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iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 03:17
by srunquist
I bought my beloved in 2002 and was oblivious when the company stopped production, otherwise I would have stocked up like some other wise folks. It served me well for 9 years but now fails to trigger any* response from 2 computers (tried all ports) - one of the laptops is the one I've been using with the pad for about 2 years.

I'm not posting this on the marketplace board because I think it can be fixed. I have taken very good care of it and it has no visible damage, including the cord. I always used a gray antistatic bag when transporting it. It had been packed in storage box for the past 6 months while I took some adventures and I dug it out 2 weeks ago after starting a new job. I know that the box wasn't packed very carefully and it's possible that the pad was pushed or flexed.

* - well, I DID get a very brief response from a Windows 7 machine while I was poking and prodding at it. About 1 second after recognizing it & starting a driver search, Windows said it was unplugged. I couldn't repeat it, but it gives me hope that the problem is electrical rather than electronic. The flicker of life happened while I flexed the pad across a diagonal axis. There was no response at all from bending, pushing, or pulling the cord so I think there's a connection problem is inside the pad.

I'm comfortable taking apart electronics, but wouldn't be able to do a repair beyond just pushing a loose connector. Is it likely to be that simple?

If any experienced community members are willing to try a repair, I'll pay a little for trying, much more for success. (And I want it back either way.) $200 total with $50 up front? Any interest out there?

PS. I feel guilty for just joining the community now in my time of need. But, I don't think I had run across the site for many years and have been happily taking my wonderful working device for granted. Mea culpa!

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 28 Mar 2011, 20:25
by TorbenGB
Nobody can blame you for not being a forum member earlier, but it's never too late and you're always welcome. So welcome!

The cable itself is glued to the frame on the inside, so unless that glue has come loose, manipulating the cable is not likely to help. It's good news that you eventually did get a response from your iGesture, even though it was done by bending. I don't know how much bending you had to do already. If you feel comfortable with it, can you reproduce it to find out what it takes for the connection to work? Don't risk anything though... Luckily, the outside is fairly flexible so it won't come apart easily just from that, but as you suggest there must be some internal connection problem.

I think there are some members who can offer good insights but they aren't visiting on a daily basis. Please be patient - and good luck!

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 28 Mar 2011, 21:59
by The00Dustin
The USB cable is conneced to the pad via solder, so it couldn't be "pressed back in." That said, I believe there are posts on this forum (and/or the archived firgerworks forum) showing people repairing that joint. I believe in one case either the same cable or a new one was soldered on, and in another, a mini USB-B (or USB-A, whichever would be appropriate) male connector was added to the pad. There was a user on this forum named Minox (may have had numbers or something on the end of the handle) who fixed one or two and may have offered to fix others (for a[n unspecified] fee). He posted here again once not too long ago, so that might still be a possibility. Search the forum for posts regarding repair and see if you can find one where he said that (in case my memory is wrong). If he did, send him a PM, it can't hurt to try if he's willing. Make sure you consider shipping (both ways) and insurance in this endeavor (for instance, at $50 whoever works on it mayexpect you to pay to ship it back, so have terms figured out up front). Beyond that, I don't know what more you can do to secure such a project. Good luck.

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 01:57
by srunquist
No change in status yet - still not working and I haven't gotten any more blips of life out of it. I'm afraid of causing more damage if I flex it too much.

I can't send a PM to Minox yet because I'm not "authorized" yet. Maybe this and another couple posts will do the trick.

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 10:40
by The00Dustin
I think I would replace the ribbon cable before considering trying to find someone to fix it (and I would certainly hope Minox would do that, because I don't know where else I would find someone). I believe you can replace the ribbon cable without actually disassembling the pads, because you don't have to run the new cable through the thin slots in the sides of the case, they can just go under the whole thing. That wouldn't be ideal, but it would be cheap and quick to at least make sure that the ribbon cable isn't the problem. I would be afraid to flex the pads much too, though.

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 18:07
by nomaded
@srunquist: Have you tried running the diag software with it? Of course, if you're not running an old OS (like XP or linux with a 2.2 kernel) then that may be a lot harder than it should be.

@The00Dustin: The iGesture Numpad wouldn't have a ribbon cable. It's quite possible the USB cable <-> PCB interface could be broken, if the USB cable was overly flexed where it enters the device.

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 21:23
by The00Dustin
Very true, I must have gotten this post mixed up with another one. Ooops.

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 15 Apr 2011, 15:36
by srunquist
@nomaded: No, I haven't tried that yet. I assumed that if Windows doesn't recognize it as a USB device, then the diagnostic app wouldn't be able to see it at all. Not true? I have a 32 bit Vista machine I can use, is that old enough?

Re: iGesture Numpad needs repair

Posted: 06 Aug 2011, 04:51
by thenn

I had the same problem and soldered it back no problem. Worst thing that can be done is you'll break the flange things holding the plastic around the thing.
Also, I think i may have a numpad sitting somewhere in my shed, so you may see it go up on ebay sooner or later.

One final though is to do the five finger smack.
Worked all the time on my non responsive numpad.

Other unforseen problems you may face:

Too much solder = bad covering too many connections can be troublesome.
I literally put a pinhead sized drop on a pin and heated with a creme brule torch.

I'd offer to do the repair, but mine is TOTALLY functional, but horrible looking. Clear plastic tape holds my plastic covers together. And an old mousepad glued to the bottom.
I think i may have used my teeth to strip the wires too.

I thought I posted picks of all the ghuts on the numpad when I took it apart. I'll try to find them again and re-port.

Good luck with it hope you get it back in working order.

Found my post with the repair:

Again good luck with it.