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DIY Hero Hardware Repairs


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#1 xer0backlash

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

-NO SOUND / ONLY SOUND IN LEFT EARPHONE, INTERMITTENT LCD / TOUCH SCREEN PROBLEMS...FIX-

NOTE: Don't attempt this unless you are competent at fixing delicate electronics! Work SLOW and be careful at every step or you could ruin your tablet. Ground yourself and eliminate static charge by holding a (plugged in) metal kitchen appliance or anything electrically conductive that is connected to earth.

Many people experience intermittent problems in various forms which are caused by poor assembly at the factory. Armed with the right information and some somewhat basic DIY skills you can fix simple problems yourself.

3.5MM EARPHONE SOCKET PROBLEMS:
The problem that I and others experience (sound only from one earphone) is caused by the internal audio socket being recessed too far into the hole. There is about a 1.2mm gap between the inside of the rear plastic panel and the front of the audio socket.

Because of this, a lot of earphone plugs don't reach far enough to get proper stereo contact. However Ainol supplies earphones with a slightly longer 3.5mm plug to get around this issue.
Sometimes all that is required is to carefully but firmly push your non-Ainol earphone plug as far as it will go. This might work but still have an intermittent connection problems.

FLASHING, GLITCHED, PIXELATED OR BLACK LCD:
The above symptoms can be induced by cold temperature, lightly twisting the tablet or pressing on the back cover. If you are having these problems, most of the time it can be fixed by reconnecting the LCD ribbon cable to the motherboard and/or LCD driver.

Internal pictures of Hero:
http://www.ainol-nov...ero-review-pcb/

-OPENING THE HERO
Open your hero by using a small (2-3mm wide) flat screwdriver starting at the TOP of the screen. Insert the screwdriver between the edge of the screen and the dark grey plastic back cover.
Carefully pry the plastic case from the screen assembly. The screen assembly unclips very easily when you know what you are doing. Don't force it! Work your way around the outside until all clips have been released.

-DISCONNECTING SCREEN ASSEMBLY
Now you have to remove the screen assembly from the motherboard. Open the clamps on the ribbon cable contacts with the same small screwdriver or with your fingernail (see picture of similar, non-Ainol LCD connector). The Hero (usually) has a white connector with a black clamp. Lift/unhinge the small black clamp on the smaller (touch screen) cable first from the side the cable enters the connector. Then disconnect the larger (LCD) cable. CAREFULLY LIFT THE LCD CABLE CLAMP ON BOTH SIDES at the same time or it might twist and break!
*If you are having LCD problems you may also need to re-connect the ribbon cable to the LCD driver board (under black tape). I replaced the black tape with multiple strips of 20mm wide Kapton tape (search 'Kapton tape' on e bay). You want the ribbon cable to LCD driver connection to be held very securely*

-REMOVING 3.5MM STEREO SOCKET
De-solder the 3.5mm socket and remove from PCB. File off the 2 small plastic 'key' tabs on either side of the socket. Then re-solder the socket onto the PCB as far forward as it will go (it should just be touching the inside of the plastic case).

-ASSEMBLY
Reconnect the screen assembly ribbon cables by inserting the cable into the connector, gently closing the clamp and pressing it down with your fingers. Check that the screen ribbon cables are inserted into the plugs all the way and are not crooked.
Test everything is functioning correctly (don't clip the screen onto the back cover until everything is working).
If it works, close it up by firmly pinching the screen bezel (black frame around screen) and back cover between your thumb and index finger...and your done.

Hopefully these instructions are useful!

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#2 sainthalo

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

-NO SOUND / ONLY SOUND IN LEFT EARPHONE, INTERMITTENT LCD / TOUCH SCREEN PROBLEMS...FIX-
Hopefully these instructions are useful!


Thanks can you post a pic of the solder points?

Have you experience the ghost phantom screen touch problem?

Edited by sainthalo, 22 December 2012 - 07:25 PM.


#3 xer0backlash

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:08 PM

Thanks can you post a pic of the solder points?

Have you experience the ghost phantom screen touch problem?

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the stereo socket and I'm not keen to open my Hero again for that. The Hero stereo socket looks a lot like the attached photo.

I haven't had any problems with my touch screen. However, I have researched the problem and found that it is not unique to the Hero. Any capacitive touch screen is susceptible to static charge and it's likely that's what you are experiencing.
It's also possible that the touch screen ribbon cable is not connected properly causing malfunction similar to how the LCD glitches out when only partially connected. Another possibility is that the ribbon cable is damaged and has an occasional reconnection.

