Contents:

Repair Sony Ericsson T610 joystick

Get the new joystick

Teardown

Remove the old joystick

Replace broken pads

Fix the second layer breakage

Related: Thread on GSM-Forum, thread on U2UGSM, How to completely disassemble your T630

Repair Sony Ericsson T610 joystick

Fix attempt 1I got a Sony Ericsson T610 mobile phone with a broken joystick and I wanted to fix this problem.

Get the new joystick

The joystick is available from mobile spare part resellers. Possibly compatible joystick Panasonic EVQWHA is also available from Digikey.

Teardown

It is a pretty common breakage and I was easily able to find many manuals to disassemble the mobile phone and fix it.

Remove the old joystick

There was a major problem: remove the old broken joystick. First I tried to use hot air. When plastic of the joystick started to melt and smell but the iron still did nothing, I started to be afraid of damage.

That is why I decided to use. desolder using a soldering iron tip. It was possible to put a small tip into the small space but it was impossible to put vacuum desoldering pump nearly enough. This attempt failed. I also tried capillary desoldering wire and failed again.

Broken PCB tracesI tried a wire cutter as a last chance. It was a really bad idea. It was not possible to place cutter around the pin plate and I tried perpendicular force. It did not cut the pins bit teared off 4 of 8 soldering pads. Many people probably experienced the same. Well, as you will read below, my attempt damaged not only pads. It even damaged one wire on the second layer!

Never try it in this way! Use multiple desoldering in small steps with a small force or use hot air and ignore the smelling plastic, but never use wire cutter across pins!

Replace broken pads

Not yet knowing the further damage, I replaced broken pads by several pieces of thin insulated wire.

After completing the fix and assembling the device I discovered the bad news: Phone does does not react to move up and left, Keys 4, 5, 6, Back and Select don't work. Well, and one of pins has no voltage. One of PCB traces on the second layer is broken!

Fix the second layer breakage

Kapton top layerLayer of fluid silverGuessing that the only possible place of breakage could appear in the pads area, I started to inspect pads and found four PCB traces on the second layer that cross the broken pad. Pressing one of broken keys, connecting the pad to a piece of wire with the needle on the other end, I was finally able to find the other end of the broken wire.

The trace relics were too small to be connected by soldering. That is why I decided to use electro-conductive adhesive with microscopic silver particles. Alcohol based adhesive is easy to remove. It is good for possible mistakes and bad for stability, so I applied PCB protection coat. Last layer consists from kapton tape.

Then I did final tests and finished the fix by a bit of hot glue.

Final fix is complete

Final note: It is possible, that all my effort was unnecessary. Maybe the real reason of the phone failure was a deformation of phone cover, that caused a constant press on the joystick and its malfunction. But well, I learned a lot and phone works now as well.