Monday, July 22, 2013

Repair that broken Phone Charger and save yourself some Cash and Headaches

Recently My girlfriend had to revert to her old phone because her new cell's charger was acting up and the phone would not power on, based on her description my initial interpretation was that the unit was broken. She wanted to take it back to the store, but the receipt was no where to be found, so the new phone was just sitting there, unable to do anything or even to go back to the store for a replacement.
On observing the unit I came to realize the phone was solid, but the charger was damaged so I went to work  and in ten (10) minutes the phone was fully functional again.
 So what will you need to fix a broken phone charger?, well readers if you do not have these already you will need the items listed below.

Phone Plugged in and charging after Fix

Items needed:
3. A Fine wire stripper or a knife and some dexterity will do.

Lets get Cracking!!!

Be sure to carefully analyse the defective phone to establish the source of the fault. Not all phones that are refusing to power on is because of a defective charger, but in most cases the culprit is a charger issue. You may if possible seek out a spare by borrowing one from a friend with a similar device, this way you will be able to pin point the source of the issue. If this is not an option as was the case with this unit readers, just go ahead and look the charger over, look for:

-Loose wires.
-Exposed or broken leads along the extension.
-"slipped out" or damaged areas along the unit, close to either end of the charger.

Loose wire, the source of the Fault, click image for better view

In the above case the trouble is caused by a loose wire, this can happen to any charger over time due to inserting and removing the USB end in and out of the wall unit.

Open the unit and access the extent of the damage
(Make sure the unit is not plugged in)
Unit can be opened by removing retention clips

Analyse the charger unit and look for any screws or means of opening the unit, In the above I was able to open the USB end due to the fact that the unit was held together by retention clips, care fully remove the clips with some forceps or other firm material. The unit should come apart quite easily, do not force anything!, it should come apart naturally.

Disassembled USB Unit shell

Next Readers be very careful not to damage the unit any further by removing the external housing and analyse the extent of the damage:
Inside the USB Charger USB head

Loose wiring

This wire is becoming un-soldered 

So is this one

Shabby workmanship by the manufacturer -wires are grounding or touching

Remove loose wires

A trick I have learned over the years in repairing tech is to remember where everything his, so in case you need to reassemble it. Let see the hands of those with a photographic memory! well if you are not so gifted get your phone and take a pic of the arrangement of the wires so you will remember what goes were later.

First Use the wire strippers or a small scissors to completely remove the loose wires or those that may be grounding, simply remove the excess as I did especially for wires that are not used in bringing a charge to the unit:

Clip unnecessary wiring 
Depending on the level of damage you will need to remove the extra wires or the Red and Black wire leads and strip as well as re-solder them (Be sure to connect the wires in the correct place by referring to the pictures you took to remember wire placement). If the leads are broken and been held together by a few strands I suggest you remove and re-strip and solder the connections. If they are good and strong but the solder is going, apply fresh solder to reinforce the connection.

Secure unit and carefully solder the leads back into place

Soldering Gun and Solder
Insure Readers that your Soldering Gun is fully heated before trying to remove or add fresh solder as the solder will not melt until the gun is heated properly.
Allow the solder to cool and check your work. Carefully and gently reassemble the unit. Using the electrical tape or a substitute tape- reseal the unit, if you broke the clips and you do not get a firm reassembly the electrical tape will suffice and you can easily make it neat and presentable.

Reassembled unit with tape as reinforcement

Unit Charging and fully functional!!

So that it readers, hope you enjoyed this fix, I know I did. There is a certain satisfaction a Man gets when he is able to fix something and even save a damsel in distress, she will thank you trust me. So did this fix help you, was someone thankful for the help?

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