Fixing Electronics

I · November 27, 2020

Over the past month or so I’ve had a bit of a spree of doing minor repairs on electronics.

After discovering the site, I couldn’t wait to have something break so that I could try my hand at repairing it.

The opportunity came when my laptop would no longer turn on. It had been acting kind of weird for a couple weeks (it wouldn’t recognize when it was charging, although the battery percentage would increase).

It turned out that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery was enough to completely fix the problem! My first attempt at electronics repair was an easy success.

A few days later, I found out that my Mom’s Kobo e-reader was not working. After struggling to actually get it open, I found that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery solved this problem too, and the e-reader was good as new.

Soaking in my newfound repair overconfidence and wanting my own e-reader so that I could read library e-books on an e-ink screen, I started looking for used Kobos, preferably cheap ones that needed fixing, on Kijiji (like Craigslist but more popular in my area).

I found one broken Kobo with a problem that sounded similar to the one my Mom’s had had, and picked it up for $10. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the actual screen that seems unrepairable. I’ve ordered a replacement screen, but in the meantime I ended up getting a Kobo Aura 2nd Edition for $40 on Facebook Marketplace (1st time I every used that service).

All the while, I had been trying to sell my iPad on Kijiji. The going rate for my model seemed to be roughly $300. I started asking around $250 since one of the volume buttons doesn’t work. After several almost-sales, I decided to try and fix the volume button myself.

iPads are annoying to open. You can’t just unscrew some screws and pop some clips like my laptop. I had to use a hair dryer to melt adhesive holding the screen onto the body and peel the screen off. Rushing a bit, I bent the screen a little more than I would’ve liked, but it didn’t crack or anything. Eventually I managed to fix the volume button.

However, when I reconnected the screen I realized I had messed up the LCD display since the screen would turn on but wouldn’t show anything but a barcode-like pattern. I think I must have bent it too much in the process of removing or reattaching it.

I sold the iPad for $20 for parts. I also learned an expensive lesson: there is no room for impatience and indelicacy in electronics repair.

Twitter, Facebook