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I-Mate SP5 (Tornado) Disassembly

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#1
iainmann

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I dropped my I-Mate SP5 in a mug of tea and, not surprisingly, some of the dial keys didnít work after I dried it out. I sent it to the I-Mate repairers in the UK knowing it wouldnít be covered by warrenty and they said it needed a new mainboard and screen and would cost £370 to repair.
Anyway, with many thanks for complete help to Fluffcat1(there's no way I could have done it without), I disassembled the phone and cleaned the keypad contacts and it works again.
I followed Richardís already-posted instructions on how to take a C600 apart. The method for the SP5 differs slightly and he suggested I post instructionsÖ.so here goes. Iíve copied most of Richardís instructions but changed the bits that are different between the C600 and the SP5.
As guru Richard points out in his post: DOING THIS WILL INVALIDATE YOUR WARRENTY. ITíS ONLY A GUIDE AND SHOULD ONLY BE DONE IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO AND AT YOUR OWN RISK. But it could be useful if you need to replace parts, including damaged facials.

You need a Torx T5 screwdriver, a small flat blade screwdriver and a Philips 0x50 screwdriver (you can get a set with all these in from Maplins for about £10). Also a plastic tool to prise open the covers (I used an old credit card) and some Isopropyl Alcohol (also from Maplins) to clean anything inside you want to.

1. Remove back cover, sim, storage card and battery.

2. Remove the plastic aerial cover (the top bit of the back of the phone) To do this, remove the rubber external aerial connector bung. Put the phone screen -down on a surface. Youíll see a hole in the top right-hand side of the battery compartment. Put your flat blade screwdriver in the hole to release the clip holding the aerial cover. Then use your plastic prising tool to prise the cover outwards and upwards. Eventually youíll find it will slip off upwards.

3. Then remove four chassis screws, one in each corner of the back of the chassis, and the two mainboard screws in the battery compartment. Youíll need the T5 screwdriver to remove all these.

4. Then use the plastic prising tool to prise apart the chassis case from the front facia. It takes a bit of wiggling. I found it best to start at the top of the case, but eventually youíll release the clips holding the chassis case to the facia. TAKE CAREÖTHERE IS SHORT RIBBON CABLE CONNECTING THE MAINBOARD TO THE CHASSIS CASE. When youíve prised the two apart just enough, put the opening tool in and gently lift the ribbon cable connector from the mainboard.

5. Then remove the mainboard. First, using your plastic tool, gently lift off the ribbon cable connector connecting the mainboard to the keypad. The mainboard is held onto the front facia by two plastic clips, one on either side.

6. Once the mainboard, with LCD attached, has been removed, you can clean dust etc.

7. To remove the keypad for cleaning etc, put the front facia face down. Youíll see four screws at the back of the keypad near the edges. Remove these with your Phillips screwdriver. There are four more screws on the plate at the back of the joystick. Remove these with the Phillips screwdriver. Youíll now be able to prise the keypad from the front of the chassis, but be careful not to tear the ribbon cable. You can now gently peel back the white plastic keypad backing and clean the connectors.

8. To put it all back together again, reverse the procedure.

Iíll try to add some pics to this when I get a chance. Hope it's of use...and again many thanks to Richard (Fluffcat1)

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#2
kam_

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Nice guide!

Isn't £370 more than buying a brand new phone?

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#3
iainmann

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Nice guide!

Isn't £370 more than buying a brand new phone?


Thanks. And yes it is. Don't ask me the logic!

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#4
fluffcat1

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Iíll try to add some pics to this when I get a chance. Hope it's of use...and again many thanks to Richard (Fluffcat1)


Make sure your pics are clear and crisp otherwise people will only moan they're not good enough ;) ;)

Good guide. Maybe a mod can pin this so it doesn't fall down the list. Knowledge is power, I wonder how many of this type of scam SBE get away with? With a quote like that will people pay to have the 'faulty' phone returned? They must get a lot of abandoned phones there with not an awful lot wrong with them :P

I'm thinking of creating an anti-sbe-ltd website as there is NO WAY you needed a new screen and mainboard..



Richard

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'....It's been out in Japan nearly 3 weeks - where's yours?'

#5
iainmann

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I wonder how many of this type of scam SBE get away with? With a quote like that will people pay to have the 'faulty' phone returned? They must get a lot of abandoned phones there with not an awful lot wrong with them


Hadn't thought of that! They send the repair quote on a form and you have to choose three options
1 I'll pay..repair it.
2 Don't repair but send it back to me for £7 ( I think it was 7).
3 Don't repair and dispose of the phone.

Lots of people will be tempted by option 3

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#6
fluffcat1

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Hadn't thought of that! They send the repair quote on a form and you have to choose three options
1 I'll pay..repair it.
2 Don't repair but send it back to me for £7 ( I think it was 7).
3 Don't repair and dispose of the phone.

Lots of people will be tempted by option 3


Yeah, esp. as SBE are billed as THE repairer for i-mate units. Most people will assume it can't be done elsewhere and so the cost is accurate. I def. think people will *not* pay the £7 to get a non-working, allegedly non economically repairable phone back....

Trading standards / watchdog / i-mate need to send some 'test' phones in for repair and see what SBE say needs doing methinks.

Richard

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'....It's been out in Japan nearly 3 weeks - where's yours?'

#7
bongo_king

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Trading standards / watchdog / i-mate need to send some 'test' phones in for repair and see what SBE say needs doing methinks.

