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 Post subject: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Does anyone repair mini-docks? I have a 2504 with a bad ethernet port, but IBM would charge a minimum of $175 to fix it. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:06 pm 
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It isn't worth repairing when you can get a working one for $20 on eBay.

Wait, disregard that. Send it to me and I'll fix it for only $100 plus shipping. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Don't forget to move the key barrel if you can :)


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:55 am 
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I think I'll just use the wifi instead of wired, see how that goes. Unless Scott wants to knock off his repair by a factor of 10.

Edit: As it seems to have been possibly killed by a failed APC surge protector (power brick > mini-dock > router > cable modem), will see if they'll pay for it. The power brick died, the ethernet port(s) on the mini-dock, router, cable modem dead or dysfunctional. Nothing else plugged into the surge protector died, but nothing else was drawing power, and the cable itself is grounded. The laptop that was in the dock seems fine. Sounds like bad surge protector, surge went from powered devices to ground via cable, frying everything wired on the network on the way?


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Are you saying that there was an external surge, during which the APC surge protector failed to protect the equipment? Or there was no external surge, however the APC unit spontaneously failed (for no apparent reason), and that failure then allegedly damaged the other components that were plugged in?

Unfortunately in either case no surge protector mfr. I know of would guarantee *any* of the equipment plugged in to the protector. At best they might give you a new surge protector. Personally I wouldn't even bother, as in my experience they are ineffectual against "real" surges. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:32 pm 
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The latter, an external surge. They're sending out a new surge protector, and I'll be submitting paperwork on it to them. I do think it was a near lightning strike that did it.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Was the ethernet or CATV cable wired *through* the surge protector? In other words, how was the unit directly connected to your network?

If there was no direct connection between the surge protector and your network cabling (Ethernet or CATV coax), then most likely the surge came in through the CATV (cable TV) cable, taking out the modem, router, and ethernet ports on other devices. In that case the so-called "surge protector" wouldn't even be involved.

That is another reason why AC power surge protectors are relatively useless. Since there are multiple entry points for surges in a system (CATV, DSL, Ethernet, Telephone, Satellite, and of course AC power), unless you have surge protectors on *all* possible entry points, a surge through any one of them can take out part or all of any components that are connected.

You should be submitting your "paperwork" to your insurance company instead of wasting time with the surge protector mfr. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:53 pm 
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No, the coax wasn't through the surge protector, and from what I've read that will cause problems with the cable internet. Is that true or not?


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Quote:
No, the coax wasn't through the surge protector...

Then the surge protector probably had no involvement in the damage you sustained.

Quote:
...from what I've read that will cause problems with the cable internet. Is that true or not?

Not if you select the right one. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:29 pm 
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I can't find those specs listed on any products by APC, Tripp-Lite, or Belkin.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:24 pm 
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I've gotten a new dock. Ethernet via the dock is only 100Mbps, not a gigabit. However, the laptop will run gigabit when plugged into its ethernet port. The dock is not the problem, as it runs at gigabit speed when used with another TP. The surge seems to have partially destroyed this one's docking network capability.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:26 pm 
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Thanks for the follow up. That's too bad, but believable since the interface to the dock is via the docking connector on the bottom. Something must have been damaged in that area during the surge. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Is there any way to enable a TP's ethernet port when plugged into a dock?

Edit: Am I correct in thinking that for internet, 100Base-TX is only a bottleneck if I have 70Mbps or so down the pipe?


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Quote:
Is there any way to enable a TP's ethernet port when plugged into a dock?

Not that I know of.

Quote:
Am I correct in thinking that for internet, 100Base-TX is only a bottleneck if I have 70Mbps or so down the pipe?

If you have more bandwith than that, I'd say yes. The primary drawback for 100Mbps over Gigabit would be in the time it takes to copy or move files locally. Since that is something I do quite often, 100Mbps would be a major drawback for me. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Now the cable is protected by an APC P8VT3, and there seems to be no loss in speed. Hopefully that won't happen again.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:16 pm 
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I suppose if I really need it, I could do a motherboard transplant. How long does Lenovo keep spares around for? I'd like to get at least another 2 years out of the thing, for a total of 5 minimum.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:50 am 
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So it is possible to repair a laptop dock? How would one do that? What equipment and parts would one need for this one? It might be fun just to repair it to learn how.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:55 am 
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Sure it's "possible":
Scott wrote:
It isn't worth repairing when you can get a working one for $20 on eBay.

Wait, disregard that. Send it to me and I'll fix it for only $100 plus shipping. <g> Scott.

The most economical way to repair it would be to purchase a working one for $20 on ebay, then swap the internal parts into the failed one. Or you could save a bunch of time and effort and just throw the failed one out and use the working one instead. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:17 am 
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Well, I disassembled/broke it. The mainboard has a FRU of 41W6563, but I highly doubt this thing was meant to be disassembled. There's a fairly large block with a circular tab on top, each end of the tab having a lead. The top of the part says 220, 77D below it, and ) bracketing them in the left. One lead looks singed around the edges. This is the only part of the board that shows any possible damage that may have resulted from the surge. This part is in close proximity to at least three capacitors.

The board has a SMSC USB2504A-JT USB controller. It also has a TI-brandedHT04A MOSFET and a TI-branded NAND gate, near the outer edge to the left of the speaker and mic jacks, prior to the serial and parallel ports. The legacy I/O is handled by a Winbond WPCN384UADMG Legacy-Reduced SuperI/O chip.

What does a LAN transformer do? There's one on the board, Pulse H5007ANL, offset from the ethernet jack.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:58 pm 
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The transformer is part of a circuit that provides a limited amount of isolation, combined with termination to supress EMI. You can see more about it here and here, and view the original patent here. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing laptop mini-docks
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Certainly have training in patent law... Oddly, the background states that "[f]iber optic cables are generally immune to electrical noise." When are they not immune to electrical noise? I suppose this patent demonstrates why networking equipment can get so hot.


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