Replace noisy ASUS F3J laptop CPU fan

Here is a quick post on how to replace a noisy CPU fan on an ASUS F3J series laptops, the replacement is so easy that it really doesn’t need a how to guide.

I purchased the new fan on eBay (as usual) for $7.70 including postage.

The new ASUS F3J fan purchased from eBay for 7.70

Remove the following seven screws as circled, the circled blue screw is a unique extra long screw.

The back of the ASUS F3J laptop

The exposed old existing fan, to remove unscrew three screws.

The existing fan, remove the three screws

The air-hole when the old fan is removed.

The old fan removed

Finally, the new fan inserted and screwed into place.

The brand new fan inserted in the ASUS F3J

Repair a punctured tyre with tire repair strips

Caution: this guide is a demonstration of how to use the product, it should not be applied to the tyre sidewall.

Here is a quick post on how to repair a minor puncture on a car’s tyre. I purchased a car tyre repair kit from eBay for $5.50 including postage. Here’s what I received;

  • A raspier tool for enlarging the hole,
  • A needle insertion tool for inserting the repair strips,
  • A small tube of rubber adhesive, and
  • Five tyre repair strips.

Puncture repair kit, tools, adhesive and strips
Five tyre repair strips

How to repair a puncture

A puncture to the tyre's side wall

First remove a repair strip and insert it into the need hole of the insertion tool, this was the most difficult and used some pliers to help me pull it though, I was surprised and happy that the repair strips were not sticky at all. Pull the strip so it is centred in the insertion tool.

Insert a strip into the insertion tool

Cover the strip with copious amounts of rubber adhesive, this will assist with the strip sticking to the inside of the tyre. Insert the needle insertion tool (with the strip) into the tyre hole, don’t insert it all the way down, but ensure both ends are still protruding.

Now twist the insertion tool slighty (this will get it all knotted inside) before pulling it out of the hole, you may need to use some pliers to ensure the strip remains inside.

Insert the strip into the puncture

Inflate the tyre and ensure no leaks

How to dye fabric with Procion dye

Procion is a brand of reactive dyes, meaning the dye reacts with the cellulose fibres (plant-based fibres including cotton and linen) of fabric. A cellulose fibre will not work on protein fibre (animal-based fibres including silk and wool), it which case Acid Dye will need to be used.

I chose Procion over Acid Dye due to being a little cheaper, and the specific Procion type I bought was Procion MX, a cold water dye, what I didn’t realise was a fixer/setter is also required in this case sodium carbonate (soda ash) as this added to the price.

Both items can be purchased from eBay and including shipping cost $6 for the Procion (25g) and $5.50 for the Soda Ash (200g).  Acid dye (10g) can be purchased on eBay for $7.

Procion MX and soda ash

The procedure to dye fabrics with Procion MX is fairly straight forward, what I planned to dye black was a pink top and grey skirt.


  1. First fill a container with about ten litres of water, add the Procion MX dye and stir to make sure everything is dissolved and mixed evenly.
  2. Immense the cloths in the dye bath and stir for thirty minutes to make sure cloths are evenly dyed.
  3. Add the soda ash and again stir for thirty minutes to make sure soda ash is dissolved and mixed evenly.
  4. Remove cloths from dye bath and rinse with clean water to remove excess dye.
  5. Once the majority of dye is removed, it can be machine washed to remove any traces.

Mixing the dye bath
Add the fabrics to the dye bath

Enjoy the newly coloured clothes.

Skirt before and after
Top before and after

Canon Service Manual for EOS Kiss Digital X, EOS Digital Rebel XTi, EOS 400D Digital

Here is the Service Manual for the Canon 400D, also known by the names;

  • EOS Kiss Digital X
  • EOS Digital Rebel XTi
  • EOS 400D Digital

canon-service-manual-eos-kiss-digital-x-eos-digital-rebel-xti-eos-400d-digital.pdf (20mb)

Other manuals are available here.

Canon EFS 17-85mm IS stuck/locked zoom repair/disassembly

It seems like this is a common problem with these lenses, the zoom gets stuck at 17mm with about 2mm of play (zoom movement). This problem is all due to a loose single screw on the inner lens assembly, sounds simple to fix, doesn’t it?

