2013-12-24

Apparently, it is fairly common for the USB charging port on a Nokia N900 to detach from the motherboard. Sadly, this was to be fate of my beloved n900, affectionately named "Clicky". Before you ask, the answer is "yes, I do anthropomorphise all of my computers".

Although the USB port was no longer available, I did have a battery charger and a few batteries that I carried with me. It was definitely time to start looking for a replacement for Clicky.

Just prior to the USB port failure, I purchased a FirefoxOS based ZTE 'Open' on EBay. After about 3 weeks of using Firefox OS, I was fairly certain that I knew the perfect replacement for my n900..... Another n900! What? Did you think I was going to say "Firefox OS"? pfttttt, I named that thing "Shitty" for a reason.

Anyway, for about $55, I purchased a used n900 on EBay and decided to not have to worry about the USB port on my new n900. It isn't broken, but I'm going to fix it anyways.

Gather Some Supplies

  1. n900: because it needs fixing
  2. Tizen swag screwdriver (P.S. it is pronounced shwag)
  3. 2 part epoxy
  4. Stay Puft marshmallows: I have no idea why this is necessary
  5. a can of tuna fish that my brother brought back from Italy

TAKE IT APART!!!!!

After popping off the battery cover, it is necessary to remove 6 screws, circled in this image, from the device.

The 2 screws with the purple circles are proof that Nokia might have hated you before they hired Elop. Why they decided to use torx screws on a decent device is beyond me.

Take a Lousy Picture of the 'Fix'

That grey blurry glob on the left side of the motherboard is the USB charging port smothered with epoxy.

I had seen plenty of pictures online of people 'fixing' their n900s with solder, but I definitely didn't want to risk having conductive material adhering the USB port to the motherboard.

Basically, I mixed up some epoxy and made sure that there was no way the USB port was going anywhere!

Say Hello to "Beeper"

After letting the epoxy cure, the n900 was reassembled. Crazy as it seems, this may be the first time I've taken a device apart and put it back together using all of the original screws.

Then I took a picture of me taking a picture.

It sure is nice to have a GNU Linux device in my pocket again.

With a few minutes on the command-line using scp and rsync, I transferred some useful scripts from my old n900 to the new device. The first scripts to go on the device were the scripts used to resize and upload images to my coffee-a-day project, then it was on to the n900 time updater, and then some applications that let me send commands to various computers on my home network.

Now quite reading, and go curse Nokia for abandoning a phenomenal GNU Linux platform.

Comments
2013-12-27 Alison Chaiken:
My own grievous hack repair:

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/99725460@N00/sets/72157638941334803/

Yes, I have no shame! But it was fast, cheap and almost exactly the right size.
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