EZ Flash IV problem - Cannot be detected...?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by DatGameh, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. DatGameh
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    DatGameh Newbie

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    Hello.
    I have recently bought an EZ Flash, and the thrid time I put it in, it doesn't work. There are three possible outcomes when I turn on my GBA:
    1. Gb and Nintendo logo appear, but what comes after is a white screen.
    2. GB logo appears but no nintendo logo (not detected)
    3. Nintendo logo is garbled up (rarest case)

    I have tested and concluded that the GBA is still in good condition; it can read my GBC game just fine, no matter how often I take it in or out.
    I have no other GBA game by the way. I have given them away years back (along with my previous GBA).

    My method of fixing this problem temporarily is banging my GBA (with the cartridge in it) against a soft surface like my thigh. It works, until I remove it or bump my GBA (freezing the game, and makimg loud garbled noise). I have also tried to put a small layer of tissue underneath the pcb to increase the contact with the pins of the GBA. I thought it was working, so I replaced them with paper. And now it stopped working forever.

    But here are the characteristics of the EZ Flash that I find odd:
    1. It's a tight fit when I insert it to the GBA.
    2. The case is kinda loose (this is actually said to be the characteristic of the EZ Flash)
    3. Worst of all... on the bottom of the PCB, there is an odd solodified liquid covering a little bit of the chip on the right, and some of the pins of that chip. The liquid is solid, somewhat easy to scratch off (like a harder version of wax), translucent, black, and smells of cockroach (bitter).

    I don't know at this point what the cause is. Could the liquid be from the chip itself, or even be conductive? I think not because it had worked with the presence of that before.

    Or could it be my GBA's inability to read GBA games...?

    Help!

    P.S. I'll send a pic when requested. I currently don't have it with me during the time of writing this.
     
  2. HiddenRambler

    HiddenRambler GBAtemp Regular

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    Nov 20, 2015
    Just checked both EZ IVs I have and neither has any waxy substance. Perhaps your board has some residue soldier flux. Best thing would be to post a picture so we could see what it is. I would personally clean it very carefully using some Iso Propyl Alcohol.
     
  3. DatGameh
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    DatGameh Newbie

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    Alright...
    Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Only one chip affected.
    I have no isopropyl alcohil with me. I'll update in a few days.

    Thanks!
     
  4. HiddenRambler

    HiddenRambler GBAtemp Regular

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    Yup that looks like solder flux.

    The board looks somewhat different from what i have. is it a original EZ Flash?

    @FAST6191 is probably the expert on this.
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Yeah that looks like flux residue. Isopropyl is fine, nail polish remover (acetone) if it does not have anything else in there (if it says treats and conditions then don't use it). Basically something that won't eat the board and won't leave anything behind. That said it should not do it there and if it is indicative of the other side with pins that go into the GBA (those others on that side are likely just programming pins) then it would see what you have there. You could also try the paper trick where you fold a piece of paper a couple of times and put it between the board and case.

    Alternatively I can't see it very well as it is slightly out of focus but those pins on the chip starting with M6 might not be well aligned on one side (top of the PCB, next to R15, C13, R5 and R2) and that would also cause what you see. It is possible to fix that (reflowing a PCB or a chip on it is nothing major) but it is not something most people with a basic home soldering iron will be easily able to pull off -- I would really want hot air or IR. If it was just a chip and PCB you could solder it easily enough with normal home gear but this is rework rather than straight soldering.
     
  6. DatGameh
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    DatGameh Newbie

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    I just cleaned out the solder flux. Still dead...
    Damn.
    Oh well. How much do you think this'll cost for spare parts?
    That's if I can't find a person to solder this.

    If I were to ask someone to re-solder the chips, how hard can it be? I have no experience in soldering, so I have to hire someone.
    It's pretty obvious that this solder is done by a machine. Can it be redone by a human? :/
     
  7. HiddenRambler

    HiddenRambler GBAtemp Regular

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    A hot air gun could do it. A laptop/computer/mobile repair shop may have the tools to do it.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I still don't know if the chips need soldering again -- the picture you had was out of focus/blown out there and with how close the pins are I can't call anything using them. However it looked like I would want to investigate further.

    The soldering is not necessarily done by machine either, I mean it is possible and even probable for some things but depending upon how many were made and where (it is a Chinese company after all) it could still have been hand assembled, granted that does look like bad reflow if it is what I think it is.
    Anyway rework and soldering videos





    It is all gear that good laptop/phone repair shops will have, I certainly use similar stuff for repairing laptops and phones. Equally it is not about replacing chips here, mainly as most of those will have something on it (that M6 chip is the NOR-SRAM which has the loader and it not being available to it would cause what you see) and we don't necessarily have code to flash back, so you will want to try to fix/reuse the chips there. Reheating chips multiple times is not ideal but it can be done and should be OK here if done properly.