reasons for dissasembly?

Werner Almesberger werner at
Wed Apr 20 19:40:42 EDT 2011

Jane Andreas wrote:
> I am thinking of dissasembling my Ben, but would like input on possible
> reasons.

Curiosity should be reason enough ;-)

> What would qualify me?

Dexterity, patience, and normal vision. Prior experience with taking
apart electronics and good fingernails help.

Compared to other devices, the difficulty of disassembling the body
of the Ben is about medium. It's not designed for easy disassembly,
but it could be much worse. Things to be aware of:

- there are a number of loose parts: screws, rubber covers, etc.
  Make sure you have a place to put them.

- the upper part of the bottom shell is joined to the bottom part with
  4 (?) screws, and the two parts snap together. First, remove the
  screws. Then I found it useful to slide a credit card around the
  Ben to force the two parts apart. The snap-in mechanism is fragile
  and you may break something. That's usually not a problem.

  Here's a picture of some of the elements of the ben:

  The PCB is between the keyboard (green) and the bottom part (cyan).

- the upper part of the bottom shell (yellow) doesn't unsnap easily
  near the hinge. (If encountering resistance, always make sure you
  haven't left any screws.)

- the speaker is covered with some glue that sticks to the upper part
  of the bottom shell. It can just be pulled off, but may also appear
  a surprising obstacle.

- the cable connecting the display is fragile and needs to be treated
  with care. The connector works as follows:

  - removal:

    - put one or two fingernails between the brown bar and the beige
      body of the connector and gently slide the bar out (it moved by
      about 1 mm)

    - then gently pull the cable out without bending it. It should
      come out without mechanical resistance.

  - insertion:

    - make sure the connector is fully opened

    - put the cable in front of the connector, then gently push it
      into the connector. This is best done by pushing with a
      fingernail against the edge of the white metal on top of the
      cable. Or you could use flat tweezers.

      The cable should enter without perceptible force. If it gets
      caught somewhere, don't force it but pull it back and try

   - push the brown bar back into the connector

- to remove the PCB, locate the hole in the center of the PCB, near the
  battery. There's a plastic nose sticking through it. Push it to the
  left to release the board from the bottom plastic.

- the display is a bit harder to disassemble and also less interesting.
  Furthermore, the hinges holding bottom shell and the display together
  are not meant to be disconnected.

>  However, unlike some electronics, I believe there is nothing to be
> "done" on the Nanonote,

Unless you're interested in soldering things to the various test points,
there's indeed not so much to do. But it's nice to know what's inside
anyway :-)

- Werner

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