By this point you probably understand there are many different faults that could be the cause of the problem. It's impossible to say what needs to be done to fix it without systematically eliminating the options.
IMO it's probably an easy fix for someone with the skills (and knowedge) to disassemble the tablet and visually inspect the components.
The hardware in the Ainol Tabs is excellent, but it's let down by the people who assemble them.

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#4 craigusoz

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

Here's a picture from a tear-down review. The headphone socket is on the left:

Posted Image

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Edited by craigusoz, 23 December 2012 - 04:18 PM.


#5 sainthalo

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the stereo socket and I'm not keen to open my Hero again for that. The Hero stereo socket looks a lot like the attached photo.

I haven't had any problems with my touch screen. However, I have researched the problem and found that it is not unique to the Hero. Any capacitive touch screen is susceptible to static charge and it's likely that's what you are experiencing.
It's also possible that the touch screen ribbon cable is not connected properly causing malfunction similar to how the LCD glitches out when only partially connected. Another possibility is that the ribbon cable is damaged and has an occasional reconnection.

By this point you probably understand there are many different faults that could be the cause of the problem. It's impossible to say what needs to be done to fix it without systematically eliminating the options.
IMO it's probably an easy fix for someone with the skills (and knowedge) to disassemble the tablet and visually inspect the components.
The hardware in the Ainol Tabs is excellent, but it's let down by the people who assemble them.


Thank you - I followed your instructions and attempted to de-staticise it internally and took off the screen completely but to no avail. I also reconnected firmly all the ribbons. made no difference - tablet remains unusable:

have to say im so disappointed, wanted to like this tablet but the lack of usb charging, the headphone socket fault (which I definitely cannot fix) and this screen fault has put me off chinese tablets :(

Edited by sainthalo, 24 December 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#6 la7dfa

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:13 AM

Instead of modifying the headphone socket, you can use a small cable that fits in the socket.
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/3-5mm-Gold-Plated-Mini-Jack-Plug-Audio-Stereo-Splitter-Cable-1-to-2-Copper-Wire-/00/s/MTEyNVgxNjAw/$%28KGrHqF,!g8E6ZfyIOPhBOw-4Nl3k!~~60_57.JPG

Edited by la7dfa, 25 December 2012 - 06:15 AM.


#7 xer0backlash

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

Thank you - I followed your instructions and attempted to de-staticise it internally and took off the screen completely but to no avail. I also reconnected firmly all the ribbons. made no difference - tablet remains unusable.

Have to say I'm so disappointed, wanted to like this tablet but the lack of usb charging, the headphone socket fault (which I definitely cannot fix) and this screen fault has put me off Chinese tablets :(

Good on you for trying to fix it. Even though the problem is not solved, at least you now know the tablet is faulty and should be replaced under warranty. It seems you are one of the unfortunate buyers that has an unusable product. However, don't let it discourage you. The Hero is amazing value for money when you get a working one.

I don't think it's fair to complain that you can't charge with USB when it comes with 2 x 4000mah batteries. If you could charge it with USB it would only have a 5000mah battery and people would then complain the battery life was poor. Sure the audio socket issue is a real problem, but once you know how to either fix or bypass the problem (with an adapter) it's only a minor gripe.

Get your Hero replaced and you'll see how great it is for 50% the cost of a Samsung.

#8 MaheshWiz

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

any option to fix camera bcoz in my hero tab everything works fine except both the cameras they take very very low quality pics.

#9 dryfus

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:12 AM

Instead of modifying the headphone socket, you can use a small cable that fits in the socket.
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/3-5mm-Gold-Plated-Mini-Jack-Plug-Audio-Stereo-Splitter-Cable-1-to-2-Copper-Wire-/00/s/MTEyNVgxNjAw/$%28KGrHqF,!g8E6ZfyIOPhBOw-4Nl3k!~~60_57.JPG


Thanks la7dfa for the pic. How do you know that this adapter fixes the problem? Are you sure the 3.5mm jack is long enough?

#10 dryfus

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

Thanks la7dfa for the pic. How do you know that this adapter fixes the problem? Are you sure the 3.5mm jack is long enough?



I learned that these headphones also work:

http://www.amazon.co...ds=Sony MDR J10

I'd still like to get an adapter though...

#11 la7dfa

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

Thanks la7dfa for the pic. How do you know that this adapter fixes the problem? Are you sure the 3.5mm jack is long enough?

