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Friday, July 11, 2014

Replaced the USB Port on my Nexus 7

I have an Asus Nexus 7 that I bought a few years ago.  I really like it but after about a year, it started giving me problems charging.  The Nexus would sometimes recognize when a USB cable was plugged in but other times not.  It was a pretty frustrating problem.  I might go weeks with the Nexus not charging.  Then, it would charge just fine for another few weeks.

Someone I know who had the same problem ordered a replacement part from a company in China that fixed the problem.  I decided to try it too.  The part is labeled as "New USB Power Charger Charging Connector Port Flex Cable For ASUS GOOGLE NEXUS 7".  It costs only about $30 including shipping from Amazon.  It arrived in a few weeks even though I picked the cheapest shipment method.

The part has a USB port and the headphone jack.  It also comes with a spudger and three small screw drivers, although only one of the screwdrivers is needed.

Installing the part was surprisingly simply.  The first step is to remove the back of the Nexus using the plastic spudger.  Unfortunately, the tip of the spudger snapped off almost immediately.  I had to use a small screwdriver to pry off the back.  Fortunately, the Makerspace has lots of tools and had a small flathead screwdriver.

After getting the back off, the connector cable is basically exposed.  There is a plastic piece over part of it but taking out three screws is all it takes to remove the piece.  The cable itself is held in place with six very small screws.  I just had to remove them to take the old cable out.  There is a cable from the motherboard that slides in to the back of the USB.

There is a silver piece on the front of the headphone jack.  The new cable did not come with one, so I took the old one from the existing cable and super-glued it to the new cable.

Re-assembling was just as easy -- just screw everything back together and snap the back cover back on.

After shutting the cover, I fired up the Nexus and plugged in the charger.  It seems to be working.  Hopefully, it will charge more reliably.  I am skeptical that the new piece was any better or that the entire problem was the USB but we will see.