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Model A1285 / 8 or 16 GB capacity

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What is causing this backlight problem on my iPod Nano 4th Generation?

I got an Ipod Nano 4g which I bought faulty on ebay. Faulty meaning the screen was dead.

I have now replaced the screen (bought a new one), it is working, except for a missing backlight. I have spent some time trying to figure out what can be done and I am a bit stuck.

I think the unit has had water damage, I say this because the display ribbon cable has signs of corrosion (on the second connector from the left-to be specific). I have used contact cleaner and cleaned up the cable as well as possible. However no luck - the screen backlight is off.

Do you know/think a bad ribbon cable could cause a backlight problem?

I don't see signs of corrosion anywhere else on the logic board. Steve, in your post, you say if it isn't the screen it self(or the cable), then it is failure of the circuit powering the screen's backlight on the main circuit board. What exactly could be faulty on the logic board - is there some way of seeing it? How come only this circuit fails while everything else works perfectly.

All the best!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Thanks for the feedback. Could be the coil, even though it looks ok it could be bad. However I looked at the ribben cable connectors under a good light and magnifying glass. It seems the second contact point from the left is faulty - there is a break in the wire it seems - so I guess this is were the problem is in my case.

Can someone confirm having this wire bad causes a non working backlight? Does anyone have a wire diagram?



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Hey I have the same problem with my 4th gen nano, I pulled it apart yesterday to replace the screen and it looks like the cable has been corroded on the top 2 pins. We also considered that the logic board was failing to provide power to the screen, but seeing as you have the exact same symptoms I doubt its the power supply. Unless you can replace that cable I don't think the ipod can be saved.

I defiantly think that the cable is the problem here, does anyone more knowledgeable know if the cable can be replaced? if so where could I find the part?

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it's only a guess - but this problem also happens to other devices - and in most cases - it's a "toasted" coil.

Block Image

the marked part on the picture is a coil, since it's the only one in a direct correlation to the lcd - i would guess that this is the faulty part - but as i wrote before - it's only a guess!

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I'd be willing to give it a try. How do I identify what size coil this is, and where would be a good place to buy a new coil?


thats the biggest problem with those parts - normally i would search in the cell phone area for used parts - or use a dead nano 4g


Well I have a number of busted cellphones I don't intent to fix so I'l see if there is one I can canibalize, if it works I'l let you guys know.


Just ripped open a Audiovox CDM 8910, not a single coil, or atleast not one in similar appearance.


any nokia or sony ericsson corpses around?


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Just to add to this, I have had a few of these where one of the first 3 pins are damage on the ribbon cable (mainly second) I'm not sure which pins it is off the top of my head, but 2 of them hook directly to the back light leds and have 2 large solder points. Ideally if you can find where the pin on the ribbon cable goes to on the logic board, you could solder some 30 gauge wires to connect them and tape and/or glue them down to the ribbon cable.

I have not found where they go to yet, but I am working on finding it since i have around 3-4 that have ribbons messed up pretty bad and only thing suffering is the back light.

Also as strong posted, if the coil tests bad (should read around 0.5 ohms) then that would cause it. Last option is to use a multimeter and find a point on the board the supplies 6-9v DC. On the few I have took readings on, they run around 8.5v for med brightness.

These repairs require good soldering skills and most likely a multimeter. If you are not skilled with either, I would say to throw it on ebay and buy another, or buy one on ebay in hopes of a good logic board (get a broken screen one and replace it with yours, even with it broken it should still have a back light!).

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Hello my Friends,

i got teh same problem with a broken backlight.

I removed form a Ipod 4th Gen a coil(L23) and put it in my Ipod Nano 4gen.

Now it ist working fine !

Thanks guys !

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hi guys i read some of your comends i i think joy has a good i dea just clean the corotion from the coil and thats it i ready do it on my ipod and it works again


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Bjorn Brynjar Jonsson will be eternally grateful.
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