Three screens

17Apr12

I’ve had a run of bad luck with screens recently..

Laptop

The first casualty was my son’s X121e. He brought it home from school one evening saying ‘the screen on my laptop is broken … I didn’t drop it’. My response was of course ‘why are you telling me you didn’t drop it’, and ‘what caused the mark on this corner’.

The constantly flickering screen, which could be made to change if I wiggled it, seemed like symptoms of a loose connector. Luckily Lenovo provides service manuals for its laptops[1], so I set about stripping it down. After about half an hour I reached the point where I was able to reseat the LCD connector and confirm that it was working as it should. Then it was just a matter of another half an hour to put it back together.

Chris 1 : Murphy 0

Smartphone

A few days later my wife came home one evening saying ‘can you take a look at my phone’. The screen had just vertical lines on it, so my first suspicion was another loose connector. Sadly this time around it wasn’t that simple. After swapping things around with my identical (except for the outer shell colour) ZTE Blade I was able to confirm that a replacement screen would sort things out. I’m keeping an eye on eBay for a phone offered for parts/repair with a good screen.

Chris 1 : Murphy 1

iPad

Angry Birds Space came out whilst I was in Florida on holiday. I think it’s a great way of teaching kids about zero-G physics. Sadly my son managed to test Earth gravity whilst playing it by pushing the iPad out of its SmartCover – over a stone floor. Here’s the result:

My immediate thoughts were of having to buy a new iPad (perhaps the new version), and having to make an insurance claim.

After calming down a bit I found out that 1. the iPad was still working and 2. it was possible to get the touch screen replaced. With some more searching I discovered an entire cottage industry of iPad screen fixers, and identified a reasonably close by one that could do the job for $100. A couple of days later I spent and hour and a half in the company of Ruben at RCMA watching him pick bits of glass out of my iPad. Although I’m a keen maker and fixer it’s definitely one of those jobs you don’t want to do without some help (and the Ifixit guides like this are good, but don’t show the full horror of screen removal – especially when it’s so badly broken. Ruben said mine was the worst he’d ever seen, and there was proof in his bin that he’d seen plenty).

I’m not entirely convinced that the WiFi is all it used to be – maybe the antenna suffered from the drop, but at least I have a whole iPad again.

Chris 2 : Murphy 1

Conclusion

Each of these issues looked pretty terminal at first – rendering an expensive gadget useless. In each case though the problem has proven to be fixable at low to moderate cost in time and parts. Not all modern electronics need to be treated as disposable.

[1] X121e service manual.



One Response to “Three screens”


  1. 1 OpenWRT on TP-Link TL-WR2543ND | Chris Swan's Weblog

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