How to Repair a Ripped-Off Solder Pad on a Flight Controller

by Oscar

Isn’t it frustrating when you accidentally rip off a copper solder pad from a flight controller or PCB? Well, don’t worry—it might still be possible to fix it!

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My Personal Mishap with a Flight Controller

Here’s a little backstory: I managed to pull off the RC1 and Radio 5V solder pads from my brand-new Naze32 board while removing the pre-soldered pins. Since I primarily use PPM and the RC1 pin is crucial for that setup (as far as I know), I faced a dilemma. I could either switch to PWM, which I wanted to avoid, or consider the board a loss and replace it—especially since I was already using UART2 on the RC3 and RC4 pins.


For those unfamiliar, the RC pins on the Naze board each have specific functions and aren’t interchangeable at this time:

  • RC1 – PPM
  • RC3/4 – UART2 (TX/RX)
  • RC5 – LED
  • RC5/6 – SoftSerial 1
  • RC7/8 – SoftSerial 2

Tips to Avoid Pulling Off PCB Solder Pads

To prevent such mishaps, be careful not to apply excessive heat to the solder pads for an extended period. Also, avoid applying any force to them while soldering or desoldering.

How to Fix Ripped-Off Copper Solder Pads

Fortunately, I was able to repair my board! Although I’m not entirely sure about its long-term reliability, it’s functioning well for now.

Here’s how you can attempt a repair:

  1. Expose the Trace: Use a knife to gently scrape around the damaged area to expose the trace connected to the missing pad.
  2. Prepare for Soldering: Apply solder flux to the exposed trace and carefully tin it. Be sure to clean off any excess flux afterwards.
  3. Reconnect the Trace: Solder a tiny piece of tinned wire (I recommend 30 AWG or 28 AWG) to reconnect the trace to a header pin or another suitable connection point. In my case, I positioned the header pin as close to the trace as possible and soldered them directly together without using a wire, as shown with the RC1 pad and the 5V pad.

naze32-scrape-expose-trace-RC1-ppm-ripped-off-solder-pad naze32-solder-connection-expose-trace-pin-ripped-off-solder-pad

Through these steps, I was able to save my flight controller from being a total loss. Hopefully, this guide can help you salvage your electronics as well!

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Zorg 31st March 2024 - 5:30 pm

Nowdays one can buy special repair pads
For example (or just search “solder pad repair” on AliExpress or Amazon)

BETTY HUNT 16th October 2019 - 11:22 am

Very helpful information!

Bull FPV Shannon 6th March 2019 - 7:40 pm

Kew i was wondering if scraping trace would work. I just had my diatone mamba minis rx signalwire pad break loose right before her maiden. Its on the corner next to standoff bolt so im hopin the trace is big enuff

tom 4th November 2016 - 5:24 pm

I have prob destroyed 5 micro minimosd trying to solder the pins on. Very poor design. At least sell the damn things with the pins attached.

Rob Hill 31st May 2016 - 5:05 pm

Same here. vid out. cant see where it goes to. and help please

Tom W, 29th September 2015 - 12:59 pm

Hi Oscar
I had the video out pin solder pad pull off of a micro minim OSD module when I tried to solder a connector pin to it
You can purchase some conductive glue to repair the pad as long as you can identify where the trace made contact with the
pad. Two ounces for $1.50 on E-bay.

ken 12th October 2015 - 4:49 am

Thanks both soloution works well.

Nestor 16th April 2016 - 4:58 am

Hi Tom,

We’re you able to figure out where the pad made contact to the video out pin? That exact pad came off my micro minim osd as well :/