PlayStation Move Teardown

September 19, 2010 Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Sony’s plan to change gaming forever is a light wand with seven buttons, a compass, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a vibrator motor. Oh, and they threw in a safety strap for good measure. Sony is claiming that the Move “only does everything,” so we took one apart in an effort to see how exactly it could possibly accomplish such a lofty mission.

The PlayStation Eye camera bundled with Move is nothing new: Sony’s been shipping it since October of 2007. So we focused our attention on the Move controller, which ended up being super-easy to take apart.

We awarded it an 8 out of 10 Repairability score (10 being easiest to repair) since all one needs to do is remove a few Phillips screws to pop it open. Inside we found other easily replaceable components: the battery can be removed by unplugging its connector, and the trigger comes out as one unit. It looks like you may not have to toss your $50 controller in the trash if it runs out of juice.

Teardown highlights:

  • The Wii and PlayStation use different methods of locating their controllers. The Wii Remote has an infrared (IR) sensor built into the controller, and uses triangulation from the IR emitters on the sensor bar placed near the TV to locate itself. PlayStation Move, unlike the Wii, can locate the motion controller in 3D space. The PlayStation Eye camera visually recognizes the X/Y position as well as the relative size of the glowing sphere on the motion controller to pinpoint the controller’s location.
  • The Move contains many of components found in today’s smartphones: a processor, accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth transmitter, vibrating motor, and even a MEMS compass. It’s an amazing amount of tech for the money, even though we still think it’s steep to pay $50 for a controller. Compared to a $40 WiiMote, though, it’s quite the bang for the buck.
  • The sphere at the top of the Move lights up via LEDs inside the controller. The LEDs are capable of putting out any color, which makes it easy to differentiate between players. They can also change colors mid-game, creating another source of user feedback. The color of the orb also changes in response to its environment, ensuring optimal visibility and detection by the PlayStation Eye.
  • The internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery lists a minimum capacity of 1320 mAh at 3.7 Volts. The battery gets brownie points for being able to be disconnected from the Move without any soldering. Just unplug the connector and plug the new one in.
  • The vibrator motor lifts off, however it still remains connected to the motherboard. It’s definitely smaller than the two vibrating motors stuffed into a Sony DualShock 3 Controller.
  • The Move motherboard loses points on repairability due to the vibrator motor, LED, charge contacts, and EXT cables being soldered down.
  • We were not able to identify the gyroscope manufacturer from a surface examination, but we suspect that it is the white-labeled part #Y5250H.
  • As LEDs get warmer, their brightness decreases. Having a heat sink in the LED assembly not only keeps the LEDs at the optimal operating temperature, but also increases the longevity of the diodes. The clear plastic lens on the far left helps diffuse the light from the LEDs to light up the orb uniformly.

Taking out the battery

Final layout

Burning Man: Bike Repair

September 15, 2010 Repair Stories, Site News — Kyle Wiens

Driving is forbidden in Black Rock City. The only powered vehicles allowed are art cars. That makes the place very pedestrian friendly, but the city is too large to walk comfortably. So everyone bikes! Day and night, throngs of bicycles flow through the streets—creating a feeling of perpetual movement and pulsing life.

This works great, but there’s a catch: The playa dust gunks up everything! Bikes are particularly vulnerable because riding in loose sand kicks up dust. Of course, everyone knows this is going to happen, so they bring the oldest, cheapest bicycles they can.

You can see where this is headed: Bike repair is an absolutely essential skill on the playa. The most common problems are predictable: flat tires, clogged deraileurs and chains, and failing bearings.

The dust in the desert is very fine—closer to fine cement or regolith than sand, which is relatively coarse. The alkali content is basic and caustic to organic compounds like skin. It is also midly conductive and wreaks havoc on all kinds of electronics.

There are several bike repair shops on the playa. I interviewed bicycle techs from the largest two: the ‘official’ bike repair camp, and Pandora’s Lounge and Bicycle Fix-It Shoppe. Pandora’s shoppe featured a problem-solving flow chart (Warning: potentially offensive image). DPW is the local Department of Public Works, and Moop (material out of place) is trash.

Pandora’s has been a stalwart force at Burning Man: this was their sixth year fixing anything and everything people threw at them. I watched for an hour as people from all walks of life came up asking for advice, help, and tools. They solved one problem after another, doing as much as possible with lubricant and tape rather than spare parts (which are rather hard to come by in the middle of Black Rock Desert). The wire bead separated from the rubber on this tire, and this well-dressed gentleman was able to get the tire reseated with a little duct tape to hold the bead in place.

