Archos Jukebox Recorder 20 Disassembly
to Repair a Broken DC Power Jack

Eric Woudenberg
([email protected])
April 2003

Summary

Although the Archos Jukebox Recorder is a reasonably rugged unit with rubber bumpers to protect it when dropped, the bumpers cannot protect the unit if it is dropped upon its charging plug. In our case, such a fall caused the plug to be forced into the body, which broke the internal power jack. Archos quotes US$65 for this repair (which is not altogether unreasonable), but I felt it was something that could be handled at home.

To replace the connector, the entire device must be disassembled, including removing the top circuit board. The disassembly instructions that I found on the web addressed disassembling the Archos Jukebox Player, which is internally a bit different than the Recorder model.

Disassembly

These instructions are intended as an addendum to Björn's disassembly procedure (his procedure is for the plain AJB, not the recorder version). You may also want to look at these for reference:

At this point we assume you have gotten the outer case off and wish to remove the top circuit board.

Archos attaches the top circuit board to the frame with eight (8) solder joints:

Six of these are structural, and 2 are structural/electrical. I remember as a kid reading that one should not count on solder as a structural component, since it is not very strong. I think that using tiny screws would be a better idea than solder, but I am not an industrial engineer either.

I removed the circuit board from the tabs in two steps, first using a solder wick (a copper braid with rosin impregnated -- available at Radio Shack) to pull away all the solder I could from each joint. I then used a tiny screw driver to pry the board up while heating the joint (Chris Halsall's method) in order to disconnect the board from the frame one tab at a time. It's definitely painstaking work and one wishes Archos had used a better attachment method.

You will also need to remove the solder from the joints near the microphone that hold the top board to the side board:


Solder removed (solder wick works fine here):


I got stuck during disassembly at this point because I didn't realize that the top and bottom boards were actually held together by solder on both sides of the USB connector. The USB connector is electrically connected to the top board. But the underside of the USB connector must have its solder removed to get the boards apart. I used the same method as with the tabs, wicking away all the solder, then gently pushing a thin knife blade in between the connector and the circuit board while heating it.


Finally, we make our way to the broken power connector:


The replacement connector is a PJ-007 from CUI:

The connector costs US$0.45 from Digikey.com, but Digikey charges a $5 handling fee for orders under $25 (in addition to shipping charges).

Reassembly

As the first step of reassembly, test the PC board for its fit against the tabs. I spent some time removing extra solder from the tabs and from the underside of the PC board where the tabs attach. I also bent a few of the tabs so that they laid flatter against the PC board. You would like to make everything fit as well as possible so that: a) little solder is needed, and b) there are no large voids that the solder will need to fill.

Resoldering the PC board to the tabs is reasonably straightforward, although having someone lend a hand to press the PC board to the frame while you heat the tabs and apply solder makes things considerably easier, as you might imagine.

Conclusion

The recorder was reassembled and seems to be working fine (including recharging!).

The one item I wished for during this procedure was a high quality soldering-iron with a temperature controlled tip. I started out using a 30-watt Radio Shack soldering pencil, but it simply cannot supply heat fast enough to desolder the circuit board from its mounting tabs without overheating everything in the process. For that work I had to resort to a Weller 100 watt soldering gun(!). Having once upon a time done work on delicate CPU boards with precise soldering gear, I felt like a real barbarian taking that big soldering gun to the tiny Archos PC board.