Can someone post pictures of how to solder and desolder the led's??
I can't post a pic, but I'll try and describe it as best as I can.
Soldering is an easy process. It envolves adhering something (in this case, a light emitting diode) to something else (a circuit board), with the use of an adhesive called solder.
Solder is an alloy or metal that has a very low melting point and is somewhat strong (depends on the type of solder you buy, and what you are using it for). It melts immediately after it comes in contact with a soldering iron, and hardens almost the same instant that the soldering iron is removed from contact with the solder.
The surface mount LEDs that you will be working with look like three small (very small) squares side by side in a row. The middle square is the LED itself, and the two squares on the side of the LED is the point that gets soldered onto the circuit board. One side is negative, while the other is positive. This is how the LED draws its power from the board.
Ok, let's say that you have an LED on the board that you want to take off. You have to do it in 2 steps...
Apply the soldering iron to one of the metal squares on the side of the LED. While applying the soldering iron to the metal, the solder under it (which adheres it to the board) will instantly become molten hot. At this time, with the soldering iron still making contact to the metal, pry up the piece of metal with something like a tweezers or a needle. YOU SHOULD ONLY TOUCH THE METAL SQUARE CONNECTED TO THE LED FOR A SECOND OR TWO AT THE MOST, BECAUSE THEY ARE SENSITIVE TO HEAT! These are very very small LED's, so you have to get something very small to do the job.
Step 2: Now one side of the metal should be off the board, and no longer stuck to it. Now, just repeat the process to the other side. Since one side is already up, and the other side is the only thing holding it onto the board, just grab the piece of metal that is already off the board, or the LED itself (gently though...) and gently pull up as you apply the soldering iron to the piece of metal that is already on the board.
Good job, you just removed an LED. Repeat the process like 40 more times...
Now comes the fun part, soldering an LED onto the board in place of one that already came off...
Now that you just took an LED off the board, you should see two little squares across from eachother, where the two little squares on the LED itself once adhered to. Let's just call these spots "heat squares." These spots can have heat applied to it (within reason) without damaging the board. These spots are the spots where solder is meant to be applied to the board. You will see them stand out from the rest of the board, trust me.
Solder comes rolled up, much like a spool of thread. Just find the end of the solder (no need to cut it off of the spool of solder) and touch it to the part of the board that you want the solder on, in this case, one of the squares on the board that part of the LED came off of. Now, while touching the tip of the solder to the square, touch the soldering iron to the same square, and the instant you touch it to the square, the solder should liquify and fill the square. Immediately remove both the solder and the iron, but remove the solder itself first, because if you remove the iron first, the solder spool will stick to the board. Remember what I said above, solder hardens just as fast as you remove heat from it. No kidding, it hardens that fast. This is also good, because the square on the board that contains the liquid solder will contain the solder to that square, and that square only. It will not spill onto any other parts of the board because only that square become hot, therefore, only that square could get solder on it. Now, one square should just be filled with solder. Do the same to the other square, because remember, the LED is held onto the board in these two places, and these two places only.
Ok, almost done, don't give up now. Grab the LED that you want to solder onto the board with a tweezers (GENTLY) and set it on the board so that both sides of the metal on the LED matches up with the metal that you just applied solder to on the board. Just set it there, it won't adhere to the board yet because the solder is hard since no heat is applied to it, get it?
Now, gently push down atop one side of metal on the LED as you apply heat to the metal on the LED. The heat will immediately transfer to the solder underneath it, and bond the LED (at least one side of it) to the board. Just remember to gently push down as you apply the heat, and you will see it bond. REMEMBER, APPLY HEAT FOR ONLY A SECOND OR TWO BECAUSE MORE THAN THAT WILL DAMAGE THE LED RENDERING IT USELESS!
Now, just repeat the process for the other side of the LED, and YAY!
The LED should be adhered to the board!
I'm going to soak my hands in ice now. School's out bitches.