Broken trackpad issue (with pic)

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
[this is also posted at MacNN, so don't kill me]

I have a trackpad on my iBook that no longer works. After reading up on the problem on Apple's discussion forum, I've localised the problem to the soldering of the trackpad-cable carrying socket to the motherboard. Somehow the socket got ripped off clean (well, it was a gradual degradation actually). A pic might make this a lot clearer:

So, the question that I'd like to ask: is it possible to solder something this small back in place? I do think I can get some decent technician to do it, though I don't want to burden Apple with it (let alone my wallet). It's not that I really need the trackpad (I have and prefer a logitech optical mouse), but I do know that this will severely cut down on the resale value. Which is as good a reason as any to fix this.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    I have no clue. Find an electrician or engineer or something and ask?
  • Reply 2 of 3
    gargoylegargoyle Posts: 660member
    Yes you can, you just need a precision iron and a steady hand. Also, your soldering skills have to be quite good. If you leave the iron on the board too long and you risk heat damage to nearby components.

    Oh, another idea. You might be able to paint the contacts with that electric paint - I think you can get it from the local car shop, its sold as rear window heater paint or something. Then glue the black plastic bit down to the mobo. If you are generous but neat with the paint and you get all the legs bent to the same level, I dont see why this wouldnt work.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    Quick heads-up for those that care, or might have this issue (now/later): I went to the university my grandfather used to teach and principal (the verb) at, and where he still knows a professor of electronics. That professor soldered the thing back on, and bang, I now have a working trackpad again, after more than a two-some of months. I'm delighted.

    A little tip: you only need to solder one side of the socket back on. Not that this is the preferred method, but it'll spare you a lot of nuisance knowing that. Even this professor, who had a teeny weeny soldering stick and a big-ass magnifyer didn't succeed in soldering the right part of the socket (because there's the combo drive sitting against it with, literally, only 2 or 3 mm of open field). So if you limit yourself to the left side, it'll work. You should remember that it's only half fixed though.

    I am now going to press the submit button with my TRACKPAD BUTTON!

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