Revamped version of the iPhone 3G with faster processing speeds. Repair of this device is similar to the 3G, and requires simple screwdrivers and prying tools. Model A1303 / 16 or 32 GB capacity / black or white plastic back.

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Antenna issues: cable or connection?

I have a 16GB 3GS that had a cracked back casing and broken vibrate switch. It worked fine otherwise. I took out the main board assembly and screen and swapped it into another 3GS that I had around, but now the antenna seems to have a lot of trouble holding on to a signal in places where it worked fine before. I had a little trouble fitting the #7 back on when I was reassembling but I don't think it was enough to damage it.

How would I know if I should swap out the antenna cable (maybe I damaged it) vs just a screwy connection? I tried dissembling and reconnecting the 7 again with no luck.

Thanks!

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check the copper fin/prong/sticky out bit from the logic board is sticking out and touching the metal ring around the phone, it should be near the 2 bottom right hand screws as this can cause signal issues.

As long as the connector on the board hasn't become deformed it should be ok, maybe try the dock connector from your original phone in the new one and see if it helps.

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I finally had time today to take it apart and look- it appears that the copper fin has broken off. Screwed, or can I make some sort of work around?

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not screwed...find something like a copper wire and solder it to where the prong broke off..make sure you clean the contact/scrape a little of the contact to be sure you are soldering metal to metal. doesn't have to be pretty-just functional. No special tools required, just soldering iron,solder and flux. No more than 40w or you generate too much heat.

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I finally had a moment to tear it apart. The copper is on a small plate which in turn is on the board. I got the plate off and soldered a braided copper wire (shielding wire from a coax cable is all I had) onto the bare exposed spot on the board, and touching the bezel. I don't know of putting the LCD back on pushed it, but it doesn't seem to have helped.

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A perfect substitute for the copper contact on logic board is...the copper contact on dock connector antenna. You should be able to use the one from your old casing. They look almost identical.

Update

The correct fix for antenna issue is to replace the dock connector assembly. Simply transfer your old one to new casing. Trust me...you signal strength will return. The antenna signal comes from the flex strip that sticks to the bottom of the dock connector...which has a copper contact that makes contact with metal frame when installed.

Most "After-Market" dock connector assemblies have POOR antenna flex strips.

I primarily repair & sell 3gs iPhones.

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Also, the Antenna Tabs on the Dock which are screwed down to the Bezel must be on top of the Bezel, then the screw inserted and tightened.

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Ian Dalsin will be eternally grateful.
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