The problem is not the jack itself, but that the connector is recessed in the tablet. If you look at the plugs on the photo, the plastic are narrow near the metal and can be pushed further in.
I ordered a couple of these, but unfortunately I received adapters that were too wide (they were not similar to the photos) 8)

You can trim a regular adapter or drill a bigger hole.

Edited by la7dfa, 10 January 2013 - 09:19 PM.


#12 dryfus

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

The problem is not the jack itself, but that the connector is recessed in the tablet. If you look at the plugs on the photo, the plastic are narrow near the metal and can be pushed further in.
I ordered a couple of these, but unfortunately I received adapters that were too wide (they were not similar to the photos) 8)

You can trim a regular adapter or drill a bigger hole.



la7dfa did you have any success trimming your adapter?

#13 txvepr

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

I received my New Hero 10 last week. I can confirm the headset plug problem.

The ear buds Ainol ships with the hero have a plug that is 2/32" longer than headset plugs here in the States. And that little extra length is all that is needed to fit in the jack(socket) and have stereo sound. I don't know how they got them to be longer than any other headphone plugs available, but they found them.

So, my solution will be first to try this rather than crack the case on the Hero.
I am going to use the Hero ear buds for the solution.

I will cut the ear bud wire and solder in a headset jack onto the wires, and then being able to plug in any headset I have into the new jack.

I will let you know how it goes.

#14 mr_bbi

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

Does this audio jack problem also apply to the Hero II?...thanks.

#15 maludroid

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:03 AM

Does this audio jack problem also apply to the Hero II?...thanks.

There's another forum for Hero II in Cortex A5 section: http://www.slatedroi.../546-cortex-a5/

Edited by maludroid, 24 January 2013 - 04:03 AM.


#16 StarF1

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:55 AM

I have already mentioned it somewhere, the problem is not the headphone jack but the problem is the external case in which the top cover is obstructing the pin to go fully inside. If you turn the tablet upside down, you will find part of the pin is still outside.

Anybody able to get a long pin adapter please post here. I also want to check a 4-pole adapter which may be slightly longer than the 3-pole one. Just Hope.

Another solution:

There are 2 things that brings relief to the headphone issue. First One is - the jelly bean allows audio through USB. Another is using the same mini-usb port you can use a "mini-usb to headphone jack" adapter and connect a headphone. I am yet to try this. This will bypass the headphone socket in the tablet completely. Some body try and post your experience.
The links related to this post are given below.

Jelly Bean USB Audio

Adapter

Edited by StarF1, 25 January 2013 - 06:19 AM.


#17 Tzul

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

There are 2 things that brings relief to the headphone issue. First One is - the jelly bean allows audio through USB. Another is using the same mini-usb port you can use a "mini-usb to headphone jack" adapter and connect a headphone.


No, that won't work.

#18 fuser-invent

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:46 PM

I don't know if it's because I have a newer build but I thought it would be worth mentioning that I have no problem plugging any of my headphones in. All my headphones are the in ear monitor type with the thin jack made for iPhone's and they fit without a problem and the sound is good. Older model headphones without the thin style jack do not fit well and sound only comes out of one ear but I only have a couple pairs of those, they are larger studio can style headphones and I just bought one of the iphone adapters to make it fit in the hole correctly.
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#19 konstapa

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:34 AM

These jacks are called TRS (TRS stands for Tip Ring Sleeve). I had the same issue with the stock earphone working fine but others not (audio only from one channel). I noticed that all of these jacks were not exactly shorter. Dimensions between tip ring and sleeve were ok. The difference was at the base of the jack. There -where the sleeve comes out of the plastic- they have a tiny metal base like a disk while the Hero's jack has nothing. This small disk doesn't allow the plug to go fully in and responsible for this is Ainol that managed to design the plastic case this way. So, you have to search and find earphones with a jack similar to the original at this point.

#20 Ferd Burfle

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

I don't know if it's because I have a newer build but I thought it would be worth mentioning that I have no problem plugging any of my headphones in. All my headphones are the in ear monitor type with the thin jack made for iPhone's and they fit without a problem and the sound is good. Older model headphones without the thin style jack do not fit well and sound only comes out of one ear but I only have a couple pairs of those, they are larger studio can style headphones and I just bought one of the iphone adapters to make it fit in the hole correctly.


Same story for me. I have tried several headphones and adapters and all work fine when firmly inserted, so Ainol may have corrected the problem exhibited in earlier builds. I received my tablet in January from Ainol-Store.



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