So I set to work with the ‘to-do’ list from the visual inspection of the board. The easiest item on the list was to try and re-solder the battery, which got done fairly painlessly.
Trying to replace the capacitor, wasn’t as successful. As soon as I tried to try anything with it, it pretty much fell off the board and took the solder pads with it. A quick check of the schematic revealed it to be a decouple capacitor, between the + and GND rails, so I (might) be able to live without it, right??
I got a magnifying glass and examined the CMOS/RTC IC (IC58) and the solder joints and legs were looking quite ruined, very likely from the effects of the battery leak. I decided at that point to ‘bite the bullet’ and replace the whole circuit, once again following RetroKits advice and rebuild the CMOS/RTC circuit on an external stripboard. I managed to by a through hole version of the PCF8583 IC on ebay, which surprisingly arrived within 48hours and I set to work building the circuit.
At this point I was reminded that my soldering skills have either got worse with lack of practice, or they were never up to much in the first place… After a LOT of cursing and looking at some really horrible solder joints, I had the circuit complete.
So, this is the position I now find myself. I’ve tried to make a tidy job of attaching the circuit to the A5000’s mainboard, but so far its not been very co-operative. I’m not helping myself by having to choose between either a small, but underpowered soldering iron, OR one that produces more heat but is also correspondingly ‘fat’.
Before continuing I need to find a more reliable and tidy way of attaching this circuit to the mainboard without causing more damage than I’m fixing. I’m considering trying to push a pin through the appropriate holes on the board, to give me something more substantial to solder to, rather than trying to get wires to solder to essentially ‘test points’. Hopefully I can have another crack at it over the weekend.