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mikebrungs
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Intermittent USB Power Port - Common Problem

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Looks like my wife's Kindle Fire has joined the ever increasing club of owners that are having issues with the USB power port. Having to wiggle the plug JUST right until you see that is actually charging... sometimes that works.. sometimes it doesn't. Doing a Google search returns a lot of people having the same issue, but other than tear downs, no one is saying that this is fixable in any other way than replacing the entire motherboard.

Would love for this site to focus on this component to see if it looks like something looks prone to coming loose or likely cause of an intermittent connection.

Any chance someone could take a look and possibly help a WHOLE lot of people with one assessment ?

in the same situation

Jorge Rodriguez,

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xelz
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We repair these A LOT! The jack is unbalanced on the Main Board and is easily detached by normal wear and tear. Soldering the jack back on to the board is a little tricky but the real repair is getting the port sturdy to prevent the issue from re-occurring.

We do a full repair by removing the old solder on the board and the jack then reattach using flux and fresh solder. We also reinforce the port so it doesn't happen again.

Edited by: oldturkey03 ( ) , xelz ( )

I send my kindle for this repair + the glass: Where to?

marvinsannes,

I apologize I just saw your post. I'm not allowed to post that information but if you look at my avatar it may give you something to google :)

xelz,

Hi my name is Laerte and I have problem with my kindle fire I replace the usb port on it bu still don't charge.

laerteromero1891,

Can I do this without losing any history, progress, etc?

Katherine,

All data remains on the Kindle if the repair is successful. This repair does have a high success rate. In some cases, about 15% of them, the leads on the board are damaged. This too can be fixed depending on which lead. However, there are some main boards that are just too far gone and need to be replaced. The Kindle Fire boards are getting scarce and the price for them is in the 40-50 dollar range lately which is about double of what they were selling for last year.

xelz,

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oldturkey03
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mikebrungs, having scoured the forums over the last few month, the problem is most certainly the micro USB port. You could disassemble your Kindle. Follow this guide. and check the solder connection on the micro USB port. It is very likely that they have either come totally of the board, or that they have micro cracks. It might be possible to reuse the old connector and resolder it, or you may have to find a new connector. If you need a new one, you could check mouser.com or digikey.com for a micro USB that fits the dimensions of your Kindle. If anyone would post the exact dimension of the micro USB port, we could try and find an equivalent part. It is highly doubtful that the port is proprietary. Hope this helps, good luck.

Edited by: oldturkey03 ( )

You can reuse the old connector-the solder just comes loose on this one

Nick,

Same as above: will disassembling the Kindle delete memory, history, games, books, progress, etcetera?

Katherine,

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BEN
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I am here to offer you all a solution to the common USB port problem. I was among those who could not find a way to fix the charging port on my Kindle Fire. It seemed to be impossible to find the correct OEM replacement. So, I decided to take it apart, in hopes I could find a common USB replacement that would fit, even though it was not the same as the OEM charging port that came stock. After searching everywhere for one that would work, I had no luck. Then, I went on ebay and asked around a bit, turns out that the USB port was very unique and very hard to locate as it is one of a kind. One seller, told me that they would have the part in stock in a few days, though I had my doubts. Then a week later, I got another response telling me the part was now in stock and a link to the listing where I could buy it. They said they had limited stock, however they are still available. They were a little expensive, but the part seemed to be an exact match to my original and after soldering it in, my Kindle Fire is now working great once again. I was so pleased with this seller, I thought I would share it with you as it is such a common problem. Their part number is USB830 and here is a link where you can buy it. Hope it helps. Replacement OEM Kindle Fire USB Charging Port

Jesus Christ, $30 for a usb port?! Outrageous. Talk about robbery!

John Stamos,

Only 7.59 on ebay with free shipping .

Mark,

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stwesner
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You could try to open it up and reflow the solder around the USB jack. It may be that these connections have a cold solder joint or 2. There are 4 small pins coming out the back. Also, both sides are soldered down to provide ground to the outside of the USB.

If all of the connections are good, you could putt some supper glue around the jack to try to hold it to the board better.

