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Restoring your Blackberry Playbook using an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound,the BlackBerry PlayBook is packed with a 1 GHz dual core processor. The unit has a high resolution 7-inch multi-touch display capable of up to 10 hours of battery life. This model is more than capable of performing multiple tasks simultaneously and in real time. The tablet is equipped with a 3MP front camera, a 5MP rear camera and standard HDMI connections. Ready for various applications that can be ran simultaneously, the BlackBerry PlayBook is entitled to optimum maintenance and thus its printed circuit board (PCB) deserves optimum cleaning through an ultrasonic cleaner.

Blackberry Playbook units can take a lot of abuse including being left out in the rain, spilling water on it or otherwise rendered inoperable. Unless your Blackberry Playbook 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 Playbook.

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 Playbook

How Ultrasonic PCB Cleaners Work to Restore Your Blackberry Playbook

Ultra-sonic 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 Blackberry Playbook 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 Playbook Circuit Board Ultrasonic PCB Cleaner

Ultrasonic PCB cleaners come in a variety of sizes from smaller units to a large ultrasonic cleaner, so you can select any size you need. Our most popular models for cleaning Blackberry Playbook 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 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 Blackberry Playbook

Step 1: Disassembling your Blackberry Playbook

It is relatively easy to disassemble the Blackberry Playbook since it is not built like most tablets.

In pulling the device apart, first, insert the plastic opening tool into your Blackberry Playbook’s rim. A gap will form and the front panel should easily separate from the body. You will hear a click indicating that the strategically placed tabs have separated the front from the back panel. Once the clips surrounding the perimeter are released, the rear case can be removed. You should now see the Playbook’s circuit board in the middle of the device.

Unlike most tablets, the Blackberry Playbook’s guts are mounted on the LCD display, not the backing. First, remove a pair of screws from the battery connector using a screwdriver. Next, gently remove the battery connector with a flat end tool of your choice. It is of utmost importance to remove all connectors from the circuit board carefully, making sure not to damage them. Remove the battery. Since the circuit board is held to the device by screws, you will need to loosen and remove them as well. For the last step, the circuit board should now be loose. Handle your Blackberry Playbook’s circuit board with care.

You now hold in your hand, your Blackberry Playbook circuit board.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your circuit board from your Blackberry Playbook! 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 an operating ultrasonic tanks. Instead remove the baskets if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

Step 3: Reassembling your Blackberry Playbook

With a delicate touch, return your cleaned circuit board to its original position. Screw the circuit board back in place. Return all connectors from the circuit board carefully and correctly. It is important that you do not damage them. Make sure they snap in place. After your Playbook’s circuit board is tight and secure, you may now return the battery. It is important to align the battery in its compartment. Don’t forget to screw this on as well.

Realign the battery connectors to their respective tabs. Make sure that everything is in the correct place. Make sure they stay firm and secure. You may now return the front and back panel and lock them in place. Lastly, you should hear a click to know that both panels won’t budge.

Admire the piece of work you just put back together.

Voila! Start your device and your Blackberry Playbook 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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