The shop crew were super helpful, and shared some tips with me for preventing getting stranded without a ride on the playa.

  1. Don’t use *any* oil or petroleum based products. That includes WD-40! The oil attracts dust like nothing else, and the fastest way to ensure your bike will grind to a halt is to liberally coat it with lube before you leave home.
  2. Less is more. Use as little lubricant as possible! One tech went so far as to tell me that he thought no lubricant was better than an oil based lube. That’s certainly not conventional bicycle maintenance wisdom. If nothing else, wipe off as much lubricant as you possibly can.
  3. Kickstands don’t help much in 30 mph winds! Just lay the bike down, or the fall will break a pedal.
  4. Temporary hacks are often better than the ‘right’ fix. Don’t attempt complex repairs (like pulling a bearing) on the playa. It’s almost impossible to keep things clean—better to hack a quick fix for a few days and then get the bike back to a real shop.

I asked everyone about lubricants, and the consensus was that White Lightning’s self-cleaning wax lube is the best product out there. I’m told it also works wonders on zippers!

I bet you’ve never seen a BUCKET of wax lubricant before, either.

A few years ago, an anonymous donor helped Burning Man buy 1,000 ‘Yellow Bikes’, bicycles painted green (yes, green: irony is the source of much playa humor) and available for communal use. There’s only one rule: Never lock up a Yellow Bike. Instead, leave it for the next guy when you’re done.

I stopped Epona, one of the Yellow Bike repair techs, to ask why she spent her vacation fixing bikes. The simplicity of her answer delighted me. “I like making bikes go.” Who doesn’t?

iPod Nano 6th Generation Teardown

September 9, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Despite keeping the same price tag as its predecessor, the new Nano is a bundle of trade-offs. Gone are the days of click wheels, cameras, and video playback. Instead, users get a multi-touch screen, a clip, and a device that’s slightly easier to repair.

Judging by the both the internal and external features of the device, we feel the new Nano is more like a Shuffle with a screen than a Nano with true multi-touch.

Apple is seriously reaching by calling the Nano “multi-touch.” 3M defines multi-touch as the “ability to simultaneously detect and resolve a minimum of 3+ touch points.”

The Nano does not support three touch points. In fact, the only gesture the Nano supports that has two touch points is rotation.

We’ve learned from reliable sources that Apple’s internal documentation suggest support for pinch to zoom, which is not present in this version of the iPod Nano’s software. Was this feature cut at the last minute? Could it be added back in with a software update? Only time will tell.

Teardown highlights:

  • This iPod Nano’s battery only has two wires, one red and one black. All the other iPod Nanos we’ve taken apart have included three battery wires. That third battery wire typically ties into a thermistor, a resistor whose value changes with temperature (a poor man’s thermometer). Presumably the iPod Nano’s battery is small enough and the charge rate is slow enough that overheating is not a concern.
  • The 1.54″, 240 x 240 pixel LCD screen is equipped with multi-touch, although how anyone is supposed to comfortably fit more than one finger on the display is a mystery.
  • The Nano has a 220 pixels-per-inch (PPI) screen, the highest pixel density on an Apple device aside from the iPhone 4 / iPod Touch 4th Gen. That’s almost double the iPad’s paltry 132 PPI density!
  • Pure speculation: The front glass on the Nano sticks up about .3 mm from the outer case. Why, you ask? Presumably due to the thickness of the headphone jack. Apple wanted to keep the device as thin as possible, and the curvature of the edges would have forced the case to be thicker for a completely flush glass panel. A thicker case was ditched in favor of the glass sticking out slightly.
  • Like its cousins — the iPhone 4 and the new iPod Touch — the touchscreen, LCD, and front glass are inseparable.
  • The Nano’s battery has a capacity of 105 mAh, compared to the Shuffle’s 51 mAh. We assume the Nano uses the extra juice to power its display (which the Shuffle lacks).
  • The headphone jack, volume buttons, and sleep/wake button are all found on the same ribbon cable that snakes around the inner perimeter of the Nano. Very efficient!
  • There’s a total of eleven screws in the Nano — quite a hefty amount for such a small device.

Removing the battery

Final layout

iPod Touch 4th Generation Teardown

September 8, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

First, an observation: this thing is thin! So thin that there is literally no room for the 5 MP camera in the iPhone 4.