Our Kindle Fire was plugged in, charging when it fell about 3 feet onto the hardwood floor. It landed right on the cord where it was plugged in and bend the USB end of the cord.

When I took it apart, I found that the USB jack had completely broken off with 2 of the pins still connected to the PCB. With some jerry rigging and fancy soldering, I was able to reconnect it to the board and it worked! I was surprised and my wife was thankful.

The USB port is a weak point with this tablet... and most devices these days.

Edited by: stwesner ( )

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Martin
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I have the same issue. This is the third time. Amazon has been great in sending out a new kindle but they keep sending the same defec.tive model. We have gone through three kindles. Amazon knows these units are defective. (A supervisor admitted that to me) Now Amazon wants to sell me a Gen. 2 at a discounted price. If they had done that the first time the problem would have been solved. That is assuming Amazon corrected the problem on the Generation 2. Just got off the phone with Brandon(supervisor) after numerous cutoff s,callbacks and holding,over an hour. The best he can do is sell me a kindle Gen. 2 for 139.00. Which may end up having the same problem. I am done with Amazon. There are too many other better tablets out there for just a little more money.

We finally upgraded our son's unit to the Kindle Fire HDX. Absolutely, NO problems! It did cost to upgrade the model as Best Buy is no longer accepting returns of the Kindle Fire straight up. Geek Squad now sends replacements and they are not giving much money for the older models. Touche'! No more headaches, everyone is happy here.

elleciad,

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Douglas Brown
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Third reply (at top) mentioned an eBay item to replace the internal USB power/data connector in the Kindle Fire. Has anyone done this repair? btw, this item is not soldered (V1) so any mention of soldering is not correct. The connector is actually sandwiched between the upper and lower motherboard.

Anyway, that link goes to a sale item that does not look exactly like the Kindle connector. My Kindle Fire's connector has wire mesh on one side and the other side has 3 metal prongs for making contact with the motherboard when the top and bottom boards are screwed together.

That is why I'm wondering if anyone has done this repair with that eBay connector and had it work (eBay picture does not show the prongs - my blurry pictures attached). If you have the right tools and you have some experience with taking things apart (tinkerer), the tear-down does not take long (15 minutes). But you need to buy some small plastic prying tools and a tiny phillips-head screwdriver. Anyway, got it apart, now just want to confirm the item is actually correct.

Background: My Kindle Fire is not charging because it does not seem to make a solid connection with the charging chord anymore (been getting worse and worse and finally not working at tall).

Douglas Brown, any chance you could add some good images to your answer? That way we could may be properly identify the USB connector. My concern is that the image posted on that particular service are purposely misleading.

oldturkey03,

Yes, I actually did upload photos. They show-up (at least in my browser - Chrome) at the bottom of the page with a tab called "Images". That seems to be the way to share images on this site. I did ask the eBay company and they mentioned that there are some rare versions that look a little different. But for $19 (rip off for that part, but cheap compared to buying another Kindle) I went ahead and purchased to give it a try. If it does not work (wrong part) I can at least give others reading this post the heads-up and some picture to identify if they have the more common connector (or the more rare connector like mine).

Douglas Brown,

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Paul
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Humm, as a micro electronics repair technician, who routinely works repairing electronics under the microscope it does not surprise me that the main board power connection is having mechanical failure. I have seen this a lot in different products and, it's just too bad that the designer of the Kindle HD product which we own and, is now having intermittent power connection problems as well did not have the foresight to adhere the connection soundly to the mainboard before releasing this product to the public. I have not open my kindle yet however, am thinking the best solution is to avoid repeat failure by redesigning said power connection. Depending on what I find when I get in there will determine what is done to repair the power connection to a more robust design. I'm thinking a USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 will be the best solution and, will just need to figure out a way to route the needed wiring.

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Kara Pritchard
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Most of these jacks can be re-secured without replacing. They just don't flow enough solder through the joints on the board so they break off the board pretty cleanly. If folks would put their kindles away while charging them it would help a lot (also, if they wouldn't try to plug in the cables upside down it would help too :-) I usually can save and re-use the original jack at least 75% of the time that I repair these.

