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Solution to the Compaq r3000 power jack solder issue

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August 10, 2008 8:55:50 PM

Ok, anyone with a Compaq Presario laptop with various model numbers has had this issue: The power jack inside becomes loose do to cold soldering and the battery can no longer be charged, the laptop cannot run on ac power, or it switches back and forth from AC to battery. There are a couple fixes if you don't own a docking station/expansion base. The first few are well known, the last one isn't. Don't bother speaking with HP on this, they have instructions to not discuss it and to only offer parts that they no longer make or sell:
1) Take the laptop completely apart and put in a new power jack or resolder the current contacts and cross your fingers. 4 hours of work.
2) Get the all-in-one media cable xc1000 and use that to charge the machine. Unfortunately, these cables are no longer made and even if you can find a new one the price has jumped from $31 to over $200 because so many people have this problem with their laptops (10's of thousands).
3) Send your laptop to HP and have them fix it for $300. Some people say they no longer do this.
4) Have a local computer repair shop fix it for $150 or more (I charge $150, but it is a pita).
5) This would be an easy fix if HP would just sell the male connector to the expansion port found on the side of many of these laptops. You could simply solder a charger connector to the furthest left pole (negative) and the furthest right pole (positive) and you would have your charger. Note: the charging light will not light up, but the screen will show it is charging. IF ANYONE WHO READS THIS FINDS A SOURCE OF THE MALE CONNECTORS LET ME KNOW. I CAN USE ABOUT 100 OF THEM.
6) Simply put some solder on a sliver of copper or aluminum. I used one of those 'U' connectors for attaching a wire to a screw connector and cut off one side. Push it part way into the right side of the expansion port (all the way will ground it - Check everything with a meter before adding power). Heat it up and it will solder to the contact. This is your positive contact for the power jack. Slide a power jack into the power jack plug on the back. This will be your negative contact ONLY and a device to make sure the loose center pole of the jack doesn't short out (DO NOT USE THE POSITIVE LEAD). Go to Radio Shack and pick up a female jack that will work with your charger. Put the positive lead from the expansion port on the center and the negative from the power jack on the outside. You now have a working power jack. I cut a piece of plastic and glued it to the case to cover the expansion port and it looks ok. Again, the light on your computer will not light up to show you are charging. But, the screen will show you are charging.
Be careful if you do #6, check for shorts before adding power. The positive lead should show resistance. If not it is shorted out to the chassis. I hope this helps.

More about : solution compaq r3000 power jack solder issue

September 27, 2008 10:48:18 PM

How I would like to try #6, but my english isnt perfet. So I'm not sure what is a U connector.

"Push it part way into the right side of the expansion port". Im not sure about this too. Coud you please post some photo? I would apreciate very much a contact to my email. aurelioig@ig.com.br
September 27, 2008 10:57:38 PM

I figured out an even better solution since this was written. Look at the expansion port on your computer. The far right large copper contact is positive. The far left is negative. You can check this with a meter.
Take an old pc card - the kind that plugs into the inside of a pc.
Cut the contact side so it is the exact length of the expansion port. Make it about 1/2 inch or so wide. It will end up being about an inch long and 1/2 inch wide. On the inch long side are the contacts that used to plug into the computer when it was a pc card. Grind or file off all but the far left and far right contacts. Then, grind the other side down so it is thin enough to plug into the expansion port. Solder the positive wire of your charger on the right contact. The negative wire onto the left contact. Then you can slide it in and you have a charger! On my personal computer I was nervous my wife would plug it in upside down, so I put a 12 volt plug in on the contacts and taped the new expansion port plug permanently into the computer. Now I just plug the power supply into the 12 volt plug in and I am all set to go. I would take a picture, but it would be very difficult to uplug it at this point.
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September 28, 2008 4:31:28 PM

Thanks i'll try.... One last doubt... These right and left contacts... They look like a pair... The pair works as one? So should I contact both contacts (two on right side, and two on the left)?

And by right contact you mean the contact nearest the lcd screen. Right?

