UNHINGED by Larry Mountainborn Harmon

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UNHINGED by Larry Mountainborn Harmon


Our laptop takes a hit while out on the road

By Larry Mountainborn Harmon


When we think about some of the mechanical problems we have experienced out there on the open road, we tend to think in terms of flats and fuel filters. This time however, it was a bit different !

The laptop is a critical component of our travels around Americas heartland. We mount it in a RAMLINE bracket in the tow vehicle and run a navigation program on the 17 inch screen. It is the way we communicate with friends and family. It gives us face to face time with the grandkids and great grand kids, via SKYPE. We order things and pay bills on the laptop. Campground reservations and cancellations as well as searching for cool stuff to see, are often managed via the laptop. And most of all, that laptop contains those important, memory evoking trip photos, like the one below from the sugar beet harvest up near the Canadian border.

We are pretty careful with the laptop and put it in a padded place when not in use. But, when putting on lots of miles, sooner or later it will take a hit. A screen hinge broke on ours, during the latest episode. It continued to work, so I just opened it up carefully, until the day that I heard something go into the cooling fan. It wasn’t long before this message came up upon boot up.

It was time to do something alright ! I should have known that I was headed for trouble when the broken hinge caused the case to start to separate, here is a look.

Knowing that the fan was likely damaged, I had one mailed to our location. A quick check of youtube let me view a fan replacement and hinge repair video. It seems as though a broken hinge is pretty common and there were some good tips and hints there. Placing a small fan near the case separation kept the laptop from shutting down due to overheating and I gathered up these items before opening up the cases.

I was not prepared for so many tiny screws of different sizes, but other than that, the disassembly was pretty much straight forward. On the left are the plastic pieces that jammed the fan.

Using the epoxy to put the threaded brass ferules back in place for the hinge and putting in place the new fan, I was soon ready to re assemble. Here is a look at the epoxied in place ferules and hinge ( lower left corner of the photo ).

You may notice that I managed to get some epoxy over on to the power switch, but a little alcohol on a Q tip, cleaned it right up. One of the hints from the videos that I had watched was to wear thin cotton gloves, but I was staying clear of the circuit boards, so I did not use any. He, he, I hope I do not regret that decision later. An emergency repair with a little video instruction, tiny screwdrivers and my trusty old pocket knife.

Here is a look at the video that I used, just incase it might come in handy for someone:

I have to admit that mine was a kind of a shade tree repair, yet, so far everything is working well. Now, I just wonder, what our next laptop adventure may be .

About mountainborn information

RVing, Huntin’, Fishin”, SCUBA Divin’, retired public servant

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