Second, some news: The 4th Generation iPod Touch’s A4 processor package has the same 256 MB Samsung SDRAM markings found on the iPad’s processor. Many developers will be disappointed that it doesn’t have the 512 MB found in the iPhone 4, but Apple had to keep costs down to hit the $229 price point.

We found several notable improvements from the previous Touch, especially a more repair-friendly front panel that can be easily removed with a heat gun and some careful prying. This is by far the easiest Touch to open, although it’s not completely straightforward once you get inside.

Teardown highlights:

  • This is the easiest iPod Touch we’ve ever cracked open — a bit of glue and two tabs hold the front panel in place. We hoped that the insides would continue to be repair-friendly, but then found that the front glass and LCD panel were permanently fused together. This will prevent dust from getting beneath the glass, but unfortunately will also make repair more expensive.
  • Like all other revisions of the iPod Touch, the battery is soldered to the logic board. This isn’t a surprise given the slim form factor of the iPod, but we wish Apple would make battery replacement easier, especially on a Touch that is now easier to open.
  • Apple did add more space between the battery’s three solder points compared to the 3rd Gen Touch. This should make the soldering job a little easier when replacing the battery, as there’s less chance of accidentally bridging the contacts.
  • The EMI shield is surprisingly heavy, weighing in at 11 grams. The entire iPod Touch is only 101 grams, meaning Apple has devoted more than 10% of the iPod’s weight to this metal EMI shield.
  • Unfortunately, the rear-facing camera is only 960×720 resolution. That’s only about .7 megapixels, compared to 5 megapixels on the iPhone 4. Apple was forced to sacrifice still photo resolution in order to squeeze the camera into the Touch’s slim package. Going forward, we expect Apple to adopt improved micro camera technology as better cameras come to market.
  • For those of you who are wondering, there’s no way the iPhone 4’s rear camera can be installed in the Touch.
  • In a first for the iPod Touch line, the headphone jack is not soldered to the logic board. There’s also a liquid damage indicator on the bottom of the headphone jack, so don’t use your Touch to stir the coffee.
  • This primary antenna is situated near the front glass panel. Its new location eliminates the need for the plastic “window” found on the 3rd generation Touch. There also appears to be a secondary antenna located on the headphone jack.
  • Contrary to Apple’s initial claims on their FaceTime marketing page, the iPod Touch does not have a vibrator. Apple’s website has been updated to remove this claim.

Prying out the logic board

Final layout

iPod Shuffle 4th Generation Teardown

September 7, 2010 Answers, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Apple sent a clear message with the updated iPod Shuffle: “We were wrong.” They changed course, admitted that people actually like buttons, and brought them back for this generation. Pshhh! Those of us with 3rd Gen Shuffles just printed out a convenient chart and carried it around for reference.

Having confessed that their lack of buttons was a problem, we wanted to see if Apple improved the repairability of the device. The 3rd Generation had a press-fit back cover and a battery soldered to the logic board, making replacement quite difficult. Unfortunately, the 4th Gen is even harder to open, thanks to the generous application of glue in addition to the press-fit back cover.

Teardown Highlights:

  • iPod Shuffle 4th Generation Repairability: 2 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
    • Good: The click wheel is attached to the logic board via a connector, allowing it to be easily separated.
    • Good: The lack of a screen eliminates a large weak point of other devices, making the Shuffle more resilient to falls. Just don’t flush it down the toilet.
    • Bad: You essentially have to break it to open it.
    • Bad: The battery is soldered to the logic board, making replacement that much more difficult.
    • Bad: Apple keeps shrinking connectors. These super-small cable connectors are increasingly difficult to open without breaking them.
  • The device was extremely difficult to open. Apple press-fit and glued the back cover onto the body, so it took us quite a while to pop the cover off the unit. We definitely had a harder time accessing the internals than in the previous generation Shuffle.
  • Even the seemingly simple task of disconnecting the button pad ribbon cable turns out to be quite a chore when the connector is 1/8″ wide.
  • We have a feeling that as technology advances, we’ll need smaller and smaller tools to take devices apart. You won’t be able to see our hands in pictures, just little pointy tweezers.
  • Apple once again chose to solder the battery to the logic board. This adds another layer of difficulty to replace it (aside from breaking the back cover to open it) if it dies on you in the future.
  • Unsurprisingly, the date codes on the main Apple chip indicate die manufacture dates in late June (1025) and early August 2010 (1031).

