Thursday, 1 July 2010

Mobile surgeon required

If you wondered about my title, I'm not looking for a surgeon who is mobile, but rather a surgeon to operate on my mobile (although I suppose that's also "mobile" now I think about it...). I almost called this the "The Curse of the Micro-SIM", although wasn't sure if that sounded funny or not! Back on topic though, sadly my lovely HTC Touch Pro2 has had a bit of a mishap and I'm debating what to do about it. With the new micro-SIMs coming out instead of the "usual" mini-SIM I thought perhaps I should get one in advance because at some point another phone I get will likely need one so it'll save time waiting for one to arrive:


I think everyone on the planet probably recognises that, it's a SIM card! Technically though only the entire big thing is a SIM card, the smaller punch out bit (the one that's used in pretty much all mobile phones these days) is a mini-SIM and the TINY one in the centre, that's a micro-SIM that the iPhone 4 uses and I'm guessing so will a lot of other phones in the future since it's smaller still.

My new SIM card came like that, but I punched it all the way down to the micro-SIM as there was a plastic adapter with it too... bad move. I put that plastic adapter in my phone and all was fine until I tried to remove it. On the way out it snagged/broke some of the connecting pins and left this horrible mess:


There should be 8 pins there, but as you can see there's only 3 in the top row and 1 in the bottom row (and 2 halves). Ick. As you might imagine the phone no longer sees a SIM card and simply says "Insert SIM". Very helpful for a phone...

Unfortunately being able to even see that much wasn't that easy as it all sealed over so armed with my trusty T5 screwdriver and lots of mobile disassembly tools I had to dismantle the phone, not quite so easy considering the slide/tilt mechanism! Thankfully 20 minutes later I had ended up with:


It's really not as complicated as it looks, it's just a matter of going slowly and not forcing anything unless you're sure it's supposed to open. One thing I did find quite amazing was how much double sided tape was in the phone. It's not holding it together or anything, but it is being used as extra adhesive to stop things moving around.

I've ordered a fine soldering iron which will arrive sometime next week and I'll attempt to either make some new pins (!) or I'll directly solder the SIM card to the phone. No I'm not joking :) The other option is to simply buy a working Touch Pro2 with a broken screen off eBay or somewhere like that and just swap over what I need. I guess we can call that "Plan B". OR I could just wait about 2 months as there's supposed to be a Touch Pro3 coming out although there's no details yet and knowing my luck it'll be running Android or even worse Windows Phone 7 (I love 6.5.5 because can use 10+ years worth of applications, but WP7 changes everything and isn't backwards compatible!). For the meantime though, I'm using my previous phone, the HTC TyTN II, which (as you might expect considering it's mine) has also been pimped to run Windows Mobile 6.5.5 even though officially 6.1 was supposed to be the last version for it :)

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