Thanks
September 28, 2008 5:48:25 PM

On mine there are some larger copper contacts on each end. On one each end. They are different form the others because they have a top and a bottom. Only the top or the bottom needs to have power. If you have concerns, put a volt meter on them and you will easily see which ones are the power contacts. If your charge plug still works the power will show on thes contacts when it is plugged in and working. If not, it will show the voltage of the battery.
October 21, 2008 12:51:25 AM

bbells said:
I figured out an even better solution since this was written. Look at the expansion port on your computer. The far right large copper contact is positive. The far left is negative. You can check this with a meter.
Take an old pc card - the kind that plugs into the inside of a pc.
Cut the contact side so it is the exact length of the expansion port. Make it about 1/2 inch or so wide. It will end up being about an inch long and 1/2 inch wide. On the inch long side are the contacts that used to plug into the computer when it was a pc card. Grind or file off all but the far left and far right contacts. Then, grind the other side down so it is thin enough to plug into the expansion port. Solder the positive wire of your charger on the right contact. The negative wire onto the left contact. Then you can slide it in and you have a charger! On my personal computer I was nervous my wife would plug it in upside down, so I put a 12 volt plug in on the contacts and taped the new expansion port plug permanently into the computer. Now I just plug the power supply into the 12 volt plug in and I am all set to go. I would take a picture, but it would be very difficult to uplug it at this point.


Sounds like you came up with a great solution.

Is the PC card you refer to just any PCI card with contacts on one end?
Also, I'm a little unclear on what the contacts are on the PC card that you solder the wires from the charger to. Do you just solder it to part of the contact that is sticking out of the expansion port?
Does the card stay connected or does it come out easily?
Do you have to be careful connecting the card so it doesn't short out at the back?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm seriously considering trying out your solution.
Thanks
October 21, 2008 1:33:19 AM

One other question-
When I put the leads from my voltmeter onto the left and right contacts, it doesn't register on my voltmeter. My computer still works on battery so I know it still has about 50% charge. Am I doing something wrong or does this mean my expansion port is not functional?
October 21, 2008 12:45:21 PM

Interesting. Be sure you have the leads on the far right and left copper colored contacts. They don't look like the rest of the contacts. My battery was bad so I tested the contacts with the power supply on. If the port is working and it is the original expansion port, then I would be nervous about using this fix. I know they have 2 expansion ports, the early one and the later one. They look similar. The fix i am describing is for the r3000 compaq that would use the expansion base DL516A.
October 21, 2008 1:31:11 PM

Thanks for getting back to me.

My laptop is an R3210 which is listed as being compatible for the DL516A. I did put the leads on the far left and right contacts. I tried it with the computer turned on and off. I checked my meter on a AA battery to confirm it was working. I guess for some reason my expansion port isn't functioning, even though I've never used it. Maybe they did some bad soldering on it too.
October 21, 2008 4:44:06 PM

Yep. Sounds like you are SOL. Sorry.
October 31, 2008 2:26:22 PM

I have a version of the power cord issue and used the expansion port solution, but...well, here is the background...

1) initially I had the same problem of the computer switching to battery power even though the power cable was plugged in. I would unplug it, replug it, wiggle it and get it to work, and eventually that stopped.

2) so I soldered a new dc jack to the EXPANSION port to bypass the back input. And for 36 hours it worked perfectly!

3) but now, the NEW connection does the same thing! Whether I plug into the back of the machine OR the new input via the media/expansion port, the charge lasts only 1 second before switching to battery. This is not a wiggling issue. (fyi, the lighting bolt on the front of the machine lights up, despite some reports that it would not light when on A/C with this mod).

4) BUT, when the computer is on hibernate or off, the computer battery WILL charge. It's only once windows is up and running that it loses the ability to charge up. Does this make sense to anyone?

I don't understand how my fix worked for two days and then suddenly stopped working.

Any ideas?

Oh, and for what it's worth, the laptop works fine when I remove the battery (it's a new battery).

