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Comment on Difference of Pentalobes vs Torx screws.
Carrasca104   2/16/2012 6:00:59 PM
Just a short comment on " The screw that Apple is using is similar to a Torx -- except that the points have a rounder shape, and the screw has five points instead of six."

The Torx screw has six rounded lobes (unlike the Allen head that has six flat lobes, actually an hexagon ).

Thus the difference of the Apple screws is five vs. six lobes not the roundness of the lobes.  Another difference that may exist (I don't know) is that their  mean diameter may be half way between the standard Torx diameters.

By the way for the "I gotta open this rascal " DIYs: For small Torx or Pentalobes screws, a jeweler's flat screw driver of the proper width is sufficient to turn them. Grinding the flat screw driver to the proper width is all it takes for the tightest of the very small screws. For larger bolts it  is a different story..

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Re: oh well???
Zippy   2/15/2012 10:54:16 AM
I completely agree with your post.  I have fixed an iPhone after successfully accessing the wealth of "how-to" information (mostly on Youtube) and purchasing the very inexpensive parts and tools.  I will say you'd better have small hands and big dexterity (and/or a lot of patience) to manipulate tiny ribbon cables, connecters, etc.  I'm guessing the rapidly shrinking world of electronics will soon render home repair an impossibility - the iPod Nano is just the beginning!   :)

William K.
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Re: oh well???
William K.   2/14/2012 9:36:55 PM
I agree with Amclaussen   and I routinely repair nonrepareable items. Of course the management at Apple decided to make it quite a bit less convenient for folks to repair the stuff. Just because I don't have every tool for every security fastener certainly does not mean that I am unqualified. It means that I have not come across that particular fastener before. Sme companies would weld the case shut if they could do it cheaply enough. A lot of organizations target product failure to coccur just about a week after it becomes obsolete. I read that in one of the design magazines a few years back.

I also agree that Bose is a master of advertizing, which they have to be because their stuff is way overpriced. I also have a Marantz, a 2235, purchased in the mid 70s. Unfortunately a bias control diode has failed and I have not yet gotten around to replacing the diode. But the failure was fairly easy to diagnose, and the package is a size that can be serviced without a microscope.  I also have been given a much newer Marantz receiver that seems to have a failed processor. It is possible that I wont be able to fix that one.

For general information, the failure mode in many DVD players is a dirty laser lens, which gives an identical diagnosis as a failed laser system, but all it usually needs is a witping with a clean tissue, plus, possibly, a drop of solvent. That gets half of them playing again, the others will actually need some real repair work to make them play again. 

Pete Ostapchuk
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Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
Pete Ostapchuk   2/14/2012 9:34:41 PM
A Brantley,

    After buying a house from the prevous owner, I noticed some problems. On more than one occasion, I invited the building inspector out. He looked at my situations and said that he was not the building inspector when my house was built. He told me that I could do the needed improvements myself with no permit required.

    In Indiana, homeowners can do things like replacing their breaker panels without a license. You can get a permit and do it yourself. It still has to pass inspection. I even got a permit to repair my own septic system. The government still has to be in charge of my seatbelt useage.   Pete O.

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too late
jeffbiss   2/14/2012 8:05:56 PM
We sold it on ebay to someone who wanted it for the display. I tried to hunt down the source of the noise, but because of what appeared to be proprietary chips, it was not your usual discrete design, but failed. I'm sure that there's a Bose tech out there who could identify the source, but he wasn't anywhere to be found online when I needed him. Besides the hardware that we had is now obsolete and they wanted too much to upgrade. Why upgrade for something that failed after 10 years when my friend still has 1970s Marantz from high school?

Besides, while the sound was adequate, the price was far too high for what it was. Bose suffers from precisely what you talk about, in my opinion. So, I got a 1980s Marantz as the replacement. It's a nice discrete design.

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Re: Fix away!
Amclaussen   2/14/2012 7:54:42 PM
Jeff: If the noise is being generated inside the circuit, it could well be a lifted or intermmitent ground, or a broken circuit trace that is letting a positive feedback loop to develop.  If the noise is like "buzzing", try to identify if it is a 60 Hz hum(or the 120 Hz harmonic), and it is probably power-supply related, like an open filter capacitor.  Other thing to look at are the selector switches used to selec the tuner or the CD or other input.  Quality of hardware used by most assemblers nowadays has suffered because all are trying to use the tiniest components developed for portables, and those switches are uncappable of properly handling the current level, or at least for a long time...  There are some sites specificallly devoted to repair and diagnosis of audio equipment, and you could be pleasantly surprised to find some information pertaining to your exact(or very similar) model in the web.  Trying to find a repair for my Harman-Kardon CD player-recorder, I found that quite a few people had observed the same exact fault I was experiencing, which points to the low-low quality of design and production of present day products.  These honor the concept of using it for a little while and then throw it away, to purchase another model.

