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Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 Reconditioning with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

With a 480x360 pixel display and a battery life of up to 6 hours, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 has proved what a smartphone is all about.This small yet powerful device is packed with a 3.2MP camera with 2x digital zoom, flash and video recording. With its expandable memory, the BB Bold 9700 can be jam-packed with various apps and ready for multitasking functions. With great maintenance, the BB Bold 9700 allows you to experience premium multimedia functions on the go for a long time. Therefore, an ultrasonic cleaner is a great investment to keep your Blackberry’s printed circuit board (PCB) in tip top shape.

Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 units can take a lot of abuse including being left out in the rain, dropped in the soup or otherwise rendered inoperable. Unless your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 is irreparably damaged, it can most likely be restored to operation in an ultrasonic printed circuit board cleaner. With the same technology used by printed circuit board manufacturers, ultrasonic circuit board cleaning quickly and safely removes contaminants from the delicate components in your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780.

Here you will learn:

  • How an Ultrasonic PCB Cleaner Works
  • How to Select and Set Up your Circuit Board Cleaner
  • How to Disassemble, Clean and Reassemble your Blackberry Bold

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780

Ultrasonic washers are used in a wide range of applications to remove virtually any soil or contamination by using the power of cavitation action. This is the term used to describe the implosion of billions of minute bubbles contacting Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 PCB components and surfaces. The bubbles are created by generator-powered ultrasonic transducers bonded to an ultrasonic cleaning tank and typically operate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37 to 42 kHz (37,000 to 42,000 cycles per second).

When the bubbles implode contaminants are quickly and safely removed from PCB surfaces without damaging delicate parts. So tiny are the bubbles that they penetrate minute cracks, crevices and blind holes that might lodge dried residue, dust and dirt particles. The ultrasonic PCB cleaning system will complete the job in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. And it will do it in an environmentally friendly manner because the ultrasonic circuit board cleaning solution formula is a biodegradable concentrate that minimizes disposal problems.

How to Select and Set Up your Blackberry Bold Circuit Board Ultrasonic PCB Cleaner

Ultrasonic PCB cleaners come in a variety of sizes from bench top units to a floor-mounted industrial ultrasonic cleaning machine, so you can select any size you need. Our most popular models for cleaning Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 circuit boards are the ¾ gallon Elma EH075EL and 1½ gallon Elma EH150EL. You should select an ultrasonic PCB cleaner equipped with a frequency sweep function, such as an Elma model, to prevent damage to sensitive components during cleaning. Choose heated ultrasonic cleaners equipped with a heater to improve the ultrasonic cleaning process.

Whatever the model and size of ultrasonic circuit board cleaner you use there are steps to take before cleaning begins.

  1. Fill the ultrasonic cleaner tank to the fill line (or approximately 2/3 full) with ultrasonic cleaning solution such as Elma tec clean A1 diluted 1:20 with water.
  2. Turn on the ultrasonic cleaner, set the heater to approximately 50°C, and operate for about 30 minutes to drive off cavitation inhibiting entrained air. Degassing is complete when bubbles stop coming to the surface and must be performed every time the tank is filled with fresh circuit board cleaning solution.

How to Disassemble, Clean and Reassemble your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780

Step 1: Disassembling your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780

The first thing to do is to take a prying tool and insert the tip in any of the two gaps found under the “alt” and “enter” keys. Next, pull the bottom U-shaped cover up, and you will hear a click from the tab release. Repeat for the other side. Once that’s done, you can now remove the black bottom cover.

Once you remove the bottom cover, you will notice a white circle sticker covering the screw on the left side of the device. It is important not to damage this sticker since this little thing will void your warranty. This sticker can be removed by a sharp object such as the tip of the cutter, but be very, very careful when doing so. Keep this sticker in a safe place.

