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  1. keptin's Avatar
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    Default Fixes for Bold 9000 dysfunctional Speakerphone and Mute Button

    As an out of warranty Bold 9000 owner suffering from the dreaded dead or dying speakphone and mute/unlock button, I've had to do my fair share of janky fixes to finally come to lasting solutions that I'd like to share since I still see recent posts about these problems. Note: I'm currently using 5.0.0.681, which has been great aside from the non-optional use of the mute button to unlock the phone from standby as with all of the v5.0 software I've used.

    Speakerphone fix: I first removed the back cover and gently pulled the gray plate [which houses the LED-flash] up a bit while playing music to restore the volume to normal levels. Then, to keep the back cover of the phone from depressing the plate, I cut and stacked squares of a vinyl sticker (any bumper sticker will do) and layered them around the plate as seen below. This has lasted longer than any of the other suggested fixes to date. Ghetto mod, but it works.


    Mute Button fix: I found some desperate fixes from people that disassembled the button, cleaned it and re-soldered it. Apparently, the contacts inside the button can get corroded and make bad contact. I ended up taking the phone apart and using a drop of a mil-spec avionics penetrating lubricant called ACF-50.

    Wham bam boom. The button is now fully functional with every click. Unfortunately, ACF-50 isn't exactly a store brand. I'm not sure what a good comparable product would be since ACF-50 is designed to be safe for microelectronics & PCBs and WD-40 and such is not, but it's worth giving it a go with something if your next step is buying a new phone or even worse, downgrading to v4.0 . Maybe someone will chime in with a more available electronics-safe anti-corrosion suggestion. Please note: disassembling your phone will void the warranty and should only be done as an out-of-warranty repair, otherwise, return your phone for a replacement.

    *EDIT* User djmaskell says he had luck using a contact cleaner which is much more readily available than ACF-50. (See post #12)

    Good luck Bold 9000 owners, keep those phones alive!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.-bold9000_speakerphone_fix.jpg   A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.-bold9000_disassembled.jpg   A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.-acf-50_lubricant.jpg   A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.-bold9000_mute_button.jpg  
    Last edited by keptin; 10-16-2010 at 01:47 AM.
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    gibo44 (05-21-2011) 
  2. todbanner's Avatar
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    #2  

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    Great stuff! I was concerned when my mute button began to give up. After my blackout job my warranty is long gone.

    If it starts acting up again I'll be sure to give this a try!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  3. markfeinberg's Avatar
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    Default Great info

    Thanks for the great post. I've been having this problem with my bb. When I took it apart to fix the corrosion under the trackball (the ball 'clicked', but nothing happened), it cleared up the mute button issue a bit. Now the mute button isn't working again (only a week later). I bought this bold9000 used, so I'm not under warranty. Looks like it was a bit of a lemon, which doesn't sound that unusual nowadays with RIM, but I have no recourse other than buy a new device.

    I ordered the lubricant you suggested on line. Hopefully it will work. I'll let you all know. I found it at skygeek dot com, a site for aviation people. It seems to be available only in an aerosol - any suggestions of how to best apply it? Should I spray into a small cup and then use a dropper or q-tip to apply?
  4. daspollak's Avatar
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    Can you show pictures of how you lifted up the gray plate. It seems to me that I need to push it down to get sound out of my speaker. A pic on what you did would help if possible. Thanks for the info though.
  5. keptin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berger93 View Post
    I ordered the lubricant you suggested on line. Hopefully it will work. I'll let you all know. I found it at skygeek dot com, a site for aviation people. It seems to be available only in an aerosol - any suggestions of how to best apply it? Should I spray into a small cup and then use a dropper or q-tip to apply?
    Unfortunately, the aerosol is the only reasonably priced option...I've e-mailed the company a few times to see if they would be willing to sell their 1oz sample bottles to no avail. I discovered the stuff at HeliExpo '09, and later found that it's a product of the Lear Chemical Co., based locally (Reno, NV). Though, I probably won't need anymore for life after buying a 32oz bottle :P

    With the aerosol, it would probably be best to do as you mentioned; spray a bit in a cup and use a dropper so you don't make a mess. It really didn't require much...I used less than a drop since the button contacts are so tiny. Like any solvent, don't expect immediate results; it requires some time to work it's chemical magic. After a dozen button presses it was working almost every time for me, but it took overnight before it worked perfectly again, i.e., functioning with every normal press.

    I'd love to hear if you have the same success I did. Report back to us!

