Author Topic: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair  (Read 3529 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mcovington

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 136
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2019, 02:03:10 am »
The main problem is this:

Exchanging a 50 cents part that requires four solder points, even small ones, is a piece of cake.

But if the PCB belongs to a 5000 Euro equipment, any error on that 50 cents part might cause a 5000 Euro loss!

And it often starts with a solder point, then suddenly too much heat and the PCB trace pops up, then you seek another point on that trace and suddenly you realize you screwed up.

Taking this risk for free, for friendship, for a small amount of money is simply not worth it. If you make the repair happen: yeah! You are a great guy for 5 minutes. If you screw things up, which happens in seconds, you are an a**hole for the rest of your life.

I guess this is the real reason why so many people refuse to do the job.

Regards,
Vitor

You have pinpointed what the repair business is about: Speading the risk over all the customers to make it affordable.  If you repair 100 laptops with a 2% chance of failure, you lose 2 laptops, and they can be replaced (or repaired at high cost), and the cost can be spread over all 100 customers.  If you repair 1 laptop with a 2% chance of failure, and you fail, you have no recourse.

That, I think, is why people are unwilling to fix this: They don't have experience with this instrument, they don't have a source of other instruments like it or another way to get it repaired if they fail, they don't even know how much it would cost.

Still, I think Louis Rossmann would take this on.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 05:14:51 pm by mcovington »
 

Offline wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 13789
  • Country: lv
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2019, 05:24:43 am »
I can't tell if there are traces coming off the connector but given the proximity of L2 I'd guess the vias are in the pads.  Not good for repair.
Seem to be common mode choke for USB data lines. So it's actually very good.
 

Offline Tonyt310

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2021, 03:16:41 pm »
Holy shit, just reading these. Thanks.  I just sent Louis an email. Thank you
 

Offline Dark Volter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 23
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2021, 05:53:32 am »
....Hah


I  literally, recently went through the lengthy process of sending a Therm-App HZ out of country past customs (The US) to Opgal for repair, and was successful - and now have an idea of what to do.
[I was determined to maintain my therm app as it'd been a bunch of years and I wanted a recalibration done on it, and was prepared to get an export license and do whatever the heck  i needed to, and call as many agencies as it took to get an idea of the process-  Just to see how crazy it'd get(and it is something that probably very few individuals do, as the process seems built for businesses)- but i did it!)

No one tells you anywhere about the entire process to get properly send something out of country that's high-tech like thermal cameras, but after multiple calls to BIS, getting the login on the IRS site to log into Customs to get a number that i could put on the USPS form(since i went with USPS)- etc, it was a pain, BUT i discovered, there is a exception  " code"for some thermal cameras (which it appears the vast majority of therm-apps fit under this) that allows you to send a thermal camera overseas for repair purposes to manufacturers only , without getting a full export license. - that i used , after bugging the BIS agency heavily about the process. [The entire process involved a lot more agencies like doing stuff on the IRS's website to put details in a Customs Database online ...And sending an email to a BIS email address about the basic details of what i was sending and where, as they seem to require records be sent to them anytime any tech like that goes out of country)

I  can go into greater detail for this process as i just did it (it took forever, but i now have that camera back from Israel) - let me know!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 05:58:21 am by Dark Volter »
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 301
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2021, 08:17:49 am »
Amazing!!  Congratulations Dark Volter. 

Out of curiosity, did BIS provide any useful information via e-mail or did they only answer questions over the phone?  Their web site gives an e-mail address to use for asking questions but when I e-mailed a question about sending a thermal camera out of country their reply merely gave me the name of a person to call.  I figured that was the standard CYA practice intended to facilitate denying people's claims of what they said and didn't bother pursuing it since it was not a concern for me specifically. 

It is good that you have determined that it is possible, but I think I will still consider it essentially not possible &  treat any non-US thermal camera as warranty-free.
I am not opposed to exercise, unless it is an exercise in futility.
 

Offline Dark Volter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 23
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2021, 08:33:17 pm »
No, i got all my info from calling them.

Also, Believe it or not- I also ended up talking to and calling the Census Bureau, in my ridiculous chase for information on how to to through the system- and they were extremely helpful in knowing about the process as well.

For BIS, I noted that sometimes i got a different person, and sometimes I think you'll get someone from BIS who really is familiar with the process ,that's willing to help- this made it easy.

Other days were slower...


