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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fixing broken USB power port on Samsung Galaxy 6S Edge

Suddenly one day the USB cord won't stay in and the phone won't charge.  Closer inspection i can see the tab in the middle seems missing.  Must have broken off when i was carrying it around with the external battery plugged in.  Dang.  I can charge it wirelessly for a while but that is going to get really inconvenient in the car.  I didn't buy the damage warranty, and the phone isn't paid for yet, so I can't just get a new phone.  So I dive into make the repair.

The repair was a success after all, but yuck this is a terrible phone to repair.  Count on destroying the back if you ever want to open the phone.  It is made of glass and stuck to the back with adhesive. The upside is the USB port is easy to swap once the phone is open, only one ribbon cable needs to be unplugged and a minimum of disassembly.

Watched this:  that I found here:

Then I bought this:
Charging Port: Samsung Galaxy S6 EDGE USB Dock Flex Cable + Mic VERIZON SM-G925V

It looks like this phone requires heating up to break the glue.  The video doesn't mention how to re-glue it.

and you end up buying a new back with adhesive Back Housing Glass Cover For Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge G925

I will update the blog when the part comes... parts here.   Started repair.  No photos because my phone is the patient in this repair.

Heated the phone back with my heat gun and used the temperature probe, this has the problem of the phone getting hot and hard to handle.    The clean opening in the youtube video was impossible to duplicate, the glass back cracked immediately when i began to pry on it with an opening tool.    I also left some small scratches on the frame, no biggie but i'm glad it is my phone not someone else's.   The phone back was completely shattered by the time I worked around it and loosened it from the frame.

Very glad I bought a replacement back before I started.  I bought because i thought i would need it for the adhesive.  Turns out I need it because the old one is shattered by removing it.

Here is what the back looked like after i pried it off.  Wow.   The USB board that was replaced is also shown.

This is the new back I bought

Pressed on the back of the battery and wiggled a bit and was able to remove the circuit board from the frame.   The big surprise was that the sim card needs to be pulled out of the top of the phone.  I never noticed there is a small cover on the top of the phone where the sim is inserted.  Duh didn't occur to me that this phone doesn't have the sim card inside.   Until the sim is out you can't take the circuit board all the way out of the frame.

Replaced the USB board without further dissembling the phone.  I could snap the ribbon onto the underside of the main board by just lifting it slightly.

The bad news is i can see i scratched the inductor on the back of the frame and broke a trace at the edge of the black square in the process of removing the back.  Arrgh.  Either wireless charging or NFC may not work now and i'll need to see if i can get that part.   Looks like it is readily available:

Middle Frame Bezel camera Repair Parts W/NFC Chip Qi For Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Meanwhile i will reassemble and test the phone...

Bingo, wireless charging is still working... i'm somewhat surprised because a trace was clearly broken on the very edge of the black patch containing the inductor.

Plugging in the USB i get the battery and it shows charging... so the new part worked.

Made a call, charged the phone, took pictures, everything seems to check out ok.  Hooray.

OK so we have a winner.   The phone is fixed.  I will have to see if the NFC works next time I'm at a store, it is possible it won't and i will have to open it again and replace the middle frame part with the NFC inductor in it.  When I do I will order another back because I'm sure this one will get broken opening it again.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Replacing upper screen on Nintendo 3DS XL

Quick blog post to journal my experience replacing the upper screen on a Nintendo 3DS XL.
The 3DS worked fine but the top 1/3 of the screen was black.   The owner said it hadn't been dropped so I had no idea if it was damaged, defective or what.    There is some chance the connector was loose but usually the screen just needs to be replaced.

I won't write step by step instructions, because I found this page that does an excellent (not perfect) job with pictures and steps.

Generally I think this is the most difficult 3DS repair that there is.  You need a magnifier, strong light, tweezers and patience.   You have to completely dissasemble the 3DS.  You have to open the top section to replace the screen, but you also have to totally take apart the bottom section and remove the motherboard to get to the connector.   The hardest thing is to thread the new ribbon cable through the hinge.   I did this by rolling it up and pushing it through and then unrolling it, using tweezers.  The guide doesn't give you any help in how to do this.    There are lots of tiny ribbon cables that have to be removed from there clamp connectors and re-attached later.  The plastic case and covers has some tricky clip and snap nibs, as well as the top section parts fall all over the place when you open it.

All that said, I did it!   You probably can too, but this is not for first time amateurs unless your DS is headed for the trash bin anyway, then what the heck, do it!   The replacement screen was not too expensive... I bought this one from Amazon.  It came quickly and fit.   So if you fail, you only lost $20.

Note that the screen has a silver edge, not the black bezel that the original did, so it looks different when you are done.   Check by before and after pictures to see what I mean.   Also the glass looks a bit different than the original.

There were cheaper ones, but this one was shipped from US and didn't look like too sketchy a source.

Dissasembly and re-assembly took me a couple hours.   As I said the hardest part was the large ribbon cable that has to go through the hinge, there is another cable also going through already so it ain't easy.

The first pass through I had some trouble with the top shell, getting the 3D slider in right and getting all the clips back on the cover.  I had squashed them a bit a first and it wouldn't close right.   I replaced the screw covers with squares of black electrical tape, prying them out damaged them and they didn't look right afterwards.

When it was all together, I turned it on and FAIL.  Screens flickered but stayed black.  Power light came on but no display.   Aaargh.   Opened the bottom and reseated the ribbons I could reach without removing the mobo, and then found the issue by accident.  I had installed the snap in IR module upside down.   Check the pictures, it will go on either way.  Once it was turned around, the system booted and the displays came on.   Win... almost.

The system froze every time i entered an application.   Opened it again, and reseated the WiFi module.  This is a common reason that 3DS freeze.  Looks like in the last round of fiddling and removing the cover, it was not seated properly.   Once it was snapped down tight everything started working.  Win...  Woot....!   Here is the system working.   Note the sliver bezel around the upper display, the only sign that this has been repaired.