01-20-2013 02:34 PM - edited 01-20-2013 02:41 PM
I have a playbook (the expensive 64gb), and it quit charging (and eventually died), so since it was past warranty I took apart (went online and got all the methods and tips I could). Since the PB is so well made I was a bit shocked to see the USB connector just hanging somewhat. Upon supper close inspection I could see that it had been installed poorly. The USB connector was not fully seated, had barely been soldered, so had broken away and ripped the signal pads off the PC motherboard (hence the no charging, no nothing). RIM surface mounts these also - very poorly done, as in just barely. The way they installed it just rocked itself to death with every plug insert. See the pics. This is not a case of abuse by the PB owner/me, but poor workmanship and QC by RIM - to make such a fine machine and blow it at the end. I have learned the the USB connector is not the place to be charging the PB on a daily basis - so why did not RIM include a charging cradle, they obviously knew the problem by providing in the design. The USB would have withstood for a long while had they QCed this area. Now, the real question is what are going to do about my broken PB RIM?
[in one pic you see pads ripped off motherboard, in the other pic you see it lifted off board and not really soldered]
01-20-2013 04:35 PM
01-20-2013 04:37 PM
01-20-2013 04:50 PM - edited 01-21-2013 04:28 AM
...Obviously a cold solder joint. ...
..or torn out of its mount by being dropped with the plug in, or fatigued by being used frequently with the plug in.
Dry joints usually don't have solder clinging to both sides of the join. The solder has wetted both the location peg and the board location. The peg has come out (it isn't surface mounted it's through mounted), the solder itself has fractured leaving solder on both sides. On the connections the tracks are firmly soldered to the terminals, but the copper tracks have lifted. The red epoxy and two soldered peg locators through the board may be too little and a weak design to hold it, but it may not be bad soldering
01-20-2013 09:02 PM
Disappointing, but things can go wrong. I think both micro plugs (USB and the HDMI) are inherently week. Interestingly the micro USB connector feels more robust on my Nokia E71, but this could be just me. To top it up RIM decided to put the BlackBerry mark on the USB connector shipped on the standard wall charger to indicate proper insertion. One would normally see a USB network mark on a USB cable connector to indicate the top of the plug when inserting it.
RIM could also etch into the glass surface HDMI and USB to indicate the connectors. I assume it would increase manufacturing cost. What I wonder is why not one of the "screen savers" added these letters.
The bottom line? Get a magnetic charger (or a cradle) to minimize the use of the USB plug.