Repairing a $30 network switch

One of my 8 port network switches stopped working. Before I threw the $30 switch away I decided to try to fix it. The symptom was “no lights at all” so I figured the power supply was the most likely culprit.

I broke out my multimeter and tested the wall wart; that was working fine.

So I decided to take the device apart and void my warranty on a $30 device I probably bought 10 years ago.

2013-10-17 15.38.09Step 1: Ignore this sticker.

 

 

 

 

 

The sticker provided an important clue as to how the device comes apart. Just pull/pry.

2013-10-17 15.45.51Step 2: Pry it open.

 

 

 

 

 

Removing the circuit board revealed one important fact: I had probably only bought this thing 6 years ago. Now we definitely need to fix it rather than toss it.

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Visual inspection of the circuit board didn’t provide any clues; no tell-tale signs of any “blue smoke” having been let out of any of the devices. Sometimes the solder joints on the circuit boards go bad, so in the hope that this was the problem I got out the heat gun.

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I blasted the power connector area with the gun on high, being careful not to burn anything important (like me). Here’s the after picture.

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It might have been my imagination, but the pads looked a little shinier to me after the heat gun. Time to plug it in and see if it explodes!

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Success! So I buttoned everything up and put the switch back into service.

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Saved $30 and kept another piece of equipment out of the landfill. Nerds with tools rock!