Beginning a Journey: Repairing a Beer Damaged OP-1


#1

Hi all. Just acquired a non functioning OP-1. Seller played like he did not know what was wrong. He just said it would not hold a charge and turn on. I thought most likely a connector board or battery issue. I decided to give it a shot. Turns out the internals reeked of old beer. Checked internals and the first thing I noticed is the battery was done. Purchased an equivalent at Powerstream.com. My concern is that there are parts readily available on iFixit (which I have purchased all of them to be safe) but there are ones that you cannot acquire such as the DSP board and LED display. The LED display looks fine. Did not see any dried liquid or corrosion. But the DSP board… there was a little bit of corrosion of which I spent the day brushing with baking soda and distilled water and rinsing with distilled water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. I did this about 3 or 4 times because I kept finding tiny spots I had missed (I guess I’m somewhat OCD). I am letting it dry for a couple days while I wait for parts to roll in. I was able to clear away all visible corrosion residue. Of course, there is the matter of possible corrosion beneath the chips. Just wondering in the slightest possible chance if anyone has any experience with this in particular or any kind of circuit board knowledge. Any information would be helpful. I hope I’m not dead in the water but the boards did not look terrible. I will keep you all updated on my repair progress.


#2

Here are some before and after cleaning images of the DSP board.

https://imgur.com/a/jya8EtV


#3

Wow, I didn’t know the OP-1 board had changed so dramatically on recent models! All the funny NY markings are gone! As a reference, this is how the old boards looked like:

https://www.operator-1.com/index.php?p=/discussion/64/op-1-internals

Regarding what happened to your unit, I think you will only know when you try to power it up again. As you said, any corrosion under the surface mounted chips will be very hard or impossible to clean up and could cause all sorts of electrical problems. Have you tried to contact TE to check if you could buy a new DSP board directly from them?


#4

I did send in a request yesterday so hopefully I get a response this week! Hopefully there isn’t anything under the chips. The initial corrosion spots were pretty minimal and seemed to not leave any damage behind but I also don’t have a microscope to zoom in there. Regarding the change in DSP board, they also switched up the display. Someone replied to a post I made on Reddit about being able to find the display on Alibaba but of course this is a different display they are using. Battery comes tomorrow, fingers crossed.


#5

By the way, it may take some time for the cleaning stuff you used to evaporate completelly from under the chips. I don”t know if two days is enough for that. If it does not work at first, try heating up the board with a hair dryer. And good luck!


#6

Ah you really are nursing that baby lovingly - good luck with that.


#7

My gut says you’ll be fine. I’d love to rebuild an OP-1, I’ll keep my eyes open for a damaged one. I’d be tempted to paint it black and get the icons done in neon.