Hardware Dead N3DS XL - No power, no charge light

yaum

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Hi, I recently bought a non-functional new 3DS XL from eBay. Seller said no power due to coffee spill.

Upon reception, I started to open and clean it. It was drenched in coffee, top and bottom cases, but no apparent damage or corrosion. I disassemble absolutely everything, top and bottom cases, washing the case in water, and all parts with IPA. I could not find additional damage, even under the electromagnetic shields. Top screen flex cables were all microscope screened, without fault found.

After full reassembly, I was quite confident the n3DS XL would work, at least partially. But not chance, nothing worked at all. Battery voltage is 3.75, and after pressing the power button (contact button functionality was tested), no blue light lit. When plugging in a working charger, no charge light either.
I tested the two fuses on the main and on the daughter boards, tested all resistors OK, and diode (in blue) gave a reading of 0.150v and working as diode.
nLoVuUeQBFxXWjlH.standard
UnrvvgBtEPOlPNLE.standard


When connected to the boards, the battery reading was 0v...

I decided to perform additional checks, starting by the only untested ribbon between main and daughter board, and: One trace was broken between 2 pads, I had hopes I could solder enameled wire to repair it. It appeared that I could, but pulled too strong on the soldered wire and ripped off the weakened pad!

After that, I kind of gave up. I'll try tonight to recreate a pad on the broken ribbon. Anyone has a mapping of test points for each trace on this ribbon?

Maybe this will at least make the n3DS XL display a sign of life, but I'm unsure now. Do you have any more hints on things to check?

I've seen a ribbon being sold for 20€, none on Aliexpress. If I cannot fix it, any idea where I could find one for cheap as I'm unsure this will fix anything?

PS: I have a history of repairing original 3DS XL, but not n3DS XL...
 

yaum

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Soooo, I took my soldering iron, and tried to repair the ribbon between main & daugther boards.

Here is the enameled wire before pad reconstruction
upload_2020-9-12_8-17-45.png


And the pad right after:
upload_2020-9-12_8-17-55.png



Looks dirty, but connectivity is ok, no shorts on adjacent pads.

And, finally I got the 3DS to work! Everything works now: wifi, sd card, all pads (except thumb button, still have to test it).Screens are working too, but are very cloudy. Will try to have a look inside to see if something is feasible.
upload_2020-9-12_8-37-26.png
 

yaum

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Hi @Posghetti , sure, here is the link:
https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/32816285552.html
Cheap stuff, with aluminium stand, it's doing the job for around 30$.

In the meantime, I had fun with the LCDs, to see if I could do something about them even if soaked with coffee:
Dismantling the bottom screen:
upload_2020-9-12_19-45-37.png


Detail of the multiple layers beneath the LCD, including led lights. You can see it's not transparent at all...
upload_2020-9-12_19-46-41.png


After cleaning each layer with water & soap (not the LCD by itself of course) here is the result:
upload_2020-9-12_19-48-29.png

Top screen is as good as new, but bottom screen has streaks on the outside, slightly visible. I anyways have to change the digitizer as it is scratched,I'll change both the bottom screen & digitizer...

For those interested in cleaning water damaged LCDs, you can read this article:
http://smilecitrus.info/?p=2698
 
Last edited by yaum,

lygok

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The hand of God!Very cool!
I have two questions. Would like to answer me?
Thank a lot!Thank a lot!Thank a lot!Please!Please!Please!

One:
I put my battery in backwards.
My left pcb is broken,Console cant turnning on.all lights cant working.
I take this Motherboard to the other console.it s working,but it cant charging in sleepmode or turn off mode,just working after system working.
I wanna to know,Which chip might be broken? How to test with a multimeter??

Two:
Other N3DSXL home buttom is disabled!
I tested it with a multimeter。Its ok。but It can`t working in console turnning on .
My ios was B9S and the latest system。

WHY????

Would you like to help me?????
Thank a lot!Thank a lot!Thank a lot!Please!Please!Please!
 

yaum

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Hi, hand of god is a bit too far... I would have it fully restored as new if I was at this level :)

I put my battery in backwards.
My left pcb is broken,Console cant turnning on.all lights cant working.
I take this Motherboard to the other console.it s working,but it cant charging in sleepmode or turn off mode,just working after system working.
I wanna to know,Which chip might be broken? How to test with a multimeter??

Check this out:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/new-nintendo-3ds-xl-what-charging-chip.454737/
It could be the charging chip mentionned in this thread.

Other N3DSXL home buttom is disabled!
I tested it with a multimeter。Its ok。but It can`t working in console turnning on .
My ios was B9S and the latest system。

Hard to say... Did the button work at a given time? Did it stop after hacking the console, or just by itself? Could be the connector, the cable, the motherboard, software... (even if I have doubts about software)
 

lygok

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Hi, hand of god is a bit too far... I would have it fully restored as new if I was at this level :)



Check this out:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/new-nintendo-3ds-xl-what-charging-chip.454737/
It could be the charging chip mentionned in this thread.



