I have a WD19TB docking station with a damaged USB port. The only thing wrong with it is the top USB port having that blue bit torn out and all the contacts mangled (pictured), but it was going to be thrown away and I offered to take it off their hands. Figured this would be a good opportunity to emulate the YouTubers I love to watch, like Louis Rossman and TronicsFix.
So my question is this, are USB ports interchangeable? Like can I just find any old dual USB 3 part and solder it on? Any online stores you could recommend to find parts like this, besides eBay?
There are huge number of electronic parts of all varieties from different vendors. Some of them compatible, some not.
So the best way for you would be to find exactly the same part that was damaged. You should have a look from all directions on the broken part. Usually there are some laser engraved part numbers. Then you should find a datasheet for exactly this part. Afterwards you would know what pads map to what pins. That way you would be able to find a pin compatible replacement, if any.
Just keep in mind that it’s not at all trivial to unsolder such a component. You would probably need solder station and have some experience with it. I see something like 0201 components nearby, and it’s super easy to accidentally damage or shift them during soldering.
All in all, its probably way easier and faster to give this thing to a professional that would find a part and solder it in place. Of course if you want to make your feet wet and dig into electronics then go ahead. Just be prepared that it would be way harder than in seems.
Thanks for the reply, that’s some great advice! There was a number on top of the USB ports, but I didn’t find anything just by looking up that. I’ll see if I can find a datasheet for this motherboard or try finding that specific part again.
I’ve soldered a few things in the past, like splicing some cables and resoldering a loose pin back to the PCB on a flash drive, but I’ve never removed and installed a component like this. Thankfully it’s a risk-free project
The pins of these stacked USB ports are mostly standard. The mounting holes can be different. Either carefully measure your board or just buy a few random stacked USB ports that look about right and I’m sure one will fit or can be bend a little bit to fit.
Unsoldering these is not a huge problem with some experience, but might be annoying and time consuming. If you have problems, it can be easier to carefully cut off the upper part of USB port so you can remove the pins one by one. Be very careful with the small resistors and caps in the area, they’re a pain to fix if you accidentally unsolder them. Especially the one directly below the bottom right corner of the red rectangle looks very dangerous. (It’s probably not essential, though)
Soldering this can be harder than it would seem. Some of these pins are connected to the ground plane, which is a large copper heatsink requiring a higher wattage iron, and the board can be burnt in the process. A solution I used in the past was to carefully bend the mangled pins so that none were touching, then fill the connector with hot-melt glue. Lost a port but gained a motherboard!