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Overhaul Nintendo 3DS Circuit Boards With An Ultrasonic Cleaner

Nintendo 3DS boasts of dual screens to increase every user’s gaming pleasure. With the 3D capabilities of the top screen, mobile gaming has reached another level. Each unit also has two external cameras to turn photos, videos and animations 3D in a couple of clicks. Maintain optimum performance of your Nintendo 3DS with hassle-free cleaning. Use an ultrasonic cleaner to keep your unit’s printed circuit board (PCB) spotless and performing well.

Nintendo 3DS units can take a lot of abuse including being left out in the rain, dropped in the soup or otherwise rendered inoperable. Unless your Nintendo 3DS 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 Nintendo 3DS.

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 Nintendo 3DS

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your Nintendo 3DS

Ultrasonic cleaners 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 Nook Color 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 Nintendo 3DS 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 Nintendo 3DS 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 this ultrasonic washer, 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 Kindle

Step 1: Disassembling your Nintendo 3DS

Remove the stylus and memory card of your gaming console. Then loosen all four screws found at the back of your 3DS. Slide off the back cover afterwards to detach battery. Remove the screws that hold down the internal back cover to reveal the insides of your device. Lift the internal back cover carefully since there are two connectors linking it to the circuit board. Disconnect both cables to completely free the cover.

Now, focus on the circuit board of your device. There are four screws to be removed from the right hand side of the assembly. Afterwards, remove the Wifi module and the Wifi antenna. Both are at the bottom part of the assembly. Then you will find the microphone clasp to the right of the Wifi components. Carefully unclip the clasp.

Proceed to the left side of the assembly. The IR module comes right off with just a few tweaks using a screw driver. Below the IR module is the analog module. Remove the analog module by disengaging two screws that keep it place. Note that there is a connector that attaches the module to the mother board. Remove this as well. Next unload the SD slot of your Nintendo 3DS. To do this, unfasten the two screws that join it to the main assembly. Now peel the SD slot carefully from its metal plate before disconnecting the cable. Lastly, remove the screws on the surface of the circuit board and under the metal plate. Another screw holds the switch on the socket. Disconnect the camera cable. Check for other cables that may still be attached before lifting the assembly off the front cover.

You now hold in your hand your Nintendo 3DS circuit board.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your circuit board from your Kindle Fire! You may now proceed with the next step.

Step 2: Cleaning the Printed Circuit Nintendo 3DS

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 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 an operating ultrasonic bath. Instead remove the basket if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

Step 3: Reassembling your Nintendo 3DS

Reconstruct your 3DS by fitting the circuit board back in its shell. Reestablish connectors in their respective places before returning any screw. Ensure that the camera cable is tightly fixed in place. Replace the three screws. Then arrange the SD slot in place by linking it to the mother board before securing the component with two screws. Do the same thing for the analog module located near the slot. After that, return the IR module in place.

Now proceed to the right side of your mother board. Carefully set up the microphone clasp in its original position. Then return both the Wifi module and antenna in position. Make sure that it is at the lower left side of the microphone clasp. Set the first four screws removed from the circuit board assembly. Once the assembly is firmly in place, cover it with the internal back cover. Fasten all the screws. Set the battery in its proper position to make it ready for use. Slide the external back cover and seal it with four screws to safe keep the internal components of your gaming device. You may now return the stylus and your SD card in place.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your Nintendo 3DS 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 your ultrasonic cleaning machine. 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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