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Thread: Practice makes perfect...well working anyway

  1. #1
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    Practice makes perfect...well working anyway

    So a while back I gave my daughter an old laptop I had around so she would be able to get on the internet at her apartment. Well my daughter can break just about anything without even trying. This laptop got dropped on the back side with the power plug still in it, which destroyed the power jack. I decided I had nothing to lose by tearing this thing apart and seeing if I could fix it.

    About 90 screws later, I finally have the main board removed and seeing that it's $5 for a new jack I go ahead and get one.

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    Got it back together last night with the new jack, and only had 3 mystery screws, success! Well, after about a half hour, it shuts off and smells HOT. I'm thinking one of the screws must be important, so back apart it comes. Ten minutes later once I get to the heat sink, it's still too hot to touch! I do find where the screws go, but notice right behind where the power jack mounts, something looks wrong. Closer inspection shows that one of those tiny little surface mounted components was knocked off during the impact. It's marked C7, but the part is long gone.

    After some looking around, I realize that I don't really need a modem in this laptop. So I pull it off and locate a similar sized "C" component on it, do some quick measurements of the remaining components (as the missing component was a pair). A quick de-solder and solder, we've got the laptop reassembled and running, much cooler without the voltage spike.

    Now I've got a new laptop to run the CNC router. I loaded up EMC2 (free linux software) to use for the controller.
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    More to come on that this weekend hopefully.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  2. #2
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    Cool I've only been deep into the innards of a laptop once. I had to remove the keyboard and display to replace a DVD burner on a Dell laptop. Never again. I grew to hate tiny screws.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Darren,

    When I was in High School I had a "Radio Repair" shop in one bay of my folks 3 car garage. It kept me in gasoline, Earol Caroll theater, Palladium, etc. tickets, Dinners at Mike Lymans, and a few others on Crenshaw Blvd in the LA area. I built custom sound systems for events, custom sound systems for music lovers (flat within +/- 2db from 60 to 10,000 cps. Really hot stuff in its era), repaired radios and phonographs (78 rpm), etc. I had a ball doing it. One output transformer cost me $135.00 wholesale. Today you can buy an entire system for that kind of money that sounds much better. A pair of Altec Lansing speakers to go with a system would run around $1,000 (At that time you could buy a new Chevrolet for $1,995).

    All of the above verbiage was just to point out that, with that background, I would not even attempt what you did so successfully. You are the Man.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
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    What brand? I took apart an acer last year and found it near impossible to de-solder the parts. Even with a high temperature soldering iron that i borrowed the solder was very reluctant to let go...
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 03-22-2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: typo + clarity...
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  5. #5
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    Very cool Darren. Did the same for my sons girlfriend a while ago on a netbook. Where there is a will there is a way. I too was left with a few screws.

    Looking forward to seeing what you up to with the CNC.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Attaboy! I probably would attempt the power jack, but not sure I would have gone as far as to replace the SMD component!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Whatbrand? I took apart an acer last year and found it near impossible to de-solder the parts. Even with a high temperature. Iron that i borrowed the solder was very reluctant to let go...
    Art, This was a Gateway. I looked at where the first component knocked off, and it did so pretty cleanly, I simply pushed the replacement one sideways with a small flat screwdriver and it popped right off the board too. A quick test with the multi-meter showed it was intact. I just centered it the best I could and held it down with a screwdriver while I dabbed a little solder on each end.

    I really need to pickup a hot-air iron, which is what they mostly use now for these surface mount components. You can more easily move back and forth between the two ends to get things de-soldered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Attaboy! I probably would attempt the power jack, but not sure I would have gone as far as to replace the SMD component!
    I didn't figure I had much to lose, it wasn't going to work without trying it.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  8. #8
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    Well, I'm impressed. I've been told I usually have a few screws loose.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    I really need to pickup a hot-air iron, which is what they mostly use now for these surface mount components. You can more easily move back and forth between the two ends to get things de-soldered.
    Hmm, never heard of a hot-air iron. I'll have to look that up.

    My background is software, not engineering, but my dad was a carpenter + DIY guy, and given my hobby, nothing much scares me about trying something like this. I've now repaired 3 dead LCD panels that I picked up for nothing after they died. LCD displays are notorious for having bad capacitors. It's pretty easy to tell when you have a bulging capacitor on the board. I spend about $8 in buying 3-5 new capacitors from the local parts store and 45 minutes getting things soldered back together.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

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