    Quote Originally Posted by daspollak
    Can you show pictures of how you lifted up the gray plate. It seems to me that I need to push it down to get sound out of my speaker. A pic on what you did would help if possible. Thanks for the info though.
    I noticed that as well--if I pressed on the plate the sound would become audible. After reading the solutions to a number of others, it seems pulling the plate up ever so slightly until you can hear audio at normal levels is the best method as the problem is caused by the plate being depressed by the back cover. I used a small jeweler's screwdriver for the job. Image attached.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.-bold9000_speakerphone_fix_detail.jpg  
    Last edited by keptin; 09-15-2010 at 09:29 PM.
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    fu53d (05-26-2011) 
  6. angelbleu's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the information!

    I've been looking everywhere for a fix for my dying Mute button.

    Do you know of any online stores from which I can pick up ACF-50? I live outside the States, so I would need a store that's willing to ship it overseas.

    Oh wait, did you say it's an aerosol?

    Drat... I know from experience that current import/export laws treat aerosols as a safety hazard, and won't allow them to be shipped to an international address.
  7. keptin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelbleu View Post
    Do you know of any online stores from which I can pick up ACF-50? I live outside the States, so I would need a store that's willing to ship it overseas.

    Oh wait, did you say it's an aerosol?

    Drat... I know from experience that current import/export laws treat aerosols as a safety hazard, and won't allow them to be shipped to an international address.
    First, see if you can find a comparable product that's more readily available. This particular stuff is happens to be perfect for solving the mute button issue since electronics corrosion is its intended application, but you might be able to solve it using other means that don't involve international shipping costs.

    If you do go the ACF50 route, it's most commonly found in liquid form, the aerosol happens to be the smallest quantity you can purchase. This stuff is used in aircraft and can be purchased in sizes up to 55gal drums , but you'll be better off contacting them and arranging to buy a single 32oz bottle, their smallest liquid size available.

    Their site is Corrosion-control (dot) com and they're based out of Reno, NV, USA.

    Right now I feel like I'm acting as their spokesperson--which isn't the case. I happened to find them at a small booth in an aircraft trade show and they had a really cool product. Maybe you can get similar results from WD40 or electrolytic grease on the cheap, but I'm not sure how safe these are for this application.

    It's made by the Lear Chemical Research corp, subsidiary of...you guessed it, Learjet. Oz for oz, it's cheaper than WD40, but the additional shipping cost for a single bottle makes it rather pricey. If you do buy some, first ask if they will sell or send you a 1 oz sample bottle like the one in my pic up top. If you end up getting stuck with a big bottle of it, it's some pretty cool stuff; coated electronics can pretty much be submerged in water and function. I'm dying to try it with an old Pentium 3 board.


    tl;dr - Buy it, use it. Here, Corrosion-control (dot) com.
  8. markfeinberg's Avatar
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    Default It worked!!

    Quote Originally Posted by keptin View Post
    I'd love to hear if you have the same success I did. Report back to us!
    I got the aerosol version of the ACF-50 today (it cost about $20 after shipping) It was from a company called skygeeks dot com based in NY and I live in NYC so it arrived the next day. I sprayed a little bit into a dixie cup and used a medicine dropper to apply to both the mute button and under the small copper tape that is under the trackball (to fix the corrosion which prevents the bb from registering a click when the track ball is pushed in)

    After I had reassembled the bb and it rebooted, I pushed the mute button 5-6 times and it started working again! And the trackball 'push' is working great too.

    GREAT FIX. Thanks KEPTIN - couldn't have done it without you! Hopefully this fix will last a while. I'm sick of taking my bb apart and am concerned that eventually I'll break something when doing it
  9. keptin's Avatar
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    Cool! Glad to hear it. I didn't even think of it solving the ball issue; I'll have to give that one a shot since mine is starting to act funny.

    This is the most jerry-rigged and ghetto-fixed phone I've ever had. Love it, but wow...
  10. zeelob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keptin View Post
    As an out of warranty Bold 9000 owner suffering from the dreaded dead or dying speakphone and mute/unlock button, I've had to do my fair share of janky fixes to finally come to lasting solutions that I'd like to share since I still see recent posts about these problems. Note: I'm currently using 5.0.0.681, which has been great aside from the non-optional use of the mute button to unlock the phone from standby as with all of the v5.0 software I've used.

    Speakerphone fix: I first removed the back cover and gently pulled the gray plate [which houses the LED-flash] up a bit while playing music to restore the volume to normal levels. Then, to keep the back cover of the phone from depressing the plate, I cut and stacked squares of a vinyl sticker (any bumper sticker will do) and layered them around the plate as seen below. This has lasted longer than any of the other suggested fixes to date. Ghetto mod, but it works.


