Tag Archives: repair

USB Stick Repair

If you bumped your USB stick by accident and it’s intermittently or not detecting at all, don’t fret!  It’s likely a damaged solder joint. If you apply a bit of force to the stick and “bend” it while plugged in, and it starts working, crack it open!  Less than five minutes of effort and you’ll Most Likely(tm) have your precious data back.

USB Stick

Four shiny new solder joints brought this ‘dead’ stick back to life.


Pry open your stick – this one is a cheap plastic one that came apart with almost no effort. Examine the 4 solder joints to the USB connector.  You can probably see a crack without the aid of a magnifying glass.

Pull out your trusty soldering iron and reheat those joints until it is shiny.  You can add a touch of solder if it’s not reflowing easily.

Plug in, and done!

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Kensington Expert Mouse (trackball)


My desk setup at home

I’ve been using a Kesington Expert Mouse for about 6 years now and would like to share my experience with both the device and repair.  It is my favourite “mousing” device since it occupies a fixed area on my desk.  Too often I’ll have piles of paperwork or hardware on my desk with no room for a regular mouse to move around.  It has the right amount of controls, and a nice no frills design that fits right alongside  my new favourite keyboard.

When I’m away from work people will generally bring a regular mouse and plug it in.  The trackball tends to scare people for some reason, even though it is easy to translate trackpad movements to it (larger ones like the Apple Magic Trackpad).

Recently the unit I inherited from another person at work started giving me issues with the left-click.  I would drag things around but it would let go and pick up something else.  It was infuriating but I adjusted my “grip” and the issue went away with a bit more force.  I eventually decided enough was enough, and grabbed a donor mouse to replace the failing microswitch.

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IBM L191p LCD Monitor Repair Guide

The IBM L191P 19″ LCD monitor is an old monitor built around 2005.  It has a Samsung LTM190E4 PVA panel giving some pretty nice viewing angles at a resolution of 1280×1024.  It’s a fine monitor for business use, but we are noticing that they are beginning to fail in large numbers.  Symptoms include: Constant power cycling when plugged into AC (pulsing green power LED), taking a while to turn on (needs the power button to be pressed repeatedly), or the backlight not turning on at all (graphics can be seen if you shine a flashlight on the LCD).

It has a very common IP-35135B Samsung PSU driving the CCFL backlights, and these are very prone to failure, long before the backlight even starts to dim.  Let’s open it up to find out why!


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