Richard



I second that - they had my SP5 for about a month and all it needed doing was replacing the keyboard, had to chase them a lot - that was warranty work, but as an experience it certainly didn't fill me with confidence: they struck me as cowboys

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#8
Thumper Net

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Good guide :) be interesting to see the pictures as well , topic pinned :)

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#9
nastassja

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nice guide, i was planning to open it in order to clean it (joystick not responding as it should).. i wish it was easier :)

some pictures would be great, btw!

thanks

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#10
killerost

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My SP5m had a joystick that didn't respon very well.. so I followed your guide and was planning to unscrew the joystick but I couldn't find any philips screwdriver small enough. Then I assembled it again. And to my surprise the joystick worked flawlessly. So it seems that the problem was that the ribbon cable from the keys wasn't properly attatched to the mainboard. <_< So if anyone else has trouble with the joystick, especially the downward motion, maybe that cable is your problem to.

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---

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#11
rarvin2

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Hello,
I followed your wonderful instructions upto this point, when i discovered something new with this imate sp3i, to open which i had to recruit the services of my very technologically challenged sister, who insisted that i contribute this piece of information about imate's own technological ineptness.

7. To remove the keypad for cleaning etc, put the front facia face down. Youíll see four screws at the back of the keypad near the edges. Remove these with your Phillips screwdriver. There are four more screws on the plate at the back of the joystick. Remove these with the Phillips screwdriver. Youíll now be able to prise the keypad from the front of the chassis, but be careful not to tear the ribbon cable. You can now gently peel back the white plastic keypad backing and clean the connectors.

in the imate that i opened, instead of four screws at the back of the keypad near the edges, there were only two screws, and these were on either side of the joystick, which anyway, i was completely unable to remove, despite my having removed these screws.

instead, there were a set metallic locks (of the press and eject variety), two at the bottom, and two at the top. the ones at the bottom are placed on either side of underside of the middle key in the bottom-most row. the top key locks were surprisingly hard to discover, because they were hidden behind these two felt bushes, which are on either side of the joystick (on the underside again), just behind the function keys that indicate "answer call" and "reject call" (ie, the red and green call answer functions). these two locks did not appear till much grappling and prising of the keypad from the top after we'd managed to undo the bottom set of locks. i'm still surprised by imates felt need to keep locks hidden this way.

that done, we cleaned the connectors as best as we could, and I'm now going to put it back.

will let you know soon enough whether the phone still works. hope this helps any others confused by this phone's insides.

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#12
fluffcat1

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Hello,
I followed your wonderful instructions upto this point, when i discovered something new with this imate sp3i, to open which i had to recruit the services of my very technologically challenged sister, who insisted that i contribute this piece of information about imate's own technological ineptness.


The reason for your finding differences is your model is the older typhoon based feeler, a completley different specimen to the subject of this guide!

What you've discovered is well known and very fiddly :)

The feeler keypad can be removed if you remoe the frame from the *outside* of the fascia first.

Can you please edit your post for clarity and the benefit of other *sp5* owners who may come accross it?

Richard

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'....It's been out in Japan nearly 3 weeks - where's yours?'

#13
Tequilamatrix

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I cracked my LCD screen today. When you took your phone apart was the LCD a plug in or does it need to be soldered?

Thanks!

Anyone know where you can get LCD screens from?

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#14
The Doctor

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quote]I cracked my LCD screen today. When you took your phone apart was the LCD a plug in or does it need to be soldered?

Thanks!

Anyone know where you can get LCD screens from?[/quote]

PM fluffcat1, he has some i think.... as for fitting it its just a ribbon cable that slides out and slots back into a flat socket on the motherboard, nothing complicated about fitting it.

Like i said though, PM fluffcat1 and see if he has any, should be £25-£40 if i remember rightly.

Phil

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#15
Thetechnogeek

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Can you please edit your post for clarity and the benefit of other *sp5* owners who may come accross it?

Richard


fluffcat1/Richard,

Off-topic (a bit), but W4lly suggested I PM you about some SP5 parts (see post here: http://www.modaco.co...5-t243521.html). Unfortunately your inbox is full! However, I have taken my SP5 apart a few times- and next time can take some hi-res pictures to post.

Can you help with the fascia?

Thanks!

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#16
moscho999

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Thank you very much for the description.

I followed it completely and everything worked out fine until 7).
I am not able to remove the white foil attached to the key pad or the one for the 4 top buttons.

As I am having problems with the top left button I would appreciate any help.

Thanks Moscho999

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#17
Narren

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Could anyone post a photo step-by-step guide, please? That would be splendid!

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#18
pugwonk

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Superb instructions, many thanks. One small point - you need a Torx 4 screwdriver, not a Torx 5. Perfect apart from that though.

Chris

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#19
sporkguy

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Superb instructions, many thanks. One small point - you need a Torx 4 screwdriver, not a Torx 5. Perfect apart from that though.

Chris

What I tend to use is a very small (like the kind found in medium-priced xmas crackers!) flathead screwdriver, works a treat and saves on buying Torx screwdrivers :rolleyes:

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#20
The Doctor

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What I tend to use is a very small (like the kind found in medium-priced xmas crackers!) flathead screwdriver, works a treat and saves on buying Torx screwdrivers :)


:rolleyes: i do that as well!

i actually sanded down a flat head screwdriver so it'd fit perfectly using a belt sander :(

trouble is with using a flatblade is you can strip the screwheads ;)

Phil

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