Bert Wienia from Herstel Friesland can rightly describe himself as an expert in microsoldering. As this week’s guest blogger, Bert explains how to repair an iPhone 7 audio IC. If you’re interested in how he goes about this task, read on!

The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus frequently suffer from audio problems. Since this is a well-known issue, I always check whether the audio IC is working. Usually, the audio chip needs replacing.

Symptoms

To see if the audio IC is the cause of the problems, I examine some of the phone’s functions. If these functions don’t work, there’s a good chance that the IC is faulty. The symptoms include:

  • The device boots slowly;
  • Headphones don’t work with the lightning connector;
  • The speaker is greyed out when making calls;
  • The dictaphone app won’t record anything.

If these problems occur, then the audio IC is definitely the root cause, and it will have to be repaired.

What you’ll need

This problem can only be solved by microsoldering.
In addition to some skills, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Pre-heater;
  • Jumper wire;
  • Solder paste;
  • Reball stencil;
  • Desoldering braid;
  • Hot-air station;
  • Soldering iron with large and small tips;
  • UV glue;
  • UV lamp;
  • Small knife;
  • Motherboard foil (new).

Repair

When you’ve got everything you need, you can start microsoldering! microsoldering jumper paths IC iphone 7
I repair an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus audio IC as follows:

To start, I clamp the circuit board in the pre-heater to heat the components.
Then I get the hot-air station to heat the audio IC so that I can easily remove it. After removing the audio IC, it’s important to clean all the tracks. I use desoldering wire to do this.

Then I attach jumpers to missing tracks. I solder tracks with jumper wire from one point to the other. You can see the tracks I make in the image. I always attach jumpers to these tracks as a preventive measure, because these tracks are often fractured.
Then I rebalance the audio IC using a reball stencil. I put the audio IC in the stencil, apply solder paste, then spread the paste and heat the stencil with the hot-air station.

The audio chip can now be replaced. Heat the audio IC using the hot-air station to fix it in place. Next, the new motherboard foil can be put in place.
To conclude, put the device back together, and you’re ready to test the audio!

If you still have no luck, and you’re interested in a microsoldering course, check out herstelfriesland.nl for more information.

Are you also interested in sharing your expertise with others? Let us know!