Entries in micro soldering (10)

Friday
Aug312018

Why Apple is NOT a repair company

  

Most customers who own an Apple macbook or idevice assume that because apple manufactures said device then they are able to also fix and repair any issue they may encounter with said device.

 

"Apple is a innovative sales company, not a repair company"

 

 

  Lets first state the what many may forget. Apple is a innovative sales company, not a repair company. The primary business model for Apple inc. is to design, manufactuer and create new solutions for its end users with a consistent flow to its product line. 

 

The Apple Store is just that, a store to showcase it's products and new deisgns.  "In 2015, there were 463 Apple stores worldwide. Since the opening of the first Apple store in the United States in 2001, the number of Apple stores around the world has boomed, surpassing 200 stores after 2007 and still rising."

 

Apple does employ what's called "Geniuns Bars" in all stores, but often times the employees are not fully versed in repairs or informed of all the current issues with every device. The "Technicians" working at the genius bars are often times middle men for sales or gate keepers for the many polices apple instills to try and discourage repairs for a more profitable option of selling the customer a new device. The genius bar employees often act as support staff for its many customers to help and inform them of better usage habbits.

Going to a genius bar you will have to first have to schedule an appointment typically a few days out. As a customer if you choose to get an issue looked at they will first use the elgibile or ineligible chart to determine what category you fall into for a swap. This will often lead to you not getting your issue fixed. All apple devices have what's called a LDI sticker (Liquid Damage Indicator) which is made of litmus paper; used to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Blue litmus paper turns red under acid conditions, and red litmus paper turns blue under alkaline conditions. This may mean that if you are trying to get your phone replaced or "fixed" and you got one spill of liquid or brought your phone with you running and got enough moisture to trip the sensor you may be denied for any service even if they are completly unrelated. 

 


Want to get your cracked screen replaced but have a small ding or dent in the frame you may have to shell out a lot more for what OOW swap which may cost between $200-$300 for something that should cost less than $100.

 

These strict guidelines are often very frustrating and hard to work with. Most devices after 6-8 months of time will surely develop dings, dents and scratches from daily use. 

Take for example the well known and documented iPhone 7 Series Audio IC Fault which shows itself in millions of phones. Apple was "aware" of the issue for a short period of time and began to offer replacements but only if the device was "elgible" according to their guidelines. Unbeknownst to the users they were simply swapping a defective iphone 7 for another defective iphone 7.  As of July 2018 they stopped offering this option. 

See more info about our repair service for this here: https://www.microsolderingrepairs.com/blog/iphone7soundrepair

Another well known and documented issue is the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices that had touch problems after about a year of usage. This was later confirmed to be caused by a weak frame and bending the motherboard causing pads under a "Touch IC" chip U2402 (aka Meson)

Once apple identified the issue with your phone they may replace it with another, but they certainly are not going back and re-desiging the phone to make it better and stronger. This would usually mean the device you got replaced may end up with the same problem in a few months time.

Technicians at Wires Computing offer this repair for anyone regardless of time or condition of the device. As part of the repair process we re-enforce the chip with a metal plate and small jumper wires to ensure this problem will not rear its ugly head. Apple does not have the logistics setup to repair each and every device.

 

"Apple does not have the logistics setup to repair each and every device."

 

See more info about our repair service for this here: https://www.microsolderingrepairs.com/blog/iphone6plustouchdisease

 

Have an iMac or macbook that needs repair? Well you better be ready to commit to a long drawn out process. Often times local stores will not have every part for all devices, meaning it will be sent out to a "service center" which can take weeks. This will often result in them replacing parts for no need or sending a unit in similair condition. often times without retaining the users data.

 

 Take for examle Snazzy Labs trying to get his iMac VESA stand fixed, which resulted in many days of back and forth, much confusion and empty promises.

 

Louis Rossman also took some time to compete with a genius bar and see if an Independant third party repair can offer better, proper repair services.

 

Apple will often try to claim that any third party repairs will void any warranty provided by them. As of 1975 the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act was created to fix problems as a result of manufacturers using disclaimers on warranties in an unfair or misleading manner. Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. This is commonly referred to as the "tie-in sales" provisions and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives.

In conclusion, apple is a sales company. They focus on sales and hitting record profit numbers with every product release. They do support their customer base, but not in the way you may think. Often times jumping through hoops and in the end getting the same broken, flawed product as before.