Final layout

Size comparison between Shuffle generations

Nintendo Virtual Boy Teardown

September 3, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Our week of game console teardowns is coming to a close, and we have a super-extra-special teardown for today. We partnered with Engadget to bring you a glimpse of one of the most interesting game consoles ever — the Nintendo Virtual Boy!

Direct quote from our guys who created the teardown: “The Virtual Boy is bar none the coolest device we’ve ever taken apart.” Everyone at the office agrees that it’s an awesome console, so much so that there have been arguments over who’s going to play it next.

Nintendo called the Virtual Boy a “32-bit, 3-D experience” that “eliminates all external stimuli, totally immersing players into their own private universe.” Even so, TIME Magazine listed the Virtual Boy as one of the worst inventions of all time, and PC World called it one of “the ugliest products in tech history.” Of course, neither Time nor PC World ever opened one, so what do they know?

Teardown Highlights:

  • The Virtual Boy was only available in North America for seven months — from August 14, 1995 until March 2, 1996 — with only 770,000 units sold. Compare that with the Nintendo 64, which sold 32.93 million units over its lifespan.
  • Virtual Boy tech specs:
    • 20 MHz, 32-bit RISC Processor
    • 128 KB dual-port VRAM
    • 384 x 224 pixel resolution
    • 2-bit monochrome display (black and three shades of red)
    • 16-bit stereo sound
  • The Neoprene eyepiece completely encompassed the player’s field of vision. This not only isolated the player from the rest of the world, but prevented anyone else from seeing what the player was doing. If only the Virtual Boy could play “other” content…
  • Games such as Mario’s Tennis support the use of the Extension port to hook up two Virtual Boys for multiplayer play. Regrettably, Nintendo never got around to releasing an appropriate cable.
  • In order to deliver a full range of motion in a virtual 3-D environment, a method of controlling motion in the z-axis was required. To overcome this hurdle, a second D-pad was added to the controller.
  • The modular construction of the Virtual Boy indicates it was designed with repair in mind. A damaged controller port or audio system could be individually replaced rather than having to replace the whole motherboard.
  • Each 4-color display unit was manufactured by Reflection Technology Inc., and featured a 1×224 pixel resolution with 32 levels of intensity. The “image” produced by the display is merely a row of red LEDs. Used in conjunction with an oscillating mirror, a full image is produced.
  • The mirror oscillates and the LED refreshes with such speed that the human eye perceives a single image across the view plane.
  • To oscillate the mirror, alternating electrical current at high frequency is passed through a copper coil attached to the mirror. A stationary iron core is attached to the display unit, forming a solenoid to produce the motive force needed for oscillation.
  • Because the entire image is produced by a single row of LEDs, the refresh rate is incredibly high. The pattern of LEDs displayed changes 19,277 times every second!

Removing the bottom cover

Final layout

Nintendo Famicom Teardown

September 2, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

It’s day four of our week of game console teardowns. We borrowed a hot tub time machine, went directly to 1983, and acquired a Japanese national treasure: the Famicom!

We partnered with Wired for this teardown to bring you a glimpse of one of the most popular game consoles ever. Check out their story!

For those of you ill-versed in gaming consoles, the Famicom — short for Family Computer — is the name of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Japan. Join us as we delve into the system that revolutionized the gaming world as we know it.

Teardown highlights:

  • The Famicom was the first console to incorporate D-pad controllers to acquire user input. Departing from the era of joysticks, the inclusion of the D-pad allowed for quick and accurate controls.
  • The second controller has a built-in microphone and a volume switch at the expense of the central “select” and “start” buttons. This is the only console we know of that has a microphone on one of its standard controllers.
  • You won’t be able to lose a controller unless you also lose your machine. They’re attached internally via two old-school connectors, so you’ll have to take apart the machine if you want to disconnect a controller.
  • The Famicom’s miniscule 4W power supply won’t be popping fuses anytime soon. That’s about 2.5% of the power that the Xbox 360 devours.
  • Famicom technical specifications:
    • Ricoh 2A03 8-bit 1.79 MHz processor (MOS Technology based on the Motorola 6502 8-bit processor core)
    • Ricoh RP2C02G-0 8-bit, 5.32 MHz PPU (Picture Processing Unit)
    • 2KB (16kb) on-board RAM
    • 2KB (16kb) on-board Video RAM
    • PSG (programmable sound generator) Sound
    • 256 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Unsurprisingly, lead solder abounds on the bottom of the board. RoHS standards weren’t established until 20 years after this puppy was made.
  • Ejecting a game cartridge is accomplished by pushing two inclined planes underneath the cartridge until it pops off the motherboard connector.
  • Opening the game cartridge reveals a 60 pin printed circuit board. This PCB (from a Tennis cartridge) has two ROM packages — totaling 24 KB — soldered to it. A single layer Blu-ray disc has 25,000,000 KB capacity!

