The SD card slot on the Raspberry Pi is easy to break. A four foot drop, SD card first, on a hardwood floor turned my brand new Raspberry Pi into a doorstop. I had ideas of duct tape, hot glue, and bubble gum before deciding that replacing the SD card slot shouldn't be too hard if I could find the part.
As expected, finding the right SD card slot turned out to be the hardest part. Toby Electronics in the UK carries what appears to be the exact part but the cost of shipping to the Detroit area is almost more than the cost of two new Raspberry Pi model B’s. I couldn't locate another supplier for the OEM part, but I was able to locate a part that could be made to work from Digikey (less than $10 for two including shipping).
I like this card slot a little better than the OEM part. I think it's going to be more robust and it fits both of the Raspberry Pi cases I have, the Adafruit Pi Case and the Adafruit Pi Box. Adafruit also makes a micro SD card adapter that would have prevented the thing from breaking in the first place, but it doesn't work with the cases I have.
To replace the SD card slot on a Raspberry Pi you'll need the following items:
Solder (Lead-free solder is harder to work with but less toxic. The choice is yours.)
A Well Ventilated Area or a Fume Extractor
Würth Elektronik 693 063 020 911
Valcon 412D02F-09PC003-SV SD Card Slot (OEM Part)
The old broken SD card slot has to go. Use solder wick to suck the solder off of the pins and mounting tabs. Try not to put too much heat into the pads as this can cause them to separate from the PCB.
Remove and discard the old, disappointing, SD card slot. This is easier said than done. Anyone with some electronics experience should have no problem removing this part, but if you're new to this sort of thing, go slowly.
Once the majority of the solder has been removed with the solder wick, it should be easy to pry the old socket away from the board. Start by heating the mounting pads with the soldering iron and prying the socket away from them one at a time. Only lift the socket enough to separate the feet from the pads.
Starting on one side, gently pry up the socket... heating and de-soldering the pins as you go. Once the old socket has been removed, clean up the pads with your iron to even out any little solder messes.
The new SD card slot, Würth Elektronik 693 063 020 911, isn't an exact fit for the OEM part. The plastic alignment pins do not line up with the holes in the circuit board. They need to be removed to allow the card slot to lay flat on the circuit board.
The pinout isn't exactly the same either. The two card detect pins (on the right in the picture below) need to be bridged as they are not present on the new slot. A little extra solder does the trick.
Use the flux pen to put a little flux on the pads on the PCB. This extra flux will help draw the solder in between the pins and pads. Line up the pins on the new socket with the pads on the board starting at the left side in the picture below. Solder a couple pins to hold the SD card in place. Finish soldering all the pins and the mounting tabs near the edge of the PCB. Finish the installation by bridging the card detect pins with a little solder.
The Pi's back!