Dumb idea #1: Bring new touchscreen tablet (ZTE V9) on holiday.
Dumb idea#2: Fall asleep while watching movie on it and leaving it on the bed to fall to the floor.
End result: Tablet falls from bed to floor directly on USB charger cable snapping the internal micro USB connector off the mainboard… Not all that noticeable until you go to charge it again… Hmmm battery indicator isn’t changing and the cable is loose. DAMN!!
Currently not at home where tools are available to solder the connector back on, or solder a new one on. Whats available: knife, small (but not small enough) flat head screw driver, sticky tape, paperclip, and the USB and mains chargers. Macgyver would be proud!
First take off the plastic back, remove the battery and SD card. Use a pointy steak knife to remove the 6 screws. Use a small flat screw driver to unclip the second plastic backing. Now unstick the power and volume buttons, and remove the “Insert battery” instructional sticker. Underneath that sticker you’ll find a second black sticker for protecting the ribbon cable to the screen, remove it also. Unclip the touchscreen cable and use the small screw driver blade to gently unstick the RGB LED indicator cable.You don’t have to completely remove it, just the long section.
By now you have enough leaverage to rotate the mainboard to servey the damage done to the underside of the mainboard. Check to see if some of the tracks to the old USB connector are stripped. Good news for me, the 5v+ track seems to be managable.
Cut the small end off the USB charger/data cable, and strip back the red and black wires. Place them over the the appropriate tracks and lay some sticky tape over them. Now place some more sticky tape over one side of a paperclip (which will be protect the other side) and bend the clip to make sure it’s a tight fit, and slide it over the exposed cables and tracks to hold them in place. Place the battery back in and place the SD card between the end of the battery and mainboard to make sure it holds tight.
Gently insert the USB cable into a PC or powered USB hub. The RGB LED indicator should start flashing; Red if you battery is really low, or yellow if it has about 40% left. Wait. Depending on what you plugged the USB cable into will depend on how long it’s going to take, Mine took about 6 hours, although I had to keep checking it to make sure the wire’s hadn’t moved off the tracks, which they had at one stage. Once charged, your done, until you can properly fix the USB connector back to the mainboard.
**UPDATE** – 10/6/11
I was able to get a soldering iron to try and solder the micro USB socket back on, but the tracks for it where un-salvageable. Sigh!! So I went around the board trying to find the test points for the USB. The image below shows the points used for recharging.
You can see there is a group of 10 points near the red dot, I believe you should be able to hook the remainder of the USB leads up to it to get full USB again. As I don’t have the need for it at this time, I wont be pursuing it.
Whats Left: Finding a easy cable/socket set that will allow me to still use it and recharge it without have to always twist a couple of wires together, ideally scrapping a disused Nokia phone for the charger socket would be good, because I have a few of those recharges.