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Has anyone ever successfully repaired traces on a motherboard?

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Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
I've done it using solder and a special electronics soldering iron that I have. There is an easier way.

Lay out some large anti-static bags and tape 'em down as a work surface with the mobo laying on it.

Use a flat tipped exacto blade and a magnifier to clean off the enamel on only the trace you want to repair...both sides. Use it as a scraping tool, and not as a chisel. I have the 4" lense from one of those flourescent magnifier lamps.

Now get a trace pen. It's a conductive paint marker with a felt tip that's made to do this...very handy. Just draw a line connecting the two stipped spots. Use a couple of coats to make it good and thick because some traces carry more power than you might think. If the broken trace is all that's stripped, then the pen's mark won't contact the other traces. If you've slipped and striped more than one trace, use some nail polish or model paint to re-cover all but the intended repair victim before using the trace pen. Let the marker dry thouroughly between coats. If it's a large trace (read-heavy power conductor) you can bed a small copper wire in the trace paint to enhance it's power carrying ability. Just lay it in wet paint, let dry and then coat again over it.

When it's thouroughly dry, use some model paint or nail polish over it (NON METALIC variety)

The trace pen is the easiest way to do this repair, especially if it's not out in the open like my repair was. You can get a trace pen at any electronics store, or you may have one from unlocking your t-bird.

Best of luck to ya!
 

blackjackel

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Location
Los Angeles
yeah im interested in this too, i just killed like 10 traces next to eachother on my mobo.... ima attempt a repair...

NF7, and the finest traces you can find on that sucker too... wish me luck

Diggr your advice works for a single trace but what if you got 10 in a row dead from one long scratch or two =/
 
OP
G

Gnufsh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Location
Shasta Lake, California
Wow, this is an old thread to dig up. I wasn't successful with my board (although I may try again over the summer, I've learned a lot ofver the past two years), but Diggrr's instructions are valid. If the pen is two large for the fine traces, use a toothpick, or a brush with only 1-4 bristles to draw the fine lines. It's the same sort of work as unlocking Pallys (which I have done successfully), traces just often carry more current than bridges on the CPU do.
 

RoadWarrior

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Yeah there's several ways. Trace pen, trace tape, "Rear window defogger repair kits" even an ordinary pencil can do at a pinch on some kinds of trace (small low current ones without much missing)

Best thing to do for multiple traces is alternately mask them with scotch tape or similar, sounds like a lot of trouble, but it's the easiest way in the end.

Road Warrior