Friday, September 18, 2015

Nexus 5 is Alive

Just before nexus 5 Smartphone surgery

Subtitle: The Nexus 5 Charging Port 


My beloved Nexus 5 smartphone has recently been rendered useless because the charging has gone from bad to worse.

The full story is that Wireless charging stopped working in 2014 after a pushed Android 4.x software upgrade, and when I followed the Google repair flowchart it said send in the phone for service.   Service ignored my 'Software Problem' statement, opened up the phone, and merely said it was moisture damaged, voiding warranty repair, and asked me whether I wanted to have it disposed of, free of charge!  Wow, thanks.

Some while later I upgraded to Android 5.x and the phone's wireless charging , guess what: it started working. So the phone was then 100% usable.

Wired Charging

Sometime later I switched over to wired charging since wireless become erratic. But, over time the wired charging started to falter in terms of mA charging current and so I tried to understand how to fix that.

Googling revealed that you can change the Charging Port Cable assembly, and so begins my first ever Smartphone open heart surgery.

Nexus 5 Charging Port Repair

Requirements And Risks

- This surgery could leave your phone dead as a dodo if you don't complete it correctly

- My eBay order came with some tools, but a proper set of Watchmakers screwdrivers will better unscrew tight screws
- Also a pair of tweezers is good to remove the 2 aerial connectors.

Buy a Nexus 5 Charging Port Flex Cable from ebay.  

About 11GBP  Including Postage

Allow 2 weeks for delivery

They sent a set of tools with the pack, which considering the low price is nothing short of incredible.

Here you can see the issue.  Even with a special Power only USB charge cable I can only manage 120 mA charge.  I've seen it as low as 8 mA, on a discharged battery.   Basically the charge current should be over 1000 mA when charging correctly.

First take out the Sim Card holder and any SIM and power OFF the phone.

With the tool provided open the case by starting at the headphone socket.

Work around the whole body of the phone and remove the back cover, which may be stuck with glue in places, so persevere.

Nexus 5 is now opened up and the cover is completely detached.

Remove 6 tiny Philips screws from top plastic panel that covers the mainboard.

It's good practice to put all components into something that prevents loss.  In our case the above screws and the following ones are all the same size so they can be mixed up.

 Remove the top plastic cover above the mainboard.

 Top cover is off

Remove Philips screws from bottom speaker unit then remove with plastic tool.

 Speaker is removed.

My phone was warranty void for so called 'Moisture damage' except what I see is mostly dirt that has come thru the speaker grills and not much else.  Hmm.

 Remove top left connector

 Remove left and right aerial connectors

 Unclip the screen connector

 Start levering out the Charging port assembly

It's glued well so I had to resort to using the stronger iFixit tools not the supplied plastic thingy.

Finally the cable assembly is out.  It contains some minor electronic components BTW

On the left is the new assembly on the right the one I just took out.

Wait a minute.  The back of the removed cable has some plastic bracket on it and a sensor wrapped around it

I'm going to use some adhesive on the case side to stick this together.

 First move that plastic component to the back of the ribbon

Now bend over the sensor and hold it with adhesive from case

Now the really difficult bit ...

Until now the steps were easy.  Now you have to put back the new ribbon into the unit.

Start by putting the USB socket in and then lying down the rest of the cable electronics.

Then I did

top left connector

2 aerial connectors - needed firm push and hear click that connectors back
screen connector - last.  When push I heard no click so was concerned it had not gone on right.   Hmmm. time will tell.

At this point all connectors are back and nothing looks snagged

 Put back the speaker assembly and tighten its four screw attachment

 Put back plastic cover and its 6 screws

Doh!  Don't do what I did: As I put back the case I broke a sliver of plastic case next to the sim tray.  

 The old cable and the broken plastic sliver.


So Nexy is now charging at over 1000 mA.  I am a pretty happy bunny. Plus the speaker still works and obviously the screen connector went back okay.

Figured it Out
In taking the Nexus 5 apart I can now also see why the Wireless charging is intermittent.  On the back cover of the phone are contacts for an Inductive charge loop that mate to the phone motherboard.  I can see that these contact no longer reliably touch.

So I'm going to be back to the faster Wired charging, and at over 1000 mA  that's a very fast charge indeed.

(If you think I'm going to open up the phone again to try fixing the wireless, think again!)

Quite Cross

When the phone was only 6 months old, in 2014,  the Wireless charging suddenly stopped after a Software upgrade.  The official Swiss service centre, via the original Swiss seller Digitec, returned the message about voided Warranty due to moisture.

After an initial offer of scrapping my phone for free, charging 320 CHF for repair  or actually charging 50 CHF for it's return,  Digitec arranged for it's free return.

And over 1 year later, charging problems excepted it's still a brilliant phone.

Now with the wired charging cable assembly replaced it's /turbo/ recharging and I can see why wireless charging is Intermittent.

It's clear to me that the Service Centre's analysis was wrong in that:

- They misdiagnosed the parts that needed repair
- They refused warranty, but my phone internals looked more dirty from ingress from speaker grill rather than corrosion, just check my photos.

So Yes, pretty bloody cross indeed.

Thanks Agata

As usual my life partner Agata was good natured in response to several shouts from the study whilst this phone surgery was being attempted by Marcus.  Culminating in the usual "I need your Help & quickly"  as the re-assembly did not go so well.   As usual Agata's calming influence worked wonders.

And Finally

Yes,  Nexy is now very much alive, and striding into the future.


Nexus 5 Charging Port Connector sale