Question about i-mate K-jam Smartphone
I would like to repair a broken touch screen on my K-Jam (well its actually a T-mobile MDA but they are the same i think) The problem is I can't figure out how to open and remove the old screen let alone replace the new one! Can anyone provide some tips or photos for this procedure? Thanks in advance
I have just replaced the touchscreen on my wife's K-Jam, not a trivial job but not as impossible as some postings I had read. Also I was able to replace just the touchscreen and not the combined LCD/touchscreen which most people have said you have to. Basically you need to start from the back of the PDA (battery side) and work forwards with the last thing you get to being the touchscreen you need to replace. I do not recall exact order of dismantling but it was fairly obvious once you got into it. I started with the sliding keyboard closed for this. What I do remember is that to start off you have to remove a snap on cover above the camera, removing the external area connector cover first and then gently prising with a jewellers screwdriver. Then remove 4 screws and gently prize the main unit into two. (Obviously at this stage battery, SD card, etc are all out). You will find on one side the unit the two parts are now joined by a small flexible PCB, this is into a connector which you can release by very carefully lifting up a small plastic tab along the top of the connector (note this is different to some connectors I have seen like this where you have to slide a section of connector out - on this one (and one you come across later) you have to flip the plastic tab up by 90 degrees. Once you have done this you can carefully pull out the flexible PCB. This phone is very layered and I found it help to put each 'layer' in a bag with it's associated screws, etc to make life easier later. You are now left looking at the main phone PCB which if I remember right will now be loose. Carefully lift and remove the PCB. you will find it attached by a flexible PCB that goes to the display unit - this is a push in connector which can be carefully removed by gentle prising. You now have just the display unit and the back part of the main unit. Slide the keyboard slightly out and then remove the 4 screws which secure the main unit to the sliders. You should then be able to separate the screen unit from the main unit and finally get to the fixing screws you need. Undo the 4 screws that hold the screen unit together. The rear of the screen unit is still clipped in place and you need gentle prising to remove the back from the screen. Memory begins to fail me here but again I think there were 4 screws securing 2 small PCBs for the lights and the navigation buttons which I removed and removed the PCBs and the navigation button block. Somewhere in all of this there was also a second slightly larger version of the flexible PCB connector that required its tab lifting 90degrees to remove the connector. You should now be able to lift out the LCD and touchscreen as one unit - and now comes the fun bit. The touchscreen is bonded to the LCD and the connector for it is resistance welded to another flexible PCB. I first (and very carefully) lifted the sticky tape that is protecting this connection. I then (even more carefully!) cut the ribbon that goes to the touchscreen leaving a tab attached to the screen. By very careful lifting it was then possible to get the 4 way flexible PCB that goes to the touchscreen to separate from the main section without damaging what was left - if you have a hot air gun with a micro nozzle that may be an alternative. To separate the touchscreen from the LCD I used a sharp scalpel to gradually cut between the glass of the touchscreen and the bezel of the LCD - it is only glued to the bezel and not the LCD itself but be very careful not to damage the LCD surface. After a lot of careful sliding around all sides with the scalpel the touchscreen came off in one bit. I then positioned the new touchscreen and used what was left of the original double sided tape on the bezel to hold it in place (after removing the protective film from the toucscreen). If you cannot get the touchscreen off neatly you may end up having to carefully scrape the bezel clean and then use new double sided tape - goes without saying do not touch the LCD surface. Now you need to connect the new 4way flexible PCB from the touchscreen to the main LCD unit. For this I first taped it in the correct position, leaving the end to be connected exposed - NOTE for the touchscreen I sourced (from Hong Kong) the connector pitch was slightly out but there were positions where the connectors lined up but did not short out. Really scary bit - using a VERY small tipped soldering iron and low melting point solder and VERY short application times I was able to remake the connections onto the new flexible PCB for the touchscreen. Basic technique was to get the solder on the old part of the connection on the main LCD to flow and then dab in a little fillet of solder. Again if you have a miniature hot air gun it may be possible as well. Check you have continuity on all 4 and no shorts and then re-assembly is a reversal of the above. Nothing too tricky in re-assembly but getting the connectors back in before flicking the tabs back down is a bit of a fiddle. All a little scary but in my case the repaired unit is now working fine. The main risk is that you damage the LCD unit either when separating the touchscreen or soldering the connector (which is a little bit of a fudge to be honest but works). However given that any official repairer will replace the LCD and touchscreen anyway you don't have that much too lose - especially as the official repairer told me they have no parts to repair it with anyway til at least December. If this sounds too tricky or if you do damage your screen there is someone on ebay selling combined LCD/touchscreen assemblies for about £70 and offering a fitting service (although to be honest fitting a combined unit is fairly trivial as long as you are careful. Hope this helps, Russell
Posted on Oct 23, 2006
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