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Author Topic: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device  (Read 548 times)

bkenobi

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(non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:43:43 AM »

I have a pair of Garmin GPS collars for my dogs.  One of them stopped working recently.  I contacted Garmin and they told me that they no longer support that model and that I would have to buy a newer model.  I realize that it likely the case, but since the collar costs $250 (maybe a little cheaper if I look hard), it seems worth my while to see if there's something obvious I can try to repair it.  I've looked at the board and see no obvious signs of damage and there was no water incursion that I could detect, so I'm not sure what to check.  The battery tests good.

If anyone has any thoughts, please chime in.  If I can't repair it, it's not a huge loss as it's currently unusable and basically worthless anyway.

Garmin DC40
https://fccid.io/IPH-01748
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petera

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 01:17:57 AM »

Is there anything blocking the transmitter. Is there any chance the unit got wet at any stage seeing it is being worn by a dog. Do you need to recalibrate it after a battery change. If there's any chance it absorbed moisture gently heat it with a hair dryer.

Btw how old is the unit.
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Knightrider

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 01:40:25 AM »

Post pic of board.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 01:42:42 AM »

Just a little about the actual problem if anyone is interested:

The collar won't turn on and the charge light won't turn on when on the charger.  This is identical to the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4-qFtJeum0
and forum discussion:
http://forums.ukcdogs.com/showthread.php?threadid=475249

But, the collar is an older version that Garmin no longer supports.  I was thinking that if it was an issue with a solder joint, then I could get an air reflow gun/station (like I discussed in another thread here...this was the reason I was considering it) and just slowly go over the whole board.  Otherwise, I'd have to locate a likely bad component which for SMD would be tricky due to size I assume.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 01:46:02 AM »

I'll get a pic this evening.  The board looks pristine but the antenna is a bit beat up (plastic is cracking).  I don't believe anything has gotten inside the unit based on the looks of the seals when I opened it up.

My first thought was it got wet but since that's not the case, I'm thinking it's either a calibration thing, bad component, bad solder/trace, etc.  The FCCID page shows a procedure for recalibrating the unit, but it's only possible at the factory.  That said, I don't think that's the issue since it should turn on when charging and it's not.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 12:38:36 AM »

I wasn't able to get the board all the way out as the pin comnecting to the antenna doesn't want to release.  I don't know if it is supposed to come off or not and I didn't want to break it.

I have a picture that I'm trying to attach, but it keeps failing.
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Tuicemen

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2018, 12:49:59 AM »

I have a picture that I'm trying to attach, but it keeps failing.
You may have to resize it as there is a file size restriction on the forum.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 01:03:42 AM »

I tried, but my phone was only happy going down to 5MP.  I'll try again.
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Tuicemen

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2018, 01:05:20 AM »

You may need to send it to your PC to resize and or zip it.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2018, 01:06:27 AM »

Board
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Tuicemen

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 01:09:16 AM »

The board does show some signs of corrosion which may be shorting things out.
Have you tried cleaning the board to remove the corrosion?
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 01:27:52 AM »

I didn't see anything that looked like corrosion with naked eyes.  I noticed there's something going on below the SiRF chip.  How would I clean it up?  For leaking batteries/capacitors I use white vinegar.
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Tuicemen

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 01:32:56 AM »

White vinegar may work, rubbing alcohol may be better.
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bkenobi

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 02:08:12 AM »

ok, I'll give it a try.  On e clean, if it still doesnt work would touching each solder joint with a soldering iron (or reflow with air) be the next step?
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Tuicemen

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Re: (non-X10) Trouble shoot a RF device
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 02:16:47 AM »

Let it dry well first then I'd re touch with the solder gun anyways (but that's me)
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