Senior Technical Editor at iFixit
Hi, Jeff Suovanen here. I take stuff apart and write about it—mostly in support of iFixit’s blog, video, advocacy, and professional services efforts. If you’ve read or watched an iFixit teardown in the last nine years, I likely had a hand in it. (Very often, my hands are literally in it.)
I joined iFixit in 2013 as a technical writer, working mainly on repair guides and teardowns. I later helped develop iFixit’s university technical writing project, coaching a few thousand engineering students from over 50 universities through their technical writing coursework. I’ve enjoyed being a guest lecturer and attending academic conferences on technical writing, and helped teach a few of iFixit’s in-house workshops for technical writing instructors.
If working at iFixit sounds awesome, that’s because it often is—I’m grateful to have been at the right place and time to collaborate on some world-class projects with this team. I’ve been lucky enough to help Greenpeace create its guide to greener electronics, written repair guides for Patagonia, and I increasingly consult on repairability for some of the world’s top hardware engineers.
I’m naturally an introvert and prefer to stay behind the camera rather than in front of it, but sometimes accidents happen. My talking head has appeared on a few broadcast programs and podcasts, like that time we tore down a Magic Leap One. I’ve also appeared briefly in at least one VICE documentary, wherein I badly needed a haircut and hadn’t slept since two dinners ago.
I do enjoy sharing my photos though, and they frequently pop up in the tech press. That’s one of the really fun aspects of this job—you never know when your work might help a technology journalist explain a battery problem, solve a waterproofing mystery, or break down a new laptop design.
I’m a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo alum. I’ve got a smattering of degrees and certifications that have precious little to do with my current position, but at least they were expensive.
Ensuring Quality Repair Information on iFixit
I’ve worked on so many cool projects here that it’s hard to pick favorites, but here are a few recent ones:
- Three Former Apple Engineers Helped Us Tear Down Apple Watch Series 7
- How iFixit Built Its Free Medical Database
- Mac Pro 2019 Teardown
My wife Zan, seen here in a rare photo that I’m allowed to share with the internet.
Like many folks here, I’ve been fixing things most of my life—cars, computers, time machines. (Wait, my mistake—that last thing happens later.)
I like wrenching on BMWs and then testing my work in the safest way possible, on the racetrack.
In my free time I enjoy distance running, scuba diving, and science fiction.
Where Else to Find Me
I’m allergic to social media, but if you must, you can try contacting me there:
Teardowns I've Worked On
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Guides I've Contributed To
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Guides I've Helped Translate
My Favorite Guides
Answer to "Boot loop and error ppt006 - Help!"PPT006 is a battery fault. Did you try plugging in the old battery to see if that clears it up? If so, the new battery may be defective.
Answer to "Do replacement batteries work with battery health feature now?"You’re right, the feedback is mixed, and it’s because iFixit batteries are not 100% reliable on this yet—whether or not the battery health feature will work depends on your exact model iPhone, which iOS version you have installed, and the battery’s internal firmware version. We’ve developed a long-term solution that should work for all batteries on all past (and future) versions of iOS, and it’s making its way out over the next month or two. So if you want the battery health feature and you have the luxury of waiting a bit, you may want to check back in February or March. To your second question: the phone is only throttled if the battery is unable to supply the needed voltage. So yeah, running benchmarking software like Geekbench is a great way to verify that everything is ship shape. Hope this helps!
Answer to "Samsung Essentials All In One Teardown"Have you seen this video? Looks like a similar model (but maybe not identical, so be extra careful). The RAM and hard drive both look pretty accessible once you have it open. Hope this helps!
Answer to "Can I repair my home button with a kit?"Hey Lee, Unfortunately the answer is no, there’s no kit that will restore Touch ID functionality once the home button or its cable get damaged. Your options are: (1) Replace the button yourself—it’s a fairly easy job, but Touch ID will be permanently disabled. It will work only as a home button. (2) Pay Apple for a screen replacement—more expensive, but they’ll include a new button and they can restore Touch ID. (3) Find a repair shop with a professional microsoldering rig and the skills to patch your home button cable back together. Hope this helps!
Answer to "iOS 12 Fixed Auto Brightness?"I’m seeing numerous reports that iOS 12 beta 2 restores auto brightness function for affected phones, with True Tone still being disabled. One or two further reports state that a DFU restore to iOS 11.4 enables True Tone. I haven’t had a chance to test any of this yet. It does seem like Apple is working on the problem, although it remains to be seen whether any potential fix makes it into the final release. Stay tuned!
Answer to "Why doesn't keyboard and trackpad work after battery replacement?"It sounds to me like something just isn't connected properly. IIRC there's a temp sensor integrated into the touchpad, and if it's disconnected the fans will run full blast. I'd probably just re-do the repair and reseat each connector really carefully, making sure the ribbons are straight and fully inserted, and that they aren't connected upside-down or damaged in any way. Let us know what you find. Good luck!
Answer to "iFixit Tri-Point Y000 driver bit for iPhone 7 / 7 Plus"I've used the Y000 bit pretty extensively on the 7 Plus, and it's the same bit that we used for all our guides and teardowns for both phones. It also works for the Watch, which has much smaller screws. I'm afraid we don't make anything smaller! I will say that the tri-point screws sometimes require more pressure than I'm accustomed to, in order for the driver to bite. I think it's because the heads are so shallow; the driver needs to be really snug and absolutely on-axis in order to get any traction on the screw head. I'd suggest giving it another whirl! On the off-chance you got some kind of defective bit (it's very rare, but it happens), reach out to our customer service team for a replacement. Good luck!
Answer to "Screen connectors don't fit"First, you should probably verify the model of your phone and make sure you've got the right part. I'm pretty sure a fully assembled iPhone 6s display should have three connectors, not four. Next, compare the new display with the old display. Are they identical? Are the connectors physically different? Sometimes the display ribbon cables get folded in the wrong order so they won't line up properly, and in that case it's a simple matter of carefully reorganizing the cables so they line up with their sockets. Let us know what you find and maybe we can help further. Good luck!
Answer to "Nothing to connect home button to on replacement screen"Hi David, The home button plugs into the home button link cable, which is a flat ribbon cable sandwiched between the back of the display and the shield plate. If the part you purchased does not include a new home button link cable, you can use this guide to transplant the cable from your old screen to your new one (assuming it is in good condition). If you prefer, we also offer replacement screens with the home button link cable preinstalled to make your repair easier (they do cost a little more). If you bought your screen from iFixit and would like to return it and purchase the "full assembly" version, just call or email us here. Hope this helps!
Answer to "Need help with these Connector latches"You had it right the first time: those are ZIF connectors. The white part that fell out is the latch you're meant to flip up in order to release the cable. Here's a video of a tech working on a Spectre XT. At around 2:18 you can see the ribbon cables getting correctly detached. At this point, I'd leave the cable out and try to carefully reinsert the latch. Watch out that you don't damage the socket itself, or you'll be in for a much more complicated/expensive repair. With the latch back in place, you can slide the cable in and close it up.
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