Blackberry Passport Repair

The EMI IC sitting on a penny.
The AT&T version speaker next to the Silver Edtion speaker.


The Problem

My Blackberry Passport accidentally had goo-gone spilled on it. I had the cover off the container because the sprayer stopped working. I knocked it over and it spilled onto the table right by the phone. The light oil absorbed through the gap in the back plastic cover and filled every crevice in the phone with oil. Including the screen back-light, microphones, speakers, and switches. In this video, I detail how the device was repaired.


I start by removing two Torx screws from the back under the cover. Then I use a guitar pick to remove the back cover. Inside I find that everything is covered with goo-gone. I then remove everything inside the phone since it all has to soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Removing the battery was a challenge and quite dangerous because there is a chance of puncturing the thin metal foil. I used a plastic guitar pick to minimize the chance.

Soak in IPA

I used 99.9% Isopropyl alcohol to soak the parts in. This IPA does not leave a significant residue as the 90% IPA rubbing alcohol does. I basically put the parts in a container and poured IPA over them lightly brushing them with an anti-static brush. I took them out and removed as much IPA as I could with compressed air.

For the battery, I used a cotton swab soaked in IPA to clean the PCB and flex cable a section at a time to reduce the chance of shorting the battery.

For finishing the IPA soak, I used a hot-air nozzle and a hotplate to gently heat the parts.

I tried to clean the screen backlight, but I broke one of the diffusers so there was a big crack in the light reaching the LCD.

Replacing microphones and speakers

Goo-gone loosened anything that was stuck together with tape. This ruined the speakers on the phone. I could not find replacement speakers for the SQW100-4 (Silver Edition). The SQW100-3 (AT&T version) had speakers that looked similar to the Silver Edition. I took both speaker housings apart and the speakers themselves were identical. After replacing the speakers, I sealed the housing with a soldering iron.

The microphones were filled up with oil and did not function after the isopropyl bath. The Passport has 3 microphones, one for calls, and two for video recording. Searching for the part number on the microphone returned nothing (N 3109 for voice and S1080 9287 for video). I found a similar part to the original by measuring the dimensions and entering it on a parts distributor site. I found that the INMP510 was very close to the microphone that needed replacing, down to the same pad layout. I did not find the original so I just had to try and see if it worked. After desoldering, touching up the pad, and resoldering, I replaced the microphones for both video and voice. (Note: the microphone I used only worked for voice and not for the video mics.)

Replacing screen and chassis

Since I cracked the backlight diffuser when I was cleaning, I need to replace the screen. Luckily the screen and chassis assembly is very cheap at around $40. I just needed to take the old screen out and replace it with the new screen. oh, it is DOA. After waiting for a replacement, I replaced the screen with a working one.

Replacing EMI Filter

While tightening up a screw on the motherboard, my screwdriver slipped and hit a small silicon flip-chip IC. This made it so two columns of keys on the keyboard did not work. I found out later that this IC provides EMI protection between the keyboard and the input IC. I found the part number by entering the dimensions and number of the IC on a part distributor website. I found a direct match, it is the EMIF04-1K030F3. Soldering it was a bit painful because it is a 1.17mm square with 9 BGA pads underneath.

Final Result

So that is how I repaired my phone covered in goo-gone. It is non-conductive so there was a good chance of repairing the phone.