Removing the motherboard

Final layout

Atari 2600 Teardown

September 1, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Welcome to day three of our week of game console teardowns. So far we’ve taken apart the Magnavox Odyssey 100 and the RCA Studio II; the Atari 2600 is next! We partnered with PC World for this teardown to bring you a peek into another staple of game console history.

Originally labeled as the Video Computer System (VCS), the Atari 2600 was released in 1977. By that time, microprocessor-based hardware had been popularized with the Fairchild Channel F, and the VCS was Atari’s first foray into that technology.

The system was originally released with all six switches on the front of the console, however, the console was redesigned in 1980 with only four of the switches on the front, and the other two on the back. The console featured here is a post-1980 model.

Teardown highlights:

  • The Atari 2600 sold for $199 in 1977. In today’s coin, that’s $696. In comparison, the launch model of PlayStation 3 cost only $599. Prices are coming down!
  • Initially the public did not know that the Atari 2600 could play games other than Pong. It took a couple of years for the console to became massively successful — Atari went from selling 250,000 units in 1977 to 1 million units in 1979.
  • The case design team must have wanted to give lots of breathing room to the motherboard team. The case of the 2600 is 2.6 times larger than the motherboard!
  • Jay Miner was able to integrate the display and sound chip into a single IC, thereby reducing the footprint of the motherboard. Yet the case size still seems rather excessive.
  • With a design that is unseen in just about any other electronic device, the motherboard is propped up and sits at an angle of 30 degrees inside the Atari.
  • The motherboard easily lifts out, as there are no additional screws or clips holding it in place. The only thing securing it down were two angled screws we removed from the outer case.
  • Atari gets a +1 on repairability for not soldering the EMI shield to the motherboard, as some recent manufacturers (Apple, Palm, Motorla) have done.
  • The Atari 2600 boasts:
    • 1.19MHz 8-bit processor
    • 128 bytes RAM
    • 192 x 160 pixel resolution
    • 16 colors (but only 4 on screen at once)
    • 2 channel sound
  • Unlike most earlier consoles — where games were stored on internal ICs — the Atari 2600 stored games on Read Only Memory (ROM) chips housed in external cartridges. This allowed for a potentially infinite number of playable games for the console.
  • Because memory was so expensive during the 2600’s design, the video processor has no external RAM. This means that the 2600 never generates an entire frame. Each line of the picture is generated individually and output to the TV sequentially to form a complete image.
  • We give the Atari 2600 a big plus for repairability. Every component is attached via through-hole solder, so replacing a burnt out resistor or IC is quite feasible.

The tiny motherboard in the large housing

The final layout

Game Console Repair

August 29, 2010 Hardware, Repair Guides, Site News, Tools — Kyle Wiens

On Monday, iFixit is changing the game console industry forever.

Repair—for devices of all kinds—is stuck in the 20th century. iFixit is methodically changing one industry at a time: we started with Apple repair guidesreplacement parts, and tools, and now we’re empowering game console owners in the same way.

The bottom line:

  • We are releasing a free, community-authored repair manual—composed of hundreds of step-by-step guides and thousands of photos—for every major game console.
  • Simultaneously, iFixit is launching a repair parts and tools store for game consoles.
  • To celebrate, we are going to publish five retro game console teardowns showcasing the roots of today’s consoles.

The game console industry is hostile to consumers: goliath manufacturers have shipped hundreds of millions of units to consumers with no information on how to maintain or repair them. Console owners are left with few options when their warranty expires, causing many to throw away broken units.

That changes now. We are releasing a free, open source, community-authored repair manual for every major game console.

Console Repair is Go

We have just published repair manuals for 32 game consoles written by over a hundred volunteers. The manuals are available online immediately.

The manuals walk you step-by-step through performing 206 different repairs and upgrades. Each device has a troubleshooting page to help diagnose what’s wrong and what to do to fix it.

These manuals represent thousands of hours of community labor: gamers working to help gamers by sharing what they know. A number of engineering students even pitched in as part of their technical writing courses.

Here is a brief overview of the consoles covered:

There are a massive number of manuals to browse. Here are some particularly interesting guides:

This outpouring of community effort is a clear message to manufacturers: people want to be able to service their own hardware. With these manuals they are going be able to do so, whether Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo like it or not.

