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  #1  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:11 PM
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MID Pixel Repair

Hello,

I am thinking of tackling the missing pixel issue with my X5 radio. I see a few solutions online and was going to ask the members what worked for them, both repair shops and DIY.

It appears many ribbon cables require heat bonding. How easy was it? It appears AKSpeedo produces a non bond solution? Is this reliable over the long run? Should you replace just the cable or the cable/LCD assembly?

Ebay solutions range from as low as $1.40. Do those ribbon cables work well?

People seem to repair the units for $99. Any suggestions on a good supplier?

Best, Ben

2003 X5 4.4i
2015 640i and still loving it....
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2017, 04:14 PM
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I had a local guy repair my cluster but you can mail your stuff in if needed, I know he does radio's as well. I just didn't want to mess with possibly damaging the stepper motors.

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As for DIY, I'd probably shy away from anything eBay as it will probably be chinese junk. I'd say you'd be better going with ecs, or one of those places for the ribbon.
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:52 PM
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I've seen the ribbon for as little as $13 for a quality ribbon. I'm quite advanced at electronic repair ( I can swap out a bad capacitor on a MacBook Pro motherboard for example). This ribbon swap has a lot of steps but would be a 4/10 for me or 6/10 for a talented diy that doesn't have specific electronics experience.

I have some magic tricks up my sleeve I even built a 30 pin ribbon cable from 30ga wire and some old PCI video cards. I think I could actually just repair this ribbon and think maybe this weekend I will give it a shot on mine. If it works I'll post how and fix wife's next.


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Old 11-09-2017, 02:34 PM
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I've done both MID and Cluster ribbon with $10 ebay China ribbons successfully.
Whole procedure isn't too complicate, but will need some delicate hands.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:48 PM
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Based on what I have read of the trials and tribulations of DIY here over the years I would send it off and have it done.
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:08 PM
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First, I do want to thank all list members who gave inputs.

I researched this further, and found the attached article interesting:

Eric, I fixed your MID from Peter. Writeup of E38 MID repair

Yesterday, I read many threads where people claim the ribbon cables do not need to be heat bonded (many Ebay folks says you need the T-soldering tip). AKSpeedo claims no bonding, though they do not state what makes their ribbon special that you don't need to bond.

So perhaps if you think about the root cause of missing pixels, it must be the pads from the ribbon separating from the pads on the PCB or the LCD. I have seen articles indicating only the pads separate from the PCB and not so much LCD. People who has done this, do you agree?

White46, did you need to heat the pads to 300C for your successful repair?

From the AKSpeedo video and the above bimmerboard article, it appears the root cause may be the adhesive the BMW applied originally in their heat bonding. And cleaning the adhesive off can make many pixels reappear. Then it is not clear to me why the issue is more pronounced on the PCB side vs the LCD side.

As a mechanical engineer, I doubt I will find broken traces when I examine the old ribbon cable.

And would appreciate the eBay sources that worked for the people who went through the repair. Thanks in advance.

Best, Ben
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:59 PM
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I have seen where the conductive trace on the ribbon cable has disintegrated, that was when I made my own. I'm wondering if a conduction enhancer like deoxit pro gold would restore function.

In a bad contact situation I've measured resistance drop from 1.8 Ω to 8 mΩ (that is literally 225,000x as conductive!

If there is a magic fix it would be that
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:23 PM
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does the ribbon cable repair correct non-functioning buttons? as I learned after the time change, I have to press the minute + button about 4 million times, in order to scroll up to the correct time, seems the hour -/ + and minute - buttons don't work! as does the am/fm button (heaven help the person that presses the am button on the MID when I am in there!! lol!!!! (the FM button doesn't work!)
my fix was to swap out a mid with completely buggered display but functional buttons, press the FM button, and then swap it back so I can read the display!
so, if a new ribbon cable would fix this also, count me in!!! maybe ill get two! lol!
thanx
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:45 PM
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I can easily answer the question of the button when I have it apart. I'm hoping to take my MID out this weekend


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  #10  
Old 11-10-2017, 12:40 AM
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I had intermittent buttons too and re-seating the button ribbon connector that runs from the front panel to the PCB fixed it! Woohoo!!
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