Just search on ebay for kindle fire usb charge port and you'll find many $15 or less replacement jacks if you need one to repair your own and you're comfortable with tiny solder work. These aren't your HAM radio kind of solder repairs though, closer to jewelry soldering, so judge your skills fairly.

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Larry
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I found this site yesterday, as I been having the same problem for over a year. My backround is an electronics design engineer in the powwer area. I have taken my Kindle apart several times, and thought the intermitten problem was the micro USB connector. But I thought it was the contacts that interface with the USB cable. After reading on here some of the post, I took it apart again this morning. This time I took the USB connector out of the frame and looked at it under a microscope. The interface connector pins were fine, but the pins that make conncetion the board above were really oxidized, especially the negative pin. In my opnion thats the real problem. It's a bad design from the get go.

I then wired brushed the pins, and bent them foward a bit, reassembled the unit. It started charging as soon as I pluged it in. This connector would have been ok to use if it were soldered to the board, but mold to the plastic case would had to have been changed to give it clearence to fit in, without distorting it when assembled.

Larry E.

Thanks Larry ... this sounds like the plausible problem and answer ... greg y.

gsy,

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Ricky
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Thanks for helpful comments. Rather than try a costly or risky repair, I called Amazon to complain. They seemed familiar with the issue and immediately proposed to sell me a discounted refurbished Kindle HD 7" (but not the current generation) for $89. I complained some more and so, after placing me on hold, they came back and offered to reduce that by $20. So I ordered one (for $69, with free shipping) and have been happy with it. I don't know if it has the same shoddy construction around the port but am more careful when plugging in and unplugging the cable.

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tng5737
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I don't believe that you have to go all the way down to the frame. Follow the guide on this site. The motherboard is easily removed. The soldering on the usb is more difficult but can be done with a proper soldering/de-soldering workstation. Those pins are extremely small and close together. Also, it is kind of awkward to get a soldering pen in there so your best bet would be to use a little soldering paste with a heat source strong enough to melt the solder. It can be done.

Still trying to find a good part number for the part.

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elleciad
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There is a guy that does the Kindle Fire USB repair on ebay and he has a video on YouTube that goes into detail about the repair. This is not an endorsement, this is just information. This is my son's second Kindle Fire. It is under warranty and I am going to exchange it for another Kindle Fire. Hopefully, they have improved the issues, as I am not going to spend extra money to repair it or I may just find another similar reader.

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todmanac
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OK, I've been having problems for over a week trying to get my daughter's Kindle Fire to come on and to get it to charge. I finally got it to work today by tapping the back of the Kindle with a pencil (yes it sounds weird, but it worked)...and gently tapping the Kindle on my desk. Maybe I just got lucky....my daughter is gonna be so happy that I got it to work...can't wait for her to come home from school to see it.

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vvfaithvv
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Buy a new port and try replacement I saw them for $16.00 on Amazon

File a civil suit against kindle class action involving multiple people

vvfaithvv,

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spurswabo
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oh I am having this same problem with mine! Amazon are kindly sending me a USB free of charge. Is it just me or does the jack seem to be in at an angle? As opposed to just straight and flat it sits ups lightly and has since day one.

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wrench wench
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The charging situation is frustrating and Amazon wants to sell me an HDX for the same price I paid for the Fire originally. I have owned several Kindle e-readers and it seems like they only last a year and a half no matter what model you choose. I am on my 5th product. And my loyalty gets me nothing. I am at my wits end!