New Console Parts Store is Online

But service manuals aren’t the whole story: people also need access to tools and parts. So iFixit is also launching a comprehensive store for modern game console parts and tools. iFixit is now an all-in-one solution for both Apple and game console repair.

We can’t quite keep up with our community, so we don’t have repair parts for everything just yet. We are currently selling over a hundred repair parts and all the tools you need to disassemble consoles. We will be adding dozens more repair parts over the next few weeks.

Here are a few of the game console parts that we’re now selling:

Repair is Finally Moving Into the Future

This game console milestone is a bold step forward. We are working towards a world where every person has access to a service manual for every thing that they own. Far fewer consoles will end up in landfills now that people are able to fix their own hardware.

iFixit started out with a simple, yet successful model: we wrote Apple repair manuals and sold parts alongside them. Millions have used our free information to fix their Macs. But there is far more demand for manuals than we could ever possibly fill. So we gambled on the community: The future of iFixit will require a global community of technicians sharing what they know. And they are definitely sharing! Since we launched our repair wiki in April, the community has doubled the number of repair manuals on iFixit. Doubled!

The future of repair lies in the community. Manufacturers were not willing to share repair information with their customers, so the customers wrote their own manual. These crowdsourced game console manuals represent an uprising of the masses: people are sick of being sold disposable devices with short lifespans and limited repairability. People want to buy quality products that they can repair themselves, and having an open source repair manual enables them to increase the value and useful lifespan of their hardware.

We are ecstatic to watch our community make the world better, one repair manual at a time.


August 19, 2010 Events, Site News — Kyle Wiens

Repair is social. It always has been. I learned how to disassemble electronics from my grandfather, and my best friend’s dad helped me with my first RAM upgrade. We’re always teaching each other useful things. We have a lot of community members that are already members of groups — clubs, companies, university classes — in addition to helping out around here. Our new team feature will empower those groups.

Our master plan for fixing the world is simple:

  1. We make awesome tools to help you teach people how to fix things.
  2. You teach people how to fix things.
  3. Goto 1.

Clearly a critical part of this loop is helping people promote what they’re already doing — whether that’s a bike kitchen, a local repair shop, or teaching an IT class at a high school on the Isle of Man.

We just rolled out team support. Each team gets their own wiki page where they can share their mission, work on repair guides together, and show their general location with our brand-new map widget.

We spent quite a while thinking about what to call this. We originally called it “groups,” but that word is overly vague and doesn’t connote any sense of shared purpose. We chose the word “team” because it implies action toward a goal. Teams collaborate together to win, and every successful repair is a victory.

I learned a long time ago not to predict the variety of creative ways our members contribute to teach repair. I have no idea what sorts of teams people will form, but here are a few slightly-informed guesses: bike kitchens, community repair shops, car clubs, and repair businesses.

Team iFixit Members

Creativity works best under constraints, so here they are:

  • You can only belong to one team. ONE. That’s it, that’s all you get. No, I’m not taking bribes to let you into more than one team. (Unless that bribe is a Ducati 1098. Then we can talk.)
  • Anyone can create a team. We’ve got two varieties, open and invite only.
    • Anyone can join an open team. This might be useful if you want to collaborate with some folks to work on a collection of guides for a device, or if you’re an inclusive organization like a bike kitchen.
    • Invite only teams require a code to join. You can pass out this invite code to as many, or as few, folks as you’d like. This makes sense for companies that want all their employees on a team or for clubs that require local participation to join.
  • The team’s reputation is the sum of all its current members’ reputations. When you join a team, your reputation is added to theirs. Conversely, if you leave a team their reputation will drop — just like it would in the real world.

Each team gets their own wiki “about” page. You can write as much as you want, add images and markup to make it look professional, promote your business, write a manifesto, or write an ode to vacuum tubes. It’s up to you—wield this newfound power with wisdom.

Team iFixit's "About" Page

You can also set a location, enabling a little map widget on the right of the team profile. This has been requested a number of times, and we’re happy to oblige.

In case users are feeling left out by the love we’re devoting to the new team profile pages, we’ve also added user profile support. Everyone with a reputation over 200 can now customize their profile page and add their location. Andrew posted some interesting information about some of his recent projects over on his page.

iFixit does reasonably well in Google rankings, so this could be a useful way for you to take control of what’s visible online about you.

So what now? Well, you can view a (rather meager) list of existing teams, or create one yourself. Now get to it!