I tried finding the same problem in the forum, but couldn’t find the same description. I hope I’m not spaming.
What do I have?
Fairphone 3 +
Android Version 11 (latest update installed)
I have a problem with my bottom module. I suspect a loose contact.
What is the problem?
When trying to load via charger the charging process sometimes stops and immediately starts again (indicated by buzzing of the phone. The same buzz you get when you plug in the mobile when loading). This especially happens during a call which means getting two quick buzzes (disconnected and connected again).
What did I try?
I tried different charger and cable combinations. The connection problems described above exist with those combinations.
I disconnected the bottom module to check if the ribbon cable (see Fairphone 3 manual is connected. The cable was connected.
I dismounted the bottom module and mounted the bottom module (thinking the principle turning off and on again could solve the issue).
Any suggestions what I could do (beside changing the bottom module)?
While you’re hoping for other suggestions, I do think it sounds a lot like the USB port might have loosened in the bottom module. If you know another FP3 user or if there’s a Fairphone Angel nearby, they might be willing to let you test their own bottom module – so you could verify or falsify if it’s about the bottom module. Of course, if there’s no such option for you and you’re willing to “risk” the 20 Euros plus shipping, you can get yourself a new bottom module in Fairphone’s spare parts shop.
Your description suggests you usually keep using the phone when charging, so that might add somewhat to wearing off the USB port (respectively loosening its solder inside the bottom module).
P.S.: Actually one more suggestion – have you checked the USB port for dirt, dust, tiny hairs/fibers? Sometimes that can accumulate to a tiny “carpet” at the ground level of the port that prevents the plug from sitting in deep enough.
Although this issue has been discussed a number of times, it’s not really spamming if you didn’t find any help, further for a personal issue it is nice to be able to get focused attention
Generally it is not the best idea to dismantle modules if you still have a warranty before contacting support officially.
Having said that, if you want to do a better clean, which could well be the issue as urs_lesse has mentioned, you can also disassemble the actual module for a more thorough option.
One thing to note, is that if you keep forcing the plug in, likely due to debris, you risk distorting the pin alignment, which even after cleaning will still exist, so have a close look at the contacts once they are clean.
If you want to try and clean the USB-C port, the best idea to do this I ever saw was with a whittled down wooden toothpick - you whittle down two sides only, effectively flattening it (I used to clean my USB port with a needle, but with a whittled down toothpick you don’t have as much risk of destroying components). Also, it helps if you do this with the hole pointed downwards, to let gravity do the work of getting rid of whatever you pry loose.
That said, a new bottom module isn’t so expensive, and it will hold your cable more snugly than the old one even if you get to clean it out - I’ve found they’re prone to wear.
For me, that’s the brilliant aspect of Fairphone: if a part is no longer up to snuff, you can replace it if you want to.
I recently bought a new bottom module because I experienced more or less the same as you do; finally I cleaned out the USB port and compared the new one and the old one; and I found the new one to be better at gripping my cable (even though the old one, now it’s cleaned out, is quite usable again).
In my experience, the USB port has been the first part to start misbehaving in many other cellphones as well. Maybe it’s something to do with how I use the phone (I have a lot of dirt buildup in the port as well).
My main point was that having this occur is not as bad in a Fairphone as it is in any other phone brand because it’s so easy to swap out the bottom module.