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iPhone 2G Restoration with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

The original iPhone also known as the iPhone 2G, was one of the first mobile phones ever produced, sans a physical keyboard, equipped with a multi-touch screen. With a 3-axis accelerometer and its ability to change the orientation of its content, this phone has paved the way for other new technologies for mobile phones. For iPhone enthusiasts and retailers alike, it is important to ensure that your device is maintained. This is why it is essential to clean your printed circuit board (PCB), specifically with the help of an ultrasonic cleaner.

iPhone 2G units can take a lot of abuse including being left out in the rain, dropped in the soup or otherwise rendered inoperable. Unless your iPhone 2G 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 iPhone 2G.

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 iPhone 2G

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your iPhone 2G

Ultrasonic cleaning tanks 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 iPhone 2G 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 iPhone 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 iPhone 2G circuit boards are the ¾ gallon Elmasonic 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 a model also 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 iPhone 2G

Step 1: Disassembling your iPhone 2G

The first thing you need to do is to remove the SIM tray. You can use either the official SIM removal tool or a paper clip for this as long as it will fit through the hole. Poke the tool or paper clip in the tiny hole to the right of your iPhone 2G. Next, remove the back cover of the gadget by removing the two screws at the bottom. Note the gap before pulling it up, and it’s ready to be removed. Remove the screw where the battery connector is located. It is important to note which screws are for which holes. It is suggested that you write and mark the screws as you make your way inside the iPhone 2G.

Place the edge of the putty knife or opening tool into the seam on the bottom of the iPhone between the black and silver sections. Slide across the bottom and pull the bottom plate off the iPhone. Three screws will need to be removed. It’s now time to remove the back cover. To do this, insert the edge of your putty knife or opening tool into the seam on one side of the iPhone. This seam is found in between the black and silver sections. Slide the tool or knife along the length of the side. Repeat this process on the other side and along the top of the iPhone.

Once this is done, the iPhone back case can now be pulled out with your fingers. There is a socket at the upper right corner of the iPhone which can be removed by a small flatend screwdriver. You then need to lift the tip to release the cable of the iPhone which is attached to the back case.

For the next step, rotate the iPhone so that the top edge faces left. There is another screw at the lower left corner which needs to be removed using the same flat end screwdriver. Once the screw is loosened, you can now lift up on the tip and loosen the camera. Pull the camera out. Insert the tip of the flat end screwdriver under the antenna wires found on the edges of the iPhone. Lift the tip with the screwdriver to raise the antenna wires from the iPhone. These can now be removed with your fingers.

The screws from the camera socket, beneath the camera socket as well as one across the screw beneath the camera socket must be loosed and removed. Place the edge of the knife or tool under the right side of your iPhone battery. Lift the edge of the battery and flip it over.

The tip of the flat end screwdriver is then inserted into the black bracket found on the upper-right corner of the battery. To remove this bracket from the battery, the tip must be lifted. Repeat this procedure for all other brackets found on the edge of the battery. Your iPhone battery can now be removed.

You will now have to insert the tip of the flat end screwdriver under the right side of the LCD panel found at the center of the iPhone. Using the same screwdriver, you will have to lift the tip to raise the right side of the LCD panel. Repeat this procedure for the other side and finally lift the panel from the LCD. There is now a bracket revealed beneath the panel. Insert the tip of your flatend screwdriver once more and lift up on the tip to loosen the cable attached to the panel. Both cable and panel can now be removed from the iPhone.

The metal plate will have screws which you will have to remove with a small screwdriver. Once loosened, pull the metal plate off and remove the screws from around the circuit board as well. You can now pull the circuit board out of the iPhone.

You now hold in your hand, your iPhone 2G circuit board.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your circuit board from your iPhone 2G! 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 bath. 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 operating ultrasonic water baths. Instead remove the baskets from their tanks if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

Step 3: Reassembling your iPhone 2G

Return the circuit board to your iPhone by tightening back the screws holding it in place. Next, you will also need to return the metal plate and screw it tight. Return the cable attached to the panel by lifting up the top using a flat end screwdriver. It is important to tighten this. Return the panel to the LCD and screw it in place.

Pop the LCD back in. To return the battery, lift the tips of the brackets up once more and insert the battery back into your iPhone. Return and tighten the screws from the camera socket, beneath the socket as well as the one across the screw beneath the camera socket. Return the antenna wire to your iPhone. Again, make sure it is back to its original position. Return the camera and screw it in place. Tightening this screw is important because it keeps your iPhone’s camera from wobbling around. The screw at the lower left corner of the iPhone should also be tightened so that the antenna wire stays in place.

Return the cable of the iPhone which is attached to the back case by lifting the bracket as well. This time, ensure that the cable stays in place. Tighten the socket at the upper right corner of the iPhone using your flat end screwdriver. Once this is tightened, you may now return the back case to your iPhone. Make sure it is aligned with the device since it can easily fall apart and break if not. Tighten the three screws found underneath the bottom plate of the iPhone. Return the bottom plate and screw it in place. You may now return your SIM card into the SIM holder. Make sure it snaps in place.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your iPhone 2G 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 to find the best ultrasonic cleaner for you!

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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