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Restore Water Damaged Kindle Fire Units with the Ultrasonic Cleaner

Getting your hands on millions of movies, TV shows, books and magazines is just a click away with the Kindle Fire. The device also puts a thousand applications and games at your fingertips to keep you occupied. Kindle Fire units are equipped with Amazon Silk for that high-speed internet browsing everyone needs. A dual-core processor keeps every unit fast and efficient for both light and heavy usage. Maintain the quality performance of your Kindle Fire's printed circuit board (PCB) by regularly cleaning the said assembly with an ultrasonic cleaner.

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

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 Kindle Fire

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your Kindle Fire

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 Kindle Fire 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 Kindle Fire 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 Kindle

Step 1: Disassembling your Kindle Fire

To get to your gadget’s circuit board, first remove the back cover by inserting the tip of a case opening tool in between the edges of your device. Once released, remove the back cover. To do so, pull out the connector linking the battery to the circuit board and gently lift the battery pack with an opening tool. Next, release the gold protective ribbon on the upper right hand corner of your Kindle Fire by unfastening the screws that secure it in place. Do the same thing for the connectors and ribbons found on the circuit board. Others may not require the use of a screw driver to loosen up. After which, completely release the circuit board by unfastening the last six screws that hold it down in place.

You now hold in your hand, your Kindle Fire 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 Kindle Fire

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 Kindle Fire

Begin putting your Kindle Fire back together by fitting the circuit board in its proper place. Make sure that the right side is facing up to ensure correct placement. Refasten the screws used to hold down the board. Note that you have to replace the exact components to avoid unnecessary movement of the circuit once reassembled. Secure the circuit board by tightening the connectors and ribbons on the board. Use a case opening tool to squeeze them in their proper positions. The gold protective ribbon on the upper right hand corner should be the last one sealed. Affix the ribbon on the circuit board by returning its screws in place.

Now that the circuit board is locked, restore the battery in its original position below the board. Then attach the power connector from the battery to the circuit. Install the back cover of your Kindle Fire by pressing down on its sides to join both covers.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your Kindle 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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