    Mute Button fix: I found some desperate fixes from people that disassembled the button, cleaned it and re-soldered it. Apparently, the contacts inside the button can get corroded and make bad contact. I ended up taking the phone apart and using a drop of a mil-spec avionics penetrating lubricant called ACF-50.

    Wham bam boom. The button is now fully functional with every click. Unfortunately, ACF-50 isn't exactly a store brand. I'm not sure what a good comparable product would be since ACF-50 is designed to be safe for microelectronics & PCBs and WD-40 and such is not, but it's worth giving it a go with something if your next step is buying a new phone or even worse, downgrading to v4.0 . Maybe someone will chime in with a more available electronics-safe anti-corrosion suggestion. Please note: disassembling your phone will void the warranty and should only be done as an out-of-warranty repair, otherwise, return your phone for a replacement.

    Good luck Bold 9000 owners, keep those phones alive!


    Thank you for the fix for the speakerphone issue. It also restored to audible my email notifications. I don't know how you guyz discover/know the things you know, but I'm extremely grateful
  11. dboy54's Avatar
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    Great post on the fix tips. Never had a mute button problem but always the speaker problem. Seems like since about 2 days after the warranty ended too. I had been doing the plate pull and push for months until it just wouldn't work anymore without constant pressure. If you get to this point like I did, you can order a new midplate from cnn.cn for 13.99 plus $5 for shipping. Just replaced mine today and it works like new. Shipping was pretty quick too considering it came from Hong Kong. Ordered on a Friday afternoon and received it Monday a week later. Just my thoughts for anyone who gets to the point I did.
  12. djmaskell's Avatar
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    Cool PROBLEM SOLVED, looks like any decent electrical contact cleaner works

    Thanks for the good idea. It was a real pain in the *** when I updated to OS 5 and suddenly couldn't unlock the phone anymore when I locked the keys. I have no idea why they'd remove the " * + Send " unlock function, but whatever...

    I took apart the phone and shot some DeoxIT D5 contact cleaner in the mute button, clicked it a bunch of times, put it back together, and it cleared it right up!

    No need for specialty products, any generic contact cleaning solution should do the trick nicely. Even Radio Shack has contact cleaning solution. Of course, most employees have no idea what the **** it is, so just go look for a small spray can near the soldering & electrical components rack.


    NOTE! Be careful not to shoot too much! If it gets in the display, it will discolor the background of the screen and make it splotchy forever. If you display an all-white screen, for example, it will look like the sky on a gloomy cloudy day instead of a crisp all-white screen. Not harmful, just annoying. It does gradually fade away, but its always visible.
  13. keptin's Avatar
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    Great to know, thanks for the response. I've edited my first post and I'll recommend people give it a go first with a contact cleaner since it's available locally.
    Thanked by:
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  14. gibo44's Avatar
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    Default Toothpick works for speaker and contact cleaner for UK

    Thanks for the tips. Have sorted my speaker by lifting grey plate as suggested, genius! Not having any stickers to hand I gently pushed the sharp end of a wooden toothpick under the plate a few milimeters and cut, this is working fine. Can actually hear the phone ring now.

    Also re contact cleaners for any UK user maplin.co.uk sell an own brand contact cleaner for UKP3.89 (200ml aerosol). Am going to try this for my mute button and dodgy trackball.

    Cheers
    Last edited by gibo44; 05-21-2011 at 05:37 AM. Reason: first post was a little vague so provided more detail
  15. fu53d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keptin View Post
    Unfortunately, the aerosol is the only reasonably priced option...I've e-mailed the company a few times to see if they would be willing to sell their 1oz sample bottles to no avail. I discovered the stuff at HeliExpo '09, and later found that it's a product of the Lear Chemical Co., based locally (Reno, NV). Though, I probably won't need anymore for life after buying a 32oz bottle :P

    With the aerosol, it would probably be best to do as you mentioned; spray a bit in a cup and use a dropper so you don't make a mess. It really didn't require much...I used less than a drop since the button contacts are so tiny. Like any solvent, don't expect immediate results; it requires some time to work it's chemical magic. After a dozen button presses it was working almost every time for me, but it took overnight before it worked perfectly again, i.e., functioning with every normal press.

    I'd love to hear if you have the same success I did. Report back to us!



