So, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. Forgive this post in advance, but I wanted to share.
I've been following this thread for a while, wanting to get more into board repair. I can solder switch wires together, but touching anything on a board has always made me nervous. I've just never done it before, and I've read so many instances of people screwing up their boards.
About a month ago, I bought a new Hakko 888 with some Christmas money, just so I would have the right equipment to start learning. I decided to try my first board repair today, a fairly simple job, but one that just a few months ago scared me out of attempting.
The story is that I had a solenoid expander relay board on my Special Force (Bally 6803) pin that no longer functioned. It has been acting up for over a year, working intermittenly. I had suspected the solder joints, but again, I was worried about ruining my only board. I first tried to find a new one. Many months ago, I bought one but it came DOA and the vendor never answered my emails. Annoying, but no big deal, as it was only $25. All other places were out of stock so I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, a couple of months ago, Marco had some in stock. I bought one, but when it arrived, I noticed that it was missing a jumper wire. I contacted Marco, and they took it back and gave me a replacement from another vendor they had. This took another few weeks, but I now finally had a working board, and my pin was back up and running.
So, having a working board made me feel more comfortable experimenting with repairing my old board. If I messed up, who cared. I read many of the posts in this thread and watched several videos -- how to tin a new soldering iron, what temperature to use, how to reflow solder, etc. Today, I finally tried it out.
I'm happy to report that I reflowed the solder on all of the pins on the board, and it completely solved the problem. It was much easier than I expected. I know this will sound simplistic to most of you, but as I said, I've never done this before, so I'm feeling pretty great that it all worked out. I now have a lot more confidence to keep trying board repairs, including more advanced stuff. Thanks, Terry, and Pinside!