O3DS repair?

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by McDude, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    My O3DS suddenly powered off yesterday with a loud pop. I tried powering it on again and it appeared to be starting up (blue LED lit up for a few seconds). However, it popped again and the top screen flashed bright white. No power. Tried to power it on a second time and got the same thing again.

    I decided to google my problem and see if I could fix it myself. Found that the likely cause was a few loose ribbon cables. Easy, I thought. Opened it up, jiggled the cables into place and tried to power it up again. Same problem as before. Did a little more research and found that I would need to take the top screen apart. Well, about halfway through disassembly, I figured that I was WAY in over my head and decided to put it back together and get it repaired by someone else.

    But then I botched it. I'm 90% sure I tore one of the touchscreen cables upon putting it back into place and I may have seated another cable incorrectly. I also messed the analog stick up. Even after all of this, the damn thing turned on after I was done. The touch screen, however, was unresponsive. I restarted it to see if the "repair" would hold... and it didn't. Same problem as before, but now I have a botched analog stick and touch screen.

    So, as someone who has very little electronic knowledge, any recommendations on what I should do now that I've made it worse :P?
     
  2. James310

    James310 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    879
    319
    Oct 4, 2015
    United States
    Somewhere in California
    Get a new 3ds , most 3ds games coming up has the worst fps on the old 3ds like hyrule Warriors , it's funny watching the comparison
     
    Last edited by James310, Jan 23, 2016
  3. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Buying a New 3DS is my absolute last resort. I'd really like to keep this one as long as I can, seeing as it's on a firmware I can use homebrew on.
     
  4. SmileCitrus

    SmileCitrus GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    192
    66
    Mar 29, 2009
    United States
    Are you positive it's the top screen that's flashing? If so that could be an easy repair. Usually it's the bottom screen that flashes, which indicates a problem with the speaker cable. Sometimes if the bottom screen flashes it sort of reflects off the top screen display lens and looks like the top screen was the one that flashed. Double check in a dark room to be sure.

    If it's definitely the top screen flashing there's most likely a problem with the connection to the lower screen backlight. The lower screen backlight connects to the small P12 connector (beneath the SD card slot). Check the ribbon cable for tears or any damage. Also be sure to check the connector itself for dirt or corrosion. Sometimes if a tiny bit of liquid is spilled on the console it may accumulate around that area and cause this problem.

    If the cable is damaged, then the easiest fix is just to replace the entire lower LCD. It's possible to replace only the backlight, but it's much easier to replace the entire LCD. You'll need to peel off the touchscreen from the old LCD and stick it onto the new one (unless it's damaged, in which case you'll need to replace it, too). It's easiest actually to peel the touchscreen off the old LCD, place it into the opening in the housing, and then stick the new LCD into the opening. That way it gets perfectly aligned.

    If it's the connector, then you should first try cleaning it with isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush. If that doesn't help, then the connector itself may be damaged. It's possible to replace the connector, but it requires some soldering skill.
     
  5. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    I can confirm that the top screen is the one that is flashing. I took a look at the P12 ribbon cable and can see that it is torn. Also, if it's relevant, the ribbon cable near the headphone jack is also torn. Other than that, all the other cables seem to be fine.
     
  6. SmileCitrus

    SmileCitrus GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    192
    66
    Mar 29, 2009
    United States
    That's actually good news then, since if those are the only problems you won't have to open up the top half of the console. The P12 connector is for the lower screen backlight. The ribbon being torn is probably what's causing the the top screen to flash and the system to fail to boot. If the connection to either backlight is broken, the system doesn't boot.

    The connector nearest the headphone jack is for the touch screen. The system will still boot even if it's disconnected or damaged, just without any touch function.

    Both of those are pretty easy to fix. You can find the parts on eBay or elsewhere and there's a guide on iFixit. The hardest part is making sure you don't trap any bits of dust between the touch screen and the LCD :lol:

    The only puzzling thing is that these seem to be problems that occurred during disassembly, not prior. It doesn't really explain what the issue was in the first place. If, after replacing the lower screen, you find that the bottom screen flashes and the system shuts down with a clicking or popping sound, then you may also have a problem with the speaker cable, which, unfortunately, can be a bit tricky to replace.
     