Ah, dug up the deets- Apologies for formatting, it
-required bugging the Census Bureau, BIS, and some work involving Customs and USPS

 It involved me actually having to get a EIN[Which is usually what you are required to do if you make a business in the US- but it's used for export purposes, so if you dont have a business you have to do this anyway]
 from the IRS website [Though they don't interact at all with exports  or this themselves , interestingly ] just so I could log onto the Custom Website, as

 the EIN is used to get a AES account on the AES system that Census runs

,but is partially now handled by Customs(its on their website)- and the AES system is what you have to get an account on to file a [EEI]  Electronic Export
 Information Form   for BIS and Customs.

I also had to toss an email to BIS due to CFR 743.3, with basic  details
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2010-title15-vol2/pdf/CFR-2010-title15-vol2-sec743-3.pdf


 https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/15/743.3 [more readable

 version of above link]


 and I also throughout all this  made calls bugging BIS and Census

> which let me to discovering   that exemptions are a thing for advanced grade tech (on the CCL) - otherwise i'd have to fully get an export license and go through that process.

-but these allow one to send back things (in my case, to a  manufacturer  without a License for repair purposes pending what you're sending)  via exceptions/exception codes
 (I specifically used code [RPL]for  replacement/servicing since it was getting serviced, but there's multiple codes such as a temp export and low value one, -though RPL fit best for me since i was trying to tune/fix/calibrate it)


https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2010-title15-vol2/pdf/CFR-2010-title15-vol2-sec743-3.pdf

 USPS for some reason didn't have too much knowledge into the entire process despite me using them[on the shipping form you need a number from the AES database entry you make, i think you'd need it even with UPS or Fedex or whoever] , and some  days when i contacted BIS they weren't as ....immediately forthcoming/helpful , but it depends 100% on who you get.


 Census was ridiculously helpful and extremely smart - still surprising to me that  they actually play a
 very large role in all this), as were the later people I happened to  get in touch with when reaching out to BIS.
I friggin love the Census bureau peeps for their help here- They actually seemed to know a bit more than BIS even.


Alas, until (especially) FLIR or SEEK or someone domestic  in the US comes up with a decent-spec mid-grade camera that's not many many multiples in price , as Opgal did, I suppose this is the

 silliness that one technically will have to go through. [Though that's why everyone's now going after the chinese ones that are about the same spec at the 800 to 1000 dollar price point currently. ]

- This would have been harder if i had to send my recently acquired Therm-App Pro [I was sending my Therm App HZ]  as  it appeared that the Pro , due to specs might not work with the RPL codes and might require a full on Export license -haven't been able to tell for sure yet though, still looking into this. Need someone with a really high end, really high spec thermal camera who deals in these things to shed some light on this process...it'd be good to know for the future when the high end tech gets better and cheaper and people need to fix or send in cameras for maintenance overseas, since these things drift  slightly after years go by...


Well, sooner or later, someone with valuable tech has to send something to the manufacturer  who happens to be elsewhere,  for repairs, and hopefully they'll find this topic or elsewhere  and come in and tell us about the process of getting an export license from the perspective of an individual person- they'll have to probably not do TOO much more than i did, i imagine file for it, and await getting it....

The other big thing about all of this- the process is 100% expecting you to be a business, not a person. So, it was weird, because I'm not a business - and i think that was to the surprise of everyone- but it's not a requirement you be a business.
Also, the exception codes are really useful- i'm happy they exist. Otherwise, you couldn't repair anything that's foreign built, without a full on license- And of course, it's not like one can easily  just start up their own high end thermal camera company to build the tech to play with... lol...otherwise i'd do just that in a heartbeat.
I did directly find out that AES database lets the BIS and maybe Census? Track how often exception codes are used, so they know how much merchandise/advanced tech is being sent out that needs it- so it's sorta to help streamline things for businesses I guess.


Sidenote:Israeli customs did hold the package, according to tracking- i had paid for tracking, so i had Opgal look into it when it wasn't moving from customs after a while- and after that, they got it.
Opgal was a big help there with that. [They still don't seem to realize how awesome of a product they have- its a shame they aren't as focused on the Therm-Apps as they used to be...]

 US customs though, was what i was worried about when i started the process-

Kinda surprised i seem to be the only person who said "Okay, let's play this game and see how far one has to go to get a piece of tech fixed"- and put this to the test.






« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 08:45:35 pm by Dark Volter »
 
The following users thanked this post: IwuzBornanerd

Offline mon2

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 178
  • Country: ca
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2021, 09:03:45 pm »
You have my vote for:

1) Louis Rossmann

and adding:

2) Alex (Hussein) - he is an EE

Both are just brilliant and excellent for this microsoldering repair. Tons of their youtube videos on the net. Alex has a 500 piece assorted USB connector kit which may come in handy for this repair.

