Hey guys, I've had several PMs asking for a description of how you do the LED mod on your Concealed Display. Here it is, finally!
The picture below shows my workstation for this project. I have the CD, a soldering stand which has alligator "grab" clips, a magnifying glass, and sponge pool. Other tools I'll be using include a soldering iron, solder, and tweasers.
Firstly, you have to remove the two screws on the underside of the CD. Once you do this, the top and bottom slide upward and downward, respectively, off of the faceplate.
Next, you have to remove the chip from the faceplate. There are two little clips that pinch the chip in place. GENTLY pull up on one of these clips and pull back on the chip gently to pop it out of the faceplate.
Now you should be looking at the front of the chip which looks like this:
The 8 white "dots" along the bottom edge of the chip and the 4 vertical white "dots" 2/3 the way across the chip are the LEDs that we'll be replacing.
Removal of the old LEDs is somewhat...tricky. I've adopted one method that is not safe but works best for me. I've been addicted to Mountain Dew for around 9 years and as a result have developed tremulous hands. Other methods don't work as well for me.
You can see in the picture below that I am grabbing the LED with tweasers such that the tweasers are not on the ends with the pads.
I am going to place the soldering iron on the end of the led, between the tweaser heads, and after 3-5 seconds holding it there I twist the LED counter-clockwise about 30 degrees. Doing this decreases the contact between the LED and the pad by about half. I do the same thing to the other side, and switch back and forth until the LED can be wiggled free of the old solder.
As I said, this is not the best way to do it. If you adopt this method, however, you MUST BE CAREFUL not to pull any pads off of the chip. A gentle touch is key!
Repeat whichever strategy you adapt to for all the LEDs you wish to remove.
As a side note, the Bogey Counter comes up off the chip about 1cm and blocks access to Strength Meter LEDS 1-4. It is innevetable that you will melt the corners and the bottom of the Bogey Counter. So long as you keep the damage minimal you will be fine.
For this particular CD I decided on the following Pattern:
Ka - Red
K - Orange
X - Green
Since Ka and Strength bars 5-8 are remaining Red, I did not take them off. Here is my project chip at this point:
You'll notice the pads look messy. This is a result of the wiggle method that I use to get the LEDs off. If you just touch each pad with the tip of the soldering iron for 2-3 seconds, the solder will re-constitute and form a nice silver "bubble" much the way water does on a surface.
Now comes the time to put LEDs back on the chip. First, prep each pad with a little solder. You want to see a small "bubble" surface on it. Don't use too much solder as it will bleed over to a pad next door, but make sure you have enough to make solid contact between the pad and the new LED. Sorry, I didn't grab a picture of this however the above picture shows the difference between a "messy" and prepped pad. (The left Laser pad is prepped well)
The LEDs will probably be delivered in a reel like this:
Remove the LEDs one at a time. Set them on top of the prepped pads that you've arranged. The LEDs MUST be oriented correctly. You will notice that the pad on one side of the LED has green markings. If this is a band identifier LED the green markings should be facing the left. If this is a strength identifier LED the green markings should be facing the top.
Once the LED is sitting properly on top of the pads, hold it there somehow. Personally I just press down on the center of it with my thumb/thumbnail. Hold the soldering tip to the edge of the LED pad to melt the solder underneath it. You will feel the LED suddenly "drop" into place. Remove the iron and hold for an additional 2-3 seconds. Repeat for the other side.
Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of this process because it is a very delicate and tricky procedure. EXPECT TO LOSE SOME LEDs. They are exceptionally small, impossible to find in carpet, and difficult to manage without tweasers.
The final product should look something like this:
I am not a professional. The soldering can be done far more cleanly than this. Keep in mind, though, that this is all hidden behind your faceplate...so what does it matter?
You'll notice that the third LED in the above image has a huge glob of solder at the upper pad. As I advised you NOT to do, I accidentally pulled a pad off the chip. I was able to uproot the feed, though, and immerse it in the glob of solder. This was a disgusting amateur method of fixing this problem...but I fixed it. =)
Also notice, as I mentioned, that I singed the corners of the Bogey Counter. No biggie, but keep this to a minimum.
Here is the entire board:
Before you put it all back together, plug it in. If any of the LEDs aren't working, remove and re-seat them. It is not necessary to use a new LED unless you've cause visible damage to the initial one during removal.
Disclaimer: THIS DIY IS MEANT PURELY AS AN EDUCATIONAL WALK-THROUGH. I DO NOT ENDORSE THE METHODS UTILIZED IN THIS DIY AND DO NOT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR FAILED PROJECTS AS A RESULT OF FOLLOWING THE METHODS DESCRIBED HERE. YOU ARE OWN YOUR OWN, SO BEST OF LUCK!