The challenge is trying to get to this single screw, which involves the separation of the lens into over 10 components, and the removal of about 20 small screws. Hopefully this guide will make the disassembly job a whole lot easier.

First, a reminder of what the lens looks like.

The stuck zoom lens

Turn the lens on its side with the connection contacts closest to you. There are 2 tiny Philips screws to remove.

Remove 2 screws holding the connection contacts

Balance the lens on its front with the metal lens screw lock ring visible. There are 4 small Philips screws to remove.

Metal lens screw lock

The metal ring can now be hinged apart. This next step is the most difficult. The inner black plastic ring is connected to the metal outer ring with 4 plastic clips in the inside. By pushing the clips towards the center, the black plastic ring can be removed from the top of the metal outer ring. Much care is needed due to the ribbon cable still being attached to the connection contacts allowing for a gap of roughly no more than 1cm.

Inner black ring and outer metal ring, clips visible

Once the inner black plastic ring is removed, the outer metal screw lock ring can be removed, exposing the PCB protected by a black plastic housing.

Both black and metal ring removed and PCB visible

Disconnect a single pressure ribbon cable attached to the inside of the black plastic housing which will then allow for its removal exposing the PCB.

Black plastic housing removed

Disconnect the 5 ribbon cables from the PCB. 2 are pressure connected, 2 with a hinged clip and 1 with a pressure clip. Unscrew a single Philips screw allowing the removal of the PCB.

Remove the 5 screws (circled in red) holding the outer black plastic ring allowing the remove of the black plastic ring. Then remove the 3 inner screws (circled in blue).

PCB removed

Turn the lens over and remove the rubber zoom grip. It can be removed by inserting a very thin screw driver under the rubber and working your way around.

Font of 17-85mm lens

Rubber zoom grip removed

With the rubber zoom grip removed, rotate the lens until you find a black rectangle sticker, peal this off to expose some contactors.

Black rectangle sticker removed exposing the contactors

With a Philip driver, unscrew the contactors. I actually performed this when reassembling the lens and slightly damaged them. It is better to remove them at the start to prevent this.

Contactors removed

There are 3 screws sitting on small metal tubes between a groove, finally remove these.

Screw in metal tubes within the groves

With these removed the inner lens portion can now be removed from the outer casing.

Outer casing removed from inner lens

You now have access to the problem screw(s) that need tightening. Once tightened, add some Loctite or nail-polish to stop the screws becoming loose again.

The final screws that need tightening

Some do’s and don’ts

  • don’t remove the front lens sticker or 3 screws behind it.
  • don’t remove the zoom sticker with m/ft increments.
  • don’t touch or disassemble any of the focusing ring!
  • do keep your UV filter on the lens, you can still remove the rubber grip with it on.
  • do make sure the focusing pin between the inner and outer len is in place.


Motorola RAZR V3 repair and housing change guide

This guide will step through the process required to repair a Motorola RAZR V3 “the phone”, including the flex cable and then replacing the housing.

The flex cable can be purchased from eBay for $7 US (including shipping), and the housing can be purchased from eBay for around $16 (including shipping). The flex cable is attached to the keypad circuit, which is automatically included in the purchase. When purchasing the housing, you need to make sure it is NOT a slip on case, skin, pouch, fascia, protector, etc, etc. The housing should include as a minimum the front, middle, back and battery cover. Keypad, hinge, pads, grommets, buttons may even be included, as well as TORX screwdrivers, make sure you buy all what you need. The included contents of my purchased housing were as follows.

The included contents housing contents purchased from eBay

To perform repairs on the phone, you require TORX T5 and T4 drivers, a small flat driver will come in handy as well, also at least 2 hours of spare time.

First a look at my broken phone, besides the obvious fact that it is broken into two separate halves, the hinge is broken and there is normal housing wear.

My broken Motorola RAZR V3

First remove the battery cover, battery and SIM card. Remove 2 TORX T5 screws under the battery cover circled in red. Separate the plastic case via two plastic clips as squared in red.

Remove battery case and battery and then TORX T5 screws

The antenna assembly can be removed by disconnection of the keyboard connector, squared in red. Remove the 4 TORX T4 screws, circled in red. These screws will be required for the new housing.

Disconnect the antenna assembly and remove the 4 TORX screws

Now, if you need to preserve the keypad circuit; it is a little bit more involved. First, lift up the tabs of the metal keypad as circled in red and then pry of the metal keypad. Most likely the keypad circuit will be stuck to the plastic so extreme care is required when removing. It may be easier to reuse this whole part, as it seems all colour housing still have this same silver part.

Lift the metal tabs, as circled to remove the keypad

Following is a photo of the new keypad circuit and the plastic keyboard housing.

The new keypad circuit and the plastic keyboard housing

Remove the backing of the keypad circuit and stick the circuit to the plastic housing. You will need to start from the bottom to allow the connectors to be threaded through the holes.

Stick the keyboard circuit to the plastic housing

A photo of the completed keypad assembly.

The completed keypad assembly

Remove the antenna from the antenna assembly by first removing two black grommets and then unclipping the two plastic clips.

The antenna assembly

Once the circuit board is removed, remove all the following from the plastic housing as these are required in the new housing.

Remove all the following

Insert all the old removed parts into the new housing as follows.

Insert all the old removed parts into the new housing

The change the screen housing, first remove the 4 rubber grommets as circled in red, and then the 4 TORX T5 screws behind.

Remove the 4 rubber grommets and then the 4 TORX T5 screws behind

Once the plastic screen housing is removed, the display circuit is visible. Carefully pry away the circuit from the plastic near all buttons and the backup battery as circled in red. The camera can be removed by lifting the brown tab as squared in red. Move the circuitry to the new housing and then connect the camera.

Carefully pry away the circuit from the plastic near all buttons and the backup battery

To connect the two clamshell halves, the hinge can be retracted in, the hinge is circled in red. This allows the two halves to combine; the hinge should then pop into place securing the two halves.

To connect the two clamshell halves, the hinge can be retracted in

Finally, replace all the finishing touches such as labels, hinge caps and grommets. Photos of the new phone are below.

Final image of the Motorola RAZR V3 with the new housing

Final image of the Motorola RAZR V3 with the new housing

The following repair guide may be of further help
Motorola V3-Razr Repair Manual KS-042050-V1.2.pdf

Replacing a cracked Canon IXUS 55 / IXY 60 / SD450 LCD screen

Here’s a step by step guide on replacing the LCD screen on a Canon IXUS camera. Whilst, the model shown here the IXUS 55, it is fairly similar for other IXUS models.

The cheapest LCD I have found online is through The Foto Geeks for $55, however you can actually buy a cheaper whole (working) camera from eBay, and usually accessories are included with it. Note to make sure it is only the LCD which is cracked and not the backlight, in order to get the correct replacement parts.

My poor camera with cracked LCD screen:
Canon IXUS 55 / IXY 60 / SD450 with cracked LCD screen

Tools required:

  • small Philips head screwdriver
  • small flat head screwdriver

First remove the 6 Philips screws on the edges of the metal case, location defined by the arrows in the photo below:
Remove the 6 small Philips screws from the case

Remove the front half of the metal case by starting at the camera’s base, at the top there is a metal clip which connects the front and back halves. Removing the front half free form this clip requires a bit of manipulating . The clip is circled in the photo below:
Metal clip connecting the front and back halves

Once the front half of the metal housing is removed, the back half can be removed extremely easily. You will be presented with the LCD screen, remove the single Philips screw which holds the LCD in place as per the photo below:
Remove the screw which holds the LCD screen in place

Slide the LCD screen to the left, and this will release the screen from a little clip. Once the screen is free, remove a Philips screen holding the tripod mount is place:
The clip holding the LCD in place and the screw holding the tripod mount

Turn the camera over, and remove the front screw which holds the tripod mount. You can then remove the tripod mount which will allow the removal of the main LCD ribbon cable. The ribbon cable is disconnected by lifting up the brown tab on the connector:
The screw holding the tripod mount at the front and the main ribbon cable connector

Once the main ribbon cable is removed, the backlight’s ribbon cable can then be accessed easier. It is removed by simply pulling the cable away from the socket perpendicular to the PCB:
Remove the backlight's ribbon cable

The LCD can now be removed from the camera. The below photo is the replacement LCD screen:
Removed LCD screen

To connect the replacement LCD and reassemble the camera, perform the above instructions in reverse. It is a good idea to test the replacement LCD before assembling, to make sure everything works fine.