iphone FPC connector

Discussion in 'iOS / iPhone' started by bhuelsman, Aug 14, 2009.

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  1. bhuelsman

    bhuelsman Newbie

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    Can someone please tell me how to go about replacing the FPC connector on the iphone. I have ordered the part but have no idea how to install it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!
  2. RobbM

    RobbM Big Shot in the Lab

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    Welcome to BrightHand, bhuelsman.

    There are some pretty big brains around here and likely someone will give you some kind of useful info. But that person won't be me!

    Could you clarify a bit? By "FPC connector" are you referring to the 30 pin connector between the speakers?
  3. bhuelsman

    bhuelsman Newbie

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  4. tanbam

    tanbam Mobile Evangelist

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    A fine tip soldering iron and a steady hand holding some quality tweezers A stereo microscope is almost necessary.

    If you don't have much soldering experience, I wouldn't attempt it.

    1) You'll have to take it apart enough to have plenty or room around the connector to get in with the soldering iron. You do not want the iron to touch anything except the pin that you are working with. I would recommend taking it apart far enough to remove the battery. Soldering is always more successful if the job isn't under power. The soldering iron is conductive, and so is the chrome bezel, so a momentary slip with a powered phone could cause additional damage.

    2) Use some solder wick and carefully, without moving the wick or trying to rub the board, remove the solder from the old connector pins. It might help if you have a fine, needle-like tool to gently pop each pin up as you do them all one-by-one. You'll need to exercise great care to ensure that you don't lift any pads from the PCB. If that happens, the board is useless unless someone with VERY good skills makes the fine repair.

    3) After all of the solder is removed and the pins are free, gently remove the old connector. It should lift freely, but there may be some gunk holding it down. When the connecter is removed, gently clean the area with alcohol and a cotton swab. Again, be careful of lifting any pads from the board.

    4) Using the soldering iron and some fine solder, add a small amount of solder to ONE of the pads before placing the new connector. This will make it easier to start the rest of the job. Place the new connector into position on the board, and carefully heat the pad that you have previously prepped. The solder should hold the connector in place, allowing you to line everything up with one hand.

    5) Solder the rest of the pins one-by-one. Take care to keep the solder from bridging across adjacent pins and shorting out your repaired connector.

    6) Go back with solder wick and carefully remove some of the solder from each of the newly soldered pins. This will ensure that any hidden shorts that you might have are removed.

    7) Clean the new solder with alcohol to remove the potentially corrosive flux. Reassemble the phone, and cross your fingers that it works.

    There really aren't any special instructions; you just have to have the skill and the tools to perform the job.
  5. bhuelsman

    bhuelsman Newbie

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    So your saying I'm screwed?

    Thank you for taking the time to write that out but I didn't understand very much of it. I am stupid enough to go ahead and attempt it so can you be a little more specific with the tools that I need? Do you have any suggestions on what solderer to get, etc.
  6. tanbam

    tanbam Mobile Evangelist

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    The actual soldering iron isn't that important, but the tip must be very fine. Get the smallest gauge (thinnest) solder you can find. Get some good quality solderwick. Obviously, you're not going to buy a microsope just to fix a phone...

    Unless you are VERY confident in your soldering skills, I advise against attempting this if you really want to save the phone.
  7. RobbM

    RobbM Big Shot in the Lab

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    See? I told you. Big brain.
  8. Sidewayz

    Sidewayz Newbie

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    I know that this response is probably too late to be of help for you, but it may help someone else out.

    In order to attach the FPC properly, you should have the following:

    Some non corrosive flux
    Very fine solder
    Hot air gun (soldering type)
    Soldering iron with a very fine tip
    Magnifier

    De-solder the remains of the of the original FPC connector by carefully applying heat to each individual leg with the soldering iron. You will probably have to break the plastic off the top of the connector. Start from the front (where the ribbon inserts) and pry each individual leg off, making sure not to lift the pads off the board. Then repeat at the rear of the connector.

    Once the connector is removed, clean up the pads by heating with the soldering iron. Some additional solder will be required at this stage - apply flux to the area, making sure to completely cover the pads then get a very small amount of solder onto the irons tip. Quickly run the solder over all of the submerged pads. Once a sufficient amount of solder has deposited, heat the area with the hot air gun. You may have to mask the surrounding areas with foil. Make sure not to heat too much - PCB's can be damaged at temps over 300 celcius. When you see the solder begin to melt, apply the FPC with some tweezers whilst maintaining heat. The surface tension of the solder will align the part and keep it in place. Carefully withdraw the hot air gun and allow it to cool.

    You can also use a soldering iron, but the process is much more difficult and as such, a small error will be fatal to the replacement FPC - you will have to get another one and do it over again. Overall, it is probably excessive for the average consumer, but if you intend to repair other surface mount PCB's somewhere down the line, it is well worth investing in a hot air gun.
  9. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Moderator Super Moderator

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    Welcome to Brighthand, Sidewayz. :)

    Thanks for posting your solution.
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