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My Tivo Fixed my GPU/BGA

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by mike, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. mike

    mike Guest

    My Tivo Fixed my GPU

    It's been a bad year for $1 garage sale laptops.
    Almost every one I've found this year has the nVidia
    gpu with the heat problem.

    With some help from you guys, I did successfully reflow
    a Thinkpad X31.

    Giddy from my success, I tried an inspiron 8200. Went
    from intermittent to just blotches of color. Tried again,
    still no joy. I think I overheated it the first time and it
    ain't coming back. The mainboard is BIOS locked anyway and
    nobody wants to help with that.

    There's gotta be a better way.
    Then I remembered I'd just recycled a Tivo and the recycle truck
    hadn't arrived yet.

    Turned over the bottom chassis and cut a 2"x2" hole in it.
    Fashioned a wedge-shaped box from some power supply boxes and spot
    welded it to the bottom side. Drilled a 1.5" hole to accept
    the heat gun. Mounted a thermocouple on the surface.
    I've about given up on the IR thermometer. I think the shiny
    metal surface on the 8200's GPU fooled the IR and I overheated it.

    Now, I have a controlled preheat source.
    Some bits of ceramic tile space the board off the tivo.
    Another thermocouple on the gpu.
    I tweaked on the heat gun power to preheat the board.
    Hit it from the top with the temperature-controlled heat gun.

    First try was a DV9000.
    Worked like a charm, no burnt board or melted connectors.
    Finally, a use for a Tivo.

    This DV9000 also had the broken left hinge.
    Turns out that a propane torch and Welco 52 rod,
    also sold at a much higher price as "miracle rod" at RV shows,
    works great for patching up the pot metal.
    I messed it up pretty bad by overheating it. But there aren't
    any plastic mounting bosses left in the display anyway.
    Turns out that one of the tiny torches with the butane lighter
    inside works much better. Biggest problem was jigging it
    while welding.

    Now, if I could just get the Lifebook unlocked, I'd have something
    to do this afternoon.
    mike, Jul 28, 2011
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  2. mike

    Ryan P. Guest

    Fantastic! Maybe I'll have to start looking for a "dead" laptop at
    garage sales... My DV6000 is getting a little long in the tooth.

    I'm trying to picture your process... You have the heat gun,
    controlled by the thermal couple, blowing into the TIVO. You then set
    the subject MB over the 2" x 2" hole and turn it on to pre-heat the
    board. Then you hit the board from the opposite side with another heat gun?
    Ryan P., Aug 4, 2011
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  3. mike

    mike Guest

    Yes, except the bottom gun is manually controlled by the power knob on it.
    Have to watch the temperature and twiddle it manually.
    The top gun has actual feedback temperature control for the airflow.
    Second thermocouple on top senses the chip temperature.

    Works best if you have LOTS of air at temperature near desired reflow
    temp. Low flow at higher temperature is more risky.
    mike, Aug 6, 2011
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