Thanks!
January 10, 2009 4:50:33 PM

HI all... another compaq customer here.. I have a presario 2232us laptop. I have had issues in the past with the a/c jack.. had to replace it. Well my motherboard got fried, that's another story.. But I put in another board (used).. everything works fine.. EXCEPT for the battery charge. The laptop runs off the a/c power fine.. when the battery is inserted, the charge light comes on (which I assume it should be charging). I checked the power meter in the power options properties and it shows the battery and the status is On line- charging. However, it is not charging. Would this have to do with the dc jack on the motherboard? Thanks guys!!
June 9, 2009 6:52:54 PM

Here is the bottom line to all of this power cord problems.
The power plug on the rear of all of these units is incorrect.
When they were soldered in place they used only enough heat to solder one side of board.When people try to resolder plug thet damage board.
The plug is attached to board on 2 sides.
To correct problem you need to remove old plug and make sure the foil on the board has not been damaged.If it has you must jumper over bad foil area to create new junction.
After you know one side of board is good you need to solder in a new type of plug.
Do not use board type plug.Solder to same place original plug was soldered in using standard gauge wire.
Use heavy enough wire to allow proper current flow but not to big that it will short out across other areas of board.
Use this wire to wire in external plug to be used to charge and run computer.
I have done this on 2 units so far and have 2 more to do this weekend for friends.
Each unit took me 3 1/2 hours and $7.00
Be careful soldering so you do not destroy more of the motherboard.
Compaq has done enough damage to our computers already.
July 22, 2009 4:11:04 PM

I am getting ready to solder this connection at work. Besides standard gauge wire, any flux resin?
July 22, 2009 8:36:20 PM

not really, to aggressive and might make the solder so thin that it'll run in the hole and shorts to another board layer.
August 29, 2009 2:59:35 AM

So... a follow-up post in case anyone is still using their old Compaq R3000 like me (I have had it over 5 years), hey it still works, except for the power problem, which I have fixed. In case you are having one of the following problems and are curious what it might take to fix, I will run through what happened with me. Since it is now Aug 2009 I may be the only one keeping one alive, but hey, since I found out so much, I thought I would share in case someone can give theirs new life.
My problems: flickering screen that needed to warm up and be twisted to stay on steady, intermittent power issues, plugging and unplugging to get the charge to work, power-down in the middle of using the laptop, and the sound buttons on the side didn't work. Doesn't speak to great workmanship, but I think most of you know that or you wouldn't be here.

Just a note, I have better soldering capabilities at work than probably 95% of others, an instant heat iron, a lab microscope, a heat gun at the station, and heat-shrink tubing, and 25+ years of experience, but you may be able do most of this with a 'Radio Shack' soldering iron and some patience. However, it isn't for the novice and you need to keep track of the screws and where they go.

Anyway, here is what was wrong with mine in case anyone has any of these problems:

1) I spent 3-4 hours taking it apart (I have done this two times and was faster and more organized the second time - only about an hour). There are other guides on how to do this which you can find in related discussions and even at the HP website (as of Aug 09).

2) POWER-JACK: I first thought mine was cold-soldered like many others. It wasn't, I took apart my R3000 down to the motherboard and re-soldered the power jack. After the tedious process of putting it back together again and being hopeful, I found that it still had bad behavior and wasn't fixed. So... I ordered a powerjack on Ebay, ~$5 shipped. When it came I fit it on the end of the power charger cord before soldering it and it was MUCH tighter. That was the problem, after many years of use, the power jack was way too loose. Took the unit apart again and soldered in the new jack. WARNING: my unit had yellow goop on the top around the power-jack that had to be cut away. Also, it isn't easy to get the old jack out, it takes a lot of heat on the terminals and I had to use a pair of pliers,
so be careful that you don't break the board or other parts if you try this.

3) POWER CORD: Yes, the end of the charger that plugs into the laptop had worn out and the ground was loose and causing intermittent charging problems. This repair involved clippping the cord, a lot of cutting with an exacto knife and rebuilding the end and using heat-shrink tubing to secure it again. To test your charger you need to put a probe inside and one outside and check the voltage. You should have ~18.5V when the charger is plugged into the wall. If you wiggle the cord and the connection is intermittent, you may have to fix this.