Unscrew the two screws on the left and right side of the device. Once that is done, there are two tabs located inside the middle of the bottom cover which you just removed. These tabs stick the bezel or the silver U-shaped cover to the black plastic skeleton of your Blackberry Bold. You will then need your prying tool once more to separate the bezel and black covering. Use a little bit of pressure to keep the tool from slipping out of the gap you are creating. Start from the corners working your way to the middle.

Once in the middle, pull the bezel up and you will hear a click sound meaning that it is unlatched from the back cover. Identify the gap between the bezel and the screen on both sides. Slip the head of the prying tool into the gap to separate them. You should hear another click sound, which will signify the release of the tab. Do this for both sides.

It’s now time to take the keyboard off the bezel. To release the keyboard, hold the corner using your thumb while your index folder holds the corner gap of the bezel cover and black cover. This should pop right out and the bezel can then be removed. To do this, push the bezel from the bottom towards the top of your Blackberry Bold.

Your keyboard should now be easy to lift. Your Blackberry Bold circuit board is right under the keyboard and you should see it right away. To remove the circuit board from your Blackberry Bold, undo the screws holding it in place. There are four. Next, the flex connector must be released from the circuit board. To do this, you will have to slip the prying tool head in between the connector head and the circuit board. Pull it up and the connector head should be released from its port. You should now be able to pick up your Blackberry Bold circuit board.

You now hold in your hand, your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 circuit board.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your circuit board from your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780! You may now proceed with the next step.

Step 2: Cleaning the Printed Circuit Board

Set the PCB ultrasonic cleaner’s thermostat to 50°C and activate the Sweep mode. While the solution is heating, place your PCB in the basket. If you are cleaning more than one at a time take care that they do not touch each other. Once the operating temperature is reached lower the basket into the cleaning solution and set the timer for 10 minutes. Cleaning time depends on the condition of the PCBs and may have to be adjusted.

At the end of the cycle remove the components from the ultrasonic washer machine. If they are not clean replace them in the bath until the cleaning is complete. Then rinse them in distilled or deionized water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution and avoid water spotting. Dry them with an air blower or warm air dryer.

Safety note: DO NOT reach into an operating ultrasonic bath. Instead remove the basket if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

Step 3: Reassembling your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780

First, identify the two tabs at the bottom of the black cover. This is where you will need to slide the circuit board into, before you tighten the screws again. It is important that the flex connector is not trapped between the circuit board and black cover. Now, it’s time to connect the flex connector to the port. Make sure it aligns and fasten in place.

You may now place the keyboard onto your circuit board. Start with the head of the keyboard, to align properly, then the end will follow. The next step would be to return the bezel or silver casing onto the black plastic cover. It is important to take note where the side tabs align with the bezel, then slip them into place. You should hear a click sound of a fastened tab.

After the bezel is secured again, it’s time for the bottom part of the bezel which is the one around the keyboard. In order to secure this as well, align both tabs at the bottom and fasten securely. Screw the two remaining screws back in place. Don’t forget to put the warranty seal back where you found it. Again, be careful when handling this sticker.

Lastly, the bottom cover must be fastened. To do this, three tabs must be identified and aligned at the bottom part of the cover. It is important to note that the three legs are inserted into the holes at the bottom part of the bezel first. Fasten the side tabs of the bottom cover onto the bezel by giving a little pressure on the top of the bezel. You should hear the click which signifies that the cover is in place.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your Blackberry Bold 9700/9780 should be good to go.

More Operating Tips

Any contaminants that rise to the surface of the bath should be skimmed off and disposed of properly. When the circuit board cleaning solution becomes discolored or cleaning takes longer it is time to replace it. Drain the tank and dispose of the spent solution according to local regulations. Take the time to remove any material that settled to the bottom of the tank. Clean the tank using a cleaning process recommended by the manufacturer.

Questions: Contact the iultrasonic ultrasonic cleaning experts at 973 821-4400

Disclaimer: This advice is not provided by a licensed technician. Follow at your own risk. We assume no liability for any damages caused by following the advice in this article.


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