5TH Gen Clock PCB Repair w/ Pics

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by ridnout, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. ridnout

    ridnout New Member

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    The first bike I had ridden was a VFR750. It was this bike that forged my desire for a bike. I then sought out to purchase one myself many years later; however, I wanted to stay away from carburetors. Having purchased a '99 VFR800 about three years ago for the cheapest I could find, it was not without problems. I loved the bike off the bat and had found that I had "THE VFR", at least what many would consider the jewel of the lineage. It had faded paint all around, a busted top cowl from a drop, a dying RR, and a LCD display that was on the fritz. In spite of these ails, she was relatively low mileage with the maintenance kept up, pretty solid and without any other cosmetic woes or mechanical gremlins, not even a dent in the gas tank. I purchased another, '04 6TH Gen, to cut my teeth on and learn while I would restore, make mine, the 5TH. The plan was to sell the 6TH after the completion of the 5TH. Well after riding the 6TH for two years and doing all sorts of maintenance, I decided to keep both! In hindsight, I would have been through with the 5TH long ago; the fifth was just a better example mechanically and cosmetically only needing paint...

    All in all, after getting both bikes at my current location, on a whim I decided to dive into repairing the LCD. I had read about the common problem on forums here and there.

    Here were the symptoms:
    1) Speedometer & RPM gauges worked.
    2) Backlighting worked.
    3) The LCD did present the proper information only when viewed from a difficult off-angle/axis direction.
    4) Supertwist of the LCD panel looked like it was on the fritz, or that the LCD's microcontroller was stuck in its initialization.
    1.JPG
    5) A repair had been attempted.
    2.JPG 3.JPG
    6) The clock did not stay on when the ignition was turned off (learned this from the 6TH).


    Was it the harness, the PCB, or a combination? Did the dying RR fry the voltage regulator on the back of the LCD assembly or its brain?


    Well, simplicity won out.
    The attempted repair was all wrong but gave some clues and provided hardware.

    THE FIX:

    After first cleaning the PCB contact pads with 000 steel wool and soaking, cleaning the screws/hardware, and reassembling with Deoxit, the symptoms remained. Consulting the schematic revealed the error in the jumper after tracing the clock (always on) wire to the PCB. There was battery voltage at the harness plug and continuity from that to point A. There was continuity from point A to point B.
    IMG_5186.JPG

    There was no continuity from point B to the contact pad on the PCB. The trace was broken (circled in red).
    4.JPG

    Instead of jumping from the harness, I chose to repair the PCB with a portion of the incorrectly jumped wiring & solder/shrink wrap repair the place where the splice (poor) had been made. Using a soldering iron, I first applied solder to its tip and tinned the jumper's lead. Then I added a small amount of solder to the tip of the iron letting the solder and not the tip sink heat to the pad. I then pressed the jumper into place. To ensure a good solder joint, I momentarily heated the pad/lead with the tip until molten for just a second and allowed it to cool. That was to ensure that I did not damage the PCB ($200 for PCB and case last I checked).
    IMG_5199.JPG IMG_5200.JPG

    Here are the results! The LCD now works properly, and the clock stays on when the bike is turned off. I have not yet reattached the gas tank, as there are other things to do. I do not anticipate any other hiccups with that circuitry, but further testing will tell in the long run.
    IMG_5192.JPG IMG_5223.JPG IMG_5224.JPG

    The idea was to keep the jumper on the PCB if possible and not directly from the harness. If the gauge assembly had to be removed in the future, that would be one extra piece to remove. This way, I believe that someone could go behind me and instantly tell what the problem was initially.



    Thanks to the forums out there & the aforementioned failed attempt that got me going. It goes without saying that working behind others can be a challenge.

    If this helps someone in the future, awesome!
     
  2. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    I am really glad this thread exists. I suggest update the title to include lcd multi-gauge. Looking around the interwebz, those two words are used to describe that LCD area.

    Turns out mine had the same kind of corrosion.
    [​IMG]
    I also decided to solder a new wire to the functional, existing terminal point.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for posting this. Saved me time and money.

    Jose
     

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  3. ridnout

    ridnout New Member

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    Wow, I'm glad this thread was of some help!

