microSD card reader snapped off one side, bad solder joints?

I was just trying to install Ubuntu from a microSD card on my recently acquired BBB and unfortunately as I inserted the card the entire card reader snapped off the board on its left side. The solder joints don’t look so great (they aren’t very shiny at least) and it doesn’t look like it was attached very well. Anyone else run into similar problems? Can I try touching the solder joints up to get it reattached or am I SOL?


They are not supposed to be shiny. Solder is only shiny on the surface if nothing is soldered to it.

You can try soldering it back down, but check the pads first. If the pads on the connections are ripped then you have a big issue.


The new ROHS compliant lead free solders generally have a rather dull
finished appearance when compared to the 60/40 or 63/37 tin/lead
solders used prior to ROHS.

Sorry the google groups interface is kind of confusing and I guess this never got posted, but here are some pics of the bad joints for my micro SD card reader if anyone is curious.

I’ve since been able to fix the reader by touching it up very carefully with a soldering iron. Now I can boot off an SD card without problems (before it refused to boot from the SD card reader). It’s a bummer to have to do this fix to brand new hardware though, and will definitely ruin someone’s day if they don’t have the tools or knowledge to solder surface mount connection.

I think beaglebone folks probably want to look at the SD card reader carefully on recently built boards. It looks like this is the 3rd instance of the same issue, here are a few others:

Maybe there’s a cold spot in the oven that reflows the boards?

Takes a lot of force to rip a connector out of a solder pool that deep.


The card was just being inserted like normal–no excessive force. Like I said even before it broke the SD reader wasn’t working. When I held the boot button down and applied power the Beaglebone never flashed any lights to show it go through booting (even after waiting 10+ seconds with the button held down). After fixing the solder joints on the SD reader the exact same SD card booted up just fine on the first try. Clearly there was something wrong with the joint before it broke.

Also for what it’s worth I’m noticing wonkiness with the USB connector which is near the SD card reader. When I plug devices like mice, etc. in and run lsusb I don’t see any new USB devices. Going to try testing the USB connections with a multimeter to see if they’re all connected.

Looks like the USB issue is just this software problem: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/beagleboard/uWMNdBv_aPg Booting up with the device in the USB host port seemed to work. Yikes, that’s really a nasty bug that hotplug doesn’t work.

Yes, the issue is not that USB connector. Hot plug has been talked about for a very long time. If adding an extra drop solder would fix that, I would certainly make that happen.


I ran into the same problem with a BBB I recently purchased. Apparently the force from the sd contacts can lift the leads off the board after sitting for a few months. I re-soldered the socket leads on the side along with the grounds but still had a reliability problem with the card detect line. The demo software would boot from the sd but later not recognize the card. After several days of debugging the software, I finally traced it down to the sd socket lead on the end of the connector also disconnected. The card detect lead location isn’t as obvious as the 4 side leads, it doesn’t stick out so it can be challenging to re-solder. I thought I would pass this along if others are struggling with similar SD card detect issues.