    I noticed that as well--if I pressed on the plate the sound would become audible. After reading the solutions to a number of others, it seems pulling the plate up ever so slightly until you can hear audio at normal levels is the best method as the problem is caused by the plate being depressed by the back cover. I used a small jeweler's screwdriver for the job. Image attached.
    Wow, thank you for that tip. I just did the very same thing to my bold 9000, using a jeweler's screwdriver. Lifting the plate slighty then tested the ring, the volume was a lot louder!

    Thanks very much for sharing this tip!
    BOLD 9780: OS: 6.0.0.666
  16. wileecoyote71's Avatar
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    I'm having the same problem with the mute button, so I headed to Radio Shack to see what they have. My local Radio Shack seems to have (3) versions that may fit the bill. However, each one is slightly different than the other one. Not sure which one to pick.

    In the original post, keptin calls it both a “penetrating lubricant” and “anti-corrosion” spray.

    So, looking for something that is both a lubricant and anti-corrosion, here is what I saw at my local store. I think the first one matches that description best as it is not as 'oily' as the second one, but not simply a pure cleaner like the third:


    PRICE: $4.99
    PART NUMBER: 640-0057
    NAME ON THE CAN: Anti-Corrosion LUBRICANT SPRAY
    CAN DESCRIPTION: Helps eliminate and prevent corrosion and oxidation. Penetrates, protects and cleans. Displaces moisture.
    My OPINION: Not quite as oily as the the second one below. Seems to clean and provide a little lubrication (yes, I sprayed my finger).


    PRICE: $10.99
    PART NUMBER: 640-4315
    NAME ON THE CAN: Control/Contact CLEANER AND LUBRICANT
    STICKER DESCRIPTION: TV Tuner Cleaner/Lubricant. Spray away "scratchy" volume on Mechanical tuners. Works for tone control and other contacts
    My OPINION: Seems very oily when sprayed (yes, I sprayed my finger). Much more oily than the first one.


    PRICE: $10.99
    PART NUMBER: 640-4345
    NAME ON THE CAN: Precision ELECTRONICS CLEANER
    STICKER/CAN DESCRIPTION: Cleans away dust, dirt and oxidation. Safe of most plastics. Leaves no residue. Cleans inside of electronic devices. For printed circuit boards, battery contacts and more.
    My OPINION: A pure contact cleaner. It feels similar to an automotive cleaner like a carb or brake cleaner where it evaporates almost immediately. Has NO oily reside (not a lubricant at all like the other two, just a cleaner).
  17. dag99's Avatar
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    Speakerphone fix with the screwdriver and tape works great! I used electrical tape.

    Thanks.
  18. BBOOSE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keptin View Post
    it seems pulling the plate up ever so slightly until you can hear audio at normal levels is the best method as the problem is caused by the plate being depressed by the back cover. I used a small jeweler's screwdriver for the job. Image attached.
    Thank you for this fix. This will keep my Bold alive for a little longer yet in the hope that RIM will one day again release a top notch phone...
  19. chichantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmaskell View Post
    Thanks for the good idea. It was a real pain in the *** when I updated to OS 5 and suddenly couldn't unlock the phone anymore when I locked the keys. I have no idea why they'd remove the " * + Send " unlock function, but whatever...

    I took apart the phone and shot some DeoxIT D5 contact cleaner in the mute button, clicked it a bunch of times, put it back together, and it cleared it right up!

    No need for specialty products, any generic contact cleaning solution should do the trick nicely. Even Radio Shack has contact cleaning solution. Of course, most employees have no idea what the **** it is, so just go look for a small spray can near the soldering & electrical components rack.


    NOTE! Be careful not to shoot too much! If it gets in the display, it will discolor the background of the screen and make it splotchy forever. If you display an all-white screen, for example, it will look like the sky on a gloomy cloudy day instead of a crisp all-white screen. Not harmful, just annoying. It does gradually fade away, but its always visible.
    Bought a Torx T5 driver for 99 cents, went to a guitar repair shop and had them put a little DeoxIT on the button. Works like a charm. A little got in the screen, but it disappeared within 5 minutes. Thanks to KEPTIN and others for the advice, as I've had this problem for at least a year.
  20. oktheorignal's Avatar
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    Default Re: A longtime Bold owner's fixes for dysfunctional speakerphone and mute button.

    I live in Pakistan guys and ive got the same problem..I fixed the speakerphone by jamming the tiny card a little bit further down but i dont know what to do for the mute button. I dont have those sprays available here so do u have any other solutions? Any spray substitutes? Or maybe the chem formula of it. Maybe i can find it somewhere.

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