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good point
jeffbiss   2/14/2012 4:40:05 PM
If special HW keeps a person out then I say that they probably shouldn't be allowed in because if they were capable, then the special HW wouldn't keep them out. However, that capability may also be their downfall if they aren't knowledgable enough to know what to do after they gain access, like some of the people I knew who thought that they could fix that failing HD, in the days when HDs were physically large and one didn't need microscopes for everything. Live and learn.

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Fix away!
jeffbiss   2/14/2012 4:17:31 PM
When that FPGA or other custom chip fails let me know how that repair goes. Of course you could insist on ordering a new one, maybe you'll be able to find a supplier of the base chip. Now program it. Let me know how it goes when you try to find that special-order part that they had designed to fit the custom designed space.

I know what you're trying to say, I've been there. We had a Bose stereo that started to fail. After a while it would start buzzing and then build until it swamped the music. I figured out how to open it and connected my scope to it and found that noise was generated somewhere. There's no schematic and Bose wasn't interested in supporting a guy trying to fix an unsupported product. So, where was the noise generated and why? Which of the special chips in the circuit was I going to not be able to repair because there's no source?

Sure, some repairs can be performed by a person with a certain skill set, but in many cases, it's hopeless. So, while it would be nice to fix your device because there's not much you can do. Maybe, like me, you can take your DVD player apart and find a replacement belt for the drive. Let me know how many of your friends can do it. Maybe, like me, you can replace a broken gear or make a new ove from scratch. Let me know how many of your friends can do that.

Here's a great experiment for you. When I put my first computer together, I could replace most of the chips on the huge Mylex motherboard. Now you can access those easy, right out of the case. Now, buy a random nonfunctional motherboard and without a schematic or parts list, fix it and post it on youtube.

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Re: Pentalobular screws....
Enginerd   2/14/2012 4:06:33 PM
Seems like it. Particularly amusing are the responses from those who post their childhood disassembly triumphs as their motivation for becoming an engineer. And now that they are one (presumably), they've been thwarted by a simple screw which is easily remedied as many capable engineers on this forum have pointed out. For those complaining about their lack of ability, thanks for the laughs and may you one day find a job where taking things apart = engineer.

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Re: oh well???
Amclaussen   2/14/2012 3:45:13 PM
You just said: "I bet that there's little to nothing to fix... only to find that I'm f'd and couldn't fix a GD thing... there's nothing you can fix anyway... Etc Etc Etc.

Well, obviously you haven't take any advantage of the web, since you can easily find a lot of fixes for varied problems from VERY helpful people that constantly publish fixes to defective designs from Apple and a lot of "prestigious" companies all the time in their personal websites. Just GOOGLE "how to fix an Apple Ipod Touch" to find it returns over 385,000,000 results in 0.18 seconds (my search returned the following statement in the spanish language Google site: "Aproximadamente 381,000,000 resultados (0.18 segundos)"

If you believe any your statements, you are beyond hope... no offense.

Look, I have fixed not one, but several defective personal electronics , where not a single one problem was caused by me improperly handling the damn thing, but by truly defective design from the geniuses at the manufacturer.  Take my old (2005) Creative Zen Micro MP3 player to start with; it has a defective design that causes the USB connector to detach from the main board... well, a good intentioned, clever, and obviously not timorous user, tired of trying to solve this problem trough the terribly lousy "support service" of 'Creative', decided to disassemble the device against the paper seal placed inside, and produced an excellent tutorial on how to properly resolder the faulty factory job.  Next, take my Dell Laptop that has a badly designed charging jack that overheats to the point of burning a hole (no less!) in the Motherboard, and then tells the poor consumer that they don't bother with repairing their fault, they only sell complete motherboards for 484.95 USD!!!  Well another goodguy took the pain to assemble another tutorial on how to fix this defective design, complete with very clear photos and references to businesses that sell the under 5 dollar replacement jack, including shipping!  Other things that people with enough self confidence and a little dexterity have achieved can be found across the web, for persons like me that HATE throwing away perfectly repairable devices.

On the very same example you cited about "non-repairability" of the Ipod Nano, the Google search cites many repairs possible, from "freezes", take-apart repair guides, Upgrades... THERE IS EVEN a store selling Ipod parts (IPodParts.com) for God's sake, Don't tell us there are no repairs possible!

It does take some dexterity, intelligence and patience, but the proof is there.

My hat is off to the people that shows how-to's at their websites, most of them for free!.  They deserve all the recognition for their positive attitude and time. They have demostrated thay they CAN teach the designers a thing or two.

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