Previous photos here

Sat, 27 May 2006

We finally got the Motorola V551 cell phone fixed.
When me and Linda migrated to Cingular from AT&T Wireless (don't do it) we both got new Motorola V551 phones. I had mine for a couple weeks before replacing it with a Nokia 6670, but Linda hung on to hers. After about nine months her screen went dead. You could still make out images on the screen, but the backlight was out. This was the big internal screen; the external Caller ID screen still worked. The phones were selling for around $150 on eBay, so it was worth trying to fix it.

So I looked on eBay, and found lots of auctions for internal LCD screens. I ordered one from Hong Kong. About a week later I got an email saying "we found a problem with the whole batch of screens, so we refunded your money". Hmmm. Okay, I bought another screen. There was a delay because I bought before Easter, then another delay because they sent it to the wrong address, but finally, after a month, I got the screen. It came in a really cool envelope, all the way from Hong Kong. The screen cost around $36 including shipping.

It also came with a small Torx tool for opening the phone, but I had my own. Here you can see the screen, but not very well. It wasn't easy figuring out how to get the phone open. Finally I found a manual that describes in complete detail how to disassemble and repair the Motorola V551 and V555 phone here.

So I got the phone completely disassembled, and removed the old screen. I had to figure out how to pry the Caller ID LCD display off of the internal LCD screen, and how to stick it onto the new screen. Then I got it all reassembled and powered it up. And it still had a dead screen. Dang. So I did some more internet research, and read the manual, and it looked like the flex cable might be at fault. I looked on eBay, and bought a flex cable for $11 including shipping.

The flex cable arrived quickly, and this time Linda did the work. She laid out the parts on a Waltzing Matilda tea towel, so it's difficult to see some of them. You can see the completely disassembled phone, and the steel cups she used to hold the small parts.

And here is the flex cable. The new one was not exactly the same as the old one. The new one is on the bottom, and you can see that the right end of the cable is longer. There are contacts on the other side of that end, and they shorted out agains the case, and caused the display not to work. So I put a piece of electrical tape over the contacts, and the display worked just fine. Woo hoo! Hope this helps.

posted at: 21:55 | permalink |