DIY fix for the Asus Vivotab Note 8 pen/touch failure.

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Mesosphere, Aug 29, 2014.

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Did the cable replacement fix work for you (votes are changeable, owners only please)?

  1. Replacing the cable worked.

    30.8%
  2. Fiddling with the original cable worked.

    52.6%
  3. A DIY fix is not something I'm willing to try.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I attempted the fix, but it did not work for me.

    6.4%
  5. I have had no digitizer issues.

    10.3%
  1. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    UPDATES:
    (Forum upgrade has broken many of the links... sorry =P I'll fix it when I have time.)

    My fixes have been successful so far... =)

    I created a YouTube video demonstrating how incredibly easy this device is to crack open, and another of the cable replacement procedure.

    It was pointed out by one user and confirmed by another that the connector on the digitizer board end can be "flipped up" for easier insertion of the new cable compared to my needle nose plier approach in the video. Also, 2.0 posted a detailed teardown with pictures. One of them makes it very clear how the connectors flip up.

    I replaced my digitizer cable with a cable from digikey, and I fiddled with my touch cable to get it working. Both approaches have shown promise by myself and a couple other users. My fixes have been working for the durations linked here.

    The replacement cables I used can be found here. The original OEM cables can be found here (but at about 10x the cost). The manufacturer part numbers are explained here.

    The detailed properties the replacement cable needs to have is in this post.

    My approach to "softening the folds" in my replacement digitizer cable is shown here. fishdavis showed us how he softened the folds on the existing digitizer cable here. He follows up with some modifications and a detailing of the case opening procedure.

    Original Post:
    It has been noted several times in successful RMAs to fix a broken Asus Vivotab Note 8 digitizer (including my own) that the "M80TA DIGI FFC 8P, 0.5MM, 35MM" was replaced. Tonicipriani suggested a translation of this part as "Digitizer Flat Flex Cable". There have also been reports of units in Singapore being fixed quickly in local repair facilities which are simply replacing a cable.

    The pen has started to fail on my second unit. I have not RMA'd it yet, and now my first unit which has already been RMA'd to fix the digitizer is now showing similar failure symptoms except that now it is the touch sensor.

    Rodney posted a pic of the innards of the tablet. This encouraged me to take a look myself and investigate the problem with my failing touch screen. The back plate of the tablet is easily removed. It is only held in place by plastic lips. I was able to pry it off with a mini flat head screw driver. I started by grabbing hold of the seam inside the pen housing and working my way around.

    AVN8_overhead.jpg

    I believe the cable circled in blue to be the cable being replaced. There is a piece of yellow tape over it that is absent in the photo posted by another user. I suspect this was added when the cable was replaced in the RMA. Also, as can be seen below, it has 8 pins.

    FFC_8P_0p5mm.jpg

    The cable circled in green is for the touch digitizer. I experimented with removing it and the touch stopped working with it removed. The pen and everything else seemed to remain functional. Re-inserting the cable restored touch functionality. This cable is slightly wider and has 10 pins as pictured below.

    FFC_10P_pin_count.jpg

    The width of the cable is 5 mm and it has 10 pins. This translates to 0.5 mm per pin. This lead me to conclude the full translation of the part is "Digitizer Flat Flex Cable, 8 pin, 0.5 mm pitch, 35 mm length." This seems to be a standard cable which can be bought a number of places online.

    One thing I observed about the cable is it appears to be significantly longer than it needs to be, and it is sharply bent over so that it can fit (see below). Perhaps this sharp bend is forming a weak point such that the connection is more easily broken?

    Bent_FFC_10P.jpg

    I've ordered cables to attempt to fix both of my tablets (one touch one pen). We'll see if it works =)
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  2. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Keep us posted on the results...and thank you for this detailed post.
     
  3. nicopizza

    nicopizza Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Great work!
    Where the green circled cable lies is exactly where I need to "push" if I want my touch screen to work, so I guess on second RMA the guy who fixed the USB messed with that cable...
    Keep it up and next time I'm going to fix it my way!!!
     
  4. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    You order the OEM parts or are you custom making the ribbons? The ribbons look like they were designed to fail.
     
  5. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I'm not custom making them, but they aren't the Asus part either. I ordered the one I linked.
     
  6. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Meso can you repost the link to where you ordered the cable? I got a 404 page not found when I clicked it. Thanks. Looking forward to hearing how the fix works for you.
     
  7. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Same here.
     
  8. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Can anyone recommend a good toolkit for working with tablets and phones? I checked on Amazon and Google and none of the kits seemed to get good reviews...on average. Even ifixit's kit was reviewed as cheap.

    I am not a techie but I have no problem working with good instruction available. But I know that good tools make a big difference. Is there a link to any site that would show the components that make up these kits if there really are no quality kits available? I didn't see a proper general forum to post this question so I thought I would put it here.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  9. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    Maybe the link doesn't work since it was found via search?

    Anyway, the part number is 732-3577-ND. If you search for that on the digi-key home page the cable comes up.

    I changed the link so that it just points to the root selector tool for all their FFC cables. They have over 11k varieties =P
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  10. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I have a small 15 piece Curtis kit that I've used for the past 15 years. Decent tools for electronic work. I can only find a 55 piece kit from Tiger Direct but they must still make simple little kits like mine.
     
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