What are these guys that sell flat rate laptop repairs on ebay for $100 doing? They claim to do chip level repairs and will fix anything for that same low price. I don't understand how they can repair those boards let alone for $100. Does anyone know what is going on? Are these places typically reputable?
I keep seeing ads in the local newsgroup from people looking to buy broken laptops (and Ipods too for that matter), so I suspect they are transplanting. Either that, or they are hoping the problem is insignificant and they can get it cheap enough that the time spent fixing the problem provides a profit
A hot air rework station speeds up the work, but it can be done by hand under a stereo microscope, with the proper training. I did surface mount rework by hand on almost every board I worked with at Microdyne. It was faster to do it myself, than wait for the rework dept. to do it, then have it inspected. I did the repairs, tested the board, had it cleaned, then inspected after I finished. They intentionally "misplaced" some custom embedded CPU boards for 10 months
My guess is that most failures are either damaged connectors or failed electrolytics, so most of the work is in the disassembly/reassembly.
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to