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Posts: 147 | Thanked: 219 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Toronto, Canada
#1
*UPDATED WITH FULL WRITE-UP AND GOOD PICTURES*

I decided to take apart my N900 in order to fix the USB port issue. As many of you know, this USB port is prone to breaking off on the N900, and after looking closely at the system board it's not surprising. It's surface mounted, with 4 very small solder points and two epoxy contact pads underneath (cannot verify the epoxy pads without breaking it off, at which point it's too late).

After fixing it yesterday, and verifying that it still works, I opened it again today to verify the epoxy adhesion and to take better pictures. I also did a full write-up on my site. At this point everything works as new, and there are absolutely no signs that my N900 was ever taken apart. For those of you that disassembled the N810, the process is virtually identical.

http://sites.google.com/site/svcr0c0/n900

Word of caution, be careful when applying the epoxy. There's more than enough space around the USB port, however the metal casing of the socket itself is full of holes. And epoxy tends to run and plug them up. If that happens you won't be able to insert the USB cable into the socket.

Last edited by cr0c0; 2010-02-23 at 06:50.
 

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#2
nice, I was thinking about this today but ran out of time.
 
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Posts: 2,119 | Thanked: 1,519 times | Joined on Mar 2008 @ Oxford, UK
#3
Well done for being brave and doing this. Pity the pictures weren't great, but I know how hard it can be to take extreme close-ups.
 
Posts: 147 | Thanked: 219 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Toronto, Canada
#4
Originally Posted by pelago View Post
Well done for being brave and doing this. Pity the pictures weren't great, but I know how hard it can be to take extreme close-ups.
I was tempted to take it apart again to get better pictures (manual focus with the Rebel, better lighting, etc), but the two Torx T6 screws bite into the plastic keyboard bezel, and I really doubt they'd stand another tightening.

If I can get a new bezel from somewhere, I'd gladly do it though. I think this fix actually works, and would save a lot of potentially broken N900s. Guaranteed to void the warranty, but I started without any warranty anyway.
 
Posts: 147 | Thanked: 219 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Toronto, Canada
#5
Update: I took the N900 apart again and took much better pictures. The keypad bezel held up just fine, and the epoxy is rock solid. I'm absolutely sure this will fix the USB port issue for those of us who do not have Nokia warranty.

If you also file down the teeth on the micro USB charger and cable, then you're pretty much guaranteed never to have any issues.
 

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#6
Excellent, thanks for the clear pictures and text. It might be a good idea to link to this thread from http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=37107 in case people miss this thread.
 
Posts: 39 | Thanked: 2 times | Joined on Jan 2010
#7
I put silicon spray on my finger and after on the plug and now it's easy to charge with the usb cable
 

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Posts: 147 | Thanked: 219 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Toronto, Canada
#8
I didn't want to bump my own thread, but I'm amazed with how worried everybody is that their USB port will fall off, and yet nobody else tried doing anything even remotely like I did.

At least those with electronics experience, give an opinion if epoxying the port like I did will strengthen it, if the bond will last or if it's just a waste of time.

Or is everybody sitting on the fence, waiting for Nokia to replace every single N900 they ever sold?
 

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Posts: 90 | Thanked: 47 times | Joined on Dec 2009 @ Sydney Australia
#9
IT might be worth adding one thing to your instructions. Before applying the epoxy wipe the usb connector and surrounding PCB area with an ear bud soaked in ethanol (alcohol) or acetone (nail polish remover). This will remove any flux that may still exist on the board from manufacture and ensure a better bond for the epoxy.

Cleaning boards with either these two solvents in 100% safe and standard practise in most, if not all, electronic refurbishment centres.


It might also be a good idea to try somehow cover the holes in the USB socket to ensure that epoxy does not get into it and prevent the plug from being inserted cleanly. I have been trying to think of a way to acomplish this. One ide is to use very small pieces of blue-tac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-Tack) since if these get through to the internal connecter they should be harmless and probably come out with the plug next time it is removed.

I intend to do this mod to my N900 this weekend. As they say prevention is better than cure.
 
Posts: 15 | Thanked: 36 times | Joined on Dec 2009
#10
Originally Posted by cr0c0 View Post
Or is everybody sitting on the fence, waiting for Nokia to replace every single N900 they ever sold?
Many of us, especially with no experience in hardware modding have no courage to open their 500 euro phone just to make sure it doesn't break. I rather risk my USB port breaking and then returning it to nokia for repairs than void my warranty. Of course it is different in your case as you didn't have the warranty in the first place.
 

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