldering electronics and I was wondering if people here can give me a couple of tips.
I have a project where I want to modify a CO2 reader (one of these). I’m going to replace the back part of the meter with a 3d printed model that removes the battery compartment and replaces it with a compartment for a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Then I want to connect the USB port of the Raspberry Pi to the USB port of the meter (under the “OPEN” flap). I want to do this all within the casing, so (I think) I want to remove the meter’s USB connector and replace it with a male connector with cable.
Here’s a pic of the USB connector.
The connectors you see (5v, D-, D+, anonymous and GND) are soldered to the USB pcb and the pcb below. To remove the USB connector, I’ll have to cut through the connectors below the USB pcb.
My question is: is what I’m planning to do at all feasible? Can you recommend any good online soldering tutorials for this sort of thing? And do I need special wires to connect the PCB to the usb connector, or can I just use standard wires?
Regards, and thanks in advance!
I assume from your description you want to remove the USB daughter card from its motherboard.
Sure that is feasible.
Unsolder the daughterboard
I would use solder wick to remove the daughter card.
You can also remove the pins from the motherboard using the wick.
You may have a challenge with the gnd pin, they typically require a lot of heat.
Connect the meters USB output to the pi
- Unsolder the daughterboard from the motherboard
- Unsolder daughterboard pins from the motherboard leaving open holes
- Get a USB cable and cut off the end opposite the receptacle connector leaving the end going to the pi.
- Peel back the cut ends insulation and solder the USB cable directly into the motherboard
It’s best to use USB cables because they have shielding. However, if you are not going far you can use standard wiring. I keep old USB cables for situations like this.
Can’t you just connect a USBC cable from the meters existing USB connector to the PI?? You can get pretty short USB cables on Amazon.
Thanks for the tips! Awesome answer.
As for your “alternately”, I could do that but the I’d have the USB cable sticking out the side. I want the whole thing solved inside the case so there’s no wires involved on the outside except the power wire (which has to go into the Pi as it can, in turn, power the co2 meter).
Yah! Been there and avoided that also :)!