1. glossywhite's Avatar
    Engineer that I am, I am oft seen scouring eBay for "joblot" bargains and phones which I think I can fix (I search for HOURS!)

    2 days ago I purchased a Bold 9900 sold as "mic fault, but brand new condition" (and it was - all the plastic protective films were intact, including the LCD one, but the mic, as listed, was VERY weak except on recorded videos (which must use a different mic.)

    Your mileage may vary, but on mine I removed the "smile" self-adhesive sub-keyboard trim VERY carefully (I don't rush repairs - no sane engineer would. I made a custom tool by shaving down the corner of a credit card with a scalpel, tapering it into a precise plastic shim - like a plastic razor blade, if you will) and then unscrewed the KB screws, carefully lifted the keyboard assembly out with the shim (still attached to the motherboard) and then made a test recording WITHOUT the keyboard... and whaddaYaKnow - it recorded at FULL volume!

    Upon meticulous inspection of the electret mic element on the motherboard, I saw that the translucent white, elastomer gasket (part of the lower right underside of the KB) has left a pressure mark where it's been pressing against the metal housing of the mic... and it was MISALIGNED, blocking a couple of the holes with the edge of the gasket!

    This, for some reason, has led to the sound pressure getting to the mic capsule to be unequal, or distorted (or blocked - I couldn't fathom the pneumatics at 2am!) so I grabbed a scalpel and VERY carefully and slowly, sliced off the moulded, cylindrical elastomer gasket formation which protrudes from the lower-right of the underside of the keyboard (and which presses up against the mic, ensuring a direct and closed audio coupling between the black fine mesh-sealed mic hole (under the adhesive-backed "smile" trim which is located under the bottom row of the KB - a tiny slot perforation carries the audio down, through a gap in the adhesive of that trim, into the meshed hole, through the gasket and into the mic capsule.)

    I clicked the KB back into the steel trim, sans adhesive "smile" trim, and tested again - PERFECT. I then masked the left side of the trim adhesive with waxed label backing, and pressed the right hand side of the adhesive-backed trim (with the audio slot in it), back onto the bottom matte plastic, underneath the bottom row of keys on the KB, to simulate it being reassembled and stuck down - PERFECT AUDIO AGAIN!

    In short, I have sliced off the elastomer which forms a seal between the audio hole under the adhesive trim and the microphone capsule - IT NOW WORKS 100%, 100% of the time!

    I've attached some photos of the hacked-up elastomer after "slicing" (hah!) with the scalpel - and shown the excess elastomer removed. After doing this, I pressed some strong insulation tape adhesive side down into the gasket area to lift off any particles of elastomer I may have left, nothing came up - I pressed harder and re-lifted the tape - nope - good enough - no stray elastomer particles!

    Seeing as ALL Bold 9900 Berries are now well out of warranty, it can't hurt for you to try this - at the worst you'd need to buy a new keyboard (slow and careful with that blade - easy does it!) - I've attached two PS'd diagrams I've made to illustrate what I meant by the gasket being mis-aligned and blocking the microphone capsule perforations.

    I hope this helps someone (or many!) - this is now a MINT, brand new, unbranded 9900 I've paid £19.99 for (free postage too) ... now all I'm waiting for is that good condition BB Classic I've bought for £30 on eBay, to arrive

    Bold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-veryquiet-mic_mis-alignedbold9900micgasketunderkblowerright.pngBold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-shouldbealignedbold9900micgasketunderkblowerright.pngBold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-img_1279.jpgBold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-img_1278.jpgBold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-img_1271.jpg
    Bold 9900 weak/quiet mic fix (no soldering, needs scalpel and tools)-bold9900micgasket.png
    Last edited by glossywhite; 03-15-17 at 12:39 AM.
    mushroom_daddy likes this.
    03-15-17 12:19 AM
  2. anon(9721108)'s Avatar
    I would be curious to know what the actual "mileage" is on your 99. Have you performed the BUYR test to find out how many minutes/hours are on it???

    also why would have there been a mic blockage if the device is brand new? Could it be an error from the factory when they misaligned the gasket OR perhaps someone changed the KB and mucked it up carelessly?

    I had to have a new ear speaker installed at my electronics shop and they had misaligned the gaskey that surrounds the screen where it meets the metal bezel. On the right side where the volume buttons are, part of the gasket was carelessly re-installed and it would not allow the Volume UP button to depress. I had to take it appart and lower the screen enough (without removing it) to align the gasket properly and then BAM, it is all good now.

    -sent from a beautiful Bold 9900
    03-15-17 02:21 AM
  3. glossywhite's Avatar
    I would be curious to know what the actual "mileage" is on your 99. Have you performed the BUYR test to find out how many minutes/hours are on it???

    also why would have there been a mic blockage if the device is brand new? Could it be an error from the factory when they misaligned the gasket OR perhaps someone changed the KB and mucked it up carelessly?

    I had to have a new ear speaker installed at my electronics shop and they had misaligned the gaskey that surrounds the screen where it meets the metal bezel. On the right side where the volume buttons are, part of the gasket was carelessly re-installed and it would not allow the Volume UP button to depress. I had to take it appart and lower the screen enough (without removing it) to align the gasket properly and then BAM, it is all good now.

    -sent from a beautiful Bold 9900
    "BUYR" data:

    Data Usage: 72982.4k

    Voice Usage: 1:41 (it increased from 1:34, I just made a 7 sec test call)


    So, as new as I thought. As an electronics service and production line engineer of 25+ years, I'll say this - there's NO sign of usage whatsoever, not the tiniest sign of lint, dust, etc, it looks like it just came from a clean room.
    03-15-17 05:45 AM

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