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Hardware Thread, Tilting laptops to make them work in Technical; Originally Posted by stu i did notice that where i was squeezing there was an intel chip but couldn't see ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu View Post
    i did notice that where i was squeezing there was an intel chip but couldn't see any signs of duff joint or anything of the sort. not sure what it was for it was seated directly below the touch pad, Ric reckons it was either the north / south bridge or graphics related.
    Sounds like a BGA problem. Fairly common on boards these days, the chip is soldered to the board by a special machine using tiny blobs of solder instead of pins. If you get a dry joint it can cause problems, often putting some pressure on the right spot can be just enough to get the contacts together so that is works.

    This is very common on G3 and G4 Apple iBooks... a lot of people have made shims to go in the case to put pressure on the chip, or even clamped the iBook to the desk with G-clamps. It keeps the laptop going for a while but it's never a permenant fix. I did repair a tft monitor using a similar technique recently. This fine example is the pyromaniac's solution I think

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    Ric_ (2nd July 2009)

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    Heard about using a heat gun to rejoin these chips from an hp printer engineer (designer) who was one of my lecturers. This problem is indeed common if the joins are not just right.

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    Yes, I used to use the same technique in my old job doing pcb repairs (my boss wouldn't pay out to repair the BGA machine so I never got to use it ).

    All great when it works but if you get it too hot you end up with a giant lake of molten solder underneath the BGA chip...

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    You could redeploy them to a building with subsidence or issue them to all your one legged students.

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    @Batman: That link is amazing! The only problem is that I now need to beat stu to work or risk the building burning down!

    Anyway... now to think of a suitable metallic weight to apply pressure whilst I warm one up with the blow-torch fitting on the soldering iron (I always wondered what I would use that for ). I've got nothing to loose after all

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    You shouldn't need to apply pressure particularly, and you shouldn't need too much heat either. I have this image of someone squeezing a cream cake and it all gushing out of the sides in my head... that's not exactly what happens but it won't be pretty if you do mess it up.

    I would seriously suggest trying a shim for it first if you can because the mess is irreversible if the heatgun technique goes wrong!

    Sorry if that's too much warning for one post, I just don't want any laptops to get hurt

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    @Batman: We completely ignored you and found a fix for the 'problem'.

    Enjoy... Fixing a HP nx6110

    EDIT: Also see http://blip.tv/file/2307490/

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    loving the "tidy" desk whislt using a blow torch! I love Stu's hand about 1:40 sheilding the heat

  10. #24
    stu
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    I was shielding from the air con to see if it would work better
    Last edited by stu; 1st July 2009 at 03:53 PM.

  11. #25

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    Woo Glad it worked, maybe when we get 10 minutes of spare time we shall give it a go with some of ours, but need to buy a nice shiny new Iron first, I think i'll go for a nice Nimrod one again

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    @john: There's something satisfying about heating something to >200 degress to fix it

  13. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    john (2nd July 2009)

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    Well, I'm glad it worked for you

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    Perhaps the laptops have some kind of acceleration/tilt sensor that has gone screwy? ([ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_Motion_Sensor]Sudden Motion Sensor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] type thing)

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    Are the laptops charged vertically inside your laptop trolley?

    Hi, just wanted to say, don't know if your laptops are charged horizontally or vertically inside the cabinet. It could be the gel inside your lithium ion batteries. Charging in a confined space the laptops generate heat and when charged on their sides, vertically the gel warms and can 'move' inside the battery. What kind of laptop trolley do you have?

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    I've never heard of that... I'd be interested to see an example as it sounds a bit implausible to me. The battery isn't like a petrol tank with loads of room for the electrolyte to move about. We have laptops which are charged in various orientations and never had a problem.

    Anyway, we identified that the fault was with the BGA chip in the end... you should watch Ric_'s video.

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