Monday, March 3, 2008

What NOT to do: The Omitted steps...

I thought I'd share some of my lessons learned while attempting this project. Here are some of the steps that I took but deliberately omitted from the 'How To' because they were stupid, potentially damaging, and worst of all unnecessary. So to be very clear - DO NOT DO THIS, IT IS NOT NECESSARY AND COULD MOST LIKELY DAMAGE OR RUIN YOUR SCREEN!

After removing the whole module, I proceeded to strip it down so that I could remove the glass display. At the time I thought I would have to do that. So I removed the outer rubber casing...

Then I removed the inner metal casing...

To be left with the raw module. It was easy to see how the screen was held in place. There are three small retainers at the bottom of the plastic module housing that the glass sits under, and at the top of the screen there is a spring loaded or tensioned clip that holds the top of the glass firmly in place. More firmly than I would have ever imagined.

Once I figured it out I thought it would be easy to remove, and it was. I used my Bergeon small screwdriver to push up the spring clip at the top and "gently" lift out the screen. At this point things started going VERY BAD!

When I lifted out the top of the screen, one of the rubber conductor strips that I believe transfers a small electrical charge to the screen stayed stuck to the top edge and lifted out. I didn't realize how bad that was until I pulled it off and took out the whole screen with my tweezers.

At this point, I stopped taking pictures and began to wonder (or more accurately panic) about how I would ever get it back in again.

The problem was this. At either end of the glass screen there are long rubber-like electrical conductor strips (like the one that was stuck in the photo above). These two very thin strips actually sit underneath the glass when it is in place. By taking the glass out the rubber strips expanded slightly and became the full height of the gap.

When I tried to put the glass back in, it pinched the rubber strip on the end of the glass instead of underneath the glass, thereby adding extra length to the glass and stopping it from going back in. Here's a rough diagram to help explain it.

Furthermore, the rubber strips can't be removed because they transmit power to the display, I know because I found this out the hard way. I managed to get the glass back in, but because the rubber strips were not touching the underside of the display, the digits were not showing - actually to be more specific, only tiny parts of the display were showing.

After a very long time I managed to get the glass back in while keeping the two rubber strips underneath it. It wasn't pretty and caused some nasty glass cracking sounds - so avoid all of this by simply leaving the glass in!

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