My Tivo Fixed my GPU/BGA

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My Tivo Fixed my GPU

It's been a bad year for $1 garage sale laptops.
Almost every one I've found this year has the nVidia
gpu with the heat problem.

With some help from you guys, I did successfully reflow
a Thinkpad X31.

Giddy from my success, I tried an inspiron 8200.  Went
from intermittent to just blotches of color. Tried again,
still no joy.  I think I overheated it the first time and it
ain't coming back.  The mainboard is BIOS locked anyway and
nobody wants to help with that.

There's gotta be a better way.
Then I remembered I'd just recycled a Tivo and the recycle truck
hadn't arrived yet.

Turned over the bottom chassis and cut a 2"x2" hole in it.
Fashioned a wedge-shaped box from some power supply boxes and spot
welded it to the bottom side.  Drilled a 1.5" hole to accept
the heat gun.  Mounted a thermocouple on the surface.
I've about given up on the IR thermometer.  I think the shiny
metal surface on the 8200's GPU fooled the IR and I overheated it.

Now, I have a controlled preheat source.
Some bits of ceramic tile space the board off the tivo.
Another thermocouple on the gpu.
I tweaked on the heat gun power to preheat the board.
Hit it from the top with the temperature-controlled heat gun.

First try was a DV9000.
Worked like a charm, no burnt board or melted connectors.
Finally, a use for a Tivo.

This DV9000 also had the broken left hinge.
Turns out that a propane torch and Welco 52 rod,
also sold at a much higher price as "miracle rod" at RV shows,
works great for patching up the pot metal.
I messed it up pretty bad by overheating it.  But there aren't
any plastic mounting bosses left in the display anyway.
Turns out that one of the tiny torches with the butane lighter
inside works much better.   Biggest problem was jigging it
while welding.

Now, if I could just get the Lifebook unlocked, I'd have something
to do this afternoon.

Re: My Tivo Fixed my GPU/BGA

On 7/28/2011 2:30 PM, mike wrote:
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  Fantastic!  Maybe I'll have to start looking for a "dead" laptop at
garage sales...  My DV6000 is getting a little long in the tooth.

  I'm trying to picture your process...  You have the heat gun,
controlled by the thermal couple, blowing into the TIVO.  You then set
the subject MB over the 2" x 2" hole and turn it on to pre-heat the
board.  Then you hit the board from the opposite side with another heat gun?

Re: My Tivo Fixed my GPU/BGA

Ryan P. wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, except the bottom gun is manually controlled by the power knob on it.
Have to watch the temperature and twiddle it manually.
The top gun has actual feedback temperature control for the airflow.
Second thermocouple on top senses the chip temperature.

Works best if you  have LOTS of air at temperature near desired reflow
temp.  Low flow at higher temperature is more risky.

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