(PS: I think Alex is the voice for the Aardvark on the Ant and the Aardvark but do not say that to him...)

https://northridgefix.com/

Good luck!

Do post your update on this repair. PS#2 - Even if you use this advice, use the reward for the service of this tool. Personally makes my stomach turn that we (Canada & USA) are losing our technical edge. This is NOT a difficult repair and your local competent cellphone shop should be able to do this rather quickly if the connector is not 'rare'. Wish more locals would step up to offer these kind of repairs. For Shenzhen, this would be an in/out repair. <End of my rant>
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 301
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2021, 10:17:46 am »
I hope for the OP's sake that whoever fixes it does it in such a way that there is not nearly as much strain on the pwb pad adhesion--preferably by using some form of bulkhead connector (makeshift if necessary).

@Dark Volter, thanks for the details.  Very interesting, although I still hope to avoid the process.
I am not opposed to exercise, unless it is an exercise in futility.
 

Offline therwp

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2021, 11:33:06 am »
As the owner of a not-broken Therm-App Pro, is there anything I can do to physically make the connector more robust against this kind of damage?

This may be ridiculous, but I was thinking an extension of some sort, which could then be epoxied in place, transferring the stress of connection and disconnection to the case?
 

Offline Ultrapurple

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1021
  • Country: gb
  • Just zis guy, you know?
    • Therm-App Users on Flickr
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2021, 03:01:34 pm »
As the self-appointed Therm-App expert, I'll tell you what I do.

First, I'm careful. This may seem obvious, but it's worth saying.

Second, long ago I decided to start using a curly USB cable - and I commend the practice to anyone using a Therm-App.




The cable is a simple micro USB to micro USB - though it took me a while to find one that worked. Click the photo to go to a page where I was discussing it. The great advantage of using this type of cable is that it greatly reduces any strain on the socket - there's no leverage from the cable.

I have looked for a micro-USB to type-C equivalent cable but the curly ones I found didn't work. More (including X-Rays!) on this thread.

It is possible to use a short USB extender cable as a 'port saver', though I have never had to do this. I'd tend to use something like Sugru to hold the connector in place, rather than epoxy resin. If (when) the cable fails you can remove Sugru, whereas epoxy resin is generally there for keeps.

Despite my best efforts at persuasion, my partner kills phones and tablets by using them when they're charging. Resting a device on its USB port is not a good idea and the damage seems to be cumulative (even if it probably isn't). Applying caution to the force used when plugging the USB cable into the Therm-App (and, more importantly, while it's plugged in) is the most important point in ensuring longevity of the device. (Well, after obvious things like avoiding trying to use it underwater...).


Edit +24h - dammit, I just re-read up the thread and realise this is a repost of something I said earlier. Sorry. My only excuse is that my earlier post was well over a year ago.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 08:40:19 am by Ultrapurple »
Rubber bands bridge the gap between WD40 and duct tape.
 

Offline _Wim_

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1191
  • Country: be
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2021, 04:59:34 pm »
As the owner of a not-broken Therm-App Pro, is there anything I can do to physically make the connector more robust against this kind of damage?

This may be ridiculous, but I was thinking an extension of some sort, which could then be epoxied in place, transferring the stress of connection and disconnection to the case?

My son managed to force a few micro USB ports on his tablet while gaming. To prevent further damage I switched to a magnetic USB charging & data cable (https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Charging+data+Magnetic+Micro+USB+Cable&ref=nb_sb_noss)

Any time the cable is stressed, the magnet just decouples, but the port is never damaged. As an added benefit, the magnetic dummy remains in the port of the tablet, so the connector is also not worn out be continuously plugging in and out.  These come in all length and colors, just be careful that you buy one that does charging AND data.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1021
  • Country: gb
  • Just zis guy, you know?
    • Therm-App Users on Flickr
Re: $300 Reward. Therm-app simple (I assume) repair
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2021, 08:32:11 am »
Any time the cable is stressed, the magnet just decouples, but the port is never damaged. As an added benefit, the magnetic dummy remains in the port of the tablet, so the connector is also not worn out be continuously plugging in and out.  These come in all length and colors, just be careful that you buy one that does charging AND data.

+1

Although I must say I have never noticed a magnetic micro-USB connector that does both power and data.

I loved the magnetic 'pogo' connector on the Nexus 10 (back in 2012...) that did manage both, but was about an inch wide.
Rubber bands bridge the gap between WD40 and duct tape.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf