Although most of our work is with computers and mobile devices, we specialize in custom repairs too. Here are some of the recent custom jobs we've done.
Multimedia Car Stereo
One such case is the Pioneer 8000NEX multimedia car stereo: a $1000 premium device with high definition outputs and a sliding display mechanism that reveals the slot-loading CD drive and SD card reader. Despite parts being difficult to find, we eventually discovered the right component numbers and vendors to satisfy the requirements to finish the repair. Upon installing the new digitizer and front bezel, the touchscreen display worked flawlessly, and the eject mechanism performed as designed.
Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) Battery Pack Rebuilds
Most manufacturers charge a premium for their replacement battery packs, and this is where we saw an opportunity to save some money. Through buying individual cells for slightly over a dollar each, we rebuilt two battery packs for less than $40 total. Disassembling the battery packs was trivial, and instead of using a tack welder to join the battery tabs together, we used traditional electrical solder with no loss in performance. Not only is this a great way to save our customers the cost of buying brand-name batteries, but we are also providing an environmentally-conscious alternative to buying a new product every time its use is below optimum.
A developing segment of Armor Labs is the digitization of old media formats, such as photograph slides, film negatives, camcorder tapes, and defunct formats such as Betamax. We have already dedicated a corner of our engineering department to media digitization, and have acquired equipment including a slide scanner to expedite the process and minimize active labor. In the case of camcorder tapes, costs can be kept low by requiring minimal worker intervention as the tapes are captured onto a hard drive.
DJI Spark Drone Repair
Since we service our own equipment, including the company drone, we are more than able to tackle problems from customers involving their own remote-controlled devices. This DJI spark was suffering from a broken frame, and required a complete rebuild and transplant of components to a new frame to provide a professional-grade repair at a reasonable price. Given how compact the electronics were placed in the Spark, disassembly, soldering, repair, and reassembly was very similar to fixing a damaged phone, given the small wires, ribbon connectors, and tight clearances.
Repairing Damaged Cables
Some of us may have pets or children that tug, tear, and chew through cables for a variety of electronic devices. Luckily, we provide an eco-friendly solution that does not replace the cable. Instead, we can solder new connections for each individual wire, and professionally wrap the solder joints with heat shrink, resulting in a polished, seamless look along the cable insulation. In the case of a 2.1 speaker system, the only repair required was this cable restoration, handled by our engineering team. Shortly after, that same speaker system was sold as a refurbished device to a very satisfied customer.
On-Demand Prototyping: Sim Card Adapter
We are often one small piece of plastic away from a fully-functioning product, and when a customer came by to try his SIM card with a refurbished phone, he discovered that his nano-SIM was too small for the micro-SIM slot. Instead of turning the customer away due to this inconvenience, we offered to 3D print a SIM card adapter that would permit a nano sim to fit properly in a micro-SIM slot. In less than ten minutes, a prototype was printed out of our smallest "Smartrap 2b" 3D printer, and the card was effortlessly adapted to the new phone slot. We anticipate our on-demand 3D printing capability to not only improve our productivity but also to provide convenient and fast service to our customers with minimal delay.
Our Family of 3D Printers
Armor Labs has a total of five 3D printers, two of which our head engineer built himself:
2b was built out of remaining parts from an upgrade to Timboenfabulator from 1.0 to 2.0. It is designed after the smartrap mini from the reprap community. RepRap.org is maintained by a global team of engineers and makers that design and build open-source additive-manufacturing solutions for free. Despite its rough aesthetic and cheap-looking qualities, 2b has become an excellent printer for producing smaller, thinner parts on its glass build platform.