Model No. A1367 / 8, 16, 32, or 64 GB capacity

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Touch 4 Replace Power/Volume Flex Cable - Solder? Asle?

Replaced the screen/digitizer, but didn't notice that I had pulled the cable too hard and it broke in two.

When soldering a new one on, is it just a quick touch to tack it on? Do I have to lay on any solder or just use what is left when I heat the old cable off?

Asle, were you successful?

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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Well, that didn't go well.

Must have had a newer model with stronger tape and glue from the folks at Apple.

Guess I don't have the right type of soldering iron or didn't take enough off when I removed the old cable. New cable had holes that I thought would line up and allow for a good contact. Once I heated the old cable and removed it, I had 4 masses where the cable should connect. Tried tacking the new cable down and was never able to get the pieces connected. Didn't want to heat too much. Maybe the tip wasn't small enough or just too old, but it tinned just fine.

Any ideas?

Thanks for all your help. No more attempted Touch repairs for me. Apple wins.

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Forgot to add that the metal spudger set I ordered is first rate and came in handy to keep the frustration level below the "throw it out the window" level. Thanks.

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Asle, I think that your instructions were what I tried to follow, just did not succeed. The "glue" you mention was probably the opaque stuff I saw on the contact points on the logic board. As this was an ill fated attempt from the start, when I replaced the on/off/volume cable, I also managed to break one of the speaker wires. Another place to be very careful as there is no excess slack when you dig it out of the case. Look carefully for all the screws!

I soldered the speaker cable back together and it worked, but was scratchy - I knew it would need to be replaced. Since I was unable to solder the new on/off/volume cable to the logic board, I did tape it down temporarily to see if it worked. It did, that was how I knew the speaker was scratchy. The tape must have moved because I then got a solid white screen. Time to quit.

I contacted digiexpress and sent the unit off for repair. Still waiting on a speaker arrival. Will comment on experience with them once repairs are completed. Thanks to all.

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On one Touch 4g I also suddenly got the white screen. I could not understand because it had been working fine. I then noticed that connector was missing one pin. Look at the picture: https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/943721/1...

I am sure taking the connector in and out has ripped one pin although it shouldn't have. I know you can buy a new connector but this kind of soldering is something I am not capable of. So I am not sure what to do with this one. I already bought my friend a new one :-)

Like we both know now you can't be careful enough when lifting up the mid plane. You have to watch the speaker and the sleep/volume cable. On the other side I have repaired many Touch 4gs since this last one with just success. You get the hang of it. But the first lessons can be costly!

Let us know how you progress.

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Thanks for commenting. I am stinging from this attempted repair, but I am also pretty sure that I could do it successfully in the future. I too paid for the repairs for the friend's Touch, so it has been an expensive lesson.

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Hi ggahan, sorry I did not see this post before now. I ordered a new cable and was able to solder it on. I used a small tip on the soldering iron to 450°C (that is the highest my Welder WHS 40D can do). I had to remove the glue on top of the solder points first. Then pulled on the cable (what was left of it connected to the solder points) and loosened one and one point. I then cleaned the points with flux and applied some solder to the holes on the new cable. Then I taped it in place to line up with the solder points. Just a small touch of the soldering iron to each point did the trick. I am frightened to melt something when soldering such small points.

I have repaired many Touch 4gen. and my impression is that this is one fragile piece of electronics. Be very, very careful when you lift the mid plane to avoid ripping the volume/sleep cable and the speaker cable. Remember that the battery is attached with voltage and any metal spudger could shorten the main board so use plastic tools! The connectors seem more fragile than on the iPhones. And the digitizer connector under the main board?? Why, Apple, why?

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Most of the old solder came of for me and just used a little to tack it back into place. This was successful for me.

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I refer to the ifixit "2nd Gen Ipod Touch Battery Replacement" and skip to the soldering section for clear instructions on how to solder the volume cable. Its careful soldering and dont forget your "flux". Im doing exactly what your doing right now as I type this.

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asle - THANK YOU for your comment...

I had been 100% successful... until now - the ribbon cable is intimidating to me...