4) SOUND BOARD: I called HP support (twice) to find out if there was any way to test the sound control buttons on the side of the laptop before I took it apart so I could see if it was a hardware problem. After 1 hour of telling me to install new drivers and other such stuff I gave up. There is no keyboard test that tests those keys. I figured I must have bad solder on the button contacts as some others have, but that isn't what it turned out to be. NOTE: The mute light on my laptop also didn't work, which is a clue that it wasn't a button soldering problem. The sound buttons are on a separate little board that screws into and plugs into the motherboard through a white ~0.3" by 0.7" 2 piece connector. I found when probing with a meter that the buttons worked fine and I traced the problem to the pins on the motherboard piece of the connector that were cold-soldered and loose on one side of it. I re-soldered them (this was the 2nd time the laptop was apart) and when I was done it worked again! The buttons had died over a long period of time and had been dead for at least a year, probably 2, so it was great to have them back.

5) BLINKING SCREEN: When I took the laptop apart the 1st time I took the whole screen apart. I am not positive what was actually wrong, but all signs point to the cable being loose in the flat panel connector on the back of the screen. I don't know how this could have been anything I did, I think it just wasn't inserted correctly when manufactured. Another possibility is where the screen cable comes into the laptop under the left hinge. It turns a corner there and the hinge could have been pinching it. However, being able to twist the screen to help the problem seems to indicate that it was the connector on the back of the display. Since I have put it together again the blinking screen problem has disappeared.

Again, your problems may be different, if you have any of these, you may want to venture inside and try to fix it yourself instead of paying $200-$300 to get it fixed. Also, one of the steps in taking the laptop apart is removing the processor; make sure you use new thermal paste and clean off the old before putting it back together. You wouldn't want to kill such a great product ?!?! (Yes, I’m kidding!)

Good Luck and here's hoping it will last until I want to get rid of it.

One other note, I had spent around $80 for a new battery a couple of years ago, which may also be part of your problem if it loses charge.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
October 22, 2009 11:59:23 AM

I Just butted a heavy phone against the power cord where it meets the laptop, so it holds the cord in place, making contact (a heavy paper weight would probably work as well). I guess my loose connection must be on the horizontal axis so this solution works for me, but I don't know what you would do if you needed to pull the power cord up in order to get it to work (i.e. your loose connection is in the vertical direction). Maybe use a rubber band or piece of string and hook one end onto your screen somehow and the other end on the power cord, so it pulls the cord up.
November 17, 2009 3:09:50 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_NMzm7hDPc

Just carried out a modification using the expansion port on the right hand side, using electronic hobby "Veroboard" I cut a piece 8 tracks wide by 1" then shaved the middle 6 tracks off the board so that they dont enter the expansion port and short anything out.
Just mount and solder your new DC connector to this new board, V+ is on the side nearest the screen. Push the board into the port and power up, hey-presto it works!

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 18, 2009 1:15:50 AM

I'm working on a gateway ma7 Do you know where to jumper the + pin on thdc jack back to the motherboard. When the jack solder joint came loose it lifted the soldering ring that connects it to the motherboard. Im looking to jumper from the pin to the next spot electrically to the motherboard. any ideas?
November 18, 2009 7:44:44 AM

Quote:
I'm working on a gateway ma7 Do you know where to jumper the + pin on thdc jack back to the motherboard. When the jack solder joint came loose it lifted the soldering ring that connects it to the motherboard. Im looking to jumper from the pin to the next spot electrically to the motherboard. any ideas?


I don't know that board but so long as you follow the +V track to a healthy spot and carry out very neat solder with a quality jumper wire you should be ok, watch out though as components are soldered on both sides of the board.