Thursday
Sep142017

Is Tekdry a scam? The truth behind the water damage repair machine

 

 

If you've ever gotten your favorite mobile device wet, you've certainly tried the rice trick (which has been proven to be moot)

 

Surely there has to be a easy fix right? The short answer is no, but that's not what a new emerging tech company called "TekDry" wants you to think. 

Tekdry has built and developed a machine that allows you to take a device that has been submerged in liquid (most commonly water) 

 

The premise behind tekdrys machine is that by using a combination of heat, vacuum and liquid absorbing pellets it can dry out and remove the remaining liquid leftover in the device.

 

It's even gained popularity from shows such as "Shark Tank"

 

Investors have put lots and lots of money into trying to push this water damage repairing machine in retail outlets and have rolled it out into over 600 stores nationwide at select Staples.

 

So with all the popularity and "success" with retail outlets one must ask does it really work?

 

Why is tekdry a scam?

 

Truth be told the machine itself is not a "scam" in the traditional sense, matter of fact in the machine fails to save your device or restore full functionality then typically they will charge you little to nothing.

Reading the points made by the company, they make some bold claims:

  • "PROTECTS THE SURFACE

The water removal process causes no cosmetic damage whatsoever"

  • "PRESERVES DATA 

If the process is successful, your data will be exactly as it was"

  • "USES SAFE MATERIALS

You can feel good knowing the process does not use chemicals"

  • "KEEPS IT IN ONE PLACE

We will not have to take your device apart to save it"

 

While some of the claims are true, they are preying on the uneducated customers and overselling the machines capabilites. It's important to understand more about eletronics and what happends when they come in contact with liquid. 

 

Let's start out by showing a typical liquid damaged motherboard 

iphone 6 liquid damage

 

As you can see lots of coroison has formed around the connectors, specificlly the digitizer and rear camera fpc conn. (flexiable printed circuit).

This is typically what we see at wires computing when we are sent a device for liquid damage repair. The corrosion forms around high voltage areas such as the VCC_main power rail and the backlight rail which can run at 4 volts during a screen on event. This often results in burned pads the components are soldered to, which will cut off any connection to the circuit. 

When we take in a device in a state such as this we will take pictures for reference and then match them up with schematics to check for burned pads and "dead circuits." This is critical for ensuring proper thorough repairs. We also note areas that are affected more than others so we can spend more time with the smd componets later. 

 

What does tekdry do about corrosion? The short answer is nothing.

-Imagine going for a run, getting dirty and taking a shower with your clothes, shoes and hat on. Will you be cleaning yourself properly in all the important areas? No.

-Imagine driving your car through a mud pit and then going to the car wash, only for them to tell you that all they do is lightly blow air at it and throw a few towels on it to absorb some moisture. Would this be a proper thorough cleaning? No.

This is what tekdry does. They receive a device that's been wet, without disassembling it throw it into the machine, blow some air at it and expect it to be fixed in a matter of minutes. 

 

What most don't understand about electronics and liquid is that the damage isn't caused by water, It's caused by the leftover [mineral] contaminants in the water and shorting out circuits and burning solder pads that are necessary for connection. 

As part of our cleaning process we will disassemble the whole device to gain access to the motherboard (the brain) then we will use our ultrasonic machine to clean the motherboard and remove the residual corrosion. This process involves getting the motherboard wet again(!) Most would think this is foolish, but the secret is in the liquid we use, which has almost no contaminants and does not allow electrolysis to occur. 

Cleaning the motherboard is only half the battle. Replacement and rebuilding of the circuits is typically needed for a device to function. Capacitors on the VCC_main power rail can be the first to short out and cause the phone not to boot. As a capacitor has one leg on ground and another on the the circuit, if a capacitor gets corroded and shorts out then effectively a whole circuit can be shorted to ground causing vital circuits to not connect. This can be as minimal as a camera LDO (A low-dropout regulator) or as important as a PP1V8 line sending power to the NAND or CPU.

In most cases we need to remove components to replace or repeal them. Luckily not every capacitor is needed on the VCC_main power rail given that they function to filter the noise and are not esstential. But in the event a capacitor is shorted on a circuit such as the camera ldo then you would never gain access to either of the cameras without micro-soldering and removing them. 

 

TEKDRY (or Staples) does not remove any components, nor do they have the ability to micro solder anything and replace surface mounted parts on a motherboard. So how could they expect a postive outcome from this external "blow dry?" Truth is it would have [partially] worked and the machine simply sped that process up. 

