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Discussion: SI display repair

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Feb 26, 2023 4:53 PM # 
If anyone out there is suffering from having some SI control units with cracked or otherwise failing LCD displays*, I want to report that I just got around to attempting a repair, and I was successful on all three of the BSF8 units that I tried.

The fix was just to transplant the displays from some other SI units that I had which had good displays but that were otherwise dead (battery replacement didn't revive them). It's actually a very easy operation, requiring no soldering. The display is just clamped to the board by the screws that hold the board into the case. When you take out the screws and remove the board, the display will usually be "stuck" to the board, but some gentle prying will make it pop off. (In once instance, the board came out and the display remained in the case.) Reassembly consists of just putting the display from a donor unit (be careful to preserve the orientation!) into the molded recess in the case, then put the board back in and screw it down.

This should be well within the capabilities of anyone who is able to replace the batteries, and it's low-risk, since you can't make a broken display any worse than it already is, and the dead unit is already a writeoff.

I also replaced one failed beeper, but that was a more challenging operation that involved desoldering, soldering, and bridging a damaged trace due to my substandard desoldering job.

*LCD display = liquid crystal display display
Feb 27, 2023 7:10 AM # 
Very nice! Now I just need a failed BSF8 unit with a good display...
Feb 27, 2023 3:49 PM # 
I wonder if the LCD is a standard part..or at least avaialble from sportident.
Feb 27, 2023 4:51 PM # 
I'm sure it's a standard part, but I'd be somewhat surprised if SportIdent sells it. Probably available from DigiKey if you knew the part number (they have thousands of LCD modules).

Unfortunately, one of the displays that I replaced yesterday failed overnight (cracked). Might be that there's some flaw in the case molding or some piece of crud that's putting stress on it. I'll try replacing it again and put it into a different case.
Feb 27, 2023 6:03 PM # 
I know some of the "not soldered" displays use a conductive paste or something to ensure proper contact to the PCB. I'd have to search to find an example or product call-out, though.
Feb 27, 2023 6:18 PM # 

Part 33410 from SI.

The connection to the PCB is via a "zebra strip" which is an anisotropic conductive material, it conducts only along one axis so that alignment doesn't matter as much.
Feb 27, 2023 6:39 PM # 
Only three bucks, not bad!
Feb 28, 2023 5:32 PM # 
Good to know, are they stocked in NA?
Oct 7, 2023 4:07 AM # 
OK, now it's several months later, and I've decided that I want to order some of these displays to have on hand for repairs, but that link that Ed posted isn't working any more. I sent an query to, but does anyone have any other ideas as to where to find them? (I also have a friend who sources a lot of electronic components who I'll ask.)
Oct 7, 2023 10:50 AM # 
Eric Teutsch at the O-store is the guy to see about these supplies.
Oct 9, 2023 2:24 AM # 
I got one from (with two rubber pieces) and successfully installed it.

Also, notify her the website is down, lol.
Oct 9, 2023 2:34 AM # 
I texted her about the broken link. She said she’ll answer your email shortly.
Oct 9, 2023 3:07 PM # 
I just got an email reply from her, sounds like I'm in business.

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