Hard to say... Did the button work at a given time? Did it stop after hacking the console, or just by itself? Could be the connector, the cable, the motherboard, software... (even if I have doubts about software)

Thanks a lot for reply。
I know the first problem is in the power management chip and the charging chip. I'm going to replace it
But do you know what happened to the second question? It's the home key failure.
 

zxr750j

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What a wonderful post, when I started reading I thought it was a mission impossible ending with a question for impossible help. But you are really great in you persistence, cleaning- and soldering-skills!
 

yaum

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Wow good stuff man, btw how much did you buy the 3ds for and how much did it cost to repair?

Cost for console was 25.50€, and 5€ for shipping:
https://www.ebay.fr/itm/console-nintendo-3ds-xl-pour-pieces/383698760294

Cost for repair... well... 0€ (not counting the time spent on it, or the hardware needed to fix it)


What a wonderful post, when I started reading I thought it was a mission impossible ending with a question for impossible help. But you are really great in you persistence, cleaning- and soldering-skills!

Happy to make your day :)
I must say that n3DS XL debug is a bit more difficult than the old one...
I lost a bit hope when frying the pad on the connector, but finally I made it work.
And when I did fix the console, the screens were bugging me like: hell, I lots of time on cleaning stuff in the console, and there is still more crap in there. With the screens lost anyways, I decided to take them apart and clean them, and it was a good choice!

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Thanks a lot for reply。
I know the first problem is in the power management chip and the charging chip. I'm going to replace it
But do you know what happened to the second question? It's the home key failure.

Hello, I can't get any further before you answer my questions below:

Hard to say... Did the button work at a given time? Did it stop after hacking the console, or just by itself? Could be the connector, the cable, the motherboard, software... (even if I have doubts about software)
 
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lygok

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Hi, hand of god is a bit too far... I would have it fully restored as new if I was at this level :)

Hard to say... Did the button work at a given time? Did it stop after hacking the console, or just by itself? Could be the connector, the cable, the motherboard, software... (even if I have doubts about software)

Hello, I can't get any further before you answer my questions below:

I don`t know! The N3DS is a broken console with ribbon clip.I buyed it and fixed it. but home button is disable。I changed a home bottom and it didn't work. may be Daughter board or motherboard?Maybe home buttom Interface resistance?I want to know!how to test it?
 
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yaum

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I don`t know! The N3DS is a broken console with ribbon clip.I buyed it and fixed it. but home button is disable。I changed a home bottom and it didn't work. may be Daughter board or motherboard?Maybe home buttom Interface resistance?I want to know!how to test it?

Given the fact that the Home button is connected to the main board, if anything is wrong, it has to be on the main board.
I understood that you have 2 N3DS XL. Swap home buttons to weed out the button from possible failures (highly improbable that both are dead).
Then, clean cable side, and connector side with IPA, be very careful with the zif connector, you don't want to do additional damage.

After, plug again the connector, and check if you can measure proper connector operation on the motherboard soldered pins ( in red)
upload_2020-9-22_16-29-43.png

It could be that the zif connector is not putting enough pressure on the cable, making bad contact. if it's the case, getting a heavy paper in the zif could help restoring contact.

If none of this works, I'd test continuity on the working MB between this connector and existing test points, and check it I have the same behavior on the non-working one (but that would be a pain in the a**)
 

lygok

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nal new 3DS XL from eBay. Sel
Given the fact that the Home button is connected to the main board, if anything is wrong, it has to be on the main board.
I understood that you have 2 N3DS XL. Swap home buttons to weed out the button from possible failures (highly improbable that both are dead).
Then, clean cable side, and connector side with IPA, be very careful with the zif connector, you don't want to do additional damage.

After, plug again the connector, and check if you can measure proper connector operation on the motherboard soldered pins ( in red)
View attachment 225752
It could be that the zif connector is not putting enough pressure on the cable, making bad contact. if it's the case, getting a heavy paper in the zif could help restoring contact.

If none of this works, I'd test continuity on the working MB between this connector and existing test points, and check it I have the same behavior on the non-working one (but that would be a pain in the a**)
I see!I'll try it now. thanks a lot。
 

yaum

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Back on this console, it works like charm when it has energy left in the battery.
However, I left it switched off (not in standby) for 3 days, and the battery was fully depleted, and the n3DS was unable to boot, or charge!
When plugging in the power cord, charge led would lit for 3 or 4 seconds, then dim and finally go dark.

I disassembled the console again, and it seems that there is some kind of short circuit on the daughter board: daughter board totally unplugged, there is a around 400Ohms between the + and - battery connectors. After messing a bit with the transistors, resistance even lowered to 150 Ohms.
When comparing to another working daughter board, I get infinite resistance between the two leads.

Any idea where to search for a short without desoldering every component?
 

dgm_mixtoon

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I may be able to, but it's better to share with the community than dealing with PM.
State your problem :)
That was going to do if the problem was solved, but here it goes, I have a new 3ds, it turns on but it is not seen in any screen, it is heard when it enters the menu and everything, movement pulsations are heard and at the moment it kind of freezes but The background music continues to play, I wanted to force both screens to turn on and I only managed to make the bottom one blink with the method of extracting the nand by soldering the board to SD, and I thought it could be the main screen, so I bought it and He does the same, yesterday because I was paying attention to a question from my little brother, I did not realize that I put the battery back and there the console died. O_O, God !, I knew I must have bought another new 3ds XL motherboard, I checked the fuses and everything was fine, I have no more ideas T_______T
 
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