Good luck!
March 24, 2010 5:08:20 PM


Simple new solution to the Compaq Presario power jack issue with a new adaptor that utilizes the expansion port can be found here on our website:

http://www.presarioportpower.com/

Works on Compaq Presario R3000, Compaq NX9100, HP Pavilion ZV5000 & ZX5000

Or on eBay:

http://myworld.ebay.com/tlc3cables/


OR visit tlc3cables on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8ACiFxJPfQ


tlc3cables is very happy to announce the introduction of a new adaptor for the r3000 expansion port problem. The adaptor is vastly improved in both quality and stability, superior to some other DIY connections that have the propensity to pull out easily. Come visit our website and watch the newest youtube video of this product and check out our eBay feedback. Money back guarantee if it does not work for your particular laptop.
Thanks!
April 18, 2010 12:36:33 AM

I found a guy that will fix the compaq r3000 for $65. here is the link

http://pcrepairhelp.net/dc-power-jack-repair/


I droped mine off and had it back in 3 days (I'm lucky I live in the area so I didnt have to ship it). Before I found him I got the same answer everywhere I turned, either 1. you need a new mother board. 2. they can do it but they charge $200 if it works or not. 3. 2 to six weeks to get it fixed with no waranty. I've had it back for several days and it works flawlessly. he also gives a one year waranty provided you have the original compaq power cord it came with.
June 16, 2010 1:22:04 AM

I liked the idea of using the card in the expansion slot. I took one of my son's DS games that the dog had chewed the plastic shell and took out the card. I used a coping saw to make it the same width and cut it off just before the chip on the card. I then soldered a wire on the first two and last two contacts on the card (since they seemed to touch the copper connected on the expansion port). I then cut off the plug to the computer and soldered the wires. The wire to the front of the computer is negative and to the back is positive. It now works great.

I use this computer next to my 2nd laptop for a double computer experience. I use a neat program that allows me to control both compters with the same keyboard and mouse. Ahh life is great. Thanks for the tip.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 18, 2010 5:36:06 AM

I fixed mine, but first the symptoms. 1) Battery charge (indicated by lighting bolt light) would be of indeterminate time, like seconds to a few minutes. 2) Running the PC off the power supply with the battery removed was not reliable. Basically you get some pretty fakey power issues.
What I did : I changed the connector inside the PC but it didn't help (I only soldered it from the bottom). After reading about using the docking port connector and how it is tied to the power buss, I measured the voltage at this connector ( two big outer contacts (positive on right) while the power supply was connected and saw the voltage "go away" when the PC quit. My solution: A) I went back in and re-soldered the positive pin on the new connector *on the top side of the board* ( hard to get at) B) On the bottom side of the board I ran a jumper from this pin to the positive contact on the expansion port ( the side closes to the power connector). Looks to be working well. If you are not up to the in depth repair then I recommend the tlc3connector (presarioportpower- dot-com). What I did with the jumper accomplished the same thing.
December 28, 2010 9:31:11 AM

After mounting a "new" board, with a very solid new connector, the loading problem was back before a year went by. Just before taking the laptop apart, I noticed the negative pole's small latches (on the r3000) were so wide, they hardly touched the negative outside of the powerplug. Bent them back with a very small screwdriver, and all is fine now. Check that too, before doing the big repair.
February 5, 2011 8:23:56 AM

I ended up just paying one of the HP XC 1000 cables. But, I just broke the laptop as it fell down and broke. Its done. The cable wasnt attached, as it was in my laptop bag, but not zipped and my Compaq wont even recognize the hardrive. Time to move up I guess.
February 11, 2011 6:20:31 PM

Steve40th said:
I ended up just paying one of the HP XC 1000 cables. But, I just broke the laptop as it fell down and broke. Its done. The cable wasnt attached, as it was in my laptop bag, but not zipped and my Compaq wont even recognize the hardrive. Time to move up I guess.

Have you reseated the drive?
August 21, 2011 8:34:22 PM

Today I carried out this repair to my Presario R3000 and took pictures of each step.

The repair was a success and just thought if anyone would like me to send info of how to get the pictorial files just PM me and I'll get back to you.
November 16, 2011 6:17:58 AM

Nice post! I really appreciate that you have provided such a nice information regarding to soldering the laptop. I have also some hardware problem in my compaq laptop. Hope I can solve such a problem on the base of this information. Thanks a lot.
a b D Laptop
November 16, 2011 7:12:56 PM

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