Stillwater Embedded Engineering

Hardware, Software, Firmware, and Everything

Samsung phone repair. New screen, touchpad, case for $11

New phone cheaper than the parts it supplies.

My Samsung Intercept M910 has a slide-out keyboard, and over the years, a couple of screen repairs and many drop incidents finally caused the flex cable attaching the screen to the main board to give out.  A dis-assembly procedure on iFixit got me through the screen repairs, but there was no detail of a hidden part of the LCD flex cable, which wraps around itself and  a mounting board is mysteriously attached to the slider assembly.  I found replacement cables on eBay, and the pictures there gave me an idea what it looks like and how to detach it.

The cable cost between $7 and $12 depending on what eBay store listed it.  But “ultimatehotchick” had an entire phone with “Badd ESN” for $11 including shipping.  I took a chance, paypal’ed $11 off to ultimatehotchick, and a week later, USPS left the phone in my mailbox.  It was in better condition than the one it was repairing, and true to ultimatehotchick’s word, the phone works fine, but probably can’t be put on a network without rooting and/or re-flashing dur to the “Badd ESN”.

The fix was a lot quicker than I imagined it to be, because rather than stripping it down to the LCD and flex cable, I just popped out the main board, and popped in my old board with a “Goodd ESN”.  Snap the case back together, 2 screws for the RF cover, 6 more for the case, and wow it looks like new.

It’s still a crappy model with not enough memory, and too slow a processor, but it keeps me on my Virgin Mobile $25 / month plan with unlimited data, and keeps me running my 2 “must have” apps, OnTrack glucose recording, and jata, my own “just another transit app”.

There’s a related story about using an Obama phone as a replacement for jata here.

Update  3/24/2015:  Re-assembling the old case with the new board, without the broken LCD cable, enables it’s use as  a battery charger.  I had bought a spare battery for the phone, but the only way to charge it was by putting it in the phone.  Now, I can charge 2 batteries at once, and I have 2 spare batteries.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, I recently attempted to fix a galaxythat my cousin said she dropped the screen was cracked and when i took off the glass there was even a crack on the digitizer so what I thought would work is to replace the digitizer for the Galaxyafter the repair, the screen is still not showing. It vibrates and makes noises but the picture won’t show. Help please !

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