I had it all connected (still disassembled) and tested the screen and it all worked... then - in the space of 3 inches - the cable snapped and the screen went white / then black... all the while iTunes was blindly playing random selections of "BTO" and I couldn't make it stop - volume and off buttons weren't working...

...it was abysmal.

Now I'm petrified that the white screen (that went black) means I've fried something...

...I feel bad.

Any suggestions to encourage the idea of going back to the pit?

I've ordered a new ribbon cable - should I be ordering anything else?

Help... this is my "golf" - my stress relief - my things go right 'cuz I fixed it "thing"...

Did I just blow the whole dang thing?

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A new cable should do the job. My experience with 4th gen. Touch is that if you turn it on/off while having the connectors removed will give you the confused white screen. A restore from iTunes should fix that. Kudos to you for not giving up!! And keep us posted. Waiting to read "yes, I did it" :-)

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I used a $3 soldering iron from O'reilly auto and successfuly did this by leaving it plugged in for 5 minutes and used capper solder wick to remove the old solder and taped it in place with a piece of scotch tape. after I sprayed it with flux and put a little dab of solder on each point waiting 20 seconds btween solders. I did it though. No blobs crossed voer and crossbridged and the reassembly was a success. If anyone is changing the back out on a touch 4, you will need to do this nomatter what. There is absolutely no way to peel the strip without breaking it. I use super glue to glue it and it works great

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Daniel, I wonder if your suggestion is stable but I have not tried it. To open the Touch 4g again is such a hassle. Let us know if you tried this several times with success. Maybe the mid plane and screen puts pressure on the contacts so the tape solution ensures good enough contact? I like people going for alternatives :-)

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Mr. Hoag, When you say you use super glue, do you use the gel super glue. And I assume you are using it around the perimeter and then lay the digitizer glass assembly on top.

Are you using super glue instead of 3m adhesive tape to put the dig/lcd assy back on?

Or am I misunderstanding you.

Does any glue ooze out?

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I think he is talking about using super glue to stick down the flex cable to the bottom of the iPod. New flex cables come with peel off adhesive already on them. If there is some issue, just use a hobby knife and cut out a strip of 3m adhesive left over from a screen assembly adhesive kit.

I don't recommend using Super Glue on anything. If the device has to be repaired again your gonna have trouble, and if someone else repairs it they are gonna spread the word.

I never recommend using super glue especially where heat is involved ... heat that stuff up and it releases cyanide vapors. RIP.

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@asle, Joe in PA

Yes I have done this procedure 5 times in the last 6 months. I use super glue and not the gel because it sets faster when your pressing the screen assembly against the frame and holds it tight so you dont get the light leak or the outward gap on the upper left side of the screen. I put small dabs under the home button and near the top and apply a small line on the sides.

If any does ooze out (which it doesn't) I take a flat razor blade and scrape it off the glass. It comes right off the glass but is harder to remove from the aluminum housing.

also @ jinndemon.

Im glad to hear you didnt need to solder althouh, I would not trust the tape to stay after I skate with it. did this last? why would you not solder it if you had to get a soldering iron out to remove it in the first place?

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I agree with Daniel. Why would you not use solder and trust the glue? Regarding the superglue to hold the glass, I always use adhesive wherever there is contact. This always is adequate. If not it is because digitizer cable on top is not folded in or the speaker assembly at the bottom left is raised and not tucked down in place. Of course if you never, ever are going to open the Touch again a last resort would be superglue I guess but check the two issues first.

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Here is a generalization of my method for soldering in a new flex cable.

THE BATTERY

I always disconnect the + terminal on the battery. Think about it, if you get in their scraping away epoxy, or doing other things, and the logic board is hot, you can cause arching and burn the board up.

1. At the battery, put Kapton tape on any nearby components.

2. Use a dab of flux to remove the epoxy covering the battery contacts. Also use a brush with 92%+ alcohol to remove the flux, and a static-free cloth to dampen up any excess liquid and debris.

3. Cover the neutral and ground with Kapton tape.

4. I set my Weller to about 475, with a chisel tip and clean/tin it.

5. Put a very small drop of flux on the + connector. Use a copper braid and your chisel tip to gently push (toward the battery). You should only be touching the braid for about 2-3 seconds at most, any more and you can lift pads, etc.

