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Where can I ask about fixing a Fairphone 3?

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I am trying to fix my Fairphone 3, and have run into a problem. I'd like to ask on CoDidact, but I don't know which community is appropriate.

Electrical Engineering would seem the logical place, however, consumer electronics is off-topic there. Also, my problem isn't in the electronics - it's simply about how to take the thing apart properly.

Before people rush to answer, I'd like to point out that Fairphones are built to be easily repairable. I think Fairphone repair should be on-topic on Electrical Engineering, even though my specific problem is not.

Here is the question I'd like to ask:

I dropped my Fairphone 3 and its display no longer works. It still makes sounds and vibrations when I switch it on or off, so I think it is only the display circuitry that's having problems.

I am taking it apart, according to the instructions in this video. Things work fine until I have to push the display out of the phone's frame. The explanation starts at 0:57 in the video.

My problem is, the display seems very firmly stuck in its frame, and I just can't push it out. It was suggested somewhere on YouTube that you could use a credit card to carefully wiggle it free. I tried that using an old credit card, but it is too thick to get in-between the frame and the display.

I also found this guide (in Dutch) where people use a plectrum. I'm considering that, but I don't have one lying around.

The question is, how can I safely remove the display from the frame? Do I need to buy a plectrum, or are there other techniques?

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2 answers

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There is currently no Codidact site where that question would be on topic.

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That's what I was afraid of. Oh well, I'll consider a site proposal. Thanks anyway! FractionalRadix‭ 29 days ago

@FractionalRadix I'd certainly be interested in participating in a "DIY consumer electronics repair" site ArtOfCode‭ 28 days ago

I wonder if DIY consumer electronics fits into a broader category (DIY? something else?) and whether that would be viable as a community. Monica Cellio‭ 26 days ago

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Your question "how to get a display out of the frame of a consumer product" doesn't have anything to do with electronics. For the same reason as asking how to get a shelf out of your fridge has nothing to do with cooking.

Regarding troubleshooting actual electronics, here's from an answer I wrote at Electrical Engineering to someone who wondered if they could ask similar repair questions:

  • Is this some manner of high/mains voltage device? Repairing such electronics is very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. In particular, unplugging the power cord doesn't mean that the device is now safe.
  • Do you have the necessary tools for trouble-shooting? In this case the minimum is a multi-meter, a soldering iron, some tweezers and/or flat nose pliers depending on component size. Preferably also an oscilloscope.
  • Do you know how to use the above tools with some confidence? In particular, if you are repairing a surface-mount board (which is the most likely case), do you have experience soldering such boards?
  • Do you have basic ESD awareness? Consumer electronics PCBs are often easy to break with ESD.

This is the bare minimum before you should even consider repairing this project by yourself. If you are uncertain about what some of the above even means, you should leave repairs to professionals and your question would definitely be off-topic at the EE site too.

It can be on-topic but then you must be able to trouble-shoot this at some extent by yourself, drawing up simplified schematics, measuring voltages, read out what IC there are and track down the datasheets for them etc. That is, you need to know basic electronics.

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