Advice on fixing WallStreet power jack?

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illiac's picture
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Advice on fixing WallStreet power jack?

judging by the wiggliness of my powerbook's power jack (G3, 300 mhz Rev. 2), i think i need to open her up and re-solder the jack to the sound board. [famous last words] that shouldn't be too hard, i guess [/famous last words]. any sage advice you wizened souls could offer a novice hot-lead slinger would be greatly appreciated.

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Been there, done that...

so many times. Assuming you can get the ac/sound board out without trouble, the repair is a piece of cake. If you look at the power jack on the board, the defect so common to it is that the tin box itself has two tabs that pass through the pcb, and get soldered on the backside, but from apple these solder points were never properly flowed. You want to use a fairly low heat iron for this operation to avoid cooking your board and components.

If you look on the power jack, on the side away from where you plug power in, there are three connectors in the back, that's where your problem is going to be, they usually break free. The easiest way to fix this problem is to just get the iron hot, and use the solder that's already on the pad. The tabs should for the power jack should already be aligned for the solder pads on the pcb, but basically, align the tabs to the pads, and use the iron to heat the tabs and get the solder that's already there to flow enough to get the tab to stick. It doesn't take very much, and you shouldn't need to add more solder.

Once all three tabs are resoldered to the board, you need to fix the crummy retaining ground tabs on the backside of the board, here you may need to add more solder than it left the factory with, don't go nuts, just enough to keep the jack from moving around. Remember, no matter how much solder you add, it won't take much more than a yank of the cord to break it again, so use it sparingly to avoid jumped connections or traces.

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Re: Been there, done that...

bin_jammin wrote:
and you shouldn't need to add more solder.

Sometimes adding more solder (just a touch) can help to reflow a connection, as it brings with it a touch of flux from the solder core.

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Re: Been there, done that...

Ex-parrot wrote:
bin_jammin wrote:
and you shouldn't need to add more solder.

Sometimes adding more solder (just a touch) can help to reflow a connection, as it brings with it a touch of flux from the solder core.

That's true, but I've found that for easiest repair, adding more solder can lead to jumped connections, there's a lot of room in there if you're good at smc soldering, if you're a more average solderer you're better off just reflowing the existing pads, IMHO.

westieg3's picture
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what about reinforcement

i need to do this repair too since i'm on my wallstreet right now with a 9 volt battery shoved under the power jack to keep a connection. i was wondering, as long as the computer is open after being fixed, why not put on hot glue or something similar to help keep the new connections from breaking? i've heard this idea mentioned before, and i think it sounds like a good idea since i'm really not looking forward to stripping my powerbook down to start.

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Re: what about reinforcement

westieg3 wrote:
... why not put on hot glue or something similar to help keep the new connections from breaking? i've heard this idea mentioned before, and i think it sounds like a good idea since i'm really not looking forward to stripping my powerbook down to start.

I haven't worked with this particular machine, but hot glue often creates large globs that may make reassembly difficult. I have seen what appeared to be crazy glue used as a nonconductive way to secure delicate connections for similar applications in factory products. though, and it seemed to work quite well.

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Re: what about reinforcement

Whosawhatsis wrote:
westieg3 wrote:
... why not put on hot glue or something similar to help keep the new connections from breaking? i've heard this idea mentioned before, and i think it sounds like a good idea since i'm really not looking forward to stripping my powerbook down to start.

I haven't worked with this particular machine, but hot glue often creates large globs that may make reassembly difficult. I have seen what appeared to be crazy glue used as a nonconductive way to secure delicate connections for similar applications in factory products. though, and it seemed to work quite well.

Yeah, it seems like a good idea to reinforce it, until you realize that tripping over the cable, or pulling the laptop while plugged in will break it again. There's really not much you can do to secure it, because no matter what you do, you'll still be putting more leverage on a very small point than hot glue or super glue would be able to hold. Also, when the jack does break, it breaks at the solder point, when you start gluing things down, you could run the risk of tearing traces off the board.

Best advice for these things is to just make sure all the solder points for power have good connections, and that the ground strap points on the backside have a good flow of solder from them to the pcb, unlike what apple gave us from the factory.

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well, the glue concept had me

well, the glue concept had me worried anyway. so whats the ideal iron for this? i think the one i have is an 80w which seems like it would be too powerful for this kind of application.

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I've repaired many of these s

I've repaired many of these systems. Taking the PB apart isn't too bad if you can find directions online. Then if you can remove the connector and bend it's tabs back down. Then resolder it using a nice hearty joint.

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