Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Phone Repairs

We spent New Year's weekend with our very good friend Sara. Among the fun and relaxing things we did, she requested I bend my phone repair skills to her handset. It's not an iPhone, but rather a fairly normal-looking handset with a landscape-slider keyboard for texting. Alas, just a few weeks after getting it, it had a terrible run-in with the floor and ended up with a cracked screen. Thankfully, it is not nearly as pricey or dear as an iPhone, so she she was able to score a non-functional one off eBay for about $10. The only hitch was doing the screen transplant. Luckily I always travel with my fine tools! (not actually - she gave me advance notice.)

Despite the a couple of experiences, I wouldn't claim to be an expert at phone repair. Most phones, in fact, aren't meant to even be opened, let alone successfully repaired, once they leave the factory. But my training as an engineer, familiarity with electronics in general, and some experience with opening phones gives me just enough confidence to have a go. I void warranties with pride.

Although some internet searching yielded an extensive service manual for diagnosing electrical problems with oscilloscopes and logic analyzers, I could not actually find any teardown guide for this model phone online. So I took a deep breath and just winged it:

L to R: the slider screen, keyboard, logic board, back shell

Thankfully, it was only about five steps, ten screws, and maybe thirty minutes to liberate the sliding screen from the rest of the phone. Doing the same to the other phone took about 15, and reassembling both not much longer. By the time I was finished it was time for (yet another) fine dinner.

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