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Broke the USB 2 port in my ASI1600mm PRO!

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:11 pm
by cjdawson
HI everyone.

(if you don't want to read the whole thing, just read the last bit)

I've got a lovely ASI 1600MM-Pro, that is use with the mini EFW. As the filter wheel is permently attached to my 1600MM, I keep the short cable plugged in between the camera and filter wheel. However, last week. I made a mistake. Being very lazy, I left the camera attached to my scope and as I was transporting it to an observing site. As I put the scope into the car, the USB plug that was plugged into the camera caught against my car and I heard a horrible crunch sound. Yep. I'd managed to break the plastic parts of the USB port hub. What's even worse, is that it broken BOTH usb ports and the divider between as well.

Lesson learned there, from now on. I've decided that I'll never transport the camera on the scope anymore. I've now got a case where I can place the camera, filterwheel and focual reducer assembly in one, padded with foam. This won't be much of a problem having it detached, as I still need to detach the assembly in order to perform a polar align. (that camera won't fit between the forks on my Meade LX-90 when pointed to the celestial pole.

Feeling rather brave, I decided to attempt to repair the broken port myself. So, with soldering iron, solder sucker, flux, IPA, solder and a replacement port from ebay. I set about taking the camera apart just enough to get access to the port so that I could desolder it and put a new one in place. Starting to dismantle the back of the camera. Took out the three screws and the back plate with the fan came into view. After detaching the fan, I slipped off the outer ring over the heatsink, then unscrewed the logic board with the broken port.

It took me a bit of time and effort to get the old port off the board, desoldering the port was very tricky and I decided to take my time, as I didn't want to break anything else. It took me an insane amount of time to get the port off the board, in the end, I had to completely destroy it so that I could desolder each pin individually. The big mounting clamps where also a nightmare as the solder wouldn't melt properly with my iron! After a couple of nights (yes, it really did take me that long, didn't want to force anything) All the holes were cleared enough and I was able to press the new port module into place, 10 mins later, I'd soldered all the parts on, noting to make sure to bridge the connection between one of the pins and the surface mount device - I'd noted it before starting anything, and it nearly stopped me from making the attempt. Put the unit back together and gave it a quick test. I've checked that the cooling works, that the USB port and hub works - both ports as well. The only thing that I've not done yet it take a photo, that's a task for tonight.

Having had the lid off my camera, I can now properly appreciate why it is a premium piece of kit. The board is first rate, the connectors are well thought out and mounting technique used is great. I was wary of taking off the ribbon cable, however it turned out that it's a hinged mount can be opened and closed with very little force. The cable itself has no stress at all.

Replacing the USB hub ports, was a challenge for me and I'd urge everyone out there to make sure that they do not risk snapping the USB ports. They're horrible to repair. Be careful with those ports.

Re: Broke the USB 2 port in my ASI1600mm PRO!

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:01 pm
by Katherine.Tsai
Hi Sir,
Thank you very much for the kind remind.
If your camera has any problems please feel free to contact us, we will help you fix the problem.:)
And we do not hope our customer disemable the camera by themselves since it has the risk to make second damage to the camera and the camera will be out of warranty.

Re: Broke the USB 2 port in my ASI1600mm PRO!

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:43 pm
by cjdawson
Hi Katherine.

If I have any further problems, I will most definatly be contacting you guys. At the moment everything is working just fine. To reiterate, I do not recommend that people attempt to repair the boards themselves. If the circuit was harder to access, I was ready to stop, and wait until after the star party that I'm attending at the end of the month (and hoping to get some serious camera time in).

This post was ment more of a warning to others to make sure not to knock usb plugs whilst they are plugged in as that is what caused the problem in the first place.

Since doing the repair, I've learned about this forum, and that people experience with ZWO support is great. If I'd known that before, I'd have not attempted the repair, and instead gone straight here.

Re: Broke the USB 2 port in my ASI1600mm PRO!

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:43 pm
by cjdawson
Hi Katherine.

If I have any further problems, I will most definatly be contacting you guys. At the moment everything is working just fine. To reiterate, I do not recommend that people attempt to repair the boards themselves. If the circuit was harder to access, I was ready to stop, and wait until after the star party that I'm attending at the end of the month (and hoping to get some serious camera time in).

This post was ment more of a warning to others to make sure not to knock usb plugs whilst they are plugged in as that is what caused the problem in the first place.

Since doing the repair, I've learned about this forum, and that people experience with ZWO support is great. If I'd known that before, I'd have not attempted the repair, and instead gone straight here.

Re: Broke the USB 2 port in my ASI1600mm PRO!

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:22 am
by Katherine.Tsai
Hi Sir,
Thank you for your posting.:)