    When I initially searched the web for answers, Bikers Oracle (IIRC) had an excellent procedure. Somehow when the site was either compromised by hacking or a server/drive failure occurred, again can't recall, all of the links in relevant posts came up DEAD. You would think that it would have been a sticky. Now as a precaution, I use Firefox's extension Scrapbook + to archive all that I plan to do in the future.

    On a side note, I was contemplating using the engineering department's LPFK after being told by a professor and friend that it would fabricate flexible PCBs. After that, I thought that I'd outsource for a bulk buy to offer this group and others a much cheaper alternative. What stopped me was when Doc handed me the MANUALS for the LPFK. Thick is not the word. In addition, there is always a catch; "Write up a tutorial on how to use the thing..."

    If the group were still interested, somehow I'd find a loaner PCB or damaged one to create the necessary files needed by fabricators and get a quote.

    Ahhh, another caveat is that the PCB from Honda does come with the rear case and is affixed; although, I don't think that is a big deal.


    Anyway, glad to be of some help.

    --> One other thing, I'd go back and add a little more solder to that pad & wire without heating it up too much. Because of the vibrations experienced, it may develop a broken joint, a cold solder joint as we say, and still be attached or just fail completely. The extra solder would sure up the connection and offer a bit of extra confidence. It may hold for posterity, and pics may not do it justice.

    --> I did try to edit the post but wasn't given the option to change the title which may be something that requires administrator intervention. Great suggestion though.

    ALL in all, glad to be giving something back.
     
  4. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    Yeah, I should re-flow that solder. I was working all out of position, and unstable so I was just happy to get a good braze at the time. I still have it apart to install the LED bulbs, so I'll give it another touch with the piece more securely held, and something preventing the wire from moving. I also didn't use stranded wire. I used solid core, which always shows pretty clearly on a flat solder to a surface. It's not like when you push it through a PCB, and get that nice dot of solder all the way through the board.

    Having this post to look at really saved my bacon. Thanks again.
     
  5. ridnout

    ridnout New Member

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    The metallurgy of the commercially soldered joints is bit different, as I believe that it is formulated for wave soldering and not repair. In my experience, the melting point is usually higher than the stuff we normally would pick up. With that said, I had to press the stranded conductors against the molten solder to get that effect on the reflow.

    I would try to reflow the joint by placing a small amount of solder on the tip as a preparation; and using something like a very small flat head screw driver or scratch awl (something very small so that it does not wick away too much heat) to apply pressure to the conductor. Once the solder becomes molten, press enough to bury it. Allow it to cool. Then reflow the solder again but with the head of the screwdriver on the insulation of the conductor very close to the soldered section with enough pressure to keep it buried.

    That would do it I believe. From Tektronix Oscilloscopes to TM500 Plug-Ins, etcetera to board level repair of surface mounted devices with only a decent iron and the regular solder and occasional silver bearing solder AND that procedure has done it for me time and time again whether as a hobbyist or in the lab.

    Now here is the rub, as I learned from a welding instructor and many of the welders when I working as a fabricator, "If it holds, who cares about pretty; have x-rayed a many pretty welds only to find hollows and a good many to fail." I will add that if it holds and is electrochemically sound, then to heck with my procedure and carry on.
     
  6. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    Last night I basically did what you suggest. I tinned up the tip of my 85 watt iron, and put some flux paste on the board contact point. I held down the wire with a pick and gave it a little extra dot of solder. It's on there solid, the bike is all back together, and even has LED's to boot. MAN is that dash bright now. :Smokin:

    Jose

     
  7. ridnout

    ridnout New Member

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    Awesome! Lurking on eBay, I found a good looking gauge assembly with a few case issues and the multi-function display LCD out. The PCB looked good, but I've got a guess as to the problem. : )

    Good job, and again, more than glad to be of some aid.

    Enjoy the ride!
     
  8. Rocker1500

    Rocker1500 New Member

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    Glad I stumbled on this thread, I had the same issue with mine, at least I just had no power to the LCD screen. Occasionally it would reset itself while riding (trip odometer and clock), then finally it stopped working altogether. I just got power back to the display today by placing a jumper wire over the broken trace shown in the attached pics.

    20190323_194544.jpg 20190323_194607.jpg
     
  9. dino71

    dino71 New Member

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    Happy New Year everyone! Can someone please tell me if there is a way to make the pictures posted in this thread bigger/clearer?
     
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