    Last edited by SmileCitrus, Jan 25, 2016
  7. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Alrighty, I'll order the parts tomorrow, then. I'll be sure to be CAREFUL this time around :P

    Oh, and about the bottom screen... it was flashing after I took the 3DS apart the first time, not the top one. I did manage to get the console to turn on ONCE after I took the back cover off the first time, but it shut off after I closed and opened the 3DS. That's when I took it apart even further and tore those cables. So uh, I might need to do something to the top screen after all. We'll have to wait and see, I guess ;)
     
    Last edited by McDude, Jan 25, 2016
  8. jaksy

    jaksy GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    551
    197
    Jun 10, 2014
    United States
    I know it's a long shot (especially since you dropped the unit and are experiencing flashing), but you aren't by chance trying to charge it through a cheap china made third party usb charging cable?
    I've experienced those refusing to charge units that are nearly 100% depleted on power, leaving for what all intensive purposes appears to be a dead 3ds unit that displays a blue light briefly before making an audible pop.

    I've purchased perfectly working units on ebay extremely cheaply because resellers thought were broken and they were too cheap to shell out on a first party charger to test the unit on.
     
  9. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Nope, using an official Nintendo charger. I'll keep that in mind if I ever have to replace my charger, though.
     
  10. SmileCitrus

    SmileCitrus GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    192
    66
    Mar 29, 2009
    United States
    Ah, well in that case you may also have a bad speaker cable. If that's the case, it really might be easier to just buy a working used 3DS and swap motherboards. You could then sell the broken parts and the working motherboard from the replacement system.
     
  11. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Alrighty, so I got the replacement parts in the mail today and popped them in. No change. Top screen still flashes and powers off the unit. Bummer :(
     
  12. SmileCitrus

    SmileCitrus GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    192
    66
    Mar 29, 2009
    United States
    Even after replacing the lower LCD the top screen still flashes and the unit powers off? Yikes, that doesn't sound good. There could actually be a problem with the p12 connector if that's the case.

    I can't be 100% sure, but this console really seems to have multiple problems. I do still think that you probably have a bad speaker cable. That's why it turned off after you closed and opened it after getting it to turn on the one time. But it seems that in addition to that you also have some kind of problem with the p12 connector. When the top screen flashes like this it usually means the system doesn't detect that the bottom backlight is connected. Since the ribbon cable had been torn, it seemed like that would explain it. But since you replaced the lower LCD (which includes the backlight), that would suggest the connector itself may be the problem. I would try cleaning it with isopropyl alcohol and trying to reseat the cable a few times. With a properly connected lower screen backlight the bottom screen should flash if the speaker cable is also bad. On the other hand, if the speaker cable is really okay, then the system should actually boot.

    If I had a system like this I'd swap it into some other housing that I knew had all good parts. That way I'd know if it was a problem with the board itself or not. I know that's not practical when you have only the one system, but honestly at this point I might give up on the system and just buy a replacement working unit and try swapping motherboards to see if it works in the known good housing, since as it stands now there are so many variables and replacing the speaker cable is a big pain in the neck.
     
    McDude likes this.
  13. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Okay, I'll try cleaning those connectors and reseating every cable I can find. Not sure that I'll be able to get a hold of another system, though. Odds are that I'll end up buying a N3DS anyway as this one is starting to be more trouble than it's worth. Also, I contacted the guy I bought this unit from on eBay. Apparently he had bought this as a non-working console, got it working, then sold it to me. He told me that he had replaced the speaker assembly.

    Anyhow, I'll mess around with it a bit more before I move on to a new unit and post updates if anything new develops. Thanks a lot SmileCitrus, you've been a big help :grog:
     
    Last edited by McDude, Feb 2, 2016
  14. McDude
    OP

    McDude Newbie

    Newcomer
    8
    0
    Aug 26, 2015
    United States
    Completely disassembled the 3DS (including the top screen) and cleaned it. Reseated all cables coming from top and bottom screens. Powered it up, top screen flashes, powers off. Frustrating, but not surprising. Looks like I might have to just replace the whole unit after all.