[NTLK] eMate issues (not display cable for once!)

Robert Zimmerman bob_zimmerman at myrealbox.com
Wed Feb 10 03:32:57 EST 2010

I am in the process of repairing an eMate.  For once, it's not the display cable.  I got to the hinges in time, I just had to spend forever and a day stretching out each spring.  I haven't fully reassembled it yet, just enough to verify that it powers on.  I noticed two odd issues.

Problem 1: I haven't soldered the speaker back to the logic board because I will need to remove the board to replace some of the plastic bits on either side (namely the PCMCIA bezel and the serial/NIC door).  I've been using the headphone jack so I can hear the boot sounds and so forth and make sure the device is working.  I get this low-frequency clicking.  It is a very loud click several times per second (I would estimate 7).  There are a few other sounds that I believe are logic crosstalking with the audio (high-frequency warbling and chirps), but the loud clicking concerns me.  I didn't see anything in my quick search of the archives.  I would really rather not have to get out my oscilloscope and trace the problem down.  Has anyone else encountered anything similar?

Problem 2: It doesn't seem to be charging the battery.  It sees that the battery is present and says "Charging", but I don't see any progress.  If I don't have the eMate connected to mains power, it won't boot.  The battery could just be completely flat, but it definitely booted the device a few days ago when I did some exploratory surgery.  I left it alone for a bit and Extras reported "Fault".  I unplugged the battery and AC power, then plugged the battery in again, plugged in AC power again, and booted it. I'll let it try to charge overnight.  Before I break out the multimeter, does anybody know of other problems that could cause this?

This eMate does not have the 2010 fix yet, but I wouldn't expect a date problem to cause audio clicks or battery charging issues.  Then again, I have seen weirder software problems that look like hardware problems.


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