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The Apple iPhone 5c was announced on September 10, 2013. Repair of this device is similar to the previous models, and requires screwdrivers and prying tools. Available as GSM or CDMA / 8, 16, 32 GB / White, Pink, Yellow, Blue, and Green.

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No signal, was giving error -1


I got an iPhone 5C off eBay advertised as faulty, as it wouldn't restore (error -1) and it has a cracked screen in the bottom right corner.

I am gonna replace the screen.

I had problems getting it to restore as it was giving this error -1 to me as well. I was getting desperate and reading up on it I thought to try heating the back of the iPhone with a hairdryer. I was surprised but I managed to get it to restore with iTunes after many unsuccessful attempts.

I then had the problem that it wouldn't activate as it was stuck on searching for signal. Again, I tried heating the back of the iPhone, especially above the area where the sim card tray is, and I got a signal.

Ok, so now it is somewhat functional (screen needs replacing though as it is all fuzzy etc.) but after cooling down it went back to forever searching for a signal. I tried again today to heat up the back of the phone for a while and signal came back for a little while.

From what I read, this is a fault with the baseband chip (when the phone is stuck on searching for signal, I can't see any IMEI and so on). Heating up this chip looks like the solution as my experiments with the hairdryer did work briefly.

Bearing in mind I don't have any soldering experience whatsoever, I would like to purchase a soldering iron and try and apply some heat to this chip and see if it fixes the issue for good. Could I have any tips on how to perform this?

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Honestly, Sounds like your having a base band issue, No IMEI is showing, this is not a repair that i would recommend, for the young hearted. Unless your ok with potentially rendering your device useless. Hey i have taken that road numerous times taking that risk is what makes a tech a good a good one. Lol or so i hear, I would definitely use some flux, and a hot air reflow station, if your just starting, you can easily purchase a very cheap model for under $60. But my experience , Never go cheap on tools, they make life so much easier. and if You don't feel like maybe you want to take the leap you should search Jessa from Mendon. She'd be the first person i would go to. Sorry accidentally posted it as answer!


Thanks for the reply. I'm in the UK.

I'm not experienced with hardware repairs on phones. I will attempt to replace a phone screen for the first time with this iPhone. It only cost me £30 as it was faulty so I can afford to tinker with it. I have an iPod 6th Gen already so this iPhone without a network signal is pretty much akin to an iPod which I don't really need. I just thought I'd fix it and keep it as a spare phone as I have a main phone already.

Flux etc,.. sorry but don't know what these terms mean! It's too technical for me, so I need step-by-step instructions ideally.

I don't want to replace the chip, Just sort of heat it up to see if the soldering improves as the hairdryer on the back of the iPhone did fix the issue for a very brief time.

I don't really wanna spend much on tools as I could have purchased a new iPhone 5C then factoring in the cost for a replacement screen and a hot air station.


Clearly you want to do this yourself with the least amount of tools possible, so here is the only thing I can think of at the moment. Heat up the chip with some tin foil wrapped around a cheap heat gun. I've never tried this, but it seams like it might melt the solder. However the fix will probably not last. The first drop and it will fail. Make the hole in the end of the tin foil about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the chip. The air temperature should be approx. 600°F (300°C) at the end of the foil. Heat it for about 15 sec. at first, and longer if the wireless still doesn't work.


Yup, definitely agree with Josiah, least amount of tools would be the old Foil tric, that will help you isolate as much heat to that component as possible, as well as providing safe guard to the other components.


Thanks for your replies. Wouldn't the foil melt with the heat from the heat gun and drip onto the chip or other components?


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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Cracked cellular chip solder joints.

Do not buy a soldering iron, it is not possible to use a soldering iron to solder BGA chips.

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Thanks for your reply. What would you recommend I use?


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