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Paul
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There is nothing magical about the USB charging port. There are four terminals in play. +5 VDC, +12VDC, Serial Digital and, Ground. Seems to me since using the USB port is only for charging why use that type of connector in the first place. The designers should replace the micro USB with standard round type 2.5 mm or, slightly larger +5VDC connection and ditch the USB port if there are no other uses for it.

usb port is for data transfer too, not only charging........

bob smithe,

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Leslie S
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The fact that this has been a problem for YEARS, and Kindle refuses to address it shows that the only fix for this is for people to stop buying Kindles. Better yet, stop buying their books since they admit that's where the revenue is for them. It is why they don't care about the tablets. Buy another tablet and start using your library's free electronic books as much as possible. I'm on my fifth Kindle and I'm done. I'm saving lots of money on books and will buy another manufacturer's tablet. A company that doesn't give a crap about their customers doesn't deserve my dollars (although it's very hard to find ones that do these days...). Only if customers leave en masse will it change and that goes for everything in our Chinese-based economy. I'm quitting Prime, too. Adios, Amazon.

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Larry
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I just received an email about this issue. I posted a fix to the problem last year. I did it on my wife's Kindle Fire, and have not had any more problems with it. The charging connector is a bad design. Probably most of you can't do this, but all thats needed is to take apart the Kindle and solder the connector onto the circuit board, or another fix is to remove the connector and bend the pins out so it puts more preassure on the circuit board. I'm sure the guys on here that replace the connector won't like this fix, but tough ( and other here).

Larry E.

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keri
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Having read all of the above comments on the Fire HD I decided to call Amazon due to having the exact same fault with my device.

I described the problem and had to go through trouble shooting with the member of staff I spoke to. Then after explaining that I have looked on the internet and told hem the exact fault that I have and the reason it happens the team member jumped straight in to offer me a 'discounted' refurb product(£71.20 plus shipping).

After telling the team member I needed to think about what to do as I am 1 year out of warrantee and I wanted to see what others were offered in the same circumstances.

I then discovered that there seems to be a standard protocol followed by Amazon with offering the discounted refurb products, the difference comes with the discounted end price varying massively.

I then did a little research on UK Trading Standards website and called Amazon back. I explained I felt that Amazon should give me a better price than the quoted £71.20 on the refurb as new products over here for HD are only £99.00.

Also if a company are aware of an existing manufacturing fault that means the product has a reduced shelf life(18 months- 2 years) then they have a moral obligation to take steps to fix the fault or inform the customer, in or out of warrantee.

Based upon this the team member then went to speak to his superior and they have now agreed to a free replacement of the product and free shipping- result!

I would urge others with the same issue to stick to your guns and know your rights- thanks to this I will remain a loyal Amazon customer and they will continue to get my money on the e-books and multiple other things I purchase on a regular basis- this is where they make the money anyway.

I hope this helps others.

Keri, I did actually get my 4th Kindle Fire HD replacement free after the 3rd was out of warranty. Guess what? Only two months, and it's already starting to have the same old connection problems that the other three had. I know from experience where this is going, of course. Hence my frustration with Amazon and my comment above. I hope you have better luck so that you can stay the loyal Amazon customer that you are.

Leslie S,

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Barbara Alvarez
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I'm glad I found this thread. I'm having the same issues with my refurb Kindle Fire HD. I have zero mechanical ability, so I'm just going to look for a cell phone repair person, explain what's happening to my e-reader and what I learned on this thread.

(I"ll probably have to print this out to show the technician. If it means a solid repair, so be it.

Thanks to all of the experienced mechanical persons who explained what they did, how they did it and if it helped. I am also going to try the pencil tap trick.

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George
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Pinch kindle where usb plugs in and apply pressure charging light goes on and kindle light charges.If light goes out when you release pressure use a spring powered paper clip to keep pressure applied while charging.Took a lot of fiddling to come up with this method.

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test lab
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After dismantling and desoldering and resoldering so many times, I could open the Fire in 10 seconds.

I also found a cheap solid solution without buying a new port.

I made used of the head phone port.

Only one short wire is needed to jump the usb +5volt to headphone port + terminal. Ground terminals are shared or connected on the motherboard. No jumping of ground is needed.

Cut an old broken headphone wire.

Cut off micro usb charger plug.

Connect the +5v/ground to headphone 5mm male plug with a pig tail. Solder and tape up. Done.

A multimeter is needed in addition to soldering iron, solder, paste, electrical tape.

This new alternate charging port has been working happily over 3 months.

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