Without removing the power [battery] the phone is still getting power through the circuits even when its turned off, only exacerbating the corrosion, shortening the lifespan of the device.

The fact is if your device has gotten wet, then you need to get it inspected under a microsope so that proper repairs can be performed.

Not every device is fixable, this is highly dependant on the localization of the damage and the steps the user has done to mitigate any further damage. 75% of the time a device is fixable, but most do not realize this and simply throw it away or store it in a drawer for years, while the coroson sets in even more and then lessening the chances of a sucessful revival. 

If you have gotten your device wet and would like a repair please use the link below:

Water Damage Repair Services

Friday
Jun092017

iPhone not charging when plugged in? 

Once you're certain that it's not an issue with the outlet, charging block or cord— and the phone still isn't charging, then the problem can be reduced down to a few different options: a bad battery, charging port, or tristar. 

Any knowledgable electronics repair shop should be able to pretty quickly determine the source of the issue by observing if the phone draws any current with an ammeter, dryfitting a new charging port and new battery, and observing the response through the ammeter. 

A bad tristar might still result in the phone drawing current, but won't allow the battery to charge. To be certain, a known working battery might be dryfit onto the phone and if the phone still won't charge the new battery, then a tristar repair is indicated.

 

So what is a tristar?

A tristar is a chip (1610A3) on the motherboard that recognizes if the phone is plugged in, and addtionally determines if the battery is safe to charge or not. The tristar interfaces with the baseband and functionality of the chip can be definitely tested by using a digital multimeter on the battery terminal to see what voltage the terminal is carrying when the phone is plugged in. With a working tristar, the terminal might be carrying 3.6-4.2v, but a bad tristar will be indicated by 2v or less at the terminal.

What causes a tristar to go bad?

Typically, charging your iPhone using a third party charger or lightning cable that is not Apple MFI certified allows for larger variables in voltage and current, this then damages the tristar chip and can leave you with a seemingly dead/not charging iPhone. Lightning cables actually have a chip in them that regulate the voltage and current being pushed through into the charging port.

Another common reason for this is also charging your iPhone from the cigarette lighter of your car. This does not regulate the voltage as well as the original AC adapter, since alternatively the power is coming from the alternator. If you need to charge your iPhone or any electrical equipment in your car we would recommend a good quality inverter with your original charger and Apple lightning cable.

Fortunately for you, microsoldering techs at Wires Computing do this repair daily with essentially a 99% rate of successful repair. Send yours in today.

Sunday
Sep112016

Micro USB Charger Port Repairs

Do you have a tablet, phone or other mobile device that needs a charger port repaired?

Wires Computing is proud to offer soldering services which covers broken, or defective charger ports for many devices.

 

Often times on many devices over time the charger port gets loose and wiggles due to the stress put on the micro solder joints. This can cause many issues with charging your device or trying to plug it into the computer to access data.

 

Micro soldering repairs

 

Often times the charger ports can be resoldered onto the circuit board after dissassembly. This type of repair requires micro soldering

If you need this type of repair for your device give us a call and we can take care of it for you. Often we have most common ports and parts in stock and repairs are done within 1-3 business days. If you are not located within local access to our repair shop you may also send in your device for repair.

(802)448-0403

Wires Computing

383 College St.

Burlington, VT 05401

 

Sunday
Aug212016

DJI Phantom Drone Repairs

A tale of the phantom 3 drone repair...

First it came in as a broken camera. Which is typical for a phantom 3 after a crash, but after replacing the camera it kept beeping as if it were doing a firmware update. During the phantom 3 power on it would continiously beep beep beep. So later after opening it I found a big issue which was the flight recording and "main board" was broken from all of its solder joints. 


  • After noticing a pulled pad which was fit with a jumper wire, it would not read the battery voltage and thus caused no flights or motor spin. After it was found to be a bad solder joint, it was fixed and all was well with the p3 reading the battery info.

  • But the fight was not over! After going through testing, it did not acquire gps, although it had been outside when tested. After seeing the damage to the top gps module on the casing it was obvious this was damaged when the black box came loose and hit the top housing.


After testing with a known good gps module it was successfully working! After about 2 hours of course.

 


If you are in need of any DJI Phantom 1, 2, 3 or 4 drone repairs give us a call at (802)448-0403

 

If your phantom 3 goes beep beep beep on startup after a crash then you know this is typically the problem.