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Reinstate MacBook Pro Logic Boards Using Ultrasonic Cleaners

The new MacBook Pro is the mecca of powerful devices with a superb processor, stunning graphics and innovative high-speed I/O. MacBook Pros now boast of quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors for up to 2x faster internet browsing and navigation. Apart from that, new models have 250 additional features like multi-touch gestures, mission control, Launchpad and full-screen applications on top of the upgraded OS X Lion. Each unit is packed with AMD Radeon graphics to allow users to bring their striking games, CADs and HD videos anywhere without lagging. All these cutting-edge features can be maximized when you regularly clean and perform maintenance checks on your MacBook Pro. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are best cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner to achieve quality performance.

MacBookPros can take a lot of abuse including being left out in the rain, dropped in the soup or otherwise rendered inoperable. Unless your MacBook Pro 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 MacBook Pro.

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 MacBook Pro

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your MacBook Pro

Ultrasonic cleaners from iUltrasonic 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 MacBook Pro 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 MacBook Pro 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 MacBook Pro 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 Elma Transonic, 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 MacBook Pro

Step 1: Disassembling your MacBook Pro

Before starting to dismantle your laptop, make sure that you have a T6, a flat head and a Philips head screw driver. Begin by flipping your laptop over to have its bottom side on top. Using a small screw driver, remove the ten screws found on the flip side to unfasten your MacBook Pro’s back cover. Notice that some screws are longer than others so it is important to take note of the original positions to guide you in the reassembly.

The logic board should now be completely exposed by now. Notice that apart from the screws, there are several connections and cables that hold the logic board in place. Some of these connections are the video cable, Pran connection and heat sensors. Gently lift these cables with your flat screw driver to free the logic board. Utmost care should be given when removing yellow tapes that hold some of these cables down.

when these five connections are out of the way, you will notice that several screws fasten the logic board to your MacBook’s shell. Remove the screws using the appropriate screw driver for each. It is best to begin with the screws around the battery connection and work your way through the other side of the logic board where the video connection is located. Note that there is a screw holding down the video cable underneath the pillow. To unfasten the said screw, remove both the pillow and the T6 screw attached on the hinge.

Once all the screws are removed, carefully lift the last connection (which is that of the battery) to release the logic board. Slowly lift the board to a 45 degree angle to remove the power connection from the board. Lift the ports out of the bottom pan to free the said component.

You now hold in your hand, your MacBook Pro circuit board.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your circuit board from your MacBook Pro! 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 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 MacBook Pro

As you fit your MacBook Pro’s logic board in place, reconnect the power connection underneath the board. Make sure that the screw holes and ports found on the side of the shell are back in their original positions. Once in place, refasten the screws removed earlier. This time begin with the screw that holds down the video connection and work your way down towards the electricity connection. Note that you have to fasten the logic board first before fastening the video connection with another screw to be covered by the pillow.

After securing the last two screws near the electricity connection, replace all the six connections and cables that were removed. Make sure that the yellow tapes are securely fastened over the said wirings that have them.

Replace the outer shell of your MacBook Pro to cover its internal parts including the logic board. As you refasten screws on the back cover, remember to put each of screws in their original places since some screws are longer than others. Ensure that the screws are tightly fastened.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your MacBook Pro 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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