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Help! NVIDIA Shield Portable - Broken Micro USB Charging Port

Discussion in 'Repairing Electronics' started by jburger, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. jburger

    jburger New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
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    Hello Electro Tech Forums!

    Jburger back with some soldering questions. You guys helped me repair a Goodman heat pump recently (thank you!) which is still running fine, knock on wood. Now it's another issue, this time with micro electronics. I really appreciate all of your help in advance and hope you can help answer a few questions I have toward the end of this post.

    I have an NVIDIA Shield Portable (it's an Android portable game system) that has developed a bad Micro USB port. For several months, I had to fiddle around with the small micro end of the charging USB cord to get the system to charge. It started getting ridiculous, to the point where I needed to put a heavy book on top of the cord where it entered the charge port as a paperweight so that the electrical prongs would make electrical contact and charge the system.

    I decided to mess around with the micro USB cord itself, bending the two prongs back upwards with a sewing needle so they would "catch," and I also messed with the piece in the port too, with tweezers, to see if I could slightly bend and get the pins inside the USB port to touch the charge cord pins properly. Unfortunately, the tweezers made things worse! I also tried a new USB micro cord. I ended up bricking the port, I think, as now it won't take a charge from any micro USB cord at all, no matter how much I fiddle with it.

    So I am looking for guidance on a first time DIY soldering job to replace the USB port. I found two lovely ifixit teardown resourses; please reference them, along with the GeForce link below it:

    https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nvidia+Shield+Teardown/16212

    https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/153742/Broken+Micro+usb+port

    https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/806525/micro-usb-broke/

    I bought two of the USB micro ports recommended at the GeForce link (1 to have spare):

    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/10103592-0001LF/609-4048-1-ND/2350355

    I also bought two Hirose 5-pin connectors (1 also to have spare), from the ifixit teardown link:

    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/hirose-electric-co-ltd/ZX62R-AB-5P/H124531CT-ND/5155834

    Which one should I use? The first one or the Hirose port?

    For reference, here is someone else's picture of their broken micro USB port (not mine):

    motherboard.jpg

    I cannot send the system back to Nvidia for repair, because they stopped making these systems in 2014 or so. It would be out of warranty anyhow, as it is 3 years old.

    I looked for a replacement Nvidia Shield Portable motherboard on eBay to no avail. There are no listings, and new systems cost a metric crap ton, most likely because the system was discontinued.

    My only other option is sending the system out to an electronics repair shop (there aren't any shops locally, and the one I called only does smartphones), but I think I can successfully do the job myself with your guidance. I have some experience taking apart Nintendo DS Lite systems, so I should be good to go. Just never did soldering before.

    I went and bought a butane gas solder iron and also a cheap 60w electric one. I have some desolder flux in a syringe on the way and have ordered a desoldering wick reel, plus a reel of 60/40 tin and lead solder.


    QUESTIONS:

    1) Again, which of the two DigiKey ports should I use? The first one or the Hirose port? Or are they both comparable 5 pin micro generic ports? They both look the same to me!

    2) Your opinion and comments/concerns/advisements on my intended sequence of steps:

    a. Put some electrical insulating Kapton tape around the port, sectioning it off.​

    b. Put liquid flux from a syringe on the four solder points and the 5 pins on the board.​

    c. Start up the butane solder torch and get the old solder hot, maybe adding some new solder to the points to help in the desolder process.​

    d. Take off with tweezers and clean completely the USB port's remaining solder with flux and desolder wick braid.​

    e. Spray 70% isopropyl alcohol (it's what I have on hand) on the port area to clean the contacts. Let dry.​

    f. Place flux on 4 solder points and on each of the individual 5 pins. Question: Can I put a giant bead of solder across all 5 pins, or must they each have an individual bead of solder?​

    g. Do I place flux and solder under the two (partially peeled off orange) pads that are hard to get to as shown in the sample image above? (Remember, that is someone else's motherboard picture, not mine). Or can I leave these two pads alone, and will the system still take a charge? Or should I flux these two pads and add solder by heating from the underside of the PCB with the butane torch?​

    3) If this fails for some reason, as a plan B, I recall someone on one of the forums suggesting to do a Micro USB pin out, cut off the micro tip of a sacrificial charging cord, and solder the wires directly to the PCB. I might come back to this tactic, but only if replacing the port doesn't work. Will this work, and at what points would I solder the wires to on the circuit board? The 5 gold pins?

    4) Plan C is soldering directly to the 3 included batteries inside the shell, but I don't know how to go about this, or if it is electrically safe to do so with fire risk, etc. But where there's a will, there's a way! The unit is useless without being able to charge the internal batteries, and I really want to save this guy, even if I have to do some mods. It is otherwise in great shape, minimal scratches and wear, etc. Just a bad charge port!

    Hopefully this will go alright. I haven't disassembled my Shield Portable yet, but I will this weekend when the materials arrive. Thanks so much for reading (I apologize for the book!), and let me know if you need any clarification on anything.

    Take care and all the best,

    jburger
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017

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