Two weeks after I’d decided to fix the N80 myself, I still had not started on it. I was getting used to using the phone in loudspeaker mode with the volume low. When the phone rang, I ran to find a quiet room.
Then the LCD stopped working. This confirmed that the flex cable was the issue. All three vital functions all residing on one half of the phone was too much of a coincidence.
Taken apart Nokia phones is not easy. If you don’t know where the hidden clips are, you could easily break the plastic components. Luckily I found disassembly and assembly video’s on YouTube. The video’s used all sorts of specialise Nokia tools and all I had was a torx screwdriver set and an anti-static wrist band. Some of tools are specially designed to remove components with hidden plastic clips. I decided to use a flat screwdriver for these.
I posting a few pics of the the phone in various stages of disassembly. These pics were taken as a guide in case I screw up badly. So don’t take them as a picture tutorial. The video’s on YouTube do a much better job of showing the disassembly process (Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be on YouTube anymore, but I’m sure they somewhere out there).
First , I removed the battery and sim card and place the phone face down The first set of torx screws you see are those at the back of the phone when the slider is extended. The Nokia video’s recommend taken them out in order. First the top one then the bottom one.
The LCD is connected to the board below it by a small flex cable. I gently lifted the flex cable from its connector.
I unclipped the top part of the LCD and gently removed it by sliding it upwards.
The top portion of the phone housed the front camera and the earpiece. Looking at how far I still had to go to release the flex cable, I was tempted to stop right here and replace the camera, LCD and the earpiece on the off chance that these components were defective and not the flex cable. Luckily I decided to trust my instincts and continue.
One end of the flex cable is now visible. Looking at the wear and tear on the cable, it was now wonder all the components on the upper board were failing. When you moved the slide open and close, the flex cable has to do work. My next phone will definitely not have moving parts.
The circuit board has clips securing it to the frame. I gently lifted the top part of the board away from the frame and slid it upward to release it. One end of the flex connector can now be disconnected.
Six torx screws hold the top portion of the phone to the bottom portion,. Two of them are hidden beneath the keypad. The keypad is secured by clips on the top and sides. Without the proper Nokia tools, its very easy to break these clips
The flex cable can now be replaced.
Reversing these steps, I put the phone back together, turned it on and made a call. Everything worked beautifully.
Total cost R10, three weeks to some up the courage and one hour of actual effort.