Tip & How-To about Miscellaneous
After having used my FlipTimer Scrabble clock from samtimer.com for 3 years, I started having problems with the display. It sometimes displayed unintelligible symbols. It sometimes had segments missing from the numbers. And it sometimes went completely blank (the only way I could get the display to come back was to close the lid part-way). These problems became more frequent over time. Based on the symptoms, I thought it might be a display connection issue, which turned out to be the case.
My repair below almost certainly also applies to the DGT960 chess clock, which physically looks just like the FlipTimer, the only difference being that the FlipTimer is designed as a Scrabble timer, whiile the DGT960 is designed as a chess timer. I am posting this because I suspect this display problem will become a fairly common one, given the design of the timer.
Here are the steps I took:
1. Remove screw from the battery compartment lid.
2. Remove battery.
3. Remove 7 additional screws. 4 are under the glued-on pads, 2 are under the label (I just punched through the label, instead of removing the label), and 1 is in the battery compartment. All these screws are the same length and are shorter than the one holding the battery compartment lid in place.
4. Remove the plate behind the screen. It's held in place by 9 plastic tabs that fit into shallow depressions, 3 on top, 2 on each side and 2 on the bottom. It's best to separate the two halves with a plastic spudger, but since I don't own one, I used a mini flat-head screwdriver with caution. I think it's easiest if you open up the 2 on the bottom first and work your way up.
5. Lift off the bottom plate, being careful not to break the two wires connecting it to the part with all the buttons.
6. Remove both ends of the white ribbon cable by grabbing the cable as close to its ends as possible and firmly pulling it straight out of the black connectors. I found a 90 degree bend in the cable about 1/4" from the end that goes into the LCD (the photos below were taken after I tried to straighten the cable). It turns out that every time the clock was opened and closed, the cable kept bending back and forth at that point, which ultimately broke one or more wires inside the cable.
7. Insert new ribbon cable by gently pushing it into the black connectors. I bought a pack of 10 cables through ebay for the bargain price of $3 ($1 plus $2 shipping). They are 16-pin, 1 mm pitch, 5 cm FFCs.
8. Insert battery and make sure the display works properly before reassembling.
9. Put everything back in reverse order.
10. Glue the 4 white pads back onto the bottom.
11. Enjoy your game
Posted by T Chang on
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