I managed to get the offending chip desoldered from my cheap GPS receiver this morning, as shown above. In the process, I bent several of the tiny pins, which are barely wider than a human hair. After (very carefully) straightening them out with the aid of a magnifying glass, I dropped the chip on the garage floor and had to go searching for it. With great difficulty, I got it soldered back on properly. In the process, I dropped the entire assembly on the concrete floor from a height of about three feet.
Note my finger for scale. It’s not a beautiful job, but I don’t really have the tools to do it well. Then after I took this photo, I dropped the board on the ground a second time, from a greater height. It’s surprisingly difficult to hold on to such a small, light object.
Anyway, after mangling the EEPROM chip, exposing it to high heat for too long, and dropping the entire GPS on a concrete floor several times, my heroic rescue mission was complete! But would it work, I asked with bated breath. I took it inside and set it on the window by the couch, so that it might get some signal. I hooked up the antenna and the USB cable…
And then I waited. Within moments, I started seeing “GPGGA” strings in my serial terminal, and the location was even correct. It lives! Stay tuned for my Big Project with it.