6. Once free, stick a piece of Kapton tape under the + battery connector and the + pad on the board.

- Now if you work on the Flex cable and the iron slips (or one of many other things that could cause arching) you don't risk shorting out the logic board.

FLEX CABLE REMOVAL

1. With the bad flex cable still attached. Use flux, alchohol, anti-static wipe to remove any epoxy covering the contacts.

2. Add a very small dab of flux to the contacts, use your chisel and braid pushing away from the board to "suck up" the solder. 2-3 seconds at the most then let it cool. Don't push too hard. You should be able to gently, and I mean gently, lift the cable and let it free itself. If you pull up on the cable too hard, especially with too much heat, you'll defiantly lift a pad and in for a serious headache.

3. Once you have the old cable off, use your braid, flux, alcohol and anti-static wipe to clean the solder pads

SOLDERING THE NEW FLEX CABLE

1. I heat my weller to about 425. And pop on a very fine solder tip, clean, and tin it. I also use 60/40 resin core solder I think it is like .03mm

2. Get your cable lined up and use some Kapton tape (or have someone help) and get your flex cable lined up on top of the solder pads. I use a jewelers loupe to check the alignment.

3. Place the tip of your solder on one side of the flex cables contact then using a very fine solder tip, touch the tip to the other side of metal contact for about 1 second. The heat will suck the solder into the holes. As it does, again, it takes only a second, pull away your excess solder then the iron. The thing to focus on is you want to get "in and out" as fast as you can when you heat the solder. Done right, you will have a perfect shiny bead.

4. Repeat for the last two flex cable contacts.

RE-SOLDER/ATTACH THE BATTERY

At this point you should have no problem removing the kapton tape between the battery + connector and the logic board and soldering it back on. I switch back to the chisel tip for this.

Once everything is complete, I check the iPod. If all is well you can remove all the excess Kapton tape then cut two small strips placing one top of the battery connections and one over the flex cable connections where you have soldered. This will prevent accidental shorts if someone else (or you) repair the device later and accidental let something hit the contacts.

Everyone has their own method, but after killing a few logic boards when I started repairing i*devices I found what works best for me. Your mileage may vary.

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Also, if your changing the LCD or into other things, put a piece of kapton tape over the flex cable where the power button is. Between the flex cable and the logic board. This way if you have to lift and seat the logic board you reduce the risk of ripping your flex cable.

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Country Computer Service that was SOOOOOOO helpful! Thanks!

I used the same method as described above for the first connection and it worked quite well but I slipped up and the thing of solder stuck to the cable and it was just a mess. I almost melted the cable and everything, inexperienced people should use the trick i describe below.

Here is a little trick I found to make your life easier when soldering the on/off & volume ribbon cable back on.

Tape the cable into position and make sure its lined up well. Take some extra fine solder and chop a tiny piece off the end, I mean very small. An exacto knife or razor blade works nicely. Next place this small piece on top of the one of the four holes in the ribbon cable and then tap the piece of solder from above with the iron. It should melt right down into the hole and not touch any of the other solder points. Take the tape off and check to make sure it bonded to the solder on the board. If it didn't just put it back in place and tap it again. This created a perfect bead with the least amount of risk of screwing up. Also I suggest using both hands to hold the iron (just to keep it a little bit steadier, I seemed to be a bit shaky from the thought of messing it up). Try not to move the piece of solder when melting it. Just repeat this process for the other three solder points and your good as new. This method was very easy, effective, and virtually screw-up free.

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Ok people of all ages, I'm going to help everyone out with the soldering issue with the power/volume ribbon cable. First off, forget soldering its too much trouble. Only de-solder the old ribbon cable off the iPod motherboard. Next properly place the ribbon cable on the contacts on the board. And last use a small strip of electrical tape to hold it in place. So if more repairs are needed no worries about ripping the ribbon cable. And that's how a troubleshooting engineer fixes a difficult problem

Now keep in mind if the screen comes up white, just preform a hard boot with the home and power button. If the screen is still white after several try's and the computer recognize the iPod then the screen and digitizer was defective to begin with. (screen replacement)

I hope this help!

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ggahan will be eternally grateful.
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