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Fairphone 2.5 Display Module replacemente gives me a blank screen

Hi, thanks for the quick reply!
I updated to 18.04.01 without problems. As it is a version from April 2018 I thought it would be enough (the display models apparently changed around November 2017).

However, when I put the 2.5 Display Model, I keep seeing the same behaviour: a initial buzz and a blank screen, nothing more :confused:
I guess I’ll keep updating till it works or breaks!

Sorry about the ‘old models’, I meant the models that were ‘born’ with the old screens.
Guess you’re just joking, but just in case: do you think that not updating my OS could lead to the screen failing? I come from other companies which render devices obsolete with OS updates, hence my concern. Sure you know what I’m talking about :slight_smile:

There’s no (temporary) protective film strip on the display module’s contact area, is there?

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I checked because I can be that dumb, but no, there is not :slight_smile:
I removed yellowish protective films that were on the lenses, and the one on the screen itself. But to my understanding, it came with nothing in the contact area

In order to fix my old screen, I followed this advice to put a sticker on the interior of the cover at about the area of the contact. That trick often solves the white noise screen, although it’s unstable (and does not solve the dead areas on my old screen). Could that pressure kind of ‘shortened’ the phone display contacts?

Thanks!

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I don’t think so. But you could test it by gently squeezing together display and core module in this area.

I’m a bit clueless as to why your 18.04 upgrade didn’t seem to make the phone recognize the new display. I guess you did verify the upgrade succeeded with your old display?

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If upgrading does not help it was probably never a real screen issue or the new display is faulty?

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@Rodrigo_Santamaria_V Check if there’s a Fairphone Angel in your area (or do you know someone else in your area with an FP2?), s/he might allow you to test the new display on another FP2.

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Yes, the upgrade was working perfectly fine with my old display (except for the display hardware issues, of course).

I tried again the new display and now it works!
Things I might have done differently:

  1. Put the full case, including the adhesive pad I used to apply pressure. In my second test I think I did not assemble it fully, and definitely not with the pad.
  2. Remove the screen film case. I don’t think this is something remarkable.

I think it might be 1), as I also kept the interior adhesive pad.
Actually, if I remove the case+pad, it gets blank again! The case only is not enough, I need the pad for it to connect.

Not sure if this might give problems in the future, but right now, this is working perfectly fine. Hope I can get 5 more years of FP2! :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for bearing with me

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There were two different issues, apparently:

  1. My old display had dead areas. I could not, for example, write the ‘u’ key in the virtual keyborad, or slide to respond calls because there was a dead area in the lower right of the display.
  2. The connection was not perfect, leading to white noise and other strange screen effects. I thought it was also a display thing on the connection area (which happen to be on the lower right area too), but seems to be more of a mobile+display connection area, thus not working also with the new display, unless I keep applying gentle pressure (manually or via the adhesive pad).

The latest (keep applying pressure) is what I was not doing with the new display. I guess there’s no better solution than that, but I fear the pressure will slowly hinder the connection with time.

Hi there!
I recently asked about a display issue which finally was related with a problem with the connection between the display module and the FP2 itself.
It is solvable by applying pressure to the contact point. But after a month, I came to know that is its something very variable. I guess that conditions of humidity, heat, case, etc. kind of change the point, the amount and duration of pressure required to get the display working.
Sometimes it is easy: apply some pressure, then stop applying it and it works for a while. Sometimes is hard: apply pressure firmly all the time you want it to be working, try at different points, etc.

So it is too unreliable to be useful. When someone calls, I start doing pressure to see if I can pick up, missing calls, time, etc. I don’t know if anyone has any idea further than applying pressure. I tried cleaning the contacts first, but that never worked.

I’s a shame, as it’s a 400€ phone that lasted just 1 year more than my wife’s 100€ phone (5 vs 4 years). If I cannot repair it, it’s a more expensive and in the end the same electronic waste (even more, as I ordered for new components). I cannot even buy the FP2 main matrix although it’d be a huge replacement. I exhaust of arguments here for recommending FP, to my dismay.

Please, any recommendations?
Thanks a lot!
Rodrigo

moved your post to your old thread to have the full story together.

Beside your problem, the higher price is for better working conditions and environmental sustainability not necessarily better quality. And bigger companies who sell more devices can sell for lower prices if they want.

Reg. the problem:
I think I rememeber that some contact issues could be solved, by very carefully bend up the small pins a bit, did you try that?

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Thanks for merging, yes, like this is better.
I know it’s also for working conditions, etc. but to argue about its advantages with non aware or non caring people about such (super-important) things, it’s unfortunately not enough. I have it clear and probably will buy another FP if I cannot fix this one.

What do you mean by carefully bending the pins up? I think they are straight. Should I actually bend them, and in that case, how do I know the right direction and angle to do that?
I thought also to somehow wrap or solder some conductor materials to the pins might be a solution…

Thanks for the reply!
Rodrigo

It is not quite clear where you are applying pressure at the moment.

If this is on the core module behind the display pins, you may have a core module defect (see here for more details, note that this is a very long thread.)

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Hi,
Yes, it’s just there, sometimes upper, sometimes lower. I’ll read that thread carefully and let you know my progress!

Thanks,

I meant the silber metal pins you find on the modules, that have a “nose” and are connected to the display. I don’t know what they are actually for, or if they are really for contact and I could not find the post reg this. However those are a bit flexible and could probably bend carefully a bit up to have better contact to the counterpart on the display.

But at the end I also think its more the core module and in the thread linked by Albert you will find the baking method to “solder” the core module, this can help, but also finally destroy.

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Rather than applying constant pressure, did you try putting a piece of cardboard behind the case to apply the pressure? It’s also a workaround but it works a bit better and isn’t as tiring (I can confirm from a family member’s experience).

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Yes i did that, but eventually it stops working and you have to either also apply pressure, or remove it (and it works again without pressure for a while!). It’s kind of unpredictable.

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So, just to sum up, my issue is definitely a problem on the core module contacts as told by AlbertJP (see here ). It’s a long thread (>200 posts). I summarize here what I understood after a thorough reading.

It looks that it’s an issue with the fact that the core module plastic plus removable parts it’s not super-rigid, and it ends up being affected by mechanical changes due to temperature, humidity (people reporting it stops working after going to Thailand) or pressure (people reporting it happens after a flight) or physical changes (after dropping the phone). This somehow affects the connectors on the core module with the display. It is not the display connectors, but the core connectors. Myself and others replaced the display and the problem persisted.

Anyway, once the core module connectors become unstable it keeps this way for most of the people I’ve read.

I wonder if this is one of the reasons for FP3 not being as much ‘removable’ friendly anymore. I mean, it is still removable but you will need a screwer for any access, and the core seems sturdier.

Temporary mechanical solutions that work for a while (from minutes to hours to sometimes days):

  • Apply gentle pressure by hand, or by a cardboard/sticker on the cover. This is not adviceable as it could eventually bend the connectors. That was my case.
  • Remove the pressure (usually after days of applying pressure) may make it work for a while too. That also worked for me.
  • Bend back to vertical the connector pins, in case the pressure was not so gentle or applied for several days.
  • Clean the display module/core contacts. Only with 96% alcohol. Do not use contact sprays or anything else. Do it with a soft cloth, never scratch. This never worked for me anyway.
  • ‘Twist’ the phone. Hold it at the bottom and twist the upper part a little worked for me. I only tried this after checking that the phone was a little twisted, by putting it on a table and testing that it did not rest over its four corners equally.
  • Clean and maybe push/bend out (towards the screen) the silver contacts (see here)

Any of these ‘mechanical’ solutions may last longer if you keep your phone away from mechanical stress:

  • Do not put it on leg pockets or other places where it can be ‘twisted’
  • Do not put it on, let’s say, backpack pockets where it can be more affected by temperature changes.
  • I think the internal pocket of the jacket is the perfect place, if it’s not a tight jacket.
  • Do not use it for long or for highly computational tasks (e.g. gaming or reading an ebook) as it may heat the board and become stressful.

I know that having so many cares can be annoying and not anyone would be happy with it.

Then, there’s the oven solution. Risky and difficult. I don’t feel confident to try this by now. Also, it seems you should not try it on an oven where you cook food (I don’t have another one). This looks like solving the problem for sure (at least, for longer) OR destroying the phone for sure.

Hope this is an accurate and summarized picture of the lore a lot of wiser people has gathered over years.

Cheers!

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Yes actually that is at least one of the reasons.

However not all core modules die due to mechanical stress. Mine is 5 years old and I work outdoor in sommer and winter in rain or sun. I carry it around in my outdoor trousers leg pocket or back pack, I flew a lot and it fell down many times.

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Yes, it’s rather hit-or-miss. It appears to be a small part of the core modules that show this problem. I solved my problem by getting a second-hand FP2 with a cracked screen and swapping the core module. The “new” one is about equally old and has also been carried in trouser pockets for years but doesn’t show any display issues so far.

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Cool! Mine has 5 years and it worked perfectly until a couple of months ago. I wonder if it was the bottom module replacement I did (first time I actually ‘opened’ it), or it was just was about time.

Probably the mechanical stress is a complex combination of factors hard to predict. I used to put it in my leg pocket while biking, for example.

Is there a second market of core modules? I cannot see them as available at Fairphone’s store. It would save me money and electronic waste.