How to Remove Header Pins on Flight Controller

Sometimes we want to remove header pins on a flight controller or circuit board in general, but it’s possible to damage the board if not careful. Here I will show you a couple of examples how I do it safely and easily, on a Naze32 board and a MinimOSD board.

The wrong way: many people would try to remove the solder first using solder sucker or solder wick, then pull the all the header pins out at once. However it’s not easy to remove the solder, and you might have to repeat the same process many times. And therefore it’s likely that you could apply too much heat on the solder pads and rip out the conductive copper surface.

So here is how I remove headers pins on a circuit board.

  • Remove the plastic part that holds the pins, and straighten all the angle pins.
  • Remove each pin one by one, by heating up the solder, pull it out with pliers.
  • Clean up the pad and remove extra solder with a solder sucker or solder wick.





8 thoughts on “How to Remove Header Pins on Flight Controller

  1. Rob

    Hi Oscar
    I was just about to do this and make a mess when I read your post… Hopefully I’ll make a better job of it now. Cheers!!

  2. Dave

    Hi Oscar,

    I recently buggered up a naze32 board, which I was trying to fix one of the pins on. I lifted one of the pads.

    Any recommendations on how to fix (I’m a novice) and whether its worth it?

    1. Oscar Post author

      I don’t think there is a easy fix… you might need to get a new board.
      But if it’s just a motor pin, you can use a spare motor pin by changing CMiX.

  3. EasyFlare

    Hi Oscar,

    Insulate the contact point of pliers with plywood or similar material. This will prevent the heat loss through the pliers and can make the process go even faster.

  4. fl0PPsy

    Hi Oscar,

    One thing I’m curious about when it comes to header pins is what is the best way to remove a component that has been soldered directly onto header pins. Take the Nucleus (and others now) PDB as an example. The MinimOSD can be soldered directly to the header pins on the PDB so it sits under the flight controller. I was thinking just recently that one day I’ll need to take the MinimOSD off the PDB again and it looks like it will be a painful job.

    Does anyone have any tips on the best way to handle this?

    1. Oscar Post author

      yes good question.
      It’s not easy to remove header pins without destrying